I recently attended the 2019 edition of the CalFlowers Fun n Sun event in Santa Barbara Ca. Intimate, is not a word I would normally use to describe a floral convention but it fits.
This is not a trade fair nor a large floral exhibition, although I am sure business was conducted, this is a social gathering of like minded floral people. Add in some good programs, a farm tour and some California style hospitality and you have Fun n (the) Sun
This gathering occurs every other year and is held in one of California’s beautiful cites. Santa Barbara is indeed a beautiful setting and the mild weather allowed for many outdoor events.
Fun n Sun is a most appropriate name for this event and the whole thing stated with a sold out round of golf that was more fun than most golf games that I have ever attended. For some it was a good excuse to start the party early and for others it was all about getting the little ball to cooperate.
The evening ended with a very pleasant outdoor dinner with an impressive Mariachi band entertaining the crowd.
The next morning 4 bus loads of curious attendees traveled to visit 3 farms. Westerly Orchids, Sun Valley and Joseph and Sons. Each visit was compete with guided tours and some food and drinks. At Westerly we learned how not to kill our Phalaenopsis orchid plants while observing a sea of them in full bloom.
At Sun Valley, Lane DeVries (the Owner) taught us about what is in the soil and how clever one must be to make plants work for you. Lane is also the biggest promoter of Woman’s Day and I have many stickers on my clothes to prove it.
At Joseph and Sons we learned why there is a need for alternative production sources due to the fact that not all crops do well in the summer heat. Plus we learned that Sunflowers make people smile, as I watched many in our group run to photograph the beautiful field of them in bloom.
That evening back at the hotel we were treated to a “Summer of Love” party with a 50,60,70’s theme, which lead to some good images for my video.
As well there was a floral fair where several companies had floral displays. This was a good place to display product and as well a perfect backdrop of a cocktail reception.
The decorating team did a wonderful job of making the the hallways a floral dream, with mono colored products demanding our attention.
Friday was presentation day and I attended two sessions. J Schwanke, as always drew a crowd talking about floral trends. You can tell J is reaching his audience by watching everyone in the room nod their heads as he makes a point.
Next I sat in to listen to Terril Nell from the American Floral Endowment (AFE) explain why funded research is necessary in the industry to help solve growing issues that no other agency is willing or able to do. Supporting their effort is a good idea for all.
Cal Flowers has come a long way in their efforts to “having more Americans enjoying more flowers more often.”
The mood for the event was positive and the word cannabis was on many peoples mind as most growers have at least considered the thought. The risk is too high for many at this point but for sure the flower growers are competing for labor with cannabis and strawberry growers.
On a personal note, I would like to thank the many of you, that share, that you find value and enjoy the words that I write, and the videos I create.
I look forward to the next edition of this Fun in the Sun event in 2021 and I leave you with my video review of the Fun n Sun 2019. Enjoy.
editor and owner: flowersandcents.com