Growing Joy with Plants - Wellness Rooted in Nature podcast show image

Growing Joy with Plants - Wellness Rooted in Nature

Maria Failla- Happy Plant Lady and Author of Growing Joy: The Plant Lover's Guide to Cultivating Happiness



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Being Organic Before Organic Was Cool: The Story of Espoma Organic

• 74 min

I still clearly remember the first time I used an Espoma product—their liquid indoor plant food to be exact. I had struggled so much with trying to find the right fertilizer for my houseplant collection, leading to a huge mess all over my kitchen from failed mixing attempts. But when I tried their simple liquid formula, I finally had the answer to my search, and healthy, thriving plants with gorgeous growth. And I became a lifelong Espoma convert! Little did I know then about the impressive 95-year history behind this organic garden brand. Espoma has been family-owned for four generations, starting way back in 1929. As my passion for gardening expanded over the years, Espoma continued to be my go-to for quality potting mixes, organic fertilizers and magical “tones” to feed all my container plants and garden beds. I’ve loved learning more behind the scenes over the past several years while partnering with Espoma on the Growing Joy podcast. The Brunner family leading this company today truly feels like family themselves in how they’ve supported my own budding planty business. In this episode, I wanted to highlight their heritage, expertise, and products that have nourished gardens for nearly a century. In this episode, we learn:[04:48] An overview of what four generations of Espoma’s 95 year-history looked like![18:03] How was Jeremy's first 10 years at the company after he graduated?[18:25] How they address each other at work[20:07] How has the family business influenced their company culture and relationships with employees?[22:51] Where can you find the best-quality cultivated indoor plants?[24:49] What does being “keepers” of the company mean for Jeremy? (Stewardship model)[27:02] What is the Bank of Espoma?[29:27] What's the history of their famous Holly Tone?[33:19] How do they approach Espoma’s product development?[38:43] On expanding and building a new facility![44:07] Why Espoma hid its sustainability approach? (organic before organic was cool!)[49:10] How do they navigate the complexity of different certifications?[52:05] On solar-powered facilities and sustainability commitments![53:50] Their greatest accomplishments as a family-run company[01:00:40] How the Espoma brand has evolved on social media[01:05:43] What does Jaime enjoy most about the business and working with her family?[01:08:11] The story of how my lime tree Limey was successfully shipped to Florida![01:09:38] Where can you find Espoma? Mentioned in our conversation:Growing Joy Episode 193: War Gardens, Victory Gardens Or Pandemic Gardens: The History Behind Why People Grow Plants In Hard Times With Maggie StuckyGrowing Joy Episode 205: Houseplant Styling Tips, How To Be A Professional Houseplant Stylist And All Things Maryah GreeneSoltech Grow LightsSummer Rayne OaksHolly Society of AmericaEspoma Product LinesCDFA (California Department of Food and Agriculture) For a deeper dive into Espoma's sustainability commitment,check out the full show notes and blog here! Thank you to our episode sponsors:Proven WinnersIf you want to have success with houseplants, you’ve got to have two things: the knowledge to care for them successfully and healthy plants. Meet my new favorite houseplant grower: Proven Winner’s leafjoy™. With only the best plant genetics grown in a state-of-the-art, European greenhouse, you will not be disappointed in the variety and quality of your favorite plants from Proven Winner’s leafjoy™. This company has taken the guesswork out of plant shopping with plant tags that include scientific names and care guides, as well as color-coded collections for the different areas of your home that you want plants in! Find plant joy in leafjoy™. Head to to find your local leafjoy™ dealer and let me know which plant you take home on socials! Follow Espoma Organic: Website Instagram Twitter/X Facebook YouTube Pinterest TikTok Follow Maria and Growing Joy: Order my book: Growing Joy: The Plan

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