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an appreciative new member

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself' started by Chuck Hanson, Dec 4, 2014.

  1. Chuck Hanson

    Chuck Hanson New Member

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    After being a member of this forum several months now an introduction is in order.

    I’m Chuck Hanson, a name you might recognize if you collected succulent plants. I founded and ran Arid Lands Greenhouses in Tucson, AZ for thirty years and specialized in the sexual propagation of many species of succulent plants. During those thirty years many trips were made to East and South Africa and Madagascar. There were many spectacular orchids seen on these trips so when Arid Lands was sold it was only natural to start over with orchids. As this was a totally new direction the business was named Orchid Renaissance. After several years of growing orchids commercially it seemed time for a total immersion so my wife and I moved to Ecuador, purchased land and built a home next to Ecuagenera’s nursery in the upper Amazon valley, two kilometers west of the charming little town of El Pangui (the name means big boa in the language of the indigenous Shuar indians).
    After four years my wife felt she was too young to retire so we returned to the US…Nebraska, of all places. At the risk of sounding like Martin Johnson, after four years in Paradise Nebraska seems like Siberia!
    At least we have a nice greenhouse to house a growing collection of orchids and my wife’s collection of cacti and succulents but, at 24’ X 60’ it is filling at an alarming rate. It is passively cooled, roof vent and thermostatically controlled 4’ side walls, and heated with forced air propane. In the winter there are two humidifiers running 24/7, and the gravel floor is wet down each day. The temperature ranges from a low of 50F to a high of 105F and the RH from 25%-90%, maybe not the ideal orchid house but most species do very well here. Those that don’t are not replaced!
    An added benefit, to the plants at least, is our well water, drawn from the Oglala Aquifer. Apparently the overuse of fertilizer on the surrounding farm lands has risen the level of nitrates in the water well above the maximum allowable 10ppm. This seems a happy level for orchids so none of the plants has had additional fertilizer for over two year and yet all have healthy, vigorous roots and flower prolifically. The pH is 7.1, perhaps a little high.

    The collection is primarily dendrobs, rupicolus laelias, bulbos, oeceoclades, and species from hot dry areas such as Australia.

    Please excuse me for being so long winded. I look forward to the posts on this forum.
    Catt Mandu likes this.
  2. KellyW

    KellyW Orchid wonk Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Redding, California, USA
    Chuck, welcome to Orchids Forum. You have a tremendous amount of experience and we are fortunate to have you join our forum. I look forward to your posts.
  3. naoki

    naoki Well-Known Member

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    Fairbanks, Alaska
    Sounds like an adventurous and exciting life centered around plants! Welcome.
  4. Ryan craig

    Ryan craig Active Member

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    welcome to the forum :) hope you learn lots as i sure have
  5. Plantman

    Plantman Member

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    NYC, NY USA Fajardo, Puerto Rico
    Hi Chuck, Lived in NYC and use to get a lot of wonderful PLANTS FROM YOU! Use to hang out with Christine Serrone and regret I never went to visit you when she would go. Haven't seen her in years! Now in Puerto Rico, the last 4 years, 5 miles from El Yunque Rainforest, in the town of Fajardo NE corner of Puerto Rico, at 150 feet elevation, 2 miles from the ocean.

    Still grow succulents, mostly Adeniums, Pachypodiums and Caudex Euphorbia and Epiphyllum hybrid cacti. Also now growing lots of Euphorbia Crown of Thorns, the giant flower varieties.

    Nice living in a tropical Island but plan on moving in the near future to a higher elevation to get cooler nights and expand what I can grow. Taking care of my aged parents and my mom suffers from Alzheimer's is a 24/7 job and the plants are what's keeping me sane!

    Must grow warm, lowest temp here has been 67 degrees (Dec-March) and the average day temp is 83-87 in our Winter which is drier this time of the year. From March lows rarely get below 75. The Rain begins in April to Oct rarely below 78-81 mim low and a high of 87-95! May-Oct frequent but short lasting rain and high humidity and the threat of being in hurancine season can make it a difficult.

    Growing mostly Catt, Oncidium, Angreacum, Dendrobuims, Vandas, Grammatophyllum, Arachnes, Ansellia, Phalaenopsis, Aeranthes, Aerangis, Tolumnias species and hybrids. The Orchids are doing well because all the intermediate or cooler growers died and now know not to even try them! Managed to get a few warm tolerant Cymbidiums, Miltonias and they are doing well. Also growing Cycads, Palms, Marantas, Bananas, Citrus trees, Gingers and Herbs and a few vegetables.

    My email is [email protected]. MICHAEL