It has been a couple weeks since the Monterey Bay Greenhouse Open House was held, but we are still enjoying the positive momentum that is generated by these community events. Managed by the California Cut Flower Commission, the 2nd Annual Monterey Bay Greenhouse Open House was a success by all measures and the positive feedback we have received through Facebook and our exit surveys from attendees have been inspiring . The responses we’ve received have confirmed the value and appreciation people place on knowing what is growing locally. We were also amazed by and appreciative of the level of support that we received during the ribbon cutting ceremony on the Friday before the actual Open House. Elected officials and community leaders were all in attendance to help kick off this newly founded event that helps to connect the community with what is grown locally and encourages them to Know A California Farmer.
Congressman Sam Farr helped lead the ceremony and shared his appreciation for effort that the participating farms were making to open their doors and provide the public the opportunity to see what a beauty grows inside our local greenhouses. Congressman Farr also shared his vision that through these types of events, the Pajaro Valley and the Salinas Valley would become famous for the flowers that are grown locally.
John Reyes of the Monterey County Visitors and Convention Bureau also shared his thoughts on the value agri-tourism can bring to the locally economy and that he was looking forward to having his organization working together with local farms to bring attention to these local attractions that people have a desire to visit and see.
I personally appreciated the efforts of our participating farms that committed to open their doors for this successful event. This type of thing is a lot of work for a company that is otherwise not open to the public and preparing their property to handle so many people in one day is a feat to be sure! It was also great to see that proceeds earned from the event went to selected community non-profits, such as the Santa Cruz Benefit Trust, Santa Cruz County State Parks and Peace of Mind Dog Rescue.
I also really appreciate the team I got to work with that was responsible for making the day happen. Kathleen Williford served as the lead “cat herder” and event coordinator and Janice Wills Curtis backed her up all along the way. It was fun to finally see the plans come together and watch all of the people see and enjoy what we seem to quickly take for granted in this business…the beauty of California Grown Flowers, America’s flowers.