All-America Selections, National Garden Bureau and the Home Garden Seed Association Host a Successful and Educational 2022 Summer Summit

Des Moines and Ames, Iowa was the location for the 2022 Summer Summit, one that many attendees cited as “the best ever” for the amount of informational activities that fit into just two days.

On Wednesday, August 3, 2022 the group learned about and saw:

  • An update from all three organizations, launched by a video from the Lee College Horticulture Program that outlined how AAS and NGB has helped and supported their horticulture classes for their inmates.
  • The Robert D. Ray Asian Garden Walk
  • The Greater Des Moines Botanical Garden where various AAS Winners were planted along the walled Koehn Garden.
  • The Justice League of Food and The Hall, where disadvantaged youth are taught hospitality career skills and prepared lunch for the group.
  • The home of the World Food Prize, a platinum LEED Certified building that is also on the National Register of Historic Buildings and serves as the headquarters for the international World Food Prize Award, the brainchild of Nobel Peace Prize laureate Normal Borlaug.
  • A bus tour of the Iowa State Fairgrounds led by fairgrounds’ CEO Gary Slater, the  Discovery Garden (an AAS Display Garden at the fairgrounds, planted and tended by the Polk Country Master Gardeners) and the famous Butter Cow.
  • The Better Homes & Gardens Test Garden®, on the Dotdash Meredith Corporation campus.
  • The Pappajohn Sculpture Garden

That day wrapped up with the AAS Judge’s Meeting then Dinner With Peers at local restaurants in downtown and East Des Moines giving the attendees additional camaraderie and networking opportunities.

Thursday, August 4 was spent in Ames, Iowa, home of Iowa State University which hosted the following tours:

  • The ISU Seed Lab, where many of the seeds bought and sold by the group, are tested for a wide variety of diseases and pathogens to ensure safe seeds for the industry.
  • The private home garden of Ed Lyons, the Director of Reiman Gardens.
  • The HGSA Trials at Roots2Rise, a CSA grower just north of Ames.
  • A tour of Roots2Rise and presentation by the owner.
  • Lunch and a tour at the Brewery.
  • A tour and presentation of the ISU Cyclone Stadium where attendees were allowed on the field to view the turfgrass used there.
  • The AAS Trials at Reiman Gardens.
  • The Lewis & Art Exhibition at Reiman Gardens.
  • A live Consumer Focus Group by NGB where questions centered around the whys and why-nots consumers have when buying garden plants.
  • The annual Awards Banquet where the Breeder’s Cup and Lifetime Achievement Awards were given by AAS and HGSA. [editor: please see additional attachments from this same email for those two award announcements.]

At the close of the Awards Banquet, Aaron Saks from West Coast Seeds invited everyone to mark their calendars for the Summer Summit 2023 in Vancouver, B.C. That event will be September 5-8, 2023.

For more information, please contact Diane Blazek at 630-963-0770

###  All-America Selections, founded in 1932, continues as the oldest independent plant testing organization in North America. Every year, never-before-sold varieties are trialed in our Trial Grounds where professional horticulturists determine which varieties will be winners based on their garden performance. AAS relies upon a public relations program to inform gardeners about AAS Winners. Founded in 1920, National Garden Bureau is a non-profit organization with a mission to disseminate basic instructions and inspiration for home gardeners. NGB publishes and sponsors “Year Of The” fact sheets annually featuring new introductions that are especially suited to home gardens. HGSA is a trade association and forum for members to discuss issues of mutual concern. Members are garden seed packet companies, seed growers and packet printers. They provide useful articles about how to garden from seed, the packet seed industry, and major gardening trends.