It’s summertime and things are heating up at the ASCFG.  The hottest thing on the block is the new Pricing Index that has been developed by  ASCFG members Tom Sferlazza, Red Vines Farm, and Johan Muller, Paradise  Specialty Cut Flowers, both  growing in Texas.  This newest member benefit was necessitated by the discontinuation of the USDA price reports that many members relied on for help when setting prices for products. Take the time to visit the Members Only page of the ASCFG  web site and click on the Pricing Index link.  Like the ASCFG Bulletin Board, the new Pricing Index will be a success only if members participate by entering prices for the products you sell.  This information will then be used to create custom reports on cut flower prices by date, region, and market.  
    
The ASCFG is a successful organization because of the efforts of many volunteers who work toward making it even better.  Tom and Johan stepped forward and produced the new Pricing Index because they saw a need and eagerly offered to fill that need.  What they have created for free would have been beyond the budget constraints of the ASCFG. The more members who get  involved by stepping in to fill a particular need, the stronger the ASCFG will become.  Remember, you too can be a Regional Director or even President  some day.
    
As you make your summer plans, be sure to include a  Regional Meeting or two. You will learn from the farms you visit, the scheduled speakers, and from the person sitting next to you at lunch. What better way to spend a summer day than talking flowers with a group of like-minded people who understand you when you want to talk about plant spacing, stem length and flower size?        

The San Jose Conference will be  here before you know it. If you think you can’t afford to attend, you’re wrong.  A serious grower can’t afford not to attend.  I have a  “vacation fund” which is filled with the proceeds from cut sedum.  Just that simple little flower that can be sold from August through September.  Each year I keep track of how many stems are picked and then put that money in an envelope.  It is amazing how much sedum money is in that envelope at the end of September. You can do the same thing with just about any crop. Be diligent about planting an extra 100 sunflowers every week, and set that money aside for the conference.  At the conference you may learn about something that will help your business be more successful in the future.