Valentine Machine

flower_auction.jpg Image via

Flowers are symbolic of all that is beautiful, natural and normal - and that Valentines bouquet that you just received is a symbol of the natural love felt for you by your partner. But of course, nothing is either natural or normal - but it can be beautiful.

It's more than likely that your bouquet passed through Aalsmeer, the home of the giant Dutch flower market. The complex covers some 250 acres; the auction building alone takes up some 160 acres (one-quarter of a square mile). Each day approximately 14 million flowers and 1 million potted plants are auctioned. That means 3 billion flowers and 400 million plants annually from some 8,000 nurseries. The complex includes five auction halls where 13 auction clocks operate simultaneously in a process of a Dutch auction.


The mechanims of the flower industry are fascinating. Flying over Holland you can see the vast greenhouses. Inside, plants live on an artificial double day cycle in order to force quicker growth. While you are in the air, there are flights full of flowers passing nearby from other flower production sites in places like Ecuador, Ethiopia, Kenya, Colombia, India, Israel, South Africa and Malaysia.

The beautiful irony is that our desire for an idea of nature renders it unnatural. Happy Valentines!

Posted by sam at February 14, 2008 2:54 PM

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