Harry and Erik Van Wingerden
Nestled in the foothills of the beautifully green Carpinteria Valley, just five miles south of Santa Barbara, sits a family owned and operated fresh cut flower farm, Myriad Flowers.
Lush, exotic, vivid in color, and fascinating in their most pure and natural state, the Van Wingerdens specialize in local blooms of roses, tulips, lilies, sunflowers, and more.
Harry and Erik Van Wingerden are the father and son pair behind the bountiful harvest Myriad Flowers brings in every week at the Montecito Farmers Market.
The Van Wingerdens come from four generations of farmers, with their agricultural lineage starting in the Netherlands. Harry came to America in the ‘60s, bringing the besotted Dutch agricultural practices that pride themselves on their tulips with him to California.
Myriad roses and flowers can be found at every farmers market in the county, changing with the seasons. Spring has sprung here in Southern California with the local hillsides exploding with blazing tulips and irises nodding in the breeze.
Myriad Flowers reflect the seasons. Tulips and irises are a spring garden favorite, said Erik Van Wingerden. There is something special about spring flowers; they are shyly bold, bringing happiness among the winter drab. Erik Van Wingerden said the tulips will continue to grow in your vases, continuing to open bigger each morning, reaching towards the sun.
Erik Van Wingerden eagerly looks forward to the farmers markets each week. “The farmers market for me is my fun time to get out with the public and meet with everybody,” said Van Wingerden. “In the 26 years that I have been doing farmers markets, there may have been two times we missed a market.”
Myriad’s locally grown flowers are cut just days before, sometimes even the same day, as they arrive in the customer’s hand, said Van Wingerden. As well as extended shelf life, fresh flowers tend to have brighter, more vibrant colors with stronger scents. “If it is coming directly from the farm, it is not going through all the chains of distribution which saves weeks on the flower’s life,” said Van Wingerden.
Plants consume thousands of gallons of water daily, but Myriad Flowers with its expertise practices sustainability. “Our roses are grown hydroponically in a closed loop system,” said Erik Van Wingerden, “where we collect the water the plants don’t use, store it, sterilize it, and reuse it. This is the most efficient irrigation.”
The colorful varieties of a plethora of flowers are enchanting, not to mention the heavenly aroma. The delicate rose petals range from fiery red to the palest pink of a tutu.
These flowers can make any garden pop, complete a dinner table, be given to a loved one, and even show support during hard times. “With what is going on in Ukraine, I am selling a lot more sunflowers at the moment because sunflowers are the national flower of Ukraine and people want to share their support,” said Erik Van Wingerden.
The Van Wingerdens’ high technology combined with generations of knowledge brings beautiful varieties of lavish purple, yellow, red and pink bouquets that can brighten any day and light up any room.