The Smiling Gardener Academy

Note: My online organic gardening course (The Academy) is currently full.

I'll be opening it up again for enrolment later this year.

Feel free to enter your email below if you'd like me to let you know when that happens :)


"The way the lessons are set up is terrific. It's clean and well organized. I REALLY love that you've broken everything down into manageable segments. It's great that the segments are short and even better that I have the option of watching the video or reading the text. Your set up is nice and clean in that regard, too, because the text is directly below the video. I don't have to download separate transcripts and open them up in another window. Great work with this. Really. It's comprehensive without being overwhelming and it's extremely well organized and segmented."
Beth, Richmand, VA

"The Academy is the best thing since 'sliced bread'. Your 'set-up' is easy to navigate and learn from. The content is very interesting and useful; it can take beginning gardeners from 0 to 60 in a hurry. And, if I’m right, it is going to take intermediate gardeners a long way also. And I’m sure that the advanced will get a lot out of it too, looks like it is going to be a wonderful journey toward well-being and true health! I like the presentation, it is 'clean'. You have mastered the art of KISS (Keep IT Simple and Sincere). I’ve got a feeling that the Academy is going to take off like a rocket. Your meaning is coming through loud and clear. You are seen as a man of integrity; you are clear, well focused and Sincere. In other words, you are doing great, keep truckin...and we’ll keep watching and reading. Thanks for being on the planet right now, good timing. :)"
Larry, Birdsboro, PA

"Nicely done, Phil! Thanks for putting together such in-depth studies and details about the soil. It is much more detail than I've ever heard about soil before. My husband studies up on soil some, but I've never read any of his books on it. Watching a video to gather information is much more interesting :)"
Ruth, Fingerlakes, NY

"I'm extremely pleased with the content. The video content and quality are excellent. Your feedback is beyond excellent. I asked a question and got an answer the same day WOW that doesn't happen in the real world. So far I'm loving all of it. Thank you,"
Sharon, Pembroke, NH

"I've done the first lesson of the Academy, I am thrilled with what I have learned and am putting it to work. I swear I can see a difference already and it is late November! In fact, this is just the information that I have been searching for. I had done some research into and dabbling in Biodynamic farming, but like your approach even better....Sorry to talk your ear off, but you are the one who got me so revved up. ;-) And I am totally grateful to you for it. We have now done the foliar spray twice on the winter crops and the results are pretty spectacular, on the whole. I had to go back and do a third hit on the curly kale, which was not doing much, but it is now jumping. My collards out in the garden came in spectacularly with little worm damage. We built a 5 by 4.5 compost heap that heated up to 160 right away and stayed there for several days. My excitement level is high and I cannot wait to see what changes will show in the spring. My goal all along has been to get my garden to a place that I can manage it well, with only a little help, by the time I am 80. I have nearly 8 years to do it in, and that is starting to look like a realistic goal, thanks to you. Thank you, thank you for all the effort you have put into getting this information compiled in one place and then available to those of us hungry for it."
Jo, Rustburg, VA

"Your presentation is perfect for my learning style: 1) read and see pictures... 2) watch the video... 3) try it out... Cruising through websites (yours and others) is great too, but the in-depth information concentrated in your course and presented in a clear, concise manner has been a real problem-solver for us. This is only our second season gardening on this (primarily open field with a shaded pond) property and the harvest is already increasing, much of it thanks to your information helping us avoid serious pitfalls. We are getting super excited about starting to put in fruit, nut, nitrogen-fixer and pollinator-attracter trees this autumn. You're providing a wonderful service. Keep on keeping on, but take good care of Phil as you do so. You're a keeper.:)!"
Bonnie, Hawkins, TX

"Hi Phil, Truly you've put together such an awesome learning site, your brilliance to make it doable, along with such a great education simplified, is very much appreciated! I love that you are so real, relaxed and light-hearted, you truly have a gift to share with the world. You inspire me and give me lots of hope in the ability to grow incredible food for my family and I, thank you for all your effort!"
Debra, Kamloops, BC

"I want to take the opportunity to thank Phil as his Academy videos gave me the confidence to make a move to another country to work at growing my own food."
KC, Vietnam

"I think you have done a great job with the content. I do like the videos — they are short enough to keep one’s attention while providing core information and references (when applicable). I signed up for this course to learn how to be a better organic gardener — I live in a “healthy food wasteland” and this is my third year growing some of our summer vegetables. What I have learned thus far (I’m up to Module 5) is exactly the basic info I needed to know in order to improve my gardening skills — like most people I started my organic garden by searching the internet for “how to” information (and getting different opinions), then I would plunk the veggies into the ground, hoping I didn’t have a problem. FYI - I was very impressed that you showed the forms for the soil samples with instructions as to what to complete — very thorough! I also enjoyed learning about the BRIX as I had not previously heard of BRIX. I appreciate the effort you have put into condensing this info in one place — trying to decide what to include and what to exclude could not have been an easy task."
Jane, Marietta, OH

"Thank you for the opportunity to learn such an important skill set. The content is all interesting and useful. Your websites are easily navigable. Membership details are laid out simply. The most important thing that I want to learn is how to give back to the earth through this knowledge and experience. This is a way that I can become self sufficient, and live in harmony with nature, in this beautiful practice of plant husbandry, if you will. The many heirloom varieties that I'll be growing will not only benefit the environment, but will bring harmony and balance within myself. It is so much more deeply nourishing on a cellular level to take up this life force into my own, and on a spiritual level, for so many reasons."
Zac, South Australia

"Loving your course! I have the MOST productive garden this year I think I've ever had, so many strawberries, raspberries and blueberries that my freezer is full and they just keep on coming!! Plus all the other bountiful veggie crops."
Kathleen, Bayside, CA

"Thank you again for your time on the phone with me today. I really appreciated it! I am looking forward to learning this next year in the Academy and putting into practice these things. Wanted to also say that thank you for all of your prompt emails and followups. It really says a lot about your dedication to your members and what you are sharing."
Kim, Elk, WA

"I've been a gardener all my life but am now semi-retired so I have more time and have been getting into it with a passion! I'm learning new things from you which is fabulous! Soil test from a lab, targeted mineral fertilizers, biostimulants and inoculants. I've recently added bokashi compost to my arsenal of composting and worm bins. Thanks for all the info you give, I appreciate that you are very detailed but also not rigid. I really appreciate that you make the videos succinct. I also really like the videos from Dan and others that you include, finding them very useful and informative. Thanks a bunch!!"
Kathleen, Arcata, CA

"I have been an Academy member for 10 weeks now - only learning and just the beginning of this new way but the results have been awesome! I just cut a 5 1/2 pound Cabbage and only found 2 cabbage worms in the lower leaves. Lots of squash, cukes and lettuce and our beets are 2inches in dia. and everything tastes great! I could go on and on but I know you are busy--Thanks again for all the great information etc. Every Tomato plant set fruit perfect!"
Thanks again, Ed, Greenwood, SC

"My Scott has returned from a successful trip from Kitale. Three beautiful, thankful girls with their healthy babies, have 'graduated' from our Esther Home. They've been totally reconciled to their families with care for babies and training for work or furthering their education. Miracle!! Thank you for your part in this Phil! Scott implemented your soil ideas as much as he could. Scott said he overheard the greenhouse staff calling these garden strategies "Nikie Technology". Haha. Trust me, as we get success in these cashcrop greenhouses, I will be telling them all about my friend, Phil Nauta and the Smiling Gardener Academy!! You are amazing, inspirational and I appreciate you so much. As always, totally enjoying the Academy. Keep up your good work friend and God bless you!"
Nikie, Bend, OR

"Firstly let me say I am really enjoying this course. You have put so much hard work into it and I'm getting a lot out of it, it's turning out to be exactly what I hoped it would. I'm new to gardening having just moved from apartment living 6 mths ago to an acre of land. As a newbie I have found all the information you give easy to take on board and of an adequate depth. Your passion for what you do easily comes through on the videos and I feel really excited and inspired after watching them to get out and try what you have demonstrated."
Nicky, Ceres, Australia

"I am a beginner gardener (2 years) with a small area, so questioned whether the academy would make sense for me. I was drawn by the ability to ask questions. I am enjoying going through each video. Not all of it is something that I can apply but it is giving me the bigger picture so I understand the reasons for doing certain things in the garden. I have developed a calendar and journal of maintenance activities based on your checklist for the garden. I have incorporated all but 6 items. In time I am sure those will be included as well. I am now less concerned about the health of the current plants and more concerned about building the soil. As you would expect, once I started building the soil the plants became a lot healthier. I don’t see aphids anymore and all plants are more alive and healthy looking."
Bonnie, San Luis Obispo, CA

"I wanted to write to you and tell you what an awesome time I have had in this academy of gardening you put together. I started last year learning about soils. And did I. My garden had been floundering for a couple of years. My yard has been giving me fits for 23 years. In 2013 I almost gave up altogether. My tomatoes were dying from fungal diseases, My beets were coming out with almost a sour taste to them, and my carrots….. well God help me cause the carrots weren’t. I searched for items that could help me figure out what was going on in my garden. I thought I had been doing all the right things. I added manure every year, used no chemicals, added Dolomite Lime, and every year the plantings just kept getting worse. I did stop gardening for a year, and in 2014 did nothing. But after seeing you on you tube a few times, then going to your web site, I wanted to learn more. Then your offer came last year for your academy. So, I signed up. In 2015, I sent in soil samples to CSI for both my yard and garden. I got the results back. I couldn’t believe the wacked out numbers I saw. I spoke with Ron at CSI and between his recommendations and yours I put minerals and biostimulants on my garden. You both had said “Don’t expect great results right away” since the soil had to rejuvenate from years of poor maintenance. I had to determine where to start. There was just so much wrong that I needed to work on. I got the minerals and such that I would need. I mixed my first batch of EM, I spread my minerals and then I rototilled one last time since my soil was sooooo compacted. Then I planted. Things were slow to take off. I had some vegetables that did not do so well. But for the most part everything improved an amazing amount. My beets were much sweeter (30 Quarts canned), my beans took off (75 Quarts canned), Okra the best year I have ever had, Watermelons grew well, Muskmelons had a lot of powdery mildew and no good fruit, carrots not so well they were all stunted, Cucumbers were amazing (We love these things), and then the Tomatoes…….. No Disease what so ever) They tasted wonderful. That is not all but a good sampling. This year I expect that the crops will do even better. I really was encouraged last year. In 2016, No till whatsoever. My soil was not compacted, I raked off the mulch and evened out the beds, and replaced the mulch and added more. The tilth is starting to look good, and I didn’t mention with the use of Mycorrhizal fungi, I saw some around roots last year that is proving to be a large help to the plants. I have begun to see more worms than ever in my soil before. I never could figure out what was wrong and why there were so few worms in my garden. Well, there is a long way to go yet, but thank God your course was what I needed to get everything on track and get my soil healthier and working again. I will continue to care for it in a way that is sustainable and organic. Best of all I am looking forward to my garden this year. Thanks."
Gary, West Kingston, RI