MEET BRENT BAKER
I was introduced to my first orchid at AGE 13 and from there it has been an ever growing journey of passion, education and excitement!
From a very early age I have been intrigued by anything unusual, rare or just plain bizarre regarding plants, animals and fish. I encountered my first orchid by accident at a mall that was holding an annual orchid show and was instantly hooked; the orchid was a Paphiopedilum. I was told by the individual selling the plant that it would be too difficult for me to learn and basically was not given the time of day. It is this statement along with my already strong passion for animals that has fueled my endeavor with cultivating orchids. Little did I know that this would become a lifelong passion of endless fascination. I love a challenge and with a very small budget I began my first attempt at cultivation. My first little greenhouse was 4x8x7 in Yorba Linda California, the hottest, driest and coldest city in Orange County. Was a rough beginning but as my passion evolved so did my ability to cultivate and in very little time the quantity of plants I owned multiplied exponentially.
At age 20 I took out a small loan while attending college and working Full time and purchased my first 12 x 24 x 12 ft Greenhouse. Took a solid year to build, but every moment I had free was dedicated to the progression. With that one greenhouse I began growing a wide diversity of different orchids and rare tropical plants.
Within a few years and having met some great professional orchid growers I compiled a collection of over a 100 species of orchids and currently have several thousand plants. I have received over 50 awards from the American orchid Society including 3 First class certificates, (FCC) awards, the highest award you can receive from the AOS.
A fascination with hybridizing began shortly after and I flowered my first hybrid (Catasetum Brent Baker) at age 30 which really placed my passion for orchids in a new and exciting direction. Since the successful propagation of the Catasetum I have made nearly 50 hybrids from multiple different genera. January 2013 was the beginning of a partnership with my Dad, Bill Baker who has a MS in Chemistry and started a lab. This has been very exciting to say the least and has enabled me to make many more hybrids and incorporate this into a fully fledged family business.
I pride myself on the quality and diversity of my collection and it has taken me over 15 years of searching and endless hours of research to obtain the knowledge and skill that I continue to improve upon every day.
I have had the pleasure of doing some great traveling and have been to South Africa, Panama, Peru and Colombia for the sole purpose of improving my understanding of orchids and refining my cultivation techniques.
Orchids are a way of life for me and my passion continues to grow every day. It seems that there is no end to what can be accomplished with the discovery of new species and the production of new and wild hybrids. Sharing this passion with others has been one of the most satisfying aspects to date. It is very important to me that others have the opportunity to discover and uncover the majestic world of orchids.