Coffee roasting experts from San Francisco’s Sightglass Coffee will be at the Conservatory to explain how they source, roast, and brew a wondrous cup of coffee. Processing methods, varieties, growing altitudes, climate, soil and farm conditions are a few of the many factors that shape and determine a coffee’s overall quality.Learn about the process, then visit the Conservatory’s own Coffea arabica plants inside the greenhouse.
We are delighted to offer artists and photographers a special opportunity to set up easels and tripods outside of normal hours of operation in our special exhibits gallery. Capture the amazing Butterfly exhibit crowd free, take your time to get that extraordinary photo!
San Francisco’s artisan chocolatierDandelion Chocolatewill be at the Conservatory to share howthey roast, crack, sort, winnow, grind, conch, and temper small batches of beans and then mold and package each bar by hand. Learn about the process, then visit the Conservatory’s own Theobroma cacao tree inside the greenhouse
Explore the extraordinarily diverse world of insects and arthropods with Save Nature. Hold giant darkling beetles, colorful grasshoppers, 240 legged African millipedes and Madagascar hissing cockroaches. The Insect Discovery Lab will teach about the natural history of tropical insects and their key roles in the web of life.
Culinary experts from San Francisco’s Spice Ace will explore the diversity of spices from the tropics such as vanilla, ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, and allspice. Spice Ace’s Master Blender will inspire new recipes and mixes for your next culinary adventure. Learn about the botanical and culinary history of tropical spices, and then visit the Conservatory’s vanilla orchid or cinnamon tree.
Explore the intersection of art and science. Now a thriving art form, Botanical illustration is one of the oldest watercolor genres used throughout history to classify the importance of plants.
San Francisco Center for the Book will be at the Conservatory to teach visitors the art of a naturalist notebook. Build your own small book and print the pages with colorful orchids, feathery ferns, and textured tillandsias. Learn the art of the naturalist notebook, then explore the Conservatory to find the plants in your pages.
Get up close to tropical reptiles with the Lick Your Eyeballs team. Meet geckos that lick their eyeballs, hold a 3-foot friendly lizard, and hang out with a colorful chameleon. Lick You Eyeballs will introduce you to the wonderful world of tropical reptiles and amphibians and their ecology.
Are your Miltonia orchids a mess and your Phaelaenopsis failing to bloom? Whatever ails your orchid, the Conservatory’s Doctor can help! Conservatory volunteer Paul Bourbin has been in the business of growing and rescuing orchids for 30 years. He’ll offer repotting demonstrations, plant identification, and tips for caring for your orchids. The doctor will be in between the hours of 12:00 and 3:00 to look at your plant or a photo of your plant and prescribe advice.
We will use Foldscope microscopes take a close look into the natural wonders of Golden Gate Park as well as special curiosities from the Conservatory, including the scales of butterfly wings and the micro-community hidden in carnivorous plants. The Foldscope is an ultra-affordable paper microscope that you can use and assemble easily, to do microscopy anywhere at anytime.