Archive: Apr 2015

  1. Brown Bulb Ranch to Golden State Bulb Growers


    Why GSBG is no longer called Brown Bulb Ranch

    Golden State Bulb Growers used to be called Brown Bulb Ranch when it was first founded in the early 1900’s. The name itself comes from the name of the Brown family which has owned and operated the company since it was first created.

    A major portion of the business developed through importing and packaging Dutch grown bulbs for redistribution to retail outlets throughout the US. The “dry sales” bulb business was so successful, Brown Bulb Ranch, became the largest wholesaler of flower bulbs west of the Mississippi. In 1954 an office and distribution warehouse were opened in Seattle to serve the needs of the Northwest. Later in the 1960’s a sales office was opened in Los Angeles to serve the Southwest. Worth Brown, in charge of sales, marketed the first packaged flower bulbs to ever be sold in national chain stores such as Woolworth and Sears.

    Also during the sixties, fields were farmed in Baja California for the production of dried flowers such as safflower, strawflower and cardoon puffs, an artichoke type flower. This venture was discontinued due to an increase in cheap imports of synthetic flowers from Asia. New fields were also opened in Monterey County for the expanding Calla production.

    By the 1970’s the company had hundreds of employees and was the largest distributor of bulbs on the West Coast. A decision was made to go back to company’s roots and concentrate more on the growing operation and less on the distribution of bulbs from other sources. In 1983, Brown Bulb Ranch sold its name and import division to another company. The growing operation changed its name to Golden State Bulb Growers, only selling what it grew, moving towards selling more to commercial growing operations and less to the ‘dry sales’ bulb market, which was on the decline in the US.

  2. Supporting the Capitola Begonia Festival

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    Supporting the Begonia Festival in Capitola

    GSBG will be providing blooming begonia plants for the public to purchase April 18, 2015 in Capitola, CA to support the city’s efforts of increasing participation in the annual Capitola Begonia Festival.

    begonia festival Golden State Bulb Growers

    Laurie Hill, a member of the Begonia Festival Committee for 14 years stated, “I have noted an increase in community and tour attendance at the festival but a serious decline in the availability of begonias.”  This decline is due to fewer garden centers in the area selling potted begonias.

    The city wants people to have access to growing begonias so they can increase enthusiasm for the plant as the annual Begonia Festival draws near.  GSBG was asked to help by providing already potted and growing bulbs and that is what they are doing.  The planted begonias will be sold at an event being held by the city called “Capitola City Wide Yard Sale.”

    The Capitola City Wide Yard Sale will be held April 18, 2015 from 8am – 4pm at 602 Capitola Ave Capitola, CA.  Other merchandise will be sold along with the begonias such as Begonia Festival posters and t-shirts.  All are welcome to attend.

    For more information on the Capitola Begonia Festival, visit

  3. GSBG: Committed to Innovation

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    GSBG implements a new Grading Machine for Calla Lilies

    This year GSBG purchased a new grading machine for calla lilies that has helped increase uniformity and productivity in their bulb production.  This new system is a statement to GSBG’s commitment to advancement and innovation.

    The grading system was purchased from MAF Industries, a company specializing in manufacturing of grading systems for various types of produce. Significant increases in productivity have been achieved by using this grading system.  This has allowed GSBG to eliminate the second shift during the peak season, which is particularly beneficial in light of continually rising labor costs and shortages.

    grading machine for calla lilies

    Calla Bulb

    MAF custom designed the grading machine for calla lilies.  The system uses advanced camera and software technology to determine the size of each tuber and uniformly deliver it to trays for storage and shipping. This design includes modified deliveries and transition points, use of specialized materials and unique software programming.  These features work together to ensure highly accurate sizing without jeopardizing cosmetic quality.

    All sections of the machine operate with variable speed drives allowing maximum flexibility in staffing of the system.   The machine also has the ability to adjust to tubers with variable quality characteristics.

    The grading system was designed to efficiently handle the quality inspection and re-sizing of product that happens later in the season. GSBG is currently working on fine tuning their system to be able to handle other seasonal crops they produce.

  4. CAST: California Spring Pack Trials 2015

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    GSBG’s California Pack Trials 2015

    Golden State Bulb Growers (GSBG) will be participating in the California Spring Pack Trials (CAST) April 11-16, 2015. We have been preparing for it and are excited to reveal some of our new products.

    In preparation for the trials, we have developed a new website. Look forward to news updates on this page in the future.

    California Pack Trials 2015 Kona

    New Aloha Lily Variety

    California Pack Trials 2015 cayman

    New Caribbean Jewel Variety

    CAST is an event during the year when all of our plant varieties are grown in greenhouses to showcase their quality to customers and plant enthusiasts. Thousands of potted bulbs are forced to grow and the result is an amazing display of color and beauty. Experts will be present to provide information on the plants and answer questions.



    We are thankful to all those who have contributed their hard work to set up this event. Months have been spent in preparation and the result will be a high quality experience for all who attend. Please join us to see our products grown by experts under optimal conditions.

    All are welcome to attend. Appointments are recommended but not required. Allow at least an hour or more to make the most of this opportunity. For appointments please email

    CAST occurs each April across California. To learn more visit