November 11, 2008

Commit To Being Green by Mark Elzinga

Sustainability will not only continue to be an issue in the minds of consumers but will one day drive the very decisions they make. The companies that realize this will be the ones ultimately successful in the coming years. For the sake of the planet’s future, we cannot allow sustainability to become a fad. The earth is a closed “system” which is adversely affected by decreases in its renewable and non-renewable resources, as well as increases in poisonous emissions. Keep in mind that anything diminished at a rate of 2 percent a year will only be half as much in 25 years. The same concept applies to anything that multiplies. With the widening consumption of previously non-industrialized third-world countries, the rate of exhaustion of the earth’s resources has become even more accelerated–as will the emissions that follow. It is this ever-increasing depletion of our global resources that has forced more […]

Read More

November 11, 2008

Guidelines To Success by Will Carlson

It may be that no one can accurately predict the future 25 years from now or even imagine what our industry will look like. However, 25 years ago, when Dick Meister and I decided to start Greenhouse Grower magazine, his words of wisdom were, “If it is to be, it’s up to me,” so here are my thoughts on what a “grower” will be in 2033. I’ll never forget what Neil Mast, a good old Dutch grower, told me about 25 years ago when I said, “You need to get a computer.” He said, “Will, my mother and father gave me a computer when I was born.” I said, “Neil, they didn’t have computers 60 years ago.” He smiled at me and said, “Oh yes they did. My computer is between my two ears and it has more data, information and knowledge in it than any computer you have.” Neil […]

Read More

November 4, 2008

Ones To Watch: Lawrence Ohlman III

As part of Greenhouse Grower’s 25th anniversary, we are profiling people we expect to shape the industry for the better over the next 25 years. Now in its 19th week online, our Ones To Watch series continues with Lawrence Ohlman III of Ohlman Farm & Greenhouse in Toledo, Ohio. Age–29 His Job–Lawrence is part of the fifth generation family business, Ohlman Farm & Greenhouse, in Toledo, Ohio. He’s currently studying at the University of Toledo, pursuing an MBA in finance and marketing. An Eye For The Future - Innovation and creativity will determine how growers develop over the next quarter-century. Making more local purchases will also become more of a trend. “Working together with local grower groups is imperative to competing in today’s marketplace,” Lawrence says. “The industry needs to be more business-minded for the long haul. Many times, it’s not about growing plants, but business strategy, product development and […]

Read More

November 3, 2008

SNA Disaster Relief Forum Helping Those In Need

The Atlantic and Gulf Coast states were battered during hurricane season, but the Southern Nursery Association’s (SNA) Disaster Relief Committee played a role in keeping growers afloat with an online forum to share information and help those in need. The forum should also play a role as a grower tool in the coming months if growers encounter wintry dilemmas. The forum is hosted on the SNA Web site at www.sna.org, and it’s available for anyone who wants to communicate or stay informed regarding an ongoing situation or natural disaster. “After Hurricane Ike hit Texas, we offered the forum to the Texas Nursery and Landscape Association,” says Andy Zimlich, chair of the committee. “Any state or local association who needs to use the forum is welcome to do so.”

Read More

October 29, 2008

Ones To Watch: Dominik Neisser

As part of Greenhouse Grower’s 25th anniversary, we are profiling people we expect to shape the industry for the better over the next 25 years. Now in its 18th week online, our Ones To Watch series continues with Dominik Neisser of EuroAmerican, who was featured in our October issue. Age–34 His Job–Dominik is the assistant lead grower at EuroAmerican. He was born into a horticultural family in Germany, where he worked in greenhouse production before becoming an intern with EuroAmerican through The Ohio State University. Aside from his role of grower, Dominik is also a member of a Proven Winners grower group that exchanges information about Proven Winners varieties. The Plants Of Tomorrow–At EuroAmerican, Dominik is one person who’s constantly in search of new varieties, and he’s trying to develop the perfect production practices–if there is such a thing–to provide the highest quality liners possible for the market. To enhance […]

Read More

October 21, 2008

Ones To Watch: Peggy Van de Wetering

As part of Greenhouse Grower’s 25th anniversary, we are profiling people we expect to shape the industry for the better over the next 25 years. Now in its 17th week online, our Ones To Watch series continues with Peggy Van de Wetering of Ivy Acres, who was featured in our October issue. Age–39 Her Job–Peggy is marketing manager at Ivy Acres in Baiting Hollow, N.Y., where she’s been active creating brand awareness for the StrawPot. Peggy earned a Certificate of Horticulture at Michigan State University, and she holds a bachelor’s degree from Colby-Sawyer College. “It was always my plan to work in the family business,” she says. Packaging Comes First–One factor that separates Ivy Acres from other operations is packaging, Peggy says. She enjoys searching the world for new ideas and believes Ivy Acres has always challenged the industry with truly unique packaging creations. “We strive to stay outside the […]

Read More

October 21, 2008

Hypercompetition In Our Green Industry

Charlie Hall, Ellison Chair in International Floriculture at Texas A&M University, will lecture on the dynamics of hypercompetition in the green industry Friday, Oct. 31 at the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center (OARDC). Hall will address proactive strategies growers, service providers and retailers can use to compete profitably as consumer demand in the green industry matures. Hall’s presentation in Wooster, Ohio, will be followed by a luncheon and floriculture open house from 12-3 p.m. Michelle Jones, the new D.C. Kiplinger Chair in Floriculture at Ohio State University, will be introduced. Current and future floriculture research projects will also be discussed. Those interested in attending can RSVP by Oct. 27 to Jones at jones.1968@osu.edu or (330) 263-3885.

Read More

October 21, 2008

Growers Optimistic Amid Economic Turmoil

Sales are down this fall but spirits remain mostly high among growers, despite the current state of the economy. We asked a few top growers, including some of our Ones To Watch, how market conditions are affecting their own greenhouse operations and their plans for the coming year. Abe Van Wingerden, president of sales, marketing and merchandising Metrolina Greenhouses; Huntersville, N.C. “We do not plan any large-scale changes in 2009 versus what our original plan was. Yes, we are tightening expenses, but our expansion plans continue, we will still do the full amount of contract growing we had planned and our long-term goals are still in place. We still feel good about 2009 and the ability to drive sales in a tough environment. Reasons we are bullish: “Our scan data in the fall has been 20 percent stronger than last year on mums and pansies–and still well ahead of 2006, […]

Read More

October 20, 2008

BenchPress Profile: Bart Hayes

Bart Hayes, a graduate of The Ohio State University (OSU) floriculture program, was named annual trials manager at his alma mater in October 2007. He has spent his entire career in Central Ohio, first serving Timbuk Farms in Granville as assistant grower before moving along as a grower to Baker’s Acres Greenhouse in Alexandria. Timbuk Farms, a one-time rooting station for Ball Seed Company, exposed Bart to liner and spring production. He later led production of all potted plants during his time at Baker’s Acres, a grower-retailer. What’s the biggest adjustment you’ve had to make going from commercial growing to the university environment? “Production at Baker’s Acres had a different pace and was a different type of work. Since I started my career in a big production model, I learned the most efficient procedures using the least labor possible while minimizing inputs so I could maximize the benefits you get […]

Read More

October 14, 2008

Ravin’ Traven: Failing Economy No Surprise

Each week, wholesale grower Lloyd Traven of Peace Tree Farm in Pennsylvania sends out an engaging and highly opinionated rant to his garden center customers along with the most current availability, order forms and pictures of plants in the greenhouse. Here is an excerpt from his most recent rant that focused on the struggling economy. October 14–Ostrich Or An Eagle? Well, after a long struggle and while you waited for a new rant to appear in your mailbox, your time has finally come! I’ve sat on the sidelines ruminating about just what the heck is going on in our world, in our country and in our industry. We’ve gotten together like lemmings at the various trade shows, regaling each other about how incredibly awful each of our individual situations are, and getting the instant feedback of “Oh yeah? You think YOU have it bad? LEMMETELLYA SUMPIN’!!!” Sure, it was tough, […]

Read More

October 6, 2008

Online Flower Sales Lagged In ’07

For the year, the cumulative Web sales of the 21 flowers and gifts merchants ranked in the 2008 edition of The Top 500 Guide rose by just 11 percent to $1.35 billion from $1.21 billion in 2006. In comparison, all retailers ranked in the Top 500 Guide grew their combined sales year-over-year by 21.6 percent to $101.7 billion, while total online retail sales rose by 21.8 percent to $165.9 million. 1-800-Flowers.com, ranked No. 36, led the flowers and gifts retail segment. It generated online revenue of $501.9 million, up 16.6 percent from the previous year. The company now controls 37 percent of the online gifts and flowers market as measured by the Top 500 Guide. For more information, click here.

Read More