Page 9 - Free State Spring 2022 - June FINAL
P. 9


        Taking in Some History

        on the East Coast

                 arch, my wife says, is the cruelest month of the   the start, though one did complain to me today that he was
                 year. This year it proves it by giving us three weeks   disappointed so far. Hardwood bark mulch sales have been
        Mof day temperatures in the 50-to-70-degree             about average it seems to me.
        range and no nights below 35 degrees. Then comes the
                                                                Of course, prices on everything are going up because of
        whammy two nights of mid and low 20’s. Two weeks ago we
                                                                "Putin’s war". Just when we need a break from inflation that
        uncovered all the houses that were showing no growth of
                                                                          jerk has to start an unneeded and nasty war. I
        any plants. Any house showing tender growth, the
                                                                             understand that we all have to raise prices to
        plastic was left on. New plants in leaf that
                                                                                 keep our heads above water. However,
        came in were put in a still-covered house.
                                                                                   a nursery we just restarted using has
        Sunday the 27th we closed up those
                                                                                      charged overly high freight charges
        houses still covered in anticipation
                                                                                       in our opinion. Charges that rival
        of a 27-degree
                                                                                       shipping costs from the mid West
        night. Today,
                                                                                       and Oregon, not from a few
        Monday, March
                                                                                       states farther south from us. The
        28 , we closed
                                                                                        order is already on the truck, so
        them again before
                                                                                        we won’t cancel it. But if their
        leaving. Not a huge
                                                                                        shipping costs remain at the
        deal but still a lot of
                                                                                       same rate, it will be our last order
        work we didn’t need to do.
                                                                                      with this company. There has to
        The expensive part is heating
                                                                                     be a limit we should not go above.
        the two large houses we filled this
        winter with potted up cuttings that                                         So far none of our customers have
        have started to grow. A freeze in those                                    complained about our prices. Larry
        would kill most of last summer’s cutting                                   said the nearby big box stores, and
        production, a loss we could not afford, for sure.                          garden centers prices are close to and
        So, the heaters were filled and set to go off and                                     mostly higher than ours.
        burn a noticeable amount of $5-a-gallon fuel oil,                                      I admit I do wonder
        made more noticeable by the fact last year March                                      sometimes if smaller
        was a good little month and didn’t do this to us. I think                            retail wholesale nurseries
        of other growers with way more houses that will have                               can survive in this niche like
        far bigger heating bills for the next few nights. Well,                         we are in.
        hopefully this is cold weather’s last blast.                                As you know I keep an eye on plant
                                                                                  patents that have run out their 20
        So far, our spring sales have been pretty good.
                                                                                 years. Actually, a plant patent runs for
        Local landscapers have generally been happy with
                                                                                                       (continued on next page)
                                             Magnolia Betty
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