Central California has a rich tradition of agriculture and floriculture and is the heart of world technology innovation. Innovative people and processes are as much a part of the Kitayama Brothers’ culture as our Silicon Valley neighbors. We’re constantly working to maximize our existing resources and leverage new technology in flower production, transportation, and communication. We’re excited about the next generation of the flower business and flower growers.
Water conservation is important to us. In collaboration with the Natural Resources Conservation Service, we’ve constructed a rain harvesting system to collect runoff from several greenhouses into a lined pond. We reuse the water to irrigate the plants throughout the winter. We also purchase blended recycled water from the Pajaro Valley Water Management Agency. It’s waste water that’s cleaned and filtered three times at the waste treatment plant. It’s approved for irrigation, but not drinking.
Drip irrigation systems throughout the nursery conserve water and keeps the foliage dry, reducing the spread of diseases and molds.
We explore new products, such as lisianthus, which flower during shorter days, reducing the need for lights. During winter months we heat our greenhouses with steam from natural gas powered boilers. Warm greenhouses have twin wall roofs and heat or shade curtains to reduce energy use. Our aggressive program for maintaining and improving light quality and eliminating leaks keeps our greenhouse warmer, which improves plant growth and saves energy. Yellow pest strips capture flying bugs, without the use of electric ‘bug zappers’.
Our standard crop rotation helps replenish and nourish the soil. We sterilize the ground with steam from our boilers, cooking the ground to kill weeds and fungal root diseases. Our gerberas are grown in individual pots to deter root diseases that can spread through an entire bench.