Variety Vérité

June 26, 2009 - 10:19

Our annual trip to California Pack Trials is always educational, enlightening and exhausting.

As we make our way through the state during our seven-day journey, we get to experience everything California has to offer.

By the time we get back to our offices in suburban Chicago, our brains are on information overload; our briefcases and luggage are stuffed with catalogs and other collateral material, and our camera’s memory cards filled to the limit with photos.

But what a worthwhile trip it was!

The Varieties Really Shine

In last month’s GPN, we showed you some of the trends that were on display throughout our trek of the Golden State. The breeders and other suppliers put on an amazing show, offering visitors a plethora of merchandising and marketing ideas, plus valuable information on how best to grow and sell their products. The hard work and dedication that everyone puts in is incredible.

And then there are the new variety introductions. We tried to keep a running total of the number of new introductions, but we had to give up by our third day because even some of the breeders weren’t sure how many new varieties they were debuting this year. Needless to say, we were pleasantly surprised by all of the new introductions — in spite of current economic conditions. You can tell the breeders have been working diligently to develop new, innovative and improved genetics that they hope will translate into success for growers and retailers alike.

On page 18, you can read about some of the new varieties that caught the editorial staff’s collective eye while we were at Pack Trials. If you made it to California this year, I’m curious to hear your thoughts on the new varieties that were introduced this year. You can drop me a line at

Mark Your Calendar

Start your planning now! Next year’s Pack Trials are March 20 to 26, 2010.

And don’t forget, if you are looking for information from previous Pack Trials, be sure to visit the Pack Trials Zone on

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