Spotlight on Mid Atlantic Growers and their “Jersey-Fresh Flowers and Plants”
Growing is not as easy as mixing seeds with a little dirt, water and sunlight as some might think. Different plants thrive in different environments, so when you choose a seed or start, make sure you look into everything it needs to grow into a strong, healthy plant. Providing the perfect growing environment for your plants may cause you to spend a little more time planning now, but you will be so surprised by the results down the road that it will be worth it. For example, Ron Harrison, of Mid Atlantic Growers, discovered that the ideal growing environment made all the difference at his wholesale growing business in New Jersey.
In 2003, Ron Harrison and his family started Mid Atlantic Growers in New Egypt, NJ, providing “Jersey-fresh flowers and plants” to markets throughout the country. Ron had been in the growing business for quite a few years at that point, but wanted to start his own wholesale growing business instead of working for other growers. “I had made these other places a lot of money and I decided that I should do it for myself,” he says.
Ron’s top priority was to ensure that he had the best type of growing environment possible. An ideal growing environment would produce the highest quality, most marketable crops, while also making labor more manageable. He explains, “We wanted an inexpensive way to have more environmental control over small growing spaces.” After researching online, Ron placed his first order for a ClearSpan greenhouse from Growers Supply. He found that the durable quality and economical price made it a great choice to serve as a growing environment for his new business.
Mid Atlantic Growers is now the home of fifty ClearSpan greenhouses and cold frames. Earning over $2 million in annual sales within the first five years of being in business, Ron believes that these structures played a key role in making his business successful. “We use the cold frames for perennials in the winter and annuals in the late spring. In the greenhouses we grow annuals, cuttings, plugs, baskets and planters,” he says. “These greenhouses, along with the additions of floor heat, booms and automatic rollups, give us great flexibility for each plant.” One of the greatest benefits that Ron has found with the greenhouses is that they “produce flats much quicker due to the increased light.”
“Our customers are ecstatic about our products. We can’t seem to grow enough for them,” he says. Ron’s wife Carrin adds, “We’re doing very well because of these structures.”
What do you consider the ideal growing environment? Why?