Sunday, November 18, 2007
Man Uses Cave to Grow Orchids
"David Bird's underground cave in Kansas City.
6,000-square-foot cave... called Bird's Botanicals...
cool- and hot-growing rooms filled with about 4,000 orchids...
limestone walls... covered in reflective aluminum panels.
To get the climate and high-pressured sodium lighting just right took
almost half a year of experimentation.
Bird worked with orchids at the Denver Botanical Garden and worked his way
up into managing the orchid greenhouse. He later earned his bachelor's in
horticulture at North Dakota State University.
He started his career at the International Peace Garden on the U.S.-Canada
border, then went on to the Des Moines Botanical Center and eventually
Powell Gardens, just outside Kansas City. At Powell he started an orchid
exhibit that's still an annual event.
Meanwhile Bird grew orchids in a 400-square-foot greenhouse at his Blue
He learned about the cave storage and thought it could work similar to a
grow-light room in a basement.
The Mid-America Orchid Congress... 58 member societies from the U.S. and
Canada, will... meet. Kansas City last hosted the congress in 1994...
a lecture series with orchid experts such as Tom Mirenda, museum specialist
for the orchid collection at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington."
URL / links to photos : http://www.kansascity.com/238/story/360965.html