President’s Notes Jan. 2023

by David DeJohn, NHCLP
January 2023

Happy New Year!

I hope you all were able to enjoy Christmas and the Holidays and maybe even get to relax a little bit. As I’m writing this the weather so far has been mild and except for some rain pretty storm free so hopefully you’ve been able to catch up and even finish projects.

I know I’ve certainly taken full advantage and although I’ll never be caught up, this weather has allowed me to finish and even start some projects that I wasn’t even sure I’d get to. For me 2022 was a tough and chaotic year. Some of it was my own doing, mostly due to poor planning. Some of it was because it seemed that on every job there were last minute changes and add-ons. And some of it was just plain out of my control. But despite all that, I have to say that I have had the most amazing and patient clients one could hope for, and no one jumped ship on me. For that I’m very grateful.

This winter, while I’m building a stonewall I have prepped and will soon start working on, I’ll be doing a lot of reflecting on the past season and how I can improve on the next. I’m sure many of you can relate to that; there’s always room for improvement, and so I hope for nothing but the best for you in 2023.

As an educational association NHLA has always been an integral part of my career and continues to be an important source of information and networking for me — and hopefully for you and your employees as well. A simple example of that is the recent maintenance and repair workshop held at North Point Outdoors in Derry. A small group attended, but every one of us came away from it knowing something we didn’t know before and are now better able to repair and maintain our own stuff. As always, the NHLA Board of Directors, the Education Committee, and the Certification Committee have worked hard to bring you educational as well as other opportunities to add value to your membership and provide ways to set yourself and your companies apart from the rest of the pack.

This past year we were finally able to get back to in-person events starting with Dinner Meetings in January and March, Twilight meetings, and our first day-long Field Day event, which by all accounts was a big success. During the past year we also partnered with Greenius and NARFA giving members access to extensive on-line training and comprehensive insurance. We updated the NHLA by-laws so that now all employees of a member company are members of NHLA as well. The logistics of this will take some time to roll out but we’re working on that, and we will keep you updated as we move forward with it.

We already have several meetings and events on the calendar for the coming season: a Dinner meeting at the Puritan this month, a Safety/DOS Compliance and First Aid day-long event in March, a workshop on pruning and proper mulching in April (we’re looking for a place for this event, so if anyone has a job site or other spot where we could hold this program let us know), and a possible hardscaping workshop in May.

We also have a venue and tentative date set for our Field Day next September, so watch for more details in the next couple months. We’ll be looking for speakers, vendors, and sponsors so if anyone is interested please let us know. And certainly if you have any ideas or requests for Twilight Meetings, speakers or topics that you think would be of benefit, then by all means reach out to me, Mike Barwell, or anyone on the Board.

Well that’s it for now. I hope you have a good winter and a very good 2023 Landscape season. Happy New Year!

President’s Notes Dec 2022

by David DeJohn, NHCLP
December 2022

Well, I can’t believe it’s already time to say Happy Holidays, but as I write Thanksgiving is just two weeks away and by the time this edition of the Newsletter comes out Christmas will be right around the corner, so Happy Holidays in advance!

I, for one, am not at all sorry to see 2022 in the rear view mirror, and now that the mid-terms are over I look forward to a slightly quieter, slightly calmer 2023.

Thank you to Andrew Pelkey and North Point Outdoors for hosting our “Let’s get Dirty” Engine maintenance and repair workshop. Chris Baker and Andrew Giampalo led a very lively demonstration and discussion on preventative maintenance and repair for chain saws, pole pruners, trimmers, blowers, and mowers. They discussed the common problems that crop up on a daily basis and the three most likely causes of the those problems — fuel, air, or spark. It was a perfectly-sized group for this sort of workshop, giving everyone who attended the opportunity to learn, ask questions, and talk to each other. All sizes of businesses were represented, but the issues of repair, preventative maintenance, cost of repairs, and efficiency are a common thread regardless of size of company.

The discussion continued through the pizza dinner provided by NHLA and Chris, and Andrew were very open generous in talking about the systems set up to run North Point and how the company has evolved over the last six years. Thank you again to Chris and Andrew, and thank you to everyone who attended.

We have several other events coming up, the next one being our January Dinner Meeting at the Puritan restaurant in Manchester on the 18th (snow date January 19) featuring John Forti. The topic will be “The Heirloom Gardener – Traditional Plants and Skills.” His talk draws from his new book of traditional plants and skills for the modern world. His PowerPoint shares inspiration from our long history of heirloom and native plant preservation, garden craft, and homestead lifeways that we can apply to our own gardens and landscapes. This is one not to be missed, so watch for more information and registration details.

In February Ben Huntington will tentatively be hosting a tour of the expanded growing operations and facilities at Pleasant View Gardens in Pembroke, and in March we have scheduled another Safety Day which will include DOS compliance rules and demonstrations as well as On-site First Aid. This will be a great way to start gearing up for a new and safe 2023 season .

Check out the Newsletter and website for more information on these and other events. We have lots planned for the coming year to keep employees and business owners alike informed and to help keep your businesses profitable.

Have a great rest of the season and Happy Holidays!