Marketing of food in the future while assuring its safety were two primary items on the agenda of Ohio Produce and Marketing Association Annual Convention and trade show held mid January, with 60 educational sessions offered in a three day period, including a two-day, 80 exhibitor trade show. Reggie Griffin, keynote speaker and past corporate vice president of merchandising for Kroger produce and floral marketing, addressed major trends coming on the scene. He pointed how food habits were changing, that typical families no longer set down to three meals a day, but rather pick up six to seven snacks over a period of 12-15 hours. [Read more…]
ELSBERRY, MO — The Great Flood of 1993 overtopped levees, inundated farmland, swamped towns, covered roads and displaced communities. Reckoned to be the most costly and damaging flood in U.S. history since at least the 1927 Mississippi Flood, the deluge covered more than 20 million acres in nine states.
It also caused massive tree death, leaving in its wake countless extirpated and drowned trees.
This arboreal aftermath — the need to replant oaks, hardwoods, and other trees and shrubs in affected riparian areas — spurred Wayne Lovelace, president and CEO of Forrest Keeling Nursery, to develop the Root Production Method (RPM®) propagation method. [Read more…]
They’re farmers. They’re growers. They’re businesspeople. They’re entertainers. When your job includes doing everything, often the vocabulary at your disposal is limiting. So now, they’re writers as well, having coined a new term to describe what they do. [Read more…]
“The core group of customers who will pay the most for your locally grown produce are those who value local food; want to support the local economy; are looking for the health benefits of buying local; and value their relationship with you, the grower,” according to Dr. Tim Woods, who spoke recently to growers at the well-attended Illinois Growers Conference. These customers care about value, but are not primarily price shoppers. [Read more…]
by Karl H. Kazaks
Earlier this year, Maine’s governor signed a law making The Pine Tree State the second state in the country (after Connecticut) to require food producers to label foods which contain GMO ingredients. Those laws only take effect, however, when five other surrounding states also pass similar legislation.
Such legislation has been proposed in over half the states. [Read more…]
It took 46 years to accomplish, but Ohio State’s horticulture building finally has a roof garden. When Howlett Hall was completed in 1967, a roof garden was supposed to be part of it, but as so often is the case, the money ran out before this could get done. Now the $450,000 project is completed, at probably double the 1960s construction cost. At least one restaurant in Columbus also has a roof garden on top of their one story building, but the bulk of specialty produce for the restaurant is grown outdoors or via high tunnel in a greenhouse setting, located in a more rural location. The OSU site will be used primarily for research, especially on dry tolerant plants, according to Mary Maloney, director of Chadwick Arboretum and Learning Center. [Read more…]
Todd McWethy has always been interested in plants, and that enthusiasm led him to formal education in the field. He landed jobs in landscaping and as a nursery manager, and eventually returned to school for a second degree in plant science.
“While I was there, I took a course in hydroponics,” said McWethy, “I have a love for plants and growing things. Hydroponics intrigued me, and it was something I had played around with on a hobby level.”
At Royal Oak Farm in Harvard, IL, it takes a small fleet of equipment to manage the 16,000 apple trees plus the raspberries, peaches, sweet corn, pumpkins, gourds and other produce grown there.
Savvy businesspeople know that happy customers return and spend more money. Smart farmers ask loyal CSA, farmers market and restaurant customers what they liked. Smart businesspeople seek customer suggestions for the future.
Visitors to farm-based food stores, cafes or restaurants tend to stay longer and spend more money according to Eric Nusbaum, Ph.D. of Wheelwright Consultants in Greenfield, MA, who led a workshop at the 2013 Harvest New England Ag Marketing Conference & Trade Show. However, growers considering adding commercial kitchens should still use careful analysis to confirm a viable market justifies the significant investment.