One of the most fulfilling perks of my job as editor of Greenhouse Management is getting to know horticulture folks from all across the nation and the world. It’s been said many times before, but it still rings true to me — it’s the people that make the horticulture industry such a great place to work. I’m reminded of this often as I interview greenhouse owners and growers, meet with breeders and attend trade shows and other events.

Catching up with Song at the Speedling stop

I was on the West Coast recently for California Spring Trials, where I had an unexpected encounter with an industry friend I’ve known since I started working in horticulture. It had been a few years since Song, a liner grower from China, and I had last crossed paths, but it felt like no time had passed. Song gave me an overview of the current state of the Chinese market and said it’s doing well. Chinese home edible gardening is becoming even more important, especially balcony gardens with strawberries and tomatoes, he told me. It was a brief conversation, but was one of the most memorable interactions I had during the trip. We took the obligatory selfie together, and continued on our way.

Our Horticultural Industries Leadership Awards (HILAs) are also coming up (watch for a special supplement to the July issue with the winners and their stories), for which I’ve been speaking with not only the winners, but also those who know them best. With each interview, I’m amazed at how open, humble and willing to share they all are. It takes a strong person to tell the not-so-perfect stories and reveal the challenges they’ve faced, knowing that they’ll be shared with their peers. It’s also fascinating to get the chance to learn about their non-greenhouse lives. One winner studied fashion merchandising before coming back to the family business, and another would’ve been a professional golfer in a parallel universe.

So I’d like to say thank you to everyone who has opened their lives and shared their thoughts with me over the years, whether it’s been on the phone, at a happy hour, via email or walking through a greenhouse. People truly do make the difference, and the horticulture industry is no exception.

Karen E. Varga, Editor

216-393-0290 | Twitter: @Karen_GIE