Blooming fields offer hope to flower industry amid pandemic

U.S.

CARLSBAD, Calif (NewsNation Now) — The reopening of the Flower Fields is a clear sign of a rebirth, and according to growers this coming season will top the one that was lost.

About 75% of domestically grown flowers come out of California, but last year, the pandemic cost the industry billions of dollars.

Big and beautiful ranunculus blooms are back at the Flower Fields in Carlsbad, CA, as are the visitors which have made its 55 acres Instagram famous.

“For me, it just brings you happiness looking at the flowers and stuff. I’m sure it means different things for everyone, their favorite colors, and here, there’s a whole rainbow of flowers,” visitor Alexis Avalo said.

But the rainbow of color at the Flower Fields actually had to be wiped out last year due to the pandemic. Two weeks into the season, the fields and the entire cut flower industry had to shut down. 

“Everybody canceled their orders. And we didn’t know what to do so we mowed down about half of all the fields. I have never grown a crop of ranunclus just to mow it down,” General Manager Fred Clarke said.

With the fields back in bloom, flower fans are eager to soak in the colors. Visits require online ticketing, a health screening and a host of safety protocols, but visitors are more than happy to comply.

“For me, it’s very much nostalgic. My grandmother was a consummate gardener so when I see flowers, it kind of brings me back to that time,” said Will Dyckman.

The blooms often evoke a range of emotions.

“Definitely the colors of the flowers, they’re so pretty,” said Jessica Bial.

Social media posts are encouraged since the fields will only be in bloom for about ten weeks, while the colors should really be popping by April, especially since no heavy storms disturbed the seed beds. 

“This year, we didn’t have those rains, and it’s a perfect germination. But I didn’t get free water out of the sky so my water bill is real high, but I have perfect germination,” Clarke said.

This is high season for the flower industry with the height of buying stretching through Mother’s Day.

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