Flower farm

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Cotopaxi, Ecuador
Flower farm - Packed for export
Flower farm - Grading the roses
Flower farm - Artificially coloured
Flower farm - One of the roses
Flower farm - Jose Luiz and Chris in the growing area

Flower farm Cotopaxi Reviews

Toonsarah Toonsarah
473 reviews
Visit to a rose farm Oct 30, 2012
There are a lot of rose farms in the Cotopaxi area, but only a few can be visited. The one we went to is only open to those staying at the Hacienda la Cienega and security was tight, with Jose Luiz having to sign us in and accompany us everywhere while on the farm.

Rose-growing is an important part of the Ecuador economy and has increased dramatically in the last ten years. Many people in this region work on the farms. Jose Luiz explained that most of the roses grown here are exported to the USA, Russia and Indonesia. We saw the many varieties being grown here, under plastic to protect them from the cool nights. The climate here in the equatorial highlands, especially the consistent year-round hours of sunlight, means that the bushes produce a crop every six to eight weeks, making this a lucrative business for the growers and an important one for the country. Fairly unusually for Ecuador, it seems, this is an organic farm – one of only four in the country. It switched from using the pesticides that are common here (including, or so I have read, some that are banned in more developed countries) and now prides itself on using only natural pest-control methods, including growing herbs to deter them near the entrances of the greenhouses and putting little bags over the most vulnerable blooms.

We then went into the packing area where we could see how carefully the flowers are graded. The least good (that is, the smallest or those with too short stems) are kept back for the domestic market where they are sold very cheaply – you can get a large bunch (25 flowers) for the price of a single rose in the UK or US. The rest are packed in bunches of 12 and exported in refrigerated containers from a local airport. In one corner of the packing room we saw some very unusually-coloured blooms. These are specially produced for the Far East market and are dyed with food colourings just as I used to do as a child – see photo below.

If you get a chance to visit one of these farms I would recommend it as it makes you realise how much effort goes into those bunches of flowers!
Jose Luiz and Chris in the growing…
One of the roses
Grading the roses
Artificially coloured
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