Tour The Hive


Recently my wife and I attended the movie, The Call.  The opening scene takes place in a large room, a high tech call center, fully staffed with 911 operators each at their stations fielding calls from around that west coast megalopolis we call Los Angeles. Admittedly the calls varied from one end of the “emergency” spectrum to the other.

Nonetheless, the volume and intensity of those calls caused the atmosphere in the room to become electrified, abuzz with activity as each operator carried out his or her duties with focused intensity, professionalism, compassion, and a steeled calmness. The unceasing buzz of activity earned this L.A. 911 call center headquarters the name, “The Hive.”

I’ve found that phrase quite fitting for Heirloom Solutions’ seed room. It’s a place buzzing with activity. The activity starts promptly at 7 a.m. when our supervisor, David, enters the room. He arrives a full hour ahead of the majority of our team to begin strategizing the day’s activities. I’ll arrive a half an hour later to retrieve phone messages, emails, and yesterday’s loose ends. The call volume is still heavy in the latter part of April and each call is taken just as seriously as when the ‘seed-shopping season’ began. Whether you’re calling to check on an order status, place an order, seek help in navigating our website, or to secure some advice, we strive to communicate genuine concern and heartfelt enthusiasm.

As Tim, Rhett, and I are busy fielding your questions and concerns, our team is working diligently to keep pace in numerous other areas as well. We’re labeling packets, scaling and counting seeds, filling and sealing packets, and preparing your orders for shipment.  Additionally, we’re working feverishly to send out catalogs and fill backorders.  All available hands are called to duty.  David, Bud, Tim, and Rhett are our regulars, along with reserves like daughter Ronda, a college student, not to mention the many staff members at Solutions From Science and the Heirloom Market & Café who pitch in as time allows.

The Heirloom Solutions team has been just as hard at work out in the “high tunnel” where plants are being prepared for sale to gardeners from the more local areas.  Marci, Bud and their crew have been nurturing these “little babies” for weeks now.  They’ve been doing an outstanding job coordinating the planting and nurturing of a wide array of our very own Heirloom Solutions varieties.  Catch-up has been a catch phrase as they’ve worked through weather, staffing changes, and a host of other challenges. Now, nearing the end of April, excitement fills the air around the Heirloom Garden Center as we proudly offer the widest selection of heirloom plants in the area, not to mention the transformation of an entire room into one which will meet all your gardening needs.

Whether one considers this year’s weather pattern an “extended cold season” or simply the “back-to-normal” type, nevertheless it has played a significant role in preventing us from being able to display plants outdoors as early as we’d hoped. Instead, we’ve busied ourselves with the task of filling the Heirloom Garden Center with an assortment of our most advanced plants from the “high tunnel.”  With a warmer forecast this week, we’re salivating at the chance to move many more options outdoors for our Illinois Route 84 travelers to gaze upon.

Lastly, there are some among our ranks who undoubtedly long for the chance to play in the dirt. So David and company are busily preparing signs, posts, raised beds, soil, etc. for the planting of the Heirloom Solutions Garden.   It’s no small undertaking to prepare, then plant and keep up a walk-through garden which is open for public viewing. Plans are in the works that even involve a makeover of the pathway from the Heirloom Market & Café out to the Heirloom Garden.

Another spot at which we come in direct contact with God’s good earth is out at the farm. Here we plan to expand what was grown last year to include a number of varieties over and above the tasty watermelons, pumpkins, and varieties that have been grown to date. David is hard at work mapping out every square inch of that property, planning which varieties to include, where to plant each one, the length of their respective growing seasons, the needed amendments and fertilizers, and on and on.

Yes, things truly are buzzing here at Heirloom Solutions. We hope your gardening season is as full of activity and fruitful adventures as it is here.

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