What a delight to serve as a Director of the ASCFG! The Board meeting last November was packed full of exciting planning and plotting. As a member of other professional organizations, I just haven’t experienced the kind of focus on education and member services as this group does. What a pleasure. Thank you for allowing me to be a part of this experience.

There were several notes of interest discussed at the meeting. One project we will really need your input on is the Price List survey. It will be coming out later this year, and I want to encourage every member to pause and complete this survey as soon as you receive it. Pricing information is the most requested bit of information I receive. The ASCFG can update this resource only if responses are received, so please, do it as your experience allows for the benefit of all.

A highlight of the meeting was putting together the details of the 30th Anniversary of the ASCFG. We plan to celebrate and acknowledge this milestone throughout the entire year of 2018. 30 years ago this group got its start and look how we’ve grown! All kinds of fun ideas came up like the hashtag #ASCFGturns30 and posting fun photos about the number 30. The possibilities are endless, and I can’t wait to see the Instagram posts to start rolling!

The ASCFG anniversary is an excellent opportunity for each of us to reflect on our own businesses. Where have we come from and where are we going? Think of the wisdom and experiences that can pour out of this group if we all shared on this reflection. Posting these words on the ASCFG Facebook page could make for some great winter reading. Won’t you join in? With a title like “Where I Came From and/ or Where I’m Going” I can imagine reading some remarkable stories.

My story is like many. I loved gardening and stumbled upon Lynn Byczynski’s book The Flower Farmer and knew I had found my life’s chosen work. Along with this book, I had just met and married the man of my dreams, who came with the perfect farming dowry: land that had been composted for decades, a tiller, gardens of hydrangeas, and dump trucks. The rest, as they say, is history. 

Like most farmers, I’m overly ambitious and driven, so I jumped in with both feet. I didn’t spend much time wondering. I planted, and planted, and then planted more, and started beating the bushes for customers. It didn’t always workout as smoothly as I had thought, but I got through it and learned from my mistakes. There were times when I knew what I was harvesting would be going to the compost heap in the early days before I had a strong customer base, but I pressed on. I did what I had to do to keep the flowers coming for when I did have sales. I just got up every day and kept doing it. And here I am still plugging along—and still making mistakes, by the way.

These humble beginnings seem so long ago. Twenty years later I’ve grown to the flip side: more demand than I want to meet. New challenges and problems to overcome all the time. As I look back over the years at all my harebrained ideas, the raw sweat and tears, and the beauty I have grown, I am so glad I did it all. I won’t change a thing…well, maybe a couple things.

What’s your story? How did you land here? Please share a link from your blog post on the ASCFG Facebook page or just spill it right there on the FB page! I’ll be sharing “Where I’m Going” later in 2018 as my chosen work will be taking a turn that I’m totally excited about!