Register Now for Extension’s Cut Flower Workshop!

Posted On July 5, 2015— Written By

H018

August 10 and August 17, 2015: Growing Cut Flowers for Market

The Chatham County Center of North Carolina Cooperative Extension will offer a workshop on Growing Cut Flowers for Market as part of its Enhancing Sustainability Series. This will be a two-part workshop on Monday, August 10 and Monday, August 17. The August 10 workshop will be a full day of presentations from 9:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m. in the auditorium of the Agriculture Building in Pittsboro. The August 17 workshop will take place from 9:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m. at Perry-winkle Farm in northern Chatham County.

Workshop instructors include experienced cut flower growers Cathy Jones of Perry-winkle Farm and Leah Cook of Wild Hare Farm, plus Chatham County Agriculture Agent Debbie Roos (see speaker bios below). This is a very unique and rare opportunity to learn from two very successful cut flower growers. Space is limited so make sure and register early before it fills up!

Topics for August 10:

  • Top species and cultivars – spring planted cut flowers and fall-planted cut flowers, best species for field vs. high tunnels; we will focus on annuals but give examples of woodies and perennials and species for experienced growers
  • Propagation – direct seeding in the field, growing transplants, soil mixes, germination, etc.
  • Planting schedule – successional planting for continued harvest
  • Planting – seeding, transplanting, planting density, trellising, etc.,
  • Irrigation
  • Nutrition – cover crops, organic fertilizers, etc.
  • Disease and pest management – crop rotation, common insects and diseases, organic pest management strategies, etc.
  • Harvest and postharvest handling – proper stage of harvest, harvesting techniques, holding solutions and preservatives, coolers, extending vase life, dry storage of bulbs, etc.
  • Marketing, pricing, and display – farmers’ markets, restaurants, weddings, wholesale (florists, retailers, etc.), flower CSAs; grower bunches, buckets, bouquets, etc.
  • Resources (suppliers, publications, websites, associations, etc.)

Local breakfast and lunch will be catered by Angelina’s Kitchen.

Topics for August 17:

The August 17 workshop will take place at Perry-winkle Farm in northern Chatham County. Participants will have a chance to see grower Cathy Jones’ cut flower production in person. Cathy and Leah will discuss the following topics:

  • Transplant production in the greenhouse
  • Equipment – hand hoe, wheel hoe, seeders, tractor and implements
  • Species and cultivars – Cathy and Leah will showcase their summer flowers
  • Harvest demonstration – which species are best to strip in the field, etc.
  • Drip irrigation
  • Deer fencing
  • Postharvest handling – cooler, equipment, solutions

The Perry-winkle Farm crew will provide a local lunch on the farm.

Target Audience for these Workshops:

These workshops are intended for growers who want to learn more about growing cut flowers for income (NOT garden-scale). Whether you are currently growing produce for market and would like to add cut flowers to your crop mix, or you have been growing cut flowers for a couple of years but want to improve quality, vase life, and species diversity, this is the workshop for you! We will not be going into depth on advanced species and practices – that will be for another workshop. The workshop is geared towards farmers who have a basic level of horticultural production experience.

Registration Info:

The majority of slots in this workshop are reserved for people who want to attend both days, because we feel that the on-farm experience offered in the August 17 workshop will be very valuable. However, we recognize that not everyone’s schedules will permit them to attend both days so we are reserving some slots for folks who only want to attend the August 10 workshop. These spaces are limited so please register early.

To attend BOTH the August 10 and August 17 workshops:

Advance registration is required by August 4. The cost to attend both workshops is $80 and includes a resource notebook, breakfast, and lunch on August 10, and lunch on August 17. Call 919-542-8202 or email Debbie Roos for more information. To register, download the registration form and mail with your check.

Download a registration form to attend both the August 10 and August 17 workshopsPlease fill out the form on-line, then print it and mail with your check. Registration deadline is August 4!

To attend ONLY the August 10 workshop:

Advance registration is required by August 4. The cost to attend the August 10 workshop ONLY is $50 and includes a resource notebook, breakfast, and lunch. Call 919-542-8202 or email Debbie Roos for more information. To register, download the registration form and mail with your check.

Download a registration form to attend ONLY the August 10 workshopPlease fill out the form on-line, then print it and mail with your check. Registration deadline is August 4!

Speaker Bios:

Leah Cook, Wild Hare Farm

Leah Cook and Mark Thomas own and run Wild Hare Farm. The farm is located in Cedar Grove in northern Orange County. While they grow some vegetables, the focus is on specialty cut flowers. Products are sold at the Carrboro Farmers’ Market, Weaver Street Market, Whole Foods, fine restaurants and florist shops. Leah has served on the board for the Carrboro Farmers’ Market for a number of years. She is active with the Association of Specialty Cut Flower Growers, Leah taught sustainable cut flower production at Central Carolina Community College for several years and has given talks all around the southeast.

Cathy Jones, Perry-winkle Farm

Cathy and her husband Mike Perry have been farming in northern Chatham County since 1991. Perry-winkle Farm was one of the first farms in the county to be certified organic. Their vegetables, cut flowers, and pastured poultry products are marketed at three weekly farmers’ markets (Fearrington Village Farmers’ Market and both Carrboro Farmers’ Markets). In 1995 Cathy joined the Association of Specialty Cut Flower Growers (ASCFG) as they began to add cut flowers to their crop mix. Cathy serves on the board of directors of the Southern Sustainable Agriculture Working Group (SSAWG) which is a regional organization that works to support family farms throughout the South. She is also on the board of Toxic Free NC – a policy and advocacy organization which fights pesticide pollution in North Carolina. Cathy has many years’ experience teaching about cut flowers and organic production at regional conferences.

Debbie Roos, Chatham County Center of North Carolina Cooperative Extension

Since 2001 Debbie Roos has been an Agriculture Agent for the Chatham County Center of North Carolina Cooperative Extension where she is responsible for programming in the areas of commercial vegetable production, organic production, pollinator conservation, alternative agricultural enterprises, forestry, and beekeeping. Debbie worked for three years as an agroforestry Extension agent and technical trainer for the Peace Corps in Senegal, West Africa, and later completed graduate degrees in applied anthropology and horticulture at the University of Florida. Debbie delivers educational programming to growers through regular workshops and her Growing Small Farms website.