Our relationship with Great Lakes Glads
, a family-owned and operated farm, has really grown over the last four to five seasons. The Mayer family has refined planting and cutting schedules to such a high degree of efficiency that they can fill truckloads each day...at peak production (roughly June until early October) they can cut, cool, sort, bunch and pack half-a-million stems EVERY DAY! And on a really crazy day, three-quarters-of-a-million stems!
They have found that consistent crop rotation over subsequent seasons, close attention to disease and insect pressures from greenhouse-to-planting insures a consistent crop through each cutting...and this ultimately saves on labor and treatment applications through the course of the season. Great Lakes Glads runs a 60-40 mix of in-house-developed proprietals to commercially available varietals...they have extensive relationships with the cultivators and greenhouse guys in the Netherlands, and are always staying ahead of new (and heirloom) varieties and color profiles.
There isn't much about the "gladiolus" that these folks don't already know. Bob Mayer showed me around the pack-shed, the shipping-shed and out into the fields. He is a very enthusiastic and knowledgeable man when it comes to his flowers...even this seasoned Field Inspector had a hard time keeping up! All in all, a solid grower and a great family farm operation out here in Bronson, Michigan.