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Gary Kline is the owner of Black Lake Organics in Olympia, Washington, the best source in the Northwest for mineral fertilizers.
A Phone Call From Solomon
Reprinted with permission of Gary Kline
“Steve Solomon, for those who don’t know, is the founder of Territorial Seed Company, and author of Growing Vegetables West of the Cascades (six editions). He is the acknowledged guru of gardening in the Maritime Northwest. Steve and I have crossed paths a few times in the past and I regard him as a mentor and inspiration. Steve is the one who turned me back on to the work of Dr. William A. Albrecht back in 1997, during a meeting in Yelm. As a result, my nursery and garden supply business and, in fact, my whole world-outlook changed. I owe Steve a lot.
Imagine my complete surprise when I picked up the phone on February 2nd and heard a man say “This is someone you haven’t talked to in a long time; do you recognize my voice?” “Sort of”, I said. “This is Steve Solomon.” I stalled out for awhile, thinking of another Steve who it did not sound like. Then it sunk in. Steve was calling me from Tasmania (using Magic Jack), and we had a long talk.
What mainly prompted Steve’s call was that he had been having trouble with his garden and got a soil test and evaluation through Michael Astera, author of The Ideal Soil, that I had some influence on. It turns out Steve had not read far enough into Dr. Albrecht’s writings, which I always suspected. Anyway, Steve implemented the fertilizer prescriptions from Astera and he had wonderful results with his garden. He was very impressed and struck up an internet conversation with Michael that lead to an agreement to co-author a new book featuring a whole new perspective on mineral nutrient balancing, using ratios developed by Albrecht, plus others being researched by Astera.
The upshot is that the book writing deal fell through, and so Solomon called me to learn about the history of the development of Black Lake Organic’s BLOOM fertilizers and about the mineral make-up, etc.. Actually, his own fertilizer recipe was the basic inspiration. As he said, he suspected that my BLOOM fertilizers were superior to his famous Complete Organic Fertilizer (C.O.F.) that appears in all his books, and he wanted to know the ingredients and nutrient numbers.
These are things that are on the back labels of all 10 BLOOM formulations, so I sent him the information, plus information on desired soil test parameters, since he now wants to get into that field. In exchange, he said he would help my products and services become better known through two upcoming books and a worldwide network of contacts that he has. Getting word of a superb fertilizer formulation out there will have a big impact on our mutual aims.
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