Clay Higgins, New Jersey

Dilemma

July 17, 2013
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Categories: American Daffodil Society, General

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Dilemma:
I started the Daffodil Show and society here in Northeast North Carolina over six years ago. There is a limited population to grow our society as we are in a rural farming community, and not a city. Regardless we have a great facility for the show at the NC Agriculture Extension Center. We started with about 19 members and have increased to about 39 members in six years. I did it without ADS help but with verbal support, and the active support of Evelyn Nock who was the Mid-Atlantic VP at the time.
The Northeast North Carolina Daffodil Society has a daffodil show, three meetings a year, newsletters, and a bulb exchange where we give away massive amounts of bulbs each year. Our daffodil show is one of the social occasions here in Northeast NC, is mentions when events in Currituck County are listed. I modeled our meetings after the WDS, Tuscarora Daffodil Society, Richmond, etc
Another flower society started 3 years ago. The President is young, aggressive, and was able to get the flower society to give him a web page and start-up money for “T” Shirts, color brochures, etc. They have no show, have four meeting a year, and instead of a bulb exchange the president sells flowers to the membership. They now have over 50 members and many of those members quit the daffodil society to join the other saying that they only had time for one society.
I have a feeling that because of lack of support I will have to close the NENCDS show in a couple of years as I have not been able to develop another local enthusiast for daffodils. I get workers for the show from the Master Gardeners, but only token daffodil growers and showers. The truth is that daffodils are hard to sustain here because of the high heat and the dry sandy soil. I do it because I’m nuts enough to add considerable organic materials to the soil and set up a watering system. Everyone is not that crazy. The flowers from the other society don’t need as much attention.
I had so hoped to have a local self-sustaining show so that I would not have to take the long drives to Georgia, Tennessee, Gloucester, VA and Richmond, VA just to show my daffodils. With my approaching 70 in less than a week, it will not be that long before long distant driving will not be an option.

Any suggestions on how to made daffodils and the Daffodil Society more interesting to the public?

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