January 10, 2013

Paying It Forward (opinion)

Maybe it’s the time of year that’s putting me in a reflective mood, but I want to express how grateful I am to have been involved in horticulture for so long. While it’s a competitive industry, it is also collaborative, as evidenced by the trade and professional associations that are such an important part of our business. When we announced plans to expand our GROW program, more than a dozen companies signed up almost immediately, eager to participate in solutions for the problems facing the industry today. Growers and suppliers I talk with are, without exception, willing to share their expertise with others. While I don’t have direct experience, my impression is that few other industries are as forthcoming.   Supporting Land-Grant Research Writing the article about Dick Meister and the new scholarship bearing his name was particularly pleasurable for me. As a graduate of a land-grant university myself, I […]

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November 7, 2012

Doing What You Do Best (opinion)

Last month, in this column, I proposed taking one thing you are doing in your business and changing it. I talked about thinking out of the box and not doing things the same way “because we’ve always done it that way.” In this issue, we are proud to feature two businesses who did exactly that (not in relation at all to my column). Young’s Plant Farm and nearby Auburn University collaborated on finding a sustainable alternative to peat moss that resulted in a renewable product that also saved money. It is a great example of working together for the good of the individual business and ultimately, of our industry, if the effort spawns similar projects. And just 30 minutes down the road from Greenhouse Grower’s offices, BFG Supply was quietly launching another out-of-the-box initiative. Its Stock-Up program for retailers is a natural extension of the same program for growers. Both […]

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August 2, 2012

From Hobby To Lifestyle

When I interviewed Joe Lamp’l for this month’s Perspective column, his message — that we need to make gardening as sexy and cool as the Food Network has made cooking — really resonated with me. I hadn’t thought of it quite that way before. Since I already like gardening, nobody has to make it cool for me. But the more I thought about it, the more I came to think he’s right. What’s more, I think gardening is poised in a perfect position to become as cool as cooking. It has all the ingredients (pardon the pun):  it has a natural connection with the organic, get-back-to-the-earth movement, it’s outdoors — good for exercise and health, it fits in with the locally grown food trend, and it blends well in a multitude of ways with the lifestyle trend of creating personal spaces for entertaining and relaxation that express individual creativity. Lamp’l’s […]

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