2024 Regional Conferences

Season Extension and Creative Growing Methods

July 22

Moonshot Farm Tour

Kube-Pak Tour

July 23

Full Day of Educational Sessions
Holiday Inn East Windsor

East Windsor, New Jersey

The ASCFG Northeast and Mid-Atlantic Regional Directors have combined forces to host this joint Regional Conference. Designed around the theme of “Season Extension & Creative Growing Methods,” this event will begin on July 22, 2024, with a morning tour at Moonshot Farm and an afternoon tour of Kube-Pak Growers. The second day will feature presentations on cut flower topics and plenty of time to network with fellow cut flower farmers.

Space is limited. Don’t wait to register!

Maximum number of attendees: 100


DAY ONE: JULY 22

Moonshot Farm
415 Imlaystown Road
East Windsor, NJ 08520
8:00 a.m. – Noon

Farm Tour Hosts: Rebecca Kutzer-Rice and Mark Rice

Meet your hosts and fellow attendees along with bagels, coffee, and tea.

Rebecca and Mark are a husband-wife team keen on bringing beauty to their community! After over a decade of living in NYC, they left behind their urban lives to start their dream farm. They focus on growing cut flowers in a sustainable, bee-friendly way, and while not currently USDA organic certified, their flowers are grown utilizing organic practices and without harsh pesticides or herbicides. In late 2022, Mark and Rebecca added geothermal heat to one of their greenhouses, enabling them to grow cut flowers year-round with minimal carbon footprint. They now grow and harvest flowers 52 weeks a year, selling them at the farm stand, the local farmers markets, and via their bouquet-of-the-month flower CSA. Mark and Rebecca share, “We know what we’re undertaking is ambitious, and possibly a bit crazy, but we have a dream and we are trying to ‘shoot for the moon’ to bring it to life.”

Attendees will have the opportunity to learn about Moonshot Farm’s operations and future direction.

DAY ONE: JULY 22

Kube Pak, 194 Rt. 526, Allentown, NJ
2:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.

After a morning tour of Moonshot Farm, attendees will travel to tour Kube Pak, a wholesale greenhouse, located in Allentown, New Jersey, and operated by the Swanekamp family. Recently celebrating their 50th year in business, Kube Pak has 865,000 square feet (20 acres) of gutter-connected double-poly greenhouses. Inside, they grow plugs, bedding plants, hanging baskets, and flowering potted plants. Potted plants include annuals and perennials in the spring, hardy mums and flowering mums in the fall and poinsettias during the holiday season. Additionally, they also have 6 acres of outside growing area.


DAY TWO: JULY 23

Holiday Inn East Windsor, 194 RT. 526, Allentown, NJ

8:00 a.m. – 8:15 a.m.

Welcome and Introductions

Jennifer Marks, Trademarks Flower Farm
ASCFG Northeast Regional Director
Dave Delbo, Dave’s Flowers
ASCFG Mid-Atlantic Regional Director
Steven Crone, ASCFG Executive Director

Continental breakfast and lunch included.

8:15 a.m. -9:00 a.m.

 Regenerative Farming

Jennifer Joray of Eastern River Farm

Regenerative agriculture is founded on the mission of improving soil health — and is one of the key tenets of Eastern River Farm, founded and managed by Scott and Jennifer Joray. In this session, Jennifer will discuss the goals, the practices, and the outcomes associated with regenerative farming on their cut flower farm. Attendees will have the opportunity to ask questions and leave with actionable advice.

About Jennifer Joray

Jennifer Joray is one half of the wife and husband team behind Eastern River Farm. Established in 2018, Eastern River Farm is a regenerative specialty cut flower farm in Pittston, ME, that specializes in weddings and special events design. ERF uses zero harmful chemicals on their family farm.

 

 

9:10 a.m. – 10:00 a.m.

Growing Dahlias from Unrooted Cuttings

Dr. Alicain Carlson of Syngenta Flowers

Dahlias have come to be a very popular crop loved for their diversity and beauty. Starting dahlias from rooted liners rather than tubers is not common but offers many benefits including ease of scheduling and planting, disease and virus free plant material, uniform crop quality, and zero stress worrying about digging tubers or surviving winter storage. In this talk I’ll cover these benefits in more detail and share culture tips for how getting them started differs slightly from tubers.

About Dr. Alicain Carlson

Dr. Alicain Carlson has been with Syngenta Flowers, a global flower breeding company, for 9 years and is currently their Head of Marketing for the Americas region and resident cut flower technical expert. She brings her technical background from previous roles as Head of Technical Services and technical scientist into bolstering Syngenta Flowers marketing messages with data and science. Before joining Syngenta Flowers, Dr. Carlson earned her M.S. and Ph.D. in the Cut Flower Research Program of Dr. John Dole at NC State University studying various aspects of production and postharvest of cut flowers. Dr. Carlson is also a co-author of the book “Postharvest Handling of Cut Flowers and Greens”; available through the ASCFG. She found her love of cut flowers through floral design and working on a cut flower farm in Northern Virginia during college.

 

 

10:10 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.

Overwintering Experiments

Joy Longfellow of Johnny’s Selected Seeds

The flower team at Johnny’s Selected Seeds has been trialing overwinter flowers in unheated tunnels since 2016, with the goal of extending the growing season with early season blooms. During this presentation I will share highlights from our Zone 5 trials including successes and failures over the past several years as well as results from our 2024 trials. I will discuss crop and variety selection, timing of plantings and successions for important crops and other considerations for overwinter flower production in unheated tunnels.

About Joy Longfellow

Joy Longfellow is the Flower Product Technician at Johnny’s Selected Seeds, managing every aspect of the flower trialing program on the Johnny’s research farm in Albion, Maine. The flower trialing program runs year-round, trialing annual and perennial flowers from seeds and bulbs in field and tunnel environments.

 

 

11:10 a.m. – Noon

Cockscomb Trial Report

Michelle Elston of Roots Cut Flower Farm

In 2023, Michelle Elston received an ASCFG Grower Grant to evaluate 34 Cockscomb Celosia varieties for field performance. This presentation will summarize the results: Winners and losers for yield, vigor, and profitability. She will also share updates on current 2024 trials of additional varieties.

About Michelle Elston

Michelle Elston owns and operates Roots Cut Flower Farm in Carlisle, Pennsylvania. Roots has been growing flowers for regional supermarkets and local customers for 16 years and focuses on vigorous, reliable field varieties for hot Mid-Atlantic climates.

 

 

Noon – 1:00 p.m.

Lunch

Lunch is included with your registration.

1:10 p.m. – 2:00 p.m.

Earning More Money with Efficient Tools and Techniques

Jenny Marks of Trademarks Flower Farm

Techniques and systems matter when it comes to earning big profits on a small-scale flower farm.  In this presentation you’ll learn lean growing techniques, tools, and systems to cut costs and earn more profit.  By the end of this presentation, you’ll walk away with a list of ideas to implement on your farm that will help improve your bottom line.

About Jenny Marks

Jenny Marks owns Trademarks Flower Farm in upstate NY where she specializes in growing ranunculus and dahlias for retail markets.  Jenny has been involved in all aspects of agriculture since her childhood, and enjoys sharing profitable business resources for small-scale flower farmers through Trademark Farmer and the ASCFG, where she currently serves as the Northeast Regional Director.

Websites: www.trademarksflowers.com & www.trademarkfarmer.com

Social Media: @Trademarksflowerfarm and @Trademarkfarmer

 

 

2:10 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.

Forcing Bulbs

Ko Klaver of Botanical Trading Company

In this session, Ko Klaver is digging deep(er) into the science of flower-bulb forcing for a successful cut-flower production by extending your season on the front and tail season-end. Or even going into a year round production of cut-flowers for your local and regional markets. He will discuss what flower bulbs you should grow at what time of the year and how to get the max out of your production with the least amount of product shrink.

About Ko Klaver

Ko Klaver is a Horticultural Product and Services provider that spends most of his time implementing new and exciting Flowerbulb and Perennial programs in the North American floriculture market through custom developed branding and merchandising lines. Ko grew up on a flower bulb production farm in The Netherlands and he attended the renowned floriculture ‘Clusius College’ in Hoorn, The Netherlands. Since January 2001 he has focused back into the professional growing aspect, consulting and providing horticultural products and services to cut flower growers and potted plant growers for in greenhouses and field production.

 

 

3:10 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.

Foliage, Fillers, and Questions for Dave Dowling

Dave Dowling of Ball ColorLink

This hybrid session combines an overview of foliage and fillers followed by a Question and Answer portion with Dave Dowling. Did you know that only about 60% of what a florist buys is “flowers”? The rest is greens and filler. Are you growing enough? Discover the non-flower crops to grow to increase your sales to florists and fill out your own bouquets. And don’t forget to bring your cut flower questions and get answers straight from Dave.

About Dave Dowling

Dave Dowling owned a cut flower farm in Montgomery County, MD for 20 years.  With field, high tunnel, and greenhouse production, Farmhouse Flowers & Plants produced cut flowers year-round. Most of the flowers raised were sold at farmers markets, including two year-round markets in the Washington, DC area.   Flowers were also sold direct to retail florists and Whole Foods Markets. Working with two other farms, a marketing coop, Capital Flower Growers, LLC, was formed in 2013. 

Early in 2014, Dave closed his cut flower business and began working for Ednie Flower Bulb, which became a division of Fred C Gloeckner & Co. in 2016.   Gloeckner was acquired by Ball Seed in late 2020. Dave now keeps busy as part of the Ball ColorLink Sales Team and working behind the scenes with the Ball Seed Cut Flower Department.  His duties at Ball also include being an advisor to cut flower growers across North America with small to medium sized farms.  Dave has an online class produced by The Gardeners Workshop that teaches cut flower growers about Perennial, Bulb, and Woody cut flower crops.

Dave served as the Mid-Atlantic Regional Director of the Association of Specialty Cut Flower Growers from 2002 through 2004 and served as Conference chair for the 2005 Lancaster Conference.  Dave served as President from 2006 to 2009, and again from 2016 to 2018.  He was the ASCFG Industry Liaison from 2014-2015.  In 2009 the ASCFG named their scholarship the Dave Dowling Scholarship. Dave received the ASCFG Outstanding Service Award in 2018 in recognition of his many years of service to the organization.

 

 

4:10 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Cut Flower Farmer Roundtable Discussions

Please note that there will be moderators for each roundtable.

Attendees will have the opportunity to participate in peer-to-peer knowledge sharing through a roundtable discussion format. Moderated by experts in the field and organized by sales and market audiences, attendees can choose which roundtable to participate in on the day of the conference. Bring your questions and advice, and be ready to share!

 

  1. Farmer-Florists: Weddings & Events
  2. Retail: Farmers Markets & CSAs
  3. Wholesale & Florists Sales
  4. Grocery Store Sales

Hotel Room Block Information

Holiday Inn East Windsor, 194 RT. 526, Allentown, NJ

Hotel Room Block and Reservation Information

Make your hotel reservation at the Holiday Inn East Windsor as soon as possible.
Reserve by June 21, 2024 to receive the discounted rate of $159 plus tax, but once the room block has filled, they are under no obligation to provide this rate. 

  • Make your reservation directly through the hotel by calling (609) 448 7000 and using the group code SCF.
  • Reserve online for the following date ranges or call using the group code SCF:

 

 

Member Priority Registration opens at noon on April 16 through April 30.

Please note, Regional Conferences will not be recorded and space is limited. Don’t wait to register!


Registration Information
July 22 – $125
July 23 – $300
July 22 and 23 – $350


Cancellation Policy

Due to the limited space at regional conferences, we do not offer refunds.
Contact us in case of emergency to inquire about a waiting list and your spot may be transferable. No guarantees.

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