Ultimate Gaming Xperience Celebrates Grand Opening In Greenwood
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LEVEL UP: ULTIMATE GAMING XPERIENCE CELEBRATES GRAND OPENING IN GREENWOOD
Grab your headphones and your joystick and head to one of the coolest new gaming centers in Indy. Ultimate Gaming Xperience recently opened in Greenwood in February, making it the first center to offer e-gaming, virtual reality rooms, e-sports tournaments and movie rooms all under one roof.
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4 Zoe Strong: Johnson County
Community Supports We Are Zoe STRONG Foundation
8 Level Up: Ultimate Gaming
Xperience Celebrates Grand Opening In Greenwood
10 Smokehouse Catering Company: Keith Johnsonâ€™s New Venture Delivers Delicious Southside Barbecue, Deli & More
14 Rock The Block: Annual 5K Event Returns April 27
16 Start Your Engines: Greenwood-
based RocketShark Motorsports Sprint Car Driver Talks Growth of Dirt Track Racing
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21 My Sugar Pie Celebrates Grand
Opening At Greenwood Park Mall
23 Total Lawn Care: What Is An Organic Approach?
atGreenwood.com / APRIL 2019 / GREENWOOD MAGAZINE / 3
Zoe STRONG Johnson County Community Supports We Are Zoe STRONG Foundation
Writer / Christy Heitger-Ewing Photography Provided by the We Are Zoe STRONG Foundation
Put a group of kind, caring and motivated moms together and it’s astounding what can get done in a short period of time. In October 2017, 7-year-old Zoe Martin was critically injured in a car accident caused by a reckless driver. When news of the accident spread at Saint Francis & Clare Catholic Church & School where Zoe attended second grade, her classmates and their families showered Zoe’s mom, Laura, with support, covering her in prayer, delivering meals to the hospital and caring for the family dog. A week after the accident, however, Zoe passed away from injuries sustained in the crash. “We knew we had to rally and find ways to honor Zoe’s memory,” says Jessica Hamilton, whose daughter was a classmate of Zoe’s. Within a matter of weeks, a dozen moms from the school had organized an auction to raise funds so that they could place a memorial butterfly bench on the school’s property. “It’s so Zoe’s friends have a happy, physical reminder that their classmate is still with them in spirit,” Hamilton says. “It’s also a comforting spot for her family to go sit when they need to feel Zoe’s presence.” The auction was held at Speedway Indoor Karting where the owners donated 50 percent of the evening’s proceeds from karting to the foundation. In addition, they sold 75 silent auction gift baskets, raising more than $13,000. Everyone was humbled by the outpouring of community support. That’s when the moms vowed to do something more. “We realized that we wanted to touch outside our school group and do things to help the greater community,” Hamilton says. So in the spring of 2018, they created the We Are Zoe STRONG Foundation, designed to keep Zoe’s memory alive while also helping youth in Johnson County. Its purpose revolves around community. “What started as a community for Laura grew to help the school community in processing the loss and then branched out to the greater community,” says Hamilton, an executive board member. “The We Are Zoe STRONG Foundation helps demonstrate to children that, in times of tragedy, we heal our hearts by coming together as a community.” The Zoe Fund is a component fund of the Johnson County Community Foundation, which was established in 1991 as a nonprofit organization created to help improve Johnson County. Zoe was a bright, sweet, caring girl who adored animals, Halloween and the color pink. She participated in Girl Scouts, excelled in school and loved playing “teacher.” The foundation created a Grants Program that seeks creative ways to improve the community. Applications are submitted in the spring and awarded in August. The board is currently in need of grant sub-committee members, so if you work at a bank and are interested in donating some time to review grant applications, contact the foundation. “We’re excited to see who applies and what kind of fun ideas people come up with,” says Hamilton, noting that each recipient will receive a large bright pink stainless steel Zoe 4 / GREENWOOD MAGAZINE / APRIL 2019 / atGreenwood.com
butterfly. “The idea is that as we give out these scholarships, folks will start seeing pink butterflies throughout the community and associate it with the We Are Zoe STRONG Foundation.” In the past year, the board has organized a number of fundraisers, including a Skate-Celebrate-Donate party to celebrate Zoe’s ninth birthday. “We asked each guest to bring a new unwrapped toy to donate to Riley Hospital for Children in Zoe’s memory,” says Megan Delaney, the board’s vice president of fundraising. “We had four huge boxes full of toys, along with three mamaRoo™ infant swing seats, donated.” Each toy was labeled with a “We Are Zoe STRONG Foundation” sticker so that the foundation’s mission could spread. Next up is the Supermom Brunch to be held in May. Zoe’s mom, Laura Martin, who will forever fiercely love her only child, is grateful for all of the community support in launching the We Are Zoe STRONG Foundation. “Every one of the ‘We Are Zoe STRONG Foundation’ mommas
atGreenwood.com / APRIL 2019 / GREENWOOD MAGAZINE / 5
have just blown me away with the people, donations and opportunities that have been (presented,)” Martin says. “Saying that (these women) are a blessing doesn’t scratch the surface of my gratitude for keeping Zoe’s life alive, showing our parish children how tragedy can be molded into charity, beautifying our parish community and keeping me spiritually alive.” The Supermom Brunch to Benefit We Are Zoe STRONG Foundation On May 4, the We Are Zoe STRONG Foundation honors Zoe’s mom, Laura, as well as all the Supermoms of the community by hosting brunch at O’Charley’s Restaurant & Bar at 886 S. SR 135 in Greenwood. Pick from one of two brunch seating times: 8-8:45 a.m. or 9-9:45 a.m. and feast on eggs, bacon, pancakes, rolls and more. Moms eat free with the purchase of an adult ticket ($25). Youth tickets (4-12 years) are $8, and kids under 3 eat free. To learn more or to make a donation to the We Are Zoe STRONG Foundation, visit wearezoestrong.org.
6 / GREENWOOD MAGAZINE / APRIL 2019 / atGreenwood.com
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Level Up Ultimate Gaming Xperience Celebrates Grand Opening In Greenwood
Owners Jordan McCarthy, Ron Cummings & Riley Cummings
Writer / Suzanne Huntzinger Photographer / Erin Feldmeyer
Grab your headphones and your joystick and head to one of the coolest new gaming centers in Indy. Ultimate Gaming Xperience recently opened in Greenwood in February, making it the first center to offer e-gaming, virtual reality rooms, e-sports tournaments and movie rooms all under one roof. Greenwood resident Ron Cummings wasn’t planning on having the opening of a gaming center as one of his 2019 New Year’s resolutions. But his son Riley had a different plan and now the gaming center is checked off the list. Riley came up with the concept and presented the winning game plan to Ron in October. Riley graduated from Central Nine Career Center where he studied computer technology and networking. With that foundation, he’s been building computers since age 15. Riley had good reason to approach Ron with his plans. Ron is a contractor, and Riley needed his dad’s business savvy and financial resources. “I know his skills are on point,” Ron says. “But, as a business mentor, I made him do his due diligence complete with a business plan and a budget. He took his time, did his research and came up with a concept that I thought would sustain the gaming industry on the southside. 8 / GREENWOOD MAGAZINE / APRIL 2019 / atGreenwood.com
I’m proud of him. He’s young, he’s got the drive to do it, and it’s something good for the community.” For good measure, Riley tapped his friend Jordan McCarthy for his expertise. Jordan is a gaming aficionado, and a perfect pairing with Riley’s computer technology background. Together, they made some goals, planned their strategy and, from there, the game moved to the next level. “We started looking for a lease right away because our goal was to be in and open by Riley’s birthday, February 3,” Ron says. They hit their goal. They found a storefront in a central location with convenient parking access, and the space was vacated at the end of December. The trio went right to work doing all the demolition themselves. “Riley built 14 custom, high-powered gaming computers, acquired Xbox and PS4 machines,” Ron says. “The only thing we contracted out of house was the main server and the networking. The rest of it we ran ourselves.” That’s a big job considering the center has one main room for e-gaming, four virtual reality rooms (each with a different theme – Fortnite, Call of Duty, Minecraft and Nintendo), space for e-sports tournaments and a movie room. Ron, Riley and Jordan opened Ultimate Gaming Xperience almost on time. They held an open house (soft opening) in early February and an official Grand opening February 16. “We had a continuous flow of people,” Ron says. “It took us a while to get the word out, but we keep getting busier every day. We want to be as full as possible.” It’s no surprise that some parents may be cringing to see more opportunities for their children to spend more time gaming. But some experts say playing a video game allows children to see the best version of themselves through the game character. Ron sees another important benefit. “Coming to the center gets your kid out of their room and out of the house,” he says. “It lets them be social, but this is for adults, too. We have guests in their 40s. Parents can come and game with their kids and bond as
business, they’re ready for it.
Ultimate Gaming Xperience held its first tournament in March. It was a two versus two tourney in Fortnite.
“We already know we’ll have to expand in the future and need more equipment,” Ron says.
“Some are pretty competitive, but the tournaments are for all levels from novice to expert,” Ron says. “Our tourneys are open to an unlimited number of people who want to join.”
One thing they’re already prepared for is catering partners for concessions and parties. They’ve already partnered with Chicago Pizza and Chick-fil-A for catering opportunities.
The center is just getting started, but Ron, Riley and Jordan are already ramping up for additional opportunities to offer. Their theater room is already available to show movies, and they’re open to organizing birthday parties or other functions.
In the future, Ultimate Gaming Xperience may expand the franchise to other Indianapolis communities. But, in the meantime, the center serves mostly Johnson County and the southside. For more information, visit them online at ultimategamingxperience.com.
“At some point, we’ll offer lock-ins when we figure out supervision processes,” Ron says. “Right now, kids 12 and under must be accompanied by an adult.” No matter how the three expand the
Ultimate Gaming Xperience is located at 1285 N State Road 135 in Greenwood just behind Rise’n Roll Bakery.
Smokehouse Catering Company Keith Johnson’s New Venture Delivers Delicious Southside Barbecue, Deli & More Writer / Jon Shoulders Photographer / JWcreative.indy
ince launching his own catering company in July of 2018, Keith Johnson has been one busy man.
After breaking away from a successful restaurant and food truck business he started in Bargersville three years ago, Keith Johnson founded Smokehouse Catering Company in Greenwood last year and has been focused exclusively on catering weddings, private, corporate and community events. “I wanted to focus on catering, and from day one we’ve specialized in weddings and event catering,” says Johnson, a southside native and Center Grove resident who worked in local law enforcement for more than 20 years before retiring. “This way I can focus on 100-percent quality and service, weddings are too important not to be 100-percent correct.” Smokehouse cooks up a variety of meats for parties of all sizes including pulled pork barbecue, brisket and boneless chicken breast, with delicious sides of mac and cheese, sweet corn casserole, coleslaw, green beans and others. The company also offers food station bar options like their Nacho Bar, New York Style Deli Bar and Texas Sausage, Chili and Hot Dog Bar. “The volume hasn’t been a problem since we started, and we have the ability to do more barbecue than probably anyone in town,” Johnson says. “The biggest challenge right now, since the business is still fairly new, is probably just making myself known as a caterer — getting the word out that I have broken off and getting that separation.”
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And so far it’s working out rather well. Smokehouse already has more than 80 weddings on the books for 2019 and caters for more than 30 event centers on the Southside of Indy and in surrounding counties.
catering company, The Food Guys Catering, and I brought over their executive chef Chip Huckaby. That led to a completely new menu and 30 additional event centers. We will reach more than 100 weddings this year.”
“Trying to figure out how fast you should grow is a big challenge,” Johnson says. “We just recently acquired another
In addition to event catering, Smokehouse offers carry-out orders on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays at its location on West
“We enjoy catering and expect 100 percent positive feedback every time. I stay in touch with customers throughout the process and personally talk to most of them after the event.” - Keith Johnson Main Street, which includes a full kitchen and a smoke room in the back. Johnson employs six full-time staffers as well as two cooks and a rotating group of part-timers who help with bussing tables and other odd jobs at special events. “We were able to bring a great chef in from The Food Guys, who already had a great menu, and we’re able to blend their stuff with our own menu and give people more options if they’re looking for that,” Johnson says. “We enjoy catering and expect
100 percent positive feedback every time. I stay in touch with customers throughout the process and personally talk to most of them after the event.” Smokehouse is also in the process of outfitting what Johnson says will be Indiana’s largest food truck and catering trailer — a 50-foot gooseneck trailer that will include two smokers, two chicken cookers, a whole-hog cooker and a seven-foot Santa Maria-style grill.
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“We’ll have the capacity to cater for about 2,500 people at a time with the trailer,” Johnson says. “It won’t be used in the usual food truck sense of just showing up downtown, and it will be used for larger catered events. We’ve been getting inquiries to do bigger catered events where we need mobile access.” Johnson feels grateful that his catering operation has brought him closer to individuals and organizations throughout the southside. “I have a freshman, a fifth grader and a second grader down here so I’m very tied to the community anyway through my kids,” he says. “With the business, we are very civic minded and involved in a lot of sporting events and community events. Just this year we’ve already done stuff for football, basketball, bands, fine arts and the fire and police departments. We’re really involved in the community and that’s what I enjoy the most.” Smokehouse Catering Company is located at 1275 West Main Street in Greenwood. Call or text 317-716-8889 or visit smokehousecateringco.com for more information including a menu and full list of services.
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Rock The Block Annual 5K Event Returns April 27 Writer / Kelsey Musick Photography Provided
Rock The Block is an annual event that has become a community favorite on the southside. In 2018, more than 1,500 runners, walkers and volunteers raised more than $29,000 which benefitted 21 charities. The event is the brainchild of Erin Smith, a certified Zumba and group fitness instructor, who wanted to do something positive for the community. Smith moved to Center Grove 18 years ago and is a mother of two. Her hope for Rock The Block is that it remains a tradition where families create lasting memories. “Race Day is always filled with excitement, laughter, competition, fellowship and learning moments,” Smith says. “This year’s event expects more than 2,000 people to participate and rock it.”
Smith says that she hopes the event is a catalyst to improve the community in multiple ways. “Two of the most important ways would be supporting programs in our community focused on helping children and families, as well as improving the connectivity of trails in our county,” Smith says. Some participants have endured major health issues and have used this event as a catalyst to better their health and the health of their family. Andrea Jahnke, a Center Grove Elementary School fourth-grade teacher and mother of two, wanted her family to value health and wellness. She originally used the event for her son. “When he was 10 years old, I bribed him into doing a couchto-5K training program with me,” Jahnke says. “As we ran, I set a good pace for him, ran beside him and offered him words of encouragement. To my surprise, he said that it was the best day of his life and that he was proud he was doing this.” This is the fourth year for the event, which begins and ends on the Center Grove campus. Funds are raised for charities in the community. Last year, the Kid’s Run took place in the Student Activity Center. “People love a positive way to support their community,” Jahnke says. “When race participants register, they can choose a charity
14 / GREENWOOD MAGAZINE / APRIL 2019 / atGreenwood.com
for their funds to support. Additionally, it’s a great way to stay in shape. And it’s nice to see people in the community value the things you do, like health and wellness.” Jahnke says that she is extremely proud of both her children for all their efforts and that Rock The Block has become a tradition for her entire family. For Karol Brandon, board director for the Center Grove Aquatic Club and mother of three, Rock The Block is also a family tradition. She has participated in the event since its conception. “My family loves to stay fit, but rarely takes the time to exercise together as our schedules are so hectic,” Brandon says. “Rock The Block is a great way for us to enjoy the day together and with our friends and swim family as well.” According to Brandon, Rock The Block does so much for the community. Not only do multiple charities benefit financially, but it brings the community together for a morning of fun. “Since weather isn’t always predictable, the student activity center has enhanced the experience for celebrating with friends and family and thanking the sponsors after the event,” Brandon says.
Smith adds that she wants to encourage the entire community to come out and ROCK IT on April 27th at 6:30 a.m. The event includes scenic courses, food, music, vendors, awards and giveaways – guaranteeing fun for everyone. Proceeds benefit area trail projects and organizations serving youth and families of the Center Grove School Corporation area and Johnson County. “Invite your next-door neighbor, your kids from out of town, or someone from church. You never know what God has in store,” Smith says. “Extend an invite and meet a new friend or create a tradition. Bring all the kids – wagons and strollers are encouraged on the 5K route. Costume runners are welcome, too. Collectively, we will make our community an even better place to live, work, and play.”
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Start Your Engines Greenwood-based RocketShark Motorsports Sprint Car Driver Talks Growth of Dirt Track Racing Writer / Jon Shoulders Photographer/ JWcreative.Indy
When it comes to competitive sports, Indiana is certainly known for its rich traditions in basketball and football statewide. However, motorsports are also alive and well in the Hoosier state, even at the local level, and these days you don’t have to wait all year until the Indy 500 to get your fill of competitive racing. Southsider Alfred Galedrige Jr. is at the forefront of the local sprint car racing scene, having launched his own Greenwood-based team RocketShark Motorsports in 2016. Galedrige participates in the Indiana RaceSaver Sprints (IRS) series, which will hold 23 races for its 2019 season from March through October, and he says now is a great time to be involved in Indiana racing, both as a participant and a spectator. “As much as you’re going to spend going to a basketball or a football game, for probably half of that cost you can go to your local dirt track – whether it’s the series I’m racing in or not – and there’s going to be entertainment for a minimum of five hours,” he says. “Almost every race track is family-oriented. You can make it like a picnic outing because there’s usually plenty of campgrounds or open grass areas where you can relax and then also be entertained by the sport of racing in general.” Galedrige began competing in his local quarter midgets series at age five in his native California and has been 16 / GREENWOOD MAGAZINE / APRIL 2019 / atGreenwood.com
hooked on racing culture ever since. He relocated to Indiana to enroll in IUPUI’s motorsports engineering program and subsequently got wind of the IRS, which launched in 2015. With the help of his family, he purchased his own winged sprint car and a V8 engine, and RocketShark Motorsports (a name that combines his childhood racing nickname, Shark, and his brother’s, Rocket) was born three years ago. “The Indiana RaceSaver series has been growing,” Galedrige says. “It started with maybe 15 races a year at one race track, and in four short years it has grown to 20-plus scheduled races and we’re traveling around the state. Within an hour and a half to two hours in just about any direction you can find a dirt race track, whether it’s the series I race in or other kinds of sprint cars and dirt cars.” Founded four years ago by Greenwood-based Dan Roberts, who also owns a sprint car that competes in the series, the IRS is officially sanctioned through the Iowa-based International Motor Contest Association. This year’s 23 IRS events, which average about 20 sprint cars per race, are spread throughout Indiana including North Vernon, Putnamville, Kokomo, Gas City, Bloomington, Haubstadt and Chandler. There are currently 18 RaceSaver groups around the U.S including Ohio, Kansas and Pennsylvania. Galedrige says RocketShark, which is sponsored by SRI Indianapolis and Xcaliber Graphics in Mooresville, has allowed
him to develop relationships with several local businesses. “Right when I started getting on social media and stuff with RocketShark, Xcaliber in Mooresville reached out to me and wanted to get their name on my car,” he says. “My car looks great now with some really great decals. I was the first sprint car they ever put graphics on and they’ve done several since.” Having spent most of his life around cars and racetracks of some sort or another, Galedrige feels motorsports, and the IRS in particular, provide a unique type of entertainment that all ages can enjoy. “It’s hard to compare to other sports because the biggest motorsports here in Indiana are IndyCar and NASCAR, and those are seen as this grand, expensive outing where you don’t get to see the cars up close,” he explains. “When you go support your local dirt track it’s very personal and the sensations are more in your face. At the end of the race, most tracks also open up their pits so you get to go look at the cars and talk with the drivers. It’s a really good bang for your buck.” For for information on the Indiana RaceSaver Sprints series, including 2019 event dates, visit facebook.com/ Indianaracesaver. For additional details on RocketShark Motorsports, visit facebook.com/RocketSharkMotorsports.
atGreenwood.com / APRIL 2019 / GREENWOOD MAGAZINE / 17
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My Sugar Pie Celebrates Grand Opening At Greenwood Park Mall Writer / Michelle Kaufman Photographer / JWCreative.indy
kitchen and often got compliments on her pies. Pie was also a family tradition.
Kelly Maucere has taken the pies she made from her kitchen in Zionsville and now has made the southside a little sweeter by opening a second My Sugar Pie location in Greenwood.
“I love pie,” she says. “I grew up with our family gatherings — we always had pie, most of the women in our family make pie.”
My Sugar Pie opened in February inside the Greenwood Park Mall. Whether guests want a single slice, a whole, fresh pie or a pie they can keep in the freezer to reheat, all are now available. Each pie is made from scratch, one at a time. Maucere first got into making pies as a creative outlet when she was a stay-athome mom. She found comfort in the
After completing a three-day, 60-mile breast cancer walk, Maucere was looking for her next big goal in 2008. “I thought ‘Well, I could go back to teaching now that my kids are going into school, or I could do something else,’” she says. “‘I like making pie, so maybe I’ll turn this into a business and see what happens.’” atGreenwood.com / APRIL 2019 / GREENWOOD MAGAZINE / 21
After thinking about what she liked to do and wanted to spend her time doing, Maucere decided to start My Sugar Pie almost 12 years ago. The Zionsville location opened in 2011. When one of Maucere’s longtime employees, Molly Worley, moved to Greenwood, she wanted Worley to have her own shop. Maucere’s friend and client is the long-term leasing manager for the Greenwood Mall, so the location was a perfect fit. “I’m really excited about this location because there’s a lot of foot traffic, and it’s an opportunity for us to kind of expand our repertoire of what we do,” Maucere says.
The Greenwood location features a refrigerator, freezer and refrigerated display case, which allows them to serve cream pies by the slice, something that isn’t available in Zionsville due to a limited amount of refrigeration space. In addition to fruit, cream and various other pies, My Sugar Pie also offers retail products such as mugs, t-shirts, aprons and kitchen items. “Everything that we’re using here in our kitchen, those are the items I look for to sell at our stores just to make it the full experience,” Maucere adds. The business name, My Sugar Pie, comes from Maurcere’s mother’s nickname for her grandchildren — sugar pie. Maucere makes each mix, and the pie recipes come from her, her mom or pastry chefs who work at My Sugar Pie. “The pastry chefs that I’ve hired that work here, I always give them kind of the goal of coming up with a new recipe for us to feature,” Maucere says. Now that she’s opened two locations, Maucere is considering other future expansion opportunities as well. The Greenwood My Sugar Pie is located inside the Greenwood Park Mall. They can be reached at 317-893-5355 or email@example.com. You can also visit them online at mysugarpie. com.
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Independently owned and operated since 1989
• FERTILIZATION & WEED CONTROL • Fertilization & Weed Control • PERIMETER PEST CONTROL • Perimeter Pest Control A Responsible, Professional A Responsible, Professional approach to a healthy lawn
approach to a healthy lawn
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317.638.1862 317.638.1862 tlctotallawncare.net TLCINDY.NET atGreenwood.com / APRIL 2019 AND / GREENWOOD / 23 12 / 2019 DIRECTORY RELOCATIONMAGAZINE GUIDE
We have been in the lead of using more biology and less chemistry. One of our founders is an Agronomist from Purdue, a soil scientist. He works with the team at TLC and with various manufacturers, distributors and developers of lawn products to find the right products and combinations to build the soil. We are utilizing biology to replace some of the chemistry as we build the soil. Many of the newer lawns have poor soil, a clay-pea gravel mix that leaves a lot to be desired. These soils have low nutrient value as well as they bind up the nutrients that tend to be there. Just using organic fertilizers doesn’t help reduce the amount of nitrogen being put on the lawns, it’s just another form of it. With the use of only organic fertilizers, we still have that whole nitrogen cycle which ends up with ammonification and nitrates into the water system. By using biosolids and a variety of things like kelp, humic and fulvic acids, amino acids, mychorrhizea, micro nutrients and other ingredients we are increasing the microbial activity in the rhizosphere. When we increase the microbial activity we are getting nutrients released from the soil which are then more readily available to the turf plant through its root system. The soil and the root system both have a negative charge, and when we can break off these nutrients with a positive charge from the soil they can then be taken up by the root system. By adding carbon into the soil we increase the surface area where these nutrients can also be stored and not just passed through the soil. Some of these products also cause small microfractures of the soil particles leading to more surface area to hold onto these nutrients as well. We practice IPM, Integrated Pest Management, and with our low pressure, low volume applications we can reduce our pesticides as well. We have a great team. Many of our team members have been with us for more than five years, up to 25. We have seven guys with more than 25 years of experience in the field.
Grab your headphones and your joystick and head to one of the coolest new gaming centers in Indy. Ultimate Gaming Xperience recently opened...
Published on Mar 25, 2019
Grab your headphones and your joystick and head to one of the coolest new gaming centers in Indy. Ultimate Gaming Xperience recently opened...