Don Vitko was born and raised in North Dakota. He started growing cacti with a single seed packet in the early 1960’s at his grandparents farm. His grandma was a grower of many plants and huge gardens and she actually got Don interested in growing plants. He picked cacti because they were the only plant that made it without daily care while he was in school. Mainly because the farm was 70 miles away from his home town Minot, North Dakota.
In 1968 Don got his first 8’X12’ wood frame greenhouse. From there his collection started growing and expanding into many greenhouses until 2010 when the International Peace Gardens in North Dakota asked him about plants for their conservatory that was currently under construction. Don then decided to donate his entire collection of 6800 plants with over 5000 species. The move started with the big plants in 2010 then in 2011 Minot had a huge flood pushing the move into just a few days.
Don and his wife Kim retired in 2015-16. Kim was a nurse and Don was a salesman for beer for 20 years, then commercial tires for 25 years. He and his wife now live in the Oro Valley area. He is now a volunteer at Bach’s Cactus Nursery and continues to propagate plants. Some of his favorites are Astrophytum, Copiapoa and Ferocactus plus many others.
The book, "Hens and Chicks The Vitko Collection" is being offered for sale at the special price of $16.95 (Regular Retail $19.95). If anyone would like to order the book online, it can be purchased (free shipping in the U.S.) at Memories Forever: mfphoto.homestead.com/TCSS.html
Please be sure to come and enjoy this special program with Don Vitko and have an excellent evening with friends, fun, books, raffle plants, free plants and lots of great refreshments.