Some observations from mid-spring of 2008 at our garden center. Here in northern California we are just now passing through our first heat wave. Temperatures in the mid 90's F. cooled sales. Now it seems we are headed back to temperatures in the 70's F. Hopefully that will re-invigorate the last minute spring shoppers. Around here school gets out around the end of May and that signals the end of spring sales. The kids demand attention, vacations are planed, and the garden goes into cruise control. So we still have a couple of weeks to rock and roll!
I have noticed an increased interest in the growing of vegetables and fruit trees by my customers. I find it quite exciting! Huge potential! We are increasing the size of our demonstration gardens here at the nursery. We have planted eight types of tomatoes, seven varieties of peppers, squash, lettuce, artichoke, etc. Our goal is to supply ourselves with all the vegetables we need, but have some leftover to sell at the store. We are growing everything in raised beds and containers, which is important here in the Sierra Nevada where the soil is often lacking. It's about demonstrating exactly how to go about doing it your-self. We are becoming a learning center.
Somethings happening here. The store is entering into a new phase. It's starting to gain its stride entering into it's fifth year. It's as if what we believed in is starting to take root with the people who matter the most, our fans and customers. It takes a while for a level of trust to build with a community. People need to test your ideas.
Here is the big idea that I am taking away from what has transpired so far here for spring of 2008. People are excited about growing their own vegetables, fruits, and in enhancing their environment. They want to succeed! We recommend organic solutions first, and the customers here are quite willing to give it a try. What a great opportunity to present new ideas.
We are open seven days a week and we are each working about six days a week right now. Make hay while the sun shines. This business is not for the faint hearted. Never the less I wouldn't want to be doing anything else. We are on in the midst of great changes in our relationship with our gardens. It's hard to put a finger on it but I can feel it. It re-invigorates me with the same felling I had when I entered into this business in the 70's. It seemed back then that horticulture was cool and worthy of a lifetime of pursuit. Then it seemed horticulture kind of went out of style for a decade or two. Well, I think it's back. Where else can you make such an immediate impact on your own corner of the world. As the small garden center or nursery becomes the trusted source of all things garden related, it only makes sense that that a younger person looking for a career could see all the possibilities of being that trusted source.