The story of Lilies begins in the winter the year before we plant any bulbs. Looking through the trends of flower markets and our clients choices we make plans for the next season. Each year we import fresh bulbs from Holland to produce a high quality crop. These bulbs are ordered by July, arriving by sea freight in January.
Once arrived they are stored at -2ºC until planting. Planting takes place every week from late February until July. Bulbs are slowly defrosted and then rapidly start to shoot.
Then they are put in the planting machine sorted by variety. To keep track where every variety is planted, we mark down the names planted in each row.
Then it is time to wait. Watered regularly, in a few weeks time the flowers start to put their noses out. It takes some
more weeks when they grow in height and start to develop buds. A couple more weeks and the buds start to take colour. This is the right time for picking. Making sure that flowers arrive to markets fresh, the pickers go through the fields every day, picking just the ones which are ready.
Every picker is trained to know the difference of 20 to 30 Lilly varieties which are growing in our farm. This is how we make sure that every stem that reaches flower markets is picked with care and in high quality.
To find the best and fastest ways to produce flowers, we also try to keep up with technology. This is why every trailer which goes out to the field is equipped with an iPad. We have developed an app which provides live results on quantities and colours of flowers which are currently picked on the fields. Each time pickers place the flowers on the trailer, they also insert the colour and amount of bunches they have just picked to the program. This is a fast and productive way to have the results back in the office before the flowers reach the shed.
After picking, the flowers are taken to the shed where they are sleeved and put in the cold rooms to cool down. By this time they are ready to be packed and sent to the flower markets in Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne and Adelaide.
As the bulbs are imported, it is a requirement of Australian quarantine that they are grown under strict guidelines with regard to crop hygiene and regular inspection to ensure perfect plant health.