Monday, December 10, 2007
The WOW! Challenge at White Forest, Bakersfield
Jere White is the savvy owner of White Forest Nursery. I met him there while asking them to participate in our WOW! Challenge. But it was his nursery manager, Joe, who watched as I poured on the WOW! Microminerals for the Wow! Challenge at his nursery in Bakersfield, California. Fifteen days later I returned for the second act of the WOW! Challenge. I had applied a half gallon of mixture to each of 12 plants with 2 plants set aside as a control set aside as controls. All the plants were non producing roses. Now I was back.
I invited Jere out to the stock area to view the results. On all of the treated plants were new shoot starts even in the cold winter weather with nights in the low 40's and one of the plants had two new flower buds about a day away from blossom. On the non-WOW!ed plants, nothing.
Jere remarked, "Now that's impressive! This is the hardest time of the year to show that a new product works. I would imagine that in the spring you would get even better results."
Jere and I chatted about why WOW! works like it does. The results come from the fact that the plants were starving for nutrients. I think of ailing plants as my patients.
"You can't just get them to stick their tongue out to look down their throats, but just like us, if we don't get our essential minerals we get sick, too. These roses were sick, that's all, now they are getting better."
Jere is a bio-chemist with a Masters degree from Stanford University, and a long background with the technical experience to diagnose and solve most disease, insect and growing problems. White Forest has been a landmark in Bakersfield for a long time now. He remarked, "Well, we have been trying to figure out the right amount of micro minerals for some time, but usually to get the plants to respond we end up putting on an amount that produces a toxicity in the soil."
“I knew exactly what he meant; that is one of the barriers I looked at when I determined how to produce WOW! in the first place. That's because the amount normally applied before our product was available was a powder and only a portion is bio available - ionic, then over time the massive amount released by the large particles results in toxicity. It's not the amount, its the particle size. You probably notice that there is not much weight by volume in our product, but there are trillions more atoms available because of the particle size." I said.
"Avogadro number..." Jere replied.
I nodded. "Thats right, a mole of any element is 6 X 10 to the 23rd atoms. So by delivering a smaller amount of a mineral nutrient, at the ionic size, the plants can take their medicine, and not get sick from too much."
"Well, it looks like the spring application will work wonders, let's try it on a lot of our starts and seedlings, and if we like it we will be happy to be your advocate for WOW!"
I responded. "And that's just in 15 days, let's see what they look like in another 15!"
Look for the next report then and remember that NOW is the time to treat your soil to be ready for spring planting.
Getting to know Jere and White Forest has been a real pleasure for me; White Forest Nursery is the kind of place that wants plants, and people, to prosper. A good thing.
From WOW! Micro-minerals
Upper Photo: November Strawberries, 2007
Lower Photo: 2006 comparison, Upper WOW, lower non-WOW
This E-mail was sent November 23, 2007 from Michael A. Smith, long time high school teacher in Durham, Maine to Melinda Pillsbury-Foster, Executive Director of Marketing, about our new product, WOW!, the plant food that he has been using on his strawberries for two years now.
Michael was asked to let us know how his strawberries had gone for the last two years. He responded with the following.
It was nice talking to you today. There really isn't a story, per se, about the strawberries. What is interesting though, is that they are still alive and producing. Technically, the berries that are out there currently froze the other night, so they're no good. but the plants aren't dead yet. and of course, this is Maine, where strawberry production ended in August.
Last year I did a test group and a control group:
the upper ones were "with" and the lower ones "without." This year, I treated all the plants, and picked these on November 4th: so there's the story.
Talk to you soon
Adventure in the Family Garden, Durham, Maine
The Family Place in Durham, Maine.
Michael A. Smith moved back to Maine to help the family after his father's accident and death three years ago. His dad, the Rev. Dr. Terry Smith, pastored the Old South Congregational Church in Hallowell, Maine, moving from his previous church in Massachusetts to build his retirement home on land his own grandfather, a ship's steward who fortuitously missed his berth on the Titanic due to illness, had acquired in Durham in the 20's.
Mike had been teaching high school math and music in Chicago since graduating from North Park University; back in Maine he continued teaching and helping kids with their music. Recently, he volunteered to help out a faith-based community musical group associated with several churches in the Lisbon/Lewiston area. Cornerstone, the group, is made up of people of all ages who love music and so Mike fit right in as their sound man. The group is now making its own record, another activity that Mike is very involved with.
As a teacher he insisted that the business of school come before music. One of the students he has recorded with was also in his algebra class and came to him asking for a copy of the song he had recorded. Mike would not give it to him until he was passing math. It took two weeks for the young man to re-establish his marks and proudly acquire his recording.
Life has to have cause and effect, Mike thinks.
Originally, the Smith farm was 70 acres, mostly pine forest; thirty still remain in the family. A small plot was set aside for a garden when they laid out the lots for their houses.
It is like a small family compound, with the three homes, Mike and Mom’s, Grandfather “Grump” Smith and Aunt Bonnie’s, and sister’s all occupying frontage on Rt. 136, sharing the garden space ministered to by Aunt Bonnie. Things have been growing there for a good while now.
Two years ago Michael got a call from an old friend, Augie Franklin, whom he had known in Chicago. Following the call a small box arrived in the mail.
The garden, occupying a space of 10 feet by 30 feet has become a focus of attention for the whole family these last two years as the new experimental plant food formula Michael received from Augie was used on some of the plants. Watching for and observing results soon became a subject of discussion for the whole family.
Mike applied the plant food for the first time in June of 2006. He had purchased a dozen new strawberry plants for the experiment. Half were treated with the liquid and after some discussion he and Aunt Bonnie went on to do the same with all the plants, half treated, half not.
The zucchini that they treated took over the back part of the garden, producing zucchinis twice as big as the other plants and muscling out its less fortunate brothers. There were more tomatoes than they could use, and the plants continued putting out the juicy red globes after the non-treated plants folded up and went away for the autumn. Overflow tomatoes found there way to friends and fellow members of the church.
The green beans, the zucchinis, and the sunflowers; each amazed the family that first year. The plants that had not received the formula looked so small and sad in comparison especially as autumn advanced, you almost felt sorry for them.
Even the Forsythia bush, which had been treated, kept its leaves weeks after the other ones in the area dropped theirs; the rose bush shot up nine feet by season’s end.
Reports from the Garden came to be as anticipated as the news. “Yup, that is one big zucchini,” bringing nods around the table.
This last spring Aunt Bonnie, not one to mince her words said, “Forget the experimentation. Treat them all!”
Michael did just that. Some advice is too sensible not to be followed. Indeed, the last juicy strawberries were picked during the first week of November! In Maine!
Next year, the Smiths are planning a larger garden and leaving more space between the zucchini plants and planting more strawberries. And the Augie formula became WOW! because that is what everyone said when they saw what happened.