‘We make sure we are ready for the winter’

On December 1 it seriously started to snow. More than 5 cm (2 inches) fell and the driveway was white for 3 days. The forecast for next winter is related to La Nina with a wide variety of extreme weather; snow in December, thaw in January and February, and now and then cold arctic air with deep freezing temperatures (polar vortex).

At this time of the year we make sure we are ready for winter. We set up the snow fence, we prepare the snowblower for mounting on the tractor and the snow shuffles are set up next to the doors. We have emptied the gutters from leaves for good drainage.

AC foil is being installed in the greenhouse for the thirtieth time. Even though we have a movable screen, the still air above the AC foil saves considerably on the gas bill. Moreover, the climate in the greenhouse is much more uniform. Our plants can handle the relatively high humidity.

Meanwhile, the Corona virus remains everywhere. We are approaching 2,000 new infections per day for 15 million people. Code red is in effect in Toronto. Restaurants and unnecessary shops are closed to shoppers. You can only buy online or on order. Now people from Toronto come to shop in our region resulting in our region changes from code yellow to orange. That way it becomes more difficult to keep control.

The clock at the auction in the Toronto region may continue to run for the time being. Since the COVID-19 outbreak, we have been selling more via web sales. We bring the plants to the auction and make these available through the system. Buyers can now buy from stock. This reduces physical distribution after the clock sale. Sales through direct wholesalers remains strong.

We are now approaching Christmas. I enjoy the Christmas lights. I also look forward to the shortest day every year. After that the days get longer. There is a temporary serious dip in the sales of our product. After the shops are stocked with poinsettias and Christmas greenery, the interest returns to Bromelias; first as a gift item, and from Boxing Day to take the place of the Christmas decoration.

The Christmas days will be spent quiet and in peace, and then we will start the new year full of energy. From this place I want to wish you a peaceful and enjoyable Christmas and a healthy 2021.

Angelle van Kleef,

Pot plant grower, Ontario, Canada

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