You know that phrase, it wasn’t really all that bad after all? It’s only been about a week and a half since Ruppert Nurseries hosted the MNLGA (Maryland Nursery Landscape Greenhouse Association) field day and yet I can honestly say, any residual pain I may have been feeling from the event has all but faded. Why, save the boxed tree still hanging out in the field, a visitor to the farm today would be hard pressed to even be able to tell we hosted a huge event just a few short days ago. But had you asked any member of the Ruppert Nurseries staff prior to the event, I imagine most of us would have said, “I can’t wait until this thing is over with!”
For those of you unfamiliar with what I am talking about, the MNLGA field day is an annual event where association members (most often nurseries) take turns hosting their peers for a day of education, food and often demonstrations. It’s a great opportunity to show off what makes the members unique as well as promote their products not to mention the chance to rub elbows with friends, customers both new and old.
When Ruppert Nurseries agreed to host this year’s event, we might have envisioned what it would take to put on an event like this but we really could not have truly understood. When first we began planning we were told to expect around 150-175 attendees and so we began planning towards that end. Kelly worked some magic and got us some borrowed wagons and tractors. We ordered food, drinks and portable bathrooms for the expected crowd. The stars and moons must have aligned just right this year because as the day approached, the list of attendees grew and grew. We began to realize just how huge this event would be! In the end we had over 300 people in attendance at our “little event”.
We began our day with some guest speakers, followed up by 2 hours of education compliments of the always fabulous UMD Extension staff. A break for lunch, and then all 300 plus guests boarded hay wagons and trailers and took a tour of the farm including stops at a big tree digging demonstration and liner planting. We wrapped up the day with a happy hour with beer from our friends and neighbors, Waradaca Brewery and music by “Mindy Miller and the Chrome Tears.” At the end of the day, before we collapsed into a heap of relief, we were able to spend a few minutes relaxing and reveling in how well everything had gone with little or no difficulty.
Of course none of this would have been possible without the the MNLGA staff (Chelsea Bailey, Kelly and Vanessa Finney and Berna) who were terrific at putting the whole show in motion. The weather was perfect, the caterer superb, the wagons comfortable (so graciously donated by Bulter’s Orchards) and the guests appreciative and attentive. Our Ruppert staff had a great time showing off what we do and how we do it. Our place has never looked so good! Nothing like a party to inspire some housekeeping! Perhaps best of all, the UMD staff and all of our guest speakers were interesting and friendly as always.
And so, after several long weeks of hard work and planning we are grateful to say that we pulled it off and a good time, was indeed had by all!
If you missed the event but still want to a tour, please call your sales rep to schedule a time. We are available most week days are also offering Wednesday evening tours during July and August for groups of up to 6. Best yet, the evening tour includes local wine (or beer) and snacks!