The headline, "College student finds creative outlet in dorm room garden", got my attention. Gee, I wonder what he is up to? Well it turns out Matt Lehman, " has two tomato plants, beans and a cucumber plant doing quite nicely under the artificial lamps he has installed above the 1-by-3-foot wooden box he built." According to The Baltimore Sun, "he is already eating tomatoes. The beans have blossoms. And the cucumber seedling sprouted..." The article continues, "the reaction of his dormitory neighbors has been positive - sort of. 'After we get past the part where they ask me if I am growing marijuana, they say either, 'Wow. Cool.' Or 'You're a nut.' " We talked about hydroponics and indoor growing before. Most of my readers find it to be a bit to esoteric or tainted by illegal activity to be a serious concern in the garden center world. I don't think it is something for most garden centers to be involved in. A lot like water gardening, it takes a comitment of time and resources to make it a profitable venture. It's is still a niche market in the garden center world. A whole industry arose to meet demand while the garden center industry looked the other way. Oh well, that's just what happened with organic gardening back in the 70's. Something that the hippies we're doing and not worth getting involved in. Now it's all the rage, with garden centers asking the "experts" how to sell "green". What I find interesting is the market is filled with young, and middle aged males. Not exactly your typical garden center customer. It would seem that they are into gardening, but they are spending their time and money in hydroponic shops located in warehouses.
This is not an area for most garden centers to be involved in. We decided to pursue it because my customers we're indicating a need for it. I just like looking into the future when it comes to the small garden center trade. It seems we are often caught up in the way business was done in the past, that we don't see the future staring us in the face. That's why I beleive the future for the small garden center is good. Younger people, who have no pre-conceived notions as to how garden centers "should" be run, will propel our industry for years to come. It seem that, "wow cool" and "your a nut" are often synonymous with the future.
Thanks to Sid Raisch for pointing me to the Baltimore Sun article.