Blanca Rojas, employee at Golden State Floral, a wholesale florist in Yolo County, assembles flower arrangements for Mother’s Day. California cut-flower farmers say the stormy spring led to reduced inventory for Mother’s Day.
May 12, 2023 – By Caleb Hampton – April showers bring May flowers, the proverb goes, but California farmers with rain-soaked flower crops say there’s more to the equation.
Months of gloomy weather and historic storms, and flooding have left growers with diminished inventory as they prepare for Mother’s Day, the cut-flower sector’s busiest time of year. “We’ve had a rough time,” said Rene Van Wingerden, owner of Ocean Breeze Farms in Santa Barbara County. Over the past six months, the Carpinteria-based cut-flower farmer has seen his business dip by as much as 20%.
“We depend on sunshine,” he said. “That’s what makes us money, and we haven’t gotten our fair share of it, so our numbers are down.” Van Wingerden isn’t alone. “It’s a bit crazy out there,” said Michael Mellano, CEO of Mellano & Co., a San Diego County cut-flower farm that is one of the state’s largest producers. “The excessive rain we’ve had and the unseasonably cool weather has really disrupted our normal production expectations.”
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