President’s Notes August 2021

by David DeJohn, NHCLP
August 2021

It’s July 13 as I sit down to write and I’m three days late with these notes. I’ve been so focused on work and getting projects done and new ones started that it’s been hard to think of much else. But here I sit, 5:00 am, listening to the rain and trying to think of something to write. When I wrote for the July issue we were expecting a pretty big storm, which we got, and since then we’ve had pretty consistent rain coming through. Tropical storm Elsa gave us a very wet July 4 Holiday weekend and week and with this latest round we are starting to see some relief from the drought. I think southern NH may even be back up to normal levels but the northern half of the state still has a ways to go. We certainly haven’t had to water our veggie garden, and our squash plants have gone crazy!

We will have had our annual Golf Tournament and our Twilight meeting at Kirkwood Gardens by the time this issue is out, and I look forward to reporting on them for September. As disappointing as it was to postpone the Field Day event it was the right call to make and we are still moving forward with it for next year. This gives a lot more time to really make it a great event and more time to hear from you all about what you might like to see, speakers and topics you might like to hear, and demonstrations you might like to participate in. Don’t be shy about letting us know, whether it’s for the Field Day event, Twilight Meetings or Dinner Meetings. The Education Committee is always looking for ideas.

As I really don’t have much to write about this time around I will end on this note… I am optimistic about our chosen field. It’s not just that last year and this year have been insanely busy, that will change as it always does and things will go back to “normal”eventually. What gives me hope is that despite the fact that a major complaint over the last few years has been lack of help and qualified workers and getting young people interested in the horticultural/landscape industry, I’m starting to see a slight change in that. This year I’m seeing a lot of new companies and younger people getting into the business, and I take that as a good sign, although I can’t speak to the quality of their work or their knowledge. However we have had several new companies become members of NHLA, which shows a desire to learn and to increase their professionalism. As we know, being a member of NHLA has many benefits, especially the on-going educational opportunities we provide, our close association with UNH Cooperative Extension and the educational opportunities they provide, the networking, and the safety in numbers.

Anyway, what really sparked my optimism was that I recently had a chance to work with a couple of younger guys in their early twenties for a couple of days. I work by myself 95% of the time, and when I do work with someone else it’s usually with someone around my own age and with the same attitude about work – physical work – so this was relatively new for me. These guys were on loan from another company while the owner was out of town, and I didn’t really know what to expect. I was very pleasantly surprised when they showed up on time, with tools, and ready to work. And they did work. I won’t say they never looked at their phones but I will say that despite the heat and humidity they never stopped working other than water and lunch breaks, and they were interested in what we were doing. Best of all when I told them about NHLA and what we’re about, they immediately saw the benefits and surprisingly, the benefit of being around and being able to talk with other people in the business. I promise I’m not making this up! One of the them said “There are just some things you can’t learn from a phone.” Music to my ears. Enough said.

Have a great and successful rest of the summer!