I like flowers because they can relax my mind when I see them. Every time I travel around a town or a village, I always try to take a lot of pictures of flowers. From canna to dahlia and from orchid to golden trumpet (alamanda cathartica). When I was in Sonder village of Minahasa regency in the province of North Sulawesi, the Republic of Indonesia I took a lot of photographs of tropical flowers which were growing along the sides of the roads. Canna is the most common flower species that I saw in Minahasa highland. Its colors range from yellow, to red and pink. According to a book entitled "Hutan dan Kebun," (meaning "Forest and Garden") the tuber of canna flower is edible. It means that it can be eaten.
Flowers have been an agricultural commodity of the village. City dwellers from Manado city go to Sonder village to buy flowers for wedding parties or for indoor decoration of their houses.
Flower market in Tincep village
Near Sonder, there is another village named Tincep. It is considered as one of the most important flower market in Indonesia. I heard that flower traders from a number of big cities in Indonesia such as Jakarta, Bandung and Surabaya like to come to Tincep to buy live flowers there. The flowers are grown in black polybags. They will be loaded into a truck and be transported to Sam Ratulangie airport of Manado city. From the airport, the flowers will be flown by domestic airplanes such as Batavia air, Merpati air or Celebes airlines. The label of Tincep as the center of flower market in the province of North Sulawesi or in the Republic of Indonesia has attracted the attention of flower lovers and vendors from this country and abroad.
One day after traveling around the Tincep village, I went to Tomohon, a small town in the mountainous region of Minahasa to see how the Minahasan people run their economic activities. Majority of the population work as farmers. Smaller percentage of them work as government employees. Merchants are mostly handled by Chinese community who have lived in the region for generations. While I was walking along the road near a bus station, I saw a number of sun flowers on the right side of the road. These flowers looked beautiful. None of the passers by picked the flowers. Beautiful flowers such as the sun flowers are an everyday scene in Minahasa. In Europe, people have extracted the oil from the sun flower to make cooking oil or diesel fuel, but here in Minahasa, this beautiful flower species is only used to decorate the road side or the front yard of the villagers' houses.
The flower trade in Tincep has created job opportunities to thousands of people who live both in the village and in Minahasa regency as a whole. Previously, the area was only famous for its Bunaken Marine Park, its pristine coral reef attracts tens of thousands of scuba divers from around the world to see the "flowers of the sea." Nealy all of the house holds in Tincep village sell flowers in the front yard of their houses both as part time and full time jobs. The business of growing and selling flowers and their seeds have improved their economical condition. They can buy clothes, build better houses and send their children to schools.
Purple Grass flower
On my next trip to Rambunan village, I found purple grass flowers that were growing near a vanilla plantation. These were only small flowers with a height of less than 20 cm. I haven't been able to identify the name of this species. If you know the name, please inform me, Charles Roring, via my email firstname.lastname@example.org. The purple flowers grew just one meter from the asphalt road. Because the main job of the villagers in Rambunan is palm sugar producer, they don't give particular attention to the cultivation of these beautiful purple grass flowers.
I finally arrived at the house of my aunt. She also grew various species of flowers at the front yard of her wooden house. I didn't give special attention to her flowers because they were common species that I could see in the Sonder village. There was Dahlia plant that was blooming its flowers next to my aunt's house. I took the opportunity of taking some photographs of this flower before leaving for Manado city the next day. Dahlia flowers look similar to rose but they are not the same.