May 18, 2010

Pleasant View Gardens’ Unexpected Expansion

Henry Huntington knew something was horribly wrong when Russ Elkins, his facilities manager, stormed into his house screaming at 3 in the morning January 21. Please, oh please, let this early-morning wakeup be the result of a failed boiler, Huntington must have thought. Unfortunately, as Huntington jumped out of bed and peered out his bedroom window overlooking his greenhouses, he saw flames engulfing them. “You have that panic feeling, and my first real reaction was what are we going to do?” says Huntington, owner of Pleasant View Gardens in Loudon, N.H. “How does this affect us? How’s it going to affect our customers?” The fire’s timing was far particularly bad for Pleasant View, a liner producer that’s essentially in peak production during Week 3. At the time, production space was filling quickly and at a premium, so losing 30,000 square feet–the space Pleasant View ultimately lost among its 12 acres […]

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April 27, 2010

Auctions: Bid For Success

The phrase “greenhouse auction” might not bring happy thoughts to mind. It is, after all, often the final option for growers who find themselves financially over their heads. There are some positive aspects to the process, however. An auction can provide opportunities for growers – big or small – looking to add or upgrade equipment they might not be able to afford new. Auctions can also be used in situations where a grower is expanding the business and looking to liquidate old facilities or equipment to make room for new growth. No matter what reason you’re considering the auction process, there are a few things sellers – and buyers – should keep in mind. Know What To ExpectFor a grower who finds himself in a position where he needs to sell quickly, there are some advantages to using an auction to move facilities, equipment and real estate, says Daniel West, […]

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March 19, 2010

Update: Hoop Houses In Haiti

[imageviewer] Since we last reported Feb. 9 on the hoop houses Esbenshade’s Greenhouses designed and built for homeless Haitians following the January earthquake, 80 of the 200 have been erected and are now providing shelter in Haiti. The other 120 hoop houses are in Haiti but grounds need to be cleared before the houses are set up. In addition to the original 200 Esbenshade’s sent, the greenhouse operation is currently planning to send parts for another 200 hoop houses. “This time, we’re going to be sending more raw materials down,” Terry Esbenshade says. “YWAM (Youth with a Mission International) has people down there who are now familiar with the hoop houses, and they’re going to be doing the work that we were originally doing. It’s more feasible that way.” to read our original story about the hoop houses.

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February 17, 2010

Gude Grief: Snow Putting A Damper On Spring

Four hundred thousand plants filled Gude Brothers Greenhouse’s 67,000-square-foot facility just a couple weeks ago in Middletown, Md. Now, owner Larry Gude hopes 100,000 of those plants are salvageable. Gude Brothers lost an estimated $750,000 in plants earlier this month when large sections of its structures caved due to the weight of snow. Nearly half the Gude Brothers facility is ruined, Gude says, and Hortica is assessing the damages. “We do petunia baskets,” Gude told The Frederick News-Post. “We filled 5,000 baskets with soil. They were all sitting on the tables. Now they’re covered with snow and glass. “I went into shock.” In addition to the estimated $750,000 in plant loss, the structural damage may add up to $1 million. You can watch video of the collapsed Gude Brothers greenhouses. Gude Brothers isn’t the only operation battling snow–although its snow damage is just about as extreme as it gets. Growers […]

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February 9, 2010

Hoop Houses For Haiti

After the tsunami struck Southeast Asia in 2004, Roger Esbenshade saw the tents housing the homeless on TV and in photographs and thought better, more durable structures could be designed and built to serve as temporary shelters. After the earthquake struck Haiti last month, Esbenshade and his brothers, Terry and Scott, got to work on a hoop house design to shelter the homeless. The Esbenshades, who operate Esbenshade’s Greenhouses in Lititz, Pa., rounded up the parts needed to assemble the hoop houses, calling on several different vendors to create the design they wanted. They attached all the pieces and shipped 200 separate hoop houses each measuring 14 by 16 feet to Haiti. Esbenshade’s didn’t take on the project alone, though. More than 100 volunteers came together to make the project a success. “The volunteers were people from the community, people from the church we go to and other people who […]

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January 21, 2010

Fire At Pleasant View Gardens

  A fire broke out at Pleasant View Gardens in Loudon, N.H., this morning around 3 a.m. Fortunately for Pleasant View, the local fire department was quick to respond and contain it.   “There was minimal damage to crops at Pleasant View because the IBG/Nexus (greenhouse range) was one of the last ranges to be utilized for the spring season,” says Carol Huntington, marketing manager at Pleasant View. “Between our strong Proven Winners network and very limited crops in the IBG/Nexus (range), we are confident there will be little to no impact on orders.”   Huntington says Pleasant View will asses the damage over the next couple days and share more information when some is available. For more information on Pleasant View Gardens, visit PVG.com.

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October 7, 2009

NGMA Hosting Conference In Hawaii

Growers interested in attending the National Greenhouse Manufacturers Association’s (NGMA) 2010 spring conference will soon be able to register. The upcoming conference will take place Aprill 18-20 at the Turtle Bay Resort in Kahuku (Oahu) Hawii. Events include the annual golf outing and volleyball tournament along with committee meetings, educational sessions and product information exchange. This conference is a great opportuinity for educational enrichment through their speakers and one-on-one business sessions. To make reservations, call the Turtle Bay Resort at 800-203-3650. Make sure you mention NGMA for the discounted rate. For conference registration visit www.ngma.com and for more information on the Turtle Bay Resort, check out www.turtlebayresort.com.   

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July 23, 2009

Hail Storm Shreds Greenhouse Roofs

Stevens and Son Wholesale Florist is in clean-up mode this week after a Monday night hailstorm destroyed greenhouse roof coverings at its two facilities in Arvada, Colo. All coverings were made of Dynaglass, and not a single panel of it is salvageable. “It’s just a mess,” Bruce Daniel, company president, said Thursday. “We’re trying to complete one small project at a time and move forward. We’re scrambling to find materials and put a plan together. It’s a nightmare.” Daniel estimates damage well into six figures, but the operation is still in business. Twenty to 30 percent of plants were lost, and the operation expects the roof replacement process to take about six weeks. Stevens and Son will use Dynaglass coverings as the replacement material. For more on the story, click here. You can also visit the Stevens and Son website and view a slideshow of the damage sustained here.

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July 7, 2009

Meet The 2-Inch Square Structure

The 2-Inch Square Structure from Atlas Manufacturing is the company’s latest product offering, as houses start at $1.48 per square foot. Side curtains allow for up to 35 percent open-air ventilation, and houses span 30 or 35 feet. Other features of the 2-Inch Square Structure include: – 2-inch square frame construction–Higher curtain height for natural ventilation–Strong framework–Excellent for high tunnel use–Pre-punched holes for easy installation For more information on the 2-Inch Square Structure or other designs from Atlas Manufacturing, click here.

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June 23, 2009

Sheets Increase Rose Grower’s Competitiveness

Few large-scale rose growers in the United States operate outside California, making Len Busch Roses in Plymouth, Minn., an exception. “Our strengths are quality and freshness,” says Patrick Busch, managing director of the operation. “The rose grower from the far North is asserting himself with success against the competition.” Busch attributes much of Len Busch Roses’ success to one particular product, Acyrlite Deglas high-impact acrylic double-skinned sheets. Sheets now cover about 500,000 square feet at Len Busch Roses, and they offer the operation tremendous energy savings. Double-skinned sheets consist of two skins connected top and bottom by a number of ribs. The resulting air cavities of sheets act as an insulating layer, because the static air in the cavities is a poor heat conductor as compared with solid material. The co-efficient heat transfer index, or U-value, states how effective this insulation is. The lower the U-value, the better the heat […]

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June 18, 2009

Natural Ventilation

Businesses face a never-ending fight to control costs. For today’s growers, that means finding ways to minimize capital greenhouse expenses, energy costs and lost product. The Zephyr and Zail technology addresses each of those concerns, providing growers with both cost control and flexibility in running their operations. These naturally ventilated greenhouses help optimize growing conditions by giving growers a superior, affordable cooling solution. Grower experience in these houses indicates the ability to hold outside ambient temperature in the greenhouse without use of mechanical cooling. The strength of the Nexus-pioneered, welded-truss design gives growers the flexibility to hang baskets, vegetable crops and equipment, increasing the amount of crop that can be grown in the same space. “We’re very much in tune with the cost and market pressures our customers face. That understanding enables us to develop technologies that address our customers’ key issues, whether to control energy costs or provide an […]

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June 10, 2009

View: The Perfect Formula For Success

Hey, welcome back … to reality that is. Becoming reacquainted with reality is a wonderful and valuable incidental benefit of a crisis, economic or otherwise. Anyone who has faced the imminent probability of death has a better appreciation of life; just like person who has faced the potential of economic ruin or loss has a better appreciation for the benefits of economic success and conservatism; or the person who has staked a fortune on the promises of “greenness” and learned it is still about quality product, quality service, fair prices and good business management.  Once again, it was confirmed the most important factor in the year-to-year success of our business is how many sunny Saturdays there are in April and May. Once again, the day to day success of our industry has been confirmed to be how well you manage your business. Yes, a penny saved is a penny earned. […]

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