The high point of our year always seems to be the National Conference. Last year’s meeting in Tulsa was no exception. Our batteries, motivation, endurance and “want to” had been taxed severely, so it is great to have the kind of encouragement and education that comes with the Conference. It is always a great pick-me-up to be greeted by the smiling faces of Judy and Linda as we arrive. Then a second wave of the same kind as we rekindle friendships and acquaintances that we have made over the years. And then still another as new acquaintances are made with new members of the ASCFG and new speakers brought in for the sessions.

It is that time of year to regroup, reschedule, retool and evaluate for most of us who are seasonal growers. For the others, come along for the ride. 2010 was a challenging year for many growers, from some who had more water than they knew what to do with to those who were praying for a bit of moisture. We were reminded once more that it is better to be too dry than too wet. We can always use irrigation.

I thoroughly enjoyed the presentation by Dr. Carl Whitcomb. With his inquisitive mind and positive attitude, we were encouraged to keep trying to find more answers and to be more successful. The other speakers plus John, Lane, Laurie, Vicki, Dave, Ko, Bob and (that list could go on until all the members of the ASCFG have been listed) are endless fountains of information that we can tap whenever we need to for so many new situations that we find ourselves facing. 

We included one of our employees this year. Diane is a retired schoolteacher who is helping with our design work. She found the Conference both educational and enjoyable. She was impressed with the accommodations, the programs and the friendliness of other growers. She will probably be a repeat attendee. 

It seems that at every conference there is some new idea/product/resource that more than pays for the cost of the meeting. And, the exchange of ideas with other growers outside of the sessions is both educational and entertaining. I understand that this is a bit late, but I wish to personally thank Vicki and her committee for the wonderful, educational time that was the Tulsa Conference.  Hopefully we will be able to employ some of the new ideas, techniques and processes in our operations for the coming year. I know that we will be sharing the stories of our successes and failures at the 2011 meeting. If you have not attended a National Conference in the past, I would encourage you to start making plans to join us in Reston, Virginia in early November where you will be entertained, encouraged and challenged. 

On a side note, we have decided that raising lilies in crates has to be done in a hoophouse simply because we cannot control Mother Nature and the amount of rain nor the cool temperatures which bring on botrytis. So this fall I dismantled our two shade houses and built them into a hoophouse and a storage hoophouse so that we at least can keep the rain off of the crates. Therefore we now have eight hoophouses to protect our valuables. 

Our wishes are that you have a great spring and summer.

Quinton Tschetter

Tschetter's Flowers

Contact at [email protected]