Excuse me sir, do you know anything about Fertilizer?

One thing is for sure: strangers don’t quite know what to say when asked if they know anything about fertilizer. Some chuckle and give you their best attempt, some flat out say they know nothing about it, and others simply run away as quickly as possible.

Megan and I (Elyse) are interning at the Nutrients for Life Foundation in Washington, D.C. and recently embarked upon the National Mall in search of the meaning of fertilizer. Nothing could have prepared us for the answers we were about to receive.

One foot out of the Smithsonian metro station and the downpour began.  Luckily, we were prepared for such an outburst and pulled out our trusty umbrellas…or at least we thought they were trusty. The wind blew my umbrella up into the air in the opposite direction, exposing me almost completely to the downpour. Run. Megan’s umbrella, on the other hand, sustained through the heavy gusts of wind.

We took refuge under a few trees on the Mall and scoped out our first fertilizer inquisition.

After ten solid minutes under that tree, we were ready to attempt to find the meaning of fertilizer.

Excuse me Sir, do you know anything about fertilizer?


Next unsuspecting soul.

Excuse me Ma’am, do you know anything about fertilizer?

No, then run.

At least she said no before she ran away to catch her group’s tour bus.

After a great feeling of defeat, and a longing to still find the meaning of fertilizer, Megan and I regrouped and sought out a new target audience: students.

You’ve got to be kidding me! Another downpour…so, we found another tree and continued to scope out our next interview. Fifteen minutes passed before the rain subsided.

The puddles were now exponentially larger around us, but we were not going to stop until we found the meaning of fertilizer.

Megan decided to stop two boys walking alone through the puddles. Excuse me, do you know anything about fertilizer?

It’s made of poo.

Disappointing to say the least. We searched through rain and through huge puddles only to find the meaning of fertilizer is poo?

Let’s try again.

So we passed a group of students, there were about ten of them, and asked them what fertilizer was.

Poo again…Unbelievable!

We continued making our way through the puddles around the outskirts of the National Mall and stopped a group of four girls.

Excuse me, what do you know about fertilizer?

It’s made of poo.

No, this can’t be!

And then I saw them, the group of students from Texas. I knew they would have an answer to the meaning of fertilizer.

Excuse me, do you know anything about fertilizer?

Actually, we do! It’s made of Nitrogen, Phosphorus and Potassium! Nitrogen comes from the air, and fertilizer, both organic and synthetic, is good for our plants.

Finally, the meaning of fertilizer! I’d say this was a job well done.

Watch our video to see what else folks had to say about fertilizer!

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1 comment

It’s interesting that the students referred to fertilizer as ‘poo’. I hope that their science teachers had taught them that well composted manure is a good source for plant nutrition.

Interesting interviews! Well done.

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