A Surprising Turn of Events - Medium Convert!
This is more of a short story than an educational post, but I think it just goes to show that you never know how much of an impact consistently repeated factual information can have... even when you think no one is listening.
Since meeting Al and reading all of his well prepared articles on the science and physics of mediums, how water behaves in mediums, and the basics of growing healthy containerized plants from the roots up, and using his recommended medium mixes myself, I've spent a good deal of time repeating what I've learned to anyone who will listen... and given the rather stagnated state of affairs within the gardening industry, any valid information I've shared is not usually received well. People seem confused, more than anything.
Anyway, I didn't really think anything I said would ever take hold, or at the very least, make anyone think twice about perhaps mixing up their own medium as opposed to taking the easy path of just buying bagged soil, readily available anywhere. And then, I got the shock of my life!
My gardening partner pulled into the driveway yesterday and commenced unloading several large bags of... (gasp!)... PINE BARK... from her van... that with a little sifting will be exactly what we need! She also pulled out a few small bags of vermiculite and fine peat, which won't be as useful, but the bags of pine bark and the reasoning behind her purchases gives me fresh hope that the science is finally sinking in! I have not been speaking in vain!
Her plan is to amend the few small raised beds that she uses to grow vegetables, giving them more aeration while still trying to retain some moisture through the hot, dry summer. I must commend her for trying... for making an effort toward the ends of growing truly healthy plants, from the roots up!
But even more so, I must commend Al... yet again... for making all this science so available to us! For without his assistance, without his generous spirit, I wouldn't even know that there was so much more information available on what happens beneath the soil surface, beyond what the industry pushes, and that correcting my container growing mistakes was so easy!
I won't rush to point out any mistakes my partner might make... she's on the right path now, and with time and experience, she'll see her way through. It was just such a shock, and a joy, to realize that my continued "teaching" actually had an audience, I had to share this story of a medium convert with all of you! :-)
And another one joins our quest for truth in growing, to the best possible potential! Baby steps... I guess it all happens in baby steps... but those small steps are better than none, at all. Thanks for reading, and...