CalBulbs.com is a division of Golden State Bulb Growers Inc. Golden State Bulb Growers is a family owned and operated business that is currently in its 5th generation. Golden State Bulb Growers® has served the needs for commercial flower growers around the world for over a 100 years.
History of Golden State Bulb Growers, Inc.
In 1910 James Brown went to Capitola, CA to grow strawberries. Strawberry varieties at the time were not resistant to strawberry wilt, a fatal disease to the plant. James decided to experiment with a few bulb crops, such as freesia, gladiolus, begonias and calla lilies. His experimentation with bulb crops led to a successful venture in tuberous begonias. By 1921 Brown Bulb Ranch, now Golden State Bulb Growers, became a leading tuberous begonia source in the U.S. At the time the main source of fertilizer was cow manure. James bought a herd Guernsey cattle to supply a weed free source of manure. As a result he found himself in the dairy business. The dairy served the local communities, railroads and the American troops during WWII. The Moo Cow Dairy thrived until 1957. Worth and Allen Brown, James’s two sons, took over the business in 1937 upon the death of their father. During this time the 1937 Quarantine took effect, banning bulb imports to the U.S. The quarantine allowed the Browns and other local bulb growers to broaden their product lines to daffodils, Dutch Iris, and lilies. The quarantine only lasted a short time. The Brown’s then returned to their mainstay of growing tuberous begonias. Demand for begonias and other flowering bulbs increased and in 1954 Brown Bulb Ranch opened an office and warehouse in Seattle to service its customers in the Pacific Northwest, Mountain States and British Columbia.
At the time the business imported various bulbs from around the world to complement its growing operation to become the largest wholesaler of flower bulbs on the west coast. In the late 1950’s third generation Todd and Barclay Brown entered the business. In 1981 a sales office was opened in Los Angeles to expand business into the southwest. Two years later the wholesale division, including its facilities in Los Angeles and Seattle, and the Brown Bulb Ranch name was sold. Unaffected by the sale, the remaining growing operation took on the name Golden State Bulb Growers, Inc. Golden State Bulb Growers specialized in growing and marketing its various flower bulb crops throughout the world. Golden State Bulb Growers is now operated by its fourth generation family members Justin, Lon, Nolan, Worth and fifth generation family member Joel. Golden State Bulb Growers, Inc. is the largest producer of calla lilies, tuberous begonias and other specialty flower bulbs in the world with over 1,000 acres of production fields.