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You don't need to know the street name to find Rosa Flora owned by Otto Bulk. When you get to Dunnville, Ontario, Canada, all you have to do is cast your eye over the horizon. The Rosa Flora greenhouse operation is where the big wind turbine stands out as it rotates in the breeze.
The wind turbine is 75 meters high and is used to supply electricity, at least most of the time. The weather conditions here in the Niagara region, between Lake Erie and Lake Ontario, are favorable as there is a gentle breeze most of the time. Rising electricity prices prompted Otto Bulk to look for alternatives to conventional energy sources: "We wanted to reduce our reliance on fossil fuels." So he soon had the idea of using a wind turbine, which supplies up to 600 kilowatt hours of electricity per day, a large share of the power his operation needs. 

And Otto Bulk's business needs quite a lot. The gerbera daisy, one of the premier cut flowers produced at Rosa Flora Limited, is a sensitive little plant that poses a challenge for all growers. Tens of thousands of these plants flourish in his greenhouses, and he has learned to handle the vagaries of this northern climate. Cold dark winters and hot humid summers!

Otto Bulk has been in business for 30 years. He and his wife, Corine, began their company in 1978, initially specializing in roses. But they have modified their product range over the years: "We just couldn't compete with South American rose growers. The roses from there aren't just cheaper, they are better too," he freely admits. Today, the 150 workers at his greenhouse operation  produce Alstroemeria (Peruvian Lilies), snapdragons, Sweetheart Roses, stephanotis and gerbera on a cultivation area of 106,000 square meters (~1,000,000 square feet). Gerbera has become very popular recently.


Otto Bulk looks with confidence to the future. His wind turbine investment in wind energy will be paid off in six to eight years, and he has no need to worry about his greenhouse glazing, which will go on ensuring optimum light yields and heat insulation for decades to come.

The next generation at Rosa Flora continues to come up with good ideas. Son-In-law, Ralph, who is married to one of Otto Bulk's six children, already has plans to expand Rosa Flora.

The story about the queen of pot plants is just one of the articles in the current issue of the Greenhouse Journal: PROFITABLE GROWTH UNDER ACRYLIC. Download PDF