Friday, August 2, 2013

The Next New Thing and this years Pack Trials

Golden State Bulb Growers’ participation in the California Pack Trials is long past.   All the begonias for next season's harvest are already planted.   I had hoped to write, in a timely manner, on all these activities, but it’s amazing how the days go when the pace picks up. 

The pack trials were very well attended this year.  Why?  The improving economy? An upswing in our industry?  New exciting products?  Really it was probably just the lousy long winter most of the country had while we had an early and glorious spring.  Who wouldn’t want to leave gray Indiana for a nice week-long, expense paid, jaunt in sunny California?  Rent the convertible Mustang; hey it isn’t that much more than the base model.

California Pack trials are all about what’s new.  The Trade Journal writers show up, ask; “What’s new?”  take photos of the latest new thing, get back in the rental car and on to the next place (get the Mustang next time). 

We made a bench of just our new stuff so they didn’t have to waste their time looking at all the old stuff.

What’s new is not necessarily what’s better.

Someone asked me, while we were standing in the begonia house “So, these are all your creations then?”

“Umm, no.” 

“I inherited the program from the previous breeder and I will pass it on to the next” 

 We make incremental changes and variations on a theme, does that count as new?  On Tops®, are they new?  I made those first crosses 20 years ago.

Tuberous begonias are good, we’re working on them, they’re not new, they’re better.

Let’s look at a few photos from the pack trials.

My wife says this looks Photo-Shopped.  It's not.  Our #11 Ruffled Orange.


Trial Bench, 6 inch pots on the left and 8 inch pots on the right.  They like the room in the 8 better, the bigger the pot the better.

Begonia House 2013 Demos.

For Golden State Bulb Growers, the Demos are mostly about Callas.  Here is the center piece of the calla house.

AmeriHybrid and Antonelli cross gone, frankly, a bit over the top.
 So, our begonias are not the Latest New Thing.  I don’t want to brag too much, but I think if you compare the begonias we are growing now with the begonias that were photographed by Ansell Adams, you can see that we have improved in a mere (!) 63 years since those photos were taken (only 30 of those years have I had any hand in this).

Thanks and good luck in the future.  -Andy