Two of the most important articles in this issues are written by growers. Brenda Smith’s and Ralph Thurston’s summaries of their grant projects provide insight into how on-farm research really works. Sometimes, it doesn’t work the way you planned.
Some of Ralph’s roses did not live. Brenda’s experimental mulches blew away to Reno. (just to watch her lisianthus die.). But in the true nature of cut flower farmers, and researchers, both Ralph and Brenda kept on. Brenda even promised to continue her project this year, at her own cost.
That growers just like yourselves: family-oriented farms, selling to local markets and with a limited labor supply, can apply for an ASCFG Grower Grant, gain approval and conduct the experiment shows that any cut flower grower can do this. Take some time to visit the Research section of the ASCFG web page, and consider applying for a Grower Grant yourself. If you have questions, talk to us, or contact Ralph and Brenda. They’ll be happy to share their experiences.
Joe and Charlotte’s column about the importance of online communications should also strike close to home. A recent Short Cuts outlined the use of ASCFG’s electronic services, including the web site and Members Only, the Bulletin Board and the Price Index. More than half of you opened and read this Short Cuts (we know who you are) and many of you did ask for help with Members Only or setting up a Bulletin Board account. Since then, there has been a substantial jump in correspondence on the Bulletin Board.
In this issue’s Culture Profile, John Dole and Frankie Fanelli of NCSU provide recommendations for dahlia production. At the same time, we include a recent string from the Bulletin Board where growers tell you what they have found works for dahlia harvest and postharvest, firsthand. You don’t get a better combination of information than this.
Find this out yourself. Go to the Bulletin Board, search for a subject you’re interested in, and see how many times it has been discussed. Some of the strings may be a couple years old; if you’re looking for an update, post your own question to the string and bring it up again.
We are very happy with the way this year’s Buyers’ Guide has turned out. Yours should be delivered any day. Remember, only members who returned the postcard with an updated Description of Business are included. If you missed this edition, make sure you’re in the next one. If you’d like additional copies to distribute to your local wholesalers and retail florists, call the ASCFG. We’d be happy to send you more.