What's New and Exciting?

Pickup Only 2020 — 05/15/2020

May, 2020 

Dear Friends,

Seems like early April was ages ago, given the constant drumbeat of negative news on the virus and unemployment numbers. So we want to give you a detailed update from Heritage …

Here, we insist that each staff member:

  1. Wash hands before leaving home
  2. Wear mask when commuting to work - if more than 1 per vehicle
  3. Wash hands when arriving on nursery property
  4. Before starting work, meet with supervisors to review work and how to maintain separation, wear PPE
  5. Keep 6-feet separation within small workgroups; clear poly barriers on transplanters where 6-foot separation is not possible
  6. Records all whom he/she encounters daily
  7. Wear masks all day when not eating or drinking; breaks not in communal areas with more than several crew in proximity
  8. Wash hands frequently, at least every break and lunch period
  9. Sanitize all common-use areas- lunch and bathroom facilities; doors, equipment handles, buttons, knobs, steering wheels
  10. Wash hands before departing work for home; masks mandatory on commute home

The same small workgroups work together daily. This facilitates tracing if someone becomes ill. So far, we’ve found these measures effective. We continue otherwise normal operations.

The good news:

  • We were initially anxious that we might have a rash of slow-pays, but accounts receivable - no problems at all.
  • Our sense is that among almost all in the trade, the mood is cautiously optimistic.
  • A surprising number of our customers are ordering already for fall, verifying that we’ll have product for them, securing their needs early to be assured of that. Generally these are our larger clients.
  • The nursery business seems to have benefited from people staying home, fixing up the house, gardening, and doing long-put-off maintenance around the house. That’s true at our own home, where Jolly and I spend more time communicating with managers by email and phone. Our garden has never looked so well kept and we’ve planted dozens of our newer varieties around the house. Mark and Jolly are more involved with managers than ever, investing in constant improvements, new variety development, and report analyses with key managers.
  • The company is in very capable hands, even if we are out for weeks at a time. Our managers work collaboratively in a very tight-knit communication culture and appreciate each other’s unique skill set and clear areas of management authority.

We want to reassure you that we are all-in this season, transplanting a record number of liners from plugs and smaller liners from last year’s crop so you’ll have a plentiful supply of items in several sizes. We’ve continued to replace outdated equipment, renovate our entire softwood cutting bench operation, irrigators in greenhouses, nozzles and valves in hoops, and keeping up with sanitary measures so you don’t get weeds or pests with our product. We’re upgrading staff training all the time and feel we now have our best group of managers and crew ever. Moreover, we have brought back more than a hundred items that we used to grow, but dropped in recent years due to limited sales. We’ll offer these “Connoisseur Plants” in limited quantities of 750 to 1,500 each. So look for that list later this summer and get your order in early for any that jump off the page. We’ll introduce quite a few new plants of our own selection in the seasons to come – columnar forms or unique items that have no trade equivalent.

This is an exciting place to work. We appreciate our staff and our customers; we love the plants, and Oregon is the perfect environment for us to operate. So even in more isolated circumstances now, we find ourselves looking up occasionally and musing, “Does life get better than this?” Maybe. We all work for that prospect. So we count our many blessings, thank our staff daily, thank you for your trust and your business, and wish each of you well.

What can we do for YOU? Peruse this list and let us know. Call or write, and book your order for fall or next spring. We’ll keep you updated via email, our website, and phone.

Kind regards,

Mark, Jolly & Staff