I've been involved with gardening since I was a kid, but I didn't get excited about it until I discovered organic gardening.
And so I’m really excited about a new series of organic home gardening lessons I've put together for you.
I was originally going to charge a small fee for the lessons, but I've decided to give them to you for free and leave the fees for my much more comprehensive Smiling Gardener Academy course.
The lessons will summarize some of the important concepts from the Academy.
Here's the short course:
- What is soil made of?
- Home soil testing
- How to prepare soil
- Lab soil sample testing
- Natural organic fertilizers
- Organic pest control
- Organic weed control
- Organic composting
- Worm bin composting
- Homemade fertilizer
- Using cover crops
- Using inoculants
- Permaculture principles
- Make your own inoculant
- Plan your landscape design
- Starting plants from seeds
- Sowing seed and planting
- Growing organic food
- Forest gardening
And today I have some thoughts to share with you. Once in a while I wonder if this is the best use of my time. Should I really be teaching people about organic gardening, or is there something more important for me to be doing?
Indeed to most non-gardeners, what I do probably seems like fluff. Many of my friends think I just talk about flowers and stuff.
Certainly when I scour the internet for blogs on gardening, that’s exactly what many of them talk about - this year’s color trends or some new rose cultivar.
Now, of course, any kind of gardening is a wonderful hobby.
I can understand how some gardeners get excited about this year’s new plants, and that’s cool - no complaints.
In fact, I can kind of relate - most permaculturists would probably say I spend too much of my efforts designing a garden that looks good instead of a garden that most efficiently provides food and other products for human kind.
But I do go for a balance because I want to be inspired in my garden, even my organic vegetable garden.
And the bottom line is that I don’t really garden to have just a garden that looks nice. What gets me excited about organic gardening is growing nutrient-dense food.
Not just growing fresh, local food that hopefully tastes a little better than grocery store produce, but nutrient-dense food.
It’s a real thing. The lack of nutrition in our food supply is absolutely one of the main reasons our species is sick and unhappy and all-around messed up.
And the reason I spend so much time teaching different methods and organic gardening tips for growing nutrient-dense food is because it is not just a simple thing to do - it’s quite difficult to obtain.
It takes some work and knowledge and time to make it happen.
Despite what 50+ years of many organic gardening magazines and books may tell us, we can’t just throw down some compost and lime and expect healthy food.
Compost is a very important part of a healthy garden, but it isn’t nearly enough.
So yes, I absolutely give you some pointers on the aesthetics of garden design and how to keep things looking nice.
Sitting in a well-designed garden can make you feel fantastic - sometimes relaxed and soothed or sometimes excited and invigorated.
But I spend most of my time teaching you how to make that garden healthy. No matter what you’re growing, you’ll get the benefits.
If you’re intro flowers or trees, they’ll be radiant and prolific and pest-free. You’ll save money by not having to replace those plants, and save money and time due to decreased maintenance.
But most important, if you grow food, you’ll get the minerals into that food and then get the minerals into you.
|What Is Organic Gardening?|
|Conventional Gardening||Organic Gardening|
|Integrated pest management and chemical pesticides to combat weeds and pests.||Landscape health management so weeds and pests don't cause problems in the first place.|
|Chemical fertilizers to feed plants directly.||Organic fertilizers, organic matter and microbial inoculants to feed the soil food web.|
|More about dominating the landscape into collections of pretty plants.||Working with nature to create a thriving ecosystem teeming with biological diversity.|
|Focuses on the garden itself as the outcome.||Takes into account the social and ecological impacts of our gardening actions, as seen in the upward trend of organic vegetable gardening and permaculture.|
|Of course, they're not mutually exclusive - there isn't some thing called 'conventional gardening' and some other thing called 'organic gardening' - they overlap. But the above points should give you an idea of how an organic gardener tends to go through a different thought process.
It's about working with nature, caring for the organic garden soil and the soil food web, and often incorporating a vegetable garden to grow organic food. Our method of organic garden pest control is prevention.
If you stick with me - and are patient through this process of improving your soil and ecosystem health, which is unbelievably exciting and rewarding in its own right - there's a very good chance:
- You’ll still have your teeth when you hit 90.
- You’ll hit 90.
- You’ll have a full head of hair, too.
- You’ll still be jogging, cycling, dancing, romancing.
And you’ll have an immune system that can ward off the unnecessary diseases that have affected many people you know.
You’ve probably known people who eat a healthy, organic diet and have still experienced these diseases. Of course there can be many reasons for this, but a principle underlying cause is lack of nutrition.
Because organic food doesn’t always have more nutrition, not if it wasn’t grown with nutrition in mind, which most of it isn’t.
You can eat as much kale as you want, but if the soil where it grew didn’t have adequate mineralization (and the biology to make those minerals available to plants), then you won’t have adequate mineralization.
But here’s the cool thing - you can do this. We can do it together.
To me, this is actually one of the most exciting and important things we can do - growing nutrient-dense food.
And whenever I have doubts about teaching others how to organically garden, I’ll walk out into my garden, and it doesn’t take long to remember that teaching organic gardening and nutrient-dense fruit and vegetable gardening is the most important thing I can do.
So that’s what I’m continuing to do this year. My Academy members get the best of it, but that doesn’t mean I can’t put together some of the most important steps for your for free on this website.
Thanks for being with me on this journey,
P.S. if you're not already on my email list, be sure to sign up to the right in order to get my free lessons. Your email is confidential and won't be shared with anyone.