Re: Riverview Iris Gardens
- Subject: [iris-photos] Re: Riverview Iris Gardens
- From: "Neil Mogensen" <email@example.com>
- Date: Tue, 24 Aug 2004 11:39:41 -0000
--- In firstname.lastname@example.org, millsmithpoultry@a... wrote:
"I was wondering if anybody on the list have purchased from Riverview
and what did you think of the rhizomes etc...."--Robert
Robert, I am familiar with the area where Riverview irises are grown
as I was born and grew up in the area and managed farm lands in the
area for a number of years. During the years I worked for a large
Agri-business corporation I had an office only a few miles east of
I know the fertility of the land to be high, the deep profiles rich
in most nutrients and of excellent texture for cultivation. In fact,
Canyon County, Idaho, where they are located, is known to have some
of the best farmland in the entire nation.
Because of some very dry years recently in the mountains providing
the Boise River with its water supply has been uneven in supply. The
Boise Valley has near-desert conditions with very high evapo-
transpiration rates, so the per-acre allotment for irrigation has to
be been on the order of five acre feet per acre for land classed as
farmable. With drought and low run-off from the mountains the
allotment has to be cut.
Five acre-feet is equivalent to a 60" annual rainfall, all occuring
during the growing season. Because the humidity is desert-level low,
every bit of that 60" is required for good production of crops.
Irises, like any other field crop, require a substantial amount of
water to grow to normal size. When the allotment is cut a grower has
to make a choice--either abandon part of their cropland for that year
and concentrate the available water on the remainder, or end the
irrigation when the reduced water allotment runs out, perhaps as
early as July.
I do not know how much Riverview has been affected by all this, but
on Iris-talk over the past few years there have been a number of
comments made about their products. In an informal summary of the
comments several things can be said.
I recall no complaints about products not being true to name. In the
very dry, hot years some of their rhizomes have been reported as
small, but grow as well as the large ones. The survival rates of
rhizomes received is apparently very high.
One complaint has surfaced a number of times--not all items ordered
have been enclosed in the shipments received. Attempts to contact
the owners by e-mail or USPS mail to fill on out the irises ordered
are not always responded to quickly. Some of those who posted the
complaints to the list reported they did receive most of the missing
items later. Extras are reported to be generous.
Because of the high number of varieties listed, the stock of each
cannot be very large, with many items probably sold out before all
orders are filled. If this is true for Riverview, I would suggest
any order placed with them be sent early in the season if receiving
everything ordered is of serious importance.
I am sympathetic to the owners' situation. They are a husband and
wife team who do most of the physical work themselves, including the
irrigation, cultivation, digging, labelling and shipping of orders.
There are just so many hours in a day, making some tasks difficult to
complete. With their price structure set as low as it is they do not
have the option of hiring a lot of seasonal help. I am amazed they do
as well as they do.
I have not ordered from Riverview myself, but a friend included an
item for me in her order. The variety 'Tomeco,' a significant
historic, is currently listed only by Riverview to the best of my
knowledge. The friend sent 'Tomeco' on to me when her order was
recently received. The rhizome was healthy, of decent, satisfactory
size, clean and disease-free.
I would not hesitate to order from Riverview, but I would plan to
place my order as early as I could. I assume they like most vendors
process shipments in the order received.
Neil Mogensen z 7 western NC mountains
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