Guest Author - Susan Taylor
Orchid Software and Educational Items
The best software available for the serious orchid enthusiast is OrchidWiz. This relatively new program offers what I think is the ultimate in great programming. It is easy to use, has a great search engine, and provides a wealth of information for the serious amateur to the most educated judge. Brian Petraska, The Orchid Guy™ has produced a DVD on "Orchid Growing Basics" which is exceptional. This would be a great idea for any novice or new grower. For those of you curious about the correct pronunciation of those pesky orchid names, the Mid American Orchid Congress (MAOC) has produced a CD with that information. They are $10 plus $3 for shipping and handling. Contact: Jan Yates, Treasurer, 4110 Rose Hill Avenue, Cincinati, Ohio 45229. Checks should be made payable to MAOC.
Magazine and Culture Sheet Subscriptions
One gift idea that is not generally thought of by givers is a subscription to a magazine for your orchid grower. There are several outstanding magazines that would make your orchid grower happy. The premier choice, of course, is the magazine produced by the American Orchid Society Orchids. The magazine is included in a membership to the society. Without doubt, this is the most helpful magazine for both the beginner and advanced grower. Another excellent choice is be Orchid Digest which is a very nicely produced quarterly magazine for the real enthusiast. For the species grower, there is nothing better than a subscription to the Baker Culture Sheets a compilation of information on species from around the world. The culture sheets are available on line and give the grower information on location of the species, growing conditions, and monthly rainfall and temperature averages.
Conservation Donations and Items Supporting Conservation
There are a number of worthy conservation groups to whom a donation in the name of your orchid lover would make great gifts. World Parks is an international organization which purchases land in conjunction the World Land Trust and with organizations in various countries. Donations are tax deductible in the United States. The World Land Trust is one of the oldest and most well known conservation groups in the world. A number of their projects are dedicated to conserving old growth rainforest in South America where orchids are a large part of the biodiversity. You can choose projects in a variety of countries such as Ecuador, Belize, Brazil and Costa Rica.The Jocotoco Foundation Reserves were established for bird conservation in Ecuador, but are well known for their orchid species as well. These are wonderful reserves to contribute to in order to save orchid habitat.
Two items that have just come to my attention are a Florida Native Orchids Calendar and Grass Pink T-Shirt through Café Press. A portion of the proceeds of these items are donated to the conservation of native Florida orchids.