News from Headstart Nursery, Inc.
June 2014

Nursery News

Grower Trials Yield Interesting Results

Once again, Headstart Nursery partnered with Danziger “Dan” Flower Farms and had a great turnout for our California Spring Trials in April. We welcomed growers, brokers, and sales reps from all over the country and showcased exciting new crops and varieties.
Headstart’s own Grower Trials also attracted a lot of interest. In these trials, we stuck vegetative cuttings of Bidens, Calibrachoa, Petunias, and Verbena into 72-, 128-, and 200-cell styrene trays at Week 5. At Week 10, we transplanted them into 4-inch pots. The photo below shows the plants at Week 13:
Can’t tell which is which? That’s the whole point. It turns out that finish times are pretty much the same regardless of cell size. Since 200 trays can be shipped more economically with five trays per box, this discovery translates into reduced freight charges and big savings for Headstart customers. 

Visit the Vegetative Liners page on our website for a complete list of our annual and perennial product lines.

Following Up in the Field

Headstart Nursery has designated Field Representatives that service Gilroy, Salinas, Bakersfield, and the desert areas full-time. But members of our management team also like to stay in close contact with customers and occasionally pop into the field to see how things are going. Shown here is Vice President Randy Costa on a recent visit with the crew of B&T Farms in Gilroy.

Our Team Keeps On Growing...

Please join us in welcoming the latest additions to our Headstart team in Gilroy!

Lorena Garcia started with us in May as our receptionist. She loves spending time with her family, cooking, and capturing the scenery of the outdoors. 

Jonathan Ramirez just graduated in May from Fresno State. He visited Headstart Nursery during Spring Trials as part of the California Seed Association tour group and inquired about job possibilities. Just a few months later, he’s now on board as a Production Assistant and is quickly getting up to speed on all things Headstart. 

Natasha Richard started with us in April and is our new Accounts Payable clerk. Natasha enjoys bowling, painting and drawing. She has a fun attitude, and her enthusiastic energy is contagious! 

Headstart in the Community

Desert Connections

Our desert crew had a busy social calendar this spring! In March, General Manager Doug Iten attended the California Women for Agriculture’s “Farm to Fork” dinner in La Quinta. In April, Doug and Production Assistant Spencer Bray enjoyed touring the College of the Desert’s renovated Agriculture Complex and networking with students at the “Friends Helping Change Lives” Ag BBQ Celebration. And in May, Spencer also helped out with the Desert Sandblasters 4-H Club's annual produce sale.

Getting Crabby

In April, Lisa Branco, Liz Gabrio, Megan Smith and J.R. Roth attended the Central Coast Young Farmers & Ranchers’ 10th Annual Crab Feed. We are becoming more actively involved in this organization, and hope to see you at future events!

Helping Veterans Grow

Semper Fresh Farms was founded by USMC veterans Bryan Showalter and John Wagner (brother of Headstart's Customer Service Manager Lisa Branco) to help veterans in Monterey County obtain the necessary skills to operate a sustainable organic farm and oversee farm-to-table production. Headstart Nursery helped get their first season off to a good start by donating basil, kale, peppers, and tomato transplants.

Safety First

Headstart recently sent five employees from Gilroy, Salinas and Castroville to participate in a First Aid and CPR Training class at the Monterey County Farm Bureau, presented by AgSafe.  It was a very hands-on experience, as they learned everything from bandaging wounds to performing chest compressions and operating a defibrillator. Though it made for a long and exhausting day, our team took it very seriously and learned a lot.  


In May, Chris PeckMegan SmithLiz Gabrio and Chris Cornia participated in the Santa Clara County Farm Bureau golf tournament at San Juan Oaks Golf Club. These young duffers like to refer to it as the “annual turf convention” – a fun day but also a great opportunity to network while supporting the local ag industry. 

Are You On Our List?

Although you can always find our ornamental availability and vegetable availability on our website, we are now also doing weekly email blasts to promote our current listings with special offers.  If you’d like to be included, please send your contact information to and tell us if you’re interested in ornamental or vegetable availability updates (or both). We promise not to share your contact information with any outside parties.

The Impact of Minimum Wage Increases

California’s upcoming minimum wage increases pose a challenge for all. On July 1, 2014, the minimum wage will increase to $9.00 per hour, and then will go up again, to $10.00 per hour, on January 1, 2016. That’s a 25% increase in the next 18 months.
As with most agricultural companies, labor costs account for a significant portion of Headstart Nursery’s expenses. Unfortunately, these added costs will need to be passed along to our customers. We have made every effort to delay price increases by improving our efficiencies and streamlining processes, but we will likely be forced to raise prices to keep up with the rising cost of doing business in California. We will continue to communicate with all of our customers and keep you notified of any upcoming price changes. 

The Mustache Gang Strikes Again!

Can you identify the real mustache in this photo?
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Copyright © 2014 Headstart Nursery, Inc. All rights reserved.

We appreciate your business and will not share your contact information with outside parties. 

Our mailing address is:
4860 Monterey Road
Gilroy, CA  95020
(408) 842-3030