After the issue of Organic Gardening magazine (that had me in it!) came out, a group was formed on Facebook to help connect young horticultural professionals online and the name "EMERGENT" was introduced and we've begun to explore who we are, what we can do, what we're promoting, and also, "why?"
There have been multiple discussions online via Google Chats, Facebook Messenger and texts and we've all been suggesting that we have a get together in person should the right opportunity present itself.
So, the Farwest Show in Portland, OR was right around the corner. This industry trade show brings in people from across the US for meetings, seminars, and the ever popular "schmooze fest"! Realizing that a handful of people would be there, we started to organize an informal "meet and greet".
Xera Plants's new retail site in Portland and asked if they would host us. Greg and Paul warmly welcomed our group and had our informal gathering!
There were many familiar faces and a few I met for the very first time in person that I met via Facebook. Western Washington was well represented with my buddies Matthew Berberich, Preston Pew, Justin Galicic, and Meagan McManus Haskins.
|Matt, Justin and fellow plantsman Erik Peterson from Oregon|
|Kelly on the right and Jared on the left checking out succulents at Xera|
Check Jared out as "SuperSeed!" Now, you'll have to think back to your basic biology/botany classes to find it really funny, but WOW, what a courageous and enthusiastic guy!
Another young "EMERGENT" I met and actually helped me get this meeting together is a young lady named Crystal Johnson-Cady from Salem, OR. She was a busy woman coordinating speakers for the Farwest Show for the Oregon Association of Nurseries and is a proud graduate of Oregon State University studying botany and plant pathology. Her venture, Sunflower Acres Farm and Garden, is shaping up to be another busy, but exciting endeavor!
It was incredible meeting everyone this this group. I gave a little speech and acknowledged just how incredible it was to be a part of such a talented and hard working group. Each person had their own specialties, their own personalities, and I mentioned just how important their contributions are to the future of our industry. I'm so glad that I'm not alone in my aspirations.
This was just a small gathering of who's out there as there are many more across the nation, but I hope these types of gatherings continue to occur in all the different regions of not just the nation, but also around the world. We have the technology and resources to send out information much quicker than ever before and it's vital that these meet-and-greets IN PERSON events are held. It's great to know who's who, who specializes in what and also just learn from on another to keep us driven and motivated!