7 months, 1 week ago
Embark on an immersive journey as we delve into the captivating experience of the International Florists Trip to Ecuador. Fourteen talented florists from Canada, the USA, and Germany set foot in Ecuador, ready to explore the enchanting flower farms. This blog article unfolds the remarkable activities, breathtaking farm visits, and memorable interactions that happened during this extraordinary floral expedition.
A Warm Welcome to Ecuador From morning till night, the florists arrived in Quito, Ecuador's capital city. Eagerly greeted by the organizers, they were whisked away to their hotel in Puembo. The first day offered a chance to rest, adjust to the high altitude, and explore the charming town, soaking in the unique atmosphere.
Introduction and Inspiration Following a nourishing breakfast, the florists gathered for an introductory session where they received the itinerary for the upcoming days. This session also provided an opportunity for everyone to break the ice, fostering connections among the participants. A highlight of the day was a visit from Maria Clara Correa of Kiara Preserved Flowers, who showcased their exquisite preserved products. The florists marveled at the preservation process and engaged in insightful discussions. In the afternoon, the group embarked on a scenic journey to Cotopaxi, stopping by the Saquisili Market to immerse themselves in the vibrant local culture. As the day concluded, the Hosteria Nagsiche welcomed the tired yet excited florists to their cozy abode nestled amidst picturesque natural beauty.
Nevado Roses - A Feast for the Senses The florists' anticipation peaked as they arrived at Nevado Roses, where an awe-inspiring welcome awaited them. The farm tour commenced with a group photo, a cherished tradition at Nevado Roses. Accompanied by Miguel Sansur, General Manager, and a knowledgeable staff, the florists explored the rose greenhouses, marveling at the vast array of colorful blooms. They also ventured into the Eucalyptus fields and delved into the meticulous post-harvest processes. Some lucky florists even had the opportunity to participate in packaging roses, gaining firsthand experience of the meticulous work involved. Following the invigorating tour, the group gathered in a beautifully adorned tent for an enthralling cultural performance, featuring talented local dancers. The evening was further elevated by a captivating concert, leaving the florists in awe of the rich cultural heritage of Ecuador.
After a sumptuous lunch, the day continued with a master class led by the remarkable LaParis Phillips. Fresh flowers from Nevado Roses and other farms adorned the venue, inspiring the florists to unleash their creativity. Even the team from Fresh-o-Fair joined in, showcasing their hidden floral talents. LaParis, a master florist from Brooklyn Blooms in New York, led the class with passion and expertise, demonstrating the art of creating a beautiful asymmetrical flower arrangement. The florists reveled in this rare opportunity to design with fresh flowers directly at the farm, a truly unforgettable experience. The day concluded with a delectable dinner at the enchanting Hacienda Nagsiche.
The day began with a heartfelt farewell to Hosteria Nagsiche, as the florists embarked on their next destination. The journey took them to Latacunga, a nearby city known for its vibrant traditional handicrafts. Here, the group made a quick stop, immersing themselves in the lively atmosphere of the local market. Laughter filled the air as the florists browsed through the stalls, engaging with the artisans and admiring the intricate craftsmanship of the traditional Ecuadorian handicrafts.
After the enjoyable interlude, the group continued their journey to La Rosaleda. Welcomed by the owner, Alfredo Pallares, the florists embarked on an extensive tour of the farm. Alfredo shared intriguing stories behind their unique varieties and provided valuable insights into their cultivation techniques. The florists were captivated by the lush greenhouses, vibrant blooms, and meticulous post-harvest practices. A special lunch immersed the group in the farm's warm ambiance, fostering a deeper appreciation for their dedication to sustainable practices. Reluctantly leaving La Rosaleda, the florists made their way to Hotel Papagayo, where they attended a thought-provoking conference on sustainabilitym held by expert Harold Zuñiga, in the flower industry. The enlightening discussions shed light on the positive impact of sustainable practices, leaving a lasting impression on the florists' minds.
The day drew to a close, and the group took some time to unwind and explore the hotel's amenities. Some reveled in the rejuvenating Jacuzzi, while others indulged in a well-deserved nap. A few adventurous souls embarked on a torchlit walk in the nearby mountains, relishing the unique and exciting experiences offered by this remarkable trip.
Agrogana - An Oasis of Color Undeterred by the rainy weather, the florists embarked on a journey to Agrogana, a farm located at a high altitude. As they ascended into the Paramo region, the chilly air greeted them, prompting many to don colorful ponchos and pullovers they had acquired during their stop at Cotopaxi. Agrogana mesmerized the group with its vast fields of ranunculus, anemones, roses, and an array of wildflowers. Alvaro Espinosa, the farm's owner, and his team welcomed the florists and guided them through the stunning landscapes. The group also witnessed the farm's innovative water collection and recycling practices, underscoring their commitment to responsible water usage. After a delightful break featuring delicious local treats, the florists proceeded to the farm's post-harvest facility. Here, amidst a delightful lunch, they were presented with a captivating showcase of beautiful blooms.
The day continued with a seminar conducted by BallSb, a renowned company in the industry specializing in summer flower breeding. Carmen Marquez, from Marketing, and Cristina, a floral designer, provided insightful information about their breeding process. The florists had the opportunity to touch, feel, and learn about the subtle nuances that set these varieties apart. Inspired by the knowledge gained, the florists eagerly engaged in hands-on design sessions, bringing their creativity to life. The day concluded with a visit to the post-harvest area, where the group marveled at the vast array of flowers processed each day. The sheer magnitude and precision of the operations left them in awe.
Returning to Hotel Papagayo, the florists transformed the premises into a fragrant oasis, adorning the space with the flowers they had acquired during their visits to the farms. As they savored a delicious dinner, the atmosphere buzzed with excitement and gratitude for the incredible journey thus far.
The day commenced with a bittersweet farewell to Hotel Papagayo as the group prepared to explore AgriRose, a highly regarded farm specializing in garden and David Austin roses. The journey to AgriRose took them on a scenic route, offering glimpses of Ecuador's natural beauty. Upon arrival, the group was warmly welcomed by the farm's representatives, who shared their passion and expertise.
The group proceeded to the post-harvest facility, where they witnessed the meticulous processes involved in preparing the flowers for distribution. The dedication to quality control and preservation of the blooms' freshness left a lasting impression on the florists. They gained a deeper appreciation for the farm's commitment to delivering flawless roses to customers worldwide.
After the postharvest tour, the florists embarked on a captivating tour of the greenhouses, where they were greeted by an awe-inspiring sight—the impeccable blooms of the roses. The vibrant colors and captivating fragrances enveloped the group, immersing them in a sensory paradise. Cameras were at the ready as the florists eagerly captured the beauty of these remarkable blooms, their heads exploding with inspiration.
As the day progressed, AgriRose had prepared a delightful surprise—an intimate gathering at the owner's residence. Renato Teran, the owner of the farm, welcomed the florists with open arms, inviting them to savor an extraordinary meal prepared with love and care. The atmosphere was lively as conversations flowed, and the florists relished this opportunity to connect with one another and share stories of their floral journeys.
Following the delightful lunch, the group embarked on an excursion to Quito's historical center, a UNESCO World Heritage site. Their first stop was the awe-inspiring Basilica del Voto Nacional, the largest neo-Gothic church in Latin America. With a spirit of adventure, the florists climbed the towering towers of the basilica, marveling at the panoramic views of Quito sprawling beneath them. The breathtaking vista offered a unique perspective of the city's rich architectural heritage and natural surroundings.
As the day transitioned into the evening, the group made their way to Vista Hermosa, a restaurant nestled in the Itchimbia Mountains. Here, they enjoyed a picturesque setting as they watched the sun cast its golden glow over Quito's landscape, creating a mesmerizing vista. The florists reveled in the breathtaking views and indulged in a delectable dinner, savoring the flavors of Ecuador.
With hearts brimming with gratitude for the incredible experiences shared, the group returned to their hotel in Puembo.
The first destination was DeRuiter, a renowned breeder with a global reputation. Located in Cayambe, approximately an hour and a half from Puembo, DeRuiter welcomed the florists with open arms. The florists were guided by Marcelo Vallejo, who provided a fascinating insight into the art of rose breeding. The group gained a deeper understanding of the intricate processes involved in developing new rose varieties. Marcelo shared captivating stories about the history and dedication behind each unique rose, highlighting the immense passion and expertise required.
The florists were treated to a feast for the senses as they explored the greenhouses, surrounded by an array of mesmerizing roses in various stages of growth. The captivating fragrances and vibrant colors ignited their creativity, sparking ideas for future floral arrangements. The visit to DeRuiter left the florists with a profound appreciation for the artistry and dedication that goes into breeding exceptional roses.
After bidding farewell to DeRuiter, the group indulged in a delicious lunch in Guayllabamba, savoring a traditional Ecuadorian dish called "locro," a hearty potato soup. With their taste buds satisfied and energy replenished, the florists embarked on the next part of their journey.
Their next stop was Bellaflor, a farm renowned for its exquisite summer flowers. As the group arrived, they were greeted by an enchanting sight—vast fields filled with flowes. The farm's representatives warmly welcomed the florists and guided them through the picturesque surroundings.
The florists were given a glimpse into the meticulous process of creating beautiful bouquets as they visited the bouquet-making area. The skilled artisans demonstrated their craft, handcrafting stunning arrangements with precision and care. The florists marveled at the artistry involved in composing each bouquet, realizing the immense skill required to create these floral masterpieces. Bellaflor also provided a sneak peek into their preparations for future events, including Christmas, showcasing their innovative and forward-thinking approach to floral design.
As the day drew to a close, the group made their way to EBF, a cargo agency located at the airport. EBF is a crucial partner of Fresh-o-Fair, is the agency we ship Ecuadorian flowers to Europe with. The florists were given an exclusive tour of the facilities, gaining insights into the logistical processes involved in handling and transporting thousands of boxes of flowers each day. They witnessed firsthand the meticulous organization and dedication required to ensure the safe and timely delivery of Ecuadorian flowers to destinations around the world. The visit to EBF provided the florists with a deeper appreciation for the behind-the-scenes operations that make it possible for people to enjoy fresh Ecuadorian blooms wherever they may be.
To end the day on a high note, the group gathered at Qhawana, a remarkable restaurant situated on the edge of a cliff overlooking the Chiche River.
Day 8 marked the beginning of the final stretch of the florists' journey. With mixed emotions, they embarked on their last visits to the Ecuadorian flower farms. The day began with a visit to Florequisa, where the florists were greeted with warm hospitality.
The tour started with a visit to the showroom, where the florists were presented with an awe-inspiring array of flowers. The showroom showcased an abundance of options, inspiring the florists' creativity and imagination. Filled with excitement, they envisioned the stunning arrangements that could be created using these exquisite blooms.
The farm showcased an impressive range of carnations and gypsophila, captivating the group with their vibrant colors and delicate petals. The florists embarked on a comprehensive tour, led by Daniela Garces, the head of Marketing. They marveled at the extensive range of varieties grown on the farm and gained a deeper understanding of the meticulous care and attention that goes into nurturing these beautiful blooms.
A special highlight of the visit to Florequisa was a friendly design competition using the farm's flowers. The florists eagerly participated, showcasing their skills and creativity in crafting unique floral arrangements. The atmosphere was filled with friendly competition and camaraderie as they celebrated each other's talents. Pia Ostmann took first price!
Following a delectable lunch, the group proceeded to Rosen Tantau, a renowned worldwide breeder. The florists were warmly welcomed by Sebastian Donoso, who organized a farewell event that brought together all the farms visited throughout the trip. The florists explored the greenhouses, marveling at the impressive array of rose varieties bred by Rosen Tantau. The farm's showroom showcased breathtaking blooms, igniting the florists' creativity and leaving them in awe of the exceptional quality and beauty on display.
To celebrate their shared passion for flowers, the group engaged in a final friendly competition, creating remarkable floral arrangements using Rosen Tantau's flowers. The designs were judged by a panel consisting of LaParis Phillips, the master florist from Brooklyn Blooms, Sebastian Donoso from Rosen Tantau, and Marco Mejia from the magazine Ecuador y sus Flores. Ella Balasingam from Ladybug Florist emerged as the winner, with her exceptional creativity and artistry captivating the judges, followed by John Phillipe from Brooklyn Blooms in the US in second place, and Pia Ostmann from Blumen Ostmann in Germany in third place. The awards ceremony was a joyous celebration, commemorating the talent and dedication displayed by all the florists throughout the trip.
As the night came, the group bid a heartfelt farewell to Rosen Tantau. With hearts filled with gratitude and memories to last a lifetime, the florists returned to their hotel in Puembo, cherishing the final moments of their incredible journey together.
The last day of the International Florists Trip arrived, evoking a mix of emotions among the group. The florists gathered for a final breakfast, cherishing the bonds forged during their time together.
A shuttle service arranged by the organizers transported the group to the airport, providing a seamless and convenient end to their journey
Conclusion: A Future Blooming with Possibilities
As the International Florist's Trip to Ecuador draws to a close, a sense of excitement lingers in the air. The journey has been an incredible experience, fostering connections, inspiring creativity, and deepening the understanding of the floral industry. The time has come to reflect on the memories created and eagerly anticipate what lies ahead.
With hearts full of joy and gratitude, the team at Fresh-o-Fair is thrilled to announce the plans for the International Florists Trip 2024. Building upon the success of this year's journey, the upcoming trip promises to be even more extraordinary, serving as a platform to connect flower farms and florists from around the world.
At Fresh-o-Fair, we understand the importance of conversation and shared experiences in shaping the future of the floral industry. That's why we're committed to curating a unique and enriching program that will allow florists to learn, grow, and connect with like-minded professionals. Whether you're an established florist or an aspiring talent, the International Florists Trip 2024 welcomes you to join us on this incredible journey of exploration and inspiration.
To learn more and secure your spot for the upcoming trip, please visit our website at www.fresh-o-fair.com/trip. There, you will find detailed information about the itinerary, accommodations, and registration process. If you have any questions or need further assistance, don't hesitate to reach out to us at email@example.com. We're here to provide you with all the information you need to be part of this extraordinary event.
The International Florists Trip is not just a journey; it's a celebration of the boundless possibilities and endless beauty that the floral industry holds.
The future awaits, and we can't wait to embark on this incredible journey with you!