If you have ever wondered where the flowers you buy at the grocery store come from and how they got from there to you, this overview of the multi-billion industry of cut flowers will provide those answers and much more. Amy Stewart surveys the industry by looking at its various components. In Breeding, Stewart looks at Leslie Woodriff, the developer of the “Star Gazer” lily, as an example of old-fashioned breeders and contrasts him with corporate breeders such as John Mason, who is trying to create a blue rose by gene splicing. In Growing, the author visits Ano Nuevo Flower Growers in California which is owned by a third-generation violet grower; Sun Valley, also in California, and the largest producer of cut flowers in the U.S.; Terra Nigra in Holland, which exports its breeding technology around the world; and flower farms near Quito, Equador. In Selling, she follows flowers grown in Equador to the Miami airport where they are inspected and discusses standards – organic and otherwise. Finally, Stewart visits local florists and discusses the development of online florists.
This overview presents a wealth of information in an enjoyable and entertaining manner. Some statistics are surprising, some details (fumigation) are distressing, but in general Stewart’s engaging narrative of her research and travels makes for a fascinating look at the flower business.
Reviewed by ch, 4/09. Other reviews by ch.