The Smiling Gardener Academy

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

I'll be opening it up again for enrolment in 2016.

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

"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


"This feels like a dream come true. I know this Academy will enrich my growing experiences. Most importantly, it will help me to grow healthier plants that in turn feed my body and my soul. All in all, it's Friday night and I just signed up, so you can only guess what I'm doing all weekend."
Dave, Toronto, ON

"I really enjoyed watching the first module, consuming it over the last two days! Great job filming, explaining and demonstrating all the concepts in a way I can understand and grasp them. I appreciate all of your efforts, time and energy. It is all coming together and I am really excited about the possibility of having a soil that is working for me. My focus has been the plants for so long, it is quite a shift in thinking to focus on the soil and how to best feed and care for it, and then it will feed and produce healthy plants, ideally. Makes so much sense! I am really liking this approach and thinking toward organic gardening. Thank you so much! You are my first organic gardening teacher/coach and I really appreciate that you are accessible and willing to answer my questions. I am so thankful for your help!"
Debbie, Sacramento, CA

"I have been doing everything you instructed, and all of my flowers are extremely healthy! I definitely see a big difference! You are doing an excellent job I don't know how you put everything together so well! I am really enjoying the Academy so much!! You have done all of your homework and have made everything perfect, informative and easy to navigate. There are lots of resources and all of the information I received so far is more than I expected. Honestly, I am enjoying everything and learning just what I need to know and also at a good pace. After viewing your website, I knew your Academy was for me and I felt an instant connection and signed up right away. Mainly and lastly, what I like the most about the Academy is the way you treat your clients either by email or by the way you speak in your videos. You have an awesome personality and I am more than happy that I am a member of your Academy. I'm so excited about this that I want to be a member and a friend for life!! Again, thank you."
Rene, Hartsdale, NY

"Thank you very much, I love your courses, it comes from your heart. It's obvious that you are a very good teacher, please continue your goals and your ideas, you have a lot of results."
Pia, Romania

"I am a complete newbie when it comes to gardening. I live in northwestern WI. I look at this academy as a great place to begin to start building my foundation for my future organic gardening endeavors. I want to grow the best possible food for my girlfriend and myself. Thank you for making this great tool for somebody like me to learn with. This whole site is inspirational. I find the website very easy to handle. The information is great! I love it. Exactly what I want from this course."Erik, Dresser, WI

"The information that you provide through the academy is exactly what I am looking for. I feel that the money I have spent to be in the academy is an absolute bargain, worth every penny."
David, Lenoir, NC

"I'm an avid worm composter. I too, am all about the soil. I believe if we took care of the soil, not only would we as humans be healthier, but the planet would be healthier. This is a great group to be a part of."
Cassandra, Boerne, TX

"I really like what I've seen so far. The content is really interesting, and just what I'm looking for to work with my kids. We homeschool, and they're just about ready to leave the nest, so I want them to understand WHY we do what I've been doing all these years. Great idea, and thanks for keeping it affordable."
Traci, Oakdale, CA

"I've read lots and lots of websites throughout the years about gardening. The way you explain is easy for people new to gardening to understand. Keep up the good work. I feel strongly about this because there was a time when I was in the VERY beginning stages learning about gardening. You are setting a good foundation for people. I honestly feel they won't be scared away from to much technical info. You've go just enough of that to make it interesting and encouraging us to read more and want to learn more. We both feel fortunate to have found you and have got our first compost pile cooking already."
Gayle, Gulfport, MS

"Very strong application of the writing ability mixed with your clear passion and knowledge for agricultural topics. I've only received the first module and I've contemplated buying all of them flat out. Thank you for the hard and detailed work you've put into the research, business, site and video instructions. It's been time well spent and now widely appreciated."
Joe,, Orlando, FL

"I've really been enjoying your academy. I think it's well thought out, organized and above all interesting! I wish you and you're lovely wife a healthy and prosperous new year. Little did I know you were the same YouTube gardener that I had watched numerous times on extending EM a couple years back. I have nothing bad to say about your program. I think it's great."
Laura, Peoria, AZ

"Thanks to you, I tried Crop Services International this year for these two brand new beds. Having the Base and LaMotte is really valuable. I also, thanks to you, began measuring EC and will begin Brix. I have someone attending to the plants when I'm out of the US, following my instructions for weekly foliar & drench adjustments. Last year this time it was a different story so seeing this improvement is really incredible. These pics were taken in the last 48 hours - about 100 fruit on 3 plants. I also attached pics of a container grown habenaro last year that produced more than 300 fruit; had a control plant that produced less than half that amount.... convinced me of the power of mycorrhizae."
Leidy, Austin, TX

"Just wanted to let you know that I went from enjoying gardening and 'creating' food to loving it! I haven't seen all of vids yet but I have seen enough to know that I'm going to keep 'studying' / learning all I need to know to do things in a way that is in harmony with nature instead of destroying nature. Most of the things we have been taught have been distorted in some way and it is such a relief to finally find someone that is on the same wavelength. I believe I was guided to you and so I thank you from the bottom of my heart."
Colin, Canada

"I just wanted to let you know how much I appreciate your academy. There's just the right amount of material per month. You are teaching beautiful and radical ideas! I feel so confident that I can build soil and improve life in our yard, and we will grow the best food we can thanks to everything I am learning. Please know what a difference your work is making in my life and the health of my family. Thank-you for sharing your passion."
Trayci, Streamstown, Alberta

"The main two things I really like about the Smiling Gardner are 1) your enthusiastic approach to your subject and your genuine wish to share your knowledge with others, and 2) the quality and breadth of the kinds of information you share. (Uh, oh, is that three things?) The video format is super; much easier to grasp than reading, plus I can pull the slider back to hear something again that I may have missed."
Barry, Fredericksburg, TX

"In your email you asked for criticism of the academy. You ask the impossible of me. We, my wife and I, have been thrilled with the academy. It has completely changed our thought process about gardening, lawns, most of nature even. I have long thought the major problem with our health system is doctors treat symptoms instead of looking for the root problem. I now realize my gardens in the past were suffering from the same symptom driven management. I have now thought about a couple of possible criticisms: 1. We have learned so much and become so excited about of gardens that our plans have become considerably more ambitious. 2. I am loosing sleep planning, thinking, reading, watching, and re-planning. Very Sincerely,"
John, Clyde, TX

"The site is easy to navigate and learn from and the content is interesting and useful. You do a good job teaching. I like that the videos are short but well thought out ahead of time (at least it feels that way!), and I like how they are casual, sometimes in the shade, etc, it keeps the lessons and your appearance as friendly, natural, approachable, etc as opposed to seeming like a distant, out of touch, cheap, quick media production that is rampant these days in one place or another! :) You obviously have a lot of knowledge, and you seem to keep it practical, and I really appreciate that you strive to not be preachy about it. You are a gifted person."
Heather, Twentynine Palms, CA

"***** 5 Star Smiling Gardener Academy. Even though I have been organic gardening for 20 years, I am learning so much! I cannot tell you how much you mean to me. I know I tell you this all the time but you inspire me daily, hourly...thank you again for all your sincerity, devotion, inspiration, and question answering goodness!"
Karin, Fort Lauderdale, FL

"I love everything you do...particularly the care and detail you put into all you present on your site. You have a very welcoming presence that makes me feel at ease just listening to you! Thank you so much for offering the Academy and for all the hard work you put into it—-it doesn't go unnoticed. Your generosity is written all over your site, by the way. On some of those bad news days your words can restore my faith in humanity. Keep up the great work you are doing!"
Linda, Salt Spring Island, B.C.

"First, I would say that your videos are most educational, compelling and entertaining - these are not easy adjectives to achieve, so bravo on your work. All-in-all I am a big fan of you, your site and course material and have recommended it to others. I feel you and your video brings true value to the organic gardener, especially to the “visual learner”."
Jess, Mettawa, IL

"I like the fact that your videos are short and I can watch one whenever I have a few minutes. The possibility to have access to such a quality course as I am in a remote area is just the best! Keep up the good work!"
Caroline, Fort Simpson, NT

"I visited the member area of your new site and was quite impressed by the quality of the educational material you've brought together. Your videos go beyond what many instructional garden videos offer and are presented in a friendly and competent manner. I think you can feel quite proud of that."
Roger, Scarborough, ME

"Your lessons have already been helpful and I’m excited to be a part of this group so we can all expand our knowledge and share ideas about something we are all passionate about."
Anthony, Burnaby, B.C.

"I really enjoy all your gardening information. Love to watch your videos. Very informative and refreshing. I am looking forward to using your techniques on my new 1 acre plot. Since I have taken the Organic Master Gardening course it has opened my eyes. I had never thought about the living organisms as providing the health and sustainability to a better system of gardening and just well being of everything around it. Keep up the good work as it is appreciated."
Mary, Kimberly, B.C.

"Your content is good. It is obvious that you know what you are talking about! The best parts were the ones that gave me something to do...the soil tests, and sheet mulching segments."
Sara, Langton, ON

"It's all good for me. I really dig what your doing. Your gardening philosophy is one that I really believe."
Justin, Covina, CA

"Weston A. Price proved to the world, early in the 20th century, that nutrition, the consumption of nutrient-dense, whole foods, was a major prerequisite to good health; and, the prerequisite for a balanced, and nutrient-dense, whole food is a healthy soil. This is the philosophy and foundation of your teachings and that is why I have joined the Smiling Gardener Academy. I look forward to learning from you all those techniques and principles that I will apply to grow wholesome food for myself and my family."
Eduardo, Miami Beach, FL

"I love this course and all the info. I wish I had tine for hort school etc but I own a business and have 2 young kids and therefore NO time! It was great to see all the soil info in the first few videos."
Mill, San Francisco, CA

"I LOVE YOUR SITE AND THE ACADEMY!!!! I have learned tons and am going to try implementing it in my garden. I started a "square foot garden" system a few years back and have not been happy with the "promised results" that I haven't seen. I actually e-mailed you about that system a couple of months ago and you thought I would be able to incorporate your ideas in with what I already have going. I find your site very user friendly and super interesting. I have been into organic gardening for some time and I really like the new ideas I'm learning from you. I haven't found any of the sections that I haven't learned something. Please continue with what you have going!"
Le Anne, Idaho Falls, ID

"Hi Phil – I was told about you through my daughter-in-law that has taken the Master Gardening Course in Victoria and also hooked me up with the Organic Gardner’s Pantry. I think you are doing a great job and love and feel the passion you have right through the computer."
Colleen, Buick, BC

"I find the content interesting and useful. I learned valuable information in each sections so far. Thanks a lot for putting this website together, keep up the good work! Take care."
Miguel, Cumberland, BC

"You are doing a great service... very helpful information indeed, exactly what I need. It's all about taking care of the health of our planet and everything on it, including us!"
Kerry, Kansas, IL

"I like the use of videos as the visual of how to do something really helps. I like the science. I find this interesting and it makes the information concrete rather than an opinion of yours. I am someone who really needs to know why I am doing something and it helps for me to understand how to duplicate the information in other settings. Again, the video format is excellent. I like the fact that you include the script at the bottom of your video link. In short form: convenience, clear direction, and keep smiling, it is all good."
Sandra, Cobble Hill, BC

"Phil I really really really like the academy. I appreciate your approach, and such detail. I am impressed. Your website is easily maneuvered, I appreciate your teaching style and your patience, but mostly Phil I love your enthusiasm. I hope to be learning from you until you no longer desire to teach it! Thank you for sharing your education with us. The cost is very reasonable. I am having a blast going through the videos. In fact I am done with this first lesson and ready to move on. I am so excited to be learning the best possible techniques to build my soil to make it the most nutrient dense soil possible!"
Terry O ;) Cushing, Texas

"I've only bought the first set of lessons on the soil and it has been a pleasure to watch and learn. The info you gathered is sharp and essential to get a good idea of how everything works. And I like the way you combine theory and practical videos, a hands on approach and an overall combination of practical, theory and up to date research on how to succeed and understand what can we do to improve and actually grow our own healthy food garden. You're are doing a great job and although I studied agronomy, read lots of permaculture and other organic growing food books, I am really learning bits and tricks that are ESSENTIAL and that most times skip through our eyes."

"Hi Phil, I want to thank you so much for all your help with my access to the online courses. I also love your courses. I had already started some of the steps you are teaching and now I understand the importance of continuing those steps as well as adding to those steps to create a better outcome. The greatest thing is now I understand the what, why, when, and how to garden the right way. I look forward to the remainder of the courses since I have already finished the 1st course.Thanks for putting the information online,"
Betty, Clinton, MS

"I have read and will reread the introduction and everything else! It took me awhile to figure out how to get into the forum, I’m techno challenged!! I have to say I am delighted with the Academy. Beautifully presented, concise, yet full of such important information! I never realized how many different things affected a garden, and learning how to balance is imperative...I am sincerely grateful to have “met” you Phil. Your teaching is enriching my life. Becoming involved in this community is wonderful."
Donna, Oceanside, CA

"I am a new academy member. I had moved into my home Oct 2012 and the yard was a disaster. It hadn't been cared for for many years. I've always had an organic "bent" and couldn't wait to go organic on my own place. I bought lots of flowers and made tobacco tea and poured beer and dish soap on everything. I couldn't even grow marigolds. The ants and whatever's carried them off. By August I was so disappointed in the whole thing. I can't remember how I found you, but you turned my brown thumbs to green. You so graciously gave away so much of your knowledge. I printed out the ebook and put it in a binder and read about EM and fungi and was hooked! Your videos are "down to earth" and honest. This year my new peach trees are lush and have peaches on them. I use the folar sprays you suggest and no holes in the leaves like last year. My strawberries now have leaves that are huge and lots of berries coming on. Same with my grapevine. Flowers are happy and do is my lawn. I'm having a blast. Thank you for offering supplies on line. Couldn't find stuff here. I could go on and on. Keep up the good work. You're very much appreciated."
Becky, Buhl, ID

"You have joined Elliot Coleman, Heidi Hermary, Tobi Hemenway, Steve Solomon, David Holmgren, Rudolf Steiner and Elaine Ingham as one of garden/grower gurus. That your focus is on growing healthy food (the pretties are great but there to support food plant growing) resonates totally with my own perspective and values. Really like the tips on improving nutrient content.

Your information (such as about beneficial micro-organisms) is cutting edge, which I really appreciate, as such info is often scattered or difficult to track down. Sometimes what you say is such clear common sense (like your pruning advice), my mind just stutters in amazement.

Your writing is tight, well organized and clear. Love your positive spin. I feel happy - uplifted and energized after I finish a lesson, ready to jump into my boots and grab my trowel. Thank you for sharing your wisdom, Phil. We are fortunate."