MBAs and Small Specialty Nurseries -addendum

Robert Pries
Thu, 19 Aug 2010 07:50:01 PDT
While it is sad to see nurseries close or change, I believe what we really morn us the loss of cultivars and species to the trade. People and nurseries have a life span. They can act as guardians of our plant diversity by disseminating it. But sadly this never lasts forever. The hope is that the plant wealth has been distributed such that it can be recovered by younger people and new nurseries. 

My belief is that this can only happen with education. For someone to want to save something they must know about it. Plant Societies play an important role here as well as botanical gardens. Sadly it never seems to be adequate and much is continually being lost. I have spent the last 30 years trying to encourage this information for the Genus Iris. I realize that in many ways I have failed and many species and cultivars of species have disappeared from the trade. I have no idea if my efforts have had any effect whatsoever. Yet I keep trying. 

PBS has performed a great service in this regard with its wiki. Inspired by this I convinced the Iris Society to create a wiki also, called the Iris Encyclopedia. It has taken a couple years just to find the computer techs who could set it up, and in then in the last 7 months I have enlisted 150 workers who added 20,000 pages and 19,000 images. On August 5th the infant wiki appeared on the American Iris Society website. The new baby is far from complete. There are possibly 80,000 pages needed and perhaps a million images. I understand that there is a mindset against hybrids, but this encyclopedia attempts to be a complete reference, including all species and their variations along with the hybrids that came from them. We hope to cover the genus Iris as thoroughly as possible. There are many pages that are still crude and lacking pictures, but you are invited to visit. It will only become a really comprehensive reference if we can enlist the aid of hundreds of more individuals. Adding pictures is very easy. Come visit and let me know what you think.

Bob Pries, wiki manager and Public Relations chair for AIS

----- Original Message -----
From: "Ellen Hornig" <>
To: "Pacific Bulb Society" <>
Sent: Thursday, August 19, 2010 10:23:26 AM GMT -05:00 US/Canada Eastern
Subject: Re: [pbs] MBAs and Small Specialty Nurseries -addendum

In my last message, I think I stated my income rather confusingly (so 
someone might have thought: wow!  She made that much!  In that case, I'm 
going to start a nursery now!)  What I meant was that after I quit academics 
and devoted myself full-time to the nursery, I made under 10K in my first 
year, and the net crept upward over the next 12 years to around 72K last 

Like Robin, I happen to own and live on the land where the nurery is, water 
is cheap here, and (don't know Robin's situation here) my husband's job 
gives us health insurance.  If I had to pay for the land and the insurance, 
I'd be netting a whole lot less.


Ellen Hornig
Seneca Hill Perennials
3712 County Route 57
Oswego NY 13126 USA
----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Ellen Hornig" <>
To: "Pacific Bulb Society" <>
Sent: Thursday, August 19, 2010 9:13 AM
Subject: Re: [pbs] MBAs and Small Specialty Nurseries

> In the last couple of years, I've cleared around $70K - probably better 
> than I would have done if I'd stuck with teaching economics in a small 
> state college.  However, I built up to that with years where I made in the 
> low, then the middle, tens of thousands, so overall I'm quite sure my 
> career as a nuyrseryperson has been less remunerative than continuing my 
> career as a professor of economics would have been. 

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