A tale of two craigs

This year we are going to start our plants from seed.  There are many different techniques used for starting seeds ranging from dropping some soil and the seed into an old yogurt container, to the hi-tech seed propagation systems with heating pads on timers.  I was hoping to land somewhere in the middle.

I also needed a decent grow light with a stand,  so I hit the web in search of a deal.

Remember the saying…”you get what you pay for” or “if it’s too good to be true, then it is.”  Keep these phrases in mind while you read about my first attempt to scavenge the internet for gardening deals.

I found a grow light and stand on Craigslist and after calling the owner, he described the unit as almost exactly what I wanted.  Three foot long grow light with a T5 spectrum light bulb.  The fixture came with a stand and the light height was adjustable.  Price, $30 non-negotiable and best yet, he was just over the border in Waterbury, CT.

When I knocked on the door I could not believe what was waiting for me on the other side of the door. A crack house.  It was a scene from a movie.  The air in the house was stale and dank and smelled liked combination of beer, smoke, rotten food and mildew.  The floors were bare plywood, the walls were stained and there was junk piled everywhere.

Dirty dishes and food were piled in the sink and on the counters, there was a metal dog bowl caked with dried food on the floor, but no sign of a dog anywhere (no barking, nothing).

As I walked further into the house an old iMac from 2001, the all-in-one unit that came in a variety of colors was sitting in the corner playing some sort of gansta-rap music.

I’ve always trusted my gut…and my gut was telling me to get out of this house.  I stood next to the door and  waited just long enough for the owner to show me a rinky dinky grow light that looked like it fall down if I sneezed on it.  I politely said that it was not what I was looking for, thanked him for his time and left.

Upon my exodus from the house,  I sprayed myself with disinfecting hand sanitizer and made a beeline home.  I was so anxious to wash the grime and filth off…that I didn’t pay attention to how fast I was going.  To add insult to injury, a NY State Highway Trooper pulled me over for violating the speed limit by 25 miles per hour.

My redemption came the next day.  Still determined to find a deal, even though the prospect of a huge ticket and the cost of a driver’s safety course loomed over me. I returned to Craigslist and while looking for an alternate lighting system, I stumbled across two Accelerated Propagation System (APS) seed starting kits. The ad was from a woman in Queens and she had two of the exact kits I wanted. She was asking $8 for each with local pick up.  Instead of driving to the city and having a groundhog’s day moment, I emailed her to see if she would drop the price to $12 for both and ship them to me.  Lady Luck smiled and she agreed.  For $18 I got two slightly used APS units (retail $20 a piece) which arrived today!

And that is my tale of two Craigslist adventures.

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