My name is Phil Nauta. I grew up working for my parents in their garden center.

I maintained the nursery stock in the yard and eventually did a lot of the landscaping. I was also in charge of maintaining our little 9 hole, par 3 golf course.

I didn't know what 'organic' was until 2005, when I completed a Certificate in Organic Landscape Management from Gaia College.

I can't remember now why I decided to take this course, as I never thought I would stay in the horticultural industry after so many years of cutting grass and digging holes.

But I fell in love with gardening when I learned this organic way of doing it, and became incredibly passionate about the methods I was learning.

Since then I have done all kinds of fun related things:

  • Started an organic gardening business, subsequently run by my sister
  • Became a Certified Organic Land Care Professional through SOUL
  • Received my Permaculture Design Certificate
  • Completed a Certificate in Sustainable Building and Design from Yestermorrow
  • Started a business called The Organic Gardener's Pantry, selling high quality organic fertilizers in Canada, now run by my friend Christina
  • Taught courses for Gaia College and helped put together their cutting edge online learning environment
  • Spent 3 years on the board of directors of the Society For Organic Urban Land Care
  • Built a holistic nutrition/healthy eating website with my wife Heather (now my ex-wife)
  • Wrote the book Building Soils Naturally
  • Created the online organic gardening course, the Smiling Gardener Academy
  • Recently started selling organic fertilizers again, this time in the U.S.

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My main area of expertise is in growing nutrient-dense food and organic soil and garden health management.

I used to do a bit of consulting with people who are interested in growing vegetables and fruits of an unparalleled quality - mostly useful for people growing food for sale, although home organic gardeners who grow a lot of food found this worthwhile, too.

I still have lots to learn about gardening myself and my passion is continuing to do so, but I'm most excited about passing on what I've learned to you.

About This Website

This website is for organic gardeners everywhere who are smiling because they're growing - or want to learn how to grow - sustainable, nutrient-dense food and beautiful plants and flowers in their gardens, and turn their organic soil into a vibrant, living community.

But don't let the happy name fool you. The information on this site isn't fluff - it's for people who want to master the art of organic gardening.

I spend plenty of time covering the basics, but I also get into more advanced organic gardening techniques. I give you the essential knowledge and skills you don't find by reading most popular websites and books about organic gardening.

Most of them just repeat the same old things, which is fine, but I want to go beyond that. Some of them do give an okay introduction to organic gardening, but they don't go into enough detail to make you more than an average organic gardener, with average results and average nutrition in the food you grow.

And many of them give really bad advice. Not that I'm perfect - I've given bad advice before, too - but there's this phenomenon in the gardening world where bad advice seems to be perpetuated.

I think the main thing that differentiates this site is that I know how to build incredible soil and I go into the detail that's needed to get there.

Sometimes that involves getting a bit scientific, and sometimes that involves turning your views on gardening upside down.

If you're a casual organic gardener, you'll definitely learn a lot. If you're serious about improving your organic gardening results, you have found the website you need to go to the next level.

Why Smiling Gardener?

I called this website "Smiling Gardener" because I want to focus on the positive side of organic gardening.

A lot of people get into organic gardening upon learning of the environmental devastation we are inflicting upon our planet and it can get pretty overwhelming. I know I've spent my share of time being upset about it.

But you eventually figure out that worrying is not very helpful (or fun).

And when you study organic home gardening, you begin to see that there are all kinds of awesome reasons to garden organically and all kinds of positive outcomes we can achieve.

What Will You Learn Here?

I don't want this to sound to hyped or cheesy, but if you master the techniques I teach, you will be among a select group of gardeners.

You will grow food that is healthier than any food you can find in a grocery store.

This may seem like a lofty statement, but the fact is you can improve your soil to the point when you are getting much more nutrition than is available in most food, even most organic food.

On this website, I share practical organic gardening tips you can put to use right now in your garden. While I really cover the A-to-Z of organic gardening, I focus on these 3 topics:

  • How to grow your own chemical-free, nutrient-dense, impossibly-delicious foods
  • How to control insects, diseases and weeds forever without any chemicals
  • How to make your soil and compost so healthy that you almost want to eat it!

By the way, I'm on youtube, so be sure to click subscribe over to the right if you like to spend time there.

Of course I get into indoor gardening, organic vegetable gardening and herb gardening, organic container gardening, organic fertilizer use, and so on.

Now that my book is written, I've been working on a new project for the last few years called the Smiling Gardener Academy where I've put in a new food garden and I'm recording the process on video from start to finish. I post some of the videos here and on youtube, but 90+% of them go into the private members area of this Academy.

I hope you enjoy the free organic gardening lessons I've put together for you and the journey of becoming an organic gardener.


I only answer gardening questions from current, paying Academy members (sorry guys, I wish I had time to answer questions from everyone).

I do respond to blog comments, though, so if you have a question about a specific blog post, please leave it in the comments below the post.

If you are an Academy member, use the Forum/Ask Me Questions area in the Academy.

My email ( This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. ) is mostly for other inquiries, mainly questions/support regarding the Academy and media inquiries, and it's the best way to contact me. My apologies in advance - I do send a short automated email in return.

You can also join me on:

Facebook Facebook
YouTube YouTube

I do have a phone: 646-480-0650. It goes direct to voice mail, but you can leave a message there. Again, I don't answer gardening questions on the phone.

My mailing address is: 10314 Hedley Dr., Ilderton, ON, N0M 2A0, Canada.

Thanks for your interest - and keep on smiling! (Just kidding, that's not really my tagline. That would be way too obvious!)

Free Ebook Download

Organic Gardening Ebook
"The Holistic Gardening Handbook: Condensed Version"
Discover how to grow nutrient-dense, organic food and control pests without chemicals...
"You have been a source of wisdom, humour, encouragement and influence" Marylin, B.C.


Nice Notes

"Thank you so much for taking the time to make the lessons and offering them for free. I really like how easy they are to follow, and how much valuable information they offer. Thank you again. I just finished the first one, and it was so inspiring." Marcy