A Balanced and Sustainable way of Rose farming by Sunland roses

Sunland Roses is a boutique rose farm located on the northern slopes of Timau at an altitude of 2,350 meters, just a few kilometers from the equator on the heart of Mount Kenya.
The Company specializes in a range of 50 different high quality rose varieties, diverse in color and shape, including single colors, bi-colors, clustars and spray varieties.
Sustainable soil and water management farming practices lays at the heart of Sunland Roses for the finest export quality Kenyan roses.
To maintain the natural and dynamic cycle of life, the company uses a balanced combination of physical, ‘soft’ chemical, and biological procedures to grow their roses. They have been working with environmentally friendly pest control methods for over 10 years. Technical monitoring through experienced and qualified ‘scouts’ enable them to stay ahead of potential threats to their rose plants from pests, fungi and virus. “Our trial site helps validate how well new varieties are suited to this environment and how resilient they are to pests and diseases. The chemicals we use are industry approved and environmentally sensitive to control certain pests and disease that otherwise are resistant to our biological methods,” revealed Simon Cox the General Manager.
The company believes in soil health for rose quality and production. It is the most essential factor in growing some of the world’s best cut flowers. Above all, soil health involves biological measures – a rich balance of micro-organisms in the soil, to breakdown the elements that provide the nutrients for roses. For this, they use organic composts and earthworms. Earthworms help aerate the soil, keeping the oxygen flowing through it and the entire biological process in a good balance. The compost is made from a mix of organic matter, mainly rejects roses and old rose bushes, bio-degraded with natural solutions to a rich dark nutritious form, which is then introduced to the soils in the rose beds
“Sunland is also extremely conscious on water conservation. The region receives about 800 mm of rain annually, and rain water harvesting is carried out from all the greenhouses roofs and stored in a dam. The company uses water from the nearby river which flow continuously from Mount Kenya, in addition the farm has its own bore hole which is also an important water source. Drip irrigation is used throughout their greenhouses which reduces evaporation levels, Cox said
Embracing the ‘cold chain’ harvesting system is key at the farm. They keep the roses cool and hydrated from the moment they are harvested until they arrive to the florists in the direct markets worldwide and the auction in Europe. This maintains the freshness of roses, and guarantees premium quality roses with an optimum vase life.
Sunland Roses is a supporter and member of the Laikipia Wildlife Forum and Ngare Ndare Forest Trust. Both conservation organizations work in the region and carry out inspiring conservation work for rivers and forests. Without the health of the larger ecosystem in which they grow roses, the company wouldn’t be able to produce boutique selection of premium roses, scented and garden, clustar, spray, specialty, bi-color and single color varieties; which are beautiful, and grown with consideration of the natural environment.
In addition, the farm supports St Steven’s Children Home located in Timau town. The home was set up 14 years ago and supports orphaned and needy children by fulfilling their educational needs. It also offers day-care for babies and pre-school children of the women that work in the nearby local flower farms.

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