Specialty cut-flower growers from across the county will flock to the Pacific Northwest Nov. 12-14 for the national conference and trade show of the Association of Specialty Cut Flower Growers in Tacoma, WA. The theme of the show is Learning to Grow Together.
Judy Laushman, the association’s executive director, said in a statment that topics on the agenda range from Alaska’s peony industry to the first wholesale flower growers market to open in the United States in 70 years, to the buy local movement. As always, the show will offer its Growers’ School, ASCFG Trials Report and investigation of exciting new varieties of cut flowers. A workshop will focus on producing and designing with succulents.
A special celebration will be held one evening to mark the publication of The 50 Mile Bouquet, which Ms. Laushman said features many ASCFG members and friends. Author Debra Prinzing and photographer David Perry will share the story of their book’s creation (it was published April 1 of this year) and discuss the rise of the local flower movement.
For the Growers’ School, attendees will travel to Jello Mold Farm in Mount Vernon, WA, which grows more than 150 varieties of cut flowers on seven acres using sustainable practices.
Another tour will visit the Seattle Wholesale Growers Market, made up of 19 flower farms from Washington, Oregon and Alaska. The cooperative sells local crops three days a week to professional floral buyers.
In another session, representatives of three organizations will tell why their groups were founded, what needs they serve and their current states of development. Speakers will be Pat Holloway of the University of Alaska at Fairbanks, representing the Alaska peony industry; Jeanie McKewan of Fair Field Flowers in Madison, WI; and Diane Szukovathy of Seattle Wholesale Growers Market Cooperative.
Other sessions will cover grant programs, funding for marketing, marketing locally and sustainably grown products, certification, pest management, high-tunnel growing and post-harvest handling.