Review Category : Business Tips

Floriculture Industry Import Replacement Research Seminars

The Hawaii Floriculture & Nursery Association (HFNA) will hold an educational research update seminar at the USDA Daniel K. Inouye Pacific Basin Agricultural Research Center (DKI PBARC) facility in Hilo on Thursday, October 5th, for growers of all Hawaii floriculture commodities (cut flowers, potted plants and flowers, and landscape). Attendees will be introduced to new cultivars, such as those being propagated at Kula Experimental Station and UH-Manoa, and learn how to propagate and grow out the new varieties to marketable size and quality. The audience will also receive research updates from USDA DKI PBARC, UH-Manoa CTAHR, and UH-Hilo researchers. This event is a collaboration of all research facilities in the state as well as all floriculture commodities.   It is HFNA’s intention that this collaborative seminar become an annual event to provide continuity of research information to the growers as well as to become an avenue to new cultivars ready for propagation and production. The import replacement seminar will be professionally videotaped and edited by Out of the Sea Media... ...

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2017 Hawaii MIDPAC Conference

The Past, Present, & Future of the Horticulture Industry   Discover the latest industry trends at the 2017 Hawaii MIDPAC Horticultural Conference & Expo, August 3-5, 2017, at the Mauna Lani Bay Hotel on the Big Island of Hawaii! MIDPAC will include a brilliant assortment of professionally designed plant installations representing Hawaii’s wide array of premium foliage and flowers. Also learn from industry leading speakers through their engaging conference sessions focused on The Past, Present, & Future of the Horticultural Industry.   Brian Parker, Senior Live Goods Merchant with The Home Depot, will discuss today’s customers versus yesterday’s suppliers, with an in-depth conversation on customers’ needs and expectations versus growers’ and suppliers’ responsiveness in his conference session, The More Things Change The More They Stay The Same.   Gerry Leider, Vice Chairman of Ambius, will present The Past, Present, & Future of the Horticulture Industry, discussing the drastic changes that have occurred within the horticultural industry, from the burgeoning business of the 1960’s and 70’s to the conglomerates of today,... ...

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Mother Nature’s Recipe

The Forest Floor.  Decomposition.  Green, lush trees and plants.  The fallen leaves make the ground layer of the rainforest.  Although it is often a dark and humid place with almost constant shade, the forest floor is an important and vital part of the forest ecosystem. How does the concept of the forest floor relate to our landscaping and nursery practices, you ask?  Implementing the use of compost is much like that of the forest floor.  Compost supplies beneficial microorganisms to the soil, it supplies a variety of macro and micro nutrients, and it also supplies significant quantities of organic matter. In Hawaii, we are challenged with very over-farmed soils that are usually very low in organic matter, making them hard packed, low in nutrients, and hard to use.  Plants need food; and most chemical fertilizers are not able to supply complete plant nutrition…that is why the use of compost is much like the theory of the forest floor. Composting is derived through a natural biological process that accelerates the breakdown... ...

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Tool Tips

  This is the first in a series of articles starting with troubleshooting and ending with how to replace the broken tool:  1. It’s broken, 2. Now what—repair or replace; 3. so what should I buy?  We hope that you  will be able to relate to these situations,  and that the suggestions will be helpful to you. WHAT?  IT’S BROKEN! You’re sitting in your office or driving to your next job, when you get the dreaded call—your employee says the piece of equipment he was using stopped working—“it just died”.   Your first question—what happened?  The invariable response, “I don’t know; it just stopped”. THE NEXT FEW QUESTIONS ARE THE KEYS TO UNRAVELING THE MYSTERY 1.    What stopped?  Did the engine stop?  If it’s a mower, did the mower blades stop?  Was it under load when it stopped?   It is essential to narrow down the problem.   the more specific you can be, the closer you can get to the source of the trouble—ask the right questions. What were you doing... ...

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Tools for Ethical Business Decisions

Most Americans view “business ethics” as an oxymoron, a contradiction in terms.  Many people working in the landscape industry may not think about ethics as all, being too busy submitting bids and getting work done.  However, ethics is a vital issue for the reputation of our industry as a whole and for each business owner and worker in the field.  Hawaii is a special place and it deserves our best – including ethical behavior.   The people who run businesses generally don’t sit down and think “I’m going to do something unethical today.”  We’re all too busy trying to meet deadlines to usually even stop and think about ethics.  Instead, companies tend to embark on an unethical slide one decision at a time.  It could be padding the hours on a time-and-materials invoice, saying that company workers are qualified to do work they have no experience in, or failing to mention a prior verbal commitment when a new customer representative takes over a project.  There’s usually some sort of rationalization: ... ...

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Tool Tips

By Phyllis Jones   Welcome to a new feature in your LICH magazine—the tool section.  In this section we hope to keep you appraised of what is happening in the equipment industry and how it will impact your business.  We will also give you some hints on factors to consider when purchasing new equipment.  We hope that these articles will be helpful to you, and we welcome your questions and feedback. The recent blower ban legislation serves as a reminder of how diverse the landscape industry is—from large and small contractors; to nurseries, golf courses, hotels and resorts, tourist attractions, cemeteries, to equipment vendors.  This blower ban legislation affects us all, and we all could be adversely affected should the ban be passed by the legislature.  This is a great opportunity for us to work together for the common good.  Gas powered tools (2 cycle or 4 cycle) are a necessity for all facets of the landscape industry.  They make good economic sense by reducing labor and time.  In a... ...

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Podio sponsors LICH

LICH is super excited about our newest sponsor – Podio! Being an organization with volunteers on 5 different islands, we have always struggled to be efficient and now we have the perfect solution – Podio. Podio is a cloud based collaboration tool to bring LICH together, communicate, collaborate and deliver improved services to the green industry. And we have lots planned for 2014! Thanks Podio! Many Hawaii nonprofits are in the same boat, literally, so check Podio out at  https://company.podio.com/ln/podio-sponsorship   ...

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Warranty Does Not Mean Guarranty

HAPPY NEW YEAR READERS!!  Are you off to a good start?  Let’s all commit to becoming more knowledgeable about what we do and how we can do it better.  I’m ready to help in any way that I can, so if you have questions, feel free to ask.  For this issue, let’s start with everyone’s favorite topic, when is a warranty not a warranty? The story I am about to tell is true.  Earlier this year I was making a sales call to an experienced, professional landscaper.  He had purchased a chain saw one month earlier, and I asked him how the saw was working.  It is here that the story begins.  After purchasing the saw, he explained that they brought it back to their shop, took it out of the box, and put fuel in it.  They went to start the saw; it started but would die when they tried to “rev” it up.  They tried several times and the same thing happened; no high rpms.  They took it... ...

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