by Edward Bent and Aldo Colombo

HORTCOM for communication and publishing on innovations in agriculture, horticulture (ornamental horticulture, fruit & vegetable production) and nursery-stock. 

 “Age is only a number for the records. A man can’t retire his experience, he needs to use it”  Bernard Baruch


The HORTCOM Blog, which has existed for several years is being radically renewed – its principal interest will be some of the more significant innovations for improving agricultural and horticultural production and systems in full respect of the environment. For us, the application of environmental ethics to such innovations is fundamental and will contribute to the selection of themes being developed. The founder of the blog, Edward Bent will be collaborating with Aldo Colombo and other professionals.

How can innovation be best described when applied to Horticulture (ornamental horticulture, fruit & vegetable cultivation) and agriculture at large?

The blog is interested in evolutionary innovation of products (continuous), but intends to pay particular attention to revolutionary innovation (discontinuous, disruptive of tradition) whose introduction requires time, involves investment and risk, and needs support and perseverance.

Selected innovations consist of products and systems (and their application), different utilizations and services. For example, innovation, in our opinion, should reside in the product itself and its function, not in its shape, color or packaging. For example, it is difficult to consider as a real innovation, a new variety of bedding plant that flowers a few days earlier with flowers of different colors or even a catchy name or brand. Instead, we want to present varieties with new distinct characteristics, capable of clearly DIFFERENTIATING THEMSELVES from others also in terms of usage, with an explanation of botanical origin and information on comparative tests carried out. Finally, we do not want to present new colors and marketing themes decided every year in Paris or Aarhus and, consequently, the colors of florists’ accessories, the labeling and presentation of flowers and plants. Instead we want to present a selection of innovative products and systems in cooperation with manufacturers and suppliers.

We wish to describe ‘why’ these products and systems are innovative and follow their progress. It follows therefore that innovations on HORTCOM will be long-term. Indeed, the ‘mind set’ starts with the question ‘what is behind a given innovation’, followed by interpretations as to what is effectively new in the products and systems developed by the manufacturer/supplier. In order to encapsulate a given theme and to add strength and validity to the given innovations there will usually be a brief mention of other similar and competing innovations; the leading manufacturers/suppliers will have the possibility to include their logo, banner and link to their media communications.

HORTCOM seeks linkage to other blogs, trade publications and realities dedicated to innovation in the agricultural and horticultural industry. It wishes to be at the service of innovation and to support manufacturers and suppliers with the distillation and diffusion of information to distributers and end-users. In this respect, HORTCOM could be useful, to existing START-UP businesses in horticulture. It might also be interested to qualify and fully participate in/as a new Start-Up business in the relevant sectors.

Finally, in the theme SALES & SERVICES, the Blog presents books for sale and sponsorship opportunities and offers technical and marketing support that include: journalistic assignments, writing technical and promotional texts on commission, media communications, cinsultancy/organization of inward and outward trade and professional missions, translation (and editing) of scientific, technical and marketing texts from Italian to English. The authors look forward to work together with a select group of companies that share the above mentioned mission.

To date (December 2018) the themes chosen are as follows: Air-Pruning & Biopolymers, Light & Sound, Silicon in Agriculture, Plant Stress Dynamics, Plant Breeding & Selection, grouped under products & systems. Under the category Environmental Ethics come: Circular Economy, Biodiversity & Conservation. The theme Water Management includes water production, collection and errogation. Marketing & Logistics deals with the future of flower and plant distribution and markets. Communications & Innovation considers how information on products & systems is affected by the IT revolution. Sales & Services presents readers with a range of technical & marketing services offered by the authors, eventually extending to the sale of a some products. Partners for Innovation lists companies and organizations that provide economic support and consultancy to the Blog.

Key words in this blog are: agronomy, agricultural education, agricultural extension, air-pots, biodegradable-pots, biodiversity, biogas, biological control, biological production, bio-stimulants, botanical art, botanical gardens, communications, conservation, cut-flowers, cut-foliage, electromagnetic radiation, experimental stations, floriculture, flower markets, grower associations, horticultural information, innovation, logistics, new plant varieties, flower markets, newsletters, news releases, nursery-stock plants, plant stress dynamics, pot plants, trade press, publishing, retractable roof greenhouses, sales & services, seawater greenhouses, silicon, silicic acid, solar distillation, suppliers of fertilizers and bio-stimulants, wildflowers.