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You Stay Out of My Garden

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Today is Earth Day

A day meant to bring awareness to our planet and how we as individuals impact it. So I felt like sharing a story with you. This story was written by Art Gregory Zamzow’s marketing director. I hope you will take the time to read it.

One of the most important lessons learned at Zamzows is the story of Grandma Z’s garden. This is the story that first got Jim questioning his chemical schooling. It seems Grandma Z always raised an incredible garden. After he got out of college and was working at Zamzows, Jim paid her a visit and offered his newfound “expertise.” Jim tells the story this way:

I said, “Grandma…we could really help your garden a lot. We ought to put about 10 pounds of 16-16-16 on it.” I’ll never forget it…that was the big one that we sold…3 equal numbers 16-16-16…16 nitrogen…16 phosphorus, 16 potassium. I said, “If we throw some of that on your garden it’ll really make it grow!” And she put her hands up and said, “YOU STAY OUT OF MY GARDEN!” Well, I was a little putout. I didn’t understand. After all, I was the young college student. I’m the one that’s been through all of these fertilizer classes and I’m the expert, Grandma! You only have 80 years in gardening and farming…what do you know about it? After he regained his composure, Jim asked Grandma Z, “Why?” She went on to explain that she and her husband Gus operated a farm located at Cole and Franklin (where Sundance Dodge is located now). As a standard operational procedure, Gus saved all the manure from their poultry and dairy cattle which he piled up, turned, and then spread on their farm land. They raised all their own corn and hay to feed to their animals. Natural manure was the only fertilizer they used since it was all they could afford. She then showed Jim a picture of Grandpa Zamzow standing on a hay derrick holding his shovel high in the air, with the corn as high as the shovel. Carmalita explained that was the size and quality of corn they always grew. Plus, they never had any corn-ear-worm, corn borer, corn smut, or any of the other insects and diseases that seemed to plague other farmers. The other farmers, she told Jim, all applied chemical fertilizer which made their corn grow very rapidly for several years. Then, they all were plagued by the insects and diseases she described above. She told Jim she always suspected it had something to do with the use of chemical fertilizers. Although he says he really didn’t believe it, Grandma Z’s story was firmly implanted in Jim’s mind.

I hope you enjoy this story as much as I do. I am so thankful to Art for capturing these stories. I love getting a chance to read these and share them with you. These are the stories that shaped our mission, “To provide the highest quality, environmentally sound products, at a customer service level beyond your expectations.”

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