What Valentine’s Day looks like on a flower farm
SONIA Bitmead and her husband don't celebrate Valentine's Day.
The flower farmers end their day with a high five and an early night after weeks of intense preparation for February 14.
Ms Bitmead, a second-generation flower producer, said production at Currey Flowers tripled in the lead up to Valentine's Day.
"Straight after Christmas we prune everything back to manipulate the crop to flush in time," she said.
"Generally the roses are ready to pick six days before around Valentine's Day.
"If the weather it's hot it can be earlier and if it's cold it can be later so we tend to pray to the weather gods as soon as we've pruned back."
A week before February 14, a team of about nine pickers work for four-five hours each day in order to collect the thousands of roses produced on the farm.
Next the roses are processed, put into bunches of 12 and sent out to wholesalers and florists.
"We provide roses to about 35 florists from Mackay to Alstonville in New South Wales," she said.
"About 99% of Ipswich florists use our flowers too."
By the end of the harvest Ms Bitmead said her small team would put out thousands of bunches of roses.
And the work doesn't end there.
"After Valentine's Day we spend about six weeks getting the roses out of flush so there is a lot of work before the day, on the day and afterwards," she said.
"It's a big time and we just have to keep going until it's done."
For those who have left their gifts a little late, Sonia's kids will be selling flowers at their stall in front of the farm on 172 Arthur Summervilles Rd in Karalee from 3.30pm this afternoon.