People are just as happy as they make up their minds to be.”  Abraham Lincoln

This, dear reader, is my motto for 2008. Our growing season started among endless discussions on the economy, the candidates, and the war: very little of which were positive! I didn’t want my “growing” business to suffer a climate of fear and worry. So Pollyanna that I am, I have decided that business will be great this year, that new markets and opportunities will replace any flat growth in other areas, and of course, we’ll get an inch of rain a week, no more, no less.  Well, that’s what I decided anyway. Wish me luck with that last one.
    
The other statements are so far proving to be true, actually, and I credit a few important things. One, the ASCFG and the knowledge base within our ranks: I grow better, healthier, more interesting flowers than my customers can find through the usual outlets. I know more about postharvest conditions, and I have resources in members with similar growing conditions who don’t actually sell to the same customers, so the sharing is more complete. Two, the movement to buy local: this trend is nowhere even close to peaking, and honestly, I am not sure with fuel prices it will ever go back to the old ways. Eventually, the message of community economics will become stronger as well. Three, marketing flexibility and networking: I have built new contacts at local colleges and non-profits and keep looking for new ways to get the word out about the work that I do.
    
Now of course at this point in the year we are all so busy that it is hard to lay groundwork for future projects. But it is not too late to donate a few bouquets to a fundraising event, or scrub your knees and show up at a party or two with a business card conveniently in your wallet! Yes, I am tired, but broke and tired is worse.
    
The Northeast Regional Meeting is coming right up—July 21, 2008 in Saunderstown, Rhode Island.  See your Short Cuts and mail for details. I have plenty of camping space if you want to come down the night before, or stay Monday night. There is also a local inn for the mattress-inclined. Marketing will be part of the program, and hopefully we can hear your new ideas as well!

My most pleasing crops for 2008 so far are the biennials and over-wintered annuals. I feel that I really got it mostly right this year. My over-wintered larkspur is so happy (September 15 planting) as is the bupleurum. My Campanula medium is cranking out stems, and I’ll put in another vote for the Electron sweet William. Great colors! Now is the time to start sweet William (definitely by August 1) and campanulas for next year, and any cool new perennials you’re dying to try out.
    
All the best with the rest of the summer. See you in Portland if not right here in Saunderstown!