WordPerfect rules! Everyone should use FileMaker Pro for database management. PageMaker is the only way to lay out magazines.

What kind of technologically-challenged dinosaur makes claims like that? Who would so stubbornly cling to such old-style programs?

Me. People either laugh at or pity me, but I’m one of those who finds a system that works, and sticks to it. I can produce a document in WordPerfect ten times faster than I can in Word. My FileMaker program was designed specifically for me, and can be modified as my needs change.

And my needs are changing, as are yours and the Association’s. Some of us had to be dragged kicking and screaming into the electronic world, but once we got there, we found it to be pretty amazing. The ASCFG Bulletin Board is one of our most popular member benefits; the archives go back almost ten years, and each week brings new conversations. It’s easy to communicate with all our members simultaneously using our “Short Cuts” e-newsletter. And now that the ASCFG has its own Facebook page, even more growers can link directly to each other’s farm sites, and post events, markets and product highlights.

Plans are in the works here for other projects like webinars and online videos, services which will educate members quickly and easily. These methods of communication won’t replace the invaluable face-to-face interaction enjoyed at Regional Meetings and National Conferences, but will supplement it, and broaden the topics that the organization can share.

At the same time, we’re looking back through the archives of The Cut Flower Quarterly and finding some still-pertinent information. Though markets change and trends evolve (depending on how you feel about dyed sunflowers), specialty cut flower growers will always be looking for something new and unusual to add to their crop list. For this issue, I pulled out one of Janet Foss’s “Lemons and Lemonade” article from 2001. This column, originated by Paul Sansone, examined plants that may have seemed likely candidates for cut flowers, but sometimes turned out not to be, as well as those that most growers might not have given a second look and ended up being bestsellers. It’s definitely worth a second look.

It’s important that we don’t forget what we learned long ago, and embrace new methods at the same time. And yes, I wrote this column in WordPerfect.