Several West Central FFA members were hired on as seasonal help at North American Wholesale Florist in Sioux Falls. Students worked long hours after school an on the weekends prior to the holiday.
Roses are the most popular flower for Valentine’s Day. Melinda Knuth strips the leaves and thorns from a rose. The rose will then be paired with Baby’s Breath and placed in a sleeve for packaging and shipping to the retailer.
Ryan Serrao opens packages of roses that have been shipped to the wholesaler from flower producers all over the world. Most roses are pruned to be the most productive for this one holiday.
Floral arranging staff works to mass produce arrangements that will be offered for sale at various retail locations throughout the country. Finished arrangements are placed on a cart and wheeled into the cooler. They are carefully wrapped and packed in shipping boxes prior to delivery trucks heading out.
As flowers arrive from producers around the globe they must be unpacked and processed to help to ensure their long life in the hands of the consumer.
Each bundle of flowers is given a fresh cut of the stems to open up the capillaries and help the stems to draw up water.
Freshly cut bundles are placed in large containers with a floral preservative solution in them. The preservative helps the flowers to rehydrate and cancels the effects of shipping.
Processed flowers are inventoried, checked for damage or deterioration and placed in the cooler.
NAWFI has a two story cooler. The lower level contains product that is loaded on trucks to deliver to retail florists. The upper level contains products coming from the Bouquet Shop where arrangements are created for distribution to retail outlets.