December 2, 2008

Flowers A Solution For Depression In Time Of Recession

A recent behavioral research study conducted by Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School found people have less worry and anxiety when fresh-cut flowers are present in the home. The Flower Promotion Organization is now spreading that message, and executive director Stan Pohmer suggests making simple flower arrangements to display around the home. One simple arrangement Pohmer suggests is what he’s calling the “Mood Lift Lily.” All consumers need to create this arrangement are one lily, three to four oranges or five lemons or limes, a sharp knife to cut citrus, a clear water glass, floral preservative and floral clippers. Simply cut thin, round slices of the citrus, remove the leaves from the lily and thread the stem through the fruit of the citrus, insert the lily with citrus into the water glass and fill it with water that has been treated with the floral preservative. It’s just one do-it-yourself […]

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November 24, 2008

Scholarships Available For Syngenta’s Grower Of Tomorrow

The Syngenta Grower of Tomorrow internship program is now in its second year and open to students pursuing degrees in agronomy or horticulture from 28 select universities in the United States. The first-place recipient will receive a $2,500 scholarship and a paid internship at Syngenta headquarters in North Carolina. Two other students will each receive $1,000 scholarships. To apply for a scholarship, click here or call (866) 796-4368. The internship is a great opportunity for any horticulture student. The intern may get to meet with mentors from Syngenta and its subsidiary companies, travel to industry events and trade shows like OFA Short Course and write an article on the experience.  Students from the following universities qualify for the Grower of Tomorrow internship program: –Auburn University–Clemson University–Colorado State University–Cornell University–Iowa State University–Kansas State University–Louisiana State University–Michigan State University–Mississippi State University–North Carolina State University–Ohio State University–Oregon State University–Penn State University–Purdue University–Texas A&M […]

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November 11, 2008

What It Will Take To Grow Our Industry

Twenty-five years ago, who could have possibly seen the industry shaped in its current form? The rise of the big box stores? New labor-saving technology? The call for sustainability? This kind of growth might have been scoffed at 25 years ago. But we’re here, and the sky should indeed be the limit for our progression over the next 25 years. How will we operate in 2033? Will the big box stores still be around? What kind of technology will we using then? And what about sustainability? Look how far it’s come over the last few years–so just think where it will be in the next 25. To sort out the next 25 years, we invited 25 industry experts to contribute essays on what they think it will take to grow our industry. Their expertise spans growing, production, technology, associations, academia, retail and marketing. To them, the future holds no limits. […]

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November 4, 2008

Guerilla Gardening At Virginia Tech

The National Honor Society for Horticulture at Virginia Tech University recently launched a service project called Guerilla Gardening, an initiative focused on nonviolent direct action toward cultivating land. Students kicked off the project at night a couple weeks ago by planting pansies, violas and bulbs, and the group hopes to continue with the project throughout the year. “[Students] just kind of take what they think has been misused or what they perceive to be misused or abandoned, and they assign a new purpose to it,” says Sarah Hall, president of the horticulture society. “We figured we’re horticulture majors and we like plants, (so) why not make (campus) beautiful–but do it secretly.” To read the full story published by The Collegiate Times, the university’s student newspaper, click here.

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November 4, 2008

MSU Students Growing Organic Produce For Cafeteria

Students are growing food for fellow students at Michigan State University’s student organic farm, where a 4,320-square-foot unheated hoop house is providing organic salad greens, carrots and radishes for the university’s Yakeley Hall cafeteria. The hoop house, built at a cost of $20,000, traps enough of the sun’s heat to allow produce to grow during the fall and early months. “In an age of food that is fast, cheap, plastic-wrapped and shipped around the world, a group of people here at MSU came together, took a stand and said, ‘Enough. We can do better,'” says Laurie Thorp, a faculty advisor to the organic farm. To read the full story published in the Lansing State Journal, click here.

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October 29, 2008

Jones First Female Named D.C. Kiplinger Chair

Michelle Jones, an Ohio State horticulturist, has been appointed to the university’s D.C. Kiplinger Endowed Chair in floriculture in order to advance research and education and perpetuate the profitability and sustainability of the floriculture industry. Her term officially began October 1, and she’ll hold the position for five years. Jones is an associate professor with the Department of Horticulture and Crop Science. She fills the position left vacant when former chair Tony Stead fulfilled his term in 2005. “I am extremely honored to represent Ohio State University and the floriculture industry as the D.C. Kiplinger Chair,” says Jones, a researcher with the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center (OARDC) in Wooster. “I look forward to working closely with the industry to develop and implement research, Extension and educational programs that advance the practice and science of floriculture. It is especially crucial during these tough economic times that the funds from […]

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October 29, 2008

Kerry’s Nursery Earns VeriFlora Certification

Kerry’s Nursery of Homestead, Fla., ranked 16th on our Top 100 Growers List this year, recently earned certification through VeriFlora. The decision to pursue certification made sense for the operation, President Kerry Herndon says, because “sustainability is the greatest issue of our time.” “It is both possible and necessary to grow products in ways that allow us to leave the planet in as good or better shape than we found it,” he says. Kerry’s practices sustainability in all aspects of production and handling. A closed-loop drench line, for example, ensures no agrochemicals contact the nursery floor. Runoff is captured and pumped back into a master tank where it is reused. And once plants are sent to the shipping area, work benches are transported by a rail system to a robotic washing facility for disinfection. The operation has made a significant investment in its employees, too. The company pays 100 percent […]

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October 21, 2008

Now Blogging: Colorado State’s Steve Newman

Blogs are sprouting all over the Web these days. Colorado State University Extension Specialist Steve Newman recently joined in with his blog, “Greenhouse Advisor,” which has already advised professional and hobby growers on topics like understanding fertilizer calculations and heating the greenhouse this winter. One of Newman’s most recent entries broke down the multiple elements of Integrated Pest Management (IPM). Check out that particular entry here and follow the blog as Newman goes.

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October 20, 2008

Holy Toledo: Toledo, Ohio

The city of Toledo has a deep appreciation for its history and preserves its heritage proudly and aggressively. The judges, therefore, recognized Toledo for its community involvement. The city has many programs that get the community involved in making Toledo more beautiful.  The city parks department has a program called the Garden Partner program that gets citizens involved in beautifying their own parks, and the Toledo Zoo has a program called ZooTeens that gets hundreds of teens involved in cleaning up and planting their city. This population category was judged by Katy Moss Warner and Billy Van Pelt. Best Of The Best Eight special criteria awards were presented to cities based on feedback received from teams of judges on outstanding efforts witnessed during summer visits across America. These criteria awards only go to one community among all the America In Bloom entrants across all population categories. These are the best […]

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October 17, 2008

A Salute To Youth

Have you been following our Ones To Watch series? Twenty-five up-and-coming growers–and some of them already well established for their ages–have graced these pages over the last five months, sharing their stories and insights with us so we can relay information to you from a few growers eager to make a difference in tomorrow’s world. Some of our Ones To Watch are barely 25 years old, yet they have visions of the next 25 years–for their careers, their growing operations and the industry. Their resumes are obviously impressive, but their enthusiasm and fortitude in a time of economic uncertainty should be even more encouraging to industry insiders–and outsiders. The young growers profiled don’t sit around waiting for others to develop solutions. Instead, they’ve formulated the templates for others to follow. They’ve become inventors, innovators and voices for change. They’ve put a new or unique spin on marketing, taken advantage of […]

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October 15, 2008

Floriculture College of Knowledge Finale

The last planned offering of the Floriculture College of Knowledge certificate program will be held in coordination with the Michigan Greenhouse Growers Expo from November 11-12 in Lansing, Mich. The pre-registration deadline for the program is November 3. The four courses in Track III, which include Potted Plant Production, Environmental Management of Temperature, Hanging Baskets and Containers and Physiological Disorders, will be presented. Matt Blanchard, Beth Fausey, Dean Krauskopf, Erik Runkle and Ryan Warner will be on hand to instruct.   Each course is 4 hours long, for a total of 16 hours instruction. Participants in each course receive textbooks, bulletins and comprehensive notebooks on each topic, which can be taken to the workplace for future reference. Participants can enroll in any combination of courses, or register for all four and receive a discount. It’s an opportunity for growers to receive up-to-date, research-based information on a variety of important topics. […]

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