Since 1976, Pleasant View Gardens in Loudon, NH, has built a reputation of driving innovation through modern growing practices, extensive plant research and development, and staying ahead of market trends. Quality at Pleasant View is evident in not only its products, but also in its processes, facilities, and people.
This mission starts at the top, which is why Mike Goyette, 2016 Greenhouse Grower Head Grower Of The Year Finalist And Excellence In Quality Award winner, is a perfect fit for Pleasant View. He says he is never satisfied with the status quo and is constantly looking for improvements in procedures, plant quality, employee organization, and the bottom line.
“New varieties come along all the time,” Goyette says. “The important thing is, how can we develop these varieties into a perfect plant for the customer? How do we get it to branch, flower, and help the customer be successful?”
There are lots of steps involved in making this happen, Goyette says. It starts with what you want the product to ultimately look like and how you want it to perform. From there, you build a recipe to make it happen. This includes managing everything from light to temperature to plant growth regulators, and making adjustments as you go along.
“There’s a quality funnel we work with here to keep things on track,” Goyette says. “For example, we have an enhanced liner program, a product we developed to initiate flowering so the plant requires less time on benches. Ultimately, it comes down to playing with different varieties for timing. You need to group things on a variety level and know what times well together.
“We dissect everything by container or season or variety,” Goyette says. “From there, quality personnel take ownership of these categories, and they work with the growing team to fine-tune the process.”
This sense of ownership and accountability starts with Goyette and extends down through his team. When he became head grower of Pleasant View in 1998, he found himself managing an entire grower team and learned how to develop a system of who best fits where.
It’s not about you, says Goyette, but rather how you can bring a team together and understand the skill set of the people you have.
“Because of the relationship I have with the growing team, they know our crops and their expectations, as well as our customer expectations,” he says.
Goyette is passionate about the intricate mechanical details of how to fine-tune a greenhouse’s environmental conditions to provide the highest quality products for the operation’s customers. He embraces technology full-on and has been instrumental in processes to improve inventory control, production, and shipping.
Perhaps most importantly, he is always looking to discuss and critique new research information that Pleasant View can apply.
“I love the challenge of continuing hands-on education. Every season is new, and there’s always another chance to do it all again and make improvements.”