US: Ornamental growers, urban farmers discovering possibilities of coir substrates at OFA

At the OFA Short Course in Columbus, Ohio, Riococo was present to inform growers about the possibilities of coir substrate usage in ornamentals. According to the company's CEO Shan Halamba, more and more ornamental growers are becoming familiar with growing on alternative growing media. Shan noted that it was a great show and that his team was happy to welcome many interested visitors to their booth.

Riococo previously exhibited at OFA from 2007 till 2010. "We skipped the event over the last two years because we had our hands full with serving larger scale greenhouse growers," said Shan. "However, this also had a big impact on our coir based growing medium products, we did a lot of improvements during last 3 years and noted that there was more interest from smaller to medium scale growers, who also wanted to take advantages of coir based , organic soilless growing media. Hence, we came back to the show."

Exhibiting at OFA Short Course 2013 wasn't a bad choice said Shan. "The economy is turning around and people are looking forward to break open new markets. Urban farming is definitely one of them and we can offer these entrepreneurs an organic and coir based growing medium that is easy to use, constant and sustainable."

"On the other hand we noted a trend amongst ornamental growers," said Halamba. "They are looking for more information on how to use the coir fiber growing medium as a part of their potting mix. Earlier it was all about peat moss or rockwool, but now they are thinking about incorporating coco into their potting mixes and bedding and potted plant operations. They are looking for new ideas and methods. This is something completely different from what we experienced during previous OFA shows. Growers who asked us about coir slab usage, propagating in coir medium, coir mixes and growing techniques were well educated and made our booth a real informational gathering place." 

"As well as this, we saw a big potential for our improved product, the coconut propagation starter blocks. I am very pleased that OFA has also become the right place for growers to get to know new products, as well as to learn. Together with the continuously increasing popularity of urban and vertical farming, I think OFA will continue to be the right place to inform small and middle scale growers in North America about the advantages of using Riococo coir as a growing substrate!"

For more information:
Shan Halamba

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