Monday, April 28, 2014

Re-imagining Greenhouses

Would you like to meet here?

A week ago we held a meeting in our greenhouse.  It was in a section of one of the ranges that held old and unproductive stephanotis.  So, instead of planting more gerberas or other flowers, we are trying to figure out: are there other uses that would return more value than flowers? 

The stephanotis was not very profitable, we were only making about $600 net profit per year on a 5,000 sq ft. section.  Gerbera daisies would probably return approximately $2500 net profit for the same amount of sq ft. This does not count the costs to plant the gerbera daisies.  Since we don’t need more production for the next 8 months, we are thinking of other uses that could bring as much value as flowers back to KB.  

It might be an exercise in futility, but it will be fun trying.

The meeting was fine, but it did get a little hot during the middle of the day.  It would be easy to add more cooling via ventilation or fans.  We have discussed holding other types of events such as greenhouse dinners, cocktail receptions, corporate events, etc., to take advantage of the amazing views inside and outside.  Long term we toy with the ideas of greenhouse tours with retail space like the winery model.  

Who knows if anything will develop, but it doesn’t cost us much to try.  

We will not quit growing flowers since that is what we do.  
However, there isn’t a more beautiful greenhouse location in the United States, 
and taking advantage of the views - Pajaro Valley and Monterey Bay - should not be overlooked.



  1. Based on current growing situation: light, media, beds, etc. one might consider growing heads for the production for lei flowers. Mini and standard carnation varieties which used to be grown only as a uniform standard stemmed cut can now be left to multiply head size in buds and remove heads-buds as needed. I would begin with few popular colors and expand as the market demands it. production would be great for cool climate zones and without competition from Asian countries which do not encounter a cool temperature and also be close to shipping destinations i.e Hawaii, etc. I am sure that local CA markets would also use thee heads for their graduations, etc. Other uses will erupt from this offering as more florists can use heads for corsage, bouquet, wreath, etc. use all year round.
    Other head crops for leis also include double tuberose, baby rose heads, etc. The great thing about this is that we will restrict harvest to the heads alone without foliage or stems which may harbor diseases and insect pests. Other crops that could use assistance would be to grow some high elevation Hawaiian endemics such as mokihana, maile, and other flowers used for Hawaiian culture. Already 100% of all ipu's (gourds) for Hawaiian pahu drums and Hawaiian instruments are grown in California and shipped to Hawaii.
    Ask Michael, I alos have other ideas involving GMO food crops that could grow in similar conditions and be market ready fast, efficiently and highly cost efficient.

  2. Old greenhouses have been used for such events in Holland for years. Seems to be the perfect spot. Generally speaking there is ample parking, lots of room to move about, Good lighting, and lush greenery. Make it happen.