Thank all you for your replies to help decide on the date for our annual meeting. Out of the 15 replies I received until this moment, 11 voted preferentially for the first date, and while a similar number might make the meeting for the second date, for half of them it was listed as their second choice. Only one person, so far, indicated they will attend virtually (Zoom or equivalent) either date.

Therefore, applying simple logic, aided by odds/probability, and a bit of executive privilege, the date for our next NC-1186 annual meeting is set to May 22-24, 2024.

On a preliminary basis, the plan is to visit at least one nursery on the afternoon of the first day (May 22), one nursery visit on the morning of day 2 (May 23) and run the business meeting 11am to 3-4pm (EST, including lunch). On the morning of day 3 (May 24) we’ll visit 2 nurseries, so that by around noon time people can drive to airport(s) or travel to their weekend plans (many options in the region, including Philadelphia, NYC, Baltimore, DC, Atlantic City, etc.).

As far as airports, you could fly to Philadelphia (closest one, about 45 min drive to our meeting site in the area of Cumberland County, NJ) or Newark (about 1.5 to 2 hr. drive to south NJ, depending on traffic, but convenient if you plan to visit NYC), or even Atlantic City Regional (about 45 min drive to south NJ) or Baltimore, MD (about 1.5 to 2 hr. from south NJ).

Later I will send you more detailed information on the meeting planned activities, as well as suggestions for those planning on spending leisure/vacation time or visit horticulture landmarks/attractions the weekend following our meeting.

By Monday I will send a separate message regarding a preliminary gathering of thoughts/ideas from the group to help define the main objectives for our next 5-year proposal. This initial activity will be followed by an online (Zoom) meeting to consolidate thoughts on those objectives, and divide the work of the narrative, goals and activities of each objective to small groups. I will then consolidate and edit those into a first draft and run a couple/few review rounds with all.

Have a great weekend, and Spring Break to those teaching! I’ll spend that break working on a development project (on spice crops) in Jamaica.


PS. A big thank you to those who cannot make it due various reasons (including retirement), but offered to help in various ways or capacities with the project’s renewal.