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The Sustainable Flowers Podcast:

A conversation about sustainable cut flower growing and designing between two passionate Canadian  growers trying to figure it out.

Heather and Clara grow cut flowers for market on the northern edge of the Canadian Prairies.  In this podcast they discuss the issues they face and alternatives to conventional approaches that they are putting into practice or are trialing to ensure that their small-scale flower farming operations are sustainable. Looking to the past and to new technologies to learn the whys and hows, they discuss everything from peat to floral foam, Antirrhinum to Zinnias as well as their weekly adventures on their Zones 2 and 3 flower farms.

Feb 14, 2020

Managing pests and disease in when you are growing in a hoop house or greenhouse can be challenging.  These high value spaces need to be in production as much as possible to get return on investment, and sometimes it is hard to sort out crop rotation.  This combined with the artificially warm and humid conditions can make for disease and pest nightmares. 

Which is why we were keen to talk to Andrew Mans, of Mans Organics in southern Alberta.  Andrew doesn't grow cut flowers for market, his family's specialties are certified organic field and greenhouse vegetables, but he does grow a lot of flowers!  He grows them inside his greenhouses as part of his integrated pest management program to control pests and diseases organically through cover cropping, interplanting and attracting and maintaining beneficial organisms in his covered growing spaces. 

We had heard of Andrew's fabulous system and were so happy he was willing to share his experiences and enthusiasm for regenerative agriculture not only in his fields but also in his greenhouse!  Because we deal with similar pest and disease issues in greenhouses/hoops, we know you will come away from this interview inspired by Andrew, who is making this work at a commercial scale. 

Our theme music was composed and performed by Heather's son Callum and audio editing was completed by the uber talented Laura Eccleston.