Monday, December 13, 2010

Welcome to one and all from Western North Carolina!

This blog is a celebration. We have finally done it! After many years and untold hours of development and research, we have recreated an secret recipe that was once thought to be lost forever. Over a a hundred years ago there was an almost mythical plant food that had a reputation for growing the biggest and brightest flowers. It was known in the southeast to be a necessity for those wanting the biggest and most tasty tomatoes and. Beans, corn, spices and almost any other plant seemed to thrive, as if under a magical spell, when given even a small amount of this special plant food. It was proven to grow more flowers and vegetables while making a dramatic improvement in the quality.

Some one hundred years later I set out on a search to find the missing ingredients. You see, this is a family secret that was guarded very well and only written down in one place. In 1956 the one remaining copy was lost in a flood and thought to be gone forever. My great aunt was the one remaining person to keep the secret and was suffering from dementia. This was many years before I was born and it appeared that nobody was thinking about what about to fade away.

After her her death in 1958 my great aunt Jane's flowers seemed to keep right on growing and looked just as wonderful as they had in years past. This was accredited to her fantastic green thumb and ability to "grow anything". After about ten years someone finally noticed that these plants were still beautiful. How could that be? Some of her roses were just left to fin for themselves. Her Mums were left with my uncle and her never did anything to them yet they continued to thrive. When I was a child I can remember the gorgeous colors that adorned the homes of my family. They just seemed natural and were normal as far as I could tell. The Lilac in my grandparents back yard was such a deep lavender that it almost had a mystical quality.

In the early 80's became interested in doing my own work with plants. I found that I had a love and appreciation for gardening and landscaping. I did the same thing as most. I bought 4x4 timbers and created raised beds. I bought the plastic edging from the big box stores and my yard looked just like every other one around me in no time flat. I bought my plants in the little black cartons and seemed to never place them in the right location for sun. Once that was worked through I then had to learn more about what was the difference in my plants and the really good ones. I asked at the stores. This was a huge waste of time. Most of the people working there were not interested in anything but moving product. They were a few that tried to help, but they were obviously as lost as I was. I had some limited success after talking with the agriculture extension office, but nothing was quite as helpful as it needed to be.

In the winter of 1984 I was telling my grandmother that I had all but given up on my plans for a nice yard. I told her that after years of disappointment I had decided that all was lost. She told me to get a pen and paper. It was then, in my kitchen, that she gave me the recipe that was thought to have been lost. She said that she thought that with all of the commercially available fertilizers it was something that a lost art. Her eyes lit up as she talked about the flowers of years past and how much love was put into the formula. She said that she thought no one cared. That was the beginning of my journey.

I struggled for the first few years to come up with the correct amounts of each ingredient. I came to realize that many of the same ingredients were not made exactly the same now as they were oh so many years ago. I spent weekends and nights in my garage and kitchen working to derive the correct measures. One night in 1987 I was smiled upon by the gods of horticulture! That was it! Eureka!!!! I had done it. The next Spring I used this blend on test plants. I would keep identical plants under identical conditions. I kept three of each. The first was my "control" and simply watered. The second was treated with a common plant food that I am certain you have used yourself. The third was given my great aunt's plant food. The results were striking. I called "grandma" and had her take a look. It was just like it had always been years ago.

For the years following I kept this to myself and used it to drive my neighbors crazy. They were astounded and tried many times to get me to give them my secret. I kept the formula as it had been and continued to enjoy it for my own personal use. It was only after I noticed a national trend toward organics that I considered it as a viable business venture. I am now in the process of working though the numbers and testing the market to see if I can make a go of it. I will keep you informed as things happen. I would love to be able to earn a living doing something I love this much.