Fred Maldonado got his start from his Dad, who came to California from Mexico. For over 50 years, his family has been growing flowers in Encinitas, which once was the flower capital of the world. With land values at an all time high, many farmers have sold the land and scaled back their farming operations. In addition, the Netherlands now hold the title of flower capital of the world.
Fred grows mostly Gerber daisies because they’re good producers, they grow year round, and there is so much color variety. He also grows a lot of dahlias outside the greenhouse where they enjoy good air circulation and sunshine versus heat. Spring color pops with tulips, sweet peas, and freesias. Roses can yield 35 per year per plant, and they are grown hydroponically to conserve water. Eventually, Maldonado Growers will work to capture the runoff to use on their in ground crops. Maldonado Growers make every attempt to use natural pest control measures such as sticky tape, soap, and neem oil, and only use chemicals when absolutely necessary to save the crop. Flower growers in other states/countries typically spray on a regular basis whether it’s needed or not, which is a consideration when buying floral bouquets.
Maldonado Growers also have a fall pumpkin patch and sell holiday trees in December that are shipped from Oregon. Stop by on Saturday’s to the Orange Home Grown Farmers & Artisans Market to pick up one of their fragrant bouquets of locally grown flowers.