One of our favorite things at AgriMissouri is good old fashioned customer service. Few days go by that people don't call us with simple questions that used to be answered by small businesses in their local communities. This is especially true when it comes to gardening.
Many people introduced to gardening these days have never been to a garden center. Their first plant purchases are often an impulse buy when they are buying a new float for their toilet or cleaning supplies at a box store. The personal trust and relationship embodied at your local garden center and other small businesses is what we are so passionate about at AgriMissouri. It is why we enjoy calls like the one that came today.
It was a simple gardening question. As the tomatoes have started to set, the number of calls like this have increased. This one wasn't about a bug or a disease though. It was about the birds. Just as the customer's little green gems started to swell and put on the white just before they started to turn ripe, the birds kept taking a bite. All they wanted to do was stop it, but didn’t know where to go for advice.
The old standards came to mind: bird netting over the plants and hanging aluminum pie pans throughout the garden. Hanging old CD's or DVD’s from the plant works well too. The birds see their reflection in them and it scares them off.
But one of our favorite solutions rose above all others as it reigns over the garden like no other: the mighty scarecrow. He has always been an annual tradition in the garden. Partly we do this because it is fun. Everyone gets to put a little bit of themselves into it, along with whatever else they might find. The main reason we like the scarecrow though is it works.
The nice thing about calls like today's is they remind us why we are here at AgriMissouri. Missouri has grown lots of successful small businesses over the years and some big ones too. The one thing they all have in common is they have grown from finding solutions for people, through relationships like this. You are not going to create memories or find the knowledge that comes from working with people in a QR code, an app on your phone or some fancy promotion on a shelf.
In the end, there has to be people to grow the relationships that grow a community, grow a business and to import the knowledge, experience and relationships that we all seek. We may have a fancy website and do lots of great promotions. But most importantly, though, we have people that build relationships and you can find them at AgriMissouri.com.