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FAMILIES AND FLOWERS
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EDMUND'S ISLAND
ONE IN A MILLION
WEAVING THE FUTURE
DOWN TO EARTH
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MAD RIVER
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HOME > FILMS > FAMILIES AND FLOWERS > SCRIPT

FAMILIES AND FLOWERS

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>> NARRATOR: ENCINITAS, 30 MILES NORTH OF SAN DIEGO, IS A BEACH COMMUNITY; A SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA TOWN OF SAND AND SURF, AND FLOWERS - THE SELF-PROCLAIMED FLOWER CAPITAL OF THE WORLD.

>> NARRATOR: FOR THREE GENERATIONS THE ECKE FAMILY HAS BRED POINSETTIAS, SUPPLYING UP TO 80% OF THE WORLD MARKET. JUST NORTH OF THEIR ENCINITAS RANCH THEY'VE DEVELOPED THE FLOWER FIELDS --- A SPRINGTIME ATTRACTION WHICH DRAWS 150,000 VISITORS A YEAR.

>> NARRATOR: THE STORY OF FLOWERS IN ENCINITAS BEGINS WITH PAUL ECKE, SR. ESCAPING FROM FAST GROWING LOS ANGELES, THE ECKES MOVED TO ENCINITAS IN 1923. STARTING WITH 40 ACRES, THE DREAM WAS TO MAKE POINSETTIAS EVERYONE'S CHRISTMAS FLOWER. AND TO MAKE ENCINITAS A HOME FOR FLOWER GROWING FAMILIES.

>> PAUL ECKE JR: TIMES WERE MUCH SLOWER THEN, BUT IT WAS QUITE RURAL. IT ALL CHANGED OF COURSE WHEN WORLD WAR II CAME. WHAT WE WANTED TO DO WAS TO BRING OTHER GROWERS TO THE COMMUNITY SO WE WOULD HAVE SOME SUPPORT.

>> TAMIE TAYAMA KIMURA: WE HAD A GOOD LIFE AT THE TIME OF THE WAR. MY DAD HAD ALREADY BEEN PRESIDENT OF DIFFERENT CHAPTERS OF THE JAPANESE AMERICAN CITIZENS LEAGUE. OF COURSE HE WAS VISIBLE, VERY VISIBLE. SO WE WERE LIKE THE FIRST FAMILY TO LEAVE LOS ANGELES, AND THE CAMPS WEREN'T EVEN REALLY READY YET.

>> TAMIE TAYAMA KIMURA: WHEN WE CAME BACK AFTER THE WAR AT FIRST MY DAD WORKED AS A FRY COOK, AND ONE OF HIS REALLY GOOD FRIENDS WAS MANAGING A GARDENIA PLACE, AND HE SAID 'IF YOU WANT TO TAKE OVER THAT BUSINESS, YOU CAN TRY THAT.' AND THAT'S HOW WE GOT INTO THE FLOWER BUSINESS.

>> PAUL ECKE JR: SO MY FATHER WAS ABLE TO CONVINCE THE TAYAMA FAMILY TO COME DOWN FROM LOS ANGELES, AND TAMIE AND JOE ARE STILL OPERATING THE GREENHOUSES AND GROWING ORCHIDS.

>> TAMIE TAYAMA KIMURA: HE JUST WANTED TO START THIS BALL ROLLING, OF HAVING ENCINITAS BE THE FLOWER CAPITAL OF THE WORLD.

>> EVELYN WEIDNER: THE REASON WE CAME DOWN HERE OF COURSE WAS THAT PAUL ECKE SR AND JR SAID 'OH COME DOWN HERE BOB. THE CLIMATE IS PERFECT, WE GET LOTS OF HOURS OF SUNSHINE, THE WATER IS GOOD.'

>> TAMIE TAYAMA KIMURA: WHEN WE FIRST CAME TO ENCINITAS IT WAS PART OF THE COUNTY, WE WEREN'T A CITY. IT WAS RURAL, BEACHY-RURAL, WHICH WAS WONDERFUL. . . RAISING CHILDREN AND RAISING FLOWERS.

>> TAMIE TAYAMA KIMURA: WELL I THINK ORIGINALLY THE PART ABOUT THIS BUSINESS WAS THAT IT WAS SMALL BUSINESS, AND THAT IT WAS ALL FAMILIES. EVEN THE RETAIL FLORISTS. IT WAS FAMILY.

>> NARRATOR: MANAGING A BUSINESS IS ONE THING. BUT IN A FAMILY COMPANY KNOWING WHEN TO HAND OVER THE REINS IS SOMETHING ELSE. EACH GENERATION HAS TO ADJUST TO NEW LEADERSHIP AND NEW WAYS OF DOING BUSINESS.

>> MARY WEIDNER WITESMAN: MY MOTHER IS VERY FUN, VERY CREATIVE, DISORGANIZED. IDEAS STREAM OUT OF HER HEAD ONE AFTER THE OTHER, AND WE HAVE TO CONTAIN HER AND SAY, 'OKAY, OUT OF THOSE SIX IDEAS, WHICH ONE ARE WE GONNA PICK?'

>> EVELYN WEIDNER: MOST OF THE TIME WE JUST DIVIDE UP WHO FEELS LIKE DOING SOMETHING, WHO'S GONNA BE THE BETTER ONE. AND SOME TIMES THERE'S A BIT OF PUSHING AND SHOVING WHERE WE'RE TRYING TO PUSH THE JOB OFF ON THE OTHER ONE.

>> EVELYN WEIDNER: MARY CAME INTO THE BUSINESS BECAUSE � SHE LOVED IT, ALL THE KIDS LOVED PLANTS � BUT SHE WANTED THERE TO BE A WEIDNER AFTER BOB WAS GONE AND AFTER I'M GONE SOMEDAY.

>> PAUL ECKE JR: MY FATHER WANTED TO BE INVOLVED IN ALL THE DECISIONS. I HAD TO THEN DETERMINE IF MY SON WERE TO COME BACK THAT WE'D FIGURE OUT A WAY THAT I WOULDN'T BE IN HIS WAY TOO MUCH.

>> PAUL ECKE III: MY DAD WAS MORE OF A ONE-MAN SHOW. YOU KNOW, I DON'T WANT TO SAY DICTATOR, BECAUSE IT WASN'T A DICTATORSHIP, BUT IT WAS MORE LIKE THAT.

>> PAUL ECKE JR: YES IT IS QUITE A CHALLENGE TO MOVE FROM ONE GENERATION TO THE OTHER IF, PARTICULARLY IF THE OLDER PERSON IS STILL PHYSICALLY AROUND.

>> NARRATOR: OFFICIALLY PAUL JR. RETIRED IN 1991. BUT HE WAS ALWAYS EAGER TO MEET THE PUBLIC AND BRAG A LITTLE BIT ABOUT THE NEWEST POINSETTIA VARIETY. FOR THE ECKES, THE KEY TO THE FUTURE IS HAVING 50 NEW KINDS OF POINSETTIAS IN THE PIPELINE.

>> PAUL ECKE JR: THE MARKET IS ABOUT 75% RED, AND THE OTHER 25% IS NOW MADE UP OF WHITE, PINK, MARBLES, AND THE NEWEST ONE, WHICH SOME WOULD CALL PURPLE. IT'S CALLED PLUM PUDDING. WOMEN SEEM TO LIKE THIS. THE PROBLEM IS THAT OUR CUSTOMERS ARE GROWERS, WHO WE SEND THE CUTTINGS TO, AND THEY HAVEN'T GOT IT YET.

>> JAY LENO: HEY WE GOT OUR SET ALL DECORATED KEVIN, IT LOOKS GREAT. YEAH, IT'S A LOT OF FUN, I LOVE THIS TIME. THESE ARE ALL POINSETTIAS FROM THE PAUL ECKE RANCH. HE RAISES THESE WILD POINSETTIAS, TAMES THEM, AND BRINGS THEM HERE.

>> RUTH KOBAYASHI: NATURE IS SO UNPREDICTABLE. WE CROSS A WHITE FLOWER WITH ANOTHER WHITE FLOWER. . . I WASN'T EXPECTING ALL THE HYBRIDS TO BE PINK, BUT THEY WERE. AND THEY WERE A VIBRANT PINK, A PINK I'VE NOT SEEN. WHEN YOU THINK YOU KNOW WHAT YOU'RE DOING, NATURE ALWAYS SHOWS YOU YOU DON'T.

>> RUTH KOBAYASHI: WE'LL LOOK AT TEN THOUSAND SEEDLINGS, OF WHICH WE

MIGHT PICK 100 FOR THE FIRST YEAR. BY THE SECOND YEAR EVALUATION WE'RE DOWN TO 10, AND THEN WHEN WE LOOK TO SEE IF IT WILL GROW ACROSS THE NATION, WE'RE DOWN AT ONE OR LESS.

>> RUTH KOBAYASHI: THESE ARE LIKE FAMILY, LIKE FRIENDS, EACH ONE HAS CHARACTER. AND SO YOU HAVE YOUR - EVEN THOUGH YOU DON'T MAKE IT KNOWN TO THE PLANTS - YOU HAVE YOUR FAVORITES, YOU KNOW, THINGS THAT ACTUALLY ATTRACT YOUR EYE, AND THERE'S SOMETHING ABOUT THAT. YOU KNOW, IN PEOPLE YOU CALL IT CHARISMA.

>> RUTH KOBAYASHI: WE DON'T SELL OUR PLANTS. WE THROW THEM OUT AFTER THE SEASON'S DONE, AFTER THEY'VE SHOWN US ALL OF THEIR GLORY, AND I CAN'T BE IN THE GREENHOUSE FOR THAT. IT'S THOUSANDS OF PLANTS THAT NEED TO GO TO THE DUMPSTER, AND I GO INTO THE GREENHOUSE AND SEE THAT IT'S GETTING STARTED, AND I LEAVE, BECAUSE IT'S JUST TOO HARD TO TAKE.

>> WEIDNER RANCH CUSTOMER: HAVE SHOVEL, WILL DIG.

>> INTERVIEWER: WHAT ARE YOU DIGGING TODAY?

>> WEIDNER CUSTOMER: PANSIES. WHAT ELSE? MY WIFE TOLD ME TO COME HERE. (LAUGHS)

>> EVELYN WEIDNER: ONE OF THE FIRST THINGS MY FATHER DID WAS TO PLANT A SMALL FIELD OF PANSIES. MY PARENTS LET ME DIG SOME OF THE ONES THAT WERE OBVIOUSLY SECONDS, AND I WOULD TAKE THESE BOXES OF PANSIES TO SCHOOL; I WAS IN THE SECOND GRADE. AND I WAS A SCRAWNY LITTLE UGLY BLOND RAT OF A BRAT OF A KID, BUT I SURE DID LOVE THOSE PANSIES.

>> WEIDNER CUSTOMER: WE CAN GO AHEAD AND START LOOKING AROUND RIGHT NOW THEN?

>> EVELYN WEIDNER: YOU CAN LOOK NOW, YES.

>> CUSTOMER: I CAN DROOL.

>> CUSTOMER: ARE WE GONNA HEAR THE RINGY DINGY DINGY UP THERE?

>> EVELYN: I'M GONNA BE UP THERE.

>> WEIDNER FEMALE CUSTOMERS: YOU HAVE TO WAIT UNTIL 9:30 AND THEN THEY RING A BELL. THE RULES ARE THAT 9:30 IS WHEN YOU CAN DIG. YOU CAN'T DIG BEFORE, SO WE'VE STAKED OUT OUR PLACES. I'VE BEEN HERE SINCE 8.

>> EVELYN WEIDNER: FIVE, FOUR, THREE, TWO, ONE, GO! (RINGS BELL) HAPPY DIGGING.

>> EVELYN WEIDNER: THAT'S THE KIND OF ROOTS THEY GET. THAT'S WHY THOSE PANSIES DIG BETTER, GROW BETTER THAN WHAT YOU GET SQUEEZED IN A LITTLE FOUR-INCH POT, BECAUSE THEY'VE GOT ALL THOSE ROOTS, THEY'RE ALREADY GOING.

>> MARY WEIDNER WITESMAN: THE SELECTION'S BEEN GOOD. I'M RUNNING SHY ON THE WHITES, I'LL HAVE TO BUY MORE NEXT YEAR. I HAVE PEOPLE SNEAKING IN TO THE OTHER SIDE, SO I'M NOT QUITE SURE WHAT WE'RE GONNA DO THERE.

>> WEIDNER CUSTOMER: (HUMOROUS EXCHANGE WITH CUSTOMER DIGGING PANSIES THAT ARE OFF-LIMITS.)

>> WEIDNER CUSTOMER: I'D SOONER HAVE PANSIES AND NURSERIES THAN HOUSES.

>> WEIDNER CUSTOMER: I'VE BEEN HERE SINCE '75, IT'S REALLY SAD, IT'S REALLY SAD. BECAUSE WE WERE JUST TALKING, THIS PROPERTY HAS JUST GOT TO BE WORTH SO MUCH NOW, AND YET THEY'VE KEPT IT AS A GREENHOUSE.

>> WEIDNER RANCH CUSTOMER: I DON'T KNOW HOW MUCH LONGER THEY'RE GONNA BE ABLE TO HOLD OUT, THE PROPERTY I THINK IS JUST TOO EXPENSIVE.

>> INTERVIEWER: HOW MANY DID YOU GET?

>> WEIDNER CUSTOMER: UM, 27, 27.

>> INTERVIEWER: DID YOU LEAVE ANY GOOD ONES BEHIND?

>> WEIDNER CUSTOMER: I TRIED NOT TO.

>> INTERVIEWER: DID YOU REALLY BUY 80?

>> WEIDNER CUSTOMER: YEAH, WE DID.

>> INTERVIEWER: WHAT ARE YOU GONNA DO WITH THEM?

>> WEIDNER CUSTOMER: WELL, SOME OF THEM ARE GOING TO OUR GARDEN CLUB, AND SOME OF THEM ARE GOING TO SHUT-INS, AND SOME OF THEM ARE GOING INTO OUR GARDENS.

>> EVELYN WEIDNER: OUR BUSINESS WAS THREATENED, THAT THEY MIGHT ACTUALLY SAY WE COULDN'T BE HERE ANYMORE. AND SO I DECIDED THAT I NEEDED TO PULL OUT ALL THE GUNS I COULD. AND SO I HEAD DOWN THERE AT RETAIL, I HAD MY LITTLE SIGN AND MY CLIPBOARD, AND MY PIECES OF PAPER AND THE ADDRESSES, ASKING THE CUSTOMERS TO WRITE TO THE CITY COUNCIL HERE. AND I TOLD THEM NOT TO BE HOSTILE. YOU KNOW, I SAID DON'T BE. . . SOME OF THEM WERE. THEY SAID, 'IF YOU DARE TO SHUT DOWN WEIDNER'S, WE'VE BEEN COMING HERE, MY KIDS HAVE BEEN COMING HERE SINCE THEY WERE LITTLE, AND HOW CAN YOU EVEN THINK ABOUT THIS. . .' BUT IT WAS AN INTERESTING EXPERIENCE TO SEE HOW THE CUSTOMERS CAME TO OUR RESCUE.

>> TAMIE TAYAMA KIMURA: WE'VE HAD THAT CONTRACT WITH THE FLOAT BUILDERS SINCE. . .WELL MY DAUGHTER'S ALMOST 50; SHE RODE ON THE ROSE PARADE WHEN SHE WAS FOUR YEARS OLD. THAT'S WHAT BAILS US OUT EVERY YEAR, THE ROSE PARADE, AND IF WE EVER HEAR THAT MAYBE THEY'RE GONNA CANCEL IT WE GET VERY HYSTERICAL. WE JUST CUT AND PACK, AND WE DON'T CARE IF THEY'RE PERFECT OR NOT PERFECT, IT'S THE COLOR. . . THE LAVENDER AND THE WHITE, AND WE JUST TUBE THEM UP AND THEN THEY GO.

>> TAYAMA FAMILY MEMBER: JJ, MAYBE YOU CAN WORK ON THE FLOATS NEXT YEAR.

>> NARRATOR: SOME TRADITIONS, LIKE THE TAYAMAS AND THE ROSE PARADE AND THE WEIDNER'S PANSIES, HANG ON. BUT FOR THE ECKES IT'S TIME TO CHANGE. THEY'RE MOVING THEIR POINSETTIA CUTTING PRODUCTION TO GUATEMALA.

>> PAUL ECKE III: IT'S TOO EXPENSIVE TO BUILD PRODUCT HERE IN THE UNITED STATES, BOTH WITH LABOR COSTS, REGULATORY ISSUES, AND THE BIG ONE FOR US IS ENERGY. DOWN IN GUATEMALA, WE SPEND ABOUT A MILLION DOLLARS LESS ON UTILITIES THAN WE DO HERE IN ENCINITAS, AND SO THAT'S A BIG NUMBER AND WE CAN'T IGNORE THAT.

>> RICARDO CAMPOS, GM PAUL ECKE OF GUATEMALA: LIKE WE WOULD PAY INDUSTRIAL RATES, WHICH I THINK ARE COMPARABLE TO PRICES FOR ELECTRICITY FOR POOR AREAS.

>> PAUL ECKE III: DOWN IN GUATEMALA THEY DON'T CODDLE PEOPLE LIKE THEY DO HERE, AND I'M NOT SAYING THAT'S BAD, IT'S JUST DIFFERENT. WE HAVE A HUMAN RESOURCE DIRECTOR. I MEAN, MY GUESS IS THERE ISN'T A LOT OF HUMAN RESOURCE ISSUES DOWN THERE, BECAUSE IF YOU DON'T LIKE SOMEBODY YOU FIRE THEM AND GET THE NEXT PERSON.

>> MAYRA FELIPE DE ANDRINO (TRANSLATION FROM SPANISH): WE HAVE 900 EMPLOYEES. THE WORKDAY IS 7AM TILL 4PM.

>> GUATEMALA EMPLOYEE (TRANSLATION FROM SPANISH): WE'RE POOR. WE HAVE TO WATCH WHAT WE SPEND. IT'S ENOUGH FOR THE BASICS. . .NOTHING MORE. I HAVE THREE KIDS - TWO GIRLS AND A BOY.

>> MAYRA FELIPE DE ANDRINO: THEY WORK FIVE FULL DAYS. THE SIXTH IS A HALF DAY. THE SEVENTH DAY IS FREE. THERE IS NO UNION HERE. WE'RE TRYING TO KEEP THE PEOPLE HAPPY. I DON'T THINK THEY'RE THINKING ABOUT A UNION BECAUSE OF THE EFFECT [THEY HAVE] IN GUATEMALA.

>> INTERVIEWER: ARE YOU PAID WELL FOR WHAT YOU DO?

>> GUATEMALA EMPLOYEE: YES, THAT'S TRUE, IT'S OK.

>> (NARRATIVE TEXT): PAY IS $1.12 AN HOUR.

>> PAUL ECKE III: IF YOU'VE BEEN DOWN TO CENTRAL AMERICA, YOU KNOW THAT THERE'S A WHOLE DIFFERENT APPROACH. BUT WE'VE TAKEN THE POSITION THAT WE NEED TO DO MORE THAN WHAT'S EXPECTED DOWN THERE. WE'RE DOING THE SAME THING WE DO HERE IN TERMS OF PESTICIDE SAFETY, AND THEN WORKER SAFETY ALL THE WAY AROUND.

>> RICARDO CAMPOS: THERE'S NO SET POLICY ABOUT WOMEN WORKING IN THE GREENHOUSE IF THEY'RE PREGNANT. THEY CAN STILL WORK IN THE GREENHOUSES. WE FOLLOW WHAT YOU CALL THE LABEL, THE DIRECTIONS, AND IF THE LABEL PROHIBITS IT, THEN WE WOULDN'T. . . BUT SO FAR WE HAVEN'T HAD ANY ISSUES WITH PEOPLE EITHER COMPLAINING OR HAVING ACTUALLY BABIES THAT HAD ANY PROBLEMS WITH PESTICIDES.

>> NARRATOR: BACK IN ENCINITAS, GROWERS ARE MUCH MORE TIGHTLY REGULATED THAN IN GUATEMALA. THERE ARE FEDERAL, STATE AND LOCAL AUTHORITIES, NOT TO MENTION COMMUNITY WATCHDOGS LIKE SAN DIEGO BAYKEEPER. THAT'S NOT THE WAY IT WAS IN THE OLD DAYS WHEN PAUL SR. WAS RUNNING THE SHOW.

>> PAUL ECKE III: I DON'T THINK HE EVER DID ANYTHING MALICIOUS OR ILLEGAL OR IMMORAL, BUT HE WAS SOMEBODY THAT, YOU KNOW, HE WANTED TO GET THINGS DONE. . . AND LIKE A LOT OF FARMERS WISH IT WAS TODAY, WHERE YOU COULD PUSH DIRT AROUND WHEN YOU WANTED TO PUSH IT AROUND, AND YOU DIDN'T NEED TO GO THROUGH A NINE-MONTH ENVIRONMENTAL REVIEW PROCESS.

>> MARCO GONZALEZ: I'M AN ATTORNEY FOR SAN DIEGO BAYKEEPER, A SAN DIEGO BASED NON-PROFIT ENVIRONMENTAL GROUP CONCERNED WITH WATER QUALITY AROUND SAN DIEGO COUNTY. WE PAY PARTICULAR CLOSE ATTENTION TO THE CITY OF ENCINITAS BECAUSE IT HAS A LARGE GROWER COMMUNITY. THE GREENHOUSES HERE IN TOWN HAVE LARGELY BEEN OVERLOOKED IN THE PAST. AND WE'RE REALLY CONCERNED THAT THE HIGH LEVEL OF RECREATIONAL USE CREATES A SIGNIFICANT RISK FOR THOSE PEOPLE, BEING IN A GROWING COMMUNITY LIKE ENCINITAS.

>> MARCO GONZALEZ: WE HAVE A LOT OF PEOPLE IN THE WATER EVERY SINGLE DAY. THAT OF COURSE MEANS MORE PEOPLE HAVE THE POTENTIAL TO GET SICK OR TO BE AFFECTED WHEN WE HAVE WATER QUALITY ISSUES SPRING UP.

>> NANCY SYZONECKO, SAN DIEGO DEPT OF AGRICULTURE: THERE'S CONCERN THAT GREENHOUSES, IF THEY DO ALLOW RUNOFF, THAT IT CAN EVENTUALLY GET INTO THE OCEAN AND POSSIBLY CAUSE SOME PROBLEMS.

>> MARY WEIDNER WITESMAN: THE WATER HERE GOES DOWN OUR LITTLE STREAM AND GOES DIRECTLY INTO A PIPE SYSTEM THAT EMPTIES OUT INTO THE LAGOON. IT'S NOT TREATED. AND THAT'S A PROBLEM. WE DON'T LIKE THAT AND OBVIOUSLY THE GOVERNMENT DOESN'T LIKE IT. SO WE'RE ALL WORKING ON EACH LITTLE INDIVIDUAL THING THAT IS REQUIRED; IT'S FASCINATING. AGAIN IT WORRIES US BECAUSE IT HAS TO BE DONE IN A CERTAIN TIME FRAME AND THEY ALWAYS MAKE IT SOUND LIKE WE'RE GONNA SHUT YOU DOWN IF YOU DON'T.

>> EVELYN WEIDNER: WE FOLLOW THE RULES ABSOLUTELY TO THE LETTER, IF WE MAKE A MISTAKE IT'S AN ABSOLUTELY INADVERTENT ONE, WE DON'T SMUGGLE IN ANY STUFF, YOU DON'T FIND US OUT THERE SPRAYING IN THE MIDDLE OF THE NIGHT, TEMPTING AS IT MIGHT BE.

>> NANCY SYZONECKO: IT'S JUST NATURAL THAT PEOPLE COMPLAIN ABOUT ANY TIME THEY'RE BEING REGULATED, ANY KIND OF REGULATION. I ACTUALLY HEAR THEM VENTING ABOUT OTHER PROBLEMS MORE THAN OUR PROBLEMS THAT WE TEND TO GIVE THEM. OUR PRIMARY ROLE IS REALLY SAFETY, PESTICIDE SAFETY.

>> MARY WEIDNER WITESMAN: YEARS AGO I CAN REMEMBER THAT THEY WOULD SPRAY IN THE GREENHOUSES WITH A COTTON SUIT AND A HELMET, A HARD HAT, AND JUST HOLD THEIR BREATH AS THEY WENT IN THERE, AND THEY WOULD BACK OUT SPRAYING AS THEY WENT. NOW THE PERSON THAT I KNEW THAT DID THAT, WHO DID IT FOR A JOB, FOR A LIVING, HE LIVED TO BE A RIPE OLD AGE AND IT NEVER HURT HIM. BUT THAT'S OBVIOUSLY SOMETHING WE KNOW BETTER ABOUT.

>> NANCY SYZONECKO: I USUALLY PULL UP TO THE GREENHOUSE, I'LL PEEK IN THE DOOR AND SEE WHAT'S GOING ON IN THERE. AND IF I SEE A PESTICIDE APPLICATION, I'LL MAKE NOTES TO MYSELF ABOUT WHAT THE PERSON WAS WEARING, IF THERE WAS ANY POSSIBLE PROBLEMS THAT I NOTICED RIGHT OFF, AND USUALLY IF I CAN GET THEIR EYE I'LL KIND OF WAVE AT THEM AND HAVE THEM COME OVER AND TALK TO ME.

>> NANCY SYZONECKO: I PERSONALLY DON'T SPEAK SPANISH, BUT WE DO HAVE QUITE A FEW INSPECTORS THAT DO SPEAK SPANISH.

>> HORTENCIA GASTELUM, ENCINITAS NURSERY WORKER (TRANSLATION FROM SPANISH): TEN YEARS AGO THERE WAS AN INCIDENT. TEN WOMEN. . .SPRAYING. . .THE SUPERVISOR FORGOT TO PUT UP THE SIGN. WE WENT IN MONDAY MORNING AND GOT HEADACHES AND DIZZY, AND SAW LIGHTS. THEY WERE TAKEN TO THE HOSPITAL IMMEDIATELY.

>> HORTENCIA GASTELUM: WE DON'T HAVE GOOD WORKING CONDITIONS. THE WORK IS VERY HARD. THE WORK IS VERY HEAVY FOR A WOMAN. WHEN IT'S HOT THE TEMPERATURE IS 95 TO 100 DEGREES. I'VE WORKED THERE FOR 20 YEARS. I EARN $6.54.

>> NARRATION: HARD WORKING EMPLOYEES HAVE INCREASED PRODUCTIVITY, AND CHEMICALS HAVE HELPED TOO. BUT NOT ENOUGH. TODAY LARGER COMPANIES LIKE THE ECKES ARE LOOKING TO BIO-TECHNOLOGY FOR 21ST CENTURY FLOWERS.

>> PAUL ECKE III: BUT IN FACT AGRICULTURE HAS CHANGED, AND AGRICULTURE NOW STARTS IN THE LAB.

>> PAUL ECKE III: WE ALL KNOW THAT BIOTECHNOLOGY HAS HAD ITS PR ISSUES. WE BELIEVE THAT PUTTING THAT TECHNOLOGY PERHAPS IN FLOWERS FIRST MIGHT BE A GOOD AMBASSADOR FOR THAT TECHNOLOGY. WHO KNOWS, MAYBE SOMEBODY THAT COMES UP WITH SOMETHING REALLY COOL, BUT PERHAPS CONTROVERSIAL, WILL PUT IT IN A POINSETTIA FIRST, LET THAT GO ON THE MARKETPLACE, PEOPLE GET COMFORTABLE WITH IT, THEN IT GOES INTO FOOD OR SOME OTHER CROP.

>> JIM THOMAS, GREENPEACE RALLY: WHAT'S NOW HAPPENING IS THAT GENES FROM A FISH ARE BEING PUT INTO A TOMATO, GENES FROM A SCORPION BEING PUT INTO CORN, GENES FROM BACTERIA OR A VIRUS BEING PUT INTO SOYBEANS, AND THOSE SOYBEANS THEN ENDING UP IN UP TO 60% OF ALL OF OUR FOOD.

>> DR. TOMASELLI, VP RESEARCH, IDUN PHARMACEUTICALS: GENE SWAPPING IS NOT AN UNNATURAL THING. EVEN IN NATURE, GENES JUMP FROM ORGANISM TO

ORGANISM. THE GENE OF AN INSECT MIGHT WORK ITS WAY INTO THE DNA OF A PLANT. MOST OF THE POINSETTIAS THAT ARE GROWN AND THAT WE HAVE IN OUR HOMES OVER THE HOLIDAYS ARE PRODUCED UP NORTH OF SAN DIEGO, HERE IN ENCINITAS, AT THE ECKE RANCH. AND WE'VE SPOKEN, FOR EXAMPLE, TO RUTH KOBAYASHI, ABOUT THE POSSIBILITY OF MAKING THESE GENES AVAILABLE TO TRY TO IMPROVE THE POINSETTIA PLANTS. SO WE'RE VERY EXCITED, BUT IT WILL TAKE A COLLABORATION BETWEEN IDUN, WHICH IS A HUMAN PHARMACEUTICAL COMPANY, AND OTHER COMPANIES, LIKE ECKE FOR EXAMPLE, WHO ARE FOCUSED ON THE AGRICULTURAL, AND KNOW EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT HOW TO GET THE MOST OUT OF A PLANT.

>> PAUL ECKE III: TO SAY THAT A LAB IS NOT AGRICULTURE IS WRONG IN OUR OPINION. NOW SOME PEOPLE IN THE COMMUNITY FELT THAT A BIG INDUSTRIAL-LOOKING BUILDING WAS NOT AGRICULTURE BECAUSE, YOU KNOW, THEY WERE USED TO LOOKING AT A HORSE PASTURE.

>> ENCINITAS RESIDENT, CITY COUNCIL MEETING: I LIVE IN THIS CITY, AND I WORK IN THIS CITY, AND I VOTE IN THIS CITY, AND I DON'T WANT THAT BUILDING. WHEN I MOVED IN HERE, WE LOOKED AT THE SPECIFIC PLAN, WE LOOKED AT COMMUNITIES THAT WE WANTED TO RAISE OUR FAMILY IN. AND THERE WAS NOTHING IN THERE ABOUT AN INDUSTRIAL PARK ON THE STREET THAT I MOVED IN TO.

>> ENCINITAS RESIDENT, CITY COUNCIL MEETING: WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOUR NEIGHBORS? HOW COULD THEY OBJECT TO THAT PROJECT? IT'S THE MOST UPBEAT PROJECT WE'VE EVER HAD A CHANCE TO HAVE IN ENCINITAS. THERE'LL BE EDUCATED PEOPLE THERE, THEIR CHILDREN WILL BE DOING WELL IN SCHOOL. THEY JUST. . . THEY COULDN'T BELIEVE IT. AND I THINK THAT THE CITY COUNCIL REPRESENTING EVERYONE IN ENCINITAS SHOULD NOT BE MOVED BY THE FEW NEIGHBORS THAT KNEW PEOPLE WHO DO OBJECT TO EVERYTHING ONCE THEY GET HERE.

>> NANCY SYZONECKO: UNFORTUNATELY, WHAT TENDS TO BE THE ULTIMATE GROWING AREA FOR A PLANT TENDS TO BE THE MOST FAVORED BY A PERSON. PEOPLE WANT TO LIVE HERE.

>> PAUL ECKE JR: THE PRESSURE FROM REAL ESTATE DEVELOPMENT IS WHAT HAS KILLED MANY GROWERS IN THE UNITED STATES. WE'VE SEEN IT OVER AND OVER AND OVER AGAIN.

>> TAMIE TAYAMA KIMURA: NO, NO, NO. YEAH, WE DON'T WANT TO SELL. TALK TO THE KIDS. . .WHEN WE'RE DEAD AND GONE COME BACK.

>> TAMIE TAYAMA KIMURA: WE'RE REALLY KIND OF AT THE END OF THE GREENHOUSE PERIOD. THE HOUSES THAT THEY'RE BUILDING AROUND US, THEY'RE ALL GOING FOR A MILLION DOLLARS. SO WHEN YOU FIGURE OUT HOW MANY ORCHIDS YOU HAVE TO SELL TO EQUATE THAT. . .WE'RE NOT TOO LONG FOR THE GROWING.

>> KEN WETSONE, WOODSON GROUP: THE TRANSFORMATION OF THIS DEVELOPMENT IS VERY INTERESTING. ONE OF THE PARCELS WAS A FLOWER OPERATION, AND WE ACTUALLY HAD GREENHOUSES ON THE PROPERTY WHICH WE HAD TO TAKE DOWN, AS WELL AS A WAREHOUSE. I'D SAY THE AVERAGE PRICE OF OUR HOMES ARE AROUND $950,000. WE STARTED AT $835, AND WE WILL PROBABLY BE IN THE MILLION TO A MILLION-TWO PRICE RANGE BY THE TIME WE GET THROUGH.

>> PAUL ECKE III: AT ONE POINT, I THINK OUR FAMILY OWNED THE LAND ALL THE WAY FROM THE EASTERN EDGE OF LEGOLAND ALL THE WAY TO THE OCEAN. IN THE LAST 10 YEARS WE'VE DEVELOPED THAT, BECAUSE WE DIDN'T NEED THAT FOR OUTDOOR FARMING ANYMORE, BUT WE DID KEEP THE FLOWER FIELDS AND THEY ARE STILL IN BLOOM AS WE SPEAK.

>> LIZBETH ECKE, CARLTAS COMPANY: THE ENCINITAS RANCH PROJECT IS A TOTAL OF APPROXIMATELY 850 ACRES. WHAT WE ENDED UP WITH AFTER SEVERAL YEARS OF PLANNING AND COMMUNITY WORKSHOPS AND WORKING WITH THE CITY IS APPROXIMATELY 1,061 HOMES.

>> WEIDNER CUSTOMER: I HAVE A PERSONAL THING WITH THE GRANDSON OF POINSETTIA. . .OF ECKE'S. . .BECAUSE THEY'VE SOLD OUT, ONCE HIS GRANDFATHER PASSED AWAY. THAT'S WHY I BOYCOTT LEGOLAND, BUT IT'S MY PERSONAL THING. . .BECAUSE HE SOLD IT OUT.

>> PAUL ECKE JR: WE WEREN'T OUTSIDE PEOPLE THAT CAME AND DEVELOPED AND LEFT. WE WERE HERE, WE DEVELOPED, AND WE'RE STAYING HERE. AND OUR GRANDCHILDREN ARE HERE. AND SO, AT LEAST THAT'S THE WAY IT IS RIGHT NOW.

>> NARRATOR: IN ENCINITAS TODAY THERE'S 50% LESS LAND FOR AGRICULTURE THAN THERE WAS JUST 20 YEARS AGO. THE OUTLOOK FOR SMALLER, FAMILY GROWERS IS NOT GOOD. BUSINESSES ARE CLOSING. GREENHOUSES ARE DISAPPEARING.

>> EVELYN WEIDNER: LIKE ANYBODY ELSE, YOU NEED TO MAKE A PROFIT OR AT LEAST SOMETHING DECENT AT THE END OF THE YEAR. AND IF YOU'RE NOT MAKING THAT, AND SOMEBODY COMES ALONG AND OFFERS YOU X AMOUNT OF MONEY FOR YOUR LAND, IT MAKES SENSE TO SELL THAT LAND AND MOVE SOMEPLACE ELSE.

>> EVELYN WEIDNER: THE TRUTH OF IT IS, EVENTUALLY MOST OF THE GROWERS WILL MOVE.

>> TAMIE TAYAMA KIMURA: I DON'T KNOW ABOUT THE FUTURE. YOU KNOW. . . I DON'T KNOW ABOUT IT. IT'S KIND OF LIKE A LOSING BATTLE I SUPPOSE. BUT I DON'T KNOW.

>> MARY WEIDNER WITESMAN: I CAN'T REALLY SPEAK TO THE NURSERY NAME WEIDNER'S. IT'S NOT GOING TO CONTINUE ON AFTER ME BECAUSE I DON'T HAVE CHILDREN.

>> PAUL ECKE III: ANYBODY WHO OWNS A BUSINESS ALWAYS SHOULD HAVE AN EXIT STRATEGY. AT LEAST THAT'S WHAT ALL MY FRIENDS IN BUSINESS TELL ME - 'WHAT'S YOUR EXIT STRATEGY, PAUL?' AND I ALWAYS SAY, 'YOU KNOW WHAT, I DON'T REALLY HAVE AN EXIT STRATEGY, THAT'S REALLY NOT THE ECKE WAY. THE ECKE WAY IS TO PASS IT ON TO THE NEXT GENERATION, AND THAT'S YOUR EXIT STRATEGY.' AND EVEN THEN YOU DON'T REALLY EXIT, YOU STILL STAY HERE AND WORK UNTIL YOU DIE. THAT'S HOW IT WORKS IN OUR FAMILY, IN OUR SITUATION. BUT NO, I THINK THAT TO BE COMPLETELY 100% HONEST, YOU KNOW, I THINK I'D BE LYING IF I WOULDN'T SAY THAT IF SOMEBODY OFFERED ME THE RIGHT AMOUNT OF MONEY I'D HAVE TO SERIOUSLY CONSIDER IT.

>> PAUL ECKE III: WOULD IT BE DIFFICULT? SURE IT WOULD, BECAUSE OF THE FAMILY LEGACY, THE FAMILY ISSUES. . .I MEAN, I WOULDN'T ENJOY TELLING MY DAD ABOUT THAT QUITE FRANKLY.

>> (NARRATIVE TEXT): PAUL ECKE, JR - 1925-2002

>> PAUL ECKE III: IT WAS A NICE SERVICE. IT WAS A REAL CELEBRATION OF HIS LIFE. WE'RE GONNA MISS HIM, BUT AH. . .WE'RE GONNA CARRY ON HERE.

>> PAUL ECKE III: YOU KNOW, OUR SON MAX IS 8 1/2 NOW. WE'RE DRIVING ALONG AND OUT OF THE BLUE HE SAID, 'HEY DAD, IS THE RANCH GONNA BE MINE SOMEDAY?' AND I SAID, 'WELL, I DON'T KNOW. DO YOU WANT IT TO BE?' AND HE SAYS, 'YEAH.'

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