Gary P.

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Gary P.

Basket Designer and Production

More About Gary

Gary's many hats: 

Gary has been with Rush Creek Growers for more than twenty years. He does the basket designs and all things baskets. He is often found visioning how to organize the warehouse and store our extensive hard goods inventory. He works on production, construction, grounds keeping and cat caring. His dream stories often ignite belly laughs at morning meetings.

Gary's Rush Creek Growers story:

I find the word stink intrinsically funny. Stink. Say it out loud. Stink. Use good diction, stink. Does it at least put a smile on your face? The reason for this lesson is over the years we have had a little collection of pet plants hanging out in corners or in this specific case, lurking around the greenhouse complex. Plants given to us from friends or Suzanne collected from travels and side stops at other greenhouses. It is fun to watch them grow, see how they do and maybe try to figure out how to make them available as products to pass onto our customers. 

Somehow we received a large plastic pot filled with Amorphophallus konjac commonly known as Voodoo lily. In the summer it grows its lovely umbrella-like leaves. Smaller tubers in the pot send up their leaves too. Late into the fall the plant goes into a dormancy period and around February after most employees have returned from the winter break to stick cuttings, the konjac sends up its flower stock, seeming to grow inches in a day up to a height of 2 or 3 feet. Then, one morning the flower opens in a large spathe form and broadcasts its searingly pungent stink into the air. Most every time of this occurrence, the pot has been banished to another warm but yet unoccupied or worked-in area. It has been known to cause shrieking among the employees which when heard from a distance sounds distressing but usually the next thing heard is laughter. 

The descriptions of the scent among employees are more graphic than can be listed here but just to fill you in, if you have not enjoyed the scent, my olfactory response is top notes of dead mouse that warm down and end in base notes of hot rubber bike tire. The flower itself is absolutely beautiful but around the greenhouse viewed by most of the staff from afar. I do try to stick my nose in it everyday and just laugh in disgust. What is most fascinating to me, a plant stepped outside the box in its evolution and decided, “Sure, you can smell like a rose and attract pollinators but I will choose the road less traveled, I will stink like rotting meat, insects will come to me just the same, and that will make all the difference.” 

What’s great about all my fellow work colleagues is we all find ourselves joyously in awe everyday of these types of natural flora and fauna happenings. Caterpillars transforming into butterflies, flowers that don’t match the plant tag color, konjac putting out stink and we laugh.