OXNARD (CBSLA.com) — Some local farmers are making a push for Rose Parade floats to feature flowers grown in California.

KCAL9’s Adrianna Weingold reports that four out of five flowers used to decorate floats at the annual New Year’s parade in Pasadena come from South America.

Rodi Groot, the bouquet manager and product coordinator at The Sun Valley Group in Oxnard, says he’s on a mission to change that.

“It just strikes me as odd that the flowers aren’t necessarily predominately coming from California flower farmers on the floats,” Groot said.

Groot has been farming flowers in Southern California for nearly 30 years. He and fellow flower farmer Gerrit Vanderkooy say while most people’s flowers are imported, it’s all about keeping it local.

“People like local and I think we like the local movement because it’s grown in California, it’s good for the state, the country, and for the people, from the people,” Vanderkooy said.

The Sun Valley Group is supplying locally grown flowers to several floats in this year’s Rose Parade.

The only float considered California grown, however, is Cal Poly’s, with 94 percent of the flowers coming from the Golden State.

“Flowers are beautiful and flowers are emotions. We grow in California, a flower for every emotion,” Vanderkooy said.

Thirty-thousand irises will also adorn Cal Poly’s float.

Groot promises they’ll bloom into a vibrant blue just in time for the show.

“For me, it’s sitting in my living room on the sofa with my…boys and looking for the Cal Poly float and [saying], ‘There! Those are flowers that come from daddy’s farm,’” Groot said.


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