Since 2002, Harald and Connie Esendam have been successful in tapping into the area’s geothermal energy to develop their commercial gerbera business, PlentyFlora.
Gerberas are a subtropical plant from South Africa and PlentyFlora’s greenhouse is heated by geothermal energy from two shallow geothermal bores to create the right temperature and environment for the flowers. Each year PlentyFlora produces more than 600,000 cut-flower gerberas and has successfully developed mini-gerberas with over 80 colour varieties. PlentyFlora send gerberas directly to florists all over the North Island.
Harald and Connie, with their family, immigrated to New Zealand in 1995 from Holland, working for Carter Holt Harvey in Tokoroa and Rotorua. The purchase of the glasshouse in 2002 was a great opportunity and they built everything from scratch. PlentyFlora operates 7 days a week with the glass house being full of colour all year round. Using the latest flower growing technology, Plenty Flora operates a fully computerised system so the flowers receive the appropriate water, fertiliser or feed. Harald has great plans to better utilise the geothermal energy to increase the efficiency of his glasshouse and explore other innovations.
“A great benefit for us was the geothermal bore that was already in existence when we came here, so it was a matter of tapping into this and utilising it for our needs. We have lived in Rotorua for over 10 years and proud to call it home. Our business is only 10 minutes from the city. We love the centralness and the lifestyle Rotorua offers,” says Harald Esendam.