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 Horticultural giant files for Chapter 11 
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Post Horticultural giant files for Chapter 11
Hat tip to AC @ GLP!

Hmmmmmmm - this is interesting.


By Eric Connor, The Greenville News
Tuesday, April 6, 2010

GREENVILLE -- A tough economy has taken its toll on Upstate horticultural giant Park Seed Co., which has filed for bankruptcy protection but expects to continue operating as it has for nearly a century and a half.

The Greenwood-based seed provider, including its wholesale and rose-cultivation partner companies, filed to seek protection from creditors and is scheduled for an emergency bankruptcy hearing in Columbia on Wednesday, according to court records.

"Seeking court protection and restructuring is clearly our best option," Park Seed spokeswoman Claire Kuhl said. "We are learning from this experience, which will improve our business."

The Park Seed Co. operates a massive catalog and online service that provides more than 1,000 varieties of seeds for vegetables, herbs and flowers, along with plants and gardening accessories.

The companies together owe close to $10 million to hundreds of creditors, according to documents filed with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Columbia. :huh

About 330 people are employed at the 500-acre national Park Seed headquarters in Greenwood, with additional workers in the springtime, Kuhl said.

Park Seed has an illustrious history, beginning with its creation in 1868 in Pennsylvania by 15-year-old George Watt Park. A decade later, Park Seed's cataloge reached 20,000 readers and up to 800,000 readers during World War I.

The company moved to Greenwood in 1924 and to its current complex in 1961.

In 1983, the company joined in an initiative with NASA to pack 25 pounds of 40 different vegetable and fruit seeds on the Challenger space shuttle and study how the seeds responded to outer space.

The three companies' business models always have been seasonal in nature, but the economic downturn in 2008 brought it unprecedented challenges, Kuhl said.

"The horticulture industry is challenging and highly seasonal in the best of times," Kuhl said. "As the general economic situation declined starting in 2008, demand for luxury, non-essential purchases dropped sharply." :huh

The recession caused sales gaps in core products, including roses, perennials and garden-inspired gifts, she said.

"This created cash-flow issues that worsened with each passing season," Kuhl said. "Despite deep cost-cutting and numerous attempts to execute supplier payment programs on our own, we simply could not meet our short- and long-term operating cash requirements."

The companies' business office, gardening center, call center, online service and shipping and receiving operations will continue, she said.

The companies are under the leadership of a court-appointed trustee and have four months to prepare plans for a new capital structure to pay their debts.

http://www.postandcourier.com/news/2010/apr/06/horticultural-giant-files-for-chapter-11/

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Wed Apr 07, 2010 1:30 pm
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Post Re: Horticultural giant files for Chapter 11
Thanks for the heads up on this story Bluebonnet. It kinda reinforces my belief in the fact that most folks are just ignorant to the knowledge of how easy it is to propagate your own seed stock. Granted, some plants have a real difficult seed production cycle to capture, but nature is perfect in its creativity - how else would any business have to make money from it.

All it takes is persistence and practice and a bit a sweat in doing the knowledge gathering. Yes, the first round of planting requires stock seed, but you do not have to lose hope because some company can't supply our "needs"! It is the easiest thing to connect with a bunch of likeminded individuals that practice seed libraries and do seed rotation within a circle of disciplined growers.

I believe strongly in seed banking as we now hold about 80% of our own seed needs in our seed bank on our small farm. No fuss. We are still battling to gear up to the difficult plants we love to grow, and if you allow a percentage of your stock plant to run to seed they do very well in next propagation for the next season. Your soil has to a good organic base with natural conditions allowing the cycle to continue (earth worms do this very well) for if you use fertilisers the nature of things good is disturbed and only a small % of them will survive. Hence the existence of the Monsanto's of this world where GME's are claimed to be successful. Hahaha. Science is now showing this to be a large fallacy.

If we are to survive in growing our own food for a while, then you need to start doing it for yourself, and join a seed group to circulate stock so as to keep the genes mixed and strong.

But as I said, most folk just don't care about these things anymore... :roll

My best is to see my letuces self propagate season after season - yum!

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Thu Apr 08, 2010 12:59 pm
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Post Re: Horticultural giant files for Chapter 11
Sky I wonder if you wouldn't mind doing a "How To" section on this for us?

I know a bunch of us here would really appreciate it.

If you start the thread I will PIN it for you :clap :clap

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Fri Apr 09, 2010 5:29 am
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Post Re: Horticultural giant files for Chapter 11
Would be my pleasure L2L

Sometime this w/end will be good, as I am still pushing a few jobs for my bizz.


:beer

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Fri Apr 09, 2010 8:43 am
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Post Re: Horticultural giant files for Chapter 11
Yeah, Sky! I'm interested, too! :heart :clap

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Fri Apr 09, 2010 8:55 am
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Post Re: Horticultural giant files for Chapter 11
Sky wrote:
Would be my pleasure L2L
Sometime this w/end will be good, as I am still pushing a few jobs for my bizz.

:beer


That's awesome Sky thanks allot we really appreciate it :clap :clap :clap :clap

As soon as you make it I will PIN it :admin :beer

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Fri Apr 09, 2010 12:58 pm
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