Meet Your Local Farmers: Monterey Bay greenhouses open their doors to the public for a unique event on June 16th
Posted on: Friday, June 15, 2012 1:40 PM by Allyson Ryan
Don’t miss a rare opportunity to tour some of Monterey Bay’s finest greenhouses! Six nurseries specializing in everything from fresh cut flowers, edible flowers, succulents to ferns open their doors to the public on June 16th from 10am-4pm. The 3rd Annual Monterey Bay Greenhouse Growers Open House is truly an amazing blend of agriculture, education and tourism for the entire family! Today I was fortunate enough to get a sneak peek at some of the action planned for tomorrow’s main event. Jennifer Everett of California Floral Greens opened up her Watsonville nursery to a select few in gearing up for the big day. The fortunate few and I started things off near the main office where several of the other highlighted nurseries had samples of their masterpieces. The fresh cut roses, rows of succulents and draped ivy were breathtaking. I could only imagine what the greenhouses full of these floral treasures would like! After gawking at these gems Jennifer gave us the run down on the importance of greenhouses and its products to the economy. Did you know that Monterey Bay Area cut flower farmers represent a $682.4 million dollar economic impact on California's economy each year? I had no clue that greenhouses were such a vital asset to the Monterey Bay area! Jennifer discussed that the prime climate allows the plants to grow much more efficiently than almost anywhere else in the world. Next stop was the reservoir. This large body of water holds millions of gallons of water and luckily most of is recycled rain water. The 18 foot deep basin is essential for the 40 acres of plants on this particular greenhouse farm. Then it was on to the greenhouses! Open entering I was immediately impressed. Every plant had its place and was extremely well organized. English ivy climbed up strings tied to the roof while bright green foxtails lined the greenhouse floor in perfectly set rows. The greenhouse smelt fresh and the inside was warm and cozy, a perfect setting for a nap! The next nursery hosted leather leaf. There must have been thousands of these leafy ferns! Farmer Jennifer said not to be surprised if we came across several lady bugs as they are vital for pest control. She also explained that most of California Floral Greens’ plants are used for garlands and filler flowers in bouquets. You have most likely seen several of their plants in Safeway, Trader Joes or Nob Hill. The last nursery was my favorite which housed the hydrangea plants. Large green bushes were scattered meticulously throughout the square building with bursts of color sprouting throughout. Jennifer added that the bushes are usually much more colorful but the cold winter had affected some of the flowers. They were still gorgeous in my book. Unfortunately I wasn’t able to visit the other five nurseries that will be on display. I would have loved to see what the other houses are hiding; I guess I still have until tomorrow! Other greenhouses open to the public include Succulent Gardens, Kitayama Brothers, Jacobs Farm, Four Winds Growers, California Pajarosa and California Floral Greens.