**With people staying closer to home during the pandemic, more have taken up gardening, and that’s brought new demand to plants.

Nursery operators say they may run low on inventory this spring as a result of the sales surge, which caused some to sell plants last year that they’d planned to save for this year.

Edible plants remain popular, with nursery owners reporting strong customer interest in herbs, vegetables and fruit trees.

**Despite the lack of in-person events and other pandemic-related factors that limited marketing efforts, California avocado demand fared well during 2020.

California Avocado Commission vice president, Jan DeLyser, tells www.thepacker.com, beginning this month, the commission adapted its marketing efforts to optimize them for the realities of living in a pandemic by switching to other activities that reached our target consumers where they are, which for most of the year was mainly at home.

She says most communication with customers moved from in-person to virtual.

www.thepacker.com/news/produce-crops/avocado-demand-never-faltered-through-pandemic?mkt

**Pear Bureau Northwest has announced its first winner in their nationwide “Aisle of Red Pears” (Say it out loud!) display challenge!

While they insist every entry is a winner, the first winner of the grand prize $500 GIFT CARD, is a Fresh Thyme store in Iowa.

The challenge is open until the end of the month for retailers of all sizes in the U.S. and Canada.

www.thepacker.com/news/industry/first-winners-selected-pear-bureau-northwests-aisle-red-pears-display-challenge?mkt