Cultivate’17 Town Hall Focuses on Consumables
At this year’s Cultivate Town Hall titled “Changing the Industry,” a panel representing various areas of horticulture discussed the potential of consumables.
The panel was moderated by Lloyd Traven of Peace Tree Farm and included Scott Endres, Tangletown Gardens; Valerie Nalls, Nalls Produce; Alex Traven, Peace Tree Farm; and Brienne Arthur, “The Foodscape Revolution.”
The conversation centered around edibles and the consumers’ interest in the multi-functionality of a plant as a justification for why to spend money.
People consume food 52 weeks a year, so the potential to get them in the garden center throughout the year is there. The panel advocated for CSA programs and starting somewhere (whether it’s pasteurized eggs or local honey) to get shoppers in the door on a more regular basis and hopefully seeing what else the store has to offer as well.
A discussion around organic certification had the panel somewhat split between the value of third-party certification and the focus on the ethic behind the product whether or not it meets organic certification standards.
There was a consensus that it’s the industry’s job to make people feel good about the product they’re buying and make gardening important, so people make time for it as a hobby.