We had the good fortune of connecting with Mike Serant and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Mike, other than deciding to work for yourself, what else do you think played a pivotal role in your story?
When my Mom and I decided to manufacture Organic fertilizers. Until then we were just concerned about profit and loss without deeper society purpose. Since Organics is civilizations best hope to move forward, we adopted a motto ‘Mission Over Profits’. With this shift in thinking we became more dedicated to promoting the side of good. Everyday we now have a more fulfilling and deeper sense of purpose to our lives and thus we are happier and more content that our lives have worth.

Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I’ve got a very interesting perspective on Organics. When we first started the company, San Jacinto Environmental Supplies, we did not sell Organics. We sold the chemical fertilizers and chemical pesticides that we rail against today. We started then and continue today to be a wholesale supplier to the professional trade but now with Organics rather than chemicals. MicroLife Organic Fertilizers is owned by San Jacinto Environmental Supplies, a company within a company. Back in 1984, when we started, chemicals were hugely dominant, and we simply didn’t know about Organics. As we became more involved in the landscape fertilizer business we quickly noticed that the more chemical fertilizers we sold, the more chemical pesticides we sold. Chemical fertilizers do not provide true nutrition, so plants fed that diet get sick and the chemical industry position is to sell chemical pesticides. Chemical pesticides never solve the problems but mask the symptoms. That correlation still exists today and we also see it in Americans. As our general population eats more junk food, the more chronic illnesses we as humans develop and the more pharmaceuticals are prescribed.

It was the hunt for true plant health that led us to Organics. Back in the mid 80’s when we started manufacturing MicroLife, Organics was in an interesting time because most of the science was geared towards pushing chemical programs and the chemical industry then, as is now, fought (fights) Organics constantly. We received a lot of threats and were called hippies or communists and sometimes both. But you can’t deny results, and the plants under Organic care consistently performed better and slowly word spread. Interestingly in the late 90’s, a small group of Organic professionals working independently of each emerged in Houston Texas. After a while, we came together and formally started a 501-c-3 called OHBA to teach Organics on a non-commercialized basis. I’ve been fortunate to serve as president of OHBA since 2004 as a volunteer.

Organics, which threatens a lot of powerful industries, is based on ethics, natural law, nutrition, economics, and safety. It is the desire to help civilization that always pushes us forward. We’ve got a terrific team at MicroLife, wonderful clients, and excellent community support. Organics is the fastest growing trend in America and as Victor Hugo famously said ‘You can’t stop an idea whose time has come’.

Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
Houston Texas which is the number Organic horticulture city in America is a beautiful, fun, and friendly place. The best time to visit is September through May so come then. We have magnificent public gardens like our Zoo, Mercer Arboretum, Bayou Bend, Houston Botanical Gardens, Centennial Gardens, Memorial Park, Houston Arboretum, and Discovery Green. Houston has multiple, thriving Farmers Markets and in the Fall, Houston explodes with outdoor festivals. If you enjoy food, Houston is an epicurean delight. We are the most ethnically diverse city in America and all manners of fusion cooking have been developed here. But don’t forget the staples of the Houston food scene which are Tex-Mex, BBQ, and Seafood! Plus we have many wonderful museums. National Forests and beaches are only 60 minutes away.

The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
First is my Mom, Joyce Serant. We started the company together January 18th, 1984. She was my rock-solid business partner/best friend till she passed May 17th, 2017. We went through a lot of tough times together as we built the company with very limited starting capital. Credit also goes to the horticulture industry which is filled with dynamic, ethical folks, other professional Organic enthusiasts, teammates here at MicroLife, and my wife Gail, and my son Michael, who have always been strongly supportive of me.

Website: https://www.microlifefertilizer.com/

Instagram: microlife_organic_fertilizer

Facebook: www.facebook.com/microlifeorganics

Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/user/MicrolifeOrganics

Image Credits
shoutouthtx1 – @seeking_pollinators shoutouthtx6 – Erica B. shoutouthtx5 – Shangri La Botanical Gardens shoutouthtx2 – The University of Texas at Austin shoutouthtx3 – Bear Branch Soccer Field shoutouthtx7 – Sara W.

Nominate Someone: ShoutoutHTX is built on recommendations and shoutouts from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.