U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary Sonny Perdue at Prides Corner Nursery, August 31, 2017, in Lebanon, CT. Owner Mark Sellew leads him on a tour before a luncheon and Farm Bill Listening Session, with approximately 40 farmers and producers.
The Farm Bill conversation is moderated by Connecticut Farm Bureau Executive Director Henry Talmage. Supporting the conversation are Senator Richard Blumenthal, and Senator Chris Murphy.
Prides Corner Nursery has approximately 500 acres here and 75 acres in other parts of the region. There are 55 miles of greenhouses, and on some of the green houses are photovoltaic “solar” cell panels that generate 30% of their electrical needs. Secretary Perdue was able to see the first layer of plastic sheeting be rolled out and lay on and around the sides of the rows of plants to protect the plants from the coming winter temperatures. Outer row of plants are moved aside and will be repositioned on the edge of the plastic sheeting. As temperatures drop lower a second layer will be extended over the hoops. High tunnel "hoop houses" are used to extend the growing season. The business is 36 years old and the second generation of the Sellew family is entering the business of providing more than 3,000 varieties of ornamental plants (trees, shrubs, herbs, roses) to approximately 2,000 active customers, in14 states. Their customer base is independent local garden centers, landscapers, landscape stores. USDA Photo by Lance Cheung. Original public domain image from Flickr