It’s hard to come clean, but here goes: I’ve been  remiss in my duties as editor. Everyone but me has been beating the “green” drum for organics and sustainability.
But I’ve postponed chiming in this topic for a reason. I assumed—in fact, I know—that most of you are already practicing sustainable methods in your flower production.  I’ve been to your farms, I’ve seen how you grow, how you market, and how you live.  It would be preaching to the choir for me to lecture you about using fewer resources, recycling used products and cutting down on chemical inputs.  
You’re already soliciting organic seed and plant companies, practicing integrated pest management and water conservation, and looking for postharvest processes with less environmental impact.  About twenty of you report that you’re certified organic, another 35 simply call yourselves “organic”, and an equal number list “sustainable” in your description of business.  And those are just the ones who filled out the Buyers’ Guide paperwork.
Besides, Dave and Gay have covered this area in their columns, highlighting issues of sustainability, organic certification, and “green-washing.” And the same topics are covered in every periodical, blog and electronic publication I read.  When I  have something new to add to the discourse, I’ll share it. Meanwhile, there’s relevancy, and then there’s redundancy.
Andrea Gagnon did all of us a great service by researching and reporting on products and services that cut flower growers can use on their farms: Fertilpots—100% bio-degradable planting strips, A-ROO’s compostable flower sleeves, and a local company that recycles greenhouse plastic and drip tape.  As you investigate companies like this in your region, please contact the office.  Share on the Bulletin Board your favorite products and where you found them.  We’ll continue to do our best to bring this type of supplier to our Regional Meetings and Trade Shows. The more business they can do with flower growers, the more we all benefit.
This summer will keep us busy with Regional Meetings in five locations (see dates on page 40), leading up to the National Conference in Portland.  The Portland Committee has had a terrific time putting together a top-notch schedule, including several not-to-be missed tours.  The Conference week will end with a dinner cruise through the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area, on an authentic triple-deck paddle wheeler.  We’ve had some pretty enjoyable meals at our conferences in twenty years, but I think this one will set a new standard.
Here’s hoping this year will be kinder to growers in the Southeast and Mid-Atlantic, and that everyone’s season is successful. And kudos to all those who are working to reduce our industry’s carbon footprint.