Just got back from a ‘Bucket List’ trip to Maui – 10 nights, 11 days exploring paradise with my family. Despite the time of year, we did all the usual Hawaii activities and even found a place where you could have your own private boat! Did I mention that we totally skipped the whole holiday thing? No tree, no lights, no stockings and no annual Christmas Party! Still got some of that in Hawaii, but honestly, I didn’t have to lift a finger, much less the 10′ Fraser Fir.
So, what they say is true: Hawaii is paradise. The Leis covered with orchid blooms, gorgeous purple/white dendrobium blooms hanging around your neck. Water, water everywhere – and torrential downpours at night followed by awe-inspiring sunrises and garden awaking lush and flush from their soaking the night before. No sprinklers needed at this time of year. Green, green and more green with punches of color everywhere. Fruits, flowers and herbs – passion fruit, star fruit, cherimoya, breadfruit, pineapple, bananas. Farmer’s Markets bursting with so many wild and wonderful offerings – fresh cut coconuts complete with a straw. (more…)
Our spring season is over, and we are busy with our fall crop. But, we are all about looking back and spend our ‘down time’ reviewing the past. We may be a ‘small business’, but we’ve always thought of ourselves as operating with the same principles as a ‘big business’. I may grow plants for a living, but my major was Business Administration and everywhere I can, those useful lessons are applied. Honestly, although our first love is growing big, healthy herb plants to fill your garden (and figuring out how to grow over 170 different types of herbs is a daunting task in itself), we also want to operate The Growers Exchange as an efficient business. That, folks, is as challenging as those plants!
“To succeed in life, you need two things: ignorance and confidence.”
Couldn’t have said it better myself However, I’d say it a bit differently:
“If I knew then what I know now, I may not have ever tried”
Which is just another way of saying that I was didn’t realize how much I didn’t know, but I had the confidence (and stupidity) to just keep going.
The easy part was the first 20 years; gave up a promising career in my mid twenties, but at that point, I had nothing to lose and I didn’t really like my job anyway. No kids, no mortgage and some crazy ideas about making a living by doing what I loved. That pretty much worked for 2 decades. I had a thriving store, great employees, wonderful customers and greenhouses that pumped out plants that people wanted to buy. I’m not saying it wasn’t hard work, but it was a helluva ride. Spring and fall, we worked like mad. Summer and winter, we sat back and occupy ourselves with travel, vegetable gardens, a bit of hunting and raising a bunch of kids. (more…)
There is nothing new under the sun ~ 20 years ago, I took Dr. Andrew Weil’s advice and put myself, and my family, on a restricted ‘news diet’ to lessen the anxiety and tension of whatever was considered ‘bad news’ back then. Listening to what passes for ‘the news’ can easily send one into a downward spiral! How much not so good news can one take before depression sets in? I have found that taking news in small doses once or twice a week is about all I need and all I can stand to hear. And, I’m pretty picky about who I let give me that news ~ the less biased the better.
I’m a critical thinker, and please do me the favor of NOT EDITORIALIZING – ‘just the facts’. I’m old enough to remember when the news came in to our house, for about 30 minutes each weekday evening, and we considered ourselves well informed. I’m convinced that too much of a bad thing is bad … it can really warp your thinking and distort reality. Yes, there are a lot of bad things out there, but you know what, there are a lot of good things too. And, we have weathered a lot of tough times over our history (which goes back a very long time) and we are still here and kicking! (more…)
It’s nearly the end of 2016, and time for us to recount the highs and lows of this past growing season. We all have our areas of interest, but for me, it’s all about you …. Trends in what gardeners wanted this past growing year. Basically, what plant sold THE BEST in 2016.
And, the winner is: Eucalyptus, Silver Drop. Always in the top 5, but never a winner. This year, Eucalyptus pushed out Lemongrass and would have done even better had we not run out near the end of the spring.
With over 35 years of growing plants under our belts, we began to focus on herbs in 2008. We’d always loved growing them, but honestly, the demands for perennials and annuals in our local market meant that herbs only accounted for about 20% of the plants we grew. Once we hopped onto the world wide web, and were able to really use data to research what people wanted to grow, but couldn’t get locally, herbs became our focus. For the past 8+ years, we had added more and more herbs to our line up. Now, we are offering over 160 different types of herbs for you, our customers!
But, since we are growers, and addicted to growing a variety of plants, we’ve been ‘toying’ with the idea of introducing a closely related group of plants. So, drum roll please… (more…)