Wednesday, November 28, 2012

That’s not what I want to talk about.

Excuses, excuses, excuses

Well so much for my goal of getting out a couple blogs each month. 

I guess everyone has excuses, me too. 

We started calla harvest the middle of September and there are calla bulbs (or corms or tubers, whatever those confounded things are) everywhere. The warehouse is overflowing and they are stuffed into greenhouses and the old derelict mushroom plant down the road. 

But that’s not what I want to talk about.

I also went off in the middle of this busy time to study music with Fred Morrison for 4 days at Lake Tahoe. It was great fun and the weather and venue very pleasant.  The days challenging and the music after dinner delightful. The music just flows though Fred Morrison, like he’s some kind of conduit, and he gets such a kick out of it that he grins and laughs while he plays, like it tickles. This link shows Fred playing the Low D Whistle with his pipes on his lap.

Fred Morrison playing bellows blown Smallpipes

 But that’s not what I want to talk about.

We had a visit from Matthiuas Rohde of Rieger Begonias.  Rieger is in the business of producing begonias from cuttings.  They produce a begonia that is a cross between species of which one species is a tuberous begonia.  These crosses are also sometimes called hiemalis begonias.  But in our industry, Rieger’s begonias are so ubiquitous that their family name has come to mean a whole class of begonias. Mr. Rohde is the head of the family business now and a direct descendent of great grandpa Rieger.  Grandpa Rieger had only daughters and so none of the progeny carry his name.  Pity, I could have had my picture taken with a Mr. Rieger standing in our begonia fields.

We have a deal with Riegers where they will try and propagate our Scented Begonias from cuttings.   Since cutting begonias is their business (Riegers do not come true from seed), it stands a chance of being a way to get our Scented begonias to market.

But that’s not what I want to talk about.

I also had the wind taken out of my sails the other day. 

See, I was checking the links on this blog, the ones you see on the right, just to make sure they were all good.  ABS; check. Capitola Begonia Festival.  Check.  University of Minnesota:  Check. Our web site “Your Source for AmeriHybrid® Begonias”…our begonias…I got the message you see below.

What! No begonias?

I wrote, in a earlier blog, about our company culture being basically anti-retail but we aren’t even selling our own begonias! 

I, of course, went to talk to the sales guys and they gave me lots of disclaimers, reasons and qualifiers but said basically “we can’t have begonias on our web site or someone might buy them.”   I let that sink in a minute.

I went to our new CEO (me, rather disgruntled) CEO says he’s totally behind getting the begonias back to profitability through increasing sales.  Good for him.   He says there’s a new web site in the works. Good for him.  Going to be called  “Good for you” says I, “when will it be up?” “End of January” says he.  Sooner, we all hope.

There’s some sort of ego thing going on here I know there is.  And I know, it’s my problem.  For 29 years I have bred tuberous begonias and I want to see them out in the public.  I like it when people are complimentary about the plants.  I even get some weird kind of second hand satisfaction when people grow our competitors tuberous begonias and like them.  And of course, now I’m blogging; another sign of an obviously out of control ego.

My wife says I need to detach.  I can, I suppose, continue to breed begonias for my own pleasure until our company declines to grow them any more.  Why would we stop growing them?  Well, because we don’t sell them!

Note:  Our begonias are available. Do a search for AmeriHybrid Begonias.  There are some nice web sites out there with our material that you can actually purchase.  I have updated the sidebar with some suppliers.

But that’s not what I want to talk about.  Not at all.