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nafex - Re: [nafex] apple tree nurseries. Part II

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  • From: Ed & Pat Fackler <>
  • To:
  • Subject: Re: [nafex] apple tree nurseries. Part II
  • Date: Thu, 01 Mar 2001 07:56:29 -0500

Greetings, NAFEX

As usual, John Bunker is doing simply a great job with much raw candor in
his definition of what Fedco does.
For years, I've thought Fedco catalogue was the finest, most clean retail
nursery catalogue I've seen.
The only criticism I have of it is simply the very low pricing. In order
for John to continue his fine work, Fedco's prices MUST go up, and John must
accept the fact that an increase in price will eliminate a few customers. And
that is okay-fine, as those who are plagued with a radical distortion of value
(of a farmer) can go elsewhere (you can guess where they go, can't you?).

Ed, So. Indiana, heavenly, etc

John Bunker wrote:

> At Fedco, we offer between 30-50 apple varieties per year. We also sell a
> range of other fruit trees, shrubs and ornamentals. To combat the problem
> of left over unwanted apple trees, I've done three things.
> First, I vary the selection each year. That way, we can rotate through a
> larger number of varieties without having to graft too many each year.
> After doing this for 20 years or so, I find that I can pretty well guess how
> many we'll sell of a variety in any given year.
> The second thing we do has to do with the question about odd varieties. I
> spend a lot of time researching and observing any variety we sell, and I
> attempt to write a detailed, intellegent, informative and balanced
> description of every variety. I believe that it's essential to speak to
> the intellegence in every customer, for a number of reasons. Customers
> always appreciate this.
> Thirdly, we have a four day public sale at the end of each shipping season.
> Fedco also sells garden seeds, seed potatoes, seedlings and soil
> amendments. Everything is on sale. We advertise to the general public.
> It's also a time when mail order customers can pick up their orders and buy
> extras if they choose. We also sell a lot of nursery stock, potted and bare
> root that is not in the catalog. A number of friends who have small
> nurseries bring plants to sell. It's like a big fair. A number of
> knowedgeable grower friends are on hand to educate customers. It's a wild
> and enjoyable event. And, it's a great opportunity to sell those trees that
> didn't sell by mail order.
> Using these three techniques, most seasons we throw out no trees at all.
> John Bunker
> Fedco
> Box 520 Waterville Me 04903
> wrote:
> > Hi all:
> >
> > Regarding the nurseryman's problem of lumpy demand: I think it behooves
> > us (customers) to list second and third choices if we want to keep
> > specialty, high service nurseries in business.
> >
> > I often find myself making tough choices. My wants consistently exceed
> > my budget. So I flip a coin and order Nova Spy apple trees instead of
> > Enterprise, for example. It is to our mutual advantage to have the
> > nursery owner know that. He/she might run out of Nova Spy. Knowing my
> > second choice allows him/her to still make a sale and I can still get
> > trees I want.
> >
> > Do any of the nurserymen out there care to comment: Just how lumpy is
> > demand for specialty cultivars like Florina or Roxbury Russet? How much
> > does demand vary over a five year window?
> > --
> >
> > -Joe Hecksel
> > Eaton Rapids, Michigan
> >
> > Personal webpage open to the public at
> >
> > Criticism welcomed.
> >
> >
> >
> >
> > Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to
> Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to

Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to

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