Encouragement (for Life as well as the Garden) Garden Organic Food Organic Gardening

Grow Nutrient Dense Food – with the “easiest and simplest garden out there”

When folks become aware of what’s going on in the food industry and learn the real story behind modern day agriculture, I think their thoughts probably turn to ways they can obtain food free from poisons.  Also, food that is more nutrient dense than most available in grocery stores.

Years ago, the first thought for many was to obtain organic food. (*Food raised on balanced, biologically-active soil in cooperation with nature.) That’s the food that will give the best chance for a healthy life.

Organic When Organic Wasn’t Cool

Farmers who were growing organically before it became popular and when the organic movement started, did so because they knew that the quality of food is in direction proportion to soil quality. Working in accordance with nature was part of their values.

And Then Came the Government

Long about 1990 came the National Organic Program. Organic was then officially established as a system under the federal government’s jurisdiction.

Well known organic grower, Eliot Coleman, in a speech given at the Mid-American Organic Association at the end of January 2017, notes that even back then “the USDA — tried to include irradiation, GMOs, and sewage sludge (as ok for use in organic food) but had to back off because of intense objections from the public.”

As the years have passed the  organic “cause”  has become big business. As it has, it has also degenerated.

Many companies who are certified as organic, keep only the “letter of the law”, but certainly not the “spirit” of the law necessary to produce real organic food. (*See earlier definition.)

Mr. Coleman in his speech put it this way, — the merchandisers now control organic, and — maximizing the amount of product available has become far more important than how it is produced —.

The USDA, mired in decades of chemical thinking and influenced by industrial lobbyists, has continually tried to subvert the promise of a natural, biologically based agriculture. “

He goes on to say that USDA has rewritten the definition of organic, removing any reference to the word “soil”.


Think hydroponics and read Mr. Coleman’s account in the box below.

Under the influence of immense pressure from the hydroponic industry, and a board seriously compromised by conflicts of interest, the NOSB (National Organic Standard Board) postponed a vote that would have prohibited hydroponic produce to be sold as organic. The NOP (National Organic Program) claims that the previous NOSB  prohibition of hydroponic — was “unclear.” The reason this issue came up for discussion was the recent realization that, aided by USDA (United States Dept. of Agriculture) collusion, the hydroponic industry has been surreptitiously selling their water grown produce as organic for most of the past decade with no indication of hydroponic on the label and with no customer knowledge that this was happening. By the time the issue eventually resurfaces for another vote, this faux organic produce will have become so ubiquitous that it will be impossible to stop. Any crop that can be produced hydroponically (berries, tomatoes, peppers, eggplants, cucumbers, lettuce, etc.) will continue to flood your supermarket’s organic section (pushing out real organic) and the label will not say a word about hydroponic.

Actions you can take as suggested by Mr. Coleman:

If you are a certified organic farmer one simple action you can take right now is to put economic pressure on the certifying agencies to stop certifying soil-less crops as organic. Just contact your organic certifier and demand to know if they certify hydroponic operations. If they do certify soil-less growers, tell them that you object and will plan to change your certification next year to a more principled provider unless they desist. Honestly, why would you want to pay money to an organic certifier whose practices are undermining customer faith in the integrity of the organic label?

If you are an organic eater speak to the produce manager in your local supermarket. Say that you object to hydroponic masquerading as organic and want the store to stock soil grown organic produce or you will take your business elsewhere. I can guarantee you that most produce managers have no idea that the hydroponic invasion has happened and will tell you that organic already means grown in the soil.

Maybe the Easiest Way

If you have even a small piece of land to dig in, the best and easiest way to get some health sustaining food, may well be to grow it yourself.

Objections to Gardening?

Do any of these objections to growing your own come to mind:

  • You don’t know anything about gardening and you don’t have time to learn all that stuff.
  • Gardens take too much time to weed, water, and spray.
  • I don’t have time to spend in a garden.

If so, I have some good news for you.

The Good News

The good news might be best explained in the words of my friend, reader, and long time gardener, Jim in Illinois.

Jim had an old friend and also a cousin ask him if he would consider helping them start a garden. Both men live in Wisconsin – a two hour drive from Jim. (It’s my understanding that at some point in time he will make the drive several times to help them.)

He writes:

I want to start out with buying each of them your book.” (Organic Gardening – Cutting Through the Hype to the 3 Keys to Success.)

One of them has described a desire for a “no-till” garden and the other just wants “the easiest and simplest garden out there”, so your book absolutely fits the bill.

—Both guys are minimalist type people (especially gardening) and your approach is what will finally make their gardens happen if anything will.

Need to hear more?

If you need more testaments from folks who have already read the book and followed my recommendations you can check out the 3 posts referenced at the end. (Also, see all the comments in the column to the right of this post.)

Final Thoughts

One more recommendation – start small – but start. You might find it’s a lot easier than you think.  If you need more help, you know you can email me.


All content including photos is copyright by TendingMyGarden.com.  All Rights Reserved.


3 Related posts with More Proof the 3 Keys Work:

A Reader Writes – If There Can Be but One – Make it Organic Gardening – Cutting Through the Hype to the 3 Keys to Successful Gardening

A Reader Writes: “Everyone is amazed at my garden!”

3 Books That Can Change Your Garden, Your Health, and the Way You Look at Life


  • Not on the subject but I thought I would pass on something I read that may be fact. Because of my growing season I have not been successful with some veggies. This year I decided to try some broccoli and start it early, which I did on 02/22/17. Germination showing yesterday. Recently I read a bit that said cole crop “days to harvest” shown on seed packages were calculated from when transplanted in ground. This fits with my previous cabbage results. My cabbages had been mediocre so last year I started my seeds much sooner and ended up with a great crop. Just wonder about your thoughts. One of the things I enjoy about gardening is how much I learn each year, including patience.

  • I just dropped this post into my Facebook newsfeed. I can not recommend this book enough. In my opinion, it is the book for which all other books should be measured by when learning about and getting started with organic gardening. More people would be gardening…and ENJOYING IT…if this book was in their gardening tool kit.

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