actually, greetings from the house of Sean Hogan, owner of the famous Cistus Nursery in Sauvie Island, OR.
I drove down to Portland to visit friends, colleagues and to attend the annual Farwest Horticultural Trade Show being held at the Oregon Convention Center.
I typically hate long drives, but having a far more reliable vehicle and having turned down invitations to visit, I felt compelled to come down, take some time off of my usual work and just take it easy. I'll always be doing plant stuff, but without the added stresses of work, clients, and a home garden that's been desperate for some attention for quite some time.
I had registered to just see the exhibits and visit with the vendors this time around, but I was a bit disappointed in what was being offered. While my primary focus is on plants, no one seemed to have anything that I absolutely must have or have to buy in to sell. Perhaps I'm just being more stingy on my finances and know that there are plants that I really can live without (HA!....haven't hit up Cistus Nursery yet...lol).
So, the show has really been about meeting up with people I've met in the past, meet new people to build on my network of growers who "speak my botanical lingo" and perhaps learn something new about a piece of equipment I can't afford.
I'm such a little guy compared to a lot of these big growers and vendors here, but my ID badge states that I'm in "Research/Education" vs. having a real specific title. According to some people I meet and chatted with today, they feel like the smaller growers are the ones actually thriving during this tough economy while bigger growers are going bankrupt. It's hard to gauge if this is really true, but I'd like to think that the interest is still there and the industry will continue to progress and move forward.
There's still lots to see and do while I'm down here. I'm hoping to visit my friend Jon Evers of Amazing Grasses who's been a bit down about poor sales this season, I'd like to offer him some moral support in the hopes that things turn around for him and it would be nice just to catch up.
Of course I plan on hitting Cistus, going back to Farwest to visit vendors I missed today and collect more literature and it'll be time to head back home.