News from Headstart Nursery, Inc.
February 2016
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Nursery News

Headstart Just Keeps on Growing

As Headstart Nursery goes into our 38th year, the business continues to grow (no pun intended)! We recently added a new Urbinati tray filler and sowing line at our Gilroy facility to keep up with increased production demands. Headstart also expanded to a facility on Spence Road in Salinas with an additional 70,000 square feet of covered space and another 150,000 square feet of outside growing area.

And we're expanding in the desert, too. We recently added another 30,000 square feet at Desert Sea in Mecca and are looking to build more at our Jackson facility as well, having recently added 20 acres of undeveloped land.

Even as the nursery continues to grow, we have never lost sight of what made us successful in the first place. We remain "Rooted in Quality," still as dedicated as ever to providing the best plants and service in the industry. 

Steve Celebrates the Big Six-Oh

Speaking of still growing...our fearless leader, Steve Costa, recently celebrated his 60th birthday in grand fashion. He celebrated his birthday week in Mexico with wife Teresa, brother Randy and his wife Ann, and other friends at an insurance conference/mini-vacation. 

Meanwhile, back in Gilroy, the Headstart birthday fairies were working behind the scenes to prepare a surprise luncheon upon his return. It was not easy to pull this off, since Steve is the guy who generally knows everything that's going on around the nursery. To lure him out to the trial house, we said we needed his opinion on setup for an upcoming event. When he walked in, the entire Gilroy office staff was there to offer a big "SURPRISE!" The confused and bewildered look on his face was absolutely priceless.

Happy birthday, boss-man!

New Organic Seed Coating Requirements

Headstart Nursery’s organic certifier, CCOF, has requested more specific documentation on coated seed used for organic production in our facilities. In order to comply with this request, we now require that all coated seed supplied is clearly labeled with the specific trade name of an approved organic seed coat. 
As an industry standard, the majority of seed suppliers are already labelling their seed with coating information. However, seed generically labeled with ‘NOP Pellet’ and ‘OG Pellet’ will no longer suffice as documentation for an organic-approved seed coating. A few examples of compliant labeling include: ‘ProBio Propellet’ from Germains, ‘Natural Coat MD’ from Incotec/Agricoat, and ‘Pulse Prep-Coat’ from Seed Dynamics. 
In an effort to lessen the burden on our customers, Headstart has been working behind the scenes with seed suppliers to make them aware of this organic coating requirement.  As we work through this process, we may need your help in requesting documentation to properly certify an order. We believe  these instances will be very few and far between.
Should you have any questions regarding the new organic seed coat policy, please contact us, and any one of our representatives will be happy to help you. 

Coming Soon: California Spring Trials, April 9-14

This is definitely a busy time for the Ornamental team!

So far the Gerbera season is going very well. We offer a wide selection of varieties, all in loose-fill 200s and Ellepot 128s.
Cyclamen sowing season is just around the corner. Because it is such a long grow time, don’t forget to book your orders ahead of time! This year we've decided to combine our Cyclamen show (usually held in January) with the California Spring Trials in Gilroy. Be sure to come by and see different varieties of cyclamen from multiple breeders.
We hope to see you all here for 2016 California Spring Trials, April 9-14. We will once again showcase gorgeous new offerings from Danziger “Dan” Flower Farm as well as Headstart Nursery's own plugs, liners, and other special programs.

Scheduling an appointment is highly recommended, especially for large groups. If you have any questions or need more information, contact Melissa Campilli or call (408) 842-3030. We look forward to seeing you in April! 

Viva Las Vegas!

In January, the Headstart Nursery management and sales team made its annual trek to Las Vegas for the Western Watermelon Association convention. This year's Rat Pack included Steve Costa, Mike Bushman, Lisa Branco, Doug Iten, and Daniel Clerou. (Randy would have joined, but the poor guy had to go to Hawaii instead.) Held at the New York New York hotel, this event was a great opportunity to meet and network with many customers and suppliers. 

Did you know that Headstart Nursery is the largest producer of watermelon transplants on the west coast? We've been growing watermelon longer, and at much higher volumes, than any other transplant nursery. Our customers include some of the nation's leading watermelon growers and seed producers, who know they can count on Headstart Nursery for consistently high quality watermelon transplants. 

Making Connections at the ASTA Convention

At the end of January, representatives from Headstart and Radicle Seed headed to Anaheim for the American Seed Trade Association (ASTA) meeting. Seed producers, distributors and value-added companies from all over the world came to meet and network during this event. We saw lots of familiar faces and also met several new contacts.

Headstart in the Community

Choking Up at Monterey County Farm Day

Kendall Costa and Lisa Branco (shown here huddling for warmth with "Artie" from Ocean Mist Farms) participated in Monterey County Ag Education’s Farm Day on February 5. This is a great community event that showcases all aspects of agriculture to Monterey County 3rd graders. Lisa and Kendall guided a class throughout the presentation stations and answered questions along the way. 

Kendall reports, "I had a great time talking with the kids and seeing how excited they were to learn about different aspects of farming. Everyone from the kids to the teachers and parent helpers seemed to learn something new and have a really great time. I was happy to be a part of that and enjoyed connecting back with my farming roots for the day!"

Making Noble Sacrifices for the Greater Good

Cole Iten and Doug Iten really took one for the team when they recently volunteered at the 25th Annual Rib Cook-Off Extravaganza hosted by the Holtville Athletic Club in Holtville, CA on January 30. Organizers prepared 12,000 pounds of fresh pork ribs and 250 gallons of old-fashioned homemade ice cream for the single-day event, which raised funds for several Imperial County non-profit organizations and causes.

Doug reports that entertaining their fellow volunteers "was a difficult challenge, but we somehow found the courage and strength to persevere." Soldier on!

All in the Family

Welcome Sheila and Jeanette!

Sheila Newton (left) began working in Accounts Payable a few months ago and really enjoys being part of the Headstart team. She's also a fan of the San Francisco Giants and 49ers and loves going to baseball games when she can. Sheila was born in Gilroy but now lives in Hollister. She likes to run (when the weather is nice) and enjoys spending time with her two teenage kids.

Next time you call the Gilroy office, be sure to say hello to our new receptionist, Jeanette Figueroa (right), who formerly lived in Idaho and now makes her home in Watsonville. Jeanette is an avid reader and also likes to hike, travel, and explore new places. 

Headstart's Family Album

We're very happy for Customer Service Rep Gloria Orozco, who married her long time sweetheart Chris Jordan in December in a quiet home ceremony with family and friends in Gilroy. The two celebrated their nuptials by honeymooning in Las Vegas.

And we'd like to give an official Headstart welcome to Miss Addison Susanna Lydick, the first child for Desert Field Rep Don Lydick and his fiancée Victoria Smith. "Addy Sue" was born on November 12 and (as you can see in photo on the right) has already developed an adorable personality and smile.

We also want to congratulate Ornamental Sales Rep Hans Gerritsen, who became an "Opa" (Dutch for grandfather) in January when his daughter Marieke, welcomed baby girl Danika  Eileen.

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

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