Author Archives: Ann-Marie Vazzano

About Ann-Marie Vazzano

Ann-Marie Vazzano was managing editor of American Fruit Grower magazine, a Meister publication.

You Say Tomato

Homegrown herbs and vegetables are at a popularity level not seen in a generation, and thanks to a host of branded programs on the market, growers and retailers have plenty of opportunities to capitalize on the trend.  Plug Connection’s Organiks line of organic herbs and vegetables, for example, appeals to consumers through its unique, colorful

Online Only: Web Savvy Resources

Growers looking to build new structures now have a plethora of resources at their fingertips. Some of the leading structures companies have revamped their websites with tools to make structure shopping a breeze. Rough Brothers, for example, recently enhanced its website with an “Ask Our Experts” forum. Here, customers have the opportunity to ask any

Easy Product Upgrades

A collective tightening of the belts among American consumers likely means growers and retailers will have to work harder in 2009 to capture those oh-so-precious discretionary dollars. But luckily, there are plenty of easy product upgrades you can try that can help you get more bang for your buck. So, how exactly can you elevate

Grading Biodegradable Pots

Sustainability. It’s not just a buzzword. It’s increasingly becoming a way of life for many consumers, and that couldn’t be any more evident than in grocery stores, where once ubiquitous petroleum-based plastic bags now share the limelight with more sustainable alternatives like reusable totes. The ornamental horticulture industry isn’t immune to this fundamental shift in

On The Heels Of Success

Winners of the annual Greenhouse Grower Medal of Excellence for Marketing are chosen based on their contributions to the industry in developing and promoting new varieties. Frances Hopkins, president of Under A Foot Plant Co., is certainly a worthy winner. Her STEPABLES brand, which features more than 130 beautiful, low-growing varieties capable of handling foot

The Green Menace

Habitat destruction is the number one greatest threat to biodiversity, and second place goes to the spread of invasive species. Invasive plants overcrowd native vegetation, affect animal habitats and can even increase flooding and fire hazards. While most landscape plants are not invasive, species that do escape and invade can cause major ecological damage. According to

Planning Made Easy

    Dan Foster, a grower and site manager for Proven Winners’ Four Star Greenhouse, was receiving request upon request from customers for help putting together their production programs. Foster was already planning Four Star’s production using Excel, and it eventually became too time consuming for him to cater to each of those grower’s needs. In

Bedding Plant Survey 2006

Every year we send our bedding plant survey to a random sampling of 1,000 growers across the country. This year we had less than a 3 percent response rate, which was a little disappointing, but those of you who did respond provided some great insight.  About Our Survey  Respondents: 28 Average Size: 317,458 square feet

Going Lean

The automotive and horticulture industries have a lot in common. Well, they can, anyway. It’s all about streamlining the production process. Toyota is one of the most successful examples of a "lean" company — one that does what the customer wants, and only what the customer wants — in order to reduce waste. The concept is called lean

Driving Demand

You grow beautiful flowers, all with their own unique characteristics. But can a plant really sell itself? What is it that makes certain varieties stand out? It’s not just what you sell — it’s how you sell it. Good marketing can mean the difference between an ordinary pelargonium and a must-have geranium.  Driving Sales Dümmen has created