Special Sayings

Jennifer Zurko

Some people hear a saying or phrase and adopt it as their own personal mantra. They may read it in a book, see it on a sign or hear someone say it. (Mine are lines from hip-hop songs. You’d be surprised how clever and astute rappers can be.) 

Stephanie Berkhout can be counted in that group, too. When she and I spoke on the phone for this month’s cover story, she mentioned a few sayings she’s heard that have stuck with her through the years. These simple mantras have helped her to stay grounded and focused, garner strength in times of pain and adversity, and maintain an infectious and positive outlook.

I feel like if you were having a bad day, Stephanie would be the one you’d call to cheer you up.

As I was crafting her story, the saying, “You catch more bees with honey” popped into my mind. Her whole outlook on life centers around kindness and being able to simply ask for help when she needs it, which shows her humble character. If more people just remembered to be nice, I think our world would be a much better place. True—kindness and forgiveness don’t come easy; you have to work at them. But doesn’t anger and divisiveness take a lot more energy?

If you’re looking for a feel-good, human-interest story, I would highly recommend reading about Stephanie.

Another saying that came to mind this month is, “When life gives you lemons, make lemonade.” (Actually, I think that should be the motto for all of 2020.) We knew the smaller summer events were going to have to either cancel, postpone or figure out an alternative, but when AmericanHort announced that Cultivate’20 was going to be virtual, it was a big deal. And a huge undertaking. Luckily, all of the hard work to find a virtual platform and coordinating online educational sessions paid off relatively well. We were all able to click around the trade show, participate in interactive sessions and be in a “room” of 700-plus people to watch the keynotes.

Granted, we were all doing it remotely, but the one thing that didn’t change is that I and the rest of my fellow editors were still able to find a lot of new products.

The saying, “Sometimes there is bitter with the better” is from Dr. Brian Corr’s own grandmother and he uses it to illustrate the positive and negative aspects that come with cannabis.

Benjamin Franklin once said, “By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.” How to plan for next year is definitely on all of your minds after the crazy COVID spring and summer we’ve had. (It remains to be seen if fall will be just as crazy.)

I think we can all agree that Abe VanWingerden is one of the top thought leaders in our industry—not just because he helps to run one of the largest operations in the country, but because he looks at everything with a realistic and analytical mindset. Bossman Beytes graciously gave up his spot on the last page of GrowerTalks to give Abe the real estate he needed to discuss how he and his team at Metrolina are planning for 2021 and beyond. It’s definitely worth the read.

When I was looking up popular sayings for this column, I came across a Chinese proverb that goes, “Of all strategies, knowing when to quit may be the best.” I think that’s as good a way as any to end this column, don’t you? GT