Spring Sticker Shock

Spring is but a mere two and a half months away. By tax time, April 15th , the big box stores will be luring you in to purchase their offerings. If you think the prices at your local food store are rising quickly, just wait till you try and purchase a plant for Mothers’ Day.

Your grower is now facing a plethora of rising prices themselves. Problems with supply and delivery are coupled with the increase of prices in potting soil, greenhouse energy such as propane or gas, plastic containers and this January 1st the minimum wage increased from $13.50 per hour to $14.25.

As a grower of dahlias, this past growing season was my worst in 16 years. The rains which never stopped the entire summer rotted almost 10,000 tubers (bulbs). 2022 was to be a rebuilding year. I began in earnest in September with the Ednie Bulb Co. out of Fredon NJ. They had been purchased by the Ball Co. out of Chicago. I was promised a price list and inquired several times to no avail. I finally asked if I could purchase tubers blindly with no price list in December.

Other customers had already ordered most of the favored tubers, and I was left with a dwindled skimpy order list. The price list finally showed up on January 1st. My next option was to wait until the K. van Bourgondien growers catalog showed up, which it did on January 3rd. This is a growers’ catalog at wholesale prices. Yikes, the prices per tuber had jumped up from $1.87 the previous year to $2.87. So, what’s a grower to do? Starting small and rebuilding each year by dividing my tubers each spring to multiply the crop. And you thought the price of bacon had risen!

For those small home gardeners sticker shock for seeds will appear once again this spring. With more folks sticking closer to home due to the pandemic and food prices rising, the demand for vegetable seeds has never been greater. If you wait until planting time the pickings may be slim. Order now.

Valentine’s Day – Monday February 14th

First Day of Spring – Sunday March 20th

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Bobby Blair

2 Comments

  1. Joe Jankovsky on January 12, 2022 at 6:44 pm

    Many do not know, but the agricultural minimum wage in the state is unchanged and much lower at just $8/hr.

    https://www.mass.gov/service-details/minimum-wage-and-overtime-information

  2. Bobby Blair on January 13, 2022 at 12:47 pm

    Joe — You can’t find anyone at $14.25 an hour, never mind $8.00 per hour.

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