I’ve been having issues with seed starting this year. The first round of seedlings, the tomatoes, were weak and slow growing. I think it was the potting soil, so, when I started the next round, which is the summer leafy crops, I thought “I need to enhance that soil” and tossed in a few handfuls of Biofish fertilizer into the mix. I labeled the six-packs, planted the seeds, watered it all, trudged to school with the tray, and placed it under the grow light on the far side of the room. After a little while, I noticed a slight smell, but I opened the window and moved on with life. Then students started wandering in for class.
“Man, it smells bad in here!”
“Why does it smell like fish?”
“What died in here?”
We had just finished a novel, so it was time to change seats, which is always traumatic. The girls who landed over near the seed tray revolted.
“I can’t sit here! I need to move over near the window (and my best friend in class),” one announced.
“I’m moving, too,” anther proclaimed and the entire group proceeded to sit one side of the room. It felt like we were all about to slide out the windows but we were able, finally, to move on with learning.
The next class was no more tolerant. One girl, given to High Drama anyways, wrapped her scarf around her mouth (it was a blessing in disguise, that biofish…) and sprayed cheap, ninth grade perfume around her chair. The room took on a whole new layer of scent as two girls broke out their bags of chili flavored crunchy bits to munch on while reading. A few boys fresh from PE just completed the aroma. By the time I propped open the door for the lunch crowd, it was ripe in the room.
“What is that smell?” the first arrival demanded. “Tell me it is not JUST ninth grade.”
Next time, I thought, I’m getting some new soil…