Shindig at Mike’s Plant Farm 2012!
This is a members only event!
Start Growing and Selling Small Plants from Home Right Now!
For many, many years now each summer I invite members to visit us here in the northeast corner of Ohio and each and every year we have a great turn out. This year turned into a 3 day event because I tied this to two events that our local nursery association was doing.
1st day was an all day bus tour. 56 of us toured five large wholesale nurseries and a wholesale nursery supply company. It was fun! We got off the bus at each nursery got on hay wagons and took a narrated tour of the nurseries. Of course these were nursery tours so instead of hay we got to sit on bales of peat moss or grow mix! Very educational, we learned a great deal. Then at the last place we got the tour bus stuck in the mud. So we also got to see a tractor pull!
2nd day was a Nursery Field Day. An outdoor trade show. Not such a great day, lots of rain spoiled the event.
3rd day was a hoot! The third day was the “Shindig at Mike’s Plant Farm”! That was our event! Enjoy the photos!
Free stuff! I had a box of “Clam Shell Propagators” that I gave away to those who wanted them.
Nothing but a full day talking about growing and selling small plants. No politics, no drama, just plants!
Abby traveled from South Carolina for the event and Bob from Kentucky.
As we begin the tour of Mike’s Plant Farm you can see that we have state of the art restroom facilities as well as a very sophisticated tractor refueling station. (note the fuel can hanging from the pole) Hey it works and I no longer spill diesel fuel all over the tractor, the ground and myself.
The members listen carefully as Mike McGroarty explains what worked well this year and what did not.
That’s Brian with the coffee cup. This is the second time this year Brian has been to my nursery. He’s from Pennsylvania and tells me that he’s coming to see me, but besides being a backyard grower he’s also an avid fisherman and he comes up this way to fish. On this trip they also brought their daughter who is very much interested in the business of growing and selling plants for profit.
I can’t begin to tell you how much it means to me to see all of these people travel great distances to meet Duston and I and the respect they have for us and what we do. A couple of people brought gifts for Pam and I as well as Duston. Thank you! You people are too good to us!
Guess where I got these Harry Lauder’s Walking Sticks? I bought them from one of our members for $3.65 each! That was two years ago. Next spring I’ll dig some of these and price them at $49.00 each. Thank you Bonnie! Bonnie and Ron couldn’t make the Shindig this year. She sent her regrets and she was missed. She’s one our many very successful members.
The people that you see in this photo are just a sampling of our family of Backyard Growers. We have them all across the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom and Australia. Not to mention other countries like Hong Kong. In many ways they are closer than family. They laugh together, they love one another and when one is in pain they all are in pain. And when they see a way to help a member in need they jump at the chance. I am proud and humbled to be in their presence. I sincerely mean that.
I think I’ve found our tallest member. See the tall guy in the photo looking away? That’s Jason. Jason traveled from Minnesota for this event and stayed for all three days including the bus tour. Betsy (in the orange shirt) was also on the bus with us with her daughter Heather and several other members of ours. There were only 56 people on the bus and I think at least 10 were members or our Backyard Growing family! The others were plant people from northeast Ohio.
Okay, so I kinda messed up this spring and killed some plants. I don’t like admitting to this but it’s only fair to our members. I explained to them what I did and what went wrong. In short it was the product of trying to do too many things at one time. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it!
The truth is these folks were so involved in meeting each other and discussing growing and selling small plants for profit they didn’t eat that much! We had plenty of food left over.
Moe and Marcy traveled from Indiana for this event. Moe is a long time member and has actually created a software program just for our members. His software creates custom printed plant tags and point of sale signs for plant sales. I know I learned a lot from his presentation.
I like to thank my son Duston for all of his help with this event and all of the work that he does here behind the scenes with everything that we do. There are no photos of Duston because he was behind the camera all day. You can meet Duston and his kids on this page Three Generations of McGroarty Nurseryman. Duston’s wife Lorelei took a ton of photos for me for this page I just haven’t had time to get them posted yet.
It took me hours to get this page done!
I’ll let you know when I add those photos. There are great shots of me, Duston and my three grandsons!
On behalf of myself and the members I have to thank Pam for baking cookies for us like she does every year! Thank you so much!
Okay, there you have it, Shindig 2012!
I sure hope you can make it next year.
Start Growing and Selling Small Plants from Home Right Now!
Brian Wyant says
Are you doing any more shindig soon id love to attend.
We do have an event later this year, details in the members area. http://backyardgrowers.com/join
Jack Muna says
I’m just a new member recently and it was really amazing that there’s a lot to learn about
backyard growers. I am very interested about the annual tour for this event. I am seriously thinking I want to go and attend this tour.
I lived on a tiny island of Saipan, a commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands and we have a lot of tropical flowers and plants that I can share in the future.
We are planning and discussing our annual get together right now. All of the details are in the members area.
Dulcie Andrews says
I didnt know the ‘wherefores’ and ‘why’s for needing a goat becasue I hadnt clicked the link yet– lol– not because it wasnt explained. I have a little over an acre of land. I started Square foot gardening last year after three years of failed attempts at traditional gardening. I have my beds three feet apart and now those three foot spaces are filling up with potted up plants that I rooted with the knowledge I got from your system. (I figured it would help them retain water in the pots being in between the raised beds) (I have full sun- no shade at all –and collect rainwater to water my garden)I have done alot of reading about mini- farming and homesteading and getting a few goats is one of my goals. (also honeybees, chickens, and plenty of fruiting trees and brambles)– Dulcie Andrews
Dulcie Andrews says
Hi there, I just read the email about needing a goat (still dont know) and I saw that you are coming to Georgia this year. May I know where and when. I havent been able to join the growers assoc. yet. But I purchased your system a few months ago and I now have rooted 30 lynwood forsythia and 30 dark purple butterfly bush (buddelia (sp?). Also tried some rhodos, pink princess wigelia (2 made it but now look sickly after potting them) I bought some viburnum, and green giant arborvitae and compact burning bush to take cuttings from as they grow. I am out of containers– and was looking through my email to find one of the suppliers that I can buy some 6 inch pots from without having to spend a whole lot of money and I read the “goat” email. I live near Augusta and would love to come to the backyard growers event if it is anywhere near me. Thank you for all your help and advice. I wish I had more money to invest so I could go at this on a bigger scale, but I have to do it as I can. Still would like to meet you and other growers and learn what I can from y’all. Thanks, Dulcie Andrews
Aloha, I am new to the backyard gardening world. Throughly enjoy all the info in your publications and e-mail news letters. Anyone on Oahu, Hawaii Kai area, any member?
We do have at least one member in Hawaii, where exactly I’m not sure.
Thanks for all your hard work to send out the newsletters, enjoy it
very much. Our weather is at different times, but I can use every
piece of knowledge that you shared with us. Learn a lot from you about
propagation techniques. I would have love to be there to see all the
backyard growing you do.
Thanks Mike for Photos & info. of your Shindig 2012;
I found it all so interesting
(Martin in Ireland)
Thank you for sharing.
Halleluyah for Heaven on earth!
My soul magnifies
FOR SUCH JOY.
Tom Biesiada says
I would like to stop bygone day to see your operation I just live in medina so it’s a short drive
Hi, great pictures. Am from West Africa, looking foward to attending this event for 2013 and be enriched with knowledge if invited.Would it will be of relevance to us in the tropical region?
Neil Buboltz says
Looks like you had a nice get together, I had alot of stuff going on this year but would love to vist you, but found out I had a brain aneurizm and they planted a metal piece in my brain and also building two hoop houses with 4 beds 4ft by 28 ft long so been buzy but hope to get down there maybe next year. thanks again Neil Buboltz-Minnesota
George Harris says
Mike, you’re becoming the Messiah of the agricultural flock! I took your advice about layering newspaper under my newly assembled raised bed for veggies. Hope it works better than that commercial stuff that I’m STILL digging up WITH the weeds! Got a problem maybe you can solve…I’m trying to grow a Japanese Maple in a clay pot from a seedling in Central Fla. Started out great, but seems to be failing in spite of nurturing. It’s about a foot and a half tall and wilting and spindly. I’m giving it shade and afternoon sun and plenty of water. I’ m thinking of bringing it inside out of the 90+ degree heat until cooler weather. I’M DETERMINED to save this plant! Any suggestions?
Hey Mike, the shindig was awesome. It was good to spend time with the group. Hopefully I can come again next year.
Could not have traveled to your home (from Florida!) but it looks like you all had a wonderful time.
hungry mike says
Boy those pictures look so inviting..wish I could have made it. Maybe next year.
Earline Bethea says
Sorry about the typo. I meant to say you not your certainly had a successful meeting.
Earline Bethea says
Hello Mike: Well, I must say that your certainly had a successful meeting. I will definately work it into my vacation time next year. Because of financial commitments I haven’t been able to join in the message board, etc. However, I love your information and I have learned a great deal from you. I am also a Henrico County Master Gardener and would also like to learn more about growning in 5 gallon pails. Please keep up the wonderful work that you and your family so joyfully share with others. I am training my grandson who is 11 years old about gardening for fresh vegetables, etc. I’ve been with you for a few years now and hope to avail myself of your new book.
Sincerely and God Bless,
Michael Weed says
Judging from my spelling you wouldn’t know that would you. lol. Meant graduated in May 2011. Sorry for the typo.
Michael Weed says
I would love to go next year. Kind of a good ride from just outside New Orleans and I don’t like to fly. Love to drive and look at the scenery just know how nature works and learning more each day thanks to your program. I really want to get the other one, The Market Board but the $67 a month I can’t do right now. I’m on a fixed income which is why I want to do this. Plus I just draduated May 2011 with a degree in Horticulture. Thank you so much.
Richard Holt says
wish we could of been there but the pictures and comments made it interesting.
Deborah Ruchty says
I bought the system but haven’t joined the message board. Am I still invited? Everything seems to point you to the message board for details….
Hoping to make it to your next gathering. As I’m a novice garderner I’ve been picking up bits and pieces of info from you and others. Thanks for making yourself available Mike.
I live a couple of townships to where this shindig was and most certainly would have went if I knew about it. I’m a member and also get the backyardgrowers emails, but I did not receive anything about this. How can I find out about the next one?
Lance, everybody that has my system received at least one Email with a notice of this up coming event.
Edward Domagalski says
Why not more info. on 5 gallon pot growing so us older people don,t have to get on our knee,s????
Patricia Smith says
Thanks for sharing your shindig pictures. We live way down in South Georgia about 50 miles above Tallahassee, FL. I have a lot more bug problems here than I did when we lived in Atlanta. It looks like you had a good turnout and a great day!
Hey Mike,I live in the Caribbean island of
Antigua and I do look forward to receiving your newsletter every time. I’ve learned so much from your site. Some of it has to be adapted to my perpetual hot weather here and most of the plants are way different from what I grow here. Your ideas are great and I am using your advice to build up what I hope will be the biggest nursery this side of the Caribbean….love your work Mike and keep on sharing your knowledge and help make great gardens !!!!
Scott Carter says
Looks like your family shindig was a great success. I would have liked to attend. If it was announced, I must have missed the announcement. If it was RSVP for members only, I must not have paid my dues. At any rate, I would love to come out to Perry and meet you and other inspired backyard gardeners one day.
In the mean time, keep up the good work.
Scott, it’s difficult for us to accommodate a lot of people at one time. That’s why next year I hope to have more than one event so more people get the chance to join us.
Warren Fischer says
Well I am on the tug right now but I really do want to thank you for posting the pictures. I hope I can make it next year.
Thanks mike for sharing wonderful pictures and information…I shall definitely attend this event next year.I always enjoy your great & valuable tips through your e-mails.Please keep me posted …Thanks again.
Flora Pulfrey says
I would love to have been there. Your information on planting is very helpful and I look forward to reading the newsletter.
Dave, no date set just yet, would like to do more than one next year but I can’t promise that.
President? Oh yeah, I’d fit in in Washington alright. For about 30 seconds.
I am actually writing about a different post that you just posted. The one about your new system. I have put ky hat in the ring for one of the free ones but was wondering if you had a price for the new one yet? I was going to by the old one for the $37. Thanks for all the info you have already given me.
Dave Miller says
WOW! I’ll need to plan ahead for the next shindig. Do you have a date set? Such dedication is truly wonderful. A tribe with a vibe. I adore the photos and some of the captions really grab attention!
Thanks for being so genuine. I might write you in for president LOL.
Bill Gates got started in his Garage!!!!
Charles, you’re right and Michael Dell started his business in his college dorm room much to his fathers dismay!
Hope the turn out next year has doubled!!
Sorry that I couldn’t make the shindig. Where can I get a Harry Lauder Walking Stick?
Annette, a number of our members grow Harry Lauder’s Walking Stick. Many have ads on this site under the Backyard Nurseries category. I only paid $3.65 for the ones that I have because I bought them in quantity from a member. It’s not unusual to see Harry Lauder’s at $79 or more in Garden Stores.
Chris Huff says
Looks like everyone had a great time! Wish I could have made it.
Margret Hauksdóttir says
I wish I could have been there, but it is too far from Iceland. I belong to a tree growers´club here in Iceland. We start trees from seed and cuttings and we aim to start an arboretum here in Reykjavík.
I love all your articles and videos, and I´m always so excited when I see a new
email from you. Thank you so much Mike.
Looks like everyone was having a good time. Thanks for sharing the photos, wanna get me off the ‘ice’!!!!
DAVID O'TOOLE says
THANK YOU FOR SHAREING
ΕΙΣΑΙ ΚΑΛΟΣ ΑΝΘΡΩΠΟΣ.ΕΥΧΑΡΙΣΤΟΥΜΕ ΠΟΛΥ….
I enjoyed the photos and wish I could have been there also, but as I live in New Zealand,(separate country from Australia in case people don’t realise lol) it was a bit difficult to get there. I really enjoy your newsletters too, so keep sending them.
Kind regards, Anne
Anne, I’ve had people successfully doing this in New Zealand, so don’t be afraid to give it a go. http://freeplants.com/wanted.htm
Hey, I live in Missouri, USA. I have always have wanted correspond wit someone growing backyard plants and from New Zealand. Please let me know if there are plants from your country that can be shipped up here or what is your best seller down there. I believe our climate is similar to yours. We are temperate. We have 4 distict seasons. Hot summers and cold winters but not harsh. I think this is good enough for starters.
David Stroud says
Thanks Mike for all the good information you offer. I started some river oak cuttings in a white plastic container from Wal Mart which I bored some holes in the bottom & filled with sand per your instructions. They are sprouting at the tops & sides. I’ve been growing plants for a long time but I want to learn more from you. I have airlayered gardenias for a few years now, a great way to get new plants, as you know; I cut 2 off & planted in pots this week & have some more nearly ready. Also I have started avaacados, mangos, & citrus trees from seeds in grocery store fruit with a great deal of success. I do bonsai as well as grow plants to have exotic house plants & I’ll jeeo doing it unless my wife throws me out when I bring so many in during the winter. I also put some in my garage under flouresent lights & deciduous ones just on the floor in the garage keeping them moist which is easy in winter. My garage doesn’t get as cold as the outside since I have a gas water heater in the garage which buffers the temperature.
Thanks again & you’ll be hearing from me & I look forwrd to hearing from you in your emails & videos.
Nice job David! Keep up the good work.
I love it! That is awesome! I’m so hoping my sister and I can make it over that way from Idaho next year!!
Ruby Shedlock says
Mike, I have always enjoyed your pictures. Thanks for sharing these also.Wish we could have been there.
Judy Stroud says
Thanks for sharing the pictures. It was almost like being there.
Great of you to share Mike. Love all you hav to offer.