2024 Regional Conferences

Bonded by Hardship

September 11
FARM TOUR
The Fresh Herb Company
4114 Oxford Road, Longmont, Colorado

NETWORKING SESSION
eTown Hall
1535 Spruce Street, Boulder, Colorado

September 12
EDUCATIONAL SESSIONS
eTown Hall
1535 Spruce Street, Boulder, Colorado

The ASCFG South and Central Regional Conference will be held at The Fresh Herb Co. in Longmont, Colorado.
This two day event will feature presentations grounded in the theme of best practices for farming in a challenging climate,
dedicated time to network with fellow cut flower farmers in the region, and a tour of the host farm.

Space is limited. Don’t wait to register!

Maximum number of attendees: 100

Please note, Regional Conferences will not be recorded.


DAY ONE: SEPTEMBER 11

 

9:00 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.

Welcome and Introductions will occur at each venue. 

Farm Tour Host: Chet Anderson, The Fresh Herb Company

Helen Skiba, Artemis Flower Farm
ASCFG South and Central Regional Director

Steven Crone
ASCFG Executive Director

Gather with fellow attendees to begin a day packed full of learning and sharing! Attendees will be divided into two groups on the first day only. Group A will tour, while Group B begins at eTown Hall for networking and sessions. Then, both groups will be on their own for lunch and switch venues for the afternoon. Be sure to indicate your group preference on your registration form.

 

About Chet Anderson and The Fresh Herb Company

Chet & Kristy Anderson are the founders and growers at The Fresh Herb Co. With a whole lot of heart and dedication, they have become a preeminent local producer of culinary herb plants, ornamental flowers, and succulents in the Rocky Mountain Region. With year round offerings, Chet and Kristy carefully select all Fresh Herb Co. flower and plant varieties for suitability to the Front Range climate, and care for them meticulously from production through the post-harvest prep and cooling to ensure the longest vase life. 

 

 

Farm Tour and Session Rotation

MORNING ROTATION

9:00 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. 
Farm Tour
Chet Anderson, The Fresh Herb Company
Group A


Networking and Sessions at eTown Hall
Helen Skiba, Artemis Flower Farm
Group B

9:00 a.m. – 9:30 a.m.
Welcome and Introductions at eTown Hall

9:30 a.m. – 10:30 a.m.
Cover Crops on the Flower Farm
Helen Skiba, Artemis Flower Farm
Longmont, Colorado
Shanti Rade, Whipstone Farm
Paulden, Arizona
Clark Harshbarger, MadAgriculture
Boulder, Colorado

10:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.
Networking Fun & Games
Helen Skiba and Shanti Rade

Lunch 
Both Groups will be on their own for lunch. Please see restaurant suggestions below.

 

AFTERNOON ROTATION

2:00 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Farm Tour
Chet Anderson, The Fresh Herb Company
Group B


Networking and Session at eTown Hall
Helen Skiba, Artemis Flower Farm
Group A

2:00 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.
Welcome and Introductions at eTown Hall

2:30 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.
Cover Crops on the Flower Farm
Helen Skiba, Artemis Flower Farm
Longmont, Colorado
Shanti Rade, Whipstone Farm
Paulden, Arizona
Clark Harshbarger, MadAgriculture
Boulder, Colorado

3:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Networking Fun & Games
Helen Skiba and Shanti Rade

Lunch 
Both Groups will be on their own for lunch. Please see restaurant suggestions below.

 

Cover Crops on the Flower Farm

We all know we should be cover cropping, but how does it fit into our season? What are the right species to choose, and how can we incorporate or terminate them in time for planting? Shanti Rade and Helen Skiba will discuss their experiences using cover crops on their flower farms, and Clark Harshbarger of MadAgriculture will discuss how those practices improve soil health, especially in arid environments, based on his research with the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS). We’ll all discuss how flower farmers can further benefit from cover cropping.

Networking Fun & Games

Shanti and Helen will facilitate breakout groups with conversation prompts and networking games like a social scavenger hunt, and speed ‘dating.’ Fun will be had and new friendships made!

About Helen Skiba

Helen Skiba is a Colorado native, former English major, and returned Peace Corps Volunteer. She is a dedicated grower and tender of soil, and brings a background in soil science and poetry to her field work, as well as a passion for intricate color and texture in her designs. Helen has owned and operated Artemis Flower Farm in its various incarnations for the past 11 years. She holds a Master’s of Agriculture from Colorado State University, where she completed her thesis in combination with her Peace Corps service in an indigenous community in the Ecuadorian Amazon. She’s a spreadsheet queen and also a member of the Fraternal Order of Grammar Police.

About Shanti Rade

Shanti Rade initially sparked her interest in farming through a high school internship milking cows and planting vegetables on a CSA farm in Colorado.  After completing a degree in Agroecology from Prescott College (Prescott, AZ) she immediately delved into the local farming scene managing the Prescott Farmers Market and going to work for a local farmer.  Twenty years and three kids later, she and her partner Cory farm approximately 18 acres of crops, still selling at that same farmers market, through CSA and many wholesale outlets.   She is passionate about increasing awareness and support of local agriculture and supporting other farmers in their success. Shanti began growing flowers over ten years ago and has slowly transitioned more and more of the farm’s production and income from veggies to flowers.  One of her favorite things about growing flowers is designing the weekly mixed bouquet combinations she sends out to markets and florists. She served for 6 years on the board of the ASCFG 9recently retired), currently serves her county’s Cooperative Extension Advisory Committee and is involved in numerous other agricultural associations and events.   In an effort to move towards a more sustainable farming system, Shanti is currently working on collaborative grant projects in soil health, cover cropping, and farm profitability.  With endless lessons to learn in farming and new flower varieties to grow, she is never bored and plans to continue farming for a long time to come.  

About Clark Harshbarger

Clark Harshbarger, Director of Stewardship, Mad Agriculture

For the better part of the last three decades, Clark has worked in and around agriculture. During his 17 year career with the USDA-NRCS he mapped soils and provided and received soil education related to the management of natural resources on rangeland and cropland. The latter half of his career focused on the education of soil health, integration of cover crops and the identification of wetlands. Clark was driven to prove to himself that soil health could be achieved through the application of holistic management and took the opportunity to go from the theoretical to the practical side of the regenerative agriculture movement when he moved home to Hillsboro, OH. During his time as the farm caretaker at Grassroots Farm and Foods, he worked with plants and animals in combination with physical labor and modern technologies to raise pasture based livestock.

After nearly a three year sabbatical from CO, Clark was called back to be a part of a valued aligned organization that is focused on building a revolution in regenerative agriculture. At his current position as Director of Stewardship at Mad Agriculture, he uses his combined experience of the theoretical and practical. In his role as their director of Stewardship, he helps land stewards access resources, knowledge and opportunities to continue on their regenerative journey

Research and practical knowledge of cover cover crops have been built with over 15 years of experience, educating on species, establishment and utiliziation of cover crops as a practice within a system to build soil health. Worked with farmers to observe on-farm trials in Texas, across Great Plains and here in Boudler County. Developed techniques on the minimum disturbance techniques to terminate cover crops in Weld County. I will share and demonstrate tools and resources for growers to use in the selection of cover crops to meet management objectives. Discussion around creative ways that can ensure stewards understand the desired impact from the cover crops.

Restaurant Recommendations

Area Restaurants

Walkable restaurants near eTown and not far from The Fresh Herb Company:

Mountain Sun Pub & Brewery – burgers & other American
Leaf Vegetarian Restaurant – good vegetarian food
Pizzeria Alberico – fancy pizza
Illegal Pete’s – burritos

Dish Gourmet – sandwiches & salads

 
Nearby dinner options. Check out restaurants on Pearl Street and here are some of Helen Skiba’s favorites:
 
T|ACO – tacos & margs
Avanti – rooftop views & seven restaurants to choose from
Salt – fancier option
OAK – best restaurant in town, a splurge
The Kitchen – fast & good food
Hapa Sushi – great Japanese & Sushi
Bohemian Biergarten – fantastic pretzels & wurst, great beer
The Post Chicken & Beer – just what it says

 


DAY TWO: SEPTEMBER 12

8:00 a.m.

Welcome and Introductions

Helen Skiba, Artemis Flower Farm
ASCFG South and Central Regional Director

8:30 a.m. – 9:20 a.m.

Growing Plugs for Local Farmers

Fawn Rueckert, Sego Lily Flower Farm
South Jordan, Utah

Fawn Rueckert has developed a robust program around growing plugs for cut flower farmers at her farm, Sego Lily Flower Farm, in South Jordan, Utah. In this session, she will discuss how she got started, how she operates her program, and offer advice for attendees who are interested in a similar endeavor.

About Fawn Rueckert

Fawn Rueckert owns and operates Sego Lily Flower Farm in South Jordan, Utah. Smack dab in the middle of the Salt Lake valley, her micro farm is situated on a 1/3 acre suburban lot. She focuses on sustainable growing practices, feeding the soil with organic material, and avoiding the excessive use of herbicides and pesticides. Established in 2017, Fawn prioritizes growing cut flower varieties that are unique, that wouldn’t survive the rigors of shipping, and are most beautiful when grown locally.

 

 

9:30 a.m. – 10:20 a.m.

Analytics for Cut Flower Farmers

Gretchen Langston, Blooms LLC
Laporte, Colorado

Gretchen Langston will address the importance of tracking analytics associated with your cut flower business and how to use these data to inform changes to your business model. Attendees will have an opportunity to ask questions and seek recommendations.

About Gretchen Langston

Gretchen Langston owns and operates Blooms, a family operated flower and foliage grower in Northern Colorado. Blooms grows their plants utilizing only organic and sustainable practices, and focuses on providing the surrounding community with high quality blooms and other materials. Gretchen is passionate about education, and works hard to educate others about the local flower movement and the important role that small growers play in the flower industry.

 

 

10:30 a.m. – Noon

Designing Foam-Free & Ecologically in Low-Humidity Environments

Kim Zimmerman, Rowdy Poppy
Denver, Colorado

In this session, Kim will introduce you to various sustainable floral design mechanics as well as tips and tricks for working in Colorado’s low humidity climate. We will go over the pros and cons of some popular eco-friendly materials, suggested flowers and foliages, and you’ll have the opportunity to interact with the mechanics, as well. Here’s what you can expect:

  • Sustainable design materials, manufacturing, pros and cons, and applications.
  • Demonstration of preparing the mechanics and designing in them, tips and tricks, considerations for Colorado climate.
  • Reusing, composting and ethical disposal of all the materials.
  • Participants will have the opportunity to play with the materials and practice inserting stems to get a feel for them.

About Kim Zimmerman

Kim is the owner, lead farmer and lead designer of Rowdy Poppy, a small urban farm and floral design house founded in Denver in 2018. Rowdy Poppy focuses on local and sustainable growing and designing, pushing the floristry industry forward from the waste- and chemical-heavy status quo. On the floral design side, Rowdy Poppy provides everyday flowerings, wedding and event florals, workshops, as well as business and restaurant floral design, all using as much local flora as possible. 

Noon – 1:30 p.m.

Lunch on your own. See recommendations below.

Area Restaurants

Walkable restaurants near eTown and not farm from The Fresh Herb Company:

Mountain Sun Pub & Brewery – burgers & other American
Leaf Vegetarian Restaurant – good vegetarian food
Pizzeria Alberico – fancy pizza
Illegal Pete’s – burritos
Dish Gourmet – sandwiches & salads
 

Nearby dinner options. Check out restaurants on Pearl Street and here are some of Helen Skiba’s favorites:

T|ACO – tacos & margs

Avanti – rooftop views & seven restaurants to choose from
Salt – fancier option
OAK – best restaurant in town, a splurge
The Kitchen – fast & good food
Hapa Sushi – great Japanese & Sushi
Bohemian Biergarten – fantastic pretzels & wurst, great beer
The Post Chicken & Beer – just what it says

 

1:30 p.m. – 2:20 p.m.

Woodies, Perennials, and Natives in South & Central

Gretchen Langston, Blooms LLC
Laporte, Colorado

In this session, Gretchen will showcase the woodies, perennials, and native plants that thrive in semi-arid and desert regions and discuss how cut flower farmers can incorporate these species into their own farming practices. 

About Gretchen Langston

Gretchen Langston owns and operates Blooms, a family operated flower and foliage grower in Northern Colorado. Blooms grows their plants utilizing only organic and sustainable practices, and focuses on providing the surrounding community with high quality blooms and other materials. Gretchen is passionate about education, and works hard to educate others about the local flower movement and the important role that small growers play in the flower industry.

 

 

2:30 p.m. – 3:20 p.m.

Pests and Plant Problems in Semi-arid and Desert Environments

Nick Volesky, Utah State University

This presentation will cover insects, arthropods, and plant disease problems that are commonly found within cut flower production in semi-arid and desert environments. We will cover identification, monitoring, and a variety of management strategies.

About Nick Volesky

Nick Volesky works for Utah State University Extension’s Integrated Pest Management program. He enjoys scouting farms across the state for plant diseases and insect pests, working to educate stakeholders through seasonal pest advisories, fact sheets, and outreach programing. Nick hopes to improve the environment and sustainability of Utah’s farms with IPM education. Concurrently, Nick is also a graduate student at USU pursuing a master’s degree in plant science. His research is focused on studying Delphinium and Larkspur as cut flowers grown for local wholesale markets within Utah. He is specifically evaluating high tunnel and field production practices, bloom timing, yield, and quality.

3:30 p.m. – 4:20 p.m.

Responding to Climate Change in Cut Flower Farming

Calvin and Julie Cook, Arrowhead Dahlias
Platteville, Colorado

In this session, Calvin and Julie Cook of Arrowhead Dahlias will present on the practices they’ve adopted on their own farm to respond to climate change and deal with the region’s wild weather. Attendees will have an opportunity to ask questions and seek recommendations.

About Calvin and Julie Cook

Arrowhead Dahlias is a family-run, four acre flower farm operated by Calvin and Julie Cook and situated along the Platte River on the Front Range of Colorado. The Cooks specialize in growing cut flowers for grocery stores, wholesale florists, and floral designers. Their shared passion for growing, selling and arranging flowers inspired them to start their own cut flower farm after both receiving horticultural degrees from Colorado State University.

 

 

4:30 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Wrap-up and Q&A

Helen Skiba and Shanti Rade


RECOMMENDED HOTELS

Recommended Hotels

Hotel recommendations:
St Julien Hotel: Posh, lovely, iconic
Hotel Boulderado: Historic and reasonable
Hyatt Place: Modern
Basecamp Boulder: Unique
Plenty of AirBNBs or VRBOs to choose from!

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

September 11 – $175
September 12 – $200
September 11 and 12 – $325


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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