Friday, July 30, 2010

Superman sweet corn…

I have been working with an old friend and co-worker of mine from way back in the 80s. His name is Dr. David McKenzie and he is the plant breeder responsible for the introduction of the line of Mirai sweet corn varieties. Mirai translates to “taste of the future” in Japanese.

Of the many successful Mirai varieties he has introduced comes a truly unique one…we call it Mr. Mini Mirai. We also consider it to be true “gourmet sweet corn” and let me tell you why:

  • It is a yellow supersweet variety that has exceptional sweet flavor and tenderness like no others in its class. The ear is only 5&1/2 to 6” long and has generated a lot of interest from restaurants because it fits on a plate.
  • We had several boxes shipped to us from California last week. We have been giving samples out to restaurants and growers in the surrounding Rochester area. I can honestly tell you that everyone who has tried it raved about its eating quality.
  • We have had this variety stored in our cooler for 10 days now from the time it was first picked. I sampled one this morning by eating it raw, which is the only way to determine quality sweet corn. The kernels had not dented at all and the sweetness and tenderness remained excellent. Wow, does this variety have staying power.
I will be looking for any 12 of you folks who would be willing to have a free sample of this variety shipped to you for a taste test for us. The only requirement we would ask of you would be to supply us with an honest written opinion of the results of your taste test. If you truly love its quality (which I can guarantee), then a digital photo, along with your opinion would be nice. If you are interested in taste-testing Mr. Mini Mirai, please contact us at:

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Staying busy but mighty poor…

Most seed companies slow down to a very slow pace this time of year, and cash flow dries up. From now until December, these companies, including Harris Seeds, lose a fair amount of money, as customer purchases come to a sudden halt. We are much like the spring garden center business, having to depend on a few months out of the year for generating profits. Our season begins about January 1st and ends as of June.

As the sales season ends, the catalog and marketing season begins. The marketing department will spend many nights and weekends from now through the fall working on catalog and a host of other business related tasks.
We have been trying to solve the off season sales drought by entertaining new sales and marketing programs. If you have any ideas to share with us, please let us hear from you… we are all ears. Write us at

Thursday, July 1, 2010

The End and the Beginning

As our sales season winds down, the catalog and marketing season begins. We recently e-mailed a survey to our home garden newsletter subscribers and the results were fantastic. We had well over 2000 responses, and they were packed with ideas for making Harris Seeds a better business for our customers.

We plan to sit down this Thursday and discuss our findings with the good folks that work in our marketing department. It should be a lot of fun, and very helpful, to say the least.

Next year’s catalogs are now in the early production stages. We begin with our Professional Growers’ Flower Seed and Plug & Liner Catalogs. We then move on to our Professional Growers’ Vegetable Seed Catalog, and end up in the fall with the production of our Home Garden Catalog. That’s over 500 pages of catalog production, and I can tell you from experience, it is a very demanding time for the marketing folks. We shall not be without things to do this summer!