Personally, my absolute favorite aspect about OFA Short Course is the energetic buzz that emanates from every person walking the show hall – exhibitors, buyers, marketers, media, brokers, everyone. It is a refreshing energy unlike anything I’ve felt at another tradeshow.
Everyone is excited to introduce his or her new products and services, and start the new product year with a fresh start. It is an optimistic and positive attitude that, in my opinion, keeps this industry moving forward with innovative ideas and products. When I was a child, my father used to wake us up for school with the token line, “Today is the first day of the rest of your life.” And, this is the underlying mind-set I so enjoy at OFA.
With that said, OFA is always one of the best outlets for seeking out new trends in horticulture. The most innovative companies have had enough time to observe grower, retailer and consumer wants and needs, and are inspired to develop inventive ways to meet them directly. One example of this could be seen at Kurtz Farms’ booth with the Urban Gardener program.
To quote directly from the Kurtz Farms’ brochure, “Urban Gardener products and programs allow anyone to be a gardener regardless of time, space, agility or ‘know-how.’” Specifically, Urban Gardener products target small-space gardeners, busy homeowners, patio entertainers, outdoor decorators, children and first-time gardeners. I think this is fantastic.
The newest market of gardeners has less time to spend on gardening.
Developed by Jen Kurtz, the folks at Kurtz Farms have launched a product line that directly mirrors popular urban product and décor trends. From the trendiest Pantone color selections to the latest veggie / organic craze, Kurtz Farms has created a niche for the average Gen X and Y person…one who, perhaps, lives in a condo or small home, works 11 hours a day, and grew up in the suburbs or city without a garden. Each product is designed to be decorative and practical, and often sold in ready-made containers for a stress-free, low-maintenance purchase. Each product is tagged with a number internet-savvy buyers can easily use by logging onto the Urban Gardener Web site, for details on their exact purchases.
The product line includes annuals, perennials, tropical foliage, and edibles. The edibles encompass products such as eggplant, tomatoes, strawberries, peppers, and herbs. There are also decorative options such as faux pumpkins planted with colorful mums and climbing clematis in urban-use cages perfect for indoors or out, and much more.
I look forward to seeing how Urban Gardener continues to develop new product trends in the coming months...while the Gen Y shopper in me truly hopes my local garden center brings in a few of those tomato cages.
P.S. Check out the Urban Gardener Recipes section of the Web site! I LOVE it.