Best of East and West best practices in sustainability and technology
As a startup orchid nursery in 1974, Japan Orchid, Inc. was among the first nurseries in Japan to “go organic.” Not happy with existing synthetic orchid fertilizers, we experimented with all kinds of ingredients, creating our own fertilizer with locally-sourced and plentiful organic ingredients, including bat guano, rice bran, shrimp and crab shell, sesame and peanut meal. Not ever intending to sell outside our own nursery, we just gave it the generic name “Be-1 Pellets.”
We had been following amino acids research being done by a couple labs for many years with great interest. By the time the joint venture ran its course in 1995, there was little interest for organic inputs, especially when cheap alternatives from giant fertilizer companies were readily available.
So when the opportunity to incorporate the amino acids, we jumped at the chance to adding fermented amino acids to our pellets, and since using only in-house, we put them into ugly, bright orange bags that could easily seen from across the nursery.
In the years since, our orchid customers wanted to duplicate the healthy plants we sold, which meant using the same orchid food we used and we started selling without any changes to the bright orange bag.
…but our customers quickly found that the Be-1 Pellets were not just great for orchids, the pellets worked exceptionally well on seemingly all plants.
Amino acids benefit plants well beyond orchids and so we formed “Be Organics” in 2012 to oversee batch manufacturing, distribution and new related products focused on microbes and fermentation.
In 2020, Covid made it difficult to obtain ingredients and logistics became impossible, so we expedited plans to also start fermentation in the U.S. (Oregon). It was serendipitous, as we were able to combine the Be-1 (nutrients/biostimulant) and Be-2 (beneficial microbes) and make many changes we’ve wanted to make for a long time, in our new product “Be+ Granules.”
Coming up on 50 years, what started as an in-house organic fertilizer continues to gain fans and we are happy to get to this point, where we could share our organic pellets with you, your microbes and your plants.
The generic “Be-1 Pellets” name and ugly orange packaging remain a part of our humble legacy.