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TPIE – The Final Day

January 18, 2009

It’s the last day of TPIE and we were able to make our rounds to all of our Fresh from Floridamembers.  Today I had the opportunity to meet some interesting people and pioneers in the industry.  For starters I visited one of the oldest plant brokers in the business.  Syd Speer of Tropical Plant & Seed Locators, has been in the business for 38 years.

Along with his wife Suzanne and son Syd, Jr. Mr. Speer has seen a lot ofchanges over the years.  But, through it all he is still going strong and continues to import and export seed and plant materials.  Syd is very optimistic about the future of the industry and has no intentions of stopping any time soon.

Another Fresh from Florida exhibitor was Heart of Florida Greenhouses, Inc. out of Zolfo Springs.

Heart of Florida booth

Vicki Broxton member of sales team

They have been growing foliage for over 30 years.  Heart of Florida also exhibits at the Independent Garden Center Show held each year.   Chris Bryant, a manager for the company requested samples of our new plant tags, which we were able to provide to her right at the show.

Vicki Broxton member of sales team

Milestone Agriculture, Inc. booth

Argristart 3 or AG3  are Fresh from Florida members located in Eustis, Florida.  AG3 produces and sells tissue culture liners for a variety of plants.  They have 2 labs in Florida with 110 technicians.   By using tissue culture techniques  a single plant can be used to grow limitless numbers of that plant.  That’s pretty interesting if you ask me.

Another interesting Fresh from Florida member is Milestone Agriculture, Inc. Owner, Don Carmi started his journey as an importer in 1988 now Milestone has become one of the five top fern producers in the world located in Apopka.
Milestone Agriculture, Inc. booth

Miguel and Pilar

My last visit of the day was with Fresh from Florida member My Too Sprouts.  I love the name and whimsical feel of  this company.  Their plants are vibrant and fun just like their logo.  I met Miguel Uzquiano and Pilar Morales at their booth.  My Too Sprouts is located in Homestead.  They got their start in 1992 soon after the devastation of Hurricane Andrew.  They specialize in foliage and patio plants.

Miguel and Pilar

I hope you have enjoyed meeting some of our Fresh from Florida members  over the last 2 days as we attended the Tropical Plant Industry Exhibition (TPIE) in Ft. Lauderdale.  Melissa and I enjoyed the opportunity to bring the experience of TPIE to you and we look forward to bringing it to you live all over again in 2010.

I would like to give a special thanks to the Florida Nursery Growers and Landscape Association (FNGLA) for putting on another great show.

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