Espresso, My Ticket Into The Green Thumb Cult Club

espresso that garden 012 Espresso, My Ticket Into The Green Thumb Cult ClubPhotographer V Blak

Gardeners, farmers, green thumb people, who can’t kill a plant if they tried, and those composting know it alls.  You know the type.  Always smiling as they guide you through their indoor forest of house plants.  Yeah, those people. I think they are all part of some secret club, maybe even an underground cult.  It’s just too suspicious… how do they know how to keep plants alive?  How do they get seeds to sprout?  How come they never have brown crusty leaves covering their house plants?  Come on, really, their orchids don’t turn belly up and die a week after they buy them?  

I will admit it, this Evil Dark Flesh Monkie is definitely not a green thumb cult member.  To prove it, I kill plants on a regular basis. I burn them alive, I kill them through dehydration and my favorite method is over watering.  Drown them in their own pots.  Yeah, I kill plants.   I have the boy scout patch and eerily empty pots to prove it. 

I don’t want to be a killer.  I was just sadly born this way, you know like Dexter Of course I have my fairytale dreams of joining the cult, learning the secret hand shakes and eating lunches with dirt under my nails.  Hell, I fantasies of indoor house plant forest, acres of gardens, a home surrounded by edible plants consisting of everything an Evil Vegan could ever want to digest.  I am drooling even as I write this.  Yeah I have dream! 

I also have an addiction. I’ll admit it. An addiction to that dark rich smooth warm drink called espresso. Better know as heaven in a cup. I am having one now.  My girlfriend even turns on the machine first thing in the morning and places a fresh mug in the receiving position, so I only have to walk up and push the two shot please button to get the ball rolling.  Lucky for me, I have one of those magic machines which grinds the espresso beans, filters the water, tamps the grounds and makes a perfect cup of espresso all with just a touch of a single button.  You have seen him ( the machine) on some of the shows.  Everyone calls him Joe.  He is my best friend…  He has also become my ticket into the that green thumb cult.  Yeah, I am sneaking in with a dark brown thumb.  Well that is my plan and so far…. Master Joe is proving to be a very wise indeed.  

Okay I know, V what the hell are you rattling on about?  We are going to stop reading this thing if you don’t get to a point. Okay I am getting there. Everyone who follows my post religiously knows I attempted to start a garden back in June.  I was all ADD kid excited. I found myself at the local gardening center buying hundreds of dollars of seeds, hoses, seed starting soil and those plastic sprouting trays.  Fast forward a month and guess what… no sprouting little plants in the clear plastic dome sprouting trays, no lush rows of plants and no sign of any cult membership forms in the mail. No, the perfect little seed starting soil I bought for $15 each didn’t work. The seeds seem to look at me as if I  was holding them hostage.  They even had the nerve to scream as I kindly put them out in the direct desert sun in the middle of July.  How was I to know it was going to get 150 degrees under that plastic dome? 

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That is all behind me now.  Master Joe has shown me the light.  I will never forget it.  He was pouring me a fresh one when I heard him whisper, GRRRR GEEE GRREEE GREEE GRREEEE GRRRRR Beep Beep Beep… which roughly translated means, empty my tray, and plants will grow they will.  I was puzzled for a moment, stunned, then it hit me, Joe knows plants.  He grinds their bodies up everyday to give me my fix.  He had intimate knowledge of the espresso bean.  He was telling me I should use the mangled up bodies of the coffee bean as a type of high quality nitrogen packed fertilizer.  I should become a pusher of caffeine and the plants will love me.  They will get on their knees pucker up their lips and ask for more… just like me.   YES.. why didn’t I think of this before.  Plants love nitrogen and coffee beans are packed with the stuff.  A coffee bean has more nitrogen than even chicken poo and it wont burn the plants.  Not unless you pour it directly on them fresh out of the coffee machine.  Just saying.

So what is Nitrogen? Nitrogen is one of the 17 chemical elements required for plant growth and reproduction. Nitrogen is in chlorophyll, a green chemical which allows plants to capture energy from the sun and make food for themselves in a process called photosynthesis. It is also the basic element of plant and animal proteins, including the genetic material DNA and RNA, and is important in periods of rapid plant growth.

Pretty cool, right.  You can feed your addiction and the plants at the same time. You can even take it a step further and create a coffee compost pile, toss in some hungry worms, some veggie waste and wham bam thank you compost gods, perfect nitrogen / mineral packed compost fertilizer.   The plants would do back flips, if they had legs, as you dig in this virtual plant crack around them. 

So, now I am guessing your wondering if I actually used the espresso to feed the garden and I bet your wondering how in the world did I have enough espresso to go around.  Well, being an evil dark monkie leader, has it’s perks. Peet’s Coffee & Tea had sent G Living boxes and boxes of organic espresso beans while we shot the GreenChef shows in Venice.  I literally had expired out dated vacuum packed espresso bean in every draw of  the house.  At least  $400 worth of beans.  I ended up tossing almost all the bags into my trusty Blendtec which turned them into pounds of a crack like fine powder. I took all that powder and tossed it evenly across the garden. I have about 1500 sq ft of growing space.

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What happened?  Well the pictures say it better than I ever could.  The plants sucked in the nitro and haven’t stopped growing yet.   The sunflowers went from 1/2 inch wimps to 3 1/2 feet punks in just a few weeks.   The Arugula bunched up into gangs and raised their 4 inch leaves up to the sky.  Things here are booming at V Blaks espresso crack  gardens.   Now with this new gained wisdom, I have reached out to my local Starbucks, who have agreed to bag up all the spent espresso / coffee grounds they can and will give them to me for free each night just before closing. Starbucks actually does this for anyone (Starbucks Recycling & Reduce Waste Policy).  Tonight is my first pick up.  I will let you know how it goes.  I am taking my trusty electric A2B bike and wagon.   I even bought new worms a few minutes ago to start building that crack compost pile.   Things are definitely looking up. I can feel it, any day now, those green thumb cult membership forms are going to show up in the mail….. right.. green cult people.. you hear me out there.  I am one of you.. I can grow things… I can. I just needed a little help from my wise old friend.  Thanks Joe!

Below are photos from the garden this week (Nov 28th). It’s been about 6 weeks total so far. I waited for the summer heat to fade into history, before I really started planting the seeds in the garden. This is my first real attempt at gardening, so it turned out kind of like a mixed green salad. A little of everything everywhere. I will post an update in another few weeks and everything should be nearly fully grown I am guessing. The first photo is of the hard dry sandy dirt I started with. Not pretty. Here is my first post on my garden. Blackhearted Monkie Attempts To Start A Garden, Again!

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  • Jib

    Where do you live that you are just planting your garden?

    I live in Phoenix and now is our time as well. Did you mix it into the dirt or just sprinkle around? I have about a 100 pounds of Starbucks in a compost heap but have been too timid to use it yet.

    Thank you in advance for your reply.

  • http://gliving.com V Blak

    I am in Palm Desert… just outside of L.A. Wow, really you have 100 pounds and your not using it. I just tossed it on top of the soil and then watered. As you can see in the photos above. Next I am going to make a compost out of it. I am picking up my first load of Starbucks coffee tonight. I also have tons of veggie waste, yard trimmings and fireplace ash. I am going top mix it up all in a huge pile, add my worms and see what happens. I will give it a few weeks and then start adding it to the garden. But I also think I will toss on some more grounds straight onto the garden. It doesn't seem to harm the plants and they are growing pretty fast now.
    My recent post Espresso- My Ticket Into The Green Thumb Cult Club

  • http://twitoaster.com/country-us/gliving/ gliving

    Espresso, My Ticket Into The Green Thumb Cult Club, Growing my first garden using espresso « http://gliving.com/garden-gets-an-espres...
    via Twitoaster

  • http://gliving.com gmonkie

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  • Coralie

    Great article. Just wondering if you can use the ground coffee you buy in the shops too?

  • V Blak

    Sure, any coffee grounds. They are all the same. But like I said in the post, you can call up Starbucks and I am sure Peets or any of the coffee shops and they will save all the grounds for you for free. If you really need a lot of coffee. If you have a small garden, I am sure the grounds from your own morning coffee would be fine. I had a large area to cover.
    My recent post Espresso- My Ticket Into The Green Thumb Cult Club

  • V Blak

    I forgot to pick up the Starbucks coffee grounds last night… need to call them and go there now. :(

  • Jib

    Cool. I’ll spread some around the plants. I was afraid of “burning” them.

  • Jib

    Cool. I’ll spread some around the plants. I was afraid of “burning” them.

  • Tonya

    Coffee is great for the plants. In waging a fight against the desert sun and the neighborhood feral cat population to keep my plants alive, it’s my best weapon. From what I hear, it’s hit or miss with the cats, but they’ve stopped visiting my garden, so bonus for me!

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Vzo-Blak/100001817625087 Vzo Blak

    Well so far I have spread out about 80 pounds of coffee from Starbucks in the last week. I hope to report back some major growth over the next few weeks. I also just dumped a bunch of coffee in the new worm compost bin. Can’t wait to see what they do with it.

    What part of the desert are you living in? Can you keep a garden all year, even in the middle of summer?

  • http://www.wormsetc.com WormsEtc

    Hey, thanks for buying some worms from me!



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