Organic Gardening Blog
Welcome to my organic gardening blog. At certain times of year I post gardening tips weekly and other times much less frequently. Sign up for my ebook over to the right (or near the very bottom of the page if you're on mobile) if you want to get my best stuff :)
Phil: Hey, guys, its Phil from smilinggardener.com and as you may be able to tell by the vegetation around me, I'm not where I usually I am. I am in the jungle in the Amazon. Heather and I are in Peru for about three months and we're basically kind of working away as usual. We always have plenty to do, but we're doing it from Peru for a little while. And while we’re here, I'm trying to learn a little bit more about growing food in the tropics. But as while we're in the Amazon here, I'm mostly just trying to pay attention to the jungle around me to the nature around me, you can learn a lot about gardening by paying attention to nature.
Over the next week or so, I'm going to be making three videos for you to show you how we can take some lessons from the jungle here and bring them into our organic gardens to grow healthy plants, plants that are pest free and especially if you're growing food, plants that are really nutrient, dense and full of nutrition for you. And well it happen to be in the Amazon jungle here, I could just as easily be in a temperate forest or even in a grassland and all the lessons that I'm going to be talking about here, really apply to every one.
I could certainly make a lot more than three lessons about looking in to nature for design tips that's very much for permaculture culture is interested in as learning from nature, talking about maintenance, there are all kinds of things I could talk about. But what I want to focus on for these three videos are how to create really healthy soil and what we can learn from nature about creating healthy soil in our gardens. So I'm going to be filming these over the next few days and sending them to you as I make them that you happen to be in the middle of my other lessons right now that means you're going to get a lot of e-mails from me this week. So I hope that's okay. But I just really want to film these this week and send them off to you. So I hope you enjoy them.
Hey guys, guess where I am?
Okay, I gave it away in the title. I’m in the Amazon jungle!
Heather and I are living in Peru for 3 months. While we’re here I’m learning a few things about growing food in the tropics.
But while we're in the jungle I’m mostly just trying to pay attention to the nature around me.
You can learn a lot about organic gardening if you take the time to observe nature.
Heather: We should just be dancing. No, this is stupid. You have to stop it.
Phil: Okay, let’s go.
Heather: Hey guys! This is Heather from healthyeatingstartshere.com. I am outside in snow and Phil’s with me. Whoa! Oh my God, we’re in the same video. It’s craziness.
Heather: So, first of all, we just wanted to say a big huge thank you to all of you. Mostly because the other day my YouTube channel got 215,000 subscribers, which I think is crazy; crazy and awesome.
Phil: That’s a lot.
Heather: Yeah. How many subscribers do you have?
Phil: Almost a thousand. But I haven’t been focusing on YouTube yet.
Heather: Right. Okay. So, moral of the story is you shall go subscribe Phil’s channel, so you can watch him.
Heather: So, end of the year always a good time to look back on what you’ve accomplished. So, 2012, for me, was about building relationships with you guys, with other vegan and health professionals through my Better Health Summit, through going to conferences, and it was also having a lot of fun, for me. I tried to do videos where I had really just a lot of fun and still give information, but do it in a fun way. So, like my Top 10 list.
Heather: My butter substitute and cooking oil makes a fantastic moisturizer.
Phil: Especially in the last few months, you’ve been doing some cool stuff I think.
Heather: Yeah. Fun. What have you got going on?
Phil: 2012, just like 2011, I spent most of my time on the Smiling Gardener Academy, which is my online gardening course. I have like 450 videos in there now or something, so that’s what I do mostly. I put out a book --
Phil: -- called Building Soils Naturally.
Heather: Awesome book.
Heather: Beautiful cover.
Phil: Beautiful cover, good writing too.
Heather: Excellent writing.
Phil: That was put out in December.
Heather: I edited it.
Phil: Yeah, you did edit it.
Phil: That’s right on your hair.
Heather: I know.
Heather: Okay, go.
Phil: So, we’re kicking off 2013 with brand new websites that I’ve been working on for the last couple of weeks, over Christmas.
Heather: He’s been working really hard.
Phil: A little new musical intro to the video.
Heather: Yes. We’re going to put on this video, right?
Heather: So, you’ll already have heard it.
Phil: It’s just a simple little thing.
Heather: But I like it.
Phil: New logos, that my buddy Matt Paren designed for us that are so nice.
Heather: Yes, it’s beautiful, check out the top of the website. If you’re on YouTube go over to the website, you’ll see it there.
Phil: And just the new website that are going to be updating the technology, easier to navigate, little pretty hopefully, and especially on small devices they should work nicely. So, the most exciting thing for 2013 is something we’ve been working on for a few months, at least.
Heather: What is it?
Phil: It’s coming out next.
Heather: Oh, my god! Yes. Okay. So, I’ve been working on this for a long time and I’m super excited about it. I want to share it with you guys, it’s a new project. What can I say about it?
Heather: Nothing? Okay.
Phil: They’ll find out this week.
Heather: I can’t tell you yet.
Phil: People who are on your email list are going to get a lot of cool free stuff. So --
Heather: So, if you’re not on it already go sign up on my email list healtheathingstartshere.com.
Heather: You can do that while you check out the logo.
Phil: Yeah, which everyone is dying to see our logo.
Heather: I don’t know.
Phil: Then what are we doing?
Heather: Then, in a couple of weeks we’re going to Peru for three months.
Heather: Three months.
Phil: You’re excited.
Heather: I am excited because, you know what they have there? A whole ton of fruit and quinoa.
Phil: And it’s like --
Phil: -- fresh ripe fruit the way it’s supposed to taste.
Heather: I am so excited, I really am.
Phil: Okay. So, quickly, for me, because this video is maybe getting long. So, for me -- for my followers in 2013, I’m -- the Academy is largely done, but I’m going to be going back through and improving some of the videos. Some of the -- some videos where I’m just doing this, standing in front of a camera, because it’s hard to always show things.
So, I’m going to film, 25% to 40% is what I’m taking of the videos over again make them even cooler. I know it’s -- people are giving me great feedback already, but I just want to -- 2013 is going to be just like making the Academy even cooled that already is.
And, for blogging, it’s going to be the year when I -- I have a really cool strategy for blogging. It doesn’t mean I’m going blog more often, but I just think it’s going to be really cool what I’m doing. I’ll be talking about that more later.
Phil: Maybe, depending on how you feel after this video, we will be doing a little more things together this year. We haven’t really talked about that. I’m springing it on you right now.
Heather: Okay, we’ll see. What do you guys think?
Heather: No. Here you go.
Phil: No, it’s -- we haven’t told each other, so that’s good.
Heather: Not yet. Okay, I want to know what else you guys want to see from me in 2013. So, if there’s anything leave it in comments.
Phil: I want to know that too.
Heather: You want to know what’s you --
Phil: For my feedback.
Heather: Stealing my question.
Phil: I want to know what you want from me in 2013. Just what you want me to write about and what you want her to write about. So…
Heather: Great. Okay. And it looks good.
Phil: You’re done?
Heather: I am done. Are you done?
Phil: I want to go play in the snow.
Heather: Okay. Oh, no he attacked.
Phil: Here can you make a snow angel?
Heather: You can’t make noise before you come on.
Phil: Hey guys, this is Heather from HealthyEatingStartsHere.
Happy New Year Everyone!
I thought it would be fun to update you on what's been going on at SmilingGardener.com in 2012 and what I'll be up to in 2013.
First, thanks to everyone for your support, for leaving questions and comments on my blog or sending me an email.
I can't respond to most emails, but I do really appreciate your enthusiasm for organic gardening.
H: Hey guys this is H, Phil’s sister from smilinggardener.com and today we are talking about preparing your garden for winter. How do we know it’s time to winterize our garden?
Phil: I do it right before it’s going to snow.
H: What’s the most important thing for preparing the garden?
Phil: For me it is like one really big step and that is doing something to protect your soil over winter. There are some few different ways you can go about doing that.
H: What’s the easiest thing to do?
Phil: Yeah. Like if I guess if we were talking about like a vegetable garden or a perennial garden, certainly one thing you could do is just leave your plants there, your tomatoes, your peppers, your everything, just leave them right there and they will just die back, the nutrients from the plant will go back into the root system of the plants and the top will just die back and become a mulch for the soil and all those nutrients and all those organic matter will makes its way back into the soil and it’s not the most esthetically pleasing, but if your garden is kind of back somewhere where it doesn’t matter and now it will be easiest way to do it and that’s how nature would do it too, right.
H: But what if your garden is in a really high profile area and you don’t want it to look that messy?
Phil:That’s what I have this garden here, its right up by the house and it’s like I try to keep it as a nice garden. So then what I do is take all of that stuff and put it into the compose bin because I really want to get the nutrients out of that and get the carbon, the organic matter out of that. So I take all that and put it into a compose bin and then I like to plan a carver crop.
H: What about leaves?
Phil: If you are not going to plan to carver crop, you want something to protect our soil and so that’s where mulch comes in and by far the best mulch and the most natural mulch is leaves and this is the time of year that we actually get them for free, especially if we have been clever enough to planting and make wild leaves.
H: I think that’s it. Is there anything else that you wanted to say about preparing the garden?
Phil: I did put a few more tips on the blog, so people are watching on YouTube, they can go over to this blog and there is some extra brownie points, there is some extra things you can do to really improve this process of soil building in the fall.
H: Sounds good.
Phil: Hey you know what I should say because you don’t know how to say it yet is for people who haven’t picked up the 15 vital lessons for becoming a better organic gardener, you can do that right on the Home page of smilinggardener.com and that’s where I teach a whole bunch of really cool tips.
H:You are gardening for the winter.
It's November, which means:
- Christmas music is beginning to waft through stores across North America, and
- I'm preparing my garden for winter.
The most important task for preparing a garden for winter is getting that soil good and covered.
There are a few ways you can tackle that:
Phil: Hey Guys! It's Phil from smilinggardener.com and today we are talking about the benefits of weeds and if you haven't picked up the 15 Vital Lessons For Becoming A Better Organic Gardener, you can do that right on the homepage of smilinggardener.com.
So, do you remember when I had a particularly weedy lawn of a client of mine and I had to get you to come and help me hand weed the lawn?
H: I do. I think I did it for free. No way. You still owe me.
Phil: I just remember that that – like there were – that was a small front lawn but there were more weeds there than grass, right?
H: Yes. Same at the backyard because I ended taking all of that job for you and the – it was just crazy. You could hardly even see the grass.
Phil: So it's the kind of thing where we knew that we could eventually, over the course of a number of years, improve the soil and help the plant to the point where the grass would win over the weeds but it was just in a short term because the client didn't like the weeds. We had to hand-pull them, right?
H: Yeah. Exactly. I guess that's the problem with trying to find the short term solution, right?
Phil: So. Today – I mean today we are just talking about the benefits of weeds which – I don't know if we ever got that across to hearing that but they are really – there was a reason the weeds were there which is because they were more suited for that soil than the grass.
So usually it means the soil is not in great shape. It's – it could be any number of nutritional imbalances or water issues or compaction issues. But today we are talking about what the weeds do for the lawn or the garden, right?
H: Yes. We are. We love talking about weeds.
Phil: So why don't you tell people something that the weeds that's good?
H: Okay. Well. Weeds bring mineral.
Phil: Don't lose it.
H: Weeds bring minerals and water up from deep in the soil and they make them available to microbes and neighboring plants.
Phil: Well, how you stress like every third word there.
H: Hey! There is a point to be made.
Phil: Yes. Weeds bring nutrients. I am certain weeds bring up nutrients from really deep in the soil because they have long tap roots. They are also – just a lot of them have extensive root systems. They break up hardpans and break up compaction. They are always dying back and growing, both above and below ground.
So they are adding organic matter to the soil. They are fixing-- like the really cool thing is weeds will come in and if you have a calcium deficiency, there is going to weeds to come in and fix that calcium deficiency. Now it may take decades or centuries but sometimes it will be really quick but that's what they do.
So actually we have a longer list on the Blog of what weeds do that's good for you. But I guess we just want to tell people to embrace their weeds. We get into it – I mean I get into a lot more in the academy and then probably in 2013, we will actually talk a little bit more about what you can do to improve soil condition like on the Blog, mostly we cannot talk a lot more detail in the academy.
So the question I want to ask today is what weeds are causing you guys problems. Yeah. I just want to hear like what kinds of weeds you have in abundance. So let me know in the comments down below. Is there anything else?
H: I cannot think of anything else particularly or just so about weeds.
Phil: Okay. That's good for today then.
Yes, weeds can be a bummer, but many gardeners don’t know there are a lot more benefits of weeds than downsides.
Besides, they’re easily controlled in the garden with mulch.
The lawn is definitely trickier. I had one client who’s front lawn had more weeds than grass.
Phil:Hey Guys! It's Phil from smilinggardener.com and today we are talking about how to use mulch and a quick reminder if you haven't signed up for the 15 Vital Lessons For Becoming A Better Organic Gardener, you can do right on the homepage of smilinggardener.com.
So H, do you remember when we used to mulch at aunt Tina and uncle George's?
H: I do. I think we have pictures somewhere of that.
H: I don't know here.
Phil: I bet it's not digital though. I bet it's like a film picture.
H: Oh yeah. They are like – it's a film like 1986 or something like that.
Phil: So what did we do there?
H: Yeah. So I can remember just, you know, wrapping up use piles of leaves and jumping in them and playing in them and all that stuff. But we would, aunt Tina had us, like mow over them until they were really finely shredded and then put them on her veggie garden. She had a huge veggie garden. And I think we would turn them into the soil with like a pitch fork or something like that. So – I can remember that quite well.
Phil: And then, it's kind of funny because we – when we became landscapers, we were using like cedar mulch for many years and then when we got into organic gardening, we were back to leaves mostly now, right?
H: Yeah. Definitely. I mean, how many yards of mulch did both of us shovel onto people' gardens?
Phil: That was always fun though because that was lighter than like stones.
H: I loved mulching. It was like the most stratifying job, but leaves is way funnier, super easy to do.
Phil: Okay. So what I am going to talk about really quickly and there is more detail on the blog. What I want to talk about today is how to choose a mulch depending on if you are growing more like trees and shrubs, maybe an orchard fruit trees or more like a vegetable gardener annual plants. So I guess I am just going to talk, right H?
H: Sounds good.
Phil: Okay. So okay. So just quickly, this is the main point I wanted to talk about today.
Trees and shrubs like more of a fungal dominated soil food web. They really want a lot more fungi than bacteria. In order to get that, you want to definitely leave the mulch on the surface of the soil and use some woody material, some wood chips, not bark mulch. And definitely you want the wood chips from the same kind of tree. So if you are planting fruit trees or other deciduous trees, you want deciduous mulch. If you planting conifers you want more conifer mulch because if you use it with the wrong one, it promotes the wrong fungi and there is other issues. So that's an important one.
Still leaves are always the most important part. But if you want to promote fungi, getting a little woody material in there, especially early on when you are trying to establish the fungal soil food web, that's what you want.
Over to your vegetable garden, that's when we definitely don't want woody material because we want more of a balance between bacteria and fungi. So we want – that's really leaves and maybe straw, maybe you consider turning it into the soil, just the top of the soil because you don't want to disturb too much but just to promote more bacteria. Or even, if you leave it on the surface. You just want a very think kind of, mulch of leaves and straws and I think I carved it a little more elegantly in the blog but that's the main thing I wanted to talk about today.Hey, what have you been eating earlier?
H: Oh! I got these little fruits from the supermarket. Actually, I already posted a picture of them on the Facebook and ask people about it. But they are like these little berry that I never had before. You know, it's cool to be in the different country and like try something that you have never saw before but like, they are so confusing. It's like a citricy melon and blue berry but it looks like a tomato. They are super interesting though.
Phil: What’s it called? Do you know in English?
H: No. But I put it on – asked people on Facebook. So. I am sure somebody will know what they are. I cannot translate it from Dutch. It doesn't look like anything that I know.
Phil: So that's facebook.com/smilinggardner, right?
Phil: And do we had question for people today?
H: Yeah. We are going to ask people, like us, when you got into organic gardening, did your practices change too, did you change the type of mulch you were using, or if you have any other questions about types of mulch or how to use mulch, that would be a good place to ask it down below the blog.
Phil: It sounds good to me.
Phil: That's all for today.
H: Yeah. Bye for now.
There are a couple of important things I want to share about how to use mulch in your organic garden.
When we were kids we would help our aunt and uncle put their vegetable garden to rest for the winter, using leaves for mulch.
We’d collect them into a pile, jump into them and play a while, mow over them with the lawnmower, then pile the mulched pieces onto the soil.
Phil: Hey guys, it’s is Phil from SmilingGardener.com and today we have a medicinal plants list that we put together for you, and my sister is going to tell you why we started thinking about this.
H: Well, okay, I started thinking about this yesterday because I went for a walk in the park right beside my house and I sat down on a bench to take a rest and this woman, an older woman, had sat down beside me and she had a little -- her grandson with her.
And this little guy was just covered in sickness, like runny nose and eyes and all this kind of stuff. He looked like he had a cold or a flu and this grandmother, she was so sweet, she was just totally ready to tackle this and she had like a little bag of candies and she was kind of sorting through these candies, try to pick the right one and she found one. She says to me "it’s Echinacea."
So it got me thinking that even across the ocean, there are a lot of plants that medicinally offer the same properties. So we thought it would be worthwhile to discuss some of them.
Phil: Yeah and so we started talking about it and what it really reminded me of - and this is kind of the most important part of the blog we put together I think -that what got me really excited when I started studying organic gardening was the idea of growing really nutrient dense food and growing any kind of fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds and mushrooms, whatever you do, if you can learn to create really good soil and grow that really nutrient dense food, then you are going to be getting just natural pharmaceuticals really; the same kind of stuff that are used in things like aspirin, anti-inflammatory things, all kinds of natural drugs really that will prevent disease and just help you be overall healthy.
So I got really excited about that, but then we were talking about today and we were talking about how there are some plants that are especially medicinal. So what we did is we put together a list of five, we just picked five really that I have in my garden and that I have used in the last week or so.
And to keep this video short, we are just going to cover one of them in the video and the other five will be on the blog. So if you are watching this on YouTube, I’ll put a link below and you can go, check it out. So many other ones are pretty cool; we have like a -- we have a leafy green, we have a flower, we have a bulb, we have a weed. So we have some cool ones.
But we are just going to about another one today. So H, you picked one that you really liked, right?
H: Yeah, I thought it would be cool to mention fennel because fennel is really awesome for relaxing the tummy. It helps aid in digestion. So if you have fennel tea or phenol seeds, it’s really good to maybe, for example, get a cup of tea, have that before a meal or after meal, especially if you have something heavy, it’s really good to help settle the tummy.
So if you’ve ever been to an Indian restaurant, you’ve probably seen that they have little dishes of seeds for you after dinner maybe covered in like a sugary coating, something like that. Well, those are fennel seeds and it’s a practice in India to eat them after a heavy meal to help aid in digestion.
Phil: Yeah and yet the thing I like about fennel too is in the garden, it’s just a great plant for attracting beneficial insects, it may be a perennial where you live so it comes back every year or even if you live in a cold climate, it will self seed quite readily and same with dill, it’s related to dill.
So I actually tend to grow more dill because I like it a little bit better in cooking but more of a medicinal plant is the fennel and yeah, I think that’s the one we wanted to cover.
So we had a question we were going to ask people?
H: Yeah, we were going to ask you guys -- why do I always forget these questions?
Phil: I don’t know why you forget this one because all we are asking people is what medicinal plants they like to grow and --
H: Yes, I think I even wrote it down.
Phil: You know like what’s medicinal about it and just tell us whatever they want about it because obviously there are tens of thousands of these; we just took five. So we’d like to hear what plants, yeah, people like to grow.
Phil: Yeah, so if you are not on the blog, check it out because one weed that we wrote about is one that I sometimes use in this ice cream that I make. So I have a little recipe for that on the website too.
H: Cool! All right, see you guys.
Yesterday morning, my sister had an interesting encounter with a sniffling boy and his grandmother.
It prompted us to put together a short medicinal plants list of 5 plants you may want to consider for your own organic garden.
Phil: Okay, so Heather, can you say, it’s fall bulb planting time?
Heather: It’s fall bulb planting time!
Phil: That’s perfect. Hey guys, it’s fall bulb planting time, it’s Phil here from smilinggardener.com and my sister and I have teamed up to write this article for you. What we did is we wrote an article on my website. I’ll put, if you are not on my website right now, I’ll put a link down below and that’s the full article. What we are going to do with this video is just really quickly share a few points from that article. So, why don’t you remind people where you live?
H: I live in Amsterdam in the Netherlands.
Phil: So that’s why we started thinking about this bulb thing, right?
H: Yeah, the home of the tulip.
Phil: Right. So that’s why we started thinking about this and because it’s fall and it’s time to think about planting, we want to talk about it. So I will ask you first, when should people plant their bulbs, when in the fall?
H: Okay, well, that obviously depends on where people live. You want to leave about four to six weeks of above freezing temperatures so that the roots can get established and that is so that in the spring, the root system is already established and they can go right into pretty soon big flowers.
Phil: Did you say established twice.
H: Aye, twice, really established.
Phil: Okay, so I’ll talk just quickly about choosing bulbs. So obviously, when we are talking about planting fall bulbs that means these are bulbs that are going to flower in the spring. So we plant those in the fall. All there is to choosing your bulbs, you want to buy them now in the fall. You don’t want to buy them in the spring and then store them until then. So buy them now, get the biggest bulbs you can. So whatever varieties you are planting, choose the biggest ones from the shelf and just get ones that are healthy and not diseased. That’s basically all there is to it. Then when we get into actually planting them, why don’t you tell them about the location? Why don’t you try to say in Dutch here, a little Dutch saying?
H: I am so sorry to anybody who speaks or understands that. Okay, there is a Dutch saying and it’s something like this, it’s like, “bollen houden niet van natte voeten”. I think I am saying that more or less correct. It means bulbs don’t like wet feet. So you want to pick a location that is sunny and most of the time sunny and that has good drainage so you don’t have puddling water beneath them.
Phil: And then when it comes to preparing the area, you don’t need -- in fact, if you are on my website, I’ll link to a couple of articles. You don’t need bone meal, you don’t need 10-10-10; all you need is to loosening up the soil. If you have some well done compost that’s wonderful to work that in there and then you can either loosen the whole area or just dig your holes where you are going to find your bulbs and you can even dig a little deeper than the bulb is going to go in order to loosen the soil below that.
Phil: Speaking of depth, why don’t you tell people how deep to plant them?
H: So you want to plant something like three to five times the height of the bulb. So big bulbs need to generally go a little bit deeper and what you might want to do so that you get kind of a layering effect of blooming is plant some deeper and some more shallow because deeper bulbs are going to bloom later and so that should prolong the flowering time of whatever cropping plant it is.
Phil: Why don’t you say maintenance too because there’s not much to do for maintenance, right, after you plant them?
H: Yes, there’s really not too much to do. Yeah, after you plant, you give them a good water and Phil, I have a question actually to ask you.
H: When you are planting garlic, are you supposed to take off the tunic?
H: So you break up the cloves and...
Phil: Okay, I did have one other point about keeping squirrels away. So if some people have squirrels or little critters that like to come and steal your freshly planted bulbs, there is a couple of things you can do. One is you can put mulch, sometimes just a couple of inches of mulch will help or if the leaves are all falling, just pile the mulch on top there. And actually, I’ll let people to go to the blog for the other things because I know this video is getting a little bit long. There is a couple of other little things you can do so I’ll leave them hanging. We had a question we want to ask people, right?
H: Yes. I was wondering where does everybody live, what’s your climate like and if it’s time for you guys to plant now or do you still have a little bit to wait.
Phil: Yeah, because we plant in September, but other people might plant in different months because it’s a different climate, right?
Phil: Okay, that is all for today.
It’s fall bulb planting time!
We’ve been especially aware of that this week because my sister has been living in Amsterdam during the last few years.
And of course you can hardly think of the Netherlands without images of bountiful tulip bulbs bursting out of the ground.
I visited her in 2010, and surprisingly, the plant life is quite similar to back home.
In Amsterdam, they have mild winters and (generally) cool summers leaving plenty of lush green around the city year round.
And since it’s getting cooler, now’s the time to start considering your fall bulb planting.
Phil: Hey guys, it’s Phil from SmilingGardener.com and for those of you who follow me, you may know that I spend almost all of my time filming videos that go into my online gardening course and it just has turned out so far that I rarely have enough time to film videos to put out for free on YouTube or on my public website. So what I am going to do, what I’ve done is I’ve hired someone to help me just get my butt in gear, like filming a few more videos and she’s going to help me with a little bit of editing, a little bit of writing here and there and just odds and ends stuff. So this video is just to introduce her. So why don’t you introduce yourself.
H: I am H and I am Phil’s younger sister.
Phil: Yeah, everybody thinks you are older, because maybe you are more mature or something, but you are four years younger, right?
H: Yup, I am.
Phil: So let’s tell people just where you learned about gardening and that kind of stuff.
H: So I basically had the same start that Phil had growing up, working in my parents' garden center and quite fell in love with that. So after that, I ended up going to college and studying horticulture there.
Phil: What kind of classes that you take there?
H: I did a lot of different plant identification classes, soils, greenhouse management, turf management, arboriculture, things like that.
Phil: It was like, that was a two-year degree, right?
H: Yeah, two years, yeah.
Phil: And that wasn’t organic. So neither you or I were organic when we were younger but I started an organic gardening business and then you eventually took that over when I moved to the West Coast, right?
H: Yeah, I mean basically, I didn’t start learning about organic gardening until Phil did and then he kind of passed that torch over to me when I took over his business.
Phil: So the other thing is where are you right now?
H: Now I am in Amsterdam, I am in the Netherlands, and I am back in school, doing another degree over here.
Phil: So what are you studying?
H: I am studying psychology.
Phil: Yeah, cool, so not gardening but you are still -- like whenever you are back home, you are always doing gardening jobs.
H: Inevitably, right?
Phil: So that’s just a quick video today. So you guys could do me a big favor and welcome my sister down in the comments below, maybe tell us where you’re gardening, where you are from and just welcome my sister to the gardening group here.
As you may know, I’ve been rather busy for the past 2 years filming videos for the Academy.
It's been loads of fun, but it means I rarely get around to doing free videos, and sometimes it's 3 or more weeks between blog posts.
So I've finally decided to get a bit of help. I'm still doing everything around here, just with a bit of help from... my sister! I’ll let her introduce herself:
I went hiking in the mountains on Tuesday.
My surroundings got me thinking we could learn a thing or two about organic gardening by a good old-fashioned hobbit garden.
Did you know they just wrapped up filming for the new hobbit movies in New Zealand?
Yesterday, I was recording a video in my home vegetable garden that will serve as an introduction to the growing food section of the Academy...
(Note to Academy members, that section will be ready this fall)
...and I decided to take a walk through my vegetable garden with the video camera, and also post the video here.