Richard Jones

December 12, 2012

Setting Milestones For The Future Of The Greenhouse Industry [Opinion]

Calling attention to your own milestones can be tricky business. Like birthdays and wedding anniversaries, they’re fun to celebrate as a group, but in the end I suspect they’re always most important to the person whose milestone is being celebrated. Our staff spent a lot of time going back and forth as to how we should approach Greenhouse Grower’s 30th anniversary in 2013. We decided we didn’t want to focus everything on our own brand and accomplishments over the last three decades or generally spend a lot of time looking in the rearview mirror. We’ve done some of that with previous anniversaries. And really, poring over old issues of the magazine might be a fun way for me to pass a few hours down in our archives, but there are other things we can do that will be more helpful for you and your business. Setting A Course For A […]

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December 11, 2012

Rocket Farms Herbs Acquires HerbThyme Farms

Rocket Farms Herbs, Inc., a subsidiary of Monterey Peninsula Horticulture, Inc., has acquired the assets of HerbThyme Farms, the largest cut herb producer in the United States. The acquisition supports Rocket Farms Herbs’ growth strategy to innovate new products, enter new categories and expand into new channels of distribution. Details of the transaction were not disclosed. “HerbThyme is a great brand supported by 500 talented employees that utilizes cutting edge growing and packaging technologies to produce the finest and freshest cut herbs in the country, which are complementary to our existing potted herb products,” says Monterey Peninsula Horticulture Chief Executive Officer Charles Kosmont. “With the financial resources and operating expertise of a strong parent company we believe HerbThyme can flourish and have a strong future.” HerbThyme Farms grows and ships more than 5 million pounds of fresh herbs annually. HerbThyme Farms has approximately 200 acres of conventional farmland and 150 […]

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December 11, 2012

The State Of The Greenhouse Grower In 2013

The world of the greenhouse ornamentals producer has changed dramatically since 1983, when Greenhouse Grower magazine published its first issue. Thirty years ago, small growers served independent garden centers with seed-based production of bedding plants. They sold everything they could grow at nice margins and spent much of their time focused on the plants. Today, mega growers serve the big boxes with vegetative production of broad crop mixes. Business plans call for zero shrink and razor-thin margins. And the grower spends as much time on the numbers as on the plants. These operations are still serving their original purpose: growing ornamentals for U.S. gardening consumers. But the business is now fundamentally different. So, for this State of the Industry issue, we’re asking the question: Who exactly is the American greenhouse grower in 2013? Changing Makeup Of The Market Much has been made of grower consolidation in recent years. For reasons […]

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December 5, 2012

What Obama’s Re-Election Means To Greenhouse Operations

They say elections have consequences, and this year’s has especially big consequences for the greenhouse and nursery industry. Of course, President Obama won both the Electoral College and popular vote, capturing pretty much all the states that were considered up for grabs. In the U.S. Senate, Democrats had to defend twice as many seats as Republicans, and many of them were in the conservative Midwest and Plains states. But Republicans’ high hopes of gaining control of the upper chamber were dashed. Democrats are expected to have a net gain of two seats, presuming that independent candidate Angus King of Maine caucuses with the majority. Republicans held the House. They lost about seven seats but maintain a comfortable margin of control. Download A Free Copy Of The 2013 State Of The Industry Whitepaper  Despite a record $6 billion spent on political advertising, little has changed. Americans seem inclined by instinct toward […]

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December 3, 2012

The Economy In 2013

Why does the economy feel so fragile even though it continues to be in the midst of a slow but steady expansion? It’s because we did not get the same bounce in growth that has typically followed previous recessions. After the downturn of the mid-1970s and early-1980s, the economy grew at close to 6 percent for two years — erasing all of the economic losses that had occurred. That surge never happened this time; we simply moved into a snail-paced, private sector expansion that has left us wanting more. Despite Trouble Abroad, U.S. Reaches Tipping Point Economic weakness in the euro zone is also not helping the U.S. economy. Problems in Europe have caused the value of the dollar to rise slightly, and weak European demand for imports is having a negative effect on the global economy. The fundamentals of our economy, however, have been trending more favorably in recent […]

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November 30, 2012

The National Green Centre Receives USDA Specialty Crop Block Grant

The National Green Centre has received a USDA Specialty Crop Block Grant worth $15,636 to provide education on the Sustainable Sites Initiative (SITES) to plant growers looking to meet SITES requirements and provide plants for SITES-certified projects. Missouri growers will be able to attend this portion of the education free of charge thanks to the funds provided by the grant. The SITES education will kick off with a panel discussion looking at the Business Impact of SITES for Missouri growers. The following eight sessions will address each of the SITES requirements within the Support Sustainable Practices in Plant Production section, including: Use sustainable soil amendments Reduce runoff from irrigation Reduce greenhouse gas emissions Reduce energy consumption Use integrated pest management Reduce use of potable water or other natural surface or subsurface water resources Reduce waste Recycle organic matter According to the SITES website, “The Sustainable Sites Initiative (SITES) is an […]

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November 26, 2012

Small Businesses Anticipate Better Holiday Season In 2012

As the holiday shopping season heats up, 43 percent of small businesses are more optimistic about holiday sales in 2012 than last year, according to a survey of more than a 1,000 small business owners cited in an article on the Fox Business website. The National Retail Federation also predicts a 4.1 percent increase in holiday sales over 2011, which supports the retailers’ sunny outlook. While 51 percent of retailers expect a majority of in-store purchases, 41 percent anticipate selling more merchandise online than in the store. There is also some debate over which age demographic will spend the most money. Fifty-three percent consider millennials the bigger spenders, but approximately one-third contend Baby Boomers will break the bank this holiday season. Do Predictions Mesh With Reality? Holiday sales — those in November and December — are expected to total $586.1 billion, according to a statement released by the National Retail […]

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November 19, 2012

Green Industry Workers Are U.K.’s Happiest

Gardeners and florists are the happiest workers in the U.K. according to research from City & Guilds published in the Daily Mail. Nine out of ten (87 percent) of horticulturists say they are happy with their jobs, and 80 percent attributed that happiness to “manage their own workload and have autonomy over their schedule and daily tasks.” Eighty-two percent of respondents credited their bliss to having a job that allowed employees to use and improve their skills daily. Other happy workers included hairdressers and plumbers, while bankers (44 percent are happy), information technology and data processors (48 percent are happy) and human resources personnel (54 percent are happy) were the least happy in their occupations. To assess workers’ job happiness, the study interviewed 2,200 workers in all occupations.

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November 14, 2012

Griffin Greenhouse Supplies Acquires Syngenta Horticultural Services Distribution Business

Syngenta and Griffin Greenhouse Supplies (“Griffin”) announced today that Griffin has acquired Syngenta Horticultural Services (“SHS”). Headquartered in Lisle, Ill., SHS is a leading distributor and broker of seeds, cuttings and young plants to growers across the United States. Headquartered in Tewksbury, Mass., Griffin is a leading provider of greenhouse and nursery supplies in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic region. Under terms of the agreement, Griffin acquired the SHS business, including distribution and brokerage capabilities and assets affiliated with the Lisle, Ill., headquarters and Downers Grove, Ill., facility. Employees housed at both sites transferred to Griffin at closing. In addition, Griffin signed a long-term agreement to distribute and broker Syngenta Flowers genetics throughout the United States. With this agreement in place, Syngenta Flowers and Griffin will continue to work closely together to address the horticultural needs of greenhouse and nursery growers. “We’re very excited that SHS will be able to join […]

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October 30, 2012

Ellison Greenhouses Owner Talks About Transition To Color Star

A 43-year-old business is closing its doors, but for the owner, it’s a new beginning. Ellison’s Greenhouses of Brenham, Texas, which grew from a commercial tomato operation into one of the best-known horticultural operations in the state, will be turning its greenhouses over to Color Star Growers beginning Jan. 1, 2013. P.J. Ellison Kalil, owner of Ellison’s, says that while the decision was difficult, she sees a solid silver lining. “It’s a huge emotional thing,” she says. “It’s like a death. I can’t tell you how many tears I’ve cried and how many more I will cry. But the good news is, by leasing the greenhouse to Color Star, we’re helping their operation to continue to be successful. I feel really good about that because they are very good people.” Ellison Kalil says once she decided it was time to move on, working with Color Star was a natural choice. […]

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October 24, 2012

Garden Retail 2012: Observations In Baltimore

The weather was perfect for shopping and gardening in Baltimore on May 12 and 13, 2012, with temperatures in the 60s during the mornings and hitting in the low 80s by afternoon with very low humidity. Shoppers were out in full force and the store traffic was really heavy. Finally, after several cold, wet weekends, the Baltimore market has opened and what timing: Mother’s Day weekend. Home Depot These garden centers are clearly some of the best, if not the best, in the country for Home Depot. There are few competitive stores in the same league. Here is what we observed that makes these stores so outstanding. The number-one reason is the quality of people in this vendor’s merchandising team. I have never seen merchandisers that are seemingly as consumed by their jobs and who work so hard to keep the displays organized, watered and very shoppable We had the […]

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