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Green in Idaho
10-01-2003, 02:31 PM
I just had an idea while eating lunch munching on a hotdog (yea, I know). It's not that great of idea though, I only get those in the evening after a few glasses of Sangiovese:D

Anyway for a contractor doing organic lawn care (or anyone) how about also selling the products to homeowners ?

A do-it-yourself homeowner is not in the market for professional lawn care. Yes most of the products are already available in garden stores, but the retailers are not always well versed in the products.

How many times has someone lawnsite post" I've been thinking of opening a retail outlet (nursery)"? Now put the organic twist on it... The ponds/waterfalls people are promoting the products for water maintenance in a retail manner...

Offering retail sales provides another channel for sales. If you already have the products and are buying at bulk or wholesale prices, hey it's a good fit for profits and reaching that other DIY customer (who may also become an account later).

But having a retail location quickly misses the profits due to selling a seasonal product. Tough to pay for space in January!

So here's the idea, roadside sales. Just like a fruit stand!

Scenario:
Lawn operation owner has a few employees for a couple crews. Wife helps out with phone and books and such, right?

With the right location, they can establish a retail sales outlet. She becomes very proficient with the products and the concept and helps out occasionally too. Then retailing with either
-delivery to customers
-Internet sales
-out of garage
-out of a van or trailer
-adjacent roadside stand
-or a premium corner as a fruit stand. Organic produce AND organic products.
-combination of the above.

It's all about COMBINING organic lawn care services with retailing of the products.

dvmcmrhp52
10-01-2003, 09:56 PM
I like A thinking man.....GOOD for you!
Just three things to remember: Location,Location,Location.;)

Green in Idaho
10-01-2003, 10:27 PM
Exactly.

Farmers market
To sell product only - and give produce away was the enticer.. "here try this tomoto for free grown with these products.

And/or the van to park on the perfect location.

Green in Idaho
10-01-2003, 11:58 PM
Retail products to include
-Compost bins
-Vermicomposters (bins)


Throw another twist in it and organize as a 501(c)(3) for educational purposes.... :D :D :D :D

Want grant money to launch?
501(c) makes it easy to get them.

Want to go to schools to teach kids about compost and organics???

"Johnny, what did you learn in school today?"

Johnny says, "Well, organic lawn care is econonically viable and healthy for the lawn and me. And we learned about recycling kitchen waste into plant food from this outfit named Joe's Organic Lawn Care. Here is free beneficial bug with their phone number on the packaging mommy."

Did ya see how that worked? The really good ones flow after the cork pops!

dvmcmrhp52
10-08-2003, 06:49 PM
I'll bet mom liked that free BUG!:p
On a more serious note,It would be great if kids were to once again learn about natural things as they once did when the population was much more rural and agriculturally dependent.(not all that long ago)

dan deutekom
10-08-2003, 07:11 PM
I would be happy if they would just teach the kids the 3 R's without resorting to calculators, computers and videos. Get them the basics and then move on to the more modern methods.

dvmcmrhp52
10-08-2003, 07:17 PM
I'm not sure they know how to teach the basics any more....
It got lost along the same path as the lack understanding of what makes the natural world go round. Too many people spending too much time eyeing up four walls instead of eyeing up what is beyond those walls.
But I digress ...a bit off topic.

Ric
10-08-2003, 08:08 PM
Green in Idaho dvmcmrhp52 & dan deutekom

Hate to rain on your parade with only two words. FERTILIZER LAW.

yep I have made billions of dollars sitting at the kitchen table with friends. Those get rich Ideas are great until the light of day.

dvmcmrhp52
10-08-2003, 08:21 PM
Ric,
This is still America,If you want to do it you can.....Just have to want it.

woodycrest
10-08-2003, 10:04 PM
Ric,

You keep bringing up the fertilizer law thing.

What are the consequences of not following the laws??

As mentioned in another thread, the fertilzer laws are different depending on where you live. What applies in Florida does not neccesarily apply in Pa. or Ontario or Idaho. It seems to me that there is a 'grey area' surrounding organics. Corn meal, alfalfa, corn gluten meal, coffee grounds, compost etc. I have found very few specific references to these in fertilizer laws that i have found while searching the internet.

Are there different rules concerning retail sales vs application by an LCO? If a retail product is advertised to 'improve the soil' then it would not neccesarily be categorized as 'fertilizer' would it? Leaves could be term as an organic fertilizer to couldnt they? or are they organic matter? Corn, and alfalfa are organic matter too. Where do you draw the line??

Green in Idaho
10-09-2003, 12:42 PM
Speaking of retailing compost bins:

http://www.composters.com/main.shtml

GroundKprs
10-09-2003, 08:15 PM
Originally posted by woodycrest
Are there different rules concerning retail sales vs application by an LCO............. Where do you draw the line??

Woody, in my state, the LCO fertilization is a retail sale.

And it doesn't really matter where we think the line should be drawn. What matters in this country is where your state regulatory agencies draw the line.

Ric
10-10-2003, 10:41 PM
Gentleman

My first Degree was in Criminal Justice. I worked 21 years in a prison. I don't make the laws, I only follow them. Before I retired my job was to care out those laws and the punishment of those who did not. I guess if you understand My back ground then you know why I harp on the Law.


What are the consequences of not following the laws?? Don't ask me, ask Former 4 term Louisiana Gov Edwin Edwards. You can find him at the federal prison in Fort Worth Texas.

woodycrest
10-11-2003, 07:46 AM
17 counts of racketeering, money laundering and conspiracy....isnt that a little more serious?

sorry to sound like a broken record, but it's CORN. i suppose my opinion means squat to the authorities, but its CORN. Could it be any more simple?

dvmcmrhp52
10-11-2003, 05:37 PM
Laws are good for their intended purposes,BUT as always they are used in extremes on both sides.

Dchall_San_Antonio
10-14-2003, 11:50 AM
Even though we all know what we mean by the word, corn, there are other parts of the corn plant which could be called corn by unscrupulous people. Corn cobs, for example, are ground up and used legitimately in agriculture but not as a fertilizer.

As much as I hate to see it, I still see a need for consumer protection to ensure they are getting ground corn kernels and not ground corn cobs.

dvmcmrhp52
10-14-2003, 12:26 PM
Ah yes, tis true David.

Green in Idaho
10-14-2003, 12:33 PM
As my states prescribes, and I think would be common, anything sold retail/wholesale as a "fertilizer" is regulated by Dept of Ag.

However, what does it allow for selling a product as a soil conditioner, soil amendment or other description?

driggy
10-14-2003, 04:40 PM
By applying corn meal, alphalfa pellets, whatever you are not fertilizing the lawn, you are feeding minute little animals, who inturn deficate and feed the lawn or these well fed little animals eat the bad little animals that would harm your lawn the benifit to you, is by caring for the good little animals your lawn looks much nicer, if you feed your customers cow and that cow leaves cow patties your not fertilizing the lawn, instead of stating corn meal as fertilizer you could call it spreading feed for good little critters.

GroundKprs
10-14-2003, 05:04 PM
Is organics then just an endeavor in skirting laws? A client calls and wants an organic lawn care program, not an organic soil care program or an organic feeding for soil microbes. Thought this was supposed to be a forum about organic lawn care, not about how to convolute meanings of your services to be outside the legal protections of established legislation and regulations.

For a month and a half now I have been waiting for someone to post how he actually legally and functionally provides an organic lawn care service to clients. I guess there are no legitimate "organic" operators?

Green in Idaho
10-14-2003, 05:14 PM
Originally posted by GroundKprs
For a month and a half now I have been waiting for someone to post how he actually legally and functionally provides an organic lawn care service to clients.


WOW! You been waiting for that long? I guess that explains a lot.

It's simple-- "be licensed".

This thread was for retail sales in addition to services. That's simple too, "be licensed if necessary and follow the regulations".


Do you feel better now Groundskeeper?

GroundKprs
10-14-2003, 06:08 PM
Spoken like a true smoke screen. Beginning to think that is all organics is, from a commercial prospective.

Why don't you start a new thread telling us what you apply and how you apply it. And don't forget to show how this is legal under your state fertilizer and pesticide regs.

woodycrest
10-14-2003, 06:45 PM
Feeding the soil and the microbes IS what 'fertilizes' the grass.

I think the functional part of it has already been explained, the legal part is not clearly defined in my opinion.

An organic program gives excellent results, isnt that what the customer wants???

driggy
10-14-2003, 07:16 PM
Groundskeeper, A licensed applicater would have to follow the letter of the law. So the only way you can have an organic program is to use the properly labeled organic products, and apply them in the prescribed manner, This forum is discussing all sorts of different ways to organically fertilize some may not be commercially available at the presant time, but by discussing them and trying them perhaps on your own lawn where no license is required you will be able to form your own opinion and then maybe through your intervention bring a new product to market. Ther are many commercial organi fertilizers on the market and many more to come if the market is there.

driggy
10-14-2003, 07:21 PM
I didn't mention that I am not yet an organic operator but, I am exploring the possibillities of an organic program for my customers in the future.

Green in Idaho
10-14-2003, 07:23 PM
For those in the North East here is a link to each state's regs and a short description:

The title is for compost, but the links will get you to the individual state's info. This would probably be applicable for topdressing with compost.

http://www.nerc.org/documents/2001-fertilizer-regulations-summary.html

I'd bet there are other site with similar info.

Once again, it's just a matter of reading which hoops have to jumped through and doing it. :sleeping:

Green in Idaho
10-14-2003, 07:27 PM
Here's Florida's

http://doacs.state.fl.us/onestop/aes/fertilizer.html

Green in Idaho
10-14-2003, 07:34 PM
North Carolina

Notice labeling requirements

http://www.agr.state.nc.us/plantind/fert/fertlawa.htm#106-661

Green in Idaho
10-14-2003, 07:40 PM
Pick a state, any state and YOU too can find the requirements of providing commercial organic fertilizer and pest control services and/or retail sales....:D

Asher68
10-18-2003, 11:35 PM
Hello, Jim. We're starting up an organic care service in SW Florida and we're finding that the complexities of organic care require a comprehensive approach including landscaping, soil microbial health and balanced soil chemistry. There's a lot more to consider than just dumping some fertilizer on the yard. Our site details the steps of the program we're developing: www.commonsensecare.com

Asher Gifford
Common Sense Landscape & Garden Care
Arcadia, Fl

Green in Idaho
10-19-2003, 10:40 AM
Asher YOU ROCK!

Excellent Web Site.

Retails sales too!


And I won't even mention how cool it is to be from West Palm!:blob3: :D

May much success continue to come your way...

GroundKprs
10-19-2003, 11:13 AM
Welcome to LawnSite, Asher. Good to see someone really doing it, instead of blowing steam about it. I will need some time to review your website. In the meantime, are you using any of the items on your website as an operating FL PCO?

The problem I am looking at is that as one leans more toward pure organic plant management, one finds less and less to use as a legal operator in the sale of plant nourishment and pest control. No one here so far has shown how to be legitimate in selling a pure organic plant health care package that can be marketed by a licensed fert/pest operator.

Ric
10-19-2003, 01:01 PM
Originally posted by GroundKprs
Welcome to LawnSite, Asher. Good to see someone really doing it, instead of blowing steam about it. I will need some time to review your website. In the meantime, are you using any of the items on your website as an operating FL PCO?

The problem I am looking at is that as one leans more toward pure organic plant management, one finds less and less to use as a legal operator in the sale of plant nourishment and pest control. No one here so far has shown how to be legitimate in selling a pure organic plant health care package that can be marketed by a licensed fert/pest operator.


Jim

I would also like to welcome Asher 68 to LS. Peace River Nursery is about 20 miles up Hwy 17 from my nursery. After receiving a letter of introduction I called and talked to a nice young man who said he was the owner. He had a degree of close to degree from U of Fla. I think. We only discussed availability of plants and prices. I have his price list and will more than likely be buying from him. However on a 431 plant install we are doing Grays Ornamental out of Del ray delivered the plants to the site at a very good price and top quality. This was a big job and no not my normal 30 to 70 plant job. Nurseries Are big investments and long term. I certainly wish Asher68 a lot of luck. I am sure he will do well and there certainly is enough business for all of us. The Nursery Business here in Florida works together and help each other. No one grows all the difference plants so we buy and sell to each other.

Asher68

Welcome to LS. I am not an orgasmism person. However I believe in Organic and Synthetics or Bridge Produces. I am more of a Lurker on the organic forum and I post on the Pesticide forum. To my knowledge I am the only one in my county to have both Irrigation and Pesticide Licenses. Like Jim I need a little time to check out your website. However at first view it is appealing. If you are the same person I talked with on the phone then I think you are knowledgeable and should do well. I am sure we can do business. BTW Joe Powell speaks highly of you.

Now let me ask the same question Jim did about Organic Produces. Fla. Law Chapter 482 requires that any pesticide be applied by a Certified Pesticide Operator. It also states that it doesn't mater whether it is chemical, Organic, or mechanical. Case in point is a fellow in my county who advertised non-chemical Ant killing. He used a steamer and inserted it in the mound. One of the question on the CPO exam, answer is boiling water to kill ant mounds. However after a big fine from the BEPC this man is no longer offering Ant kill. All products sold as pesticides in the state of Florida require a EPA reg number, and all Products sold in the State of Florida as fertilizer must comply with Florida Fertilizer Law. I am not a Lawyer so I am up on all the laws. The nice thing about these forum is we can have a discussion and dis-agree without getting mad at each other.

Dchall_San_Antonio
10-23-2003, 10:30 AM
It's kinda sad when you can't apply boiling water without a license.

Ric
10-23-2003, 07:29 PM
David

Nothing sad about it. It is the LAW. I don't make the law just try and follow it.