Friday, October 19, 2007

Expansion successful, carbon footprint a concern

Wendy and Ernie’s company, We Promote, has done its job. Just as construction finished on our four new greenhouses and subsequent to our September launch, the increased orders that poured in justified the expansion.

One thing that Chuck and I weren’t too thrilled about was that some of these new orders were from countries such as New Zealand, where it is Spring now, instead of Fall. “Think of the carbon footprint,” exclaimed Chuck, “we’re helping the Globe go to hell in a handbasket.”

“It’s a fact of life that lettuce producers have to live with,” explained Wendy. When it’s time for rain and snow, instead of sunshine, people in the Northern Hemisphere stop eating so many salads and concentrate on hot soups, instead.

We tried to come up with alternatives to shipping our lettuce, packed in ice, to New Zealand, so Wendy promised that they will increase our promotional efforts in countries that are a bit closer, like Mexico.

“Yeah, well instead of jet fuel you’ll be increasing carbon emissions by burning diesel in those giant transport trucks,” countered Chuck. Wendy promised to look into transport by freight train, in refrigerated compartments. “Freight trains pollute much less than trucks,” asserted our new partner.

Chuck and I were hoping that we could sell all we produce in a hundred-mile radius, and one day we might actually accomplish that goal. We have to go on local media and extol the virtues of eating a lot of lettuce, even in Winter.

“Our pak choi greenhouses sell all of the vegetables they grow within the immediate neighborhood. So you could always convert every greenhouse to pak choi production,” said Wendy.

Chuck wasn’t too thrilled to hear that. We’re essentially lettuce producers, with sidelines in pak choi and herbs. To turn everything over to the Chinese vegetable would require changing our view of ourselves.

“Let’s stay with the business plan that we subscribed to when we signed our partnership agreement,” I said. “But let’s try to build customers closer to home and elevate people’s awareness of the health benefits of lettuce, even in Fall and Winter.”

A huge order arrived from Advanced Nutrients, and an entire storage shed got filled up with Micro, Grow, Humic and Fulvic Acids, Sensi Cal Mg Grow, Piranha, Tarantula, Voodoo Juice, as well as Seaweed Extract, Scorpion Juice, and Barricade.

“At least we agree on this,” said Ernie, “that Advanced Nutrients makes the best possible food for our produce, and may they live long and prosper and continue to provide us with them.”

“Hear, hear!” exclaimed Chuck, then rushed off for another radio interview about lettuce and its health benefits.

I’ve not been blogging regularly in recent weeks. There’s so much going on that I just don’t have time each week. Please bear with us until more time is available for this very valuable means of communication.

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posted by silvio @ 3:35 PM   0 comments