Jim Heierle, along with Dirk Ooijkaas, who mans the farmers market, and 10 additional full-time employees.
1 acre comprises 7 greenhouses in Menlo Park, about 20 miles from the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market.
In 1981, Jim Heierle started Brookside Orchids, a family-run business. Brookside grows popular orchid species as well as a few rare flowers outside of the orchid family, including Bat Lily and Ornamental Ginger. They also have an orchid boarding program that allows customers to “board” their orchids in the Brookside Orchids greenhouse until they begin to bloom.
Every flower is hand-cultivated, and special care goes into ensuring the plants receive the perfect balance of water, fresh air, and indirect sunlight. Orchids are grown in a mixture of fir bark, charcoal, and perlite and treated with a synthetic fertilizer.
The orchid family, Orchidaceae, is the largest and most diverse of the flowering plant families, with over 25,000 species.