Hairy Beasts: the Jiffy 7
I finally dragged my carcus home last night just before midnight, having spent 13 hours in various airports and on a selection of planes. I had one beer and went to bed, but my sleep was troubled, as it has been since I left England earlier this week. This morning I awoke and settled down to write a serious and important letter. This is something I needed to do before I went away, but I didn’t have time.
On Valentine’s Day I sowed my first ever seeds. A few days later, when I headed off to Turkey, I noticed that in under 48 hours, my Jiffy 7s had gone mouldy! So that was it; today I have contaced the manufacturer, and I await a response, which I will post if it ever comes. I have written to Jeremy Howarth and Richard Stephenson, the two UK Sales Managers, and to Rolf Kjellmo, the European Jiffy 7 product manger.
For those interested, my email follows!
Dear Rolf, Jeremy and Richard,
Forgive the sending of this message to three people, but I am not sure who is best to approach.
I am writing to you regarding one of your company’s products; the Jiffy 7. Now, I will start off by explaining that I am a first time user of this product. Indeed, I am also a first time gardener. I won’t bore you with the story, but I do reserve the right to bore you with it at some point in the future if this goes nowhere. Aha, I’ve given the game away really, haven’t I? That comment will have indicated that I’m not exactly marching around the streets wearing a great big happy hat right now.
Let me start, somewhat appropriately, at the beginning. I am in my first season of growing (that’s gardener talk, apparently, for my first year), and I happened upon your product. Well, that’s not true. I was dragged to your product, lured by the recommendations of sundry celebrities. Yes, I was blinded by their fame and notoriety. What is that they say about a fool, his money, and a swift parting of the ways?
Now, Alan Titchmarsh (I call him Al; I don’t know him, nor have I ever met him, but I’m not standing on ceremony here) might forgo your product for a pot and some soil, but Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall and Sarah Raven both seemed quite positive about it. Call me blind, but where The Hughster and The Raven go, many will follow. Okay, I follow blindly, so you can call me blind if you want to. Of course, that’s only if you want to; I’m not insisting on it.
So, despite your product having a name more akin to a johnny bag than a gardening product (I drink with my mates, and have a ribbed jumper, so I was unperturbed by the Jiffy 7 moniker), I purchased some Jiffy 7s. I could have put a toe in the water with 10, maybe 20. That’s not my way. When I jump in, I fill my pockets with stones first! So, I threw caution to the wind and bought 200. I figured I had 200 little pieces of heaven. Little did I know the Faustian episode that I had embarked upon.
Now, I do accept that when you (that’s you specifically, the manufacturer, not a generic ‘you’ to indicate persons unknown) consider product performance, you work in batches of millions of products with samples of thousands. I don’t. I am a consumer, and whilst I am a passionate one, it only takes one failure to make my brow furrow and my money climb back into my wallet.
Being in my first season, I was understandably excited when it came to sowing my first crop (more gardening talk, but I’m sure you’ll understand the gist; I’m nearly up to speed with it, although I still say mud instead of soil). Yes, the schoolboy humour of sticking my seed into a Jiffy 7 wasn’t lost on me. Then I sat down to wait. I only sowed a few seeds; I’d read about successional sowing.
I planted the seeds on 14 February, Valentine’s Day. My wife was impressed that I watched football, then did some gardening stuff. I am nothing if not romantic! Of course, the romance isn’t important. When I say that, it obviously is important between the wife and I, but not between thee and I! No, what is important between us is the date.
On the 16 February, less than 48 hours after sowing, I noted that my Jiffy 7s had turned hairy. That’s hairy in less than two days. I’m talking properly hairy, like Tracy Cahill. Now, that’ll mean nothing to you unless you married a hairy lass I went to school with, but if you didn’t, she had a moustache to put Fu Manchu to shame.
Now, the white hair of mould on the Jiffy 7s reminds me of my Mother’s fancy-man’s beard. He’s an old sea dog, and nice as he may be, I’m not eating broad beans out of his facial hair. I like him, but I don’t even know you lot. Ergo, I’m not eating broad beans out of a hairy Jiffy 7. I am also concerned that the hairiness might be passed on to other plants in normal pots. After all, 40 years ago I kissed Tracy Cahill, and today I have a beard! I am living proof that hairiness can be contagious.
Now, here’s the thing. I am sitting on around 190 pellets of potential hirsutism, and that isn’t where I wanted to be. I am also in fear of using more Jiffy 7s in case I end up with lettuce wearing dreadlocks. I am, sadly, bereft of hope and faith. So, here’s the question: what the hell is going on?
I look forward to your reply with some desperation; I need to sow more stuff pretty soon.
Many thanks, etc..
I shall update you all with any reply I receive.
Tagged Jiffy 7