Organic Gardening Introduction

These articles give an overview of what organic gardening is all about, with a focus on our main goals in the organic garden.

You Are Going To Fail

Tomato HornwormA photo from an Academy member of a tomato hornworm (explained below).

You are going to fail this year…

Hornworms will eat your tomatoes.

A loved one will get sick.

The bindweed you thought was finally under control will spring up again.

Someone will make you feel bad about yourself just for being who you are.

But… Read More

Where To Grow Your Garden On This Planet

Map of the world

Let’s say you’re the type of person for whom establishing a big, organic, food-producing permaculture garden is a major goal.

And fortunately, you’ve just come into a windfall – a huge sum of money.

You can finally buy or build that house you’ve been dreaming of and then get to work on planting your organic garden.

The question today is: where should you build it? Read More

Who Is Your Garden For – You Or Your Neighbors?

WHO is your garden for?

I spent too much of my life caring about what other people thought of me.

Especially people who didn’t really seem to care too much about what I thought of them.

I still care too much sometimes.

But I try every day to make decisions based on what I want and what will be best for the people I love, rather than what looks good to the rest of the world. Read More

Why Grow A Garden? My Top 3 Reasons

WHY grow a garden?

‘Why’ always comes first because it’s the most important question for pretty much everything we do in life.

Asking why helps us figure out if the thing we’re thinking of doing is something we really want to do.

If we decide it is, knowing our ‘why’ helps tremendously when it comes to figuring out the who, what, when, where and how.

When you know your purpose for doing something, it makes every decision easier from then on because you can choose the direction that’s in line with that purpose.

So why grow a garden?

Maybe for you it’s: Read More

A Garden Tip We All Need To Remember This Year

Sometimes gardening seems so easy, and yet sometimes so hard.

And sometimes LIFE seems so easy, and yet sometimes so hard.

Today I’d like to weed through both of ‘em.

Before I get into it today, I’ll mention that the introductory fee on my online organic gardening course – the Smiling Gardener Academy – is going up on Tuesday night at 9pm Eastern Time.

If you sign up before then, you’ll end up saving a lot of money, so if you’ve been thinking about it, be sure to check it out.

It’s definitely worthwhile if you’re looking for a comprehensive video-based course on growing an organic garden. Read More

Phil’s 2013 Update

Click for video transcription

Heather: We should just be dancing. No, this is stupid. You have to stop it.

Phil: Okay, let’s go.

[Music Playing]

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.

Phil: Yeah.

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.

Phil: Yeah.

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.

Phil: Yeah.

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 —

Heather: Yes.

Phil: — called Building Soils Naturally.

Heather: Awesome book.

Phil: Published.

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.

Heather: Partially.

Phil: That’s right on your hair.

Heather: I know.

Phil: Okay.

Heather: Okay, go.

Phil: 2013.

Heather: 2013.

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?

Phil: Yeah.

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?

Phil: Nothing.

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.

Phil: Yeah.

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.

Heather: Then.

Phil: Then what are we doing?

Heather: Then, in a couple of weeks we’re going to Peru for three months.

Phil: Yeah.

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 —

Heather: So…

Phil: — fresh ripe fruit the way it’s supposed to taste.

Heather: Yes.

Phil: Yeah.

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.

Heather: Yeah.

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?

Phil: Go.

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.

Heather: We should just be dancing. No, this is stupid. You have to stop it.

Phil: Okay, let’s go.

[Music Playing]

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.

Phil: Yeah.

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.

Phil: Yeah.

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.

Phil: Yeah.

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 —

Heather: Yes.

Phil: — called Building Soils Naturally.

Heather: Awesome book.

Phil: Published.

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.

Heather: Partially.

Phil: That’s right on your hair.

Heather: I know.

Phil: Okay.

Heather: Okay, go.

Phil: 2013.

Heather: 2013.

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?

Phil: Yeah.

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?

Phil: Nothing.

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.

Phil: Yeah.

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.

Heather: Then.

Phil: Then what are we doing?

Heather: Then, in a couple of weeks we’re going to Peru for three months.

Phil: Yeah.

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 —

Heather: So…

Phil: — fresh ripe fruit the way it’s supposed to taste.

Heather: Yes.

Phil: Yeah.

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.

Heather: Yeah.

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?

Phil: Go.

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.

Read More

5 Vital Organic Gardening Topics Bloggers Will Ignore

Organic Gardening Topics

I don’t read very many organic gardening blogs. I find I pick up more useful gardening tips from reading organic farming research and organic gardening books.

Most blogs just seem to be covering gardening topics that I’m not really interested in, which is fine – I tend to lean slightly towards the ecological side of gardening rather than the aesthetic side, and to advanced soil building and food growing techniques rather than the basics.

Read More

The Organic Gardening Blog Is Back!

Old Organic Gardening Blog

But it’s spring and the bulbs are up, so we’re all feeling the itch and I’m ready to get gardening and blogging again. You can check in here each week for organic gardening tips and lots of info on growing vegetables. I’ll have some videos for you soon, too.

Today, I have 3 quick notes:

Read More

Organic Gardening Books – The 50 Absolute Best Books

These organic gardening books are those that have had the most profound effect on me, and I have read a lot of gardening books.

Most of them just repeat what the last one said, much of which is not great advice in my opinion (and yet somehow they become the popular ones – funny how that is).

But I’m not here to worry about that – the goal today is to give you my list of the best gardening books on my shelves.

Read More

Organic Gardening: Social And Ecological Impacts

Social And Ecological Impacts

Organic Gardening Goal 11 : To consider the wider social and ecological impacts of urban landscapes and the practices and products used to create and maintain them.

When I was running my organic fertilizer business, I was amazed at the number of emails and calls I received from clients who were blown away by the results they achieved just by using my organic fertilizers in their garden.

This was a major help to me, sitting in my little apartment bottling and shipping products and wondering if I was making a difference. This contact with my customers reminded me that my little organic gardening business was making a difference.

Read More