Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Wedding Recap, Project Updates and Cork

Finally back at Kona Kai and getting settled in after a great time in Ohio.  The wedding was excellent and much to my relief, the music seemed to be a big hit with everyone.  Admittedly I was a little nervous before starting, but once things got going, I found it easy to get to work making sure everyone had an unforgettable night.  As promised, I have a couple preliminary pictures for you; the ones from the photographers won't be available for another four weeks or so and I didn't want to disappoint on the tantalizing end of my previous post...

First a picture of my setup, which was pretty basic: a laptop with a mixer hooked up via USB, a couple disco balls, two QSC K10 speakers with a KSUB to the right of the table providing the thump, and of course a tree in my corner.  The speakers don't look like much, but they sure can fill a hall really well when it's time to get your dance on.  Annnd here's a shot of the Ethnobotanist-DJ in action, singing/rocking out with the dance floor:

Almost as excited as I get about plants and ethnobotany, but not quite.  So if you see me start air-guitaring in front of a plant I've never seen bloom before, you'll know why.  Ok, getting back to the Gardens...we're finally finishing up the immense project of connecting the Resort to the new Keys sewer system.  Even though it's taken a little longer than expected, we have been fortunate in encountering no major botanical crises along the way and the grounds including nearly all of the plants appear miraculously untouched.  Credit to Veronika and Joe for this, as I'm sure they were driving contractors a little nuts with panicked botanical warnings like "Mind the Bambusa vulgaris 'Wamin Striata'!" and "I better not see a scratch on that Hyophorbe verschaffeltii!" and "Ah!! Don't step on the Cycas panzhihuaensis!" etc.  If you'd like to see a glimpse of what the project involved over the past few weeks, take a look at the "Installing sewer lines at Kona Kai - August 2011" photo album, posted on our Facebook wall.

In other news, we received our second batch of 50 display labels from Nameplate & Panel Technology, who do a great job when it comes to producing display labels for plants.  Their materials and printing combined with Ronnie's graphic design expertise have created some of the best display labels I've seen at any botanical institution.  You might say I'm biased so I challenge - no, I double-dare you to come see for yourself this winter.  Yes, a double-dare is legally binding, so if you are reading this, I'll be expecting to see your smiling face here at Kona Kai in the next several months - I promise you won't be disappointed.  Veronika and I will be placing these labels in the coming weeks, so look forward to learning much more during your stay!

Joe, our Gardens Director, sent me a link to a great ethnobotanical story about why natural cork is still the best topper for wine bottles to keep wine tasting great over the years.  It's neat to explore the reasons why, despite our technological advances, products made from plants are many times still the very best quality products one can buy and this article is a good example of that.  Although it's not mentioned in the article, most of our natural cork is sustainably harvested bark from Quercus suber, the cork oak.  If you have some time, surf the Web to find more information about this plant and the production/usefulness of its cork and I know you'll find some great 'gee-whiz' facts that you'll want to share, so feel free to post any you find especially interesting as a comment below!  It also seems like the plant would enjoy our climate, so I'll be keeping it in mind if we ever have a spot open up...Kona Kai Resort, Gallery, Botanic Gardens & Wine Co.???

Rick Hederstrom
Associate Director

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