Off and Away with Far Reaches

Last night the AGC of BC hosted a talk with Sue Milliken and Kelly Dodson of Far Reaches Farm from Port Townsend, Washington. Their nursery is well-known for its extensive and varied selection of rare and unusual plants, as well as many that are more well-known, but wonderful. Sue and Kelly have travelled extensively over the past couple of decades, collecting plants and seeds to propogate and share with their colleagues and clients. The subject of last nights talk was their trip to China in 2012.  Their presentation was quirky and loaded with slides, offering observations, often humourous and self-deprecating, on plants, people, food, towns, the rate of development in China, and the wealth of flora to be found there. We saw towering Rhododendron rex, unusual vining Gentians, a gorgeous Disporum cantoniense with deep purple flowers called ‘Monk Gone Wild’, donkeys hauling sand up steep mountain stairs, many Bergenias and many other botanical rarities whose names I couldn’t record in the dark.

Kelly and Sue are planning another plant collection trip this October, and are looking for contributions to offset the expense. Their presentation showed their spartan accommodations and evenings (after long days out collecting in often difficult conditions)  spent sorting seed and recording data. They often stayed in small, often unheated rooms or tents, with seed covering virtually every flat surface. As they noted, definitely not a vacation, but very worthwhile for a couple of plant nerds intent on discovery and conservation. To find out more, their website is: farreachesfarm.com. It was a great pleasure to hear these two, sharing the highs and lows of one of their expeditions as modern-day plant hunters. At the meeting a show of hands indicated that there is a fair bit of interest amongst those attending, in a field trip to Far Reaches in the next six months or so…Far Reaches indeed…

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One Response to Off and Away with Far Reaches

  1. gegallas says:

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