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

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?

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?

‘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

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

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.

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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.

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Conservation Of Plants And Animals

Organic Gardening Goal 9 : To ensure biological diversity within urban landscapes.

The conservation of plants and animals and microorganisms is vital in organic gardening. Biological diversity refers to having different species of plants, animals, bacteria, fungi and protists in the garden.

The more species we have, the more diversity we have.

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Nutrient Cycles In Ecosystems

Organic Gardening Goal 7: To work towards closing the nutrient cycles in ecosystems with regard to organic matter and nutrient cycling.

It is generally agreed that it’s often a good idea to bring outside materials into a new garden that is being constructed.

The reasoning is that we can very quickly begin to produce food and create a healthy landscape that takes care of itself, rather than waiting decades for nature to do it his own way (I’m giving ‘nature’ a masculine identity here just because everyone always calls nature a her. Maybe sometimes he’s a he?).

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