Spring Cleaning Special! Buy 10 plants in 2.5" pots for $80 - FREE SHIPPING!
The dream of building an orchid nursery has burned in me since I was first introduced to orchids at the age of sixteen. Taking a job at a local nursery chain, I was inspired by Mr. Dennis Miller, one of the best managers I’ve had, whose belief in my ability to satisfy customers because of my genuine interest in their plant needs fueled my passion. It was also at this nursery chain that I saw my first orchids in the houseplant section. I had to call some my own. My first plants were Tolumnias, grown simply in charcoal. My mind was blown that anything could thrive with such a barren media!!
In December 2000, I graduated from the University of South Florida with a degree in Biology and Education. I got a teaching job in 2001, and taught just about every science – from Biology to Physics – that the State of Florida offers. It was also in 2001 that I bought my first house, in St. Petersburg, built a small shade house, and began selling orchids on EBay. While it seemed that I was finally able to make concrete plans for a nursery and begin to save money, the years that follow were some of the most trying of my life, and they serve as the basis for my nursery’s name, David’s Goliath Orchids. I faced a number of giants that I felt I could never defeat.
Having saved enough money to finally start a nursery of my own, I moved to a new home in Plant City, my hopes bursting at the seams. Unfortunately, a moving truck accident and my genuine wish to make things right with the truck owner caused the loss of every dollar of my start-up money. Then, it seemed that the devastation would not stop bulldozing my life. With the death of my beloved grandparents, the loss of a job at Dell (for which I had left teaching), and no income, I sank into a deep depression.
Although I had been a Christian longer than an orchid grower, it felt impossible to look beyond the giants in my life. Like David in the Bible, I had to realign my faith not in myself, but in God. Luckily, I soon saw an advertisement for a position with the Pathology Department at the University of Florida Gulf Coast Research Center in Balm, Florida. They needed a person for labor in the planting, spraying, and harvesting of strawberries. Despite the low wage, I could not apply fast enough. Did I already say that I needed a job?
Through this decision to trust God, I began to see blessings. With the help of a co-worker, I met and started dating my future wife, Emme. I was climbing out of the doldrums. I was starting to get some “wins” notched in my belt. It was not long before she and I were married in 2010, and we settled back in Plant City soon after. With all the moving around and changes in my life, I gave my orchid collection to a friend. I had given up on the dream of owning my own nursery because of so much loss. The giant had won.
Well, giving up orchids of the scale I had was like quitting a habit cold turkey, I guess. I was newly married, but missing my hobby, my passion. Emme has an air about her that is what great books are written about. Most of all, she believed in me realizing my dream to have an orchid nursery. So after about a year and half, Emme agreed to work on building the nursery with me once more. In April 2013, I found an abandoned 26’x100’ complete greenhouse that was for sale, so I bought it, disassembled it (thanks to a great friend!) and brought it home. And at the time of this writing, I am lining up a bigger well to be drilled. With my new position as a biological scientist in the strawberry breeding department at GCREC, I am blessed to be nearing the completion of my second Master’s Degree in Horticulture Science. So, yes, good things happen to the patient ones. Always in God’s timing.
The nursery name comes from the Bible story of David and Goliath, and the principle that I work to make the best plants available to my customers. The nursery has finally come to fruition after beating some giant setbacks that left me wondering if I really should dabble in orchids at all. But my faith stood firm, and I encourage you to read 2 Samuel, Chapter 7, particularly verse 28.
If I can help you out, or find a plant that I might not have, I’ll try to do my best. I am most excited about serving the needs of customers who enjoy plants. Thanks for looking, and Happy Growing!!