Category Archives: A Team

Summer is Here…Strawberry Time!!!!!

Organics Admin
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Organics Admin

COO at Aladay LLC
Organic Farmer, Property Preservation Specialist and Custom Glass & Wood Worker. Blogger extraordinaire...
Organics Admin
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Vrticle Strawberry Planter from AOF

Since summer is upon us I thought I would talk about summers favorite fruit, the strawberry. I know of no one that does not care for Strawberries unless of course there is an allergy involved. What gave me this idea is the fact the most requested type of planter right now is for strawberries. Strawberries are a shallow root type plant so you can get creative with the planters. Since the styles and shapes can be so varied I like to call them “accent” planters, as they can fill a void in your yard, be used to create negative space for displays and other planters, line a walk way, highlight an entry or give life to that vertical space in the corner of you balcony you sit and stare for hours wondering what in the world you can put there to add life in a creative way.

Well Naturally I figured that since I’ll be pitching one of our product line with the article I figured I better scurry of to Wikipedia and gather so information, and I must thank Google and the Food Network site as I grabbed some mouthwatering Strawberry Shortcake photos…when did we get a cartoon character named Strawberry Shortcake???? Anyway as always I got a dose of the Birds and the Bees when I went on my information gathering mission. Seems Strawberry is a misnomer!!!!



Botanically speaking a strawberry is an aggregate accessory fruit. Yes that is right technically the strawberry in botanical terms is an aggregate accessory fruit, meaning that the fleshy part is derived not from the plant’s ovaries but from the receptacle that holds the ovary. With each apparent “seed” on the outside of the fruit actually being the ovaries….But I ask you do we really care about all those ovaries in our ice cream, milkshakes, on our pancakes, or even in the preserves that Grandma, bless her soul, makes every summer so we have lovin’ on the table all winter??? I damn sure know I don’t. OK…OK enough of the biology of the fruit.


While the first mention of a “Strawberry Garden”  was in France, seems that prior to this consumption of strawberries was form wild sources. In fact there are references to strawberries in the 1300’s on ancient Roman literature for medicinal purposes. Seems the French began taking strawberries from the forests and brought them back for King Charles V. It has been recorded that the king had 1200 plants in the royal garden between 1364 and 1380. Records also indicate the entire plant was used to treat depressive illnesses and in the 1400’s European monks used wild strawberries to illuminate manuscripts. The strawberry is also found in Italian, Flemish, German art, and English miniatures.

By the 1500s references of cultivation of the strawberry became more common. People began using it for its supposed medicinal properties and botanists began naming the different species. In England the demand for regular strawberry farming had increased by the mid-1500s. Instructions for growing and harvesting strawberries showed up in writing in 1578. By the end of the 1500s three European species had been cited; F. vescaF. moschata, and F. viridis. The garden strawberry was transplanted from the forests and then the plants would be propagated asexually by cutting off the runners.

Two subspecies of F. vesca were identified; F. sylvestris alba and F. sylvestris semperflorens. The introduction of F. virginiana from Eastern North America to Europe in the 1600s is an important part of history because this species gave rise to the modern strawberry. The new species gradually spread through the continent and did not become completely appreciated until the end of the 18th century. When a French excursion journeyed to Chile in 1712, it introduced the strawberry plant with female flowers that resulted in the common strawberry that we have today.

The Mapuche and Huilliche Indians of Chile cultivated the female strawberry species until 1551 when the Spanish came to conquer the land. In 1765, a European explorer recorded the cultivation of F. chiloensis, the Chilean strawberry. At first introduction to Europe, the plants grew vigorously but produced no fruit. It was discovered in 1766 that the female plants could only be pollinated by plants that produced large fruit; F. moschataF. virginiana, and F. ananassa. This is when the Europeans became aware that plants had the ability to produce male-only or female-only flowers. As more large-fruit producing plants were cultivated the Chilean strawberry slowly decreased in population in Europe, except for around Brest where the Chilean strawberry thrived. The decline of the Chilean strawberry was caused by F. ananassa.



Ok now that we have our biology and history lessons out of the was a little about care and we’ll move over to the Home Ec class…They still have that in school right??? There are around 200 various pests that will beat up strawberries. The most Common are strawberry thrips, sap beetles, the crown moth, mite aphids, (remember about that creepy looking earwig??? Should you see them hanging around your berries you may want to inspect closer as they do like aphids). Of course there are always the fruitflies, root weevils, moths, and slugs. Remember the type of pest you’ll have are going to be predicated upon the climate and your location. Strawberries can also cquire many desieses also, the majority being various fungi’s. Remember when watering strawberries you want to water the roots not the foliage. This is how many of the molds and fungi’s develop. In addition they can succumb to root rots nematodes, verticillum wilt and red stele.




Should you have extreme cold winters it is always best to cover them with straw in the late fall when the temperatures start getting under 25 degrees on a regular basis. Growing them vertically or overhead in a passive solar design patio roofing system will insure the foliage stays dry. Should you wish to produce strawberries an a larger level, Plastculture growing is a preferred method. Plasticulture is when drip lines are set up and the plants foliage sits atop of visquine. This saves from the use of pesticides as the plastic barrier acts as a weed control device.









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Adding a dramatic affect to your entry…




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Creating negative space to make scenes














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Plants always add life to an entrance

But for you back yard garden…make sure you plants are watered in well draining soil and feed with some steer manure now and then and you’ll have strawberry margaritas and daiquiris’ all summer long to accompany you and special someone as you watch the sunset….

For information on any of our planters or our other products please email’

As always…Happy Gardening

Fury Learning: Education for the Property Preservation Industry.

Organics Admin
Follow Me!!

Organics Admin

COO at Aladay LLC
Organic Farmer, Property Preservation Specialist and Custom Glass & Wood Worker. Blogger extraordinaire...
Organics Admin
Follow Me!!

Latest posts by Organics Admin (see all)

I have linked an article at Foreclosurepedia to this article as I feel one of the biggest issues in the Property Preservation Industry (PPI) is unqualified, knowledge lacking, and unskilled individuals running around assisting in the rock bottom fee structure in the PPI. As many of you know I worked in conjunction with Paul Williams over at Foreclosurepedia to help found the National Property Preservation Guild  (NPPG). When it appeared to me that the NPPG wanted to move the organization into a different dirrection that what I had envisioned (story for another time), I resigned as I felt I could be of better service advocating for the Contractors in a much better manner than the NPPG planned to do.

However prior to this event I worked very hard to develop an Educational Program for the NPPG as my thoughts about the fee structures are this…In order to be able to ask and expect to be paid top dollar you must have a in depth knowledge of the industry, laws in your local municipalities and most of all you need to be compitent in your ability to complete the services that are required in the PPI.

Back in 2011 over on LinkedIN Rob Preston was doing what many of us professionals do, shameless self promotion, he was pushing his education model for the industry. Just having gotten a first hand dose of people scamming the industry folks not in the know sort of speak, I blasted him, blasted him hard. Then I reviewed his material and found myself cleaning the egg off my face. When I started to develop the education program for the National Property Preservation Guild  I immediately thought of my encounter with Rob Preston and wondered if hey, will he even talk to me after the big production I made to attempt to discredit him??? Having nothing to lose I decided to contact Mr. Preston, Here is the resulting interview article I wrote for the NPPG and published on LinkedIN  back in April 12, 2013.

In 2011 we had a tremendous workload and we needed to increase manpower. Doing what comes natural to most business owners when this happens we ran some ads for help. One respondent stood out above all the others…Seems this gal had written a “how to” book on the Property Preservation Industry and just knew she would be a good fit with our organization. Since I only have an administrative role and anyone working for our company is representing someone else I had to find out why if this gal’s company was so good how come she was not receiving work from any of the clients we had in the area as we were overloaded. Well turns out this gal’s company couldn’t pass a QC inspection and they had been released by every national there is….So for some time I was always skeptical of anyone writing books on the industry.
In 2012 when Rob Preston announced the release of his first edition of property Preservation & Mortgage Field Services Training Guide, well naturally I was somewhat apprehensive. However, that did not stop me from blasting Rob for having his hand out for a piece of the rapidly shrinking revenue pie of the Property Preservation Industry. Did I ask Mr. Preston how he gathered his information? Did I ask Mr. Preston where his qualifications to write a book came from? Did I ask anything other than “What makes you so special you think you can sell us your drivel and separate us from our monies”???? Embarrassingly no…
Yesterday Rob Preston was gracious enough to overlook my antics from a year ago and allowed me the privilege of an interview on behalf of the National Property Preservation Guild in regards to his second publication for the Property Preservation Industry.
Rob has been in the involved in the industry on many levels since 1995. He brings a plethora of skills from 16 years of experience, learned knowledge and dedicated work with him to the typewriter. Was Rob satisfied with writing a book? Most people would settle for the success that Rob has had as a first time counterparts, in addition can give you an edge on the lazy employee as you now can respond you didn’t look in the manual? Combine this with the testing element and you have a way to not only provide continuing education for yourself and your company but you also have a vehicle for keeping your employees or subs current with industry information.
We all know things change rapidly in the business world. One of the changes I do see happening in our industry is regulation. Folks it is time we come together. Do yourself a favor and give this publication a look-see. As something tells me you may very well be looking at the future of the industry…
For all those whom may think I’m all knowing in this industry…well Rob invited me to take one the industry tests…89%…I’ll be in the library studying if anyone needs me…author who took this route out of frustration with the industry. Instead Rob believed that if the working class members, the group of people that we have fondly dubbed “Boots on the Ground”, yes those like you and me that work this industry to put food on the table, Rob believed that in order for some of the issues to be resolved that it would have to come from the Boots on the Ground coming together in a concerted effort via education. With that Rob developed testing, with procedures that one would find when taking any sort of test that was proctored for legitimizing certifications. He further went on to assist a national organization with their testing programs for recruiting new contractors. However, the main reason that Rob has gone to the extents he has is because like many of us Rob feels that the industry is lacking consistency. With the manual combined with testing in a continuing education format perhaps some consistency will come to replace today’s complacency.
So now that we’re all warm and fuzzy let’s talk about the 125 page 2013 edition of the Property Preservation & Mortgage Field Service Training Manual. This year’s addition is now a Paperback and has a condensed 75 page pocket reference manual for those of you who may want to have something in your trucks for that forgetful field supervisor you have…In addition the training manual references several links to “How-to” videos, for example in the section for pool covering the links takes you to the manufacturers web site of the pool cover company and you may view their production for their product, another example is in the rekey section you can click the link and you’ll be whisked to Lowes for their presentation of how to change a lock. Throw in some photographs, blue print style illustrations, diagrams and drawings and the “Newbie” is miles ahead of the game compared to 5 years ago. As now the Newbie has a list of required equipment for the industry, a detailed description and step by step instruction to complete services like winterizations, picking locks, etc. I had to ask about including “picking locks” playing on the side of caution, would this be considered a trade secret? Could this be construed as providing instruction for illegal activity? Rob investigated this prior to placing what some would consider “sensitive” information in his publication. Since this is an educational tool…I’m happy to inform you we are not burglars in training!!!!!
So what makes Rob’s book worth a look-see? I like the fact that not only is the product set up that any of your organizations field supervisors can use it and teach from the manual. Plus the condensed 75 page version handy pocket reference for the vehicles gives your company a little bit of an edge over your


I believe most know that I feel that the use of the term “Contractors” in the PPI is a misnomer. I base that on the fact I have a slight understanding of the difference between an Independent Contractor and an Employee. Make no mistake about this folks, there is currently a HUGE tax base out here in the PPI that will be looked at as things start to move forward, yes I’m referring to regulation creeping into the PPI. Sorry but I believe it is inevitable and unlike many that wish to place their heads in the sand and pretend that all is warm and fuzzy because regulation is not something they want, we have gotten our company in front of things . One of the ways NPOM  have made the Independent Contractors employees…buy demanding they partake in a specific organizations education model. Understand as an Independent Contractor you can not be forced into something without being given a choice. Demanding you take an organization testing and education is one of the many steps the NPOM have taken to systematically strip the spirit of the Independent Contractor rules and regulations from the industry, I believe the NPOM  disguise this by calling issues “mandatory requirements”. It is funny how small company’s will accept a “mandatory requirement” that raises their overhead with out question, and scream bloody murder when the subject of “regulation” is brought up,  But enough, as that is a story for another time.

I’m not going to get into other education models offered in the industry, well the only other I know of is an overpriced model with the organization NAMFS, which I have reservations about as they wish to certify people and have no qualifications to do so. I also know of another company I believe involves  SIRS, not real sure on pricing but again the big “C” word is used, certification. Not real big on the use of that term as it would indicate you have some sort of degree or your organization has been accredited and acknowledged as a higher learning institution, IMHO.

However in closing I will say this should you need to get in front of the “educationally qualified” buzz that is taking the PPI by storm consider Mr Prestons FuryLearn package. The price will not break the bank and you return on investment will be much safer than playing the stock market…

For more detailed examination of the training and education issues currently going on in the PPI follow the link below.


Have a great day everyone…and let’s be safe out there.