At the risk of being labeled an old fogey, I’ll confess I’m astonished at how fast and how far information travels. But I’m pleased that this phenomenon has so many benefits for a growers’ association with relatively limited means.

We’re lucky to have an amazing team on our side in this process. You may have met Debra Prinzing and David Perry at ASCFG meetings, where they’ve provided valuable input. More importantly, they’ve photographed, videotaped and written descriptions of the events, and posted it at their site afreshbouquet.com  which is read by thousands of visitors, all hungry for the newest currents in floral and garden design.

Debra and David are publishing a beautiful book called A Fresh Bouquet, highlighting growers, florists and gardeners who produce and use locally-grown specialty flowers in their businesses. It sounds simple, but they have made it magical.

Debra also gave the ASCFG a shout-out in the April issue of Better Homes and Gardens. Her “Trend-spotting” tips include a suggestion that buyers looking for local flowers go to the ASCFG web site to find growers in their area. Google Analytics tells us that hits to our site doubled in the weeks since that magazine hit newsstands and subscribers’ mailboxes.

A recent article in the blog eco RI news featuring Polly and Mike Hutchison of Robin Hollow Farm details their efforts to produce cut flowers sustainably. It provides only a thumbnail sketch of their farm and products, but gets the point across: there are growers out there providing unusual, high-quality flowers to florists, event planners and farmers’ markets – and here are just two of them.

How does all this affect you? No matter your place in the ASCFG, your business is impacted by activities like this. Every time an ASCFG member is in the news – whether it’s his hometown newspaper or a national periodical – it draws attention to your organization. It takes just seconds for a reader to make the connection to our web site or Facebook page. A buyer looking for peonies can pick up the phone to ask us who in his state is growing them. A bride who wants a green wedding can connect with any number of ASCFG members who can provide the perfect flowers. Even if you’re satisfied with your current market, an unexpected call from a buyer looking for just what you have is always welcome.

But if your file in our member database hasn’t been updated since the month you joined, or if you still haven’t filled in the Description of Business on a renewal form, we won’t know what to tell potential buyers about you. It’s easy to tell us what crops you’re growing, if you provide wedding or event flowers, if you sell only wholesale or invite cut-your-own customers to your farm.

Think about it: if you can’t remember updating your information, it’s probably out of date. Call or email us to find out, and we can quickly revise your records.

The speed of today’s communications isn’t just for other people or other industries. Tap the power of the information revolution – and your ASCFG membership – to help your cut flower business flourish.


ERRATUM

Correction:  In the 2010 ASCFG Cut Flower Seed Trials  report, I erroneously attributed comments made by Laurie Hodges, University of Nebraska, to Chris Wien, Cornell.  On pages 32 (column 1) and 35 (column 2), the “Cornell comments on tunnel production” should actually read “Nebraska comments on tunnel production”.  Sorry to Chris for the misattribution and to Laurie for leaving out her contributions.  John Dole