Where are we growing into the new year of 2020!

I hope everyone has had a great winter holiday and great beginning to a new year. I can say that the Hortfire family had a quiet and peaceful one full of memories.

I just want to take a moment and share a few things about what and where some of the things Hortfire will be doing in 2020. No, I am not telling you everything, yet we always have a game plan and each year brings new challenges.

The first thing I want to let everyone in on is a simple one but I think it is important to talk about, because it deals with me professionally. I am and currently looking for full time employment at a company that I can utilize my experience and expertise. I am looking for my last job. Not because at some point after a period of time, will I want to devote the rest on my time fully to Hortfire, but because the direction that Hortfire will go in for the rest of my life and the truly deep desire to be part of a team of like minded individuals working towards a common goal and compensate for it. Does that mean, I will give away Hortfire’s current technology and intellectual property, NO, not going to happen, plus everyone knows what happens if I did, it would only be a short matter of time before the company would either “go in another direction and no longer need me or run out of work,” been there, done that, got the t-shirt and the bumper sticker. If I do find a place, does this mean Hortfire will dissolve and go away, NO, Hortfire cannot dissolve or go away because  of the investment that has been made and we want a return on investment. Now most of the product development parts are done and Hortfire is in a position to be active in my free and personal time. Again, let me be clear, I won’t be just looking for a job to subsidize my business, yet we plan according and accomplish our goals within the time constraints but whereever and whomever this position is, it is about stability for my family.

What about graduate school? I will cross that bridge when I get there, too many potential options, but regardless of Hortfire, working for an organization, or attending graduate school. I will have to make some tough choices, yet do so knowing that what is best for my family. Yet one of the reason’s why 2020 is going to be great is because, all those people who don’t want me to succeed are going to have a very bad year, because all of this will be sorted out.

Camellia Tea:

So in 2020, we will not be making any new selections from the “wild.” We might try to get one or few cuttings from Clemson’s farm. We will be planting a lot seed and setting up plans to get those plants planted either in the fall of 2020 or potentially 2021, just depends on the growing season we get here. We will get to start evaluating for flavor on previous selection of 1-8. We are also going to propagate asexually as many of those plants. We are going to modify the propagation hut a little bit and hope we get great results.

“Vada Rose Pink” Bottlebrush:

After speaking to some professionals, it is apparent that quality liner production and initial quality source material are some of the make and break of patented ornamental plants. We will do some heavy pruning to create as much propagation wood as possible. So that when we file the patent and are in the “PPAF” stage we and our license growers are bulking numbers of plants, so that we are meeting demand each and every year for the 20 year life of the patent. Outside of the propagation, we will also do some extraction experiments for the oil. While this is not the same species that makes up the Australian tea tree industry, it is a close cousin and academic research states it contains the finer oil which has value as well, particular for cosmetics and soaps.

Tribal Smokeables:

During 2019 we dropped some hints about “Joining the Tribe,” in 2020 we will make our first planting of a unique plant that has some interesting properties that in non-recreational-cannabis sale states has potential. While this plant can be smoked and enjoyed while it takes the edge off a long work week, it does not resemble the encounters of the “alien kind” and lost track of time like some the newer cannabis cultivars that exist in the black market and in legal states. It takes you back to the 90’s were the really good hydro Skunk, Kush, Jamacian Red, or White Widow was rare and there was plenty of mid to low grade stuff around.  We may do some extraction experiments this year, we may not, it all depends on our yield. Oh, did I forget to tell you it is completely unregulated and legal and unlike CBD if you take a drug test, you will not fail it.


Speaking of CBD, Yes, we are going to apply for a permit. Yes we hope to get it. Yes we are looking at plant breeding and using advance cultural techniques to develop new cultivars. Yes, of course we are going to look at technology application that is not being used mainstream to give us an edge in cultivar development.

Cassina/Yaupon tea:

While 2019 was a horrible year, we are looking at 2020 as a bounce back year. We recently found another old roast recipe that is from Charleston and it differs from the first roast recipe from the Outer Banks, North Carolina. So we will fine tune the new recipe and stand firm with 4 products to offer for sale. We will also try our hand at some experimental propagation, because either seed or cutting, Yaupon Holly is not easy to do and traditionally has been a numbers game for large scale plant nurseries (they plant large numbers to make up for low rooting percentages).

While someone may look at this and go,”man sounds like you got your hands full.” My response is that we have everything scheduled out, including buffer time. Plus these are plants, 75% of the time you just look at them and let the weather, the sun, and the rain do the rest. Ok, maybe 50% of the time, but while it seems like a lot, it isn’t. Plus I have a wife who knows that all of this does not only benefit us, but most importantly it is for the benefit for our daughter.

If anything, we hope that you are just as optimistic about 2020 as we are. KungFuZi (Confucius) once said,”When things are great tread lightly, when things are bad they can only get better.” 2019 was a bad year for us, just not as stellar as we hoped, yet we are excited for 2020! So until next time we hope we have helped you to “Grow Forward,” by talking about the importance of have a game plan and accomplishing your goals, until next time!

Take Care,





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