New LawnSite Member
Hi all, new to the site as a registered member but have hung around as a lurker off and on for the past 6 months or so. I've been working in the 'green industry' for the past 5 years as a groundskeeper at Duke University. I was recently forced to find new employment through Duke which has led to a job in housekeeping. Needless to say, the prospect of janitorial work is less than appealing. Before my job in Duke's grounds dept., I had no desire to cut grass for a living but I have come to really appreciate and develop a passion for the field and work involved. I gained skills and knowledge in mainly turf and landscape maintenance (mow, edge, trim, blow, mulch, weeding, hedge/shrub shaping/trimming, aerating/seeding/fertilizing and leaf removal). Mostly, I've just got an understanding of procedures involved in the work and how to run the equipment (of which I'm proficient with a wide variety). One thing I do not possess is the kind of knowledge usually gained through formal education (irrigation, pesticide/herbicide application, etc.) and my plant id is very weak but I like to think my time at Duke has given me a strong foundation as I know what it takes to do the work and the things that can only be learned through 'time in the trenches'. This has all got me to thinking of starting my own lawn care operation some time in the future. I plan to spend a lot of time on this site and others expanding my knowledge on the horticultural and business aspects of this industry while also budgeting my money efficiently and keeping an eye out for equipment at a bargain (duke also helped me to recognize quality equipment and pro's and con's of said equip.). I have a little girl and a wife to think of and would like do more than a 9 to 5 for a corporation that could care less about me. In other words, be my own boss doing something I enjoy while making decent to good money and planning for the future of me and my family. Anyways, sorry for the long post, but this is my first and I just wanted to introduce myself and state my goals. I love the appearance of a supportive community here that is really unmatched in other 'skilled trade' and service fields. I plan on being an active member and sharing my admittedly limited knowledge as well as benefitting from some of the veteran members. I look forward to getting to know you guys and good luck and weather in your respective on and off seasons. BTW, does anyone have any good recommendations of websites (other than this one) for learning things such as plant ID, pesticide/herbicide certification, as well as more technical aspects of turf/landscape maintenance? Duke was seriously lacking in general employee training and zero opportunity for specialist education (the parts that require certification and such). Really more of a "mow, blow and go" operation, putting extra care and time in your work or showing any enthusiasm or inquisitiveness resulted in funny looks like "just shut up and get the job done!"
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