Hydroponics Store

There’s this local hydroponics store.  I discovered it in my quest for cheap vermiculite.  The guy who’s usually at the counter is pretty knowledgeable about gardening.  So, I was unprepared for my last trip to the store…

I was looking for “EM”.  Effective microorganisms are a component of bokashi composting.  I wanted to try bokashi because of something I read in Solomon’s book (Gardening When It Counts).   Solomon talks about how we don’t have certain nutrients in our soil because we start out lacking these nutrients, then our livestock eats plants grown without those nutrients from the soil, and then we use manure from the livestock that lacks those nutrients to add nutrients to the soil.  Pretty basic, huh?  Well, doesn’t it make sense that if we utilized bokashi composting, we could re-add nutrients that come from other areas?  I was thinking I would try it and see if it helped the nutrient levels in my soil.

OK, I called the hydroponics store and the guy said, “Oh yeah, we have effective microorganisms.”  So, I made the trek with both kids in tow to the store.  Apparently, the guy who is usually there is out getting surgery.  The guy at the counter takes me over to the shelf and points at these pill jars and tells me, “There they are.”  I know this is incorrect (there are only two companies that make EM in the US), so I ask if the owner is there.  Out comes this guy in a leather jacket.  After a short discussion about bokashi composting, with me asking about it and him saying, “Is that the stuff where you can turn the composter?”  I figure out that this guy is not growing veggies with his hydroponics set up.  Then he reverently holds up the pill bottle and says, “This is the stuff that makes the forest alive.”  I’m thinking, “Wow, he’s selling poop in pill bottles.”  He wants ten bucks for the bottles of forest life.  I make it clear that I’ll think about it.  For all of thirty seconds while I roll out the door…

The moral to the story is, do a bit of research BEFORE you go to the store.  Sometimes the pot head idiot behind the counter will sell you anything and you won’t end up with what you wanted and you will usually pay far more than it’s worth.  At least you’ll have that fuzzy warm feeling that comes with buying forest life, but I highly doubt you’ll be able to use it.


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