June 2, 2009

Hyslip: Spring Was Mostly Positive

Craig Hyslip, chief operating officer of Griffin Greenhouse Supplies, shares his thoughts on live goods and the spring season, what he expects this fall and where growers should go from here. What kind of feedback are you hearing about the market? “Overall, we are hearing very good things. Going into spring, we had a lot of growers who had cut back on production 15 to 20 percent. I haven’t heard differently since then. “The vast majority of feedback is very, very positive from the commercial side to the retailer. The weather for the most part has been good. We’ve seen one good day each week or a pair of good days, and that’s been very conducive for sales. “I’m hearing a little bit that growers are wishing they had done a little bit more. Mother Nature really dictates the season.” What adjustments do you expect growers to make for the […]

Read More

May 21, 2009

SAF: Mother’s Day Sales Dip Again

Fewer consumers bought flowers this Mother’s Day than last, according to a Society of American Florists (SAF) survey conducted by Synovate eNation. According to the survey, 32 percent of adult Americans purchased flowers or plants as Mother’s Day gifts. In 2007 and 2008, about 37 percent of adult Americans purchased flowers or plants as gifts. The most popular Mother’s Day gift this year was fresh flowers, although it is decreasing in popularity. Seventy percent of purchases in 2008 were fresh flowers; only 63 percent of purchases this year were in that category. Outdoor bedding plants and garden plants (35 to 31 percent), green houseplants (12 to 11) also fell. The average amount consumers spent this Mother’s Day also fell–more than 10 percent–to $39 from $45.60 in 2008. There was a noticeable drop in spending in one of the higher spending categories, namely the $51-$75 range (from 17 percent last year […]

Read More

May 20, 2009

So How Was Your Spring?

This year, with the economy/housing meltdown, the question we hear the most is a version of “How are sales?”   As an industry, we do not have very good polling data, so we thought we would steal an idea from CNN and do a live online survey. This type of data is critical as it can help you make better decisions on pricing/product mix/inventory levels etc. We’ve worked with consultant Laurie Scullin, Michigan State’s Bridget Behe and Ball’s Marvin Miller on the Spring 2009 Quick Vote. Please check out the five questions for Growers on the left-hand side of the page on FreshAirForum.com. If you are a grower/retailer, please answer both sections. It should take just a minute or two.   Your information is confidential and we will help break out all data by region and run a story on this later this spring.   Please go to FreshAirForum.com and […]

Read More

May 19, 2009

Lead A Concern For Urban Gardeners

Seven million more households will grow their own fruits, vegetables, herbs and berries this year according to the National Gardening Association–a 19 percent increase over last year–but health officials, soil scientists and environmental engineers, according to a New York Times report, are concerned the increasing popularity in gardening will put more people at risk for lead poisoning. “You won’t know if you’re at risk unless you test your soil,” says Murray McBride, a professor of soil chemistry at Cornell University. The New York Times reports hazardous amounts of lead have been documented in backyard and community gardens in New York as well as in Baltimore, Boston, Chicago, Detroit, Indianapolis, Los Angeles, Minneapolis, New Orleans, Philadelphia and Washington since 2003. Lead-laden soil has been found not only in inner city neighborhoods but also suburban areas. The Times report also advises gardeners how to go about testing for lead, and it suggests […]

Read More

May 19, 2009

Short Course Takes To The Ice

Hockey players and fans attending the OFA Short Course this July can once again watch their colleagues battling it out on the ice! The ninth annual D.S. Cole Growers Presents Hockey in Columbus will take place on Monday, July 13 at 7 p.m. in the Dispatch Ice Haus, directly behind the Nationwide Arena. Men and women of all skill levels are welcome, but players must provide their own hockey equipment. The game is a no-check, no-slap-shot event with referees. Player registration is $50 per person, and there’s still room for more players. If you’re not interested in playing, you can sponsor the event. Event sponsors are recognized in the program, on signage at the event and in trade magazines, as well as on signage within the D.S. Cole Growers and America in Bloom booths on the trade show floor. The event draws a crowd of approximately 250 people each year. […]

Read More

May 5, 2009

Short Course Cracks Largest Trade Shows List

The OFA Short Course trade show again has been named as one of the 200 largest trade shows by the annual edition of the Tradeshow Week 200. With more than 152,000 net square feet of exhibit space, Short Course moves up to No. 174 in the United States for 2008. The show was 185th the year before. The show debuted on the list two years ago at 194th. “We are very proud to make the list again this year. The show gets better each year because OFA is committed to making the Short Course a high quality event for both attendees and exhibitors.” says Wendy McAtee, OFA’s Director-Expositions. “We are continually reminded that the OFA Short Course is the event to attend because it’s a great opportunity to see everything you need for your business in one place.” The 2009 trade show July 12-14 in Columbus, Ohio, will have more than 1,500 […]

Read More

April 30, 2009

Seats Open On Standards Committee

Three seats on the National Sustainable Agriculture Practice Standards Committee are now vacant, and Leonardo Academy seeks applications to fill them. Seven members of our industry currently sit on the 58-member committee, which has been asked to develop a national standard for sustainable agriculture under the rules of the American National Standards Institute (ANSI). Leonardo Academy, a non-profit organization that works to advance sustainability, is providing facilitation and process support for the standard development initiative. If you’re interested in applying, contact Amanda Raster at Leonardo Academy. She can be reached by phone at (608) 280-0255 or by eMail at [email protected] Applications should be submitted by 12 p.m. CDT on Monday, May 11. New Committee members will be announced on Wednesday, May 13.

Read More

April 30, 2009

Ones To Watch: Nathan Urben

Nathan Urben, a University of Wisconsin-Madison student with an interest in pursuing a career as a grower, recently received a $1,000 scholarship from the Wisconsin Nursery Association. Urben, a native of New Glarus, Wisc., is a double major in horticulture and Spanish. His goal is to work as a grower, as a horticulturist at a botanic garden or as a garden center owner. “In this role, I will not only be able to convey my passion for plants, but also the importance of creating environmentally sound landscapes,” Urben to the Wisconsin Nursery Association. “I feel it is my duty as a horticulturist to emphasize this key concept to my future customers so that they can make smart decisions concerning their landscaping needs.” For more information on the Wisconsin Nursery Association, click here.

Read More

April 30, 2009

CGGA Presents Top Service Award

The Connecticut Greenhouse Growers Association (CGGA) presented its highest service award to Joe Vaiuso, owner of Vaiuso Farms, for his contributions around the state. Vaiuso has been on CGGA’s board of directors since the association was founded in the early 1990s, and he currently serves as the association’s treasurer. Other recently elected CGGA officials include: – President: Joe Arisco, T&D Growers, Cheshire–Vice President: Diane Karabin, Karabin Farms, Southington–Secretary: Sara Blersch, Daffodil Hill, Southbury Five others are serving on the association’s board of directors: – Phil Banning, Geremia Farms. Wallingford–Tom Curtiss, GLB Enterprises, Bridgewater–Dennis Fowler, Kurt Weiss Greenhouses, Cheshire–Mike Wrobel, Winterberry Gardens, Southington–Luke Zapadka, Woodland Gardens, Manchester

Read More

April 30, 2009

Southeast Greenhouse Conference Approaching Fast

The Southeast Greenhouse Conference will take place from June 18-20 this year at the Carolina First Center in Greenville, S.C. Nearly 350 booth exhibitors are expected, ranging from all facets of the greenhouse industry. The conference features a lineup of timely topics and respected speakers over the three-day period. Workshops will explore topics critical to the success of both grower and retail businesses. Among those scheduled to speak are Charlie Hall, current holder of the Ellison Chair in International Floriculture. He’ll lead a three-part series with Forrest Stegelin, an associate professor in the Department of Agricultural and Applied Economics at the University of Georgia, on costs, pricing and financial survival to help attendees run their businesses better. A three-part perennial series is also part of the educational track, and it includes speakers Allan Armitage, Rita Randolph and Ken Turrentine. For full conference details, click here.

Read More

April 29, 2009

PIA Announces Interior Plantscape Hall of Fame Inductees

Todd Bachman is one of three members of the Interior Plantscape Hall of Fame’s 2009 class, as announced last week by the Plant Industry Alliance (PIA). Richard Parker and Tom Acklin are the other inductees. Bachman, who was tragically killed at the Olympics last summer, grew up working in greenhouses and was known for his passion for the green industry. He worked as a chairman and board member of many boards, including the Minnesota Commercial Flower Growers, Society of American Florists, North Central Florists’ Association, Ohio State Florists’ Association, American Floral Endowment, Yoder Brothers, Minnesota Nursery and Landscape Association Foundation and Hortica Insurance Company. Bachman was a strong supporter of his community through his faith and through the establishment of the Todd and Barbara Bachman Chair in Horticulture/Floriculture Marketing at the University of Minnesota. The 2009 inductees will be inducted into the Interior Plantscape Hall of Fame on October 1 […]

Read More

April 27, 2009

Looking At Loss Leaders

Retailers were more aggressive kicking off spring. That in itself is good, because we all knew this would be a tough year to draw consumers into stores and spend money on more than absolute necessities. Given the state of national and local economies, this is not a year to be complacent. Lowe’s television commercials received rave reviews, as viewers marveled at masses of bedding plants parading down the street like a magic carpet. This was a significant investment by Lowe’s and a strong vote of confidence for plants as a product category. Home Depot aired its share of television and radio commercials with the slogan, “More saving. More doing.” Notice the passive sentence construction emphasized the word “More.” Being an editor, I keep wanting to change it to, “Save more. Do more.” But what really caught everyone’s attention were the three-for-a-dollar and 33-cent annuals promotions at Home Depot and Lowe’s. […]

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