CANANDAIGUA, N.Y. — Driving in the Finger Lakes, you expect to see rolling corn fields, rows of grapevines, and dairy cows hanging out. In the past few years, you may have also noticed one of the Finger Lakes fastest growing agricultural enterprises: fields full of flowers.
Whether they are fields of sunflowers, dahlias, lavender, or a mix, it is increasingly common to see people stopping to take pictures beside colorful flower farms.
Cornell Cooperative Extension of Ontario County has also noticed the growth in the flower business locally as well. Since 2018, they have been hosting fall programs to enhance the industry and help them stay ahead of the trends.
This year, the Cut Flower Business Speaker Series hosts innovative industry leaders to talk about trends for 2020. The speakers include:
- Debra Prinzing from Slow Flowers Podcast and American Flower Week (October 17)
- Petra Page-Mann from organic and Finger Lakes regionally-adapted seed breeder at her business Fruition Seeds (October 24)
- Michael Wells from Harris Seeds, the Ornamental Product Manager (November 14)
“This speaker series is focused on the cut flower industry, but open to farmers of all levels,” said Pilar McKay, Agriculture Economic Development Resource Educator at Cornell Cooperative Extension of Ontario County, “The number of flower farms is increasing, and we notice them throughout the region. We want all these businesses to grow and thrive – and being ahead of the trends can only help set them and the Finger Lakes a part from other parts of the state.”
Debra Prinzing host and producer of Slow Flowers Podcast and founder of American Flowers Week, will be dialing in from Seattle for an exclusive session on Cut Flower Trends. She has presented at the Association of Specialty Cut Flower Growers national conference and speaks around the country on flowers.
Petra Page-Mann (Fruition Seeds) and Michael Wells (Harris Seeds) will both be speaking in person about their upcoming flower lines. Fruition Seeds (Naples, NY) and Harris Seeds (Rochester, NY) are both local seed companies that have extensive flower seed varieties.
The public is welcome to register for this event. All programs for this series are held at 7:00 p.m. at Cornell Cooperative Extension of Ontario County at 480 Main Street, Canandaigua, NY 14424. Each class is $15 or sign up for the entire series for $40. 4-H club members and K-12 grade students are free with registered guest.
For more information, including event registration, please visit www.cceontario.org.
For more than 100 years, Cornell Cooperative Extension of Ontario County is a proven investment in providing research-based education, personalized programming that addresses current and emerging needs, and engages residents in enhancing the quality of life for all in Ontario County. Cornell Cooperative Extension of Ontario County is located on North Main Street in Canandaigua and home to 4-H Camp Bristol Hills. Please visit cceontario.org for more information on agricultural, 4-H Clubs and 4-H Camp Bristol Hills, and other programming open to the public.
Cornell Cooperative Extension is an employer and educator recognized for valuing AA/EEO, Protected Veterans, and Individuals with Disabilities and provides equal program and employment opportunities.
–Cornell Cooperative Extension
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