22 May 2015

Blooming Business

From Country Life, 9:13 pm on 22 May 2015

paul loader

With a family history of people with green thumbs, Paul Loader (above) was destined to end up in the business of growing.

Paul's great-grandfather grew freesias and table grapes in Dunedin in the early 1900s.

Paul and his wife Lyn started their careers in floriculture when they began growing flowers to supply their florist shop in Christchurch.

The venture now includes another generation. It expanded when Paul and Lyn were joined by their daughter Michelle and son-in-law Ian in 2000.

Specialising in gerberas and roses, K&L Nurseries now produces more than 2 million stems of cut flowers per year.

The business is committed to being energy efficient and environmentally friendly.  K&L Nurseries has switched from using coal to heat its glass houses to a BioMass boiler. The boiler runs on wood chips and is the first of its kind to be used by flower growers in New Zealand.

Paul says "It's been a challenge to sort out the right sort of wood chips and of course one of the major things is it's so clean. We used to have to wash the glasshouse roof with coal, but now there are no emissions at all."