Cayambe MountainsThe first two days of my recent trip to Ecuador were spent touring four of the most progressive flower farms. Three of those were located in the Cayambe area, roughly a one and one half hour drive from Ecuador’s capital city of Quito. The ride to Cayambe is breathtaking, both for the scenic vistas of the majestic mountain created by the Cayambe volcano, and for the phenomenal driving skills exhibited by our bus driver, Jose (who received a healthy and well-earned tip at the end of the week!). It is the third highest peak in Ecuador and stands at a height of 5,790m (18,997 feet). This rugged volcano is dormant but is partially responsible for the success of the important flower growing business of which Cayambe is considered the focal point. While many varieties of flowers thrive in this region, it is most famous for its roses.

Cayambe is a Flower’s Heaven

Cayambe is located 0 0’0’ latitude – for non-geography buffs that means it is on the equator and the sun shines 12 hours per day. The humidity is just right year round too.  Also, evenings and nights are cool and the volcanic soil is fertile and ideal for raising flowers. Altitude, climate, soil and the pure mountain-top water provide the perfect mix for growing flowers that is not matched anywhere else in the world.

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At the end of our second day in Ecuador we’ve completed our farm tours, and we’re preparing for the opening of the Agriflor show tomorrow at noon. After touring four of the top farms in Ecuador I was asked by the legendary Bill Schodowski how my experience matched up with my expectations. I had to admit that what we have seen and learned far outpaced anything I was prepared for.

In fact there are three things that really stood out for me…

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Ecuador, Agriflor and the ATPDEA

September 27, 2012

Next week I’ll be travelling to Ecuador to attend the FlorEcuador Agriflor show in Quito. Agriflor is the largest flower show in the Americas, and a venue for growers to show off the best of their wares. I’ll be blogging from Ecuador next week with highlights, but before starting that series I thought it would […]

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Florists For Change: Michigan 2012 – Day 1

March 5, 2012

Stay tuned for Live Blogging coverage of the 2012 Florists For Change meeting in Grand Rapids, MI.

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Valentine’s Day BBB Florist Warning: Top Source of Complaints

February 2, 2012

Valentine’s Day flower shopping advice abounds. Yesterday, Chicago’s BBB reported that complaints filed against florists were up 47% from 2010 to 2011 and urged sweethearts to shop wisely for the best blooms. A 47% complaint increase? Quite an alarming statistic – one that really begged for a closer look. So I dug through their numbers […]

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Florists For Change Atlanta – Day 2

October 4, 2011

Coverage of Day 2 of FFC Atlanta

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Florists For Change Atlanta Day 1

October 3, 2011

Read on for live coverage of Day 1 of the Florists For Change meetings in Atlanta, GA.

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Teleflora Leverages Florist Web Sites for Shady Link Scheme

September 29, 2011

In a bold move designed to leverage the web sites of ~12,000 local florists, Teleflora Web Services introduced – without the knowledge of the florists – a secretive link to their own Teleflora.com retail web site. Nearly half a million links from the web pages of real florists are being filtered through a hidden link […]

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Florists For Change Coveage – Day 2

August 18, 2011

It’s almost time to start the wrap-up session for the first-ever Florists For Change meeting. The mood is electric even after a late night of meetings, and a later night in Vegas (for some … this East Coast boy was face-down snoring not long after the wind up last night!). That said … I see […]

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Florists For Change Coverage – Day 1

August 17, 2011

We’re covering the first Florists For Change conference, organized by a group of passionate retail florists looking to change the economics of the floral industry. Last night’s Ice Breaker session featured some introductions to the organizers and an overview of the plan for the next two days. Today’s schedule is quite full! The format will […]

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