MVG News Archive
(Note: depending on their age, items below may contain out-of-date information.)
MVGA Growers - Moving Foward With Social Media
In a few short weeks, MVGA will be sponsoring an evening workshop on social media—the what, why and how to use it in your business! This event will provide information for all—whether you are involved in retail, wholesale, industry, or just curious for your personal use! We have two excellent speakers coming to join us from Cleveland, OH. Please register by Monday, March 25 so we have an accurate count for seating and dinner. Feel free to forward this to others who may be interested in attending as well!
Maumee Valley Growers Association: Moving Forward with Social Media
Confused about social media? What is social media and how do you use it to communicate with your customers this spring and beyond? As technology continues to advance, we all run the risk of falling behind and losing touch with our customers. This interactive program introduces you to the how, what and why of using social media to inform and attract customers–whether in the retail, wholesale or trade industry! Don't get left behind, join us on March 28, 2013!
When: Thursday, March 28 Location: Creque's Greenhouse, 9700 Sylvania Ave., Sylvania, OH Time: 4 to 8 pm (Pizza, pasta, salad and beverages will be provided) Cost: $20 for first MVGA member, $10 for additional participants from same company; $35 for non-members
Please contact me with any questions you might have!
Beth Fausey Scheckelhoff, Ph.D. Extension Educator, Agriculture and Natural Resources The Ohio State University Extension 104 E. Washington Street, Suite 302 Hahn Center Napoleon, OH 43545 419-592-0806 419-592-8750 (fax) 419-307-8218 (mobile) www.ohiogreenhouse.wordpress.com www.hydroponics.osu.edu
Academy Greenhouse Delivers Produce & Lessons for Students
MVGA and the University of Toledo Urban Affairs Center have provided assistance to a student greenhouse project at St. John's Jesuit High School. This project gives students opportunities to learn first-hand about preserving the environment, green intiatives, and growing cycles of plants. Read the article published in Titan Topics, the SJJHS newsletter.
Finding Food in Northwest Ohio
Ken Meter of Crossroads Resource Center has completed a new study for The University of Toledo Urban Affairs Center, one which suggests that improving northwest Ohio's local food system could have a huge impact on the region's economy:
... our analysis of the region's farm and food economy shows that $3.6 billion leaks out of Northwest Ohio each year as residents farm and eat, since farmers farm at narrow margins to produce commodities for export, while consumers eat food imported from far away.
The study details how local growers are, among other methods, experimenting with "tilling new vegetable farms and testing innovative greenhouse technology that has been developed in Belgium and Holland". Local officials are exploring the possibilities of reclaiming urban brownfields for food production, and "the Northwest Ohio Food Council is poised to create a more strategic vision that will encompass the growth of effective clusters of food-related businesses, more focused attention to the food needs of low-income residents, greater coordination across counties, and more sustained innovation."
Northwest Ohio Food Vendors
Are you a food producer in NW Ohio? Are you thinking of adding food production to your greenhouse or field production? Check out this new site: maumeevalleyfood.org.
This web site offers information about Northwest Ohio local food vendors. The information is based on one compiled by the Area Office on Aging of Northwestern Ohio, Inc., the local administrators of the Senior Farmers' Market Nutrition Program.
Ask an Extension Expert with New Online Tool
County websites of Ohio State University Extension now have "Ask a County Expert" tool where Ohioans can ask questions related to the educational programs Extension offers.
"The Ask an Expert tool makes it much easier for clientele to ask us questions directly," said Jerry Thomas, leader for Innovation and Change for OSU Extension who helped develop the tool. "And, it will help speed up our response time and find the right person to answer their questions"
OSU Extension's county websites are easy to find: http://extension.osu.edu/ask-an-expert
Update on Downy Mildew Affecting Ohio Impatiens
Impatiens in northwest Ohio have fallen prey to a pathogen that can wilt them within days: Downey Mildew. According to an article in the toledo Blade on September 16, 2012, local Extension hotlines have been swamped with calls. "'Downy mildew symptoms begin as a light-green yellowing or stippling of infected leaves,' said Nancy Taylor of the Ohio Plant Diagnostic Network. 'Look for subtle gray lines on top of the leaves and their edges may curl down.' Look under the leaves for another sign. This pathogen will create a white, almost fuzzy growth under the leaves, giving it its name."
MVGA is working closely with growers, suppliers and researchers to learn more about this pathogen. Below is an example of the sign that is being developed and will be available through Waldo's and Associates showing images of Downey Mildew on impatiens leaves, along with links to documents suggesting strategies for dealing with it as well as alternative plants to Impatiens.
"We have a few minor updates to make to the sign (see draft below) and will announce the final version when completed", says Joe Perlaky, MVGA Consultant. The first step is to complete the sign design followed by its availability for sale to the growers to use as an awareness and education tool in their retail stores in the spring. We are looking at two sizes a 7"x11" and 16"x24". MVGA is planning a session on a potential impatiens policy at their Winter Conference on January 7th, 2013 at Brodbeck's Greenhouse." More information to follow.
• Downey mildew disease prevention from Syngenta
Plant Purple - Grow Hope Campaign for 2012
MVG's Plant Purple - Grow Hope Campaign is returning for 2012. Here are the MVG participants for this year:
Also, Plant Purple — Grow Hope was spotlighted in an article in the Toledo Blade on May 2, 2011.
Maumee Valley Natives
Once established, natives are low-maintenance, they require no irrigation, and are naturally resistant to diseases and insects.
Maumee Valley Growers would like to welcome you to the Maumee Valley Natives brand of wildflowers now available for distribution at your nursery or garden center! Maumee Valley Natives are grown locally for Northwest Ohio. Click here for more information about the benefits of Maumee Valley Native Plants.
MVGA Supports TBG Plant Sale
MVGA Aids Community in Supporting Local Planting Effort
As with many businesses today, the Post Office is being challenged to cut costs yet maintain services. Tom Martin, a customer of the Tremainsville Road branch wanted to make a difference.
Mr. Martin who was hospitalized earlier in the year resulting in limited mobility was most appreciative that postal employees were able to take the time to assist him at his car. "I was amazed, these folks didn't have to do this, but they did. This meant a lot to me" says Mr. Martin.
"I noticed their flower beds could use a little spiffing up so I contacted the offices of Keep Lucas County Beautiful. They in turn called the Maumee Valley Growers and ultimately Toledo's Master Gardeners. I was amazed to see how well these groups worked together. The Post Office rallied behind this effort, all for the good of the community."
On Saturday June 9th, everyone met at the Tremainsville Road post office to plant the flowers. It was truly a team effort.
Head Clerk Kim Johnson said "our customers and neighborhoods are important to us. One way to demonstrate our appreciation was to improve the appearance of our facility. This was a great idea. Several of our postal workers donated their time to clean up the beds outside and work with our local growers. It doesn't take much, but it makes a big difference."
"It is not uncommon for our growers to donate flowers for the betterment of the community says Joe Perlaky, Program Manager of MVGA. Many thanks to Dearing's Greenhouse for making this happen."
Many thinks to Master Growers Bill Stein, James Colbert, Nancy Burton and Bobbi Weber for helping with the planting. Postal workers Korrin Lampkin, Marsha Morrison, Lisa Smith, Kim Johnson, Christy Walton, Chad Collins and Martin Ramirez also helped in the event.
23rd Annual Flower Day Weekend
This weekend, May 26 — May 28, is the marks the 23rd Annual Toledo Farmer's Market Flower Days 2012:
Saturday "Market Day" - May 26, 2012 - 8 to 4 Sunday "Flower Day" - May 27, 2012 - 8 to 4 Monday "Market Day" - May 28, 2012 - 8 to 2
Following is more inforamtion from the Toledo Farmer's Market.
Through the years, this event has grown to what has become a weekend event as well as one of Toledo's finest traditions. On Sat., May 26, and then again on Mon., May 28, our local farmers will be on hand for "Market Days" selling direct to you baked goods, produce, eggs, poultry, beef. In addition, families and friends can wander and shop from among a variety of artisans' works, yard art, crafts and - of course - the flowers.
On Sun., May 27, Flower Day, 35 of the Toledo area's best flower growers and greenhouses will pack the market with their best flowers and plants. More than 20,000 visitors have been known to visit the market on this day. However, parking is easily available both along Erie Street in front of the Erie Street Market, located at 237 South Erie St., and throughout the revitalized Warehouse District. This weekend event, known for it's over 50,000-plus visitors, is the biggest and the most anticipated flower & garden event in Northwest Ohio.
Experts on Hand: Master Gardener's from Ohio State University's Extension Office will be on hand on Sunday to help answer questions and give tips on plant and soil care. In addition this is a unique opportunity to purchase direct from the growers, obtaining expert advice on plant selection and care while purchasing the highest quality of plants available all the while supporting local agriculture.
Flower Valet / Shopper Assistance: To ensure a relaxed, comfortable visit at the Market, there will be a complimentary package pickup system, operated by the Boy Scouts, In addition, there will be musical entertainment on hand to delight both young and old alike. And last but not least for that first taste of summer, visitors can enjoy some wonderful "Fair Food" including kettle corn, hot dogs, gyros, onion rings, Italian sausage, fries, hamburgers and much, much more.
Toledo Farmer's Market is located in the heart of Toledo's historic Warehouse district at the corner of Market & Superior Streets, map and directions are available on our Web site, www.toledofarmersmarket.com.
TBG Market Gardening Workshops: Feb.—Apr. 2012
2012 Marketing Campaign
There will be an MVGA Marketing meeting January 18th, 2012. Check back with us for more information on 2012 events and our new advertising theme later in the month!
Plant Purple - Grow Hope Campaign Generates Thanks
MVG's Plant Purple — Grow Hope Campaign in the News
Growers, victim's sister unite against pancreatic cancer
Organizer hopes to plant seed for national drive; Sales of petunia variety to raise funds for research
By Carl Ryan, Toledo Blade Staff Writer
Toledoan Kelly Kinney is getting the word out: Think purple. And while you're at it, grow purple.
She wants the community to think purple because it's the awareness color for pancreatic cancer, just as pink is the much better-known color for breast cancer.
She wants people to buy and grow purple flowers as a way of contributing to a fund-raising drive she has organized in conjunction with the Maumee Valley Growers to support pancreatic cancer research and treatment.
The fund-raiser, called "Plant Purple -- Grow Hope," features 16 northwest Ohio retail greenhouses that have agreed to sell a distinctive purple flower called the denim shock wave petunia. The young flowers can be grown inside or outside.
Through June 30, the greenhouses will remit 50 cents from every purple petunia pot sale to the Translational Genomics Research Institute, also known as "TGen," in Phoenix. The money will go to TGen's research initiative in pancreatic cancer called Global Cure.
For Ms. Kinney, the fund-raising effort is entirely personal.
She lost her brother, Bret Connors, to pancreatic cancer in October, 2009. He was two days shy of his 52nd birthday when he died and had put up a valiant fight against the disease, which is considered largely incurable and kills about 35,000 people a year in the United States.
Mr. Connors learned when he was 48 that he had the illness and beat the odds by living as long as he did.
The overall one-year survival rate for pancreatic cancer patients is 20 percent; the five-year rate is less than 5 percent. Actor Patrick Swayze, who died in 2009, lived about 18 months after his diagnosis. The survival rate is low because the cancer usually has spread by the time it is detected.
Ms. Kinney said her brother, who was a Scottsdale, Ariz., resident, lived as long as he did with the disease because he underwent clinical trials at TGen. She hopes that the money raised by "Plant Purple -- Grow Hope" will enable others suffering from pancreatic cancer to obtain similar cutting-edge treatment and advance researchers' knowledge of the disease.
"Some amazing things are going on in pancreatic cancer research," she said. "They are on the brink of doing genotyping, which could tell you if you are predisposed to it. If you knew you were predisposed, you could get checked more often and be aware."
TGen's director of development, Erin Massey, said "Plant Purple -- Grow Hope" is the first fund-raiser of its kind for her institution.
She said pancreatic cancer is considered a relatively rare form of cancer and doesn't get the same attention or funding as the better-known cancers such as breast cancer, which afflicts about 1 out of 8 women eventually.
"Publicizing the disease this way through the greenhouses is incredible," Ms. Massey said.
Ms. Kinney said her inspiration is the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation, which has raised billions for research, treatment, education, and other activities related to breast cancer and made itself almost a household name in the process.
"We have every intention of growing nationally," she said. "My goal is to do for pancreatic cancer what the Komen Foundation has done for breast cancer."
Joe Perlaky, program manager for Maumee Valley Growers, described the denim shock wave petunia as a hardy annual that can be kept potted indoors or put in the ground outside. "It doesn't take much care. It's a really good choice," he explained. "They should last the whole summer."
Tom Wardell, owner of Wardell's Garden Center in Waterville Township, said he has about 100 of the plants and is eager to see how the public takes to them. "We're happy to take part in this and do something positive," he said.
The other participating greenhouses can be found on the Maumee Valley Growers Web site at maumee valleygrowers.com.
Contact Carl Ryan at: firstname.lastname@example.org or 419-724-6050.
MVG Helps Beautify Lucas Cty Courthouse
Once again, on June 9th the Maumee Valley Growers has partnered with several organizations in NW Ohio in a major annuals planting at the Lucas County Courthouse in downtown Toledo. Nearly 30 volunteers from area horticulture organizations participated. Many thanks to Josh Miller and Matt Ross from TBG, Amy Stone at Lucas County’s OSU office and our illustrious Master Gardeners for orchestrating and providing volunteers for the event. Keeping Toledo and Lucas County beautiful during these challenging times requires a little extra effort, an effort these organizations don’t hesitate to provide.
Last but not least, our Maumee Valley Growers who enthusiastically donated all plant products! Without their generosity, community beautification projects such as these would not be possible.
Here is a collage of images from the Courthouse:
Listed below are all participants:
Those Maumee Valley Grower members donating flowers were:
Green Business is Growing in Northwest Ohio
Northwest Ohio is home to many multi-generational greenhouse businesses; read some of their stories here.
New businesses are being formed in the area as well, including the Whitehouse Daylily Farm, where MVG member Wade Smith is producing daylilies, other perennials, and vegetables both in a new hoop house and in the ground.
Smith, whose future plans include state-of-the art greenhouses powered by alternative energy sources, is experimenting with carefully chosen varieties and growing systems. By collaborating with other growers and with business, academic, and public sector stakeholders in the industry, he is hoping to grow a business that will provide him with long-term economic opportunities and future generations with fresh local food.
New Gardening Social Networking Web Site
DigtheDirt.com is intended to put gardeners in touch with other gardeners on an information-packed website dedicated to all aspects of the growing hobby of gardening.
A new social networking website, www.digthedirt.com, has been designed to be an online garden destination, with a vibrant online community, a dynamic database of plants and gardening ideas, and ultimately a source of any type of gardening information or resource. [From greenhouse product news.]
Toledo area greenhouses grow in cooperation
Competitors benefit from sharing of resources
Article published May 09, 2010
(Click here for a list of Maumee Valley Grower greenhouses.)
THE GREENHOUSE industry in the Toledo area is highly competitive, with more than 80 in Lucas County and nearby counties selling flowers and vegetable plants locally and to garden stores and big-box retailers in several states.
But greenhouse operators are learning to cooperate with each other too. “We all pretty much work together,” said Larry Ohlman, president of Ohlman Farm & Greenhouse Inc., a large greenhouse on Hill Avenue that has 10 acres of growing area under plastic. “We trade back and forth and supply products to each other.”
For the last five years, area greenhouses have shared resources and knowledge under the umbrella of Maumee Valley Growers, aided by a federal dollars.
“It has definitely helped, especially on advertising,” said Greg Barrow, who manages Barrow's Greenhouse, a 118-year-old fifth-generation family business, with 1.3 acres of growing area on Northwood Avenue near Toledo Hospital.
The growers' group, which sponsors cooperative ads to promote local products, stemmed from a project begun seven years ago by two area professors — geographer Neil Reid at the University of Toledo and economist Michael Carroll at Bowling Green State University. They used grants from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
A study they did found Lucas County ranking in the top 5 percent of counties nationally in terms of greenhouse output.
The growers' association in part resulted in area greenhouses receiving more than $5 million in federal funding, funneled largely through UT, said Frank Calzonetti, UT's vice president for research and economic development.
And the Agriculture Department's Agricultural Research Service, he said, has spent nearly $14 million on greenhouse and hydroponic research in this region and has committed $11 million so far on what may someday become a $25 million research facility at UT that will include a greenhouse-research center.
Mr. Reid and Mr. Carroll studied the area's greenhouse industry in 2004 and found 82 greenhouses in Toledo's four-county metro area (Lucas, Wood, Fulton, and Ottawa counties) plus Erie County, contributing nearly $100 million annually to the regional economy. Their study showed that the greenhouses employed 440 directly and an additional 320 indirectly.
Of the greenhouses, more than 30 are in Lucas County alone, including 14 inside Toledo's city limits.
Still, area growers face challenges, including high energy costs, competition from other regions (particularly southern Ontario), and the constant need to upgrade technology. An example of how technology has changed in recent decades is the use of “soil-less media” to replace dirt. Growers use varying mixes of peat moss, sand, tree bark, and minerals.
Area greenhouses range from very large ones such as Bettinger Farms Inc. and Schmidt Brothers Inc., each with 12-acre operations in Swanton, to small ones like Bench Farms in Curtice, which has 25,000 square feet of growing area, or just over half an acre.
While the largest ones tend to sell wholesale only, Bench is strictly a local retail greenhouse, said Cindy Bench, co-owner along with her husband, David.
“We'll never get rich, but we meet the greatest people,” said Mrs. Bench.
“We can't compete on price with the big-box stores, but we can offer better-quality products and service.”
Among wholesalers are the likes of Brodbeck Greenhouse, with 6 acres under plastic, and Wenz Brothers Farm, also with 6 acres. They are across from each other on Wenz Road in southwest Toledo.
Brodbeck marks 100 years in business this September, and Wenz evolved from a family-owned produce-farming operation that dates to the mid-19th century and is now in its sixth generation.
Bruce Bordbeck, president and owner of his family's greenhouse, said his firm sells to independent garden centers in the Southeast, including in many suburbs of Washington, and to other stores within 500 miles of Toledo.
His son, Matt, manager, representing the fourth generation, said, “In a small farming business, you wear several hats. You have to do the watering, managing, shipping. You have to do a bit of everything.”
Kathy Wenze, manager of Wenz Brothers and a sixth-generation member of the family, said, “I'm hoping there will be someone from the seventh generation to help me.”
Among others that are a century or more old is the Ohlman greenhouse, which evolved from a farm established in 1882 and is now in its fourth generation. Hecklinger Greenhouse Inc., on Seaman Street in East Toledo, celebrates its 97th birthday this year.
A number of the growers say business has held up well during the recession.
“Last year was one of our best ever,” said Mr. Ohlman. “Because of the downturn in the economy, people are spending more time decorating their homes and doing more gardening.”
The local growers' group has a Web site, www.maumeevalleygrowers.com.
Annual spring fund-raiser blooms despite weather
By CARL RYAN
Chilly winds and intermittent sprinkles weren't enough to dampen the enthusiasm of gardeners Saturday at the Toledo Botanical Garden's annual spring plant sale.
The horticultural enthusiasts turned out by the hundreds, browsing through more than 8,000 plants, as part of the Mother's Day weekend event that is an important fund-raiser for the organization.
The plant sale runs Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Toledo Botanical Garden, 5403 Elmer Drive. Admission and parking are free.
"People are out here rain or shine - that's what gardeners do," explained Phyllis Hyder of Waterville, a volunteer who spent more than 40 hours last week helping prepare for the sale.
Certainly, Julie Shanks of Lambertville wasn't deterred by the wind gusts and the showers.
"If you are into a shade garden, this is one of the best plant sales to come to," she explained. "You find things here you won't find at the ordinary greenhouse. This is an annual pilgrimage for me."
For Danielle DeMuth, Beth Bean, and Rose Marie Detlef, the visit to the garden made for a Mother's Day outing. Ms. Demuth of Grand Rapids, Ohio, and Ms. Bean of Columbus are sisters, and Ms. Detlef of Perrysburg Township is their mother. "I'm helping her with her garden," said Ms. Bean, referring to her sister.
Ms. DeMuth explained that she was trying to decide on the best things to plant in her shady yard.
Ms. Detlef said she hoped to get a nice Mother's Day plant out of the visit to the botanical garden. Her daughters, she said, are both Democrats and flatly refused to buy her the new Laura Bush memoir, the gift she really wanted.
Georgeann Brown, a volunteer with the Maumee Valley Herb Society, said her group usually sells out its assortment of culinary and ornamental herbs.
"We carry all the basics and some that are a little different, and we give free advice," she explained. "We're all trying to cut back on fats and sodium in our diets, and the way to do it is with culinary herbs."
One particularly interesting herb is hot parsley, which is used in Thai food, she said. But all the regulars are for sale, she said, including oregano, dill, rosemary, sage, thyme, and sorrel.
Melissa Shaner, the botanical garden's events and marketing manager, said she expected 3,000 to 5,000 people to have visited the plant sale by the time it ends today at 5 p.m. It began Thursday with a preview night for members, and it opened to the public Friday. Mona Macksey, a botanical garden board member, said the plant sale has become an increasingly important source of revenue. The city of Toledo owns the botanical garden's land, but financial support comes from the Metroparks system, which has reduced funding by $300,000 because of declining real-estate tax receipts.
"We're doing more with less staff," Ms. Macksey said. "The point we want to make is that because of our frugality, we are able to keep it open and keep it free of charge. We don't even charge for parking."
Contact Carl Ryan at: email@example.com or 419-724-6050.
MVG Hosts Delegation from Middle East
Recently MVG Vice President Walt Kreuger and his son Michael hosted a visit from three young agripreneurs who are involved in family agricultural businesses in Lebanon. The young women, whose farms currently produce a range of fruits and vegetables as well as olives, are exploring new products including saffron, safflower, and sun dried tomatoes.
The young women are part of a 15-person delegation from the Middle East spending a month in Northwest Ohio through a program organized by the Great Lakes Consortium. The University of Toledo’s Family Business Center has also provided trainings on generational succession and other issues typical in family businesses.
Walt and Michael, who represent the third and fourth generations at Lakewood Greenhouse, shared their thoughts about the special qualities of family businesses in general and how each generation’s new ideas, coupled with the experience of previous generations, have helped Lakewood thrive and adapt to changing markets.
The visitors, Petra Akoury, Mada Arslan, and Sabine Khoury, also toured the Hirzel cannery and Sage Organics.
MVG Supports Master Gardener Video Tips
Maumee Valley Growers is proud to provide support for “Master Gardener Video Tips” hosted by the online Bowling Green Sentinel-Tribune. These are tips from local area master gardeners demonstrating techniques they use every day to grow healthier plants, combat garden pests, and more. Click here view the tips.
Grower Organizations & Master Gardeners Partner for
On Earth Day, downtown Toledoan’s were taking note of a landscaping upgrade at the magnificent Lucas County Courthouse on Adams Street. During these challenging economic times, area growers volunteered their time by de-weeding and adding new native plants to the one block area of our central city in preparation for an annual planting later this spring.
This event organized by Amy Stone from OSU Extension was a classic collaboration: a project not possible without the contributions of each of its partners. Last year, Lucas County officials were looking for a way to spruce up plantings around the stately courthouse and this was a continuation of that effort. As before, staff from the Toledo Botanical Garden surveyed the site and created a manageable plan for new plantings which include colorful annuals and perennials, varieties native to the Maumee Valley.
Nearly twenty members of Northwest Ohio’s Master Gardeners provided much of the muscle-power as well as EarthWear a local landscape design/installation company. Plant materials were contributed by TBG.
Good Intentions Always in Season at Farmers Markets
If you’ve never been to a farmers market, close your eyes and imagine an avenue of folding tables brimming with vibrant vegetables and fruit and spilling melt-in-your-mouth local products like cheese, hummus and fresh-baked bread.
Farmers markets are experiencing a renaissance. Click here to read about how these "community bazaars" offer benefits to their areas (from Miller-McCune Online Magazine).
Garden Trend Surveys
From the Garden Writers Association web site: According to the 2009 Edibles Gardening Trends Research Report conducted by the Garden Writers Association Foundation (GWAF) in November, over 41 million U.S. households (38%) grew a vegetable garden in 2009." Click here for the full story.
A Gardener's New Years Resolution
Excellent advice, and many more tips are available when you read the rest of the Gardener's New Years Day pledge in the December 30, 2009 issue of The Toledo Blade.
In Winter, Get Ready For Next Season
Winter gardening tips abound on the Net. Below is very small sampling that can help you get a better, faster start for next season.
A Gift of Chrysanthemums
Symbols of wealth, fidelity and truth, chrysanthemums have been grown in Chinese gardens for more than 2,000 years. A gift of chrysanthemum flowers conveys your pure intentions, whether to a spouse, friend or business associate. -- Teleflora.com
Today, chrysanthemums are popular in Northwest Ohio gardens, too, and those with pure intentions will find a range of sizes, shapes, and colors available. Visit your favorite Maumee Valley Grower now, or look for locally grown flowers at your favorite shopping destination; you’ll get the best product, the most helpful service, and you’ll help keep our local economy strong.
Buy Your Tomatoes Locally & Avoid Blight!
Looking for some hands-on farm time, and some real tomato bargains, right now? Check out Hoen’s Greenhouse, where the u-pick tomato season is just starting. Fields are open Monday through Saturday from 9 AM to 6 PM, and on Sunday from 11 to 4.
Whether we grow our own, shop the farm stands and farmers markets, or hope to find real summer-flavored specimens at the grocery store, most of us look forward to tomato season. And it’s here!
But before we celebrate, there are some warning signs for tomato lovers:
In the Northeast, late blight, a fungal disease that attacks tomato and other plants (and was associated with the Irish potato famine) has struck with a vengeance.
Late blight has been spotted in Ohio as well, and Maumee Valley gardeners are well advised to keep a close eye on their plants.
Although weather is the main culprit, this disastrous outbreak of late blight also offers yet another reason for buying local: the source of the disease appears to be plants grown in the South and distributed though several big-box chains around the country. There are even stories that when the first signs of trouble appeared, they were spotted by sales clerks without the authority to pull the products from the shelves, and diseased plants continued to be sold.
But we don't have to depend on tomato plants (or tomatoes) shipped in from far-away places. If you want to grow tomatoes next year, and if you want to start with plants rather than seeds, a Maumee Valley Grower can offer you plants grown right here and carefully watched over. When you buy from a local grower, you can return again and again, getting to know the grower and the greenhouse. Maumee Valley Growers take pride in the quality of their products. Most are family businesses, and they work hard to earn your business for the long term.
In the Heat of the Summer
Maybe you’ve been out of town, the sprinklers didn’t work, and the neighbors let you down. Maybe you’re at home and want to spruce up the yard for your staycation. Whatever the reason, it’s not too late: Maumee Valley Growers can help. Here are a few suggestions ...
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Visit Bostdorff Greenhouse Acres. Bring your container or find one there. Alicia Bostdorff-Timm can make up a gorgeous mixed planter of mature plants that will look like you’ve been nurturing it all summer. Think out of the box! Some of the most beautiful pots include a mix of annuals, perennials, and tropicals that will make you feel like you’re enjoying the landscaping of a pricey resort holiday – but at home!
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Check out Wardell’s Greenhouse. Kathleen Johnson will help you to brighten your yard with flowers. Look for the colorful, unusual varieties of purslane and the fabulous mature coleus and impatiens. The hanging baskets are thriving in a rainbow of colors, and you’re sure to find something that fits your needs.
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These suggestions, and the pictures included here, come from a quick drive through southwest Lucas County. They’re just an example of the offerings available from local growers. If you live in the Maumee Valley, there is a Maumee Valley Grower near you. By shopping with a Maumee Valley Grower, or by looking for plants grown by a Maumee Valley Grower, you can buy the best while supporting the local economy.
Giving Back to the Community
Maumee Valley Growers, Toledo Botanical Garden, other partners, create new plantings at Lucas County Courthouse
Visitors and passers-by in Downtown Toledo are taking note of a landscaping upgrade at the magnificent Lucas County Courthouse on Adams Street. Some may wonder how, in these tough budget times, the flower beds were re-planted and new, colorful plantings were created. Maumee Valley Growers is proud to have played a part in this effort.
It was a classic collaboration: a project not possible without the contributions of each of its partners. Lucas County officials were looking for a way to spruce up plantings around the stately courthouse. Staff from the Toledo Botanical Garden surveyed the site and created a manageable plan for new plantings which include, in addition to colorful annuals and perennials, varieties native to the Maumee Valley.
Fourteen area youth, part of a stimulus-plan summer-jobs program, supplied much of the muscle-power, guided and supervised by Master Gardeners from Lucas County as well as TBG and county staffers. Plant materials were contributed by TBG as well as by MVG members including
Other partners included:
Along with last year’s contributions to Toledo's "America In Bloom" efforts and the extensive plantings on "Greek Hill" at Summit and Cherry Streets, this colorful, beautiful testimony to the community spirit of area green businesses.
Add Color With Hanging Baskets
Whether you have a large property and multiple flower beds or you are an apartment-dweller with a tiny deck, there’s always room for a hanging basket. If you’re adventurous, you can make your own. Visit your favorite Maumee Valley Grower for individual plants and other materials. Here are some tips from the experts:
If you’re no Martha Stewart, or if you just want some color fast, Maumee Valley Growers offer a dazzling range of fabulous ready-to-go hanging baskets. Those pictured here were on diplay on Friday June 12th at Ben Sell’s, Whiteford Road Greenhouse, Rhodes Market, and Barrows Greenhouse.
Victory in the Garden
Some vegetable gardeners want to save money. Some want to avoid the environmental costs of buying food grown 3000 miles away. Some want the security of knowing exactly how their salad was grown, and some just want the taste of home-grown tomatoes (and lettuce, and carrots, and radishes, and corn). Whatever the reason, Americans are growing more vegetables this year.
Across America, the movement is being compared to the Victory Gardens of decades ago. In Northwest Ohio, Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur is urging us to grow our own, and to share the bounty.
"Forty percent of the food eaten in World War II was provided by Victory Gardens," Miss Kaptur said. "Today, the enemy is hunger." Kaptur issued a challenge to area residents: 'Will you plant a garden and will you donate what you don't eat to your food banks?'" --Toledo Blade, May 10, 2009
Kaptur’s passion for the cause has inspired the “Victory in the Garden” project. Maumee Valley Growers is joining with other organizations to encourage 1000 Victory Gardens this year. Gardeners who want to be a part of the program can register their gardens at victoryinthegarden.osu.edu. As a way of celebrating our Victory Gardens, the project will include a photography contest and, later in the fall, a Harvest Party and Celebration.
A victory garden may be measured in acres, or it may be a few containers on a deck. In San Francisco and Baltimore, civic space is being used to grow food for needy residents. Inspiration and ideas are everywhere. Tips, recipes, and photos are available at www.pbs.org/wgbh/victorygarden/.
As always, Maumee Valley Growers members can help. Visit your local grower for seeds and plants for your Victory Garden, and for the expertise you need to make it a success. By choosing locally-grown plants from a local business, you will help the local economy and get great quality and personal service.
As your favorite Maumee Valley Grower to help you achieve Victory in the Garden!
The Staycation: Attracting Birds and Butterflies to Your Northwest Ohio Garden
Creating a garden that welcomes songbirds, hummingbirds, and butterflies is a relatively simple task. It consists of supplying them with three basic requirements for survival: food, cover, and water. To birds and butterflies, the typical suburban landscape resembles an unfriendly desert. Close-cropped lawns, sheared foundation shrubs, and deadheaded flowers mean no place to nest, no food to eat, and nowhere to hide. (/www.howtoattractbirds.com)
Northwest Ohio is a great place for birdwatching, and with the help of Maumee Valley Growers you can attract a range of winged creatures to your gardens. You can make room in any garden for one or two plants that will attract birds and butterflies, or you can design your entire landscape as a sanctuary for wildlife with trees, shrubs, and flowers.
Many Maumee Valley Growers offer native plants, which are often recommended for a bird-and butterfly-friendly garden. Pictured here are three of the 50+ types of salvia available from Bench Farms, which specializes in unusual varieties which can help to attract a greater range of birds. Others Maumee Valley Growers, including Bostdorff Greenhouse Acres, can help you design and construct a natural landscape, including trees and shrubs where birds can seek food shelter and a consistent water source.
Wherever you live in Northwest Ohio, there’s a Maumee Valley Grower near you. Gardening is good for you, good for your home value, and good for the environment. By purchasing locally-grown plants, you can help the local economy as well!
MVG Now Offers Recycling
This year, more and more gardeners are going greener with organics, native plants, less-toxic pesticides, and recycled materials.
Once concern is the materials used to produce gardening tools and supplies, according to Diane di Costanzo (www.thegreenguide.com/home-garden/garden/greener-gardening-supplies). Di Constanzo has some recommendations for shoppers: "It's not necessary -- or even realistic -- to avoid plastic and wood altogether when buying tools and supplies for the garden. In fact, the greenest gardeners search out recycled plastic products to support those companies who are actively saving plastic from its very long afterlife in landfill. And fortunately, recycled plastic garden products are becoming common."
Maumee Valley Growers want to help you make your gardening practices greener. We know that many gardeners use a huge number of plastic pots, and many garages house stacks of these trays and pots, just waiting to be recycled. Participating members of Maumee Valley Growers invite you to return your clean plastic pots and trays for recycling; they will do the rest! Whenever possible, pots will be re-used, and those which are not suitable for re-use will be recycled.
Our members are locally-owned independent family businesses. By shopping with a Maumee Valley Grower, you can go green and support the local economy.
The Maumee Valley Growers are now offering a recycing program. Return your extra plastic pots and trays to the participating growers listed below and they will do the rest:
* - Can only accept pots they have sold for recycling
So plant more and help save the environment!
The Staycation: A Garden That Produces Great Meals
A world without tomatoes is like a string quartet without violins. -- Laurie Colwin
The federal government has sponsored research that has produced a tomato that is perfect in every respect, except that you can't eat it. We should make every effort to make sure this disease, often referred to as 'progress', doesn't spread. -- Andy Rooney
One of the joys of a staycation can be a garden that produces great meals, and many all-time great summer meals involve tomatoes. Like many good things, a fresh-from-the-garden tomato takes time. And planning. Now is the time to plan the meals you can enjoy from your own garden this summer. Start your planning with a visit to your favorite Maumee Valley Grower, who can help you decide what varieties will work for you.
Your meal may involve tomato salad, or salsa, or fresh sauce. At the very least, you’ll need tomatoes and basil, and several varieties of both are sure to be available at your favorite local garden center. At Gardenland, where these pictures were taken on April 22nd, 2009, you can get a head start with tomatoes in 5-gallon pots. No room for a full-size tomato? Try a cherry tomato, like the chocolate cherry variety pictured here. At Gardenland, Lois Reau advises that, although we should wait until the third week in May to transplant tomato plants to the garden, your plants will enjoy being outside on sunny days.
Once you get your tomatoes home, you’ll find lots of advice on the web. Try gardening.about.com/od/growingtips/tp/Tomato_Tips.htm or ohioline.osu.edu/hyg-fact/1000/1624.html for some of the basics.
The colorful tomatoes above were grown by members of Slow Food Maumee Valley (slowfoodmaumeevalley.blogspot.com), who celebrated in August 2008 with an heirloom tomato tasting. Whether you choose standard tomato varieties or heirlooms, standard size or patio-friendly, by purchasing your plants from a Maumee Valley Grower, you can support our local economy now and plan your own tomato celebration this summer.
The Staycation: Planting A Fairy Garden
This year, many people are choosing a staycation: enjoying their homes, porches, and yards with close friends and families. Often, this involves making these spaces comfortable and appealing with hanging baskets, colorful planters, or imaginative theme gardens.
There are many types of theme gardens. One is the fairy garden. According to author Theresa Mieseler,
You don’t need to believe in fairies to have a fairy garden on your deck or patio - although it couldn’t hurt. (www.herbcompanion.com)
Maumee Valley gardeners who would like to plant a fairy garden will find plenty of advice on line. According to Herbal Landscaping,
Some herbs are associated with fairies, the most important one being thyme. In Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night's Dream, Titania, the fairy queen, sleeps in a bed of wild thyme growing on a bank.
Closer to home, Hoen's Greenhouse and Mulberry Creek Herb Farm offer miniature fairy gardens. If you’d like to design and create your own, these and many other Maumee Valley Growers can provide you with the materials you need. Whether you choose to devote a corner of your yard to hollyhocks, tea roses, and foxglove or simply to design a dish garden with low-growing herbs and furnish it with diminutive furniture, a fairy garden can be a fun project for kids of all ages.
By choosing to purchase materials for your new garden from a Maumee Valley Grower, you'll support the local economy, and you will be assured of friendly, expert service.
Spring Has Arrived!
Spring has arrived, and with it the craving for gardening. Maumee Valley Growers may have a few weeks to wait for balmy outdoor days, but we don’t have to wait for spring blossoms.
Even non-gardeners are ready to say good bye to winter with colorful primroses, potted bulbs, and beautiful Easter lilies.
Here are some tips for choosing and caring for an Easter lily:
When buying a lily, look for a plant with flowers in various stages of bloom from buds to open or partially opened flowers. Foliage should be dense, rich green in color, and extend all the way down to the soil line (a good indication of a healthy root system). Look for a well-proportioned plant, one that is about two times as high as the pot. You also should check the flowers, foliage, and buds for signs of yellowing (improper culture), insects, or disease.
At home, keep your lily away from drafts and drying heat sources such as appliances or heating ducts. Bright, indirect light is best with daytime temperatures of 60 to 65 degrees F. Water the plant only when the soil feels dry to the touch, but don’t overwater. To prolong the life of the blossoms, remove the yellow anthers (pollen-bearing pods) found in the center of each flower. If you get this staining pollen on fabrics, don’t rub it off, but remove it with sticky tape. (http://www.uvm.edu/)
The pictures here were taken at Barrow’s Greenhouse on the last day of March. By making your purchases at a local greenhouse or garden center, you not only choose high quality plants and personal service, you help our local economy. Visit your favorite Maumee Valley Grower soon and bring home an indoor plant that you can enjoy now, while you plan your outdoor garden!
Celebrate St. Patrick's Day with Shamrocks from A Maumee Valley Grower
"For millions of people today, the shamrock is the emblem of Ireland ... Today (the) shamrock is cultivated ... in time for 17 March ... to be worn by the Irish and the honorary Irish, who take on the nationality for a few hours." (http://www.irelandseye.com/paddy/shamrock.html)
Here in Northwest Ohio, many varieties of shamrock are available for those who want their St. Patrick's Day celebration to last a bit longer than the traditional Jigs Dinner and green beer. The shamrock plant, a type of oxalis, can be placed in a sunny or partly sunny window and is easy to care for. Many garden sites offer tips on taking care of your shamrock; here is a small sampling:
Maumee Valley Growers who are currently offering shamrocks include:
This year, treat yourself to a St. Patrick's Day "Staycation" and visit your favorite Maumee Valley Grower for a shamrock to help make it last!
NW Ohio greenhouse growers work together to compete
At the Ohio Nursery and Landscape Assciation's annual CENTS (Central Environmental Nursery Trade Show), Neil Reid reported on MVGA's cooperative efforts, and this was reported in the March 2009 issue of Country Grower Midwest:
Collaboration to Compete is a catchy title that even 25 years ago would not have been appropriate for the OSU Nursery Short Course, which took place in late January in conjunction with Ohio Nursery and Landscape Association's annual CENTS (Central Environmental Nursery Trade Show). Nursery enterprises in Ohio had traditionally been family owned small businesses that, while friendly with each other, did not too often work together. This has changed in recent years, as ever expanding, ever more costly agriculturally specialty growing has become focused on finding ways to cooperate in growing and marketing their products.
Corso's is Going Green
(From Joe Perlaky, MVG Project Manager)
Here is an article posted March 12, 2009 in the Sandusky Register. Linda Woods from Northcoast Wind and Power is assisting Corso’s Greenhouse to defray their electric costs through an installation of a wind turbine. Check it out.
Hoen's & Proven Winners
Hoen's Greenhouse was recently profiled by Proven Winners.
Like many Proven Winners retailers, Hoen's had intended to enter the Destination contest before. But when the season hits, there's often little time for photos of displays that empty faster than they can be restocked. This year however, Bob and Theresa's team made the plans, shot the photos, and sent in the registration! Their team consists of both family members and key staff. Sons Justin and Ian constructed the fixtures for use throughout the retail area. Justin's wife Heather, the Hoen's daughter Stephanie along with her husband Brandon put the marketing plans together, including ways to incorporate Proven Winners point-of-sale materials. Darlene Putnam, Cindy Jacob and Brenda Stelter round out the Hoen's team and keep all the staff involved - everyone stocks the displays! The team used the Proven Winners training program to help everyone feel confident about the product. Theresa got the group together at her house for food and brainstorming.
A traditional grower-turned-retailer, Hoen's works hard to make their not-so-new greenhouses work as effective retail space. They've widened aisles, created a hanging basket color wall, incorporated a kids activity area, and in-store events. They welcome industry tours as a way of improving their presentation. They have developed partnerships with local suppliers to offer their customers a wider range of products with limited input costs; a beautiful "outdoor room" serves as a display area for container products and garden accessories; the space acts as a showroom for a local landscape/hardscape company. A local artist sells one-of-a-kind garden art on consignment.
Perhaps the greatest asset the store has, however, is the energy of the people who run the place. Both family and staff are excited about the products they sell. Hoen's positioning statement "Foster knowledge; ignite passion" says it all. And, that's just what they deliver at store level. Surrounded by box stores and operating in challenging economic times, Bob and Theresa represent the best of independent garden centers, serving their community with a product essential to the health and happiness of their customers and providing economic stability for family and staff. Theirs is the very definition of sustainability and success!
Mark the date: Its time for a Toledo calendar
In it's December 7, 2008 article, The Toledo Blade highligted locally produced calendars, and prominently featured among them is the 2009 Maumee Valley Growers calendar. An excerpt from the article:
The Maumee Valley Growers’ photo-rich calendar is a fine gift for customers (and for a politician to give away to 1,000 constituents).
It’s hard to beat flowers for beauty, and the Maumee Valley Growers’ calendar is replete with 12-by-12-inch photographs shot in local greenhouses and fields. It’s the third year for this winning venture that’s distributed at no cost to the 60 member-greenhouse growers, mostly family operations in Lucas, Wood, Fulton, Erie, Ottawa, and Sandusky counties.
The group is funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and managed by UT and others. The calendar’s best customer? U.S. Rep. Marcy Kaptur, a passionate proponent of family farming, who recently purchased 1,000 of the growers’ calendar.
You can read the entire article here.
The Maumee Valley Growers Association
Maumee Valley Growers, which is funded through a USDA grant managed through The University of Toledo in partnership with Bowling Green State University, Indiana State University, and The Ohio State University, are kicking it up a notch with a new, grower-controlled non-profit corporation called Maumee Valley Growers Association.
This new industry organization will work with The University of Toledo and other partners from Bowling Green State University, Indiana State University, and The Ohio State University on ongoing cluster activities, and will provide a focus for the industry when the original USDA grant funding ends.
Recently, Maumee Valley Growers celebrated the achievements of 2008 and launched a membership recruitment campaign for the new organization. Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur was in attendance and spoke eloquently about the importance of Northwest Ohio's floriculture activity. She urged growers to pay close attention to the new Farm Bill and to use new resources made available in the bill to strengthen their businesses.
In addition to voting members, all of whom will be area growers, MVGA is accepting non-voting associate members, of whom Congresswoman Kaptur is the first.
MVG & the UT Urban Affairs Center
MVG and the UT Urban Affairs Center have a long-standing relationship. Click here to view a short item from the issue of UT Matters that highlights this relationship.
Green Greenhouse Practices - Recycling
Maumee Valley Growers are getting together with the Lucas County Solid Waste District and Keep Toledo Lucas County Beautiful to provide an opportunity for growers and gardeners to recycle the pots, trays, and other plastics which often stack up in garages as an unwanted side effect of spring planting.
MVG staff and members are working to design a program that will work long-term to keep these materials out of the landfill; a pilot program is underway and will last through August. The goal is to provide opportunities for all area greenhouses to participate by working together.
MVG At The Lucas County Fair
As a part of the 175th Lucas County Fair, Maumee Valley Growers’ members and partner organizations hosted visitors including Nancy Montanez Johner (Under Secretary for Food, Nutrition and Consumer Services at the USDA), Helen Jones-Kelly (Director of the Ohio Department of Job & Family Services), and Lucas County Commissioner Tina Skeldon Wozniak.
The MVG exhibit, housed in a hoop house temporarily set up on the fairgrounds, included plant and floral displays from a number of area greenhouses, rain garden information, and a demonstration windmill by partner North Coast Wind & Power.
Throughout the week, MVG members enjoyed the opportunity to talk to Maumee Valley gardeners as well as a chance to network with other growers.
MVG Assists with Local Home Design Projects
MVG growers provided horticultural knowledge and design expertise to local home makeover projects as part of TV5's series today's home design. Projects include patios, watergardens, bring the outdoors indoors, and making your yard wildlife friendly.
Each video opens in a new window (all are WMV format); they will take a few moments to begin during their initial download.
Local entrepreneur develops eco-friendly dishes
The Toledo Blade, August 15, 2008
How does one go from raising orchids to creating a line of dinnerware?
"It's actually not that far of a deviation," said local entrepreneur Larry Ohlman III, who has spent the last 18 months designing a line of ecologically friendly plates and bowls.
Four years ago, Mr. Ohlman, 29, was growing and selling varieties of orchids for his family's Ohlman Farm and Greenhouse Inc., of Toledo. But he was experimenting with materials to make an eco-friendly flowerpot.
"From there it kind of segued into tableware production," he said.
Next month, a limited list of retailers will begin carrying his Eco-Collection tableware, which the Food and Drug Administration has certified as 100 percent natural.
The products - dinner plate, salad plate, and bowl in shades of mocha and light natural brown - are made primarily of powdered bamboo fibers mixed with biological-based polymers at high temperature. However, when an owner tires of the dinnerware it could be buried in a landfill or even a backyard.
"It would break down 100 percent in a landfill. We have already tested it for compostability," Mr. Ohlman said. "It would be gone in six months."
Dan Seigel is chief executive of EVO.com, a Web site that evaluates the eco-friendliness of "green" consumer products and provides links and information on where to buy them. He said Mr. Ohlman is not the first to come up with eco-friendly dinnerware but he probably has "the best of both worlds."
Several EVO vendors have plates that are fully biodegradable and will break down in six months. But such plates, made from palm leaves, sugar cane fibers, or corn-based plastics, are mostly for short-term use and are not too durable, Mr. Siegel said.
"It sounds like what he's got has more durability and lasts longer," Mr. Siegel said.
John DuVall, owner of Honey I'm Home, a home decor specialty store on Monroe Street in Sylvania, said Mr. Ohlman's invention has another quality: aesthetics. It has "great colors and its's got a great feel to it," he said.
He added: "It's just a great concept. Going 'green' is the new hip thing."
The product is priced at $10 for an 11-inch dinner plate, $9 for a 8 1/2-inch salad plate, and $8 for a bowl. That's much higher than more common dinner sets. At Target, for example, a set of four dinner plates, four salad plates, four bowls, and four mugs costs about $30.
Mr. Ohlman plans to sell his dinnerware beginning Sept. 1 through his Web site, www.ecologicproduct.com. In October, it will be in stores including Claudia's Natural Food Market. He hopes to place it in national retailers.
MVG Hosts America in Bloom Judges
Maumee Valley Grower Larry Ohlman recently hosted two judges from America in Bloom at his Hill Avenue greenhouse. The judges will tour Toledo’s neighborhoods and visit parks, community institutions including the Toledo Zoo, the Toledo Botanical Garden, and the University of Toledo, as well as county and city recycling and forestry operations. They will evaluate Toledo’s environmental practices, heritage and historic preservation efforts, tidiness and community involvement. Maumee Valley Growers and its members including Ohlman contributed thousands of annual plants to beautify the community in preparation for the competition.
More information about the MVG and America in Bloom can be read in our What's New section.
MVG Helps City of Oregon Beautify
MVG donated flowers to the City of Oregon to add beauty to City Hall. Several of our wholesalers (Ohlman's, Lakewood, Creque, Schmidlin, and Brick's) in NW Ohio stepped forward for these unique donations to our communities to help celebrate America in Bloom which starts this Wednesday for 4 days. Marty Wineland was very helpful on behalf of the City of Oregon on this project.
Greek Hill to Bloom Again in 2008
Maumee Valley Growers Partner with City, Diocese, and Toledo Botanical Garden
Everything will be coming up petunias this summer at Summit and Cherry, thanks to the more than 2000 plants, locally grown at Brodbeck Nurseries, supplied by Maumee Valley Growers for intallation by staff from the City of Toledo and Toledo Botanical Garden on “Greek Hill,” property owned by the Catholic Diocese of Toledo.
This is the third year for the collaboration, in which local growers contribute to civic beautification efforts while promoting their “buy local” message. Seasonal maintenance is provided by the City of Toledo.
MVG Co-Sponsors Local Environmental Education Program
Videos produced by EcoTrack11 (all videos are WMV):
Promotional Videos Featuring MVG
Maumee Valley Growers Join Statewide Organizations
In an effort to reach other regions of Ohio and southeast Michigan, the MVG’s have recently joined the greenhouse grower associations located in Cleveland, Cincinnati and Detroit. Program Manager Joe Perlaky and Palmer Energy consultant Kirk Mizerek plan on attending as many of their meetings as possible to explain the benefits of the natural gas program. The strength of the grower led collaboration is the pooling of financial resources for the purpose of lowering individual company’s energy costs.
Further information about each organization is available below:
A Celebration of the Maumee Valley Growers
This message to the Maumee Valley Growers is from Neil Reid, Director & Associate Professor of the Urban Affairs Center at the University of Toledo.
I’m writing to ask you to join me in a celebration and a launch. Both will take place on Friday September 5th from 6 pm to 8 pm at Cousino’s Navy Bistro (at the Docks).
Four years ago, when I first met with eight area growers, I could not have envisioned the successes that have been achieved through our collaboration. The challenges facing the Northwest Ohio greenhouse industry, such as high energy costs and the lack of a market presence, were beyond the scope of individual greenhouse owners to address.
Today, by working together as a network of greenhouse industry businesses and organizations, including the University of Toledo, which support them, we are addressing those challenges and finding solutions.
Through regular grassroots meetings, growers have strengthened their connections and built new partnerships. An aggressive branding and marketing effort has made the “Maumee Valley Growers” name a recognized symbol for quality locally grown flowers. By pooling their purchasing power, growers have slowed the rapidly rising cost of energy to heat their houses.
These successes have brought us to the next step, the creation of a formal non-profit entity to continue the work we have begun together. Early this year, “Maumee Valley Growers Association” (MVGA) was incorporated to serve the common business interests of the greenhouse industry in Northwest Ohio.
Members of MVGA will continue to benefit from joint marketing and advertising efforts, facilitated joint problem solving, interaction with university researchers, inclusion in a MVGA Member Directory, and special coverage on the MVG website, http://maumeevalleygrowers.com. Soon, we will move into the next phase with members electing a board to manage the organization and represent them in all collaborative efforts. You will be getting that information in the mail in a few days.
In the mean time, please join us a week from Friday at the Bistro downtown at the Docks (click here to see the invitation) to celebrate our initial years of accomplishments as we launch our newly incorporated Maumee Valley Growers Association.
MVG Visited by British Economic Researchers
With the help of researchers from The University of Toledo and others, Maumee Valley Growers have recently tuned in to lessons learned around the world by clusters of businesses in the same industry who have banded together, with academic and government support, to increase their collective competitiveness.
Over the last several years, the Northwest Ohio “greenhouse cluster” has greatly benefited from a USDA-funded grant which has provided economic, technical, and strategic support to dozens of the area’s core green businesses.
Successes of this approach are of interest to other clusters as well, and recently two visitors from the University of Birmingham, United Kingdom, Mike Taylor and John Bryson, joined UT Urban Affairs Center Director Neil Reid and Research Associate Paula Ross on a visit to three Maumee Valley Growers. Taylor and Bryson have done extensive research on cluster-based economic development in their home region of the West Midlands in the UK.
At Klotz Floral Garden Center in Bowling Green, third-generation owner Gene Klotz has expanded and adapted the business begun by his grandfather, Frank Klotz, who started by selling tomatoes and other vegetables from the open sides of his truck in 1918. Today, Klotz likes to refer to his business as “Northwest Ohio's Most Complete Floricultural Shopping Experience.” Other family members active in the business include his sister Nancy, wife Rita and son Eric. While touring the greenhouse and garden center, Taylor and Bryson talked with Klotz about the challenges and the rewards of an independent family business as well as the benefits of collaboration as a part of Maumee Valley Growers.
Just up the road at Bostdorff Greenhouse Acres, the visitors met another family team, Dick Bostdorff, his wife Mary Ann, and daughter Alicia. Bostdorff stressed his appreciation for increased access to technical information and other opportunities for collaboration provided by the Maumee Valley Growers, including help with energy efficiency and the opportunities for pooled purchasing.
Although they were shortly to head home and couldn’t pack hanging baskets, containers, or flats, Taylor and Bryson could not fail to be tempted by the high-quality flowers available from Klotz and Bostdorff.
The day’s final visit was to Lakewood Greenhouse, a wholesale operation where
owner Walt Krueger grows spectacular annuals and perennials for a range of
regional retail outlets. Krueger talked with Taylor, Bryson, and Reid about
rapid changes in the industry. Local growers, who will soon be placing orders
for the summer of 2009, must anticipate gardeners’ tastes in color, form, and
specific varieties. Through Maumee Valley Growers, this year they hope to
gather useful information about the preferences of area gardeners.
Israel Extension Service Officals Visit Ohio Greenhouses
Last month's green industry mission to Israel by eight Ohioans, including three from Northwest Ohio (OSU Extension’s Beth Fausey, Maumee Valley Grower Theresa Hoen, and Paula Ross from the University of Toledo Urban Affairs Center), was balanced last week with a tour of the Ohio green industry by two officials from the Israel Extension Service.
Omar Zeidan, Director of the Israeli Extension Service’s Vegetables Division, and Schlomo Israel, the agencies’ Floriculture Specialist, accompanied by Jim Chatfield, Horticulture Specialist from the OSU Extension Service, spent a day and a night in Northwest Ohio. They witnessed a great (10 to 3) Mudhens victory and enjoyed the hospitality of the Mansion View Inn before a full day of greenhouse and industry visits.
After attending the April meeting of the Maumee Valley Growers, the group, including Fausey and Ross, toured research labs at Toledo Botanical Garden and the University of Toledo. Lunch at Hoen’s Greenhouse was followed by a visit to Michigan’s 4 Star Greenhouses, the developer of the Proven Winners brand. Twenty-five acres of greenhouses, including state-of-the-art "flood floors" and extensive use of high-intensity electric lights to extend the growing season, were impressive to Israelis and Ohioans alike.
The Ohio-Israel exchange was sponsored by the Ohio-Israel Agricultural Initiative, a project of the Negev Foundation and Ohio State University. The groups are discussing follow-up projects, perhaps including joint research into integrated pest management and other ways in which the green industry can minimize its environmental footprint.
Maumee Valley Growers Gain Information, Inspiration from Israeli Visits
“Little ol' boy in the Panhandle told me the other day you can still make a small fortune in agriculture. Problem is, you got to start with a large one.”
Some things are the same throughout the world, and as members of a March 8th–16th Ohio Green Industry Mission to Israel, Maumee Valley Growers’ representatives found that Israeli farmers, greenhouse growers, and green industry members had much in common with growers in Northwest Ohio. In Israel, as in Northwest Ohio, clusters of growers are working with researchers to solve problems and strengthen their industry. While some of the challenges are different, the rewards of collaboration are universal.
Beth Fausey (OSU Extension ABE Center), Theresa Hoen (Hoen’s Greenhouse) and Paula Ross (UT Urban Affairs Center) traveled throughout much of the country as a part of a delegation of eight, sharing ideas with growers and researchers and, in turn, gaining inspiration and useful information. The trip was sponsored by the Ohio-Israel Agricultural Initiative, a project of the Negev Foundation and Ohio State University.
In April, two members of Israel’s Agricultural Extension service are expected to make a reciprocal visit to Ohio.
A few images from the trip ...
Maumee Valley Gardeners Spring into Gardening with First Annual Daytrip
Thirty Maumee Valley gardeners recently participated in the first annual “Spring Into Gardening” daytrip sponsored by The Ohio State University Extension. The trip offered great gardening ideas, previews of new plant varieties, and, at each stop, tips and techniques provided by industry experts, all Maumee Valley Growers.
The day began at Wardell’s Farm Market, where owner Tom Wardell welcomed daytrippers and provided fascinating insight into the rewards and the challenges of creating and growing a green business in Northwest Ohio. Guests enjoyed a midmorning breakfast including delicious homemade cinnamon roles prepared by Kathleen Johnson, who also led a demonstration on herb gardening following tours of Wardell’s greenhouses and display garden.
The final stop of the day was at Hoen’s Greenhouse and Garden Center. Theresa Hoen gave hands-on advice on the art of container gardening, guests shopped for seasonal annuals and perennials, and everyone indulged in the day’s final treat - homemade desserts.
Most of those who participated in the trip were passionate gardeners. Many were associated with the Master Gardener Program. All were excited about the trip and eager for a repeat. Trip organizer Beth Fausey, Director of the Agricultural Business Enhancement (ABE) Center in Bowling Green, has already started planning for next year’s Daytrip!
The First Annual “Spring Into Gardening” Daytrip
The following is from Beth Fausey of The Ohio State University Extension.
The Ohio State University Extension is sponsoring a daytrip to three of Northwest Ohio's premier gardening centers on Tuesday, April 29, 2008 from 8:30am to 5:00pm. Sit back and relax and you’ll enjoy a day that is sure to inspire and cultivate your gardening passion!
Seating is limited to the first 55 responses with payment. Bring along a friend or two … or three, and register today!
Flowers and Women in the Maumee Valley
Maumee Valley Growers were on the scene as Toledo hosted Ohio’s largest celebration of International Women’s Day on Saturday March 1st. The theme was “Blossoming in the World,” and speaker after speaker stressed the power of flowers to enhance everyday life.
Commissioner Tina Skeldon Wozniak urged attendees to choose local growers as the best source for high quality hanging baskets, potted plants and, as the planting season arrives, vegetable and flower plants for our homes and gardens. Other speakers, including Toledo City Councilman Joe McNamara and State Representative Peter Ujvagi, reflected on the occasion by speaking movingly of the women in their lives.
On behalf of all the women of Northwest Ohio’s floriculture industry, Maumee Valley Grower Theresa Hoen accepted special recognition and a certificate from the Ohio legislature. Theresa and her husband Bob own and operate Hoen’s Greenhouse.
Maumee Valley Growers Collaborate to Cut Costs
Maumee Valley gardeners will be the winners as area greenhouse growers get their costs under control by participating in the Maumee Valley Growers’ Natural Gas Purchasing Program. The program partners with independent consultants at Palmer Energy to help area greenhouse growers lower their utility bills by purchasing natural gas as a group. During the first year of operation, collective savings were more than $150,000. Recently, MVG members announced that greenhouses throughout Ohio will be able to participate. Greenhouse operators can learn more by clicking the “For Growers” tab.
Local Growers Assist with State of the City Address
Many thanks to Walt Krueger at Lakewood Greenhouse for supplying a variety of plantings for Mayor Finkbeiner’s 3rd State of the City address. This was a difficult request. Several growers were willing to assist but because of the timing of the event very little product is actually available. Both the Maumee Valley Growers and Lakewood Greenhouse will get recognition at the 300+ attendee event. Thanks again to Walt and those willing to assist.
Local Growers Donate Glass to Toledo MetroParks
The Toledo MetroParks are renovating an old cabin on newly purchased grounds at Person Park in Oregon and want to use authentic glass panes as part of the fix-up. MVG is grateful to those growers who donated unused glass panes to this effort, especially Becky Schmidlin of Schmidlin Greenhouse.
MVG Newsletter (August, 2007) - Maumee Valley Growers Expand Program Statewide >>more
Use Your Landscape as a Palette for Home Design (May 21, 2007) - In addition to the obvious "curb appeal" benefits of a beautiful landscape, gardening with a variety of tools can bring many additional rewards. >>more
Flowers Lend Emotion to Holidays of All Types (May 14, 2007) - Whether it's a "traditional" holiday like a birthday, Thanksgiving or Memorial Day, or something completely unexpected - like a Friday - flowers or plants can lift the spirits of almost everyone. >>more
2007 Greek Hill Project: We are happy to announce that the Maumee Valley Growers Association will once again sponsor the floral planting of the "Greek Hill" at the corner of Summit and Cherry Streets in Toledo. Similar to last year, the Purple Wave Petunia will be the highlighted flower. As a little twist this year, Doug Trueman from the City of Toledo is thinking of using the Begonias to spell out TOLEDO PRIDE in the middle of the purple wave petunia. The white waves will be in the background and pink waves will be in the foreground. We are also thinking about upgrading the signage.
Home-Grown Greenhouses Help Communities Grow - (Joe Perlaky - Letter to the Editor)
Maumee Valley Growers "Pool" Resources - (Joe Perlaky, MVG Program Manager)
Group Handing out plant coupons for trick-or-treat - (Port Clinton News Herald, 10-25-2007)
New Nonprofit Promotes Local Toledo Businesses - (Toledo Blade, 9-28-2007)
No Shrinking Violets in Flower Business - (Associated Press, 8-23-2007)
Growing Farm Energy - (Toledo Blade Editorial, 8-5-2007)
How to Cook Up a New Fuel - (Toledo Blade, 8-5-2007)
Maumee Valley Growers Enjoy Busy Spring Sales - (7-3-2007)
Church extends community outreach - (Toledo Blade, 6-21-2007)
Gardens Grow in the City - (Toledo Blade, 6-10-2007)
City Council Votes Funding for Gardening - (Toledo Blade, 5-2-2007)
Area Garden Center Warms Up - (Toledo Blade, 3-29-2007)
Trust Buys Part of Keil Farm in South Toledo for Metropark Use - (Toledo Blade - 2-13-2007)
National Initiative Advocates Cleaner, Domestic Sources of Power -(Ohio Farm Bureau - 2-5-2007)
See more than 250 decorated holiday trees at Bench's - (The Press, 12-18-2006)
Hoen's Greenhouse Tree Develops Loyal Following - (Toledo City Paper, 12-13-2006)
Red-dy or Not: Poinsettias move beyond classic red - (Sentinel Tribune, 12-6-2006)
Bittersweet Farms Hosts Event to Raise Autism Awareness - (Toledo Free Press, 11-29-2006)
David Mason Visits Maumee Valley Growers - (UT Urban Affairs Center, 11-29-2006)
BGSU, UT Receive State Money for Technology, Business Creation - (Toledo Blade, 9-22-2006)
Do You Know Your Brand? - (Natural Products Insider, 9-18-2006)
Oberlin Wal-Mart Supercenter "Greens Up" for Grand Opening - (Walmartfacts.com, 9-13-2006)
Federal Funds to Preserve Farm in South Toledo - (Toledo Blade, 9-6-2006)
Structuring a Successful Greenhouse Cluster in NW Ohio - (Economic Development Journal, Fall 2006)
Urban Greenewal: Fruits, Vegetables, and Flowers are Thriving in Lots Throughout City - (Toledo Blade, 8-30-2006)
Toledo Gets a Second Farmer's Market (WTOL11, 8-12-06)
Board OKs Flower-hub Plan for Toledo Express Airport - (Toledo Blade 7/28/2006)
Lisa Oliver Interview - (GMPRO 7/22/2006)
Greek Hill - (7-6-2006)
Blooming with Ideas: Tour of 7 Sylvania Township Gardens Offers Artful Inspiration - (Toledo Blade, 6-14-2006)
Greenhouse Cluster Springs Up with Aid of UT, BGSU Researchers - (UT News - 6-5-2006)
Biodiesel facilities crop up in area - (Toledo Blade 5/24/2006)
Kaptur speaks out for energy investment - (Toledo Blade 5/23/2006)
Growing interest in ethanol spurs area farmers' hopes for corn prices - (Toledo Blade 5/17/2006)
"Wild School" idea takes root - (Toledo Blade 4/25/2006)
Greenhouses likely to up prices - (Toledo Blade 3/28/2006)
Local farmers have important role in a revitalized market - (Rep. Marcy Kaptur 3/27/2006)
Greenhouse cluster targets brand awareness - (Toledo Business Journal 3/1/2006)
Garden Plot: Think local when buying cut flowers - (Detroit Free Press 2/10/2006)
Ethanol plants draw investment in Toledo area - (Toledo Blade 1/6/2006)
6 Ohio Sites Identified for plants 2 contenders in region - (Toledo Blade 12/24/2005)
Fresh trees offer plenty of holiday choices - (Toledo Blade 12/14/2005)
Greenhouses in area tend to marketing - (Toledo Blade 12/8/2005)
Poinsettias get practice run - (Toledo Blade 11/30/2005)
The Andersons to enter ethanol production - (Toledo Blade 10/25/2005)
Break in cold weather warms area greenouses' profit hopes - (Toledo Blade 5/11/2005)
Strength in numbers - (Today's Garden Center Magazine - July 2004)
US Flower Buyers - What do we know about them? - (Seeley Conference, 6-27-2004)
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