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Take time to smell the flowers |

Health And Family

Take time to smell the flowers

MOMMY TALK - MOMMY TALK By Maricel Laxa-Pangilinan -
The Flower Fields in Carlsbad San Diego is truly a sight to behold. We came just in time to see the flowers almost in full bloom. Imagine 50 acres of land developed for raising the ranunculus bulb crop and approximately two acres of watsonia and about five acres of oxalis and other flowers! Actually, I’m not so familiar with the different kinds of flowers and their names. Also, I’m not fond of flowers, or would go out of my way to have them around the house. But I do enjoy receiving them from my husband, kids and friends. After my close encounter with them at the Flower Fields though, I started appreciating their beauty and awesomeness, making me long to be around flowers more often now.

My children, who couldn’t care less about the flowers’ names and origins, couldn’t resist touching and appreciating them. I had to remind them several times not to touch, but I realized we all naturally do that with flowers, don’t we? They went crazy running around the vast land full of color and splendor. I got so consumed about documenting the whole thing that I failed to get more intimate with the flowers, just like what my children did. So much to learn from babes.

It’s actually refreshing to learn that The Flower Fields is child-friendly. They have a permanent composting site to teach vermin-composting to thousands of children who have enrolled in their school education program. They have created what they call a 2,500 sq. ft. Learning Garden with six raised beds so the children can plant radishes, peas and beans. There is a "pizza" garden, where onions, oregano and peppers are grown. The goal is to demonstrate the various aspects of edible gardening and to teach some organic garden methods. For smaller kids, there is a huge playground near a camping ground. Children can also have the chance to sift through some dirt to find gems.

One is able to appreciate the acres and acres of ranunculus flowers that overlook the Pacific Ocean by riding an open-air wagon pulled by an antique tractor, provided by the Vista Antique Gas and Steam Engine Museum.

Each year, The Fields experiences subtle changes like color formations, etc., but the cooperative efforts shared by the land owner, the grower, The Carlsbad Agricultural Improvement Fund and the California Coastal Conservancy makes it possible for the Flower Fields to welcome visitors for many years to come. Only 2 percent of the flowers grown in The Fields (about a little over 3 million stems!) are sold. The flowers are primarily grown to harvest the ranunculus bulbs. The flowers are left to die back and produce seed for replanting in the same fields. This allows the plants to complete their lifecycle, which helps produce superior bulb crop. Every year, the goal is to harvest approximately 200,000 bulb per acre, which is a harvest of about 6-12 million bulbs! Most of the bulbs are harvested by machine. The bulbs are sold in their Garden Center and nurseries across America.

If you’re in the Carlsbad area in San Diego, make a visit to The Flower Fields a priority. Take your kids with you and take time to smell the flowers. Enjoy!
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