Shrinking Cactus Clubs
There has been some interesting disccusion on cacti_etc
recently on this topic. A number of the subscribers suggest that one of the prime reasons for declining membership is due to clubs not welcoming new members and making them feel at home. I don't disagree with this point but wonder if there are also economic and social trends reducing the number of people growing our plants. Sharply rising fuel costs are making it more expensive to travel to meetings and in more northerly latitudes making it expensive to heat greenhouses in the winter.
It has been noticeable this year that a siginificant number of cactus and succulent nurseries have closed. It would be interesting to hear from other nursery owners if turnover has declined, particularly in the wholesale sector. If this is the case we should perhaps looking to alternative methods for over-wintering our plants. The methods employed in eastern European countries may have something to teach us.
We also need to give serious thought to how clubs can interact with their members in other ways than monthly meetings.