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Propagating Orchids

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by Medon on August 28, 2006 06:49 PM
I have recently acquired a cutting from an Orchid plant...I was wondering If you could Propagate Orchids...I put it in some water and I am hoping that you can...I dont want to have to pay $35+ fo a plant that you dont even know if it ill survive...so thats my question

Can you propagate orchids?

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-Jon Boyenga
by TulsaRose on August 28, 2006 10:15 PM
Hi Jon, it would help to know which Orchid you will be trying to grow...there are hundreds of cultivars. [Wink]

Here is the link to a search of Garden Helper articles about growing Orchids and some past forum discussions that should give you some help. Just scroll down past the first set of links to the ones for Garden Helper.

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Rosie z7a
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by Patty S on August 28, 2006 10:21 PM
Jon, do you have a photo of your Orchid cutting, and/or do you know what kind of Orchid it is? There are many types of orchids that aren't as delicate as people might think, & are very easy to grow. BUT... Orchids CAN'T stay alive with their feet wet... in fact, you can smother the roots by keeping them too wet, as they REQUIRE air! The roots need to be moist (not saturated) or they can rot very quickly.

You need to get your cutting OUT of the water & into a plastic pot of plant media that's made for Orchids. (Walmart has it.) Usually called "Orchid Mix", it may consist of redwood or fir bark, coconut fiber, charcoal, lava rock, or a number of other things that will ensure thorough drainage. (Follow the planting instructions on the package.)

Don't wait till you get back from the store, to get it out of the water! It would probably be fine for even a few days, as long as it's not sitting in water. If it would make you feel better, wrap the bottom of it in a slightly dampened kleenex... (Only ONE, & only a little bit moist - NOT "wet".)

Once in a proper media, don't expect roots to start popping out in just a matter of weeks... it could take a long time! As long as it's green & firm, you'll just have to believe it's alive! [thumb]

Good luck with it! Come back & tell us what type of Orchid it is, if you know... or, a photo would help (even though it may not look like something that's worth taking a picture of!)

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by Medon on August 29, 2006 11:25 AM
All I know about this flower is that it starts with a "P"-My sister would not let me use her camer...selfish much-Ill try to explain what it looks like...

On the outer rims of the petals it is yellow but as it moves in closer to the center it turns a pinkish purplish color then to white right where it protrudes-with the pollen-

then the jutting out part is pink at the rim then goes to a darker shade of pink then to orange towards the center...that is all I can tell you about it for that is all that I can recall-the Stem looks very sturdy almost like it could stand up on its own without a stick to hold it up(and is it weird that the petals are kinda hard?)

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-Jon Boyenga
by kennyso on August 29, 2006 02:30 PM
is it some papillonus orchid? I remember seeing a type of orchid on sale at wallmart for $10 it said something bout butterfly orchid or something close to that

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Blessed are the meek, for they shall possess the earth
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by Medon on August 29, 2006 02:45 PM
Yes!! Thats It!! I recognise the name ha ha ha

Is it a hard Orchid to take care of?

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-Jon Boyenga
by kennyso on August 29, 2006 02:56 PM
I've never grown orchids, too much for my budget [Embarrassed] , can't afford to be throwing out something that expensive every week! I've seen that orchid on sale in a lot of places so I'd assume that it's pretty easy to care for (dont' mark my words, you should wait for an expert)

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Blessed are the meek, for they shall possess the earth
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by Medon on August 29, 2006 04:35 PM
lol I know...this would be the first time that Iv even held an Orchid...and I also have no clue what to put it in, whats Orchid Media?

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-Jon Boyenga
by Patty S on August 29, 2006 04:54 PM
[Big Grin] Don't confuse me with the "expert" that Kenny thinks might show up! (Hopefully, one will come along yet, & we'll all learn something!)  -

Are you ready for some good news, Jon? In my opinion, your Butterfly Orchid is among the easiest to care for!  - It will like low to medium light, & temps between 70* & 80*F. (Handy, huh? That's right within the range where most household furnace thermostats are set!)

I didn't intend on getting into Orchids, because I'm new at flower gardening in the first place (just this year), & have barely scratched the surface of those basics! [perplexed] I have a friend who goes out of town a lot, & because of my new interest in flowers, she asked me to water her house & yard plants & tend to her greenhouse when she's gone. Her Orchids & other tropicals fascinated me, so I guess she misinterpreted that to mean that I wanted to grow them too... she started bringing me an Orchid plant, every time I babysat her flowers! [shocked] You can probably relate to my reaction when she gave me the first one ... It was scary, because I thought I'd kill it! (I was under the impression that a person needs a green house if they want to raise "tropicals"... Not true!)

I also don't think that having Orchids is necessarily an expensive hobby (but it CAN be, if you let it). I've bought a few for myself, but am not about to buy those really spendy ones at the plant stores & nurseries... I've grabbed onto them now & then when they're in the grocery store for 10 or 12 bucks, & I think they're just as good! I've also rescued other "tropicals", (like my Antheriums) from Walmart's "dead or abused" clearance racks, after they'd put them in the exterior garden section (in February!) ...which nearly killed them, as they simply can't live at temps as cold as 45*! I brought those home & they revived quite nicely when I simply gave them a warmer place to live in & watered them as I do the Orchids. (I noticed just today that one of them is blooming again!) [Smile]

Anyway, back to your Butterfly... As I mentioned earlier, just don't let the roots stay wet & keep it in Orchid mix. (And don't expect it to bloom more than once MAYBE twice a year!) ALWAYS keep it in a plastic pot... never use clay pots, because they retain too much moisture. The goofy/cheap pots they come in at the store might be ugly as sin, but they're really the best containers for them, until they have babies & start getting too crowded. If you want to doll it up, just wrap the pot in some sort of pretty plastic wrap, with a rubberband around the top to hold it in place, & maybe add a ribbon over the rubber band if you want. (Be sure to cut holes in the bottom of the wrap, so as not to fowl free drainage.)

The only other thing I can think of to tell you is that when you see an Orchid with blemished & scarred up foliage, don't let that sway you away from buying it. It might even be on sale, because of that, but it doesn't necessarily mean that the plant isn't healthy... it can still produce gorgeous blossoms! (I was told by an accredited flower show judge, that Orchids are never judged by their leaves!) You might hear that they like to be misted, which isn't too far off base... they do appreciate humidity, but that doesn't necessarily mean that they like to have "wet" leaves!  - Quite often, such damage occurs when the leaves are splashed with water that remains puddled up on them.

(Sorry for the long posts... I do tend to get carried away!) [Embarrassed]

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by Patty S on August 29, 2006 05:18 PM
Jon, when you look for Orchid media in the store, it's usually called "Orchid Mix", it may consist of redwood or fir bark, coconut fiber, charcoal, lava rock, or a number of other things that will ensure thorough drainage.

Follow the planting instructions on the package.... Most of them say to soak the bark (or whatever) overnight before planting, then water & drain the Orchid every 7-10 days.

I made a habit of watering mine on the same day every week, so I don't have to "keep track"! The media in most of mine is bark, but I have a few in lava rock. (I like the bark better... don't know why) [dunno] When I water them, I set them down in a larger container & leave them there for about 10 minutes to an hour, so the bark can soak up the water. (I also save that water to use again the next week, so that any nutrients that drained out can be fed back to them.)

OH... and they DO like to be fed once in a while. I haven't noticed that one Orchid food is better than another, but my friend says to buy one with a high "middle number", to encourage blossoms.

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by Medon on August 30, 2006 05:55 PM
Yaaaaaaay its an easy one!!!WooHoo

Hmm so would I buy this "Orchid Mix" and place the cutting in it after I soak it in water?

Or should I place it back in the water so that it can root then place it in the Mix...Orchids are very confusing lol

I cant just get up and go buy things like fertilizers and stuff like that...Im only 15-My mom does not like taking me places because of my brother, so I cannot ever get these types of things in time-then the things I am trying to propagate die-take this for example I have been trying to get my mom to take me to the store for 4 days now trying to get her to buy me some of"new" soil(the last soil I had I accidentally left outside "pests" got it)Now I also need Orchid Mix I do hope it is inexpensive...My family is not the richest by far...
by kennyso on August 31, 2006 01:57 AM
Nice to meet you, I'm 15 too! I know what you mean, it's hard to get your parents to drive you to places and ask them to buy stuff for you. The orchid mix sells for about 3 for $10 here so I'd expect it to a bit cheaper down in the US. Don't think you should put the cutting in water it might be too wet.

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Blessed are the meek, for they shall possess the earth
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by Medon on August 31, 2006 10:23 AM
Hmm...This is very bad...my brother threw away the Orchid stem...(apparently he thought it was trash...I do not beleive the blasphemy...)He says he is gonne buy me another I told him that, that was a 60 dollar stem
^-^; so hopefully he can get me a couple easy to care for Orchids and a couple bags of the mix...

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-Jon Boyenga
by Patty S on August 31, 2006 11:03 AM
Oh NO, Jon! [shocked]
I was just getting ready to sit & post a reply to you about what you can use instead of Orchid Mix, when I saw what happened! (I even uprooted one of mine & took a picture of it, so I could explain how they grow!)  -

My goodness, it sounds like your brother is quite the tidy-upper! Does he always gather things up & take the trash out? (Pretty Strange... I've never met a kid like that!) [scaredy] So, can't you fish through the garbage & find the orchid? (Or ask him to do it?)

 - You know, don't you, that telling him $60 could greatly diminish your chances of EVER getting a replacement?!  - If I were you, I'd go tell him that it doesn't matter how much he spends on it, as long as it's not dead! (When he buys one, it will already be in Orchid mix, so forget about that part... It would take you a lifetime to use up a whole bag of it, anyway.

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by Medon on August 31, 2006 11:32 AM
Ha ha ha he already told me that he was gonne get me a couple no matter what the prices were...

Yes he does all the time...he has OCD...

I saved it...but its weak...like its dieing...kinda smushy to the touch...this saddens me...such a pretty Orchid...

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-Jon Boyenga
by Patty S on August 31, 2006 11:58 AM
Well Jon, as luck would have it, it sounds like you had already KILLED it!  -
(What was it that you mentioned about blasphemy?) [Roll Eyes] [Big Grin]

Now what was I starting to say? [dunno] (Oh! I remember!)
As luck would have it, if it's "smushy" you've most likely managed to drown the poor thing, because that's exactly what too much water does to an orchid plant... but the timing couldn't have been better, because your brother threw it away & now he thinks HE killed it! [Frown]

AAHEMM [lala] ...I'd like to suggest, if you want to sleep well at night, that you consider coming clean with him, & tell him that someone told you that it MIGHT have already been toast. (BUT... since I'm really NOT an "expert", that's only my opinion, so we can't be sure!) I think it would only be right to appeal to him, & see if he'll still replace it!

It's not going to cost you anything to see if you can salvage it though, so give me a few minutes to find the stuff that I'd written offline & was going to post, before I saw your bad news today......

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by Patty S on August 31, 2006 12:45 PM
quote:
Hmm so would I buy this "Orchid Mix" and place the cutting in it after I soak it in water?

Or should I place it back in the water so that it can root then place it in the Mix

Jon, Jon, Jon!  - You're not listening!

I figured that might help get your attention, but I hope I didn't hurt you! [grin] I just love it when kids aren't afraid to ask questions! ...However, one of the problems that has existed since the beginning of time, is that too many grown-ups don't take the time to give them answers. (I'm not like that, though. I'll answer your questions about orchids, till the cows come home... if I know the answers! But remember, I'm NOT an expert orchid grower... I can only tell you what I know, & what works for me! ... And if I don't know, then I'll help you find out, because I'll want to know too!)

One of the other problems that has always been around, is that when kids ask questions, they don't always listen to the answers!
Now... are you ready?

If you'll take a look back on the first page here, you'll see where I said, "Orchids CAN'T stay alive with their feet wet... they REQUIRE air!" (And also, "You need to get your cutting OUT of the water"!) It will rot before it gets a chance to root, because orchids don't make roots that way, like some other plantsd do!
Now I'll explain why!

Orchids are actually pretty hardy plants! They store a lot of energy (and water) in their leaves & pseudobulbs. [shocked] ....

...OK, OK! The look on your face tells me I may have gotten ahead of myself already! (Slow me down, anytime I do that, OK?) Before I continue, I'll back up a little & explain what a pseudobulb is, in case you haven't heard about those.

Pseudobulb literally means "False bulb". When you look at an orchid plant, you will see something that looks a little like a bulb at the bottom of the leaves. (Some types of orchids have that "bulb" between the leaves, & others have it so far down from the leaves, that it might actually be under the Orchid Mix.)

To make it clear for you, I took one of my orchids out of the pot & took a picture of it, & labeled the parts. (I wouldn't do that for just ANYBODY, you know! The thing is, I've taken a liking to you, & since you've taken such an interest in these plants, I'll go the extra yard to make sure you understand.)
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Now, back to why you shouldn't keep an Orchid "stem" in water...

The pseudobulb of an orchid has a lot in common with a cactus; it (and its leaves) hold most of the water and nutrients that it needs. If you were to squish it, water would come out of it, just as it would from a squished cactus, & if you were to cut one open, it would look very similar to what the inside of a cactus looks like. (Please just take my word on that, & DON'T squish it or cut into it!) [grin]

OK, have we established here that pseudobulbs (and cactus) store moisture? ...Yup, they do! Now, keeping that in mind, you need to go one step further in believing me when I say that as long as your "rootless" orchid plant isn't located in a really dry or hot area, it actually will survive for quite a long time (in a cool, dry place), & still have enough water inside it to start new roots when it's potted... and, it could even put up a stem after a while!  -

Now, let's talk about your problem of not being able to get your hands on the right type of media for that orchid. I do understand where you're coming from, because I have teenage Grand kids. The lack of money & transportation are their biggest gripes (other than having to clean their rooms, take the garbage out, feed the chickens, be nice to their sisters .... well, you know the drill!) Until you're old enough to get a "real" paying job, you'll need to get out there & mow lawns, wash cars, help somebody weed their gardens, & stuff like that, if you want to be able to pursue your interest in orchids, & support the hobby.

Meanwhile, the first thing I want you to do, is KEEP THAT ORCHID OUT OF THE WATER! [critic] (I hope you understand now, that because it already has so much water on the inside, having too much water on the outside will literally smother it & make it rot!)

The second thing I want you to do, until we can figure out how to get you hooked up with some "real" Orchid Mix, is to ask your Mom (or somebody) if they have a clay pot that might be chipped or broken, that you can have to plant your orchid in. (It doesn't have to be a big one.)

When you get your hands on a clay pot:

* Scrub it out with just a little bit of bleach (like Clorox or Purex), mixed with water... but don't let the clay soak it up. That should kill off any bad germs that would make your orchid sick. Rinse it out well, when you're done.

* Then break it all up into approximately 1/2" pieces. (Don't "crush" the pieces... you will NOT want to use the clay powder.)

* After you have a few handfuls of clay chips, soak them overnight, & drain all the water off the next day.

* Put those chips into a small plastic pot that has lots of drain holes in the bottom. (Even one of those cups that McDonald's puts ice cream sundaes in, would work great. Just make sure you poke holes all over the bottom of it.)

* Then, put the pseudobulb into those clay chips, leaving most of it showing above the chips, & leave it alone for a week or so.

* Every 7 to 10 days (Actually, when the chips at the bottom seem to be pretty dry), fill it with water & let it sit for a few minutes before draining it all back out.

The clay chips will hold enough moisture for the roots to form & start reaching down through them, to take hold. (Remember, the roots are going to be "air roots", NOT water roots.)

Let me know how that works out, OK?

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by Medon on August 31, 2006 01:12 PM
Eh hem...I guess I really misinterpretted..I dont have one of the pseudobulbs...I got a stem that the flowwer grows on...Im not quite sure if that can root or not( [scaredy] hope it will [scaredy] )

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-Jon Boyenga
by Patty S on August 31, 2006 02:25 PM
Sorry buddy, but no... the flower stem won't develop a pseudobulb OR roots.  -

When you said that you'd gotten a "cutting", I assumed that someone had given you a baby pseudobulb that had formed from the "mama" one! (The flower world can be as confusing as computers, when it comes to sorting out the terminology!) [nutz]

Well, if your brother is willing to buy you a whole plant, to replace the FLOWER he tossed out (they really do last quite a while in a vase of water), you'll get your wish & will be raising an orchid!  - Actually, if he were to go to a florist & buy an orchid FLOWER, he'd probably be paying 3 times more than he would if he bought an orchid PLANT from a grocery store, when they have them in! Usually, they run around $12 - $15, but I've seen them for $9.99! (They're indoor plants, so they AREN'T seasonal, You might want to keep an eye out!)

Hey!  - Put it on your Christmas wish list, & if that doesn't work, wait until May & put it on your birthday list! (I noticed that your birthday is the same as my youngest son's! He's 11 years older than you are.)

So, since the orchid project is scrapped, tell me if you're growing any flowers or veggies in your yard. [dunno] You mentioned in your profile that you're interested in horticulture... are there classes offered in high school that go along with that, or do you have to wait till you go to college? (Either way, there's LOTS of stuff you can learn around here in the meantime!) [thumb]

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by Medon on August 31, 2006 04:39 PM
He he I was afraid that there was no hope for the "cutting" well I suppose it wasnt really a cutting but a -Flower-

Oh hes definately getting me some Orchids he already said he didnt care of the price...(I have also noticed that Wal-Mart and the such sell them...though they only sell one at a time..thats bothersome...)

Oh yes I am very interested in Horticultury its what I wish to be when I am a bit older-there is a class in High School that you can take...It counts as a P.E. Class but I already know everything that they cover in there
(Ex.Germination, Propagation)
The class is called FFA(Future Farmers of America) and/or Agriculture..

I think that in college my major will be Horticultury and my minor will be Art..
(As you could probably tell I am a person who likes to think ahead of the present to try and plot out the future he he-Right when I hit 16 at the end of this school year I am going to get me a job and start saving for college...)

Oh yes I have a pretty big garden in my backyard...I will list everything that I am growing back there...

Watermelon, Cantaloupe, Strawberries, Pineapple, Tea, Catnip, Dracaena Marginata(Dragon Tree), Sweet Williams, Violas, Red and pink Hibiscus, Pear, Figs(for fig preserves-yum), Elephant Ear bush thingy...(not sure of the real name), Bananas, and Tomatoes(all the tomatoes I grow die though...I dont know why)

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-Jon Boyenga
by Medon on August 31, 2006 05:05 PM
Hey I have copied the post with the pic in it and saved it in Notepad...You never know when I will need that information he he ^-^;;

also from the post above-my mom does not want me to do anything with the front yard...(We are recently re-modeling the house and the extirior as well...well she wants to put some weird bush that I forget the name of in front of this window but I say "NO, this plant is so much prettier" its called "Pride of Barbedos" I love those pretty little flowers on them...)

Just wanted to add that because it seems that me and my mom have a lot of Garden related arguments..but I always seem to win because I guess I know more about plants [Big Grin] [Big Grin] you think?

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-Jon Boyenga
by kennyso on September 01, 2006 01:42 AM
Jon we are so alike...especially the part about argueing and moms!

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Blessed are the meek, for they shall possess the earth
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by Medon on September 01, 2006 02:25 AM
Ha ha ha you think?

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-Jon Boyenga
by Patty S on September 01, 2006 02:23 PM
Jon, it sounds like you've been pretty busy, with all you have growing in the back yard! (You must be a handy guy to have around!) I think you should put "digital camera" on your wish list for Christmas, cuz we'd love to see some pics! [thumb]

Gosh, I wonder what the problem is with your tomatoes. [dunno] Are they in full sun? I've heard that it's not a good idea to plant tomatoes in the same spot every year, cuz they take too much (nitrogen, I think) out of the soil, & need to have something else there, that'll beef the soil back up before tomatoes will do well in that spot again.

If you find out where your county extension office is (it should be listed in the phone book) & take a sample of soil in there, they'll test it for you, to see what it might be lacking.

I forgot about FFA, & that it's available in most schools. That's a great program, & I know you'll enjoy it, as interested as you are in plants!  -

quote:
me and my mom have a lot of Garden related arguments..but I always seem to win because I guess I know more about plants you think?
Well, either you know more about plants, or you win because it saves her a lot of work when you "take over"!! [Big Grin]

I looked up Pride of Barbados & it sounds like a great bush for the front yard, especially because it stays green all year! [thumb] You're right, the flowers ARE awesome. (I noticed that it's also called Red Bird of Paradise, Dwarf Poinciana & Peacock Flower.) Is there a certain time of year that is best to transplant it? It'd be great if the remodeling in front gets done at the right time to get the bush in!

Hi there Kenny! [wavey] (I saw you on the last page, & forgot to say hello to you!) [grin]

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by kennyso on September 01, 2006 02:39 PM
Hey Patty! Pride of Barbedos, is that the same as a Mexican Bird of Paradise? I got five seeds from a trade just yesterday...gonna see if I can grow them! Jon, your lucky to have FFA in high school, we don't have anything close to that (we did cover reproduction of plants for a few days but it wasn't anyhting extrodinary) you could try taking pics with your cell while you wait for a camera (I was promised a camera for my birthday in May but it doesn't look hopeful!)

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Blessed are the meek, for they shall possess the earth
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by Medon on September 01, 2006 02:47 PM
You know what your right...I have been planting them in the same place every year...they performed nicely the first year but the years after not so well...

Yah my mom thinks Im so"amazingly gifted"when it comes to gardening so sometimes she just comes up to me and says"Hey, I was thinking about putting this plant here, what do you think?"

Yes I keep telling her to come to Home Depot so that I can show her the flowers...because I know that if she sees them she will go crazy about them...but she wont even take me to get a bag of soil...FRUSTRATING

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-Jon Boyenga
by Medon on September 01, 2006 02:58 PM
I dont have a Camera Phone...just a regular Cell...My mother is a photographer but she would never let me use her camera because if I broke it I would have to pay 3000 dollars for a new one...

I dont think that Canada would have Future Farmers of America...but maybe you could try and write up a petition to get a Future Farmers of Canada!! That would be awesome!FFC cool ^-^!

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-Jon Boyenga
by dodge on September 07, 2006 07:27 AM
Medon

Might be the heat that kills your tomatoes.

dodge

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