by Julie One of my favorite aspects of running a greenhouse business is the ability to create. Not only is the act of growing plants very creative - we get to choose what we grow, how we grow it, how we market it, and how to make it all look beautiful and inspiring (we hope!); but in addition to that is the fact that this is a business like any other. Ever since I was a little girl, my favorite toys have been my graph paper and my schedules; so a greenhouse business that gives me about 6 months of planning time is really fun for someone like me. I get to think it all through, improve systems, find ways to do more in the community, and create a nice work environment for all of the amazing people at Red Wagon Plants.
Here are some projects and improvements we are hatching (germinating?) at Red Wagon Plants this winter. Our mission is to increase the bounty in our community and this year, we plan to focus on the community part of that mission. We have built up such a wonderful group of customers, both wholesale and retail, and it feels like the right time to get to know everyone a little better!
Our 2011 Goals
- Promote our community partners. Every year, we donate thousands of plants to schools, non-profits, community gardens, and civic gardening projects. We want to share information about all of these wonderful organizations with our customers.
- Create a "Grower Station" at our retail store where people can learn about some simple growing techniques that are appropriate for the home scale, back yard garden. Many of the staff at Red Wagon have worked on commercial scale vegetable farms and there are so many time-saving and crop-improving methods applied on those farms that easily cross over to the home garden. This can really help increase the bounty in our customers' backyards and make gardening affordable from a money and time perspective.
- Have an end of year harvest dinner with the bounty from our gardens. We can sit at the table together, share our love of gardening and enjoy the food and spirit of our efforts.
- Invite people to come relax in the greenhouses in the winter. There is no place like a warm greenhouse in winter when the snow is falling and the wind is howling and inside feels like a tropical wonderland of green. How about sharing this with the community? Sunday morning coffee and bagels? Bring your knitting! Hang out with the plants and breath in the smell of dirt and fresh green growth. It seems like every time I tell someone what I do for a living, they say "oh it must be so nice in there on a snowy day!" Well, it is. It's really nice and it takes about 1 month off of winter's length for all of us who have the honor to work here, so we want to share that opportunity and invite others to join in the pleasure!
- Visit customer gardens. We really do love hearing from our customers and want to make more of an effort to see the gardens they tell us about. It would be so fun to roam around in the van and visit all these lovely places where people grow their own food and make their homes beautiful and colorful. What more inspiration does a person need?
So those are a few thoughts, and as always, we love to hear your suggestions, so please feel free to comment.