AOC Conference & Show
Perth, Western Australia
11th to 16th September 2012
Orchids Florida, USA
R.F. Orchids opened its doors in the fall
of 1970 on a portion of Fred and Louise Fuchs 1921 homestead property.
Fred, Sr. and Louise ran their nursery together until
Fred, Sr.s death in 1969. Because of Freds ill health in the
last few years of his life, the nursery suffered some decline during that
time. In 1970 grandson Bob graduated from Florida State University, and
after graduation returned to Homestead and began a massive cleanup and
renovation of the nursery. He brought in plants from his own collection,
which had been housed at another site, and R.F. Orchids opened for business
in December of that year.
At that time, Bobs official profession was teaching at Homestead
Junior High, and the nursery was open only on weekends and afternoons
after school. Juggling both commitments was quite an effort.
1984 brought the attention of orchid growers around the world to Miami,
for the 11th World Orchid Conference and its prestigious orchid show.
Much of that attention focused on R.F. Orchids when their plants won 12
individual medals and their exhibit won a Best In Class trophy. And most
important of all, R.F. Orchids plant Vanda Deva Robert
was honored as the Grand Champion of the 11WOC. This award catapulted
R.F.Orchids into international recognition and acceptance as one of the
leading vandaceous orchid firms in the world.
Bob retired from teaching in 1985 and incorporated the nursery. The nursery
participates in several dozen orchid shows each year, many of them international
shows outside the United States. Bob has written many articles for publication
in Orchids, the prestigious magazine of the American Orchid Society, and
in other distinguished international publications.
An accredited American Orchid Society judge, he travels extensively throughout
the world to attend orchid shows, present lectures and programs to orchid
societies and other groups, and he is the author of the section on Vanda
Culture in the American Orchid Societys Handbook on Orchid
R.F. Orchids celebrated its 50th Anniversary in 2010. In the years since
the nurserys founding, it has won more American Orchid Society awards
more than 1,000 since 1985 than any other nursery or individual
grower. Those awards include more CCM/AOS awards for culture, given to
the grower and not to the plant, than have been awarded to any other orchid
grower in the world. Our plants have also won many FCC/AOS awards
the First Class Certificate, the highest flower-quality award the AOS
grants, and Bobs stunning show exhibits have won thirty Gold Medals,
and forty-eight Show Trophies from the American Orchid Society for the
Most Outstanding Orchid Exhibit at an AOS-sanctioned show.
The awards dont stop with the American Orchid Society. R. F. Orchids
has been recognized with prestigious awards from the Royal Horticultural
Society in England, World
Orchid Conferences, the Japan Grand Prix, South African Orchid Congress
Shows, and from orchid societies in Costa Rica, El Salvador, Panama, Guatemala,
Venezuela, Colombia, Ecuador, and Peru .
The nursery has been featured in many national and international publications,
including TIME, National Geographic, the New York Times, Casa y Estilo,
Vanidades, and Southern Living, as well as local and regional newspapers
Bob is a life member and former trustee of the American Orchid Society,
life member of the Royal Horticultural Society of Thailand, member of
the Royal Horticultural Society in England, past president and board member
of the South Florida Orchid Society; founding member and past president
of the East Everglades Orchid Society. In 1994 the South Florida Orchid
Society presented him with its Distinguished Service Award. He is a member
of the Homestead-Florida City Chamber of Commerce, and a generous supporter
of the education and conservation programs at Miami MetroZoo. In October,
1999, the City of Homestead presented Bob with the Key to The City, and
proclaimed Robert Fuchs Day, in recognition of his dedication, hard work
and contributions to the improvement of the horticulture industry in our
community. In January, 2001, Bob was named Miami-Dade Countys Agriculturalist
of the Year.
In the fall of 2002, Bob was appointed Co-Chairman of the 19th World Orchid
Conference, in January, 2008 in Miami. Held once every three years in
a different international location, the World Orchid Conference is the
largest and most prestigious gathering of orchid professionals, scientists,
growers and hobbyists. The 19th World Orchid Conference was hosted jointly
by the South Florida Orchid Society and the Ft. Lauderdale Orchid Society
at the Sheraton Miami Mart Convention Center.
In February, 2012, Bob was honored as the first orchid grower to be inducted
into the Florida Agricultural Hall of Fame
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