Nancy Kirk Mountford is a co-founder and co-owner of Orchids Dominicana, "Orchidom" a production nursery located in the Dominican Republic. She hybridizes phalaenopsis, vandas and some paphiopedilums. "The Paphs are still my 'hobby', especially miniature complex Paphs," says Nancy. After doing "worm identifications" for 30 years, the orchids are "now almost full time, from hybridizing to lab work to blooming. One of my most exciting events is to see one of my own hybrids in bloom," she continues.
Nancy received her first orchid in 1970, a keiki from an Epidendrum growing in the greenhouses of the Botany Department at Rutgers University. She has always been fascinated by the challenge of growing tropical plants and was hooked on the challenge of growing something "so exotic as an orchid." Nancy notes that, "It was wonderful to visit the old nurseries in the northern New Jersey area such as Lager & Hurrell and the Pattersons." She graduated with a B.A. in Zoology from Douglass College (RU) the following year, married and moved to Maryland, where she worked as a Marine Biologist for the University of Maryland's Chesapeake Biological Lab for the next nine years. While in graduate school in Zoology at the University of Maryland, she started Cove Corporation, specializing in the identification of benthic invertebrates.
Nancy joined the National Capital Orchid Society (NCOS) in the early 1970s and has been a member of the Maryland Orchid Society for almost that long. She was on the board of directors for the NCOS for 12 years. Nancy first joined the AOS in 1974, and started in the judging program in 1993. She is now an Accredited Judge and the Vice-Chair of the National Capital Judging Center. She has traveled extensively in her judging capacity, having judged at the European Orchid Congress in London, the WOC in Vancouver; and international shows in Colombia, the Dominican Republic and Taiwan.
Nancy is a talented exhibitor, having won the AOS show trophy in the NCOS, SEPOS, and GNYOS shows, and has won gold, silver gilt and silver medals for exhibits at the London Orchid Show. "Setting up an exhibit gives you a chance to show off your plants and to bond with like-minded orchid growers," says Nancy. "The people of the orchid community are my network of friends and family. They are, truly, what makes this lifestyle so interesting and rewarding, and I am gratified to giving back to that community in my capacity as a Trustee."