Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Travels to Ecuador

This past week I took an amazing trip to Quito, Ecuador for the International Rose Fair. One of my friend’s and rose wholesalers (Flowerlink) that I purchase from invited me down to her family’s rose farm (Flora Cal & Floras Verdes). Their hospitality was amazing and absolutely unforgettable. I’m going to break the blog up into a few segments because I learned so much from the trip and I don’t think I could possibly give each section justice by lumping them all together!

Quito and Cayambe
Traveling to Quito was a little daunting at first. You read all of these stories about “what not to do”, where you shouldn’t go, what you shouldn’t eat….the list goes on. The city of Quito and the people that make up the towns were wonderful. The city itself is full of old world architecture and history. Quito has the hustle and bustle of any metropolitan city. The contrast is the quiet town of Cayambe where the infamous Ecuadorian roses that we have all learned to cherish as a florist and consumer are grown and harvested. I was able to spend a couple nights in Quito and a couple nights at the farm in Cayambe. The pace is so different for city to country.

Cayambe is where Flora Cal and Floras Verdes are located. They boast a breathtaking view of the Snowcapped Andes Mountain tops (at certain times of the year). The town itself is filled with various rose farms but none more spectacular than these two. Their farm is immaculately taken care of with acres and acres of greenhouses.
Their employees are provided transportation to & from work, uniforms, meals, childcare and onsite doctor/nurse. The greenhouses are tended too on a daily basis by caretakers who know exactly how to plant, prune, water and fertilize the roses. (more to come on the day to day of rose harvesting in the next blog!)
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