Our fields are planted in our Chilliwack location, the bulbs have rooted and now we wait as the Fraser Valley enters it’s winter season!
But there is no slowing down for the rest of our family in Onos Greenhouses. In fact our festival couldn’t have started 12 years ago without this primary business of ours. Onos Greenhouses is a large cut flower operation with our primary winter crop being cut Tulips and cut Hyacinths. From New Years day through Mothers day our greenhouses produce 7 ½-8 million cut Tulips and 500,000 cut Hyacinths for the cut flower markets across BC, Alberta and Northern Washington.
Onos Greenhouses decided that instead of importing all their bulbs each year from Holland, they would grow many bulbs of their own right here in Canada. Therefore around 50% of our cut tulips originate from our fields in Chilliwack (those beautiful blooms you enjoy each spring), the rest are imported each year from Holland.
Well what is happening right now you ask?
The actual cut tulip season starts early November with the planting of our tulip bulbs. At our greenhouses, we plant our 7 ½ million tulips in thousands of 1 ½’ by 2’ black stackable crates. Just over 100 bulbs are planted in each crate on top of specially mixed potting soil, and then they are topped off with sand and watered appropriately. These crates are then stacked on pallets and stored 3 pallets high in our cooler/freezers. We have 5 separate coolers in which we store these 75,000 crates.
Though much of our process has become automated, we still rely on 28 individuals to plant our crates of tulips. This process takes close to 4 weeks to complete. In the next 2 weeks the first few hundred crates get moved from the coolers (where they have already experienced their forced winter) into our growing greenhouses where they will grow for about 3 weeks before they are ready to pick.
Now you know what we are up to at Onos Greenhouses. Just 1 month until you see our fresh cut tulips and hyacinths in a store near you. Remember to look for the Onos Greenhouse Logo when purchasing your fresh cut tulips and hyacinths. Stay tuned to see how our greenhouses operate through our winter/spring season.