Hello to the folks in the Southeast Region.  I will be taking over for the remainder of Michael Turner’s term, which is approximately two years.  I would like to thank Michael for all the hard work he put in during the beginning of this term.  I am sure everyone in the Region appreciates it.  I look forward to serving the ASCFG and the Southeast.  I am glad that I will have the opportunity to give back to this organization. Please, do not hesitate to contact me.  
I will take a moment to introduce myself.  We are located in northern Orange County, North Carolina.  We are north and east of the research triangle park.  The farm is 30 acres and we grow on just over an acre. Currently, we have two unheated houses (with plans to build another this winter) and a heated greenhouse to start transplants. In addition to cut flowers, we produce vegetables and strawberries.  We sell to area florists and restaurants.  However, our main sales outlet is the Carrboro Farmers’ Market.  I attend that market twice a week.  I worked for a nearby farm for several years.  I am finishing my fourth year in business. Mark Thomas, my partner, currently has an off-farm job.  Despite his full-time employment, he manages to handle all the welding, electrical and construction needs of the farm.  I am the assistant for these various projects.
I will go ahead and disclose something else about myself.  I find the late summer and fall a challenging time of the year for several reasons.  It is still hot and humid in this region.  This summer in particular has been beastly hot and on the dry side. Even though the pace is beginning to slow there is a lot of important work yet to be done.  All of those overwintered flowers must be started and transplanted.  We need to dive into our notes from May and make the appropriate changes – too many snapdragons and not enough delphiniums.  Time to direct seed those spring crops. Soil samples must be taken.  The fall and winter beds must be prepared and amended according to the results from the soil samples.  In addition, it is time to start thinking about winter cover crops.  Then there are the hurricanes.  Suddenly, it can become too wet to get into the field or worse.  Despite the challenges (and the exhaustion), this is not the time to take your eye off the ball.  
Not only did I refine my plans for ‘06 from my records, but also I gathered a lot of ideas and information from the Conference in Lancaster.  In case you haven’t heard, it was fantastic!  The Growers’ School was sold out.  Those who attended gained a lot of hands-on, useful information from seasoned growers.  The regional flower competition was great fun and it was amazing to see the buckets of donated flowers. The Eden Resort Inn certainly benefitted from the arrangements around the hotel.  Perhaps the highlight of the conference was visiting Cramers’ Posie Patch.  It was a great opportunity to see the Haygrove tunnels in action and to be able to speak to Keith and Ralph directly about their operation.  I was delighted to meet folks in the Southeastern region and discuss plans for a Regional Meeting.  As those plans materialize, I will let you know.