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September 14, 2012
By the time you see this article, Fall 2012 will be in full swing — hopefully a little cooler weather, more normal rainfall, football games and strong autumn sales for both growers and retailers.  Fall is also a great time to step back and take...
Ivy Acres
September 14, 2012
Out on Long Island, in the small town of Baiting Hollow, Ivy Acres has been growing plants for nearly half a century. But for the past couple of years, the company has really set its sights on growing itself, too. Big Grower recently sat down with...
September 10, 2012
Did you have a stellar student participate in your internship program this year? Do you know an outstanding student that participated in an internship program at another company?If you answered “yes” to either of those questions, we want to meet...
August 09, 2012
After attending OFA Short Course last month, I am extremely happy to report that the future of the horticulture industry is in good hands. While we were in Columbus, we had the opportunity to introduce our 40 Under 40 honorees in person to the rest...
July 09, 2012
Whether poinsettias are pinched by hand or are mechanically sheared, considerable effort and expense goes into the pinching process. Today’s poinsettia varieties all branch better than older varieties, but none would be described as “free branching...
July 05, 2012
Before you turn the page and ignore this column take a couple of seconds to consider the following questions:  Where would your business be today if you did not have soilless mixes to use for growing purposes? Or better yet, you did not have...
July 05, 2012
One of my favorite meetings each year to attend (and speak at) is the Big Grower Executive Summit (BGES) and this year’s meeting in San Diego was no exception.  Besides the critical information provided by the noted speakers, the information...
July 05, 2012
These are very interesting and challenging times. Interesting in that the rules of the game in business have changed. Interesting in that growers are being forced to look at new opportunities and learn new skills to both survive and thrive. ...
July 05, 2012
Over the years, contract growing has become a strategic tool for many large growers – especially in today’s challenging economy. It can provide growers with the agility they need to meet the demands of their retail customers. When most people think...
March 15, 2012
For me, March signifies the start of the Spring season. I realize that for those of you who live in the deep South, Southwest, and Southern California Spring has already started. I also realize that there are parts of the Northeast, Northwest, and...
March 15, 2012
One of my favorite blues artists is Keb Mo and recently on the drive home, I heard one of his songs on my radio. The song was “The Whole Enchilada” and the chorus goes like this: “So tell me now that you’ve got the whole enchilada [aka The Girl] …...
March 15, 2012
2011 has been a chaotic year for Jerry Halamuda and the team at Color Spot Nurseries in Fallbrook,Calif. With the passing of co-founder and best friend Mike Vukelich and the acquisition of two Hines locations, many people are wondering, “What’s next...
January 11, 2012
Despite all of the negative news, market volatility, and the grim prognoses of the TV pundits, the U.S. economy is not likely to fall back into another recession. Yes, the U.S. economy slowed sharply last year, but slowing growth is not the same...
January 11, 2012
As we look around the industry and what has gone on the past six months, most reports from growers and their sales results at retail has been mostly positive. While no one will ever mistake the volume and sales of mums, poinsettias, Christmas trees...
January 11, 2012
Everybody likes to hear complimentary remarks about their products. But having complementary products in two different markets is something Bill Dewar also likes. People are always saying nice things about the roses and the blooming potted plants...
December 01, 2011
The 2012 Big Grower Executive Summit will take place Feb. 26 to 28 at the Hilton San Diego Resort and Spa. The theme for this year’s Executive Summit is “Creating Value for You, Your Company and the Consumer.” Are You Available February 26-28? If...
November 11, 2011
The recent passing of Steven Jobs was felt around the world and saddened so many people for the simple reason that Apple products became part of our everyday lives and more so made it more convenient to live them. Steve and Apple didn’t...
November 11, 2011
To say that the economic recovery has been uneven is to restate the obvious. Initially, growth came back strongly, boosted by inventory rebuilding and strengthening private sector activity. Last summer, however, the recovery started to weaken and...
November 11, 2011
Walters Gardens has been providing the horticulture market with a plethora of perennials for more than a half century. The company’s success and longevity can be attributed to the fact that they are constantly looking for new products, processes and...
September 26, 2011
As the saying goes, “Change is inevitable.” That doesn’t mean it is good or bad, it just is — inevitable. Ken Altman faced an inevitable (and major) change this year when Target announced in 2010 that it was getting out of the live goods business....