As always, our time at Cultivate, AmericanHort’s annual event, was illuminating and invigorating. After a couple of years of hiatus from the event, it was great to be back for a whirlwind three days of learning, exploring and discovering with industry experts, vendors, innovators and creators.
We thought we’d share a few of our observations, a few noteworthy (and earth-friendly) products, and a couple of businesses with whom we had particularly interesting conversations.
So let’s get on to that, shall we?
A slightly different year
Sustainable products and lots of progressive thinking were still very much in evidence this year, similar to what we observed the last time we attended in 2019, although fewer in number for 2022.
We noted more visibility of macro businesses attending this year, like Corteva AgriScience, Syngenta Flowers, AgriNomix, among others. There was perhaps a smaller number of independent companies and retailers on the floor.
That being said, we did meet quite a few smaller businesses who were happy to talk about their forward-thinking products and ideas with us. And of course, it was just delightful to be in the midst of flowers and plants basically everywhere, and we were absolutely blown away by True Nature’s amazing green wall.
Product highlights: three clever, sustainable solutions
Invented on a family-owned dairy farm, Cow Pots are seed starter flats and planters made from 100% renewable and recycled cow manure. Yup. Poop. The pots and planters naturally break down into the soil in which they’re planted after 12 to 16 weeks (depending on size). Genius idea, really.
Cow Pots are an award-winning, USDA certified bio-based product, and you can find them at a bunch of brick and mortar retailers as well as online stores (including Amazon). Oh, and they also have a podcast, where they share stories from farmers finding creative ways to meet the changing needs of our communities and our planet. A terrific company.
Grow up, grow down, grow around with this eco-friendly, recyclable and modular vertical gardening solution. We were super impressed by how easy it was to set up and get growing with this product that’s designed to “make gardening easy in small spaces.” Such a great solution for anyone — especially an urban gardener — who wants to make the most of a small space like a balcony or tiny backyard.
What could volcanic rock have to do with growing plants? Quite a lot, as happens. Huplaso is a soil mineralizer — an “ultramafic basalt-type volcanic rock dust” — discovered quite by accident in a quarry in New Brunswick. Upon investigation, it turned out to have a seemingly magical ability to impart minerals to soil, aid in pest control, balance pH, and increase plant yield.
Marketed to both the home grower and agri-business alike, it’s 100% natural, certified organic and asserted to be highly effective for growing bigger, better, more robust flowers, potted plants, vegetables, trees and shrubs. Plus, it’s Canadian, we’re Canadian — let’s go (grow?) home team!
The green-collar industry is hiring (like, really hiring)
Seed Your Future’s mission is to “promote horticulture and inspire people to pursue careers working with plants” (from their website), and we were intrigued by what they shared with us.
Apparently, 39% of jobs in the green-collar industry will go unfilled this year — a stat that made our minds boggle, to be honest. In a nutshell, the green-collar industry is looking for people — lots of people. Which is obviously good news for anyone who has a green thumb, or for anyone who has a child with a green thumb who’s trying to figure out what to do with their life, career-wise.
In an effort to inspire people to pursue green jobs, the company has created a rather useful careers page that’s well worth the exploration, demonstrating an impressively detailed range of possibilities.
Science outreach and women in STEM
Dr. Rhonda Hamm is an entomologist who wants to help get more women into science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). Representing Corteva AgriScience, Dr. Hamm let us in on the purpose of the company’s science outreach program, in which they support “projects and programs that aid in educational achievement and development”.
While Dr. Hamm spoke most eloquently about getting women into STEM-related careers, the general goal of Corteva’s program is to connect all manner of people all over the world with science and agricultural experiences and learning.
We’re still sifting through all the excitement of our three days at Cultivate ’22, so don’t be surprised to see another post from of us featuring some more neat stuff we saw and experienced. Stay tuned!