Dream On

We sure had fun putting this issue together. It was an opportunity to reflect on the strides our industry has made in 25 years, but the best part was dreaming about the future. Brainstorming with our readers about what the next 25 years could bring was really liberating. Day to day, we’re so focused on immediate business challenges it’s hard to open our minds and think outside the greenhouse.

Many of you shared your “wildest dreams” with us for new products, technology and varieties. We really got a kick out of our “Joe the Future Grower” interview. He is bold, going where no grower has gone before, in a space-age market.

When I was looking through our early issues to put together our timeline capturing the last 25 years, I couldn’t help but wonder what the growers we featured in 1983 would think about 2008. Could they fathom a greenhouse operation producing more than 2 million poinsettias for Christmas at a single location and most of those plants going to two retailers?

Then I thought about Joe the Future Grower’s grandfather, Rip Van Winkle, of Van Winkle’s Greenhouses. He built a new greenhouse in 1983, complete with the first generation of computerized environmental controls. He was so happy to have this new automated system. “Now I can relax!” he said. “No more sleepless nights wondering if the heat is still on or if the greenhouses will be at the right temperature.”

In the tale from Washington Irving, Rip fell into a deep sleep for 20 years. Let’s say our grower Rip woke up 25 years later in 2008. What would he see in his greenhouse?

The first thing he’d see is women gathered along a dual conveyor belt sticking line, sticking cuttings of varieties he had never seen before – osteospermums, calibrachoas, scaevolas, argyranthemums and even trailing snapdragons.

Where did these cuttings come from? The cargo stamps say Costa Rica, Guatemala, Mexico, Brazil, Israel, Uganda and South Africa. He feels more reassured when he sees the familiar geranium cuttings, but he wonders where all the stock plants are. In 25 years, his greenhouse has become a global hub.
He trips over his beard and runs out to another greenhouse and sees benches full of petunias in bright pink pots! Where could these possibly be going? “Lowe’s, a big national home improvement chain,” Rip Jr. tells him.

“But what happened to DIY, Handy Andy and Builder’s Square?” Rip asks. He learns his former customers are no longer in business and the Wave petunias are very special varieties recognized in pink pots.

He sits down and ponders how his markets and crops have changed since he fell asleep 25 years ago. Just as Rip’s world changed beyond his wildest dreams, we will achieve a future we barely recognize. The key will be to stay alert and not get complacent. Keep reinvesting in your business, new technology, new partnerships and finding more ways to connect with consumers. Keep pursuing your wildest dreams!

Leave a Reply

Latest Stories
Nadia Sabeh, CEAC

January 18, 2017

Upcoming Seminars to Focus on Managing the Greenhouse E…

The seminars, which will also be accessible online, are presented by the University of Arizona’s Controlled Environment Agriculture Center.

Read More
Spring Meadow Nursery Fire

January 17, 2017

Two Major Growers Recovering and Rebuilding After Fires

The blazes occurred at Dan Schantz Farm and Greenhouses in Zionsville, PA, and Spring Meadow Nursery in Grand Haven, MI. Both companies say no employees were injured, and they plan to pull together and stay on schedule for the remainder of the year.

Read More
Dallas Johnson

January 17, 2017

Dallas Johnson Greenhouses Owner Passes Away at 78

Dallas G. Johnson, who started the company in 1985, is survived by his wife, Kay, and two children.

Read More
Joe Cimino, Sakata Seed America

January 17, 2017

Sakata Seed Names New Senior Sales Manager for Ornament…

Joe Cimino comes to Sakata with past experience at Sun Gro and Florexpo.

Read More
JinPin Flower Seedling Company partners

January 17, 2017

Ernst Benary Partners With Chinese Young Plant Grower o…

The partnership creates a new company called Jinpin Flower Seedling Company, which will focus on providing young plants to the rapidly growing Chinese bedding plant market.

Read More
PC-31 Transplanter (Visser)

January 17, 2017

Visser NA Rebrands as Bellpark Horticulture

The new name will equally represent not only Visser, but all of the brands Bellpark represents, including Mayer, Logitec Plus, and Drygair in North America.

Read More
Stephanie Whitehouse

January 17, 2017

Stephanie Whitehouse Takes Her Passion for Plants to Di…

Stephanie Whitehouse, who has spent the last seven years as the Sales and Marketing Director for Peace Tree Farm in Kintnersville, PA, recently joined Dickman Farms Greenhouse and Garden Center in Auburn, NY, as the company’s new Retail General Manager.

Read More

January 13, 2017

We Must Help Heal Our Nation, with Plants and Flowers […

No matter how you may feel — personally or professionally — about the outcome of the election, it’s likely that you realize our nation has some healing to do.

Read More
Effective pest control

January 12, 2017

Prevention and Early Intervention: The Keys to Biocont…

Advance preparation and starting out right helps you implement an effective biocontrol program that reduces pest pressure.

Read More
Dipladenia Sundenia

January 11, 2017

New Tropical and Foliage Plants That Offer Hidden Benef…

Tropical and foliage plants can offer extra paybacks to your customers in terms of health-promoting benefits such as filtering the air, reducing stress, and absorbing noise. Consider these new varieties, hitting the retail market in 2017, for your product mix.

Read More

January 10, 2017

5 Can’t-Miss Events and Activities at TPIE

The Florida Nursery, Growers and Landscape Association’s Tropical Plant Industry Exposition (TPIE) is fast approaching. As you plan your trip, here are five can’t-miss highlights from this year’s show.

Read More

January 10, 2017

Sidney B. Meadows Scholarship Endowment Fund Accepting …

The deadline for applications is May 26, and 12 scholarships of $1,500 each will be awarded at the SEGreen Conference in August.

Read More
Two-spotted spider mites, adults and eggs

January 10, 2017

Pest Management Workshop to Take Place in Virginia on J…

Battlefield Farms will host the workshop, which is being coordinated by Virginia Cooperative Extension and will focus on new techniques in disease and insect control.

Read More

January 10, 2017

Greenhouse Grower Quadcopter Sweepstakes Winner Announc…

Anne Bolser of Van Wingerden International was the Grand Prize Winner in Greenhouse Grower magazine’s recent Quadcopter Sweepstakes.

Read More

January 9, 2017

Growing Tips for Craspedia ‘Golf Beauty’

Laura Robles of Mast Young Plants offers advice on ‘Golf Beauty,’ a novelty plant with can’t-miss yellow flower heads and silver foliage that blooms throughout the summer.

Read More

January 8, 2017

Sakata’s Participation in Tour de Fresh Race Results in…

On the heels of riding in the Tour de Fresh Race in July, Allen Satterlee of Sakata Seed America celebrated by presenting a new salad bar to Galt Elementary School in California.

Read More
Bride with wedding orchids.

January 7, 2017

How to Stand Out in the Orchid Market

With the popularity of the Phalaenopsis orchid growing and its saturation in the market, orchid growers are hunting for new ways to stand out from their competitors.

Read More

January 6, 2017

Griffin Opening New Hard-Goods-Focused Distribution Cen…

The planned February opening of the 18,500 square-foot facility is part of the company’s continued expansion into the Western U.S.

Read More