‘We started Tima 5, after two slower years it started to itch again’

The end of February is nearing. It was the third month in a row without a drop of rain in Timau. After a fairly average year 2017 – with regards to rain – the beginning of 2018 is very dry. Not that that is such a bad thing, but a good shower every now and again would have been nice. Even if it’s just to wash the thrips off the plants and get rid of the dust on the greenhouse roofs.

Wherever you are in the world: the weather will always be an important factor if you’re growing flowers. I understand there’s currently an eastern wind blowing over the Netherlands – that isn’t great for the crops either.

We’ve just left Valentine’s Day behind and the next busy period, with Women’s Day and Mothering Sunday in England, is about to start. When these days happen to coincide, the Brits have to spend a bit more than when Mothering Day falls in April. Typical English, isn’t it? A fixed Mothering Day, for example on the second Sunday in April, would be way too convenient and save a lot of money. Hence Brexit: an island will always be an island.

Argentina isn’t an island and that’s the next country on our itinerary. We’ve never been there before. It’s the first country outside Europe that we visit for its amazing nature and culture instead of for a work related purpose. We always felt we’d seen most of South America, with our regular visits to Colombia, Ecuador and Brazil. It turned out we hadn’t. There aren’t too many nurseries in Argentina, so who knows… We might find there’s some work for us there after all.

The Timaflor family is thriving – we recently started Tima 5. After two slower years it started to itch again. The foundations for the first 2 hectares are in. By the end of April, we’ll be able to put the first plants in the ground. The entire 10 hectares should be finished by October. This plot is 200m higher (and 2 degrees cooler) than the other one. That will add to the quality. And if we can auction our flowers under the ‘PLATINUM grower’ label, that would be perfect.

As I wrote last time, I’m really pleased about the continuity within FloraHolland. It seems like at the moment, the magic words are: ‘Let’s strengthen the CLOCK’. The only way to achieve that is with a better and completely reliable supply. Meanwhile, in Africa, people have become aware that a better clock price is in everyone’s interest. Perhaps FloraHolland really is on its way back to being a club that everyone wants to be part of?

I get the impression that FloraHolland is on the right track and with the new Members’ Council, we’ll be able to make changes faster and more effectively. So, nothing is stopping us from enjoying a few weeks in Argentina and we might even see a Tima 6 there one day.

Simon van der Burg

Timaflor, Kenya

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