Located in the Guabirotuba neighborhood, the Municipal Garden of Curitiba, Brazil received the first group of residents interested in learning about the production process of the flowers that decorate their local parks and city squares. Through the program “Flower Factory,” guided tours are offered in the nursery, where approximately 6 million seeds are produced annually -- a true factory. During the visits, which are scheduled to happen once a month, participants experience all of the production steps performed by the garden.
The tour begins with a talk about the importance and the main development activities at the site. Next, the visitors advance through the stages of planning, sowing, germination, transplanting, greenhousing and the production of planters. Lastly, production is carried out and the flowers are planted in vases and flower boxes.
The Mayor of Curitiba, Gustavo Fruet, participated in this first guided tour. “With this program, we will present a beautiful work so that the people can understand when they see a flower in the square or park, all of the logistics done by such a competent and dedicated team. In this way, we create a sense of belonging and inspire people to take care of, support and preserve the beauty of the flowers in our city.”
Ivete Fagundes, a tour guide in Curitiba, woke up early and went to learn about the nursery, a space that always piqued her curiosity. Owner of the agency Ivetur Turismo, she shows the city to national and foreign tourists every day. “The planters, always so floral, amaze all of the tourists and they often ask me about how the city is able to stay so beautiful and colorful with flowers year round. Doing this tour will help me respond properly to this question posed by many tourists.”
She listened attentively on the tour, and learned about the process by which the city holds four flower exchanges per year in public spaces, based on the production of 450 thousand flowers per month in the municipal nursery. “It is such an expressive production that a trip through the flower factory should be incorporated into our city tours,” Ivete said.
The Municipal Secretary of the Environment, Renato Lima, said that the objective of the Flower Factory program is to transform the nursery into a showcase, to recognize and appreciate the work of its team. “All of our citizens work to maintain a clean city, and for this we open the nursery for visitors and present their work to the whole city. We want to showcase the planning that is done by this team to guarantee a floral city the entire year,” said Renato.
During the visit, participants are informed about the planning, organization, and logistics involved in flower production. “Nothing is at random -- everything is thought out in advance. As in the fashion world, flowers that make up the urban scenery also have collections, and are replaced each new season,” explains Erica Mielke, the Director of the Department of Vegetation Production of the Municipal Secretary of the Environment.
In 2013, a new plan was implemented for the distribution of the flower seeds that optimized the process and consequently saved the city money. Currently, the 70 nursery employees produce approximately 6 million seeds every year, an average of 500 thousand per month. This is thanks to a machine that is able to sow 450 seeds in less than a minute. The same process took over an hour when it was done by hand.
After the sowing, the seeds are taken to a climate controlled room for germination where they remain for about four days. Next, they are transferred to a greenhouse, where they are protected from the cold, wind, and rain, for a period of a month on average. Then the seeds are transplanted on trays in an automated process. With just ten people in control, the transplanting machine allows for the production of 60 thousand seeds in one day, at most, which would not be possible without the assistance of technology.
A video report of the first event can be viewed here.
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Original article, originally published in Portuguese, here.
Credits: Data and images linked to sources.