Archive for the ‘Flowers’ Category

Truly GREENhouses!

We have taken a step farther and have consciously built our greenhouses to be as green as they could be. All our greenhouses are constructed in bamboo. Yes, bamboo! Not those tall, rigid, imposing steel structures, not even concrete, not even hard wood. We do not cut trees!

Bamboo Greenhouses with a View

WHY BAMBOO?

Prevents global warming: Our greenhouses made entirely out of bamboo captures carbon dioxide and stores it. This is because planted bamboo gets CO2 from the atmosphere. When a plant breathes in CO2 and exhales O2, the plant takes the C-carbon atom and converts it into plant matter through photosynthesis, storing the carbon in the plant. When the plant dies and decays, the carbon is eaten by bacteria or insects. The greenhouses could then be seen as a carbon sink, storing the carbon in the bamboo poles.

Grows 3-7 times faster than trees: Bamboo is not a tree. It is a grass. The fastest growing bamboo can grow up to 4 feet a day!

Extremely strong: Bamboo has twice the compression strength of concrete and roughly the same strength-to-weight ratio of steel. Imagine that! Our bamboo poles are able to withstand strong winds and earthquakes.

Weather, termite and mold resistant: Our bamboo greenhouses are naturally designed and treated with natural elements to be weather, termite and mold resistant. Our bamboo poles are treated with non-toxic borates to prevent termite and powder post beetle infestations as well as decaying fungi. Borates have been used internationally for the past 60 years as a safe and effective treatment to stop insects and decay.

One of our Greenhouses

Our walkpaths: Stones, sand and bamboo!

Our walkpaths: Stones, sand and bamboo!

No nails!  Just bamboo pegs!

No nails! Just bamboo pegs!

HOW DO WE DO IT? Our bamboo greenhouses are made entirely of bamboo. The variety we use is the local thorny bambusa variety.   We cut from the bottom of the trunk since this is the hardest part and very good for posts. We cut at the right age , this is when the bamboo will start to have like a white powdery substance around the lower portion of the trunk.  These poles are usually at least 2 years old. To secure the bamboo poles, we scorch it and then bore it into the soil.  We bury it to a height of 1-1.5 meters.  To finally secure it, we put a minimal amount of concrete into the hole.  To put the poles together, we do not even use nails or screws. The bamboo poles are held together by bamboo pegs. Aside from sustainability, the pegs allow the bamboos to sway with the wind.  The greenhouses are then roofed with greenhouse UV plastic film. To attach the plastic to the poles, we need to use nuts and bolts. An important component is that the bamboo poles must be treated.  We use borax and/or boric acid to treat our bamboo poles.  This is quite labor intensive but you can do it with patience.  (There are a number of Youtube videos you can check to guide you.)

We have designed and positioned our greenhouses to ensure that we use the least amount of energy for our crops. Our bamboo buildings use natural ventilation, and rely on the direction, strength or gentleness of winds.  The greenhouses are 8 to 10 feet tall, have open sides and vents in the center, and face the wind. With this, we eliminated the need for energy-powered fans. Not only these, the bamboo poles are designed in a way that we can harvest our rainwater, which we in turn, use to irrigate our plants.  The rainwater we get from the greenhouses are channeled to a water impounding pond or to plant beds that are covered with thick mulch.

We are the proud pioneers of these creative innovation in the Philippines. We only have to thank nature and the creativity of our farmers for our brilliant yet delightful bamboo houses.

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Stop and Smell the Flowers

I have been a little stressed the past few days.  And then sitting on our dining table, I glanced and noticed the bunch of yellow chrysanthemums sitting pretty by the window, as though smiling at me.  We’re abuzz with things to do, busy bees hopping from one flower to another, laboring for nectar, and we forget to just stop and smell the flowers!  According to a recent Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts General Hospital study, people who made a point of looking at flowers first thing in the morning reported feeling cheerier and even more energetic throughout the day. More than the pretty petals, flowers do have distinct sensory qualities that have beenproven to awaken and rejuvenate, relax and brighten moods, and lift your spirits.  Rutgers University behavioral studies have proven that flowers provide a simple way to improve emotional health – that the presence of flowers triggers happy emotions, heightens feelings of life satisfaction and affects social behavior in a positive manner far beyond what is normally believed.  Red roses and orange daisies for example, are known for awakening the senses, and increasing energy.  Men have known these for centuries.  No wonder they troop to the nearest flower shop as soon as wife or girlfriend is fuming mad.  All they have to do is show up with a bundle of red roses and all hate melts away.

Dr. Leatrice Eiseman has developed a Color Palette for flowers and emotions.  She says: “Our response to color is intensely emotional, and flowers can be a catalyst for feelings that stimulate more than just our senses of sight and smell.  An artful floral arrangement has the ability to convey a feeling or create a mood without using words, just color.  ”The following are Eiseman’s five emotional color palettes that are expressed through color combinations in floral arrangements and the flowers that bring them to life.

charm

Nurturing: A true sense of caring is created by a combination of colors that are fragile, soft and tender. Arrangements in pastel shades and the softest yellows, peaches, warm pinks, creamy whit and subtle greens make us feel safe, snug and loved. Consider nurturing floral arrangement for a new mother, a sick friend or a grieving loved one – anyone who would benefit from a caring, loving embrace.
passion
Romantic: A sensation of intimacy, nostalgia and comfort is captured in this color palette, a blend of delicate warm and cool colors with lavenders and pinks at its heart. Romantic arrangements express loving sentiments and admiration to mothers, sisters, grandmothers, aunts, best friends, significant others and brides-to-be.
RomanceNew
Sensuous: The rich, luxurious color combinations of the sensuous palette set the mood for sophisticated, passionate and even seductive settings. Robust reds and purples, hot pinks and spicy oranges are at the soul of this dynamic floral feeling. Consider a sensuous arrangement for a very special evening or an elegant dinner party – anywhere you want to feel magnetic and extravagant.
Tranquil: Serenity and relaxation are the essence of this color scheme. Its peaceful palette, reminiscent of sky and sea, is dominated by clear, light shades of green, misty blues and other cool hues. A vase of tranquility is perfect for busy moms, harried professionals and those who seek a moment of calm from life’s stressful situations.
gerbera_daisies
Whimsical: Fun-loving, free-spirited, playful feelings are conveyed by the whimsical palette, which is characterized by bold, contrasting colors. Floral arrangements featuring these hues set an upbeat tone and are ideal for birthdays, graduations, promotions and other celebrations.
Feeling loving, passionate, serene or funny today or want to share the emotion?  We just might have the bundle of feelings from our farm!  Visit http://www.myflowerdepot.com and send your warm greetings.

How to make the most out of your flowers

There’s nothing like fresh flowers around the house, especially when they come straight from MyFlowerDepot. Surely you’d like the flowers to last forever or at least for more than a few days! Here are some tips for extending the vase life of your flowers.

gerbera_daisy_flower_philippines

In a NUTSHELL:

  • Give them water.
  • Give them food.
  • Protect them from decay or infection.
  • Keep them cool and out of direct sunlight.

How do you ensure these:

 

 

1.  Recut stems at a 45 degree angle. 

Recut stems on a slant indoors under water to eliminate air bubbles that block uptake of food and water. The angle increases the amount of water absorbed.

To prevent decay, remove leaves and foliage below the water line.  If the leaves are submerged in the water in the vase, they will die and cause the flowers in the bouquet to rot.

2.  Place the flowers in a clean vase.

Dirty and dusty vases are often filled with bacteria. These bacteria can cause the flowers to quickly wilt and die.

3.  To slow aging, place the vase in a well-ventilated cool place (as low as 38° F).

Keep the flowers in a cool room. The fresh flowers should not be in direct sun or placed near a heating source. This causes the water in the vase to evaporate quickly.  Also, don’t store flowers near ripening fruits and vegetables, which produce ethylene, a gas that hastens ripening, or in the case of flowers, aging.

Hydrangea

4.  Add water.

Freshly cut flowers have enough stored sugars to survive in a vase. But if you would like to add a preservative, try adding sugar. However, sugar can cause bacteria to grow (so we prefer you just change the water regularly).

5.  Change water and cut the ends constantly.

Change water every couple of days. In mixed bouquets, some of the flowers may give off sap that is toxic to other varieties in the vase shortening their vase life, a process that is avoided by frequently refreshing the water.  Replace the water in the vase at least every three to four days.  Every time you replace the water, also cut the stems.