A Southern California Nursery Tour

I spent a large portion of this week touring nurseries in the San Diego area and talking to growers. I saw many production systems, heard stories of innovation and entrepreneurship, and added to my understanding of the California ornamental plant industry. I won’t bore you with all the details. Instead of talking about the things that I learned about the industry I’ll focus on some of the other things I gleaned from this trip. tour1 I saw some great old trucks. The mild climate helps vehicles age gracefully with little care. tour2 I was reminded numerous times while walking through production fields that it was “snake season.” I did not see one snake. But lizards were plentiful. The largest lizards were very elusive; I only saw the blur as they disappeared. I suspect this paranoia is what allows big lizards to reach their full size before becoming lunch. The only lizards I could photograph were similar to the SLO lizards. tour3 shirt1By the time this trip wrapped up I was seriously considering bringing my beard back. Or dying some gray into my hair. Or wearing glasses. Or wearing the customized shirt on the right. I say this in a joking fashion, but there is a grain of truth here. Age provides some credibility in research and industry.

In addition to looking young I guess I must also look or sound trustworthy. Several growers told me secrets–things that are secret for good reason, admitting them could result in legal trouble. These confessions were very helpful to me, for they helped me get a realistic picture of the industry (and I’ll never tell).

Water is a precious resource in southern California. I was surprised that every hotel I stayed at had a leaky shower faucet that dripped excessively when shut off.

I saw two bees collide in mid-air.

One of the nurseries I visited was within sight of the border with Mexico.

I watched Anchorman while staying in a San Diego hotel.



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