Elements of floral displays at local venues begin life on a preserved farm in Stockton
By Ilene Dube | Photo courtesy of Frederica Keep
Granted, it was a fairly balmy day in January to begin with, but when Peter McCrohan invited me inside the Mediterranean house, I found myself peeling off layers — wool hat and scarf, gloves, down jacket. He calls it the Mediterranean house because the plants he’s raising inside this greenhouse — white squill, oxblood lily, spider flower, and nerine — prefer a climate like that of grapes and olives.
“They grow in the winter and are dormant in summer,” says the tall 71-year-old farmer, wearing a worn leather cowboy hat and a down vest over a flannel shirt. “But they are frost tender, so I put a double-layered cloth over them at night. I mulch if it goes below 10 degrees outside.” Sitting at a patio table in the greenhouse, he looks down at his phone, noting that temperatures will dip into the single digits by the end of the week. more