I keep hearing about how “the recession has hit bottom”, or “the economy is beginning to rebound”, or that “recovery will come in 2010”, or some other comment from yet another “economic consultant” on the evening news. Just like weather forecasters, they can tell you with certainty what happened yesterday and what might happen tomorrow, but beyond that, it’s anyone’s guess.  All I know is that at some of my farmers’ markets, sales are up a little from last year, while others are down quite a bit from last year, and some are right in line with the previous year.  At the established neighborhoods in the suburbs, the customers seem more willing to part with their cash and buy flowers on a regular basis than the customers at the more urban locations.  Sales will vary widely from week to week at a particular market for no apparent reason at all. I’m sure there is some research firm or government agency that has the data to explain the wild variations in cut flower sales this year, but for now, I’ll just keep selling to anyone who is willing to buy.

This is my final “From the President” letter.  It’s been a great four years. Sometimes I wonder for days what I’ll write about and sometimes too many ideas fill my head. Either way, it’s always been a pleasure. I’ve have a great time meeting other growers at Regional Meetings and the National Conference and learning a little something from just about everyone. Just visiting another farm is a great educational experience. Nothing beats seeing a farm in operation. You’re able to see so many different ways to grow cut flowers, from planting, to irrigation, to coolers, to marketing and more.

It feels good when people thank me for the work I do with the ASCFG. But it’s what the collective ASCFG family has done for me that I’ll remember the most. Often I wonder what I’ve done to be thanked for. It’s Judy and Linda who do the real work. This organization wouldn’t be what it is without Judy Laushman and Linda Twining at the ASCFG Headquarters in Oberlin, Ohio. They are the ones that keep this machine running, putting in countless hours to make everything from The Cut Flower Quarterly to the National Conference to the web site and the Bulletin Board happen. They both deserve a grateful “thanks” for making it so easy to be President.

The next Quarterly will have someone else’s name at the top of this page. Be sure to give the next President your support and encouragement. Help keep the ASCFG a vibrant  organization with great members who help each other in any way they can. And remember, any member can be ASCFG President, as long as you’ve already been on the Board of Directors in some other capacity first. Thanks and farewell!