I, Dirt

by on August 18, 2008 at 7:19 am in Economics | Permalink

Potting mixes often contain sphagnum peat moss from bogs in Canada
or Ireland. Bark fines might come from a sawmill in the Deep South.
Coconut "coir," a peat moss substitute, gets shipped all the way from

A common ingredient in potting mixes is perlite, which makes the
soils airier while also retaining moisture. In its final form, small
white pellets, it appears to be something synthesized in a factory. In
fact, it comes from a volcanic sand mined on the Greek island of Milos.
Shipped to the United States, the ore is heated to 1,400 degrees
Fahrenheit, at which point it pops into kernels.

The always-interesting Joel Achenbach writing in the Washington Post.

1 Speedmaster August 18, 2008 at 7:33 am

Amazing, I wasn’t aware of any of that.

2 Nobrainer August 18, 2008 at 11:04 am

Nice work Ozornik. Way to leave out the whole “cheap” thing and then go right into a comment about televisions..

“Products that are cheap, heavy and bulky, such as bags of soil, are particularly vulnerable to rising freight costs.”

3 z August 18, 2008 at 10:46 pm

Alex help! Why won’t anyone ever call Dean Baker out on his ridiculousness? And Brad Delong gave him a high five and a link for it!


4 aion kina March 17, 2009 at 11:07 pm
5 jam May 13, 2009 at 3:22 am

It is not a bad hobby

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