Meet GardenComm Virtual Conference Speaker, April Thompson

April Thompson

April will be featured at the GardenComm Virtual Conference on Wednesday, August 12. Her topic, Market Segmentation: Communicating to Different Horticultural Audiences will show us how to identify and appeal to audiences with different horticultural needs and levels of expertise. This is the type of marketing session anyone can benefit from, but until then, let’s learn a little more about April:

Tell us a little about what you do and how long have you worked in the horticulture industry?
While I have only technically been professionally working in this industry one year, I was a founding member of a community garden in my neighborhood in DC 10 years ago and worked with agricultural development in sub-saharan Africa supporting value-added product marketing for farm businesses on and off over the past 15 years.

What is the first garden-related experience you can remember?
My love of flowers and plants has deep family roots. I have fond memories of the black-eyed Susans and Queen Anne’s lace in my grandma’s garden on my father’s side, and of working in my grandparents’ greenhouse and florist shop on my mom’s side. 

Talk about a mistake you made in your garden once that turned into an unexpected learning experience.
One mistake that turned out to be a learning experience was harvesting and eating broccoli leaves thinking I was growing collards. It opened my mind to the possibilities of the various plant parts that can be eaten from the garden (rather than just the parts commercially grown for sale), and alternative garden eats is now something I write and teach about.

If you could only give one piece of advice to a new gardener, what would it be?
One piece of advice for new gardeners would be to pay attention to your soil health – you need to make sure to have a healthy ecosystem in your soil for your plants to be healthy too. Bloom, our fertilizer product, is all about improving soil health and giving plants the nutrients they need to thrive. 

What’s a good teaser we could provide to audiences about your session content that might pique their interest?
Teaser – there is arguably nothing more important in communications than knowing your audience, yet we often fall prey to our own unchecked biases about our audiences in communicating. My presentation will help you come away with practical tools and tips to identify segments of your audience and find out what makes them tick.

What is your favorite plant to grow?
I love growing common milkweed (Asclepias syriaca), as it not only supports monarchs, bees and other important critters, but is edible throughout the season. As a forager, I like eating its tender shoots, leaves, buds and immature pods as well as making concoctions like cordials and vinegars and eye-catching bouquets from its aromatic flowers. As a perennial, they will come back year after year. I opt for perennials as much as possible. My little asparagus patch has been producing for years now!

Author: GardenComm

GardenComm, formerly known as GWA: the Association for Garden Communicators, provides leadership and opportunities for education, recognition, career development and a forum for diverse interactions for professionals in the field of gardening communication. GardenComm members includes book authors, bloggers, staff editors, syndicated columnists, free-lance writers, photographers, speakers, landscape designers, television and radio personalities, consultants, publishers, extension service agents and more. No other organization in the industry has as much contact with the buying public as GardenComm members.

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