In the midst of a blizzard in January, thousands of seedlings are taking root at George Sant & Sons. Despite the bitter cold and darker days, these tiny plants are thriving thanks to the care of the Sant brothers and supplemental lighting from PARsource. To meet the growing demands of these plants, George Sant & Sons needs to be able to provide 15 hours of light a day. Having reliable lighting equipment in place helps ensure that these conditions are met.
Founded in 1947, George Sant began as a field vegetable grower selling his produce at farmers market. However, in the late ’80s the business shifted its focus to greenhouse production — including annuals, vegetables and herbs, that would be sold both as plugs to other growers and as finished products. The plug business began to grow, with George Sant & Sons distributing their plugs and liners through Ball Horticultural to other growers throughout the East Coast. Now, with the third generation taking the reins, George Sant’s grandchildren, brothers Dan, Rick, and Ron, continue to sell plugs, liners and finished products.
“Our goal is to produce the highest quality product for our wholesale accounts whether it’s [plugs] for another grower or finished product [for] a garden center,” says Ron Sant. “We strive to always go that extra distance.”
Although the lighting is primarily supplemental, George Sant & Sons needs to have equipment in place that is dependable. Concerns with both the reliability of their previous lights and that lighting company’s lack of responsiveness is what drove Sant to connect with PARsource. They were immediately impressed by both the care and attention that they received from the PARsource representative. “The company helped us select the lighting equipment that would best suit the needs of our plants,” Sant says.
Since the installation, the PARsource lighting has been reliable, requiring minimal repairs and little maintenance. However, it is the company’s responsiveness that has truly cultivated a positive business relationship. When concerns do come up, whether it may be repairs or tracking a shipment, PARsource has been very responsive following up until the issue is fully resolved.
The equipment has also helped increase productivity, including reducing crop time. “When we shifted our production from impatiens to begonias, we were concerned about the longer crop time,” Sant says. “The PARsource lighting has helped to decrease the crop time by almost two weeks increasing product turnover.” — Anne-Marie Hardie