Growers' Intensive - Georgia PDF Print E-mail

March 2-3, 2015
The Georgia Center, Athens, Georgia


February 6 - last day to reserve a room at the Georgia Center at the ASCFG guest rate. 

February 6 - last day to register for the Sunday evening reception.

February 13  - last day to register for the Tuesday farm tour.

Tours are held mainly outdoors regardless of the weather. Please check the local forecast, and dress accordingly.

As a courtesy to our tour hosts, no personal vehicles are allowed on the tour.

A block of rooms is being held UNTIL FEBRUARY 6 at the Georgia Center for ASCFG attendeees. Rates are $109 for a Classic Room with one queen or one king bed, $109 for a Classic Room with two custom (4' x 6') beds; each accommodates one person, and $139 for a Select Room with two queen or two double beds.  Reservations may be made by calling (706) 542-2134, or through the Georgia Center web site, using block code 84584.

Information on travel to and parking at the Georgia Center

Register Online or Download Program and Registration

Sunday, March 1
"What's your best-selling lisianthus variety?"  "When do you pinch sunflowers?" "Am I pricing my flowers fairly"? If you have questions like these, join us at  7:00 p.m. for an informal reception at the Georgia Center. Bring your burning questions, and they'll be answered by meeting chair extraordinaire Tanis Clifton, and Urban Buds' own Mimo Davis. It's sure to be a fun evening, with old and new friends!  Light refreshments and cash bar.

Monday, March 2

8:00 a.m.

8:15 a.m.
  From Seed to Market: A Few of My Most Profitable Flowers
Rita Anders, Cuts of Color, Weimar, Texas

9:15 a.m. Answers to Your Burning Postharvest Questions
Alicain Carlson, John Dole, NCSU, Raleigh

10:30 a.m. Break

10:45 a.m. 
Building Healthy Soils Means Getting Your Hands Dirty
Peter Hartel, Professor Emeritus, University of Georgia

11:45 a.m. Lunch (included)

1:00 p.m. How Many Woodies Would You Cut if You Could?
Some Thoughts on the Possibilities

Elizabeth Dean, Wilkerson Mill Gardens, Chattahoochee Hills, Georgia

2:00 p.m.  Are You an Efficient Farmer? Optimize
Your Productivity with Proper Planting Density
and Succession Planting  
Travis Hootman and John Dole, NCSU, Raleigh

2:30 p.m.  Break

2:45 p.m.  Zinnia Secrets Revealed
Alexa Wright, Travis Hootman, and John Dole, NCSU, Raleigh

3:30 p.m.  Wreathmaking Wizardry
Donna Mills, Floral & Hardy Farm, Lexington,
South  Carolina

4:30 p.m.  Question and Answer

5:00 p.m.  Sessions Close

Tuesday, March 3
Farm Tours

Tours are held mainly outdoors regardless of the weather. Please check the local forecast, and dress accordingly.

As a courtesy to our tour hosts, no personal vehicles are allowed on the tour.
Woodland Gardens
is a certified organic vegetable, fruit and cut flower farm in Winterville, just outside Athens. Established in 2000, we specialize in highly diverse production, growing over 80 different fruits and vegetables. Our focus is specialty production for chefs and market. We operate year-round, using heated greenhouses and high tunnels to extend our seasons and increase the quality of our 18 acres of production. We currently sell to 25 restaurants in Atlanta and Athens, through our 100-member weekly produce box program in Athens, and at the Saturday Freedom Farmers' Market in Atlanta, March through December.

While our cut flower sales make up less than 5% of our overall sales they have been wonderful to have on the farm. They’re sold as an add-on option for our weekly produce box members and at our farmers’ market. We have trialed many varieties over the years, and have narrowed down to the hardiest that thrive in our hot Georgia summers, and sell well for our market. Our main crops are   lilies in crates, ranunculus, tulips, iris, stock, dianthus, larkspur, bupleurum, nigella, snapdragons, rudbeckia, ammi, peonies, lisianthus, zinnias, celosia, ageratum, sunflowers, Salvia leucantha, gomphrena, basil for filler, and tuberoses. The majority of our flowers are sold as mixed bouquets but we are focusing more and more on single variety bunches.

3 Porch Farm is a Certified Naturally Grown farm in Comer.  Steve and Mandy O’Shea run a small boutique farm specializing in beautiful, local, seasonal flower arrangements in addition to fruits, and sustainably grown delights created in their certified kitchen.  All products are grown and stored using solar power, and delivered to market in carbon neutral vehicles which run on vegetable oil recycled from local restaurants.  Creating a viable business that contributes to a healthy world is the aim of the farm. Two options will be available here: a bouquet-making session with Jennie Love of Love ‘n’ Fresh Flowers in Philadelphia, and host Mandy O’Shea, and a demonstration of the veggie oil-powered vehicles and other equipment.

Davis Floral began in 1964 as a greenhouse tomato operation, and added cut flowers shortly after. Chrysanthemums, snaps, and carnations were the major crops. As cut flower production moved outside the United States, rooting geranium cuttings became a priority for the company. The product line grew to include New Guinea impatiens, coleus, begonias, poinsettias, and many others. From the early 1980’s up until 2010, the principal business was propagating annuals, about two-thirds of sales.  The other third was from finished spring and fall crops and poinsettias. Since Michael Davis took over the business in 2010, the finished crops have taken a priority and become a majority of sales, driven by sales to Pike Nurseries in Atlanta. The company has now roughly 3 acres under cover; two-thirds are under plastic and one-third is a glass range, with about a half-acre of field production.

Thank you, sponsors!