News from the Tennessee Valley Columnists
SUNDAY, MAY 22, 2005


Doing Christmas shopping early

The image on the plastic compost sack looks like that of a black bull, but the label says Black Kow, which could mean either sex.

More importantly the compost claims to be "mature manure."

The name would make little difference if it were not for the company's audacious merchandising and marketing program.

Black Bull, the mature manure, wouldn't lend itself to the fashion world nearly as readily as Black Kow and could easily morph into something more earthy.

We bought a bag of Black Kow for the garden last weekend because the plants keep dying, and Regina wants a soil sample tested.

"It's contaminated," she says.

"It wasn't last year," I said, "so how could it be this year?"

We compromised on a bag of Black Kow because we had organic-gardening parents who recycled the most prevalent barn byproduct with good results long before tree hugging caught on and anyone tested soil.

I mixed the Black Kow with the soil and replanted tomato and pepper plants for the third time.

"Come on Black Kow," I've said, each afternoon, hoping the plants would respond with perky stems and new growth. Nothing.

Even if you are not a back-yard farmer, Black Kow has a fashion offer that makes a statement that is too good to miss.

With the coupon on the back of the bag and a few bucks, you can get a genuine Black Kow T-shirt in almost any size for $5.95. And if you want more, you can get a coordinated Black Kow cap, one size fits all, for another $5.95.

Each comes with a picture of a Black Kow.

Regina wants to buy several bags of the compost just to get the coupon on the back to use to buy Christmas gifts.

She likes the "The Mature Manure" slogan printed in dignified lettering on both the cap and shirt and she says she knows for whom they would be perfect gifts.

Look out, come Christmas time.

Meanwhile back in the garden...

Tom Wright Tom Wright
DAILY Executive Editor

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