Since the last issue of the Quarterly, we’ve had two happy occasions at our farm. The first was the marriage of our son Bryan on June 22nd. We grew 99% of the flowers for the service and the reception, and we used peonies from Dual Venture Farm in Pantego, North Carolina. We were able to do a little old-fashioned bartering too. One of our florist customers, Pat Prillaman, is also a baker, so we traded our flowers for 200 of her cupcakes in four yummy flavors. They were a big hit! Patty provided flower arrangements for her co-worker’s wedding and reception, in exchange for her friend’s fiancé (who is a videographer) providing video of Bryan and Beth’s wedding. Who says bartering is a thing of the past? It worked out pretty well for us.

Our other good news is that we have been approved for a USDA hoophouse grant. We applied a good while ago, but the funding finally came through, meaning we can put up another hoophouse to help us get a start on the season with more crops. We’re ordering more dahlias now, hoping to be able to extend our season this year too. We just got back a soil sample analysis of our existing hoophouse, and have some amending to do. Soil science is just that—science. Hopefully we can get some advice on how to get everything back into balance and healthy again. We removed the plastic, which we need to replace, so opening it up to the rains will have hopefully helped some too.

We have been encouraged by the postings on the ASCFG’s Community Network and Facebook page from the many growers who have advocated, lobbied, written about, or otherwise supported the Buy Local movement. At the grassroots level here, we have experienced a noticeable rise in florist customers who are supportive of the Buy Local mindset, especially because brides and other customers are buying into the idea of being good stewards of local product. One of our florists even surprised us with a sign in the window cooler!  Okay, the sign wasn’t pointing to our zinnias and was too close to those South American roses, but it’s progress!

On a final note, I want to say how much I appreciate the opportunity to have served these last three years as the Southeast Regional Director. I want to personally thank Judy and Linda for all they have done; these are two hard-working and organized ladies who kept me on the right track! I also want to thank my fellow Board members and the lasting friendships I have made. Through this wonderful organization, I have met many wonderful fellow growers, who I now call lifelong friends. Lastly, I want to thank Tanis Clifton for agreeing to serve as the next Regional Director. Tanis is very knowledgeable and will be awesome—there is no doubt! I hope to see you all at upcoming events, and wish everyone a productive fall and a restful winter.

Charles Hendrick

Yuri Hana Flower Farm, Inc.

Charles Hendrick Yuri Hana Flower Farm, Inc. [email protected]