2024 Regional Conferences

Essentials of Flower Farming in Warm Climates

The Barn of Chapel Hill at Wild Flora Farm
82 Jordan Hills, Chapel Hill, North Carolina

October 8

October 9

The ASCFG Southeast Regional Conference will be held at The Barn of Chapel Hill of Wild Flora Farm.
This event will feature presentations on cut flower topics, time to network with fellow cut flower farmers in the region,
and a tour of the host farm. A hands-on floral design workshop will occur as an optional add-on for the second day.

Registration Deadline: September 24, 2024.

Please note that Regional Conferences will not be recorded and registration will close by the deadline or when maximum capacity has been reached.

Maximum number of attendees:
October 8
Farm Tour and Educational Sessions = 200
October 9
Floral Design = 65



8:00 a.m. – 9:00 a.m.

Meet and greet with light breakfast.

9:00 a.m. – 9:45 a.m.

Welcome and Introductions

Host: Kara Brewer, Wild Flora Farm

Niki Irving, Flourish Flower Farm
ASCFG Southeast Regional Director

Steven Crone
ASCFG Executive Director

Gather with fellow attendees to begin a day packed full of learning and sharing!


About Kara Brewer and Wild Flora Farm

Kara Brewer owns and manages The Barn of Chapel Hill at Wild Flora Farm, a family flower farm, wedding venue, and floral design studio serving Raleigh, Durham, and Chapel Hill, North Carolina. As farmer-florists, Kara and her team grow and design flowers for weddings and other special events, and host on-farm floral design workshops and classes. Featured in countless wedding and style publications for her gorgeous flowers, Kara is also committed to state and national efforts to protect pollinators, and working with Bee Downtown, she established an apiary in the spring of 2016.



Farm Tour and Session Rotation

9:45 a.m. – 10:00 a.m.
Attendees will be divided into two pods.

10:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. 
Farm Tour
Kara Brewer, Wild Flora Farm
Pod 1

Applied Lean Farm Methods
Linda Doan, Aunt Willie’s Wildflowers
Eileen Tongson, FarmGal Flowers
Pod 2

11:00 a.m. – 11:15 a.m.
Groups will rotate.


11:15 a.m. – 12: 15 p.m.
Farm Tour
Kara Brewer, Wild Flora Farm
Pod 2

Applied Lean Farm Methods
Linda Doan, Aunt Willie’s Wildflowers
Eileen Tongson, FarmGal Flowers
Pod 1

Applied Lean Farm Methods

Explore lean farming techniques tailored for small-scale flower farms, emphasizing hand-tended methods over mechanization. Learn how to streamline workflows, minimize waste, and maximize productivity. Gain insights from experts Linda Doan of Aunt Willies Wildflowers and Eileen Tongson of FarmGal Flowers and leave with actionable steps to make your farm operation more lean.

About Linda Doan

Linda Doan grows with husband Roy Doan at Aunt Willie’s Flowers, the Tennessee farm that has been in Roy’s family since the 1700s. Linda offers pickup-only CSA and wedding flowers, has served on the Association of Specialty Cut Flower Growers board, and teaches monthly arranging workshops. 



About Eileen Tongson

Eileen Tongson studied floral design at numerous locations including Floret Flower Farm and the Flower School New York. She also completed the University of Florida IFAS Master Gardener Program in 2009, and continues to expand and refine her skills regularly through floral design and flower farming workshops across the country and as a member of the Association of Specialty Cut Flower Growers.

In addition to teaching private workshops, Eileen is a Gardening and Floral Design instructor at Harry P. Leu Gardens and East End Market. Her flowers and gardening expertise have been featured in Flower Magazine, Florists Review, Edible Orlando, Slow Flowers, Orange Appeal magazine, Houzz.com, The Spruce, and most recently, in Floret Farm’s book, Small Plot, Big Impact: Inspiring Stories, Profiles & Advice from 30 Flower Growers From Around the World, and Debra Prinzing’s book, Where We Bloom.



12:15 p.m. – 1:15 p.m.

Lunch included with registration.

1:15 p.m. – 2:15 p.m.

Maximizing Stem Length

Dr. John Dole, NCSU
Raleigh, NC

Maximizing stem length is something that we’ve all struggled with at times – especially in the southeast! Dr. John Dole of NC State University shares his extensive research and expertise in helping growers achieve maximum stem length for tricky crops. These tailored techniques and strategies are designed to optimize stem growth in our climate.


About Dr. John Dole

Dr. John Dole focuses on the production and postharvest physiology of floriculture crops, in particular, working with cut flowers, poinsettias, and vegetatively-propagated cuttings. He is one of the founding members of Seed Your Future, whose mission is to inspire people to pursue horticultural careers working with plants. He serves as Executive Advisor for the Association of Specialty Flower Growers and co-PI for the FFAR Fellows, which has become one of the leading professional development programs for PhD students in Agriculture and the Life Sciences.



2:30 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.

All About Floral Pricing

Claire Charny, Clear Black Flowers
Durham, NC

Melissa Smith, Fraylick Farm
Travelers Rest, SC

Delve into pricing strategies for cut flower sales across various markets in this session with Melissa Smith of Fraylick Farm and Claire Charny of Clear Black Flowers. From farmers markets to upscale florists to bouquet subscription programs, explore how to create streamlined systems for strategically pricing your blooms and maximizing profitability. 

About Claire Charny

Claire Charny is the owner and operator of Clear Black Flowers, a small, diverse & ecologically managed cut flower farm in Durham, NC. Introduced to flowers in 2015, she has been working on small scale farms for almost sixteen years. She is a member (and current president of the Board) of Piedmont Wholesale Flowers, North Carolina’s first wholesale flower cooperative.



About Melissa Smith

Melissa is a long time farmer and self-proclaimed dahlia addict. She pretty much spends most of her time thinking about dahlias and growing them. She also loves numbers in her business and thinks they are the key to running a profitable farm. When not farming, she loves to travel and see exotic gardens around the world. Melissa is also a founding board member of the South Carolina Cut Flower Growers Marketing Co-op- A new venture for South Carolina growers to create a state wide distribution system. 



3:45 p.m. – 4:45 p.m.

Spring Cash Crops: Kickstarting Your Growing Season with Cool Flowers

Lisa Mason Ziegler, The Gardener’s Workshop
Newport News, VA

Learn the benefits of fall and very early spring planting of cool-season hardy annuals grown outdoors in the garden. This family of plants produces the earliest and most abundant spring cash crops. Take away what and when to plant, their preferred growing conditions, and more.

About Lisa Mason Ziegler

Lisa Mason Ziegler isn’t just a flower farmer; she’s a teacher, an author, and a mentor. With over 25 years of experience in the field, Lisa is renowned for her expertise in flower farming and gardening rooted in organic practices. Her commitment to educating and empowering others in their flower-growing journey shines through her books, workshops, and online courses. She’s the visionary founder of The Gardener’s Workshop, an invaluable resource hub offering a wealth of knowledge, courses, seeds, and supplies for both novice and seasoned flower growers alike.



4:45 p.m. – 5:30 p.m.

Wrap-up and Q&A with Farm Mocktails

Kara Brewer and Niki Irving

Niki and Kara will lead a Question and Answer session. Stick around a little longer to spend time reflecting upon the day with fellow attendees over mocktails. 


9:00 A.M. – Noon (This workshop has filled) 

1:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m. (Additional workshop added!)

Seasonal Floral Design Workshop with Niki Irving


Maximum number of attendees is 65

Niki Irving, Flourish Flower Farm
Asheville, NC

Step into the world of seasonal, sustainable floral design with Niki Irving of Flourish Flower Farm in this 3-hour immersive workshop experience. Guided by Niki’s expertise, participants will create a lush centerpiece arrangement, learn how to select seasonal blooms for creating well-balanced arrangements, adopt sustainable floristry methods and how to effectively crop plan to support seasonal floral design. This workshop will elevate your floral design skills and ignite your creativity. All tools, supplies and flowers are included and no prior experience is necessary!

About Niki Irving

Niki Irving is the farmer and florist of Flourish Flower Farm in Asheville, NC, where she grows over 300 varieties of flowers and foliage on about 3 intensive acres. Niki grows using only natural, sustainable practices, creates lush, seasonally-inspired arrangements for weddings & special events, hosts classes and workshops on her farm and offers seasonal bouquets at the farm’s Farmstand. Niki’s best-selling book Growing Flowers: Everything You Need to Know About Planting, Tending, Harvesting and Arranging Beautiful Blooms was published in Spring 2021. She serves on the board of the Association of Specialty Cut Flowers as the Southeastern Regional Director.


We have arranged two room block options in the area for special rates for ASCFG Members. Please reserve your room as soon as possible.

Aloft Chapel Hill Reservation Details

Aloft Chapel Hill
1001 South Hamilton Rd. Chapel Hill, NC 27517
Desk: 919.442.2773 Text: 919.391.7969

$139 plus tax per night.
Monday, October 7, 2024 – Thursday, October 10, 2024
Last Day to Book: Saturday, September 7, 2024


Residence Inn Chapel Hill Reservation Details

Residence Inn Chapel Hill
101 Erwin Road Chapel Hill, North Carolina 27514

$154 plus tax per night
Monday, October 7, 2024 –  Wednesday, October 9, 2024
Last Day to Book: Friday, September 6, 2024


Member Priority Registration – April 16 through April 30.

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

Registration Information
October 8 – $300
Maximum number of attendees = 150

October 9 – $185
Maximum number of attendees = 65

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.