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Eco-friendly Products Word Hunt: Coconut Planting Fiber

Published 25 May 10 04:29 PM

Delicious and nutritious? Well ... organic and fantastic!

My run-ins with coconuts are pretty few and far between. Impulsively, I purchased a whole coconut a few years ago to experiment with and maybe toast. Well, cracking a coconut is difficult. After fighting with the hairy little bugger, it finally split open and I was able to catch some of the juice. The resulting meat proved difficult to chew and pretty tasteless, and tired from all the effort, I never even managed to get it in the oven for toasting.

Don't get me wrong - I love coconut, but only at restaurants and not in my own kitchen where things can get a little dangerous. My favorite dessert ever consists of vanilla ice cream rolled in toasted coconut and hot fudge and topped with strawberries. Likely because I'm craving that dessert, and also because I just like the ring of it, this edition of "eco-friendly products word hunt" will be devoted to coconut planting fiber. You can find it in these products from ADVANCE Custom Promotions.

What I Think It Means With No Prior Knowledge: Well, I mean, I know what coconuts are. They're one of my favorite parts in Monty Python and as I mentioned above, I've done battle with a real coconut ... without much success. So we've got that down.

I'm thinking the planting fiber part is the key here, though. Does the coconut planting fiber mean that those little coconut hairs are used as a place for the seeds to take root? They are kind of fibrous, indicating that they might be planting fiber. Would that be redundant to have (fibrous) coconut planting fibers?

My last and best guess is that indeed, the coconut planting fibers are the hairy parts of the coconut used as a filler in the planting pots, based on the fact that the three items we have with coconut planting fiber happen to be planters. What they do with the rest of the coconuts in this case is beyond me, but I'm hoping they use them in Monty Python.  

What It Really Means: Well, according to this indoor gardening site (with a HUGEANTIC font), coconut fiber is in fact made from the husks (a.k.a. the hairy part) of coconuts. It's used as a growing medium. Coconut planting fiber also has a lot of good qualities, according to GIANT FONT website:

"Coconut fiber is the first totally organic growing medium that works well in hydroponic systems. The fiber is actually a waste product of the coconut industry. It has a larger oxygen capacity and superior water holding ability than rockwool. Coconut fiber is the only growing medium that is naturally high in root stimulating hormones and can help protect against root diseases and fungus infestation. One reason it is so effective is that its purpose in nature is to provide the coconut with a rich medium in which to root when it lands in the soil, so it's just doing what it was designed to do."

Cool. And did you see in there that the coconuts that the coconut planting fiber comes from aren't going to waste? The coconut fiber is actually the waste product, but some clever minds realized it could be used as a completely organic growing medium. Monty Python would be proud.

Going in-depth here (hat tip to the ubiquitous Wikipedia), coconut planting fiber is actually the pith of coconut coir. While one-third of coir fibers are used for cool stuff like doormats, brushes, mattresses and insulation, the remaining two-thirds are the pith part, which, once considered a waste product, got a new life as a growing material. It's also biodegradable, and will decompose in 20 years. Neato.

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About Lynn Jusinski

After an internship at a home magazine where she wrote about media rooms and $500,000 pool renovations from the comfort of a teeny, cluttered dorm room, Lynn Jusinski graduated from a small college in Pennsylvania and then moved on to write for two weekly newspapers in suburban Philadelphia. A column she penned for the papers won an award from the Pennsylvania Newspaper Association. In 2007, Lynn moved back to the magazine world, and worked full-time as an associate editor for ADVANCE for Health Information Professionals. Her work on the magazine led to “Rookie of the Year” honors and a second place feature award in the annual Editorial Excellence Awards presented by Merion Publications Inc. In her free time, Lynn is typically stuck in traffic, shopping, reading, constructing poorly made crafts and hanging out in and around her hometown.
You can reach Lynn at ljusinski@advanceweb.com

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