May 15 2017
Your green-industry company is only as valuable as the people you employ. The question I have for you is, “How valuable are you allowing them to be?” You are probably familiar with what the ...
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May 15 2017
A piece of military equipment? A monotonal public speaker? A type of bee that keeps its queen fed? How about ‘a revolutionary landscape contractor tool?’ I recently attended a demonstration ...
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April 15 2017
Ever since he was a young teenager, Ross Lazarov knew he wanted to be his own boss. Although he started college, he didn’t feel it would be fast enough or worth it with his level of ambition; he ...
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March 15 2017
henever I do hard physical labor, pain is the usual result. An afternoon spent moving firewood logs results in an evening nursing sore calf and abdominal muscles. But that’s okay with me. I kind ...
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March 15 2017
A few months back, I woke up one morning with a tightness in my chest. I thought it was some kind of a chest cold. The next day, I started experiencing flu-like symptoms. A few days later, I was feeling ...
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Feb. 15 2017
Once, when he was away, “One of our guys was doing bush hogging with a tractor mower. It started sinking, so he climbed off. He fetched one of our 4WD trucks to pull it out, but the sinkhole expanded, ...
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Jan. 16 2017
If you were to take a stroll through its grounds, meandering along its blue-tinted stone and gravel walkways, shaded by its many lovely, mature trees, you might wonder which public park you were in ...
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Aug. 15 2016
One Christmas morning, I unwrapped a very special gift from Santa. It was a big metal tin full of little squares of dry paint, the kind you have to wet first to paint with. I already owned one, with eight ...
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Oct. 15 2015
This is a story about Rod Costa, a landscape contractor who wants to help the environment. At the same time, he needs to do what all small-business owners must, and that is to keep profits as high as he ...
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Oct. 17 2011
On the surface, many irrigation service calls seem alike, as customers often complain about the same crop of familiar problems: “I’m not getting water,” “My timer stopped working,” ...
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Aug. 17 2015
The late and feisty Sam Goldwyn, the American film producer at MGM, was beside himself. After six straight box office flops, he brought together his staff and said, “I want you to tell me exactly ...
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July 15 2015
Dan Palmer knew nothing about irrigation controllers. So what made him go into the irrigation controller business? Sometimes things just happen ...
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July 15 2015
Growing populations have drained down aquifers across the continent. Dated stormwater management systems are in desperate need of an overhaul as heavy rains, often contaminated by raw sewage, flow directly ...
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June 24 2014
However, the United State’s entry into World War I in 1917 meant that manufacturers had to do their part, and Toro got busy making steering mechanisms for merchant supply ships. By 1918, the war ...
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Feb. 14 2014
When Barbara first met John Stropko, she said, "I was crazy about him." Almost 30 years later, they are still joined at the hip. In fact, I would say the Stropkos are living a life they love. They are ...
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May 15 2012
Frankie Valli, Bruce Springsteen, Derek Jeter, and kids’ writer Judy Blume are all people born in New Jersey who’ve made it big. Those in the landscape business know to add to that list Mark ...
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May 21 2013
Two business owners in Rochester, New York, were recently convicted and fined $3,000 each for hiring illegal workers. Geoffrey Lechner, 52, and his brother Douglas Lechner, 51, are the principal own ...
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Nov. 16 2012
There’s this contractor . . . let’s call him ‘John Doe.’ He’s a 30-year industry veteran, and he should have known better. One day, out on a job, he realized that his mower ...
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Nov. 16 2012
Making things grow—that’s what you do. Some green things grow easily, with little effort, even thriving on neglect. And some take a lot of tending, just the right kind of soil, fertilizer, ...
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Nov. 16 2012
BORN AND BRED IN HATTIESBURG, Mississippi, Mike Mason exudes confidence—it’s in his DNA. His father worked for the Mississippi Cooperative Service as a county agent. “Like many kids in ...
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