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Roses from the Far North

Len Busch Roses: Competitive through energy savings

The temperature is a chilly 35 degrees Fahrenheit, but the fragrance is intoxicating. Orlando, Chantelle and Rosita Vendela varieties give it their all. Here in the cold storage at Len Busch Roses in Plymouth, Minnesota, roses are waiting to be transported to customers. Minnesota is perhaps the last place you'd expect to grow roses, not being exactly famous for its moderate climate - on the contrary, after Alaska it is the second coldest state in the USA. And although potted plants and cut flowers now account for two thirds of production at this operation that used to specialize in growing roses, roses remain the star attraction.

Len Busch Roses is the only large-scale rose grower in the USA outside of California, a position the company fully intends to keep. "Our strengths are quality and freshness," says Managing Director Patrick Busch. That is obviously the right strategy, for the rose grower from the far north is asserting himself with success against the competition. This comes not just from sunny California, but increasingly from South America: "We have been observing this development for about 15 years." Although the South American roses can have larger heads and usually come at a cheaper price, customers still remain faithful to the longer lasting domestic product with vibrant clean foliage and more fragrance.

The guiding principle at Len Busch Roses has always been to offer customers the best possible product, and innovations have always driven the company's success. Patrick's father, Len, was known for his creativity, and never stopped looking for innovative ways to cut costs and boost productivity. In 1974, he installed a wood-fired boiler that provided hot water to heat the greenhouses. In 1984, he was one of the first to computerize his greenhouse operation.  

Four generations of Energy Conservation

So the fifth generation at Len Busch Roses also stands a good chance of continuing to supply customers with the queen of flowers, home-grown in Minnesota.

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