November 12, 2010
Takao: Waiting No Way To Reach Next Consumers
OFA President Danny Takao responds to Associate Editor Kevin Yanik’s November column about why waiting for young people to become our industry’s next group of consumers is the wrong approach. I wanted to respond to the last commentary about waiting for the next group of consumers. I’ve been in the nursery industry all my life and have been through a lot of recessions and downturns. But never have I seen so many growers go out of business or get out of business without it having some impact on those who stayed on. What I mean is when a greenhouse or nursery closed in California, there was a mad scramble to fill that market share from everyone. In the last eight to 10 years, we must have had more than 200 or 300 acres of greenhouse and 2,000 acres-plus of outdoor production disappear without putting much of a ripple in the […]
November 11, 2010
New Growth Changes Name, Introduces Deferred Billing
New Growth Marketing has changed its name to Bailey Signage Solutions. The company, founded in 2004, provides custom point-of-purchase materials for independent garden centers. “The name change more clearly defines our company’s commitment to the independent garden center channel,” says Terri McEnaney, president of Bailey Nurseries. “Research tells us that colorful, customer-friendly signage translates into increased sales. Our goal is to help garden centers create innovative and visually interesting marketing programs that help boost the bottom line.” Bailey Signage Solutions is offering an early order and deferred billing program. In addition to new volume discounts, billing will be deferred until June 1, 2011 on new orders of $500 or more. Orders must be place by Dec. 1, 2010. Product and pricing information can be found at the Bailey Signage Solutions website.
November 11, 2010
Item-Level RFID On The Horizon?
For years, RFID has been employed at the pallet level among large retailers. But now, with several retailers testing item-level RFID, it could be more reality than sci-fi. Item-level radio-frequency identification (RFID) tagging has, to this point, been mostly cost prohibitive for retailers. But some are testing the technology on specific items to see its benefits, according to a story on Stores.org, the news site for the National Retail Federation. The technology includes a tag on the pallet or item level, as well as a reader within a certain amount of distance that reports to a computer. That way, retailers can tell where each product is in the store in real time, allowing them to replace out of stocks, get an accurate inventory count and reduce shrink. Retailers like Bloomingdale’s, Dillards, J.C. Penney, Gap and, of course, Walmart, have all used RFID tagging on certain items in 2010 to test […]
November 11, 2010
National Garden Bureau Announces ‘Year Of The’ Crops
[imageviewer] Next year will be the "Year Of The Tomato" and the "Year Of The Zinnia." These crops were chosen because they are popular, easy-to-grow, widely adaptable, genetically diverse and versatile, according to the National Garden Bureau. The bureau is announcing the crops early to give the entire distribution chain time to prepare for the additional product demand this program generates. Consumer publicity will begin in just a few weeks with communication geared toward garden writers. Actual communications with consumers will begin in January 2011. Images of the new varieties of both tomatoes and zinnias, as well as detailed fact sheets for both crops can be found on the new National Garden Bureau website. Click here for information on zinnias, and here for the tomato information.
October 22, 2010
Bonnie Growing Minds With Cabbage Program
More than 1.5 million third-grade children across 48 states participated this year in the National Bonnie Plants Cabbage Program. Forty-eight state winners are chosen by agricultural commissioners from state to state, and those 48 state winners receive a $1,000 bond toward education. Bonnie launched the cabbage program 15 years ago in an effort to grow the next generation of gardeners and teach kids where their food comes from. “The Bonnie Plants Cabbage Program is our way of engaging children in the joy of gardening,” says Stan Cope, president of Bonnie Plants. “Gardening provides children with a safe place to experience nature, discover the cycles of life and develop an understanding of our environment. It also exposes children, first hand, to the benefits of growing your own nutritious food and it’s a great source of physical activity.” Each year, Bonnie Plants delivers free O.S. Cross, or "oversized," cabbage plants to third-grade […]
October 19, 2010
In today’s multimedia world, marketers have a wide range of opportunities for reaching greenhouse growers and communicating their message. Digital media, including eNewsletters and websites, is a perfect example of these new opportunities, but direct marketing, video and in-person events also represent new marketing venues. Greenhouse Grower magazine offers a number of opportunities to ensure that its clients can build a program that meets their needs and goals.
October 15, 2010
Plantstay Keeping Potted Plants In Place
[imageviewer] Plantstay is an apparatus that supports a potted plant stem, maintaining a straight upright position without resorting to forcing a stick or rod into the soil. The new product never penetrates the soil and clamps firmly onto any potted plant lip. By sliding a wire armature, the degree of the plant angle can be adjusted incrementally. Learn more about Plantstay at http://plantstay.wordpress.com/.
October 14, 2010
Ten Pitfalls To Avoid When Going Social In The Business World
If you were to make a list of up-and-coming business trends, social media strategies would be near the top. Barry Libert, author of the new book Social Nation: How to Harness the Power of Social Media to Attract Customers, Motivate Employees, and Grow Your Business,” offers 10 guidelines companies should follow so their social strategies don’t fall flat: Pitfall No. 1: Running a Social Nation like a traditional business. If you want to run a social company, you first need to understand that almost everything you do is a two-way street. That is to say, you’re not going to prosper if your products and services are designed solely by folks on the inside. You need to embrace the perspectives and contributions of your employees, as well as those of customers and partners. Pitfall No. 2: Underinvesting in social initiatives and abandoning them too soon. Understand that a Social Nation […]
October 5, 2010
The Entitled Generation
Holly Pasmore refers to today’s youth as the entitled generation, a group of kids who sit on their butts, play video games for countless hours and expect others to cater to their needs night and day. Forget about digging in the dirt or playing in the garden. It’s hard enough motivating kids to get off the couch or eat something healthy than expect them to take an interest in our industry. “Most of the young generation thinks everything should be given to them–even sports trophies,” says Pasmore, a grower at Bear Creek Farms in Stillwater, Okla. “Everybody who plays gets a trophy because we don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings. Now, nobody has to try to earn those trophies.” And because ideas like trophies for all have been accepted, the notion of hard work equaling rewards is unknown. Or at least undervalued. So where will our industry, one rooted in […]
October 4, 2010
America In Bloom Announces Winning Cities
Just as summer turns to fall, the cities who planted America In Bloom in their towns this spring reaped the rewards of their efforts at the Ninth Annual America In Bloom Symposium & Awards Program in St. Louis last week. America In Bloom is an independent nonprofit organization that plants civic pride by engaging municipalities and their citizens in educational programs and organizing a national competition to recognize communities for their efforts. More than 180 towns have participated to date, including nearly 30 this year. Each participating town was judged on eight criteria: floral displays, urban forestry, landscaping, turf and groundcovers, tidiness, environmental awareness, heritage preservation and community involvement. Specially trained judges visited towns of similar populations and spent two days touring the town, meeting municipal officials, residents and volunteers: The population category winners were announced at the banquet Saturday night. Garden celebrity Joe Lamp’l of Growing A Greener World […]
September 16, 2010
Reader Reaction: Industry Disconnect
OFA President Danny Takao reacts to Associate Editor Kevin Yanik’s September column on how botanical gardens are losing their identity with consumers: The way our industry is evolving, a lot of our growers don’t fully understand the impact America In Bloom and the botanical gardens will have on our industry if we don’t support them. There is going to be a major disconnect with the next set of gardening consumer if we don’t start thinking about what we need to do, and start doing it now. I’ve heard the theory: wait ’til they reach the right age and they will start buying our plants. I think that is a pretty risky philosophy on which to base our future. Think about this: We know how to stick a cutting, put roots on that cutting in 10 days and almost exactly when that cutting will be flowering. But do we really know […]
September 8, 2010
Hostas For Heroes And GreenCare For Communities
Perennial producer Walters Gardens in Zeeland Mich., is donating 25 cents for every hosta ‘American Hero’ it sells to GreenCare for Troops, a program by Project Evergreen that provides landscaping services to military families. Tough and durable like the soldiers it honors, this hosta displays bold variegation all season long. Its leaves have wide, dark-green margins and a creamy white center speckled with green. GreenCare for Troops registered its 10,000th military family in the second quarter of 2010. Through May 31, 1,056 military families registered this year alone to have their lawns managed by local participating lawn care professionals. April was a particularly strong month for new registrations, when more than 400 military families signed up for the program. The rise in participation is attributed to the cause being featured in late February on the Discovery Channel’s Dirty Jobs with celebrity host Mike Rowe. In the three-month span following the […]