Thursday, December 2, 2010

Free Cut Flower Production for Beginner Mountain Growers

Free Cut Flower Production for Beginner Mountain Growers
Educational Workshop - Thursday, December 9, from 1:00 PM-5:00 PM
Watauga County Agricultural Conference Center

Could growing and selling cut flowers be a profitable enterprise for you and your farm? On the afternoon of Thursday, December 9, a panel of regional experts will present on topics that can help you answer that question. Whether you are preparing to farm for the first time, or just to add cut flowers to your current agricultural enterprises, winter is the time to plan for success. Topics covered will include:
·      What It Takes to Get Started in Cut Flowers
·      Insects and Diseases of Cut Flowers
·      Perennials for Cut Flower Production
·      Organic and Alternative Pest Control Options for Cut Flower Growers
·      Marketing Options for Cut Flowers

The workshop, which begins at 1:00 PM on Thursday, 12/9, is free and open to the public. It is geared toward educating commercial farmers and market gardeners, but smaller-scale gardeners with an interest in cut flower production are also welcome. The workshop program has been approved by NCDA for 2 hours of Pesticide Credits in License Sub-Classes L,N,O,D, and X. The workshop will be held at the Watauga County Agricultural Conference Center, located at 252 Poplar Grove Rd., in Boone, NC.

A team of professional growers and Extension Agents with several decades of experience in the cut flower industry between them will present the workshop:
·      Susan Wright founded Shady Grove Gardens & Nursery in 1986, doing landscape consulting and design. Shady Grove Garden's main business is now growing perennials, cut flowers and offering floral design with locally grown flowers.. She sells cut flowers to several wholesale clients as well as at the Saturday Watauga County Farmers Market and the Thursday Blowing Rock Fresh Market.
·      Hollis Wild is the founder of Appalachian Trees Nursery in Glendale Springs, NC, and a member of the Ashe County Farmers Market. She now raises a mix of vegetables and ornamentals, in greenhouses, high tunnels, and out in the field. She received a 2010 RAFI grant to add perennial species for cut flower production to her operation.
·      Craig Adkins is an Area Specialized Agent for Commercial Horticulture responsible for the commercial horticulture educational program in Caldwell, Alexander, Burke, Catawba, McDowell and Wilkes Counties. He has worked with a wide range of successful flower growers, from small-scale market gardeners to large wholesale nurseries.
·      Richard Boylan is an Area Specialized Agent for Alternative Agriculture in Ashe & Watauga Counties.
For more information and to register, call Watauga Cooperative Extension at 828-264-3061.

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