Riverview Flower Farm is Big on Sustainability

July 1, 2010 by Rick

I have just returned from 9 days in New York and have some interesting garden and horticulture facts and photos to share on upcoming posts. The Seeley Conference was our primary destination and the title this year was “Floriculture’s Environmental Footprint: an inconvenient truth or consumer opportunity” Among the speakers were many of the brightest people associated with agriculture as well as non industry experts that shared enlightening facts about environmental policy, economics and marketing.  I was honored to present with three other growers on how we each are “Operationalizing Sustainability” as a topic. Included in my presentation were facts on how we save water, pumping cost and fertilizer by using drip irrigation and capillary mats for irrigation. We reduce the amount of peat moss by using compost that incorporates local yard and tree waste compost in our potting soil. We use friendly soil bacteria instead of chemicals for root disease control. Our primary cold protection is with the use of frost cloth like you can also use at home instead of using warm ground water as a source of heat. I also focused on how we recycle all of our components. If you would like details about our procedures and processes please leave a comment below or on our Facebook page. Below are images from my presentation.

 

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Some of the many Florida Friendly Perennials we grow.

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Check out our Floridafriendlyplants.com for the complete list and database.

 

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Annuals add lots of color to Florida landscapes.

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Drip irrigation saves 10 cents per pot in terms of fertilizer saving and reduced pumping costs. That’s a lot of dimes. 6-8 ounces of water is applied as needed saving 95% of the water lost in overhead systems much of which is lost to evaporation.

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Zone management and spot fertilization save even more money and water and allow for precise applications. Often we inject garlic oil extract to make our plants distasteful to certain insects.

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Frost cloth is used for freeze protection down to 20F instead of using ground water for heat.

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Expert growers are masters of Integrated Pest Management systems (IPM) making for safe plants and a safe working environment by using the lowest toxicity products available.

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A custom software program makes all the systems flow and reduces waste and effort.

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Grower Live is available as a subscription service for other growers seeking web based solutions.

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Efficient monorails and carts take the place of 50 tractors and 200 tracking trailers. Monorails don’t add as much to the carbon footprint and are safe to use resulting in very few accidents like those associated with motorized equipment.

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Efficient use of delivery equipment and matching orders to the rate of sale reduces the fuel, miles and carbon use.

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Scan a QR coded calling card with your smart phone the next time you visit the garden center.

It will direct you to our informative website. Floridafriendlyplants.com

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Interact with us on Facebook.

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We are big users of composted municipal tree waste and yard waste compost.

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We blend in TurfPro with humates and 14 active bacteria that protect the roots from disease and help keep the soil moist and active.

 

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The final product is a affordable organic soil mix that holds these good microbes all the way to your garden for added success. More on this in our F.A.Q. page.

 

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