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Something old can be something new


July 16, 2013
By Greenhouse Canada Magazine

July 16, 2013, Columbus — Putting old varieties to new uses makes good business sense.

July 16, 2013, Columbus — Putting old varieties to new uses makes good business sense.

“Re-inventing Crops to Make Money … From Passe to Nouveau” was the focus of a presentation by Garry Grueber of Cultivaris Europe, April Herring of Pacific Plug & Liner, and Rita Randolph of Rita’s Rare Plants during this year’s Ohio Short Course.

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Some of the crops that may have lost a little of their lustre over time can be put to new uses today, said the panel.

In particular, “a lot of old tropical plants are making a comeback,” said Randolph.

She added that growers and retailers should pair up some of these varieties to put them in a new light with consumers. They won’t be disappointed.

“You can combine them in many different ways,” she said, including placing them in distinctive containers. “Don’t let them sit on the bench by themselves.”

Grueber said breeders are tackling the challenge by developing mini varieties of the old standards. “It’s a different look that customers appreciate.”

And grown as a “mini,” they soon find a “whole new market.”

Herring said her company is attracting a lot of attention with its grafting of an older basil variety with hardier rootstock. ‘Savour Basil’ is a Greek basil variety grafted to a wild-type tree form. The result is a topiary-like plant. “You can even place other herbs under it in the container,” said Herring.


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