2016 VAOS Orchid Show – Feb. 6 – 7, 2016

Orchid Post CardPlease join us the first weekend in February 2016 for our 50th Orchid Show.

Show schedule:

Friday, February 5, 2016

Display Setup             1pm - 7pm
Sales Area Setup          1pm - 7pm
Plant Entries             1pm - 4pm

Saturday, February 6, 2016

Judging                   8am - 12pm
Public Sales             10am -  5pm
Public Show              11am -  5pm

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Public Sales & Show      10am - 4pm
Take Down                 4pm - 6pm

Carol Wood ShowChair@vaos.org   941-497-4995

Meeting Wednesday, February 3, 2016 – 7:00 pm

Author Photo by Paul Marcellini (sm)Roger Hammer is a professional naturalist, botanist, author, and photographer. He was the Keynote Speaker at the 19th World Orchid Conference in Miami and also gave the Keynote address at the Florida Native Plant Society state conferences in 1997 and 2013. Among his awards are the Marjory Stoneman Douglas Award from the Florida Native Plant Society and the Charles Brookfield Medal from Tropical Audubon Society. In 2012 he received an honorary Doctor of Science degree from Florida International University. His specialty in wildflowers is native orchids and, of the 108 species reported for Florida, he has photographed 94 of them. He spends his leisure time birdwatching, long-distance canoeing, kayak fishing, and sipping expensive rums. Roger also works as a survivalist instructor for the Discovery Channel on their reality TV program, Naked and Afraid. Roger grew up in Cocoa Beach but moved to Homestead after being honorably discharged from the Army in 1968 as a tank gunner. Visit his website for further information:  http://www.rogerlhammer.com

Location: Venice Community Center -(doors open at 6:30)

Venice Orchid Project

Look Up When you Walk Through the Park.  Do You See the Orchids?

Venice, Florida October 15, 2015:  For years the city of Venice has promoted itself as “the Shark’s Tooth Capital of the World”.  However, after multiple beach renourishment  projects it’s becoming increasingly difficult  to find those shark’s teeth on our beaches.  It may just be in the not- so -distant- future that Venice has a new claim to fame – “the City of Orchids” –  thanks to an ongoing community  project to populate our city parks and trees with Florida friendly orchids.

In 2014 the Venice Area Orchid Society (VAOS)   and the Venice Area Beautification Inc. (VABI), with the support of our city leaders, began a project to plant and mount orchids in our city parks and  trees. About 60% of the  initial 100 plants have survived the squirrels and weather and are thriving.  And because divisions of mature plants and not seedlings were planted, we should start to see some blooming orchids this spring.

The Venice project is nowhere near the scale of the Million Orchid Project initiated by Fairchild Tropical Botanic Gardens in Coral Gables, FL where 50,000 orchid seedlings will be  planted in the coming years. However, their project does serve as a terrific role model  to initiate our own – to reintroduce Florida friendly orchids to  Venice.

South Florida was a natural orchid paradise 100 years ago. Loss of habitat, urban development and poaching has decimated their numbers to the extent that they have no hope of recovering on their own. Many Florida native orchids are now endangered or extinct. South Florida is the only sub-tropical part of our country where orchids can be grown outside with minimal risk of freezing. Orchids grow on trees in their natural habitat. They are not parasites and do not damage the trees. They require little maintenance and can grow and bloom for decades once established.

Planting orchids in our city landscape will enhance the beauty of our Island City and delight our residents and visitors for years to come. So the next time you walk through one of our downtown parks, look up. You might just see a blooming orchid!

The Venice Area Orchid Society is one of the largest and most active orchid societies in Florida with over 300 members. The annual Venice Orchid Show and Sale, held the first weekend in February each year, draws more than 4000 visitors.