Deep in the polder by the typically Dutch Broerdijk, hidden in the meadows, you’ll find Karsten Agricultures; a family business that has been cultivating peonies since the Seventies. The Karstens were one of the first peony growers in the Netherlands. Today, daily operations are led by Alex Karsten. His father Gerard is retired but still pays a visit to the nursery every day.
Alex cultivates about one million peonies each year on a good eight hectares of land. The assortment consists of Catherina Fontijn, Dr. Alexander Fleming, Sarah Bernhardt, Duchesse de Nemours, Boule de Neige, Flame, Pink Panther, Coral Sunset and Inspector Lavergne. Recently, Alex added the Jacorma variety to his assortment and expects to ship the first stems in 2020. Quality is monitored strictly by Alex and he especially keeps a close eye on the cutting stage. Every peony is cultivated to open up; harvesting too early is out of the question.
The fields of Karsten Agricultures are specially designed to be hyper-efficient; the lanes where peonies are cultivated are more than a kilometre long. The long lanes help to keep harvesting and quality control manageable. In addition, efficiency is of the utmost importance to avoid crop failure; after all, peonies that have already bloomed can’t be sold. Alex has placed rails between the lanes, which he uses to transport crates filled with peonies off the fields and directly into cooling facilities. This speeds up his harvesting process and makes land use more effective. Karsten Agricultures employs a cooling process that keeps the flowers between one and zero degrees Celsius; the ideal temperature to preserve peonies.
Karsten Agricultures is known for its products of enduring quality and as a result has been a big name in the peony business for many, many years. Karsten Agricultures and My Peony Society share the same vision and ambitions: delivering peonies of the highest quality possible. A fantastic nursery and a driving force behind My Peony Society!