Compared with many other crops, the cultivation of Alstroemeria is very sustainable. Nursery Together2Grow is definitely up for increasing their production to 35 million virtually organic Alstroemeria and Charmelia® in three years’ time.

Alstroemeria requires little heat and its plants will produce flowers for about 4-5 years on average. A veritable ecosystem is developed during that period, virtually eliminating the need for chemical crop protection. “We had a biologist visiting our greenhouse the other day who found a fly here that is almost extinct in the Netherlands. It’s a great little critter, because it likes thrips, and we certainly don’t!” said Fedor van Veen, one of the owners of Together2Grow.

Rapid development
Fedor explains: “I stopped growing spray carnations 28 years ago. I was looking for a product that would thrive in our greenhouse and ended up with Alstroemeria. And I haven’t regretted that decision at all! It’s a product that’s still really evolving, and as a grower and entrepreneur, that’s a lot of fun. We make great strides every year: breeding improved varieties, and as growers we learn more every week about how to make cultivation better, more efficient and environmentally friendly.

In 2014 we started growing Charmelia®, which is really quite different from Alstroemeria in terms of the flower shape. It has a longer vase life and really serves a different market. Growing a new flower like that feels like pioneering, which is great fun!”

Together2Grow consists of four nurseries: one in Ethiopia and three in the Westland region, growing about 30 million stems of Alstroemeria and Charmelia® annually. Most flowers are produced for the wholesale market. From Ethiopia, on the other hand, a lot of deliveries are made to supermarket chains. Together2Grow claims to be the most customer-friendly and reliable Alstroemeria and Charmelia® grower.

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