With Valentine's Day right around the corner, everyone is searching for the perfect gift for their loved one. From roses to chocolate and wine, weather plays an important role in production.
The biggest weather-related factor in the production of beautiful roses is the temperature. A rose bush can suffer damage if the temperature falls below 55.4 degrees F (13 degrees C) or if it exceeds 86 degrees F (30 degrees C).
Ideally, the roses grow best with a daytime temperature between 68 degrees F (20 degrees C) and 82.4 degrees F (28 degrees C). A variation of only a few degrees too warm can spell tragedy for rose growers.
To control the temperature the rose bushes are exposed to, many commercial rose growers opt to grow the roses in a greenhouse.
How romantic it is to share a bottle of fine wine during a candlelit Valentine's dinner. It takes just the right combination of weather events to take the grape from the vine to the bottle.
To produce grapes that will transform into a delicious bottle of wine, the grapevines need to grow at a site with good soil drainage, full sunlight and soil that is nutrient-poor.
Too much water around the roots of a grapevine will kill the plant or cause it to produce poor quality fruit. This is why you see grapevines at the top of a small mound. Their location allows water that is not needed by the plant to run off.
Full sunlight is another important factor to growth of good wine grapes. Sunlight is the biggest part of a plant's photosynthesis process.
Plants absorb energy from the sunlight. That energy then is converted into glucose in the plant by photosynthesis. Glucose is the "sugar" in the grape that ferments to become alcohol.
Nutrient-poor soil also makes for a good wine grape. The color and flavor that come from a grape are stored mostly in the grape's skin. A large grape has more juice and less skin. To concentrate the flavor, the vine is grown in nutrient-poor soil so that the plant becomes stressed. A stressed grapevine will produce smaller grapes, perfect for making wine, according to motherearthnews.com. (http://www.motherearthnews.com/Real-Food/2003-04-01/Growing-Grapes-and-Making-Wine.aspx#axzz2KiSqwOFJ)
How can weather affect chocolate? Chocolate is made from cocoa beans. The beans grow inside of a cacao pod, which grows on a cacao tree. The tree needs just the right weather conditions to produce the cacao pods.
Cacao trees grow best in the shade. A constant temperature of 77 degrees F is ideal for the production of cocoa beans.
Rainfall is another factor that determines how well the trees produce the beans. Ideally, the trees should have between 40-80 inches of rainfall per year.
When all of the weather factors work out, a surplus of cocoa beans can be exported and the price of chocolate is kept low. If just one of the weather factors is not normal, the chocolate industry suffers and prices increase.
As you shop for the perfect Valentine's Day gift this year, remember one thing -- diamonds are a girl's best friend.