In a more dangerous time, Mick spake thusly:
Tell us more... how many pages? Color pictures? Main topics? The title?
Well, it's 145 pages, paperback. It has 14 b/w diagrams, 1 color
diagram, 14 b/w photos, 21 color photos, and 6 tables.
There's actually more to it than 6 tables- but I only specify 6
tables. There is much more than this in the form of tabular data, but it
is encompassed into the text.
> Do you have "contributors" or did you write everything?
Many people contributed. Moises Behar, Jurgen Bohm, Kelly Zytaruk,
the Bakers, Bill Steele, Dave MacDonald, Bob Ferry, Nelson B. Machado
Neto, Fred Bergman, and so many others. Karl Siegler (if you get AQ,
you've seen his photos) did 6 of the color photos. Moises Behar graciously
permitted reprinting of 6 more. Both are superb photomicrographers.
Many others (including Mick) were consulted for their expertise
and opinions on various subjects.
The cover photo (an SEM photo of an orchid seed) was done by
Julian Guardian of Rocky Mountain Sciences.
> How many copies in the first printing?
> Will "they" make a movie out of your book?
An "IMAX" flick is rumored to be in the works, yes.
> Is it geared for beginner or advanced flaskers?
A little of both. Although it's hard-core science, I didn't want
to alienate growers by starting off on a plateau above most everyone's
head. So, it starts with the basics, and builds on that. And, for those
that just want meat and potatoes, there's a small section in the back for
> Is it jammed packed with newly researched topics?
Oh, my, yes. It's also a compendium of all the goodies from two
years worth of literature research on my own time.
Chapter 1: The orchid seed: Germination
Chapter 2: A brief history of orchids from seed
Chapter 3: The basics
Orchid seed production (green capsule, pollination, pollination of
miniature flowers, pollination of vanilla, pollen storage, pollen
Orchid seed harvesting
Orchid seed storage (humidity, hydrates, relative humidity,
measuring humidity, constant humidity solutions, longevity, short-lived
Handling and shipping of orchid seed (static controls, laws)
Lab basics (chemical safety, glassware, lab equipment, pH,
buffers, suitable pH for germination of orchid seed)
Media, sterilization, and bacteriology 101 (chemical
sterilization, thermal sterilization, filtration sterilization,
denaturation, UV light sterilization, radiation sterilization, microwaves,
Preparation of the media (types of media, fertilizer-based media,
improvised media, formulae for expedient orchid seed germination, stock
solutions, stock solution preparation, aseptic sowing area, flasks)
Chapter 4: Technique
Preparation of the sowing area (glass sheet technique, glove
boxes, laminar flow hoods, hands, bleach vs. ***)
Disinfection of seed (batch washing, filtration, dropwise,
decanting, rapidfire, chlorine gas sterilization, floating seed,
disinfection times, vacuum treatment, documentation)
Green capsule technique (technique)
Variations on a theme (use of steam during flasking, techniques
for introducing seed, OSP technique, small-volume flasks, sterile area
alternatives, lid seals, miscellaneous)
Chapter 5: Post-sowing
Dealing with contamination problems (aggressive efforts, source of
contamination, treating plugs, sealing flasks, mites, vacuum treatment)
Care of the sown flasks (dry flasks, root growth, disposal of
flasks and conditioning)
Deflasking and seedling care
Chapter 6: Advanced techniques
Media modifications (charcoal, water, iron, sugars, vitamins,
nitrogen, inositol, amino-acid based media (entire section for cyps!),
making your own media, fruit juices and other extracts, anticontaminants
in media, nutrient deficiencies)
Specific genera (terrestrial orchids)
Making your own glove box
Manufacturing baffle ports for a glove box
New directions in seed disinfection (thermal, gas, peroxides,
hypochlorites, duration of exposure with hypochlorites, Virkon S, DCCA,
Practicing with inert compounds
Alternative gelling agents (PhytaGel, kappa carrageenan, membrane
rafts, capillary media, super absorbent polymers)
Viability testing and seed analysis (microscopic examination, sed
types, chemical staining, photomicrography, floating seed)
Appedix I: Where to start (media, flasking area, seeds, sowing,
Appendix II: Improvised home flasking
Appendix III: Sources, conversions, additional reading,
trademarks, about the author, about the OSP, how it works)
I do hope that covers most of the aspects of growing orchids from
seed. Any typos above are mine.
To purchase a copy, contact Bob at Botana:
Copies are $45 plus shipping. There may be specials going on, so
contact Bob for details.
And don't worry. :-) If we sell out of the first hundred, we'll
Orchid Seedbank Project