Post by Steve Backes on Aug 8, 2010 13:27:16 GMT -5
Many years ago, I drove what seemed like a long way from Temple Terrace to Carrolwood to shop at Wildbirds Unlimited. I was impressed with the items that the store offered but also by the community involvement: posting customers photos, bird lists, helping with bird identification, etc. I picked up a couple of hummingbird feeders that I hadn't seen offered anywhere else and a pair of earrings for my wife but, living in an apartment, they didn't have much to offer me.
A couple of years ago, after buying a house and moving to Valrico, I discovered Rich's Backyard Birds in Fishhawk. Rich's store is very much the same as the Wildbirds Unlimited. He offers the products that you can't get other places. He's very community oriented donating various resources to community projects, leading monthly field trips during the winter, offering an in-store photo contest, and organizing an annual Christmas Bird Count for the Fishhawk area. He's also always there, a knowledgeable resource willing to take the time to discuss your birdfeeding needs.
These stores, as well as other similar type stores, offer benefits that you don't find in the stores that offer the cheaper alternatives. Unfortunatley, price is what's important to most people and small businesses everywhere are feeling the pinch.
I encourage all to at least visit the small businesses and give them a chance. See what they have to offer.
Post by Steve Backes on Aug 8, 2010 15:17:17 GMT -5
This is true for local nurseries as well. As much as I currently shop the big department/hardware stores, dealing with locally owned nurseries has been much more enjoyable. Unfortunately, most of the "local" nurseries that I have dealt with have either downsized or gone out of business.
Peterson's Nursery in south Lakeland just got in a supply of butterfly/hummingbird plants. Other sources for these plants are the farmers' market in downtown Lakeland every Wednesday and Saturday, Bok Tower in Lake Wales and Lucas Nursery in Oviedo, FL.
I haven't been to CJ's in Highland City lately, but usually they have some unusual plants that attract butterflies and hummers.