Skagit Horticulture has opened a new clean-stock greenhouse to complement its large-scale production of select agricultural plant starts launched last year. According to the company, the new greenhouse is key in producing high volumes of virus-free transplants to serve the needs of hop growers, vineyard operators, and orchardists.
Using a small group of stock obtained from the National Clean Plant Network, the company produces tissue culture to create a foundation stock block that will be used for softwood cuttings. This mother block will be isolated into the clean-stock greenhouse where restricted access and strict sanitation practices are part of the company’s rigorous production protocols. Insect screening ensures no pest pressure in the greenhouse, which reduces need for chemical applications, as well as eliminating virus vectors.
In other news, the company also announced that Debbie Thorne has been promoted to the position of Agriculture Department Manager. Thorne will now oversee all aspects of the Specialty Ag division, including sales of hops, wine grapes, berries, and tree fruits. Thorne has been an integral part of the Skagit Horticulture company for many years, working first for Skagit Gardens for more than 25 years before accepting a position with Northwest Horticulture in 2014. With the merger of the two companies, she becomes one of the company’s most seasoned employees, holding positions in management, production, new product development, marketing, and sales.