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...a club for people who never stop learning...

The Scientech Club provides a forum for weekly presentations and discussions in the fields of science and technology and other topics for the enlightenment of its membership.

Regular, one-hour Meetings are, with the exception of holidays, held every Monday at noon at The Northside Knights of Columbus, 2100 East 71st Street, Indianapolis. Club Members, as well as the general public, may attend our Regular Meetings for a nominal contribution to pay for the facility. For those who wish, a buffet lunch may be enjoyed before the meeting. Occasionally, instead of a presentation, members and their guests may take a tour to a place of interest, such as a plant or historical site.

The Scientech Club is associated with an outstanding local charitable Foundation, The Scientech Club Foundation, established by Scientech members to promote science education. Information about the foundation may be found under the heading Foundations above.

Club News ! !

NOTE: The club web site is going on vacation until the end of the month! Be good, do good things, and it will return!

Click HERE to visit the Club News page to see brief biographical information on the following new members of Scientech who have joined the club since the last Roster was printed.

Vallori Degler
Mary Gosling
Dr. Russell Judd

Also visit the Club Members Honors page (under the Club Information menu)to view the distinguished career of the late Dr. Jack Hall, twice recognized as a Sagamore of the Wabash

Vol 92 No 10 - March 16, 2015

Tour of Heartland Growers

Coordinated By: Bill Dick

Heartland Growers is a full-service wholesale greenhouse located in Westfield, Indiana. It is among the top 50 growers in the United States and the top grower in Indiana. Since 1984 it has been owned and operated by the Gapinski Family. Its products are supplied to major stores in Indiana, Michigan and Illinois including Lowes, Costco and Krogerís. Wholesale plants and services are also supplied to many local independent garden centers and landscapers.

The large 50 acre (including satellites) greenhouses employ anywhere from 80 to 170 individuals. This depends on the stage of the growing cycle of the various plants and the season. About half of the plants are started from seeds and the other half from cuttings from all over the world. These number in the millions in this large facility greenhouse.

Heartland is one of the most modern capital-intensive greenhouses in Indiana. Heating is by natural gas supplied by pipelines as well as methane gas from the nearby landfills. Sunlight penetrates the double polyethylene gutter connected greenhouses. Some artificial light when necessary is also available. When the plants reach the potted stage they are moved around the facility at the ceiling level on overhead conveyors. These are the hanging baskets of flowering and foliage plants. Among the plants grown are Geraniums, Lilies, Mums, Poinsettias and others.

The watering includes plant fertilizer and other nutrients plus pesticides when necessary. The watering occurs through underground pipes as well as above ground sprays. We observed many employees preparing the potted plants for delivery. The company has 40 cooled semi trailers for timely delivery and during high season, such as before Motherís Day and Valentineís Day, many additional trucks are employed on a contract basis.

We were guided on the tour by two employees of long-standing as well as two recent horticultural graduates of Purdue University. All were very knowledgeable about the process. The cleanliness of the facility as well as the remarkable automation really needs to be seen to be appreciated.

Notes by Jerry Kurlander