"I had a fair number
of requests from existing customers as well as locally," Mr. Schraven
says. "Thereís definitely a need and not a lot of suppliers."
laughs, "what am I going to do with all this grass?"
He is referring
to 96 acres fronting County Road 2 and another 50 on Deer Park Road,
of which only a portion can be planted in roses.
"The timeline for a
crop of roses, soil and field preparation not withstanding, is two
years," he explains. "You canít go back on the same parcel of land for
five years. Roses take so much out of the soil you have to rotate the
A new crop cycle begins each May when the Schravens, along
with seasonal help, plant 150,000 understock (also known as rootstock)
on eight acres. These are the roots of a single type of rose that have
been grown in Holland from seed. The root stocks are carefully
nurtured until August when buds of selected varieties are grafted onto
"We bring in skilled help from England for grafting, a
professional budder," Mr.Schraven explains, "The technique is a
process thatís been going on for hundreds and hundreds of years."
can be compared to the technique used in apple grafting where one type
of apple is grafted onto the tree of another variety.
spring, we top them, which is cutting off the wild growth, cutting off
the tops, just leaving the bud. Throughout the season, we trim them
back to force new growth."