Collaboration between local businesses and school programs has become more important recently. There are many positive outcomes for such partnerships. Businesses can be a source of expertise and talent to help the schools with their academic objectives, while school programs benefit with an infusion of information and resources from various businesses. It strengthens a sense of community with cooperation of businesses and the particular aims of various school programs.

Independent garden centers and horticultural related businesses should forge such relationships and there is no better way to develop such relationships as promoting school garden programs. Our business Al Krismer Plant Farm has been involved with Granny’s Garden School since 2008. During that time our business has helped this outstanding and nationally recognized school garden program in Loveland Ohio in various activities.

Al Krismer’s Plant Farm provides plants and horticultural expertise for Granny’s Garden School program. We help with the planning of their annual plants sale, grow vegetable plants for students to plant in their gardens and flowers for the flower gardens. We also donate marigold plants to their fourth grade students to recognize their graduation from the program.

We are one of the growers who provide plants on consignment for the spring plant sale. We provide signage and are one of their suppliers of plant material. During the year we are involved in various school garden activities which involve both parents and the community at large. Also we have a monthly newsletter which anyone with a gardening interest can sign up for. For the spring sale we have a webpage which Granny’s Garden School can link to provide info about the many plants that the Granny Garden School spring plant sale offers. Granny’s Garden School has a link from their website to our sit and routinely promotes the garden centers they work with in various ways, including ours.

Partnering with school gardening programs is a positive relationship for Independent Garden Centers and the schools. You are fostering activities that result in future customers for your business, yet at the same time you are encouraging their parents to buy locally from your business. By helping school garden programs you are encouraging a healthy lifestyle and an interest in gardening which when nurtured at a young age, will remain a life time interest and passion.

Our relationship with Granny’s Garden School Program is a ‘win win’ situation. We look on it mainly as a way to involve parents and their children and in fact the community with our business. We are attracting customers now and in the future and help us to ‘grow’ our business. The rewards in helping such a program go far beyond and last longer than any tangible monetary rewards. We are nurturing a generation of people who will eat healthier, respect the environment, become more self-reliant and become more community involved. This re-enforces the idea of buying local and supporting local small businesses, which we feel will be the wave of the future in determining people’s buying habits. No matter where they might live they will come to see the Independent Garden Center as a source of information and guidance for their gardening endeavors. A successful gardener is a happy one and a happy one will, return time and time again to your business.