I can't say how it was in the last few years, but Stark Bros. was a genuine nursery, even to having their own research and evaluation program. They inherited Luther Burbank's material when he died and they had a number of his unreleased varieties. They released some, and held a number as being virus-infected. I don't know what became of those items. I knew the R&D head, who was a NAFEX member, and even had a shot at the job when he died, but was uninterested in living in Louisiana, MO. Stark Bros. DID contract to other growers to produce some stock, since they couldn't have done it all themselves. In fact, there were nurseries in my area (western Oregon) that produced stock for Stark's, but Stark definitely produced a lot of their own material. They were the oldest nursery, if not company, continuously in the same family in the US. They were sold to F&G due to some mishandling of funds in the company that forced the necessity of the sale.|
From: Thomas Olenio <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: Re: [nafex] Stark Bros. Gone
Date: Thu, Jul 5, 2001, 10:04 AM
Was Stark really a nursery or just a distributor of material they
collected from true nurseries?
After a few experiences with large mail order firms (like Stark and
Michigan Bulb) I gave up on the big guys and turned to smaller expert
I think Michigan Bulb was nothing but a clearing house for collecting
mailing addresses to run their lotteries (just my opinion). I was not
satisfied with a single shipment from them, but my mailbox filled with
their junk mail lottery stuff from then on. I think they sold my name to
other junk lotteries too. (again, just my opinion)
So possibly the nurseries that supplied Stark are still out there.
Ontario, Hardiness Zone 6a
On Thu, 5 Jul 2001, Doreen Howard wrote:
> Foster & Gallgher, parents of the MySeasons umbrella which acquired Stark
> Bros. in 1999, declared bankruptcy on Monday, July 2. The filing was for
> Chapter 11, because one of the companies in the group, Walter Drake, has
> buyer. The other companies, including Gurney's, Brecks, Henry Field,
> Hill and Stark, will be dismantled and sold off in pieces for revenue to
> satisfy creditors.
> Doreen Howard
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