Crop diversification helps ensure Westland Orchids and Westland Produce stay profitable

As the U.S. market for ornamental and food crops continues to evolve, Westland Orchids and Westland Produce are looking for products that consumers are willing to pay for and are profitable. They were featured in issue 12 of Urban Ag News.

When Jerry Van Wingerden started growing greenhouse cut flowers at Westland Orchids Inc. in Carpinteria, Calif., in 1971, he never imagined that someday he would be growing greenhouse food crops along with flowers. But in 2010 a sister company, Westland Produce Inc., began growing hydroponic lettuce. Even before a lettuce crop was planted, Westland Orchids went through an evolution in terms of the flowers it was producing.

“We started with carnations and chrysanthemums and then later added cymbidium orchids,” said David Van Wingerden, who is Jerry’s son and president of Westland Produce. “We were also doing bouquets for the supermarkets, but we evolved and stopped doing those and began to specialize in orchids. Five years ago we started growing the produce.”

Click here to read the complete story by the hand of Dave Kuack online at the website of Urban Ag News!

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