Wow, my head is absolutely spinning!  Having just returned from my first Board meeting as an ASCFG Regional Director I must thank everyone for this opportunity.  I am awestruck at the level of passion and professionalism represented by this board.  Bindweed Farm is a rare breed out here in the high deserts of Idaho and as cut flower growers in the center of the “Potato Capital of the World” we are odd ducks; we could not be more isolated geographically or mentally.  My first night in Raleigh, at a potluck supper graciously hosted by John Dole, I was surrounded by vibrant people who care deeply about not only growing beautiful things but offering local and sustainable products and creating healthy environments and lifestyles.        

As the landscape flowed beneath during a beautiful flight home I was struck by how varied and vast this country is and realized how valuable it is to be connected to every part of it through the ASCFG.                            

Now, to do my part to better connect the Northwest Region we have been busy planning a Regional Meeting.  You are all invited to Bindweed Farm Thursday, June 14.   We will start early in the morning with a brief welcome/ introduction to the farm and then Ralph (Thurston—owner/planter/husband) and I will offer a talk and tour of our roses.  We were awarded an ASCFG Grower Grant last year to research the feasibility of growing and marketing fragrant old-fashioned roses (see report in this issue).  As of this writing we have invited Gary Pellet of Newflora to speak about Kordes roses and outdoor production.         

The rose talk will be followed by a color primer presented by yours truly.  With paints in hand I’ll demonstrate a little color theory by mixing and painting a full color wheel.  We’ll then explore the color potentials of bouquet making through color families-primary, secondary, tertiary, warm, cool and mono-chromatic.  Weather depending (meaning what we have in bloom) we will have buckets of flowers that correspond to color families and we’ll have a hands-on “color wise” bouquet making session.        

Next Ralph will address zone 4 crop staggering, focusing on sweet peas and peonies by touring sequenced production in our hoophouses, greenhouses, shade house and fields.              

Participants are then invited to enjoy an alfresco lunch in our new drying house (barn).   After this Ralph will offer a tour of our ranunculus/freesia house outfitted with radiant soil heat enabling the overwintering of these tender flowers.              

For the remainder of the afternoon the experts at Bindweed are available for an open forum/discussion where we can all hang out and talk about growing things.                    

By the time you are reading this tentative schedule we will have firmed up and may have added more sessions.  Please check the ASCFG website, as well as our own at http://bindweedfarm.com for details.