March certainly is not tomato season – at least not in the Northern Hemisphere – but that doesn’t stop Dave Klotz from showing people how they can get their own fresh produce without a sticker reading PRODUCT OF [insert country name here]. “The big thing that we’re trying to offer people is the opportunity to grow their own local produce,” says Klotz, who co-owns Bluegrass Organics, along with John Hay and John Vollmer. 
Despite the name, gardeners can still find traditional fertilizers there, and organic purists will also find plenty to love. There’s a lot of innovation available to anyone willing to give it a try. Bluegrass Organics, located in the old Mom’s Music building on Frankfort Avenue, sells supplies for indoor and outdoor gardening, including organic garden supplements, organic seeds, compost material, bins, starter plants and indoor lighting for those who like year-round growing. “There’s some strange or newer systems, like hydroponics and aeroponics,” adds Klotz, explaining that aeroponics means growing in air. “It allows more air into the root structure than any other kind of growing.” Small field greens and small herbs can benefit from a 30 percent boost in growing time compared with more traditional methods. Even hydroponic plants benefit from a closed-loop system, which, Klotz explains, means that the water completely recirculates throughout the growth.
For those who may get sticker shock from the “natural” approach, Klotz takes a long view. “Instead of paying $8 for a pound of organic tomatoes, you can grow them in your home – peppers, herbs, whatever you want – all the way through the season,” he says. “We can provide you with a small lighting system, dirt, soil, whatever growing system you want to do.” Small propagation kits – including a gardening light, humidity dome and starter tray – can be assembled for about $45. “All you do is put your seed in there and you’re a month and a half, two months ahead of where you’d be otherwise,” Klotz says. 
Beyond advice on how to set up an indoor garden, Bluegrass Organics has horticulturist Ben Mattingly on hand to consult with customers on bigger projects, such as landscape design. 
The location of the shop – on the corner of Frankfort and Stilz avenues – was chosen because of the neighborhood and its receptive vibe. “There’s such a great mix of people, and Crescent Hill gave us a good spot between other stores that are already established,” Klotz says. 
And Klotz is happy to keep other products for sale, such as local honey, close to home. “If it’s locally grown, we’re more than happy to see about getting it out in the store.” A self-sustaining enterprise, indeed.
Bluegrass Organics is open seven days a week. For more information, call (502) 632-1877 or visit

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