In June 2005, Sun Valley received certification from Veriflora for environmentally and socially responsible practices of growing flowers. We were the first California farm to qualify for this certification and challenge each one of our fellow growers and shippers to adhere to the guidelines because it is the right thing to do.
Sun Valley's Sustainable Floriculture Facts
Sun Valley prides itself in deploying practices that are of ecological nature and promote sustainable floriculture. Some examples:
-Sterilization of the soil in our greenhouses is done using the environmentally safe method of steaming instead of chemicals.
-Annually, in excess of 15,000 tons of used plant material are composted in specially designated compost wind rows and aerated weekly. The compost is used for enhancing the natural balance in the soil.
-A special mix of composted bark and wood fines used for growing oriental lilies and tulips. Sun Valley started using this mix in 1994 and the use of fungicides for control of root rot has been virtually eliminated.
-All crates are disinfected with hot water before tulips are planted.
-Leaf miners were a serious insect problem in the cultivation of gerbera daisies at our Oxnard operation. In the last two years, Sun Valley started using beneficial insects that parasitize on the leaf miners and kill them. The gerbera daisy crop is much healthier and more productive now.
-Gerbera daisies at our Oxnard farm are also grown hydroponically. The drain water is collected, sterilized by using high temperatures and then reused.
-In 1999 after purchasing the Simpson property, Sun Valley converted 20 acres of land that had been covered with black top for the last 50 years, into prime agricultural soil, turning industrial land back to nature.
-Crop rotation schedules in the field include crops with grass and nitrogen-fixing legumes.
-On our Arcata farm, a sediment and water storage basin was created in the middle of the farm. During most rain events, the storm run off sediment from the fields is contained in this basin.
-Plastic crates, that are no longer of use, and used plastic sheeting from the hoop houses are now being ground up and refined into a usable recycled oil compound.