Elias has an uncanny ability to talk to the plants. He grew up following his father, an agronomist, through the farms of Sonora, Mexico, studying the crops. Carrying on in his family tradition, Elias applies both science and art in his stewardship of the 21-acres of orchids, observing the health of the plants with a trained eye and continuously monitoring their environment and nutrients.
Following his immigration to the United States in 2003, Elias worked in large-scale produce greenhouses in Arizona. He says Westerlay’s relatively smaller size has been a dream to supervise. Elias says the tight-knit team allows him creativity in his goal to grow robust plants that he can be proud to send off wearing the Westerlay label.
“This is what I do,” Elias says. “If I retired, I’d still be growing something. It’s rewarding.”