Thursday, April 23, 2009

Road Trip

After a busy weekend, Marina and I left out at the crack of dawn Monday morning headed to Gainsville Virginia for the Mid-Atlantic Regional Meeting of the Association of Specialty Cut Flower Growers We were going to spend the day on a farm hanging out with 80 or so flower growers from the Maryland, Delaware, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, West Virginia, Virginia and North Carolina including some of our favorites from Scarborough Farm and Woolam Gardens.

While we aren't growers ourselves, except for a few odds and ends, we decided to become members of the ASCFG this year. Being a member is like getting an insiders look at the farms where we buy our flowers. We get to find out what's new with the growers , what they're growing, what they're struggling with and what they are most excited about.

The meeting was held at Andrea Gagnon's beautiful farm located in Gainsville, Virginia. The farm has been in her husband's family for over 8 generations. She currently has about 2 1/2 acres under production in cut flowers. Andrea is funny, creative, quick to share mistakes she's made, and like most growers, always dreaming about what could be if there was less deer and more hired help. Besides growing for markets, Andrea also does special event work and hopes to create a destination farm for visitors to come share.
In the field, Andrea showed off some beautiful lilacs that were blooming as well as tulips, lenten rose and a few alliums. In the greenhouse, there were ranunculus, anemones, delphinium and the most beautiful poppies in stunning oranges and yellows.

The great thing about getting together with these growers is that they really like each other, they respect each other, they want to see each other succeed. They also enjoy ribbing on one another and occasionally cracking open a beer together. Because of this close knit relationship, they share ideas, techniques, failures and successes. Its really refreshing to be a part of a local industry with such great folks.

As we were leaving, Marina was excited to meet two new growers: Joy and Scott Page from Freedom Flowers out in Buckeystown MD. Don't know much about them yet, but they're near Frederick and they grow some ornamental berries and seed pods that we don't always have access to. We're always trying to expand our group of growers especially ones with cool, unique, out of the ordinary offerings.

Overall a great day!

1 comment:

  1. It was a great day! I found out that Joy, from Freedom Flowers, is also growing ornamental peppers!!!