August 8, 2007

Water-Wise Workshops

The University of Florida will host a series of workshops at local nurseries next month to help growers implement water and nutrient best management practices to minimize runoff. The information will be presented in English and Spanish by Dr. Paul Fisher and other Spanish-speaking faculty. Bill Argo from Blackmore Co. will present nutrient management. Dates are Sept. 17 in West Palm Beach, Sept. 18 in Wimauma, Sept. 19 in Apopka and Sept. 20 in Quincy. For details, contact Paul Fisher at [email protected]

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August 8, 2007

Florida Growers Reduce Water Use

Richard Carroll of Carroll Brothers Nursery in Clearwater and Scott Roth of Sunshine Growers in Plant City (pictured) have been working with Natural Resources Conservation Services (NRCS) to reduce water use by implementing a new Aquamat Irrigation System. Carroll reports savings of more than 96 percent compared to overhead watering and 78 percent compared to a container drip tube system. Roth has grown 15 crops using the system and reports faster and more uniform growth.Funding is available to help growers implement. For a preview of an article with testimonials scheduled to run in a Florida newspaper, visit: http://www.greenhousegrower.com/benchrunner/ 20070808_testimonials.html

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July 18, 2007

VeriFlora Certifies Ball Tagawa Growers

Ball Tagawa Growers of Arroyo Grande, Calif., has been certified under the VeriFlora sustainability certification program for fresh cut flowers and potted plants. The company, which is a joint venture between Ball Horticultural Co. near Chicago and Tagawa Greenhouses of Colorado, produces rooted cuttings and plugs. Other certified California growers include Ascus Nursery, Resendiz Brothers Protea Growers, B&H Flowers and Ocean View Flowers. For more information about VeriFlora, visit: http://www.veriflora.com.

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June 27, 2007

Sustainability Sessions

There’s no question that sustainability and environmentally friendly products and production are a hot topic this year. OFA will present two back-to-back sessions on sustainable floriculture at Short Course, 1 p.m. to 3:45 p.m., Sunday, July 15. Featured presenters include: Anna Ball, Ball Horticultural Co.; Lloyd Traven, Peace Tree Farm; John Dole, North Carolina State University; Juan St. Amant, Plug Connection; and Ann Joseph, Less Toxic Pest Management. For details, visit: http://www.ofa.org

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June 20, 2007

OFA Offers Lean Workshops

Back by popular demand are workshops on lean manufacturing at OFA’s Short Course in Columbus, Ohio. Andy Rogish from Yoder Brothers will lead a full day of workshops with Gary Hudson of Hudson & Associates on Saturday, July 14. While the first four hours will be an introduction, the second four hours will focus on implementation. Price is $200 for each session for nonmembers or $175 each for OFA members. For details, visit http://www.ofa.org Gary Cortes of Flow Vision also will facilitate a general session called “Introduction to Lean Greenhouse” on Tuesday, July 17. For more details about his work in the industry, visit: http://www.flowvision.com These speakers also have been facililtating a discussion on OFA’s e-Learning Web site, http://www.ofadiscuss.org/default.aspx For instructions on accessing the community, contact Brian McLaughlin, [email protected]

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March 28, 2007

Perennial Planning Wheel

Northwest Horticulture in Mabton, Wash., just received the Garden Writers Association Silver Award of Achievement for its Grower Planning Wheel in the trade-special project category. Interested in this handy tool? Contact Northwest Horticulture at http://www.northwesthorticulture.com

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March 14, 2007

MSU’s Horticulture Gardening Institute Folds

March is the last month for Michigan State University’s (MSU) online courses through the Horticulture Gardening Institute. Courses included container gardening, SmartGarden, herbaceous perennials for sun and for shade. Courses must be completed by March 31 to receive certification from MSU. The courses are now part of www.learn2grow.com, a Web site that offers expert advice, peer-to-peer sharing, online gardening classes, articles, garden guides and projects. For more information, visit www.learn2grow.com.

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