Morning, Grumpians. Today finds me in the warm breezes of south Florida gazing at more ferns in a greenhouse than there are losers in a casino. One-and-a-half million ferns, to be exact, covering 60 acres.
I'm visiting Costa Farms, just south of Miami. Costa is the largest grower of indoor plants in the country, supplying the likes of Home Depot, Lowe's, Wal-Mart, Costco, etc. I'm working on a story for next January's Southern Living called "From Greenhouse to Your House," so don't die or go blind until after you've read it or you'll really miss out.
One thing that really strikes you as you tour Costa's facilities is the absolute precision with which plants are grown. All of their plants, whether they be ferns, anthuriums, orchids, philodendrons, or whatever resemble brigades of soldiers prepared for inspection. Every pot is spaced perfectly for as far as the eye can see. The plants look better than anything I've ever grown and I didn't see one bug all day. Wish I could say that about my kitchen.
Two other things Costa does. They also produce lots and lots of flowers and vines and test new kinds for many different growers at their fabulous trial gardens. I'll post some photos of potentially great new plants you should be looking for tomorrow. They also promote a campaign called "02 For You," which reminds people that foliage plants purify indoor air by removing harmful volatile compounds from indoor air that come from upholstery, carpeting, and paint.
But hey, this trip isn't all about plants. The Costa people have promised to take me to lunch at a great local Cuban eatery. The Grump loves Cuban food! And he loves Ricky Ricardo! Luuuuuuuccccccyyyy!!!