I am not referring to the rose varieties, but I do want to talk about roses. Specifically about two really great rose farms, whose names I will not include here out of respect for their vulnerability in a very difficult set of circumstances, and because we have been partners for many years, who have actually had no production of roses for Valentine's Day. I am not suggesting that they are low in production, I mean that after the best laid plans were drawn up and implemented, just as in years past, the net result is actually a productivity that is lower than that of a normal week!
If I had not been in Ecuador to witness the plantations first hand, I would have been incredulous and would not be willing to believe that the farms in question have no flowers to fill their pre-orders for this year's holiday. I would have suspected that they were diverted for more money or given to other customers.
Actually, to be in Ecuador in this case is an advantage because not only can I see the fields filled with blooms that are nowhere near ready for harvest, but I can see that the crew in the post-harvest is just the normal complement of people for a day in August, say, and the coolers have just a few measly buckets barely filled with roses.
But more than that, I get to see the pain in the eyes of the owners and their managers, because more than anything for these particular farms their word is theri bond, and desire above all to fill the orders, and with the quality we expect year round. And of course, this being Valentine's Day, the financial losses are considerable and also debilitating.
The farms are year round suppliers for Mayesh, and have really fabulous products, flowers that are aesthetically pleasing as well as being grown to the highest quality standards, and who focus on new and unusual varieties.
At first we were incredulous - "This is a joke, right?" were the words of our rose buyer; then angry, then dumbfounded and now we are partners in their loss. But if I had not been here to actually see this disaster I could not have digested the idea of no roses at Valentine's Day. It simply would not be credible.
But just as the Titanic was deemed unsinkable, andwhen it did sink the first people notified did not believe it; the fact that this could happen to a farm is beyond the pale; but it has happened. Believing is seeing!
Fortunately, Mayesh's rose buyer has had to be very flexible, as the situation is very unusual and flowers are tight, and has adjsut to the problems that continue to spring up. However, he was able to replace most of these roses from other farms, and we are sending out a full shipment of 500 full boxes tonight. Of course, we will miss the familiarity and quality of our partners' roses, but the event is yet another reminder that we deal with wonderful manifestations of creation which are persihable and subject to the vagaries of nature.
Image - Wild roses growing on a bank near Latacunga, province of Cotopaxi, Ecuador.