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 […]

Read More

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 […]

Read More

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.

Read More

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 […]

Read More

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 […]

Read More

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. […]

Read More

September 29, 2008

AFE Receives $500,000 For Scholarships

Lee Phillip Bell, a television producer and former Chicago talk show host whose parents founded Phillips Flowers & Gifts, presented a $500,000 check to the American Floral Endowment (AFE) in memory of her parents, James and Helen. The contribution will create a scholarship fund to provide tuition assistance to students training in retail floral design and operations. Bell presented the check Sept. 17 to the AFE board of trustees during a group dinner at the Society of American Florists’ (SAF) convention in Palm Beach. Scholarships will primarily be offered to students in the Great Lakes region, but some funds will be available to students nationwide. “It’s a remarkable statement of generosity,” says Sten Crissey, vice president of development and industry relations for AFE. “It recognizes the ability of the endowment to steward such a fund into perpetuity while at the same time helping people to fulfill career aspirations in our […]

Read More

September 16, 2008

Grow Your Own Fuel

If you’re situated on acres of farmland, you just might be able to grow your own fuel to heat greenhouses. That’s what Arie Van Vugt, owner of Plainview Growers is doing at his more rural facility in Allamuchy, N.J. Van Vugt just purchased a 500-hp burner that will burn wood pellets and pellets made out of grasses, like switchgrass and miscanthus, from Crone Boilers in Holland through Total Energy Group. He will be planting 200 acres of miscanthus in open fields and using wood pellets in the mean time, while waiting for those yields. GG: What made you consider growing miscanthus as an alternative fuel? “At our Allamuchy facility, which is farm country, there is no way of getting natural gas–just propane or fuel oil. When we started there nine years ago, we were paying $1 per gallon for No. 2 fuel oil. This past season, it was $4 a […]

Read More

July 23, 2008

Last Call For Surveys!

Purdue University wants to know how sustainable your operation is and how knowledgeable you are on the topic. Even if you didn’t attend Short Course and pick up one of Purdue’s sustainability surveys, you can fill one out online. Click here to participate in the online survey. If you have a hard copy and need to mail it in, Purdue asks that you do so by August 15. You can mail your survey to the following address: Attn: Dr. Jennifer Davis Purdue University Department of Horticulture and Landscape Architecture 625 Agriculture Mall Drive West Lafayette, Indiana 47907-9981 If you have questions about the survey, direct them to Jennifer at [email protected] or Roberto Lopez at [email protected]

Read More

July 9, 2008

Product Donations Support Local Charities

Habitat for Humanity and the Columbus Housing Partnership will use the plant material to provide landscaping to homeowners to showcase the power of plants to improve one’s quality of life. The Ronald McDonald House and local nursing homes, meanwhile, will have approximately 500 fresh floral arrangements delivered courtesy of the designers, volunteers and FTD Flower Exchange. The floral delivery is being coordinated by event volunteer Jody Brown-Spivey, owner of Expressions Floral Design Studio in Columbus. For more information on OFA, click here.

Read More

June 23, 2008

Coming Together

Frank Lloyd Wright said, “I know the price of success: dedication, hard work and an unremitting devotion to the things you want to see happen.” Changing a town’s quality of life doesn’t happen overnight. Making the commitment to improve quality of life marks the beginning of major improvements that may take years to complete. The America In Bloom (AIB) program, supported by our industry, offers a framework and a way to jumpstart those improvements, so projects that might have ordinarily been done “sometime” can be completed in time for the judges’ arrival. Why do some towns keep coming back, year after year? Some recognize the importance and synergy of expanded volunteer efforts. Others are excited by the progress made possible via business involvement.  Educating The Community Buffalo, Minn., returned for its third time and a win this year. As Laureen Bodin, assistant administrator for the city puts it, “Our community has […]

Read More

June 20, 2008

Gone Green

Sustainability. Everyone is talking sustainable. Why? Sustainability is being driven by many of the largest retailers out there. Earlier this year, we heard from the main hort buyer at Wal-Mart at the Grower Talks Greenhouse Experience, and everything at Wal-Mart is about sustainability. Even down to the LED lights in the refrigerated cases in the chain’s frozen food sections. It’s a scary proposition for many growers, because there are several definitions for sustainable. Setting up sustainable production can be tricky too–there are many choices to make. If you’re shipping biodegradable pots from across the country or overseas, are you still contributing to the environment? Every retailer is going to have its own standards and practices they’d like to see you use, but really the way to make any change is one baby step at a time. Rice hull pots this year, increased use of biologicals next. Improved distribution and logistics […]

Read More
[gravityform id="35" title="false" description="false"]