For 30 years, the staff at Cliff Hartman Farms Quarter Horses has been breeding, showing and boarding steeds, including the nationally renowned stallion Good Terms. The equestrian family channels their expertise into lessons conducted in an insulated indoor ring, two outdoor arenas, a circular pen, and more than 1,000 acres of trail-laden land in the Ozark Hills. The farm's weekly lessons—molded around English and Western techniques—teach beginners how to groom and saddle horses before an hour of riding and a brief cool down. Day and summer camps afford the same opportunities for youngsters. And for those who own their own horse, the facility maintains a robust line of boarding stalls, all of which accommodate equines better than the antiquated storage zones such as the family garage or the family high-dive.
Guglielmo Marconi successfully transmits the first radio wave across the English Channel. On the other side of the pond, in Missouri, Nixa Hardware & Seed Co is founded. The year is 1899. Since that auspicious beginning more than a century ago, the hardware store company has grown to "7 acres of savings," and throughout its history, its expansive wholesale collection of plants, fertilizers, soils, and tools has equipped avid gardeners and professional farmers throughout southwest Missouri. Today, nursery workers and plant experts shepherd visitors through pallets of specially concocted livestock feed and bags of carefully formulated fertilizer, while horticulturalists on Nixa's research farm develop tried-and-true plant and grass varieties proven to thrive in local climates. Though the staff is proud of its bulk garden seeds and mulch, a selection of go-karts and generators proves that the company has evolved since its 19th-century origins. The team even purveys renewable-energy biomass furnaces that can keep costs low and household operations sustainable.
Like burying yourself neck-deep in lush planting soil, visits to the bustling agricultural center can evoke a strong, heartwarming connection with the land, with friendly staff members working hand-in-hand with clients to pick out the perfect seed, beekeeping gear, newly hatched chicks, or lawn-care equipment.
After more than four decades, Weed Man's licensed and trained experts have lawn health down to a science. They keep Springfield-area lawns green and lush with fertilizer and environmentally sound pest control, coupled with knowledge about the local environment that only comes from living and working directly in the community. Their exclusive blend of slow-release granular fertilizer nurtures lawns over a period of several weeks, and their seeding and aeration services promote even longer-lasting growth. Homeowners can even seek answers to their own lawn-care inquiries online, such as "How do I deal with crabgrass?" or "How do I respond when a tree asks for directions?"
Organic Outdoors' locally run lawn-care outfit protects yards from both insect infestations and chemical pollution with fully organic pest-control regimens. USDA-certified biobased products shield grassy patches from ticks, termites, flies, and mosquitoes, and liquid-concentrate fertilizer sends root systems deep into the ground and promotes resistance to disease. Landscapers keep lawns looking trim and tidy with regular mowing, edging, weed eating, and leaf blowing using meticulously maintained equipment and well-practiced skill.
Joseph, the owner of Castle Rock Landscape Design and Maintenance, honed his landscaping skills on the rolling greens of Branson Creek Golf Club and the tree-lined lakefront of Wilderness Club at Big Cedar. At Big Cedar, he developed the palette of grasses, shrubs, tulips, and daffodils with which he beautifies clients' yards. The Castle Rock team can design plans for outdoor spaces or perform weekly services such as mowing, removing weeds, and giving bouquets of dead weeds to a rival.