Join Ben Sunday 24 October, 4pm online and live from the greenhouses where he and his team of local employees grow sustainable Alstroemerias year-round.
The British Alstroemeria is known as a ‘Cool Crop’ and a ‘Dry Crop’ so doesn’t take much heat input or watering. Optimum heat at night through the winter is just 13°C via a biomass boiler and the crop is watered for just 20 minutes once a month in the winter and just 20 minutes once every 10 days in the summer unlike flowers grown in warmer countries that use a lot more water resource.
Ben’s British Alstroemeria is a very sustainable crop. His flowers are not sprayed with any chemicals after being harvested and go into recyclable, reusable boxes and arrive with customers the next day. No soil cooling techniques are used to force production and some flower beds are over 20 years old, still producing premium quality stems. Under 5% of the crop is replanted a year so sterilizing the soil is kept to a minimum.
When Ben’s flowers have been picked they don’t go into big freezers, the cooling storage system at Crosslands is usually turned off between November and March. When the flowers need to be stored in warmer weather they’re only chilled at about 6°C instead of 0.5°C like most imported flowers. They are only stored for a couple of days before they are with the customers. They are a lot fresher than flowers that go all around the world. Most importantly all the stems are harvested at a ‘ripe’ big fat bud stage giving a bigger more vibrant flower unlike the imports that are harvested too tight so more can be transported in boats and planes.
Ben is a 4th generation grower at Crosslands Flower Nursery which was established in 1936 in West Sussex and is one of the last flower nurseries producing cut flowers in a full colour range all year-round. Ben also only employs local people and more importantly does apprenticeship schemes with local horticultural colleges and goes into floristry colleges to give his British Flowers Rock Talks. Next to being a fulltime grower, Ben is an avid campaigner for British Flowers and takes any opportunity he can to spread the word that British Flowers Rock! Ben won the Grower Award in 2019! And won the Gold Sussex Environmental award in 2020.
This event is free to BHOGG members and £10 (£5 unwaged) to non-members – but don’t forget, you still need to book a space. Not a member? join BHOGG now (£10/ £5 unwaged for the year) and get access to this and our other events free all year!