Peonies are a new "niche" agricultural commodity for Alaska. Dr. Pat Holloway, at University of Alaska, Firbanks, started field trials by planting of eight or nine plants, in 2001. After several years of observation, she wrote up her findings. What happened next, was a complete surprise. A wholesaler in Holland called her and asked if she would be able to start shipments of 100,000 stems per week!
As word of her study, and the resulting interest spread, several people decided to begin peony farms, and the Alaskan Peony Industry was born. Since its start, there are now over 200 small farms that have sprung up. Some have as few as 500 plants, and some have more than 20,000 plants. That may seem small when compared to the large corporate flower farms found in the rest of the world. However, the rugged climate, costs of production, shortage of labor, and lack of research about growing cut-flowers in a sub-arctic environment are limiting factors for large-scale production.
Because the smaller size of Alaska's farms limit large-scale availability of stems, many farms have banded together in cooperatives, packing facilities, and brokerages. This allows large wholesalers to access enough stems to fill their larger orders. At the same time, because of innovative technology and the internet, smaller floral designers, florists, and even do-it-yourself customers are able to order farm-direct as well.
Our peonies are exceptional in their size, brilliance. Your order will have all sizes of blooms which allows you to create texture in your arrangements. Our Alaska summer peony blooms will average approximately 25% of the blooms with a 7"+ diameter, 35% will be 5"-7" blooms, and the remaining 40% 3-5" blooms. Some varieties are smaller, but all blooms are USDA #1, or bigger.
After three years of harvest and sales, we are now seeing repeat customers who are hooked on the quality of our Alaskan peonies and Cool Cache Farms' service. We are confident that when you buy our stunning peonies, you will understand why Cool Cache Farms is "A Cut Above"!
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