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Thursday April 24, 2014
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A pair of hydroponic stores

 

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Collins sells separate components for large systems, as well as smaller self-contained units for herbs, like the "as seen on TV" AeroGarden. To start seeds, he sells blocks of "rock wool-they really take rocks, melt them, and spin it like cotton candy." At the moment he doesn't sell seeds but promises he'll be getting some: "mostly heirloom, organic seeds." He also sells hoses, soil, and other outdoor equipment.

Hot Hydro, 5245 Jackson Rd. 761-5040. Mon.-Fri. noon-7 p.m., Sat. 10 a.m.-6 p.m., Sun. noon-5 p.m. www.hothydro.com

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The funky Geechi Bleu, in the garage behind the Fleetwood, has changed direction, but its replacement, Gro Blue Indoor Gardening, it has a family connection: Geechi's owner, Maurice Archer, is married to artist Gigi Archer; Gigi's brother James Humphrey, a hydroponic gardener, is running Gro Blue.

First Humphrey cleaned and painted the space. "It's a whole new color scheme. We thought we'd do something a little more earthy. Well," he amends, looking around thoughtfully at his fresh lime green, purple, and turquoise handiwork, "not exactly earthy. Fruity! That's it!" At thirty-two, Humphrey sports a theatrically retro demeanor: Father-Knows-Best striped cardigan and oversized glasses.

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