2018 Conference PDF Print E-mail
The 2018 Conference and Trade Show
Raleigh, North Carolina
Hilton North Raleigh/Midtown

Register Online  Email confirmation not available at this time.
Please check in at the registration desk at the hotel.

CANCELLATION POLICY:  A full refund will be paid if cancellation is received prior to August 1; one-half refunded prior to August 15; after August 15, no refund can be made. No exceptions.

Conference - Tuesday, September 25
Daylong Conference Speaker Sessions
Evening Trade Show and Reception

8:30 a.m.   Welcome and Introductions
Dave Dowling, Ednie Flower Bulb, ASCFG President

8:45 a.m.  The ASCFG: Where We Began, Where We Are, and Where We're going

9:30 a.m.   New Varieties Festival and Cut Flowers of the Year Announcement
John Dole, North Carolina State University, ASCFG Executive Advisor
Every year the ASCFG tests the latest in new cut flower cultivars. Learn which ones you must try. Winners of the ASCFG Cut Flowers of the Year will also be unveiled.

10:30 a.m.  Break

11:00 a.m.   Show Us Your Farm Hacks!
Here’s your chance to share your own inventions, your ingenuity, and your creativity. What processes have you developed to increase efficiency on your farm? Did you modify a tool or tractor to better suit your production? Send your photos to us at and be ready to talk about them in Raleigh.

Noon   Lunch on your own (see registration form for option to purchase)

Afternoon Concurrent Sessions

1:00 p.m.
Cracking the Cascading Bouquet Conundrum
Jennie Love, Love ‘n Fresh Flowers, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Cascading bouquets are back in style in the wedding world. They can prove very challenging for designers who do not use foam holders. Learn a few tips and tricks to avoid getting cranky when making cascades. 

1:00 p.m.
SEO: The Secret Weapon to Maximizing Your Online Presence
Jesse and Kelly Perry, Team Flower, Boone, North Carolina

1:00 p.m.
High Tunnels for Cut Flowers
Leah Cook, Wild Hare Farm, Cedar Grove, North Carolina

2:00 p.m.
Make Weddings Work for YOU
Lennie Larkin, B-Side Farm, Sebastopol, California
If you’re interested in getting started with wedding floral design from the farm, or if you’ve done a few weddings and are looking to streamline them and keep your sanity, step into this session. We’ll cover the nuts and bolts of client communications, pricing formulas, and hidden costs, and tricks of the trade. 

2:00 p.m.
It’s a Beautiful Day for a Farmers’ Market
Shanti Rade, Whipstone Farm, Paulden, Arizona
Jamie Rohda, Harvest Home, Waverly, Nebraska
Valerie Schirmer, Three Toads Farm, Winchester, Kentucky
It’s a Beautiful Day for a farmers’ market! Hear three different perspectives on how to sell all those beautiful blooms you put your heart and soul into raising. Learn everything from the importance of just showing up and looking so gorgeous folk just have to stop in, to the tricks of selling zinnias when everyone in your row is selling zinnias.  Our panel has the country covered with Shanti Rade of Whipstone Farm in Arizona, Val Schirmer of Three Toads Farm in Kentucky, and Jamie Rhoda of Harvest Home Flowers in Nebraska. Come with questions and be prepared to put your two cents into the mix.

2:00 p.m.
A Passion for Peonies
Foxie Morgan, Pharsalia Events, Roseland, Virginia
Gardening has been in Foxie's bones since she was a child gardening alongside her mother on their family farm, Pharsalia, in Nelson County, Virginia. Built in 1814, Pharsalia is now owned by Foxie and Richard Morgan and is an event home as well as a flower farm. Pharsalia is surrounded by family farm which has commercially grown apples and grapes.​ Perennials, annuals,and woodies are grown for cutting and sold at a ​f​armers​'​ ​m​arket, to floral designers, ​DIY​ brides​,​ and Pharsalia weddings.

Peonies have become ​Foxie's​ passion and expertise. She has over 1000 peony plants. Teaching, learning​,​ and sharing information ​about​ cut flowers has brought so much enjoyment into her life. Gardening is a constant cycle of learning!

3:00 p.m.
Extra Texture: Crops to Add Sparkle to Your Design Work
Carolyn Snell, Carolyn Snell Designs, Bar Mills, Maine

3:00 p.m.
Cooperative Marketing
Kelly Morrison, Piedmont Flower Market, Durham, North Carolina

3:00 p.m.
It's All About Soil
Alex Hitt, Peregrine Farm, Graham, North Carolina
You are all about the latest varieties and postharvest care​,​ but you cannot grow anything without ​well​-​maintained soil. From organic matter and mineral amendments to bed preparation​,​ Alex will talk about how Peregrine Farm has managed and improved their soils for nearly four decades.

5:00 - 8:00 p.m.   Evening Trade Show and Floral Design Competition
Find out more here about our 2018 exhibitors and sponsors.

Conference - Wednesday, September 26
Morning Bus Tours to Spring Forth Farm and Open Door Farm
Tour Limited to 200 attendees
Afternoon Conference Speaker Sessions
Evening Banquet

7:00 a.m. Buses leave hotel
Tour Spring Forth Farm and Open Door Farm

Spring Forth Farm, Jonathan and Megan Leiss
We are a 100% no-till small farm, using occultation, mulching and cover cropping. When folks come in September, we should have beds of dahlias, mums, and foliages. Our germination room will be full of trays of our first round of hardy annual flower starts for fall planting and overwintering. All in all, visitors will see a beautiful, working farm run by people like them who are trying to figure it out, too.

Open Door Farm, Ross and Jillian Mickens
Open Door Farm is a small vegetable and flower farm located in Cedar Grove.  We love growing the best food and flowers using organic and sustainable farming practices.  As our farm name implies, we are very “open” and love educating you on how our food and flowers are grown!

Noon - Return to hotel, lunch on your own
(see registration form for option to purchase lunch)

Afternoon Concurrent Sessions

1:30 p.m.
'Bug-B-Gone:' How To Effectively Deal With 'Bugs' In Cut Flower Production
Raymond Cloyd, Kansas State, Manhattan
Raymond will discuss the major insect and mite pests (
) of cut flowers, and the plant protection options that can be implemented to avoid damage including cultural, physical, pesticidal, and biological. The presentation will address how to effectively use pesticides (insecticides and miticides) without disrupting the ecological interactions that occur in cut flower production systems.

1:30 p.m.
Industry Overview
Debra Prinzing, Slow Flowers, Seattle, Washington

2019 SLOW FLOWERS' Floral Insights & Industry Forecast

Debra reveals an early look at the changing shifts in both the B2C and B2B floral landscape as it influences your business decisions and your brand. The Forecast serves as a botanical crystal ball to identify emerging themes affecting the domestic floral industry. These key insights will be published in the January 2019 issue of Florists’ Review.

1:30 p.m.
Understanding the Legal and Financial Structure of Your Business
Poppy Davis, C2C Consulting, California
This session will provide a framework for understanding the critical distinctions between the assets you own and the business you operate. We will discuss how those distinctions affect your legal and financial situation, and how and why to establish good accounting systems and manage your business from a balance sheet perspective with a keen eye to cash flow.

2:30 p.m.
Linda Doan, Aunt Willie’s Wildflowers, Blountville, Tennessee
Ahhhh, those lovely lisianthus—but can one flower be worth all this fuss? To seed or not, how and when to order plugs, field or hoop, black, white or no fabric, which varieties, netting needed, how to cut, use presoak? With lots of pretty action pictures as evidence, we'll help you decide.

2:30 p.m.
Maintaining Work-Life Balance
Mark Cain, Dripping Springs Garden, Huntsville, Arkansas

3:00 p.m. 
Taxes, Taxes, Taxes
Poppy Davis, C2C Consulting, Berkeley, California
This session will review the basic income tax formula for a flower farm under the most common ownership structures and update you on significant changes from the 2017 tax act. We will also discuss advanced tax issues including how to account for self-constructed assets (such as a packing-house) and permanent crops (“woodies”).

3:30 p.m.
Grow More on Less: Go Organic!
Lisa Ziegler, The Gardener’s Workshop, Newport News, Virginia
Learn how to set up your farm to ramp up production and combat pest and disease issues without chemical intervention. Lisa shares her experiences as an urban farmer combating deer, neighbors, limited space, and with no greenhouses or hoophouses as she built a successful all-natural flower farm. 

3:30 p.m.
John Dole, Ben Bergmann, Christian Loyola, and Nathan Jahnke, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, North Carolina
The NC State Floral Postharvest Crew will bring you the latest results from their research. Learn the secrets of how to handle dahlias, peonies, zinnias, and more. Results from the Cut Flower production and postharvest survey will be presented as well.

6:00 p.m.  Reception and 30th Anniversary Banquet
Requires separate registration. 

2018 Exhibitors and Sponsors

We have filled our room block at the North Raleigh Hilton, however rooms may possibly be secured depending on availability.  

Call Hilton Reservations at (919) 872-2323.

Or, check out the nearby Hyatt Place Hotel at (919) 877-9997.

The Growers' School is SOLD OUT. 

Contact to be placed on the waiting list.

Even if you can't make the Growers' School, you should register for and attend the rest of the Conference!

If you’re wondering which are the best cut flower cultivars, John Dole’s New Varieties talk will show you the good, the bad, and the ugly. If you’re looking for some hands-on advice about machinery, gadgets, and generally how growers have made life easier for themselves, the Farm Hacks session will be invaluable. And in the afternoon, there are sessions on wedding design and business, farmers’ markets, cut flower production in high tunnels, soils, and peony production. That doesn’t even include the farm tours on Wednesday, plus more talks on pest control, legal and financial considerations, lisianthus, taxes, and lots more.

And besides and between the speaker sessions, there is the face-to-face networking with generous cut flower growers from across the country. You never know what kind of connections you’ll forge with your seatmate on the tour bus, the attendee next to you in line for coffee or your new friend across the lunch table.

Then there’s the trade show, where you’ll meet representative from companies that supply the cut flower industry. It’s one thing to page through a catalog in your kitchen; it’s something completely different to be able to ask questions of a live human.

So—yes! Even if you’re not able to attend the Growers’ School this year, you’ll benefit enormously from the rest of the Conference. And you will have fun as well.

If you're considering registering, you should do so today, because the Wednesday morning Tours are also limited - no waiting list yet, but registrations are coming in pretty steadily. You should also make your hotel reservations soon; our block is almost filled.

Monday, September 24 - Beginning Growers' School
Sassafras Fork Farm, Rougemont
Limited to 125 attendees. 

8:00 a.m.   Buses leave hotel

9:00 a.m.   IPM for New Growers
Stanton Gill, University of Maryland   
Stanton is one of the few academic entomologists who has extensive experience with cut flower growers and their farms. Learn how to identify and control some of the most common pests you’re likely to encounter.

10:00 a.m.   Ecologically-based Weed Management: Giving Your 
Flowers the Ecological Leg up over Weeds 
Brenda Smith, Hines, Oregon   
Weeds can be a nemesis for flower growers and all those weeds wreak havoc on profitability. Because flower production is often intensive with many varieties over small spaces, using herbicides as a tool can be challenging. We will use this time to better understand the ecological principles playing out in the field that ultimately sets up the weed problems and then recognize how these principles can be applied to give flowers a growing advantage over weeds.  

11:00 a.m. Irrigation, Coolers, and More
Details TBD

12:30 p.m.   Lunch included

1:30 p.m.   Hot Crops for the Cool Season
Mimo Davis-Duschack, Urban Buds City Grown Flowers, St. Louis, Missouri 
Lisa Ziegler, The Gardener’s Workshop, Newport News, Virginia
Mimo and Lisa discuss the early cash crops of spring. Learn which varieties are best, and how to grow them in the field and hoophouse. 

2:30 p.m.  Happy Customers Enjoy Long-lasting Flowers - Plan Your Postharvest Program
John Dole, North Carolina State University, Raleigh 
The secrets of postharvest handling will be revealed. Learn how to make your cut flowers last as long as possible for your customers.

3:30 p.m. The $64,000 Question: What Price?
Jennie Love, Love ‘n Fresh Flowers, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 
Every small business, regardless of their product, struggles with finding a profitable framework for pricing. Having a successful flower farm goes far beyond just growing blooms. Pricing is a tricky subject, and no one really has a straight answer because there’s no cookie-cutter, one-size-fits-all price list. Jennie will discuss what factors you should be considering when deciding how to price your flowers, many of which you may not have thought of as a newer grower/designer.

5:00 p.m.   Dinner and Barn Dance for Growers’ School attendees 

8:00 p.m.   Buses leave for hotel