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Agriculture / Conservation News
Take a Green Vacation with CT Grown

By Linda Piotrowicz, CT Department of Agriculture

  MAY 2008 -- Do soaring gas prices have you planning to spend more time at home this vacation season?  Enjoy a green getaway in your own yard with the help of CT Grown.  

“Gardening is a winning recreational activity,” said F. Philip Prelli, Connecticut Commissioner of Agriculture. “It provides a bounty of benefits, including relaxation, fresh air, and terrific exercise.  All while improving the appearance and value of your home!”

Keep your “loca-vacation” truly local by using CT Grown plants and services.  You will get the healthiest, highest-quality products available anywhere, while investing your hard-earned money in your own neighborhood, fueling your local economy instead of sending those dollars out of state.

Connecticut’s “Green Industry,” comprised of over 3,000 nursery, greenhouse, garden center, florist, and landscape businesses, can provide everything you need for your at-home retreat:  colorful flowering annuals, hanging baskets, shrubs, trees, lawn-care products, tools and equipment, and knowledgeable personnel to answer questions and provide invaluable information.  

Many of these local staff members are graduates of the state’s GreenPrep Program, a course created by the University of Connecticut (UCONN), the Connecticut Nursery and Landscape Association, and the Connecticut Greenhouse Growers Association.  GreenPrep provides intensive education on basic botany, plant identification and taxonomy, planting, fertilization, integrated pest management, lawn care, and small engine use/maintenance for those considering careers in the state’s “Green Industry.”  According to the New England Nursery Association, at least 48,000 people work in this industry in Connecticut.

Additional resources for the backyard vacationer can be found at UCONN’s Home and Garden Education Center.  There you will information and experts to assist both beginners and accomplished horticulturists with a wide range of topics.  You can also find details about the state’s Master Gardener Program, should you aspire to become an expert yourself.

“I personally encourage residents to take advantage of all that our state’s greenhouses, nurseries, and garden centers have to offer,” said Commissioner Prelli.  “Collectively, the ‘Green Industry’ makes up half of our state’s agriculture, contributing $1.1 billion to Connecticut’s gross income each year.  These businesses play a vital role in our local economy while helping to beautify our state.”

To learn more about Connecticut’s “Green Industry” or to find a garden center or greenhouse grower near you, please visit www.FlowersPlantsInCT.com.

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