By Ken Waldie on the December 2020 Edition
Just north of Manzanillo, in the Ejido El Central, just off the highway, you can find an orchid farm. And this was our next stop on our Colima tour.
Viveplants, mainly orchids, if you’re Canadian the pronunciation is easy; Veev aye … as in ‘How you doin’, eh?’ is the creation of Fidel Maza Selvas, a world renowned agronomist.
Fidel has studied orchids most of his life and was waiting for us in his parking area, having set aside time in his busy day to give us a personal tour, as Tommy does at Olas Brisa Gardens.
We passed a group of trees that birthed orchids in their branches above and grew down to the ground to root. They were beautiful. From there, we moved on to acres of nurseries holding an ocean of color. Splendid, delicate, small, huge, with such variety I got an orchid education that day.
All these plants are protected with acres of overhead cover, with acres of water lines above and below ground, and a dedicated well and proportionate reservoir (the thing was huge).
I’m embarrassed to admit that I killed the Phalaenopsis or ‘Moth Orchid’ that my mother gave me, in very short order, but I felt somewhat vindicated after seeing the place where orchids are happy. I decided that, when I move to Mexico permanently,
I’ll let go of my indigenous garden of devil’s club, horse tail,huckleberry and western red cedar, all of which would instantly perish in the Manzanillo climate.
Fidel knows his orchids and loves what he does so much that there was a glow about him as he shared his world with us and, having walked among the orchids, he then showed us the Vive production building.
We entered walk-in coolers where cut flowers are bundled and assembled for shipment worldwide. One of Fidel’s main outlets is a kiosk in the Punto Bahía Mall, in Manzanillo.
On leaving the production area, we were invited to a splendidly decorated table where we were served coffee and deserts. The table was beautifully laden with varieties of orchids. While we enjoyed our repast, our host demonstrated how he starts seed-lings and the stages that are involved in growing orchids for production. There’s a lot to it.
Orchids are beautiful, intricate delicate wonders of nature. Brassia, Brassavola, Catasetum, Cattleya, Cymbidium, Cypripedium-all orchid names, don’t begin to convey how attractive these flowers are or what it’s like to see a field of them amassed. This experience I leave to you.
When you have a half day, head north toward the airport, go find Fidel at Viveplants and see for yourself!