Monday, September 26, 2016

A Q&A with Barry Draycott, President of Tech Terra Environmental, industry expert, and AOLCP

What is your business and who does it serve?
Tech Terra Environmental is a leader in the green industry providing ecological solutions for professional landscapers, municipalities, schools and National Parks.
What is the state of the organic gardening industry? 

Barry Draycott of Tech Terra Environmental

Where do you see the greatest growth and what’s driving it? (change in consumer sentiment? Municipal laws? Geographical, municipal vs. commercial vs. private (turf, commercial property, hotels/resorts, golf clubs, etc.)
The organic industry is trending! Consumers are becoming more curious and aware of what is going into their gardens and realize that there are solutions that are effective but do not harm. Stricter regulations on pesticides and fertilizers have been effective in driving more interest from conventional landscape management towards an organic approach. In addition, the effectiveness of newer organic/natural insect, disease and weed control products have helped our clients provide better results than past organic programs.

What are some of the most common challenges professionals face in caring for the land organically and what approach do you take to solving them?
I think the biggest challenge to the landscape industry in adopting organic methods is the lack of knowledge of how to implement a comprehensive program for their clients. We help them understand how to improve soil health and implement sound cultural practices while providing them with the products they need to be successful. We recently received this comment from a tree care company in New Jersey; My biggest problem was switching typical pest control to organics. Tech Terra made it seamless for me.

What advice do you have for conventional land care professionals who are considering transitioning to organic?
Speak to other colleagues/ landscape professionals who have converted. Education is a great tool to understand what approach is best for your business. In my case, the turning point was attending AOLCP courses and becoming accredited.
Do your research and purchase products from companies that have experience in the industry and are willing to guide you through the process.

How do you consider your business to be part of the solution to environmental degradation and overuse of synthetic fertilizers and pesticides? How do you educate your clientele?
I have been in the landscape industry since 1979. About 20 years ago I began questioning “standard procedures” and began researching organic methods. Our passion is about being better environmental stewards, not just about providing lawn care products. The products and application programs we offer have been tested by us in the field and by experts in the industry. We are extremely knowledgeable about soil biology and spread the word by educating our market with seminars, classes and most importantly we are just a phone call away for any advice needed.