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Organic Gardening – Gardening with Nature – Simple or Complicated?

Years before I had a place to start a garden I always knew I was going to be an organic gardener.

If the subject would come up — all I heard from various folks was that things were different now and you couldn’t possibly garden without chemicals in this day and age. I never believed that for a minute.

When I finally had some ground on which to start gardening — the possibility of not being successful never occurred to me.

About all I knew when I started gardening was to turn the soil and plant. All I had as a guide was Organic Gardening Magazine — which back then I read cover to cover. (After all these years – I finally dropped my subscription.)

I worked as closely as I could with nature. If something didn’t grow, I replanted. If something seemed wrong — I tried to the best of my ability to find out about it — and if I didn’t — I just put it on the back burner for sometime in the future.

Making it Complicated

This past year I came across a website by a young man giving classes on organic gardening. A reader – who was a beginning gardener — commented on one of the posts and to paraphrase he said “Gee — I’m so glad I found you because I never knew that organic gardening was so complicated.”

That was sorta sad, because organic gardening is NOT complicated. And I think in this age we live in it’s important for everyone to know that it’s easy to start gardening and be successful. We don’t have to learn anything complicated to get started. Nature can do all the complicated stuff for us.

Sometimes Folks want what’s NEW, not what’s TRUE

Three years ago, after 32 years of gardening I started TMG.

Frankly, I really didn’t think I’d have many readers because I’m far from mainstream. And as you know I’m very simplistic in my approach to gardening. I write what I have experienced and I know what I do works.

My readers who have tried out the simple methods I’ve used for 35 years, have also been successful.

Chemical Companies Control what’s Promoted

It amazes me to see comments by various folks even on organic gardening forums who sincerely don’t believe that organic — or working with nature — is capable of producing enough to feed the world.

Of course, that doubt is just what the chemical giants want to instill in everyone.  It’s good for their bottom line.  ($s)

And although they have controlled what’s promoted about agriculture, they can’t hide the truth of things if someone is determined to find it. It takes some looking — but it’s out there — and plenty of it.

More than 100 Years Ago

I was surprised to learn that the decline of our soils by artificial agricultural additives started in the mid 1800s! (I had thought it was more like the early 1900s.)

A German scientist, Justus von Liebig, erroneously thought he had discovered that plants need only nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium when actually they need dozens of minerals to maintain health.

That erroneous discovery is still being promoted as truth by chemical companies today.  You’ll recognize the NPK (nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium ) ratio on all things labeled as fertilizers. (It’s no wonder the vast majority of our soils are depleted.)

Liebig discovered his mistake 10 years afterwards.  Too late then, because the chemical companies were already making big money and a little thing like the truth was not going to stop them.

Lots of Proof

In spite of the fact that chemical company money controls what is promoted to the public, the proof of the damage done by modern agriculture is staggering. The proof that working with nature can bring back “ruined” soil is also staggering.

This year I have read numerous examples of brilliant men through out the world (over the last 100 years) that have discovered the miraculous workings of the soil. Some can actually explain the “complicated” work that I let nature perform for me in my garden.

Many of these men are soil scientists, but just as many have been farmers with large acreage who have proved without a doubt that working with nature is productive and profitable.

Over the last 100 years many of these men purposely purchased farms of 500 or more acres that had been totally ruined by modern agriculture.  These farms were thought by conventional farmers to be a total waste of money since they would grow nothing under the normal chemical agricultural methods.  By working with nature these farms were restored within a few years to productivity as great or greater than they were before their soils were depleted by chemicals.

The Drug Industry

It’s interesting to note that drugs were also added to the chemical companies inventory of products towards the end of the 1800s or early 1900s.  All of course  are promoted “as being of great benefit” to mankind— just as the chemicals are promoted as being a benefit to agriculture. For the most part, the reverse is true.

Final Thought

If one takes the time to trace the true history of drugs and chemicals, they might find that all is not what it appears to the masses. Most of the time these products have and still do benefit the chemical companies more than the public.

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Organic Garden is easy, effective, efficient and it’s a lot healthier.

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All content including photos is copyrighted by TendingMyGarden.com

 

8 comments to Organic Gardening – Gardening with Nature – Simple or Complicated?

  • Grace

    Good Morning, Theresa,

    You’re so right! Several years ago now, when I was just starting to get into growing lush beautiful houseplants, I bought into the claim chemicals work wonders for houseplants and started using Miracle Grow on my plants for the first time.

    I had used it three times (via regular watering) on some of my houseplants then sitting on a tall set of shelves on the front porch. Unfortunately, a couple of days after the third watering, a storm came through dumping a LOT of rain, and it overloaded the gutters, causing the water to come in on top of the shelves, flooding everything on the top shelf. On the shelf directly below were two large vases in which my Bettas (fish) lived.

    When the water overflowed the plants above the vases, it dripped down into the jars where the fish were living…and killed them. One was dead when I discovered what had happened and the other died later that afternoon. I’ve not used ANY chemical fertilizers since then, because I figured anything that will kill fish in such small amounts cannot possibly be healthy for humans. It was a harsh lesson but a good one, too, because it clearly showed me the dangers of using such chemicals.

    Keep up the good work, Theresa! You may not be mainstream, but you’re definitely ahead of your (current) time…and I’m SO GLAD you are…:D!

  • Theresa

    Sorry about your fish, Grace — but as you said — although the lesson was a harsh one — it showed clearly the dangers involved.
    Thanks for sharing and for your comment.
    Theresa

  • Grace

    You’re most welcome, Theresa, I try to share that story with every gardener I know, especially those who are still relying on chemical fertilizers. People honestly don’t realize how dangerous such chemicals actually are, because they’ve been brainwashed by the media and the so-called experts into thinking they’re ‘safe’ (just like me) and they’re not.

    Happy Gardening,
    Grace

  • Theresa

    I agree 100%.
    Theresa

  • Gabriel

    I attended a workshop in Rochester, NY a couple of summers ago sponsored by Rochester Roots, an organization that uses organic gardening in urban schools to teach all sorts of lessons. A gentleman from Cornell was on hand for part of the workshop, and his answer to everything soil related was, “add more organic matter.” He’s right. I’ve noticed my hardpan clay take on a better texture and be more productive over just a few years by sticking with this advice… and it’s not overly complicated! You just need a little common sense — nutrients come out of the soil, so we just add them back in. That’s what Nature does!

  • Theresa

    Well said Gabriel! Thanks for taking time to comment.
    Theresa

    P.S. And by the way — clay soil improved by lots of organic matter is about the best soil you can have. Holds onto nutrients and water and everything good much better than improved sandy soil.

  • Brittany

    What are your thoughts on neem oil? I’ve been recommended it by my extension office but they seemed more amused at my plight to grow organically than anything, so I couldn’t help but question the recommendation… Thanks!

  • Theresa

    99% of Extension office “worker” have the chemical mindset. They are not the ones to ask about anything organic.
    I’ve been organic gardening successfully for 35 years and I was told that it wasn’t possible years before and AFTER I started gardening and was already successful at it. Pay no mind to what they say. They just are not educated in that area and know nothing about it.

    Neem oil is approved for organic use, but keep in mind it becomes part of the plant. I’ve even read of gardeners being able to taste it in the vegetables. If you can stay away from it, it might be best. Just think it out carefully and weigh your options. I don’t know what you plan to use it for (or on) but there may be something better.

    Theresa

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