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Educating the public

From: "Patricia R. Wenham" <prw@televar.com>

I joined AIS to learn more about iris but did so only because Popular
Gardening provided a list, many years ago, of various flower societies
and I knew that I did not know enough about my favorite flower and the
turns taken in hybridizing etc. to feel I was doing my best for them.

My iris came from friends and relatives who did not really know more
than I did about them.  I had no idea how to hybridize them.  I had no
idea there were iris other than bearded ones.  I did not know the colors
that were being produced.  I did not live in an area where I could
attend meetings of a regional society.  The QB's did not stress not
buying from the various marts.  I would have thought that the discount
stores would purchase from US growers and that they would request
certain colors and expect them to be properly labeled by the grower.  I
would have thought they would provide a service to the grower when they
purchased his/her crop.  I know that a family I knew at that time raised
dahlias for a large market and they were ordered a couple years ahead of
the time they were expected to be shipped.  They asked for X # of
certain colors, preferably all one named variety for each color and they
must be packaged and labeled per instructions.  If there was more than
one named variety of one color they were to have the variety stamped on
the tuber.  The family that raised and sold them was happy to have
income from this source and to be able to sell their crop.  I thought
this would be true of all flowers.

It was not until I started corresponding with some of the growers that I
learned otherwise.  There does not seem to be any real effort to inform
the general public about the desirability of purchasing named varieties
from a reliable source.


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