It’s been a great adventure!

Letter from Alberto Marvelli to Cactus & Co. members

Obviously, I’m talking about the birth and development over these twenty years of the association CACTUS & Co.
I can still remember quite clearly that afternoon of so many years ago when a tiny group of enthusiasts, meeting under the arcade in my house at Venegono Superiore, decided we could do something more to support our love of all things spiny and succulent. And so we founded the association.
1997: the first brave issue of the journal, 48 pages in A4 format, in full colour, including a contribution from Gordon Rowley, one of the world’s greatest scholars of succulents.
And from there it continued, from almost 200 pages a year to the more than 320 of these last few years.
And then the books, and what books! Just to mention a few: “Vygies” by Ernst van Jaarsveld, “Crassula” and “Teratopia” by Gordon Rowley, “Lithops. Flowering Stones” by Desmond and Naureen Cole, “Melocactus of Cuba” by Z. Rigerski, G. Delanoy, E. Uiréti and A. Vilardebo, “The genus Turbinicarpus in San Luis Potosì” by Grupo San Luis, “Monadenium” by Albert Pritchard, “Succulent in Nature” by Laura Guglielmone, “Succulents, how to cultivate them” by Eggli & Gugliemone.
All published in both Italian and English, self-financing and, luckily, selling like hot cakes, completely covering the huge expenses involved.

I take this occasion to express my affectionate greetings to all the authors who, with their texts and images, have made our journal great, as well as all those in charge of making the journal up who, issue after issue, continually improved the layout of our publications. A big thank you to Lucio Russo, to Andrea Cattabriga, to Studio Segno Ruvido, and to Francesca Laura Losciale, for having interpreted our wishes in the best possible way.

Thanks of course to all our members who, over these years, have made all this possible with their financial support, to all those who have taken turns leading local sections and have done so much to bring Cactus & Co. to people’s attention and to help it to grow.

Unfortunately, from the exciting peak of more than 2300 members in 2004, the number has gradually contracted, dropping to only 300 this year, and it seems destined to decline yet further. To quote Mariangela, at this point we cannot take the responsibility of spending money that is not going to be there; so with great sadness we must suspend publication of this splendid journal.
But again to paraphrase Mariangela’s words, hope and enthusiasm die hard. Provided that your support, however modest, is there, then fine things will happen because, though this will be the last issue of our journal (at least for now), is is equally certain that the adventure will go on. The association will still exist, and will still be active.
In wishing you all a succulent future, I want to say a word about those who, working silently, have enabled CACTUS & Co. to live and to grow: thank you Mariangela, thank you Lino, thank you Carlo, and even a small thank you to me.

With great affection,

Good Bye!

Letter from Mariangela Costanzo to Cactus & Co. members

This year the number of members has decreased once more. As of today the association has just 310 members. The sale of back numbers and books has also gone down a lot. Even though there has been a big saving, thanks to the conflation of issues and the introduction of digital printing, production of a journal like ours costs around seven thousand euro per issue, to which must be added some fifteen hundred euro for mailing. This year, incomings have only just been enough to cover all the outgoings. Next year they might not be enough if, as if highly probably, the number of members should decrease even further. So we must temporarily suspend publication of the journal. There is no other alternative, except that of producing a low-quality journal, no longer bilingual. Cactus & Co. will carry on organising meetings and events in those regions where people are prepared to take on responsibility for organizing them. The membership fee for 2018 will be reduced from the current 50,00 Euro for ordinary members and 90,00 Euro for sustaining members, to 5,00 Euro for ordinary and 10,00 for sustaining members. This is a symbolic sum, which will enable us to keep the website and forum active, but if you all continue to follow us, we may be able to extend our offer of e-books by adding further titles. And if we manage to collect other money by selling the publications that are still in stock, which we are offering at very attractive prices, then we might be able to print a special issue of a new book. There is no lack of material in hand.

Why a Blog?
Maybe we should start by saying what a blog is.
A blog is a container, a place where information, experiences, knowledge, opinions can be shared. It is a way of introducing ourselves, of continuing to keep in touch with you all, and of continuing to do what we used to do through the journal and the books: publishing texts and images.
A blog costs almost nothing. At a time like this it’s all we can afford. Of course it won’t be like leafing through the journal, but perhaps we will feel the loss of our journal less if we still have something to read, and if we have something new every week or so. With a blog we can. We can publish articles whenever we want. The more contributions come our way, the more interesting the blog will be.
So we are counting on all of you to help.
It will be inside our website and, in part, open to all. Some contents will only be available to members.
When you subscribe, we will ask for your e-mail address, so that we can send you a password allowing your access to the reserved pages.
We should be ready to go by the end of December.

Arrivederci ~ Good Bye,

P.S. We are sorry but the blog will be only in italian language.
If this is not a problem for you, you can subscribe at this link

5,00 € - Ordinary member
10,00 € - Contributing member