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Eric Boyd

Rachel Hommel

Eric Boyd


Eric Boyd

Harvesting Hydroponic Produce and Flowers in Carpinteria


Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Name: Eric Boyd

Farm: Westland Floral

Location: 1400 Cravens Lane, Carpinteria, CA 93013

What they grow: A wide selection of flowers, including the popular cymbidium or “boat orchid.” Other flowers include Gerbera daisies, sunflowers, and Oriental and Adriatic lilies. In addition, their hydroponic “living” lettuce has become a top market seller, including the butter leaf, romaine, arugula, and soon-to-be basil.

Where to buy: Farmers markets including Tuesday in downtown Santa Barbara, Wednesday in Solvang, Thursday in Carpinteria, and Saturday in downtown Santa Barbara.

In season now: Cymbidium orchids (available eight months out of the year), Gerbera daisies, Phalaenopsis orchids, chrysanthemums (poms), and hydroponic butter leaf lettuce.

Their story: Started in 1971, Westland Floral has been providing beautiful flower arrangements to the tri-country region for over 40 years. Joining the company in 2002, Eric Boyd has enjoyed the rewards of getting to know his customers and working outdoors.

“It’s great establishing regulars at the markets,” said Boyd. “I really enjoy working outdoors and meeting all the eclectic people. It’s very entertaining to say the least!”

Located in Carpinteria, the 100-acre farm offers premium floral products, harvested daily at the peak of their cycle. From integrated pest management (IPM) to composting, Westland Floral is committed to sustainable farming practices, without compromising quality.

“Our most popular flower would definitely be the Cymbidium orchid,” said Boyd. “It has a very long vase life, a unique and colorful character, and quite fragrant.”

In an effort to diversify the company, the company started growing hydroponic lettuce, which is also more ecologically sound, as it uses less water and fertilizer for superior growth. Additionally, the water used in growing is cleaned, recycled, and re-used.

“Growing hydroponic lettuce is quite rewarding,” said Boyd. “It’s great to offer a unique product alongside our beautiful flowers.”

In addition to using less water, the living roots have been left on the lettuce, keeping the product fresh longer. Grown in a protected environment, the clean, non-soil product is more consistent than standard greens.

“Customers say they can taste a difference with the hydroponic lettuce,” said Boyd. “The butter leaf lettuce is wildly popular, especially on weekends.”

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