I'm terribly excited to share with you today my experience of visiting a flower farm for the first time in my life, several weeks ago. One of my mates at the flower markets, Mahmoud, invited me to his farm of 1 hectare, in the south-western of Sydney.
On an overcast Sunday lunchtime, Gareth and I drove over and we found Mahmoud in the process of spraying 5 of his 16 greenhouses with pesticide. Taking us in and around several of his greenhouses, he pointed out all the rows and rows of roses he'd just deadheaded in anticipation for Mother's Day.
Mahmoud grows 30-odd rose varieties of varying colours, but he's favourite is "misty" aka Caspia of varying shades of purples, whites and purply-white duo tones. He specialises in misty and is the only local Sydney grower of particular types, sourcing his seedlings from Lebanon. I can definitely see why it's his fave: it's super easy to grow (relatively speaking), it doesn't attract many bugs and a single seedling of it can product numerous stems over time. Personally, I love to use misty for dried flower crowns and bouquets, it's so delicate, hardy and dries perfectly.
Hailing from North Lebanon, Mahmoud has been growing flowers here in Sydney for 15 years, and counting. We had tea, chatted about his past growing up in Northern Lebanon and his life's journey up to now.
In his past life, he used to be a post office manager, but now he has about 45,000 plants growing on his flower farm. Around three times a week, you'll find him driving from home to the Flemington flower markets at 3am to start setting up before the markets open at 5am. Amazing.
I hope you enjoyed this virtual tour of Mahmoud's flower farm!
I'm a huge advocate of locally grown, seasonal flowers. Meeting the local growers around Sydney, understanding what and how they do things, and ultimately, sharing this with you all here is just one step towards educating the public about the flower industry. Haven't you always wanted to know where that bunch of flowers on your flowers came from?