This Friday, 8 December 2017, is the traditional holiday gathering.  Festivities start at 6:00PM (make note of the earlier time).


As the holiday season gets under way, please make some time this Friday to start your informal and formal gatherings by attending the traditional holiday pot luck.  Family is most welcome to attend and the focus of this event is a chance to mingle and get to meet fellow fans of orchids in a casual setting. This includes making new friends and catching up with old friends as well.


The society will provide the following:


Membership will provide the following:

In order to prevent carved ham sandwiches and 20 versions of a greenbean casserole, membership is divided into three groups by the last name.  This is a guide to help you in considering what to share.  If you have a signature dish, and some of you do (yummi) - you are more than welcome to share that item.  Your contribution should be a minimum of 8 to 10 servings.


Keep in mind, if your dish requires to be heated, there is a limited number of outlets that can safely be used for the buffet table.  Consider also bringing an electric strip so others who require heat can do so and we minimize electric cords on the floor as a trip hazard.  There is a microwave available for a last minute boost.


It is planned that the buffet be available at 6:00PM, so please arrive early with your food item and serving utensil.  Early arrival also means you can help with any last minute decorating.


Last names beginning with:

A-E: desserts
F-Q: appetizers, hors d’oeuvres, salads
P-Z: casseroles, and side dishes that compliment a ham



Bring a Gift, Get a Gift

As you arrive at the holiday buffet, please let the greeters know you brought a gift (wrapped or unwrapped) so they may give you a special raffle ticket. As your number is called you can go pick out a gift for yourself! If you would rather just watch the festivities and not bring a gift that is fine too. Orchid related gifts are great. Appropriate gifts include anything you would be happy receiving and value should be between $10 - $15.


Free, Complementary Raffle for all who attend

As you arrive, the greeters will offer a complementary ticket for all attendees, including family, for a number of items in a separate raffle.



Vinton Brown Memorial

The family of Vinton Brown plans to honor the anniversary of Vinton's unexpected passing and birthday with a floral display and have asked if anyone wishes to donate spikes in bloom to be included in this display, they may do so.  For more information contact me by replying to this newsletter.  Before Christmas, I will forward a list of all those who wish to provide spikes for this worthy memorial, to The Brown Family so additional arrangements can be made.



2018 Membership Dues

Remember those membership renewals for 2018 at $20.00 cash or check payable to The Napa Valley Orchid Society.  If you are unable to pay in person, they can be mailed to:


Napa Valley Orchid Society

P.O. Box 2152

Napa, California 94558


12 January 2018

The first meeting of the New Year of the Napa Valley Orchid SOciety.  Installation of the new Executive Board.  Details on the featured presentation be shared as soon as they are available.


The Napa Valley Orchid Society meets on the second Friday of the month, except for November.


NVOS sponsored events for 2018 include the Fall Annual Show and Sale, Potting Party and Orchid Auction.  More information about these exciting events will be shared when they are made available.



19 January 2018  - Gold Coast Cymbidium Growers.

January 19th is the date of the GCCG's (Oakland) famous Annual Cymbidium Collectors' Auction. More information can be discovered by following this link here. Eventually they will have pictures of submitted Cymbidiums for viewing, and new this year - can phone in a bid.  Phone-bidding information is available by reviewing the previously mentioned link.



27 & 28 January 2018 Peninsula Orchid Society Show and Sale.

If you find yourself in the South Bay Area, visit the POS Show and Sale at the Community Activities Building located at 1400 Roosevelt Avenue, Redwood City, CA. Fabulous Displays of Blooming Orchids, Orchid Vendors & Member Sales. FOr more information:  http://penorchidsoc.org



2018 Pacific Orchid Exposition


The San Francisco Orchid Society is proud to announce and invite all to this year's 2018 Pacific Orchid Exposition, the largest Orchid Show of the West Coast.


This year’s Exposition will take place from Friday, February 23th, through Sunday, February 25th, 2018 in the Hall of Flowers at Golden Gate Park, San Francisco.


The theme for the 2018 Exposition is “Curiouser and Curiouser, Orchids in Wonderland.” The theme plays off the story of “Alice in Wonderland,”.


For additional information, follow this link here, or click on the image above for a full-sized flyer in a new browser tab.


HINT:  Volunteers get special discount rates on entry fees, and  more. Consider volunteering!  In previous years, groups of NVOS members have car-pooled either as volunteers or to attend the Expo.  This makes it even a more fun event to attend or participate.  More information will be shared as it becomes available.  Please support the effort of the San Francisco Orchid Society as they welcome the world to visit the Bay Area, and this incredible show.  Attendees to this show have a chance to shop orchid vendors from around the world as well as local and regional vendors.


March 9, 2018 - March 11, 2018


EVENT HOSTED BY: Santa Barbara International Orchid Show
EVENT LOCATION: Earl Warren Showgrounds
WEBSITE: http://sborchidshow.com/
EMAIL: info@sborchidshow.com
PHONE: (805) 403-1533
ADMISSION: $14 general admission, $12 seniors & students with ID, kids under 12 free





Upcoming Events

You are more than welcome to attend the following events as a guest.  Car-pooling is recommended and ask your friends at the next meeting if there is shared interest in attending.  For more information, click the Society's name to visit their web site. 


San Francisco Orchid Society


Sonoma County Orchid Society



Diablo View Orchid Society


Gold Coast Cymbidium Growers

They return on 15 September 2017 after their summer hiatus.



The Potting Bench



Mother Nature went to extremes when she allowed for single cell algae (or sea slime) to evolve into what we now enjoy as orchids.  There is an unsubstantiated claim  that orchids actually originated on a planet in a galaxy far, far away and were forced to leave that planet in their space ship, and by accident landed here on Earth.  They very quickly realized that we as humans can be easily manipulated by their awesomeness, to actually take care of them. This claim is used by many to rationalize why we find them so stimulating and go to great lengths to care for them as best as possible.  Again, this claim is the basis for why some have a handful of orchids, and others have greenhouses that contain thousands of orchids.


Having said that, this particular article deals mostly with photosynthesis.  All green leaf plants, including the orchid, depend on photosynthesis to thrive.  Photosynthesis is both simple and complicated.  It is influenced by several factors including light, temperature, humidity and air movement.  Achieving the near perfect balance of these factors will result in a thriving orchid.  If these factors are unbalanced, they won't just up and die on you, but they most likely will not bloom.  Non blooming orchids are frustrating.


Wikipedia defines Photosynthesis in the following "word" description:


Photosynthesis is a process used by plants and other organisms to convert light energy into chemical energy that can later be released to fuel the organisms' activities (energy transformation). This chemical energy is stored in carbohydrate molecules, such as sugars, which are synthesized from carbon dioxide and water – hence the name photosynthesis, from the Greek φῶς, phōs, "light", and σύνθεσις, synthesis, "putting together". In most cases, oxygen is also released as a waste product.



Simple right?


It is, but scientists like to use a special language that makes the above description even much easier to follow, and also leads to less ambiguity and arguments.

6CO2 + 6H2O + light energy = C6H12O6 + 6O2


This equation is a thing of beauty, perfectly balanced and no matter where a scientist is from, including different planets, it is the exact same basic rule - everywhere and to everybody.


If you prefer - "the combination of carbon dioxide, water and light energy produces a carbohydrate (glucose) and oxygen."


If you have long ago forgotten your basic high school chemistry, don't worry, I hope to never bring up that chemical equation for photosynthesis ever again in this discussion and will rely only on "words" to describe the entire process.


The Process (in Scientific terms)

Step 1 - Light Dependent

CO2 and H2O enter the leaf

Step 2 - Light Dependent

Light hits the pigment in the membrane of a thylakoid, splitting the H2O into O2

The electrons move down to enzymes

Step 4 - Light Dependent

Sunlight hits the second pigment molecule allowing the enzymes to convert ADP to ATP and NADP+ gets converted to NADPH

Step 5 - Light independent

The ATP and NADPH is used by the calvin cycle as a power source for converting carbon dioxide from the atmosphere into simple sugar glucose.

Step 6 - Light independent

The calvin cycle converts 3CO2 molecules from the atmosphere to glucose

calvin cycle

The second of two major stages in photosynthesis (following the light reactions), involving atmospheric CO2 fixation and reduction of the fixed carbon into carbohydrate.



OK, now in "humanese" and I need to apologize for slipping in some chemical symbols, when I clearly mentioned that I hope to not use them again.  If you replace in the above process outline  CO2  with "carbon dioxide" and H2O with water the above be easier to follow.  O2 is an oxygen molecule, or two oxygen atoms combined (this is beyond the scope here but simply put it is oxygen). 3CO2 is three carbon-dioxide molecules joined as a unit.


I must also apologize for tossing in the perhaps confusing acronyms in the following:

Sunlight hits the second pigment molecule allowing the enzymes to convert ADP to ATP and NADP+ gets converted to NADPH


The ATP and NADPH is used by the calvin cycle as a power source for converting carbon dioxide from the atmosphere into simple sugar glucose.


If I did an article on green leaves of orchids, these items would make sense, but I did photosynthesis first, so when I backtrack in the following article to this article, which will focus on green leaves, this will make sense, for now, don't dwell too much on thses terms, except for the fact that there is a chemical reaction taking place within the process of photosynthesis.  Sorry for any further confusion.


Chloroplasts are what makes leaves green, and they are also what takes the carbon dioxide, the water, and the light, and turns them into sugar and oxygen. The sugar is then used by the plants for food, and the oxygen is breathed out into the atmosphere. This process as a whole is "photosynthesis."



So the orchid's leaves are exposed to carbon-dioxide and water enters the leaf from the plant's circulatory system of moving water from the roots into the leaf. 


This leaf is exposed to the sun's light, the light energy triggers a reaction in the leaf's pigment chemichly splitting the water (H20) into Oxygen (O).


The energy from the sun further triggers some tickling of pigment in the leaf eventually creating carbon-dioxide that is converted from the atmosphere into simple sugar glucose.  Some would call this mixture, "sap" and it is this liquid that feeds and maintains all the plant's needs.


Thus we have the conversion of light energy into a source the plant uses for thriving.


Ta-daahhhhhh, a basic understanding of the process of photosyntheses, so long as all the external factors are at a maximum and not exceed the need of the orchid.  Too much light can have an adverse effect on green leaves, such as burning them.  Too little light would mean that photosynthesis cannot occur.  Temperature, humidity and air "condition" also can affect the rate of photosynthesis.  If Photosynthesis does not occur within a minimum range, the orchid has little chance of blooming, in fact the plant can be stressed to the point where it actually die.


If you were to explore the tropics, and came across an area where a large number of varieties of Cattleya species are flourishing, it can be established that in that area, external factors are perfectly balanced for the cattleyas to thrive and that photosynthesis is at peak performance to sustain the plant's needs.  It is that same environment we strive to duplicate in greenhouses and in growing areas at home.


(to be continued including the variables of light, humidity, temperature and oxygen present and how they affect the photosynthesis process with regards to green leaf plants and specificaly orchids and determining the "ultimate condition" of all four variables to maximize "a happy orchid")  



Yesterday, I did not know this, today I do....


Credit:  The Sonoma County Orchid Society Newsletter for sharing this item of interest.