Great Lakes EXPO

I attended the Great Lakes EXPO in Grand Rapids, MI the first week of December as one of the greenhouse industry speakers.  (You can grab handouts of my talk on Seed Plug Production here at  It’s a somewhat unique show, as it combines greenhouse, vegetable, and fruit horticulture topics and vendors.

It was nice getting to check out vendors I don’t normally see at greenhouse industry trade shows:  transplanters and vegetable seeding equipment, fruit tree nurseries, and vegetable seed companies.  Both Johnny’s and High Mowing were there, which was a happy surprise.

I have never been to a horticulture trade show with as much food to sample from vendors.  Awesome fudge, preserves, pies, frozen yoghurt, fruit…  Something in almost every aisle.

The most notable find of the show for me is the JP-3 seeder from Mechanical Transplanter Company, LLC.  It’s a South Korean manufactured row seeder.

The JP-3 looks extremely flexible, reasonably economical, and a good option for large gardens and small farms.  It can be purchased with just 1 seeding head, and will fit up to 5 heads.

Different heads can potentially sow different seeds at different spacing, though one chain/sprocket system runs all the heads, so there are some limitations.  Ideally, a row could be sown with multiple crops at the proper spacing with a single pass.  I’m hoping to get my hands on one for the 2013 season.

I always like to grab a catalog from Spectrum Technologies, so I can drool over their automated weather station equipment.  They have some really interesting stuff that I would absolutely love to play with.  It’s been too pricey to justify, so far.  Hanna Instruments also has neat testing equipment, including direct stick sensors for pH measurement.

I also bought a couple of nice elephant grass (Pennisetum purpureum) baskets made in Ghana from Krugers Baskets.  They will be perfect harvest baskets for  veggies and mushrooms.


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