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Making Cacao Growing a Piece of Cake

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Chocolate really does grow on trees; although not as little chocolates wrapped up in foil. Chocolate comes from the seeds of the understory tree Theobroma cacao, a tropical rainforest species closely intertwined with the needs of mankind. Cocoa cultivation began in the Americas by the hands of the Maya in Central America, ca. 1500 BC. The Maya attributed divine origin to cocoa, being brought down from heaven by their God Quetzacoatl. The cocoa beans were so precious in fact that they were used as a currency...

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Splendor in the Garden

Sunday, January 6, 2013

FASHION HITS FAIRCHILD THIS JANUARY AT THE "SPLENDOR IN THE GARDEN" FASHION SHOW Fashion will flourish at Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden on Thursday, January 24, 2013 at 11:00 a.m. for the second annual Splendor in the Garden fashion show and luncheon. In partnership with luxury specialty store Neiman Marcus Coral Gables and co-chaired by Swanee DiMare and Frances Sevilla-Sacasa, the garden will blossom into a fashion hotspot as models stroll the runway in the latest spring...

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Gala in the Garden

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

A BOTANICAL TAPESTRY AWAITS GUESTS OF FAIRCHILD'S GALA IN THE GARDEN Gala in the Garden, the annual "social event of the season," arrives at Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden on Saturday, February 2, 2013 at 6:30 p.m. Now in its 20th year, the black-tie event is Fairchild's major yearly fundraiser, with all proceeds supporting programs in conservation science, education, horticulture and collection management. The theme of this year's Gala is "Botanical...

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Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden Supports Sixth Biennial Conference of the International Biogeography Society

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Between January 9th - 12th the International Biogeography Society had its Sixth Biennial Conference in Miami. The event took place in the Kovens Conference Center of The Biscayne Bay Campus of Florida International University. Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden was one of the event sponsors with a significant gift to provide Travel Awards to talented graduate students who wanted to present their results in this conference. Both foreign and national students were eligible to this award. Our...

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Oops!

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Last year's spectacular bird show in Everglades National Park was superior to anything I've seen. Yet, this year, while the birds were fewer, there was an incident over Eco Pond that nearly led to catastrophe in the sky. While tracking the roseate spoonbill, I caught a pair of snowy egrets about to collide. You will be happy to know they worked it out. Snowy egrets and a roseate spoonbill: the FAA would cringe....

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Chocolate Festival

Thursday, January 10, 2013

TREAT YOURSELF TO A SWEET WEEKEND AT FAIRCHILD'S INTERNATIONAL CHOCOLATE FESTIVAL The Mayans used it to cure ailments. The Aztecs used it as a form of currency. Spanish aristocrats made it into a sugary drink. Regardless of how they used it, civilizations throughout history have shared one thing in common: their love for chocolate. Celebrate all things chocolate at Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden's 7th Annual International Chocolate Festival, sponsored by Whole Foods Market and...

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Young artists depict endangered plants

Monday, January 14, 2013

Art in the employ of science is what botanical illustration is all about. The pre-K through 5th graders who participated in this year's Fairchild Challenge learned about South Florida's endangered plants by drawing them. I peeked at the display last week and found a wonderful colorful interpretation of nature that could grace a museum. Take a look at some of the work. Ghost orchid, Samantha Tendrich,grade 3, Leewood K-8. Fragrant maidenhair, by Ava Sanjabi, grade 5, Palmetto...

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NSF Supported Cycad Biology Workshop for School Teachers

Saturday, January 26, 2013

On Saturday January 26 we had our second Cycad Biology Workshop for teachers. This workshop was supported by the National Science Foundation (award number 1050340) and the logistics were jointly organized by the Montgomery Botanical Center (MBC) and the Department of Education of FTBG. Both classroom and field lectures took place at MBC and we had instructors from MBC (Patrick Griffith and Michael Calonje), New York Botanical Garden (Dennis Stevenson), and FIU-FTBG (Javier Francisco-Ortega). ...

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