US (TX): van Hoekelen Greenhouses grows millions of flowers in Hazleton area

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Earlier this month, Alex van Hoekelen surveyed a vast indoor greenhouse space in his family’s Hazleton area business containing acres of flowers in varying stages of growth. “Most people who see this process say they did not realize all the work that goes into it,” he said.

Each tulip, hyacinth, and Easter lily at van Hoekelen Greenhouses Inc. must be nurtured and then snatched at just the right moment so customers will get the satisfaction of enjoying the not-yet-emerged bloom.

The pressure is on because van Hoekelen — marketed as the largest bulb grower on the East Coast — supplies flowers wholesale to supercenters, supermarkets, home improvement stores, drug stores, and other merchants across the country.

“One day could make or break a crop,” van Hoekelen said. “It takes a whole village to keep track of everything.” At home, many plant flower bulbs in the ground each fall and forget about them while nature works its magic so they bloom in the spring.


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