Since I was a little girl I always wanted to live in the country.
I thought maybe that had changed when Bill and I were married in 1964, and we moved to Baltimore.
I can’t say I’m sorry for the 14 years we spent there. It was a good experience.
Bill worked in air conditioning and refrigeration and did better with a tightly structured job than I did.
I worked for attorneys mostly. (Did accounting and paralegal work.) I had some 9 to 5 jobs that I really enjoyed, but eventual I got so I couldn’t stand the tight framework of “regular” jobs. I ended up going into many law firms on a temporary basis. It gave me more of a sense of being in charge of my life. If they called me in and didn’t have work for me within a certain amount of time, I’d leave. I was a good worker so they put up with me.
After about 13 years of this and when Bill was approaching his 36th birthday, I couldn’t bear the thoughts of not doing what we really wanted to do with our life. Our burning desire was for Bill to earn a living as an artist; although we had no idea how to accomplish that goal.
Ever since we could remember – parents, friends, and everyone else parroted how that was impossible.
There must be millions of folks in the United States who call themselves an artist, but only a minuscule percentage of those make there living from their art.
Our yearning for Bill to be a full time artist was so strong that it overpowered any good sense we may have had. We quite our jobs, sold most of the few belongings we had, and finally when we couldn’t pay our rent where we lived in Baltimore, we moved to a little country town in Virginia. Our cash totaled $80.
Without my saying another word, I’m sure you’ve already figured out that by that time we were living in poverty. And we did, for longer than 20 years.
Your next thought is probably the question: “What does all this have to do with organic gardening?”
For us, it had everything to do with gardening: We were hungry. We started a garden to have food to eat.
That was 37 years ago. I knew nothing about gardening. All I had was a shovel and hand tool left in the garage of the place where we were living. So Bill dug up some ground with the shovel and I planted a few seeds and plants.
I had no how-to books. No internet. No one but nature to guide me with organic gardening. I had failures of course. But I also had successes.
I learned over the years to distinguish between what is really needed to be successful in gardening and what’s just hype. I’ve been digging in the dirt and depending on the outcome to feed myself and my husband for close to 40 years. During that time I also marketed my produce and fed a lot of other folks too.
My knowledge comes from first-hand experience and observation as opposed to just theoretical knowledge that comes from reading only.
I’m always amazed at the various articles (even those from the best of sources) and books that list all the many things that supposedly have to be done in order to garden. The vast majority of those things, I’ve never done and I’ve been very successful in gardening.
You don’t have to wade through volumes of gardening books and internet articles. You don’t have to have framed raised beds unless you want to. You don’t have to water unless you can and want to. You don’t ever have to till the soil after your prepare your garden beds. You don’t have to put in grueling hours in the hot sun in the middle of summer. And you don’t need to buy anything other than a hand tool and shovel to get started.
I can assure you there are basically 3 simple things that guarantee a successful garden. That’s why I wrote the book Organic Gardening, Cutting Through the Hype to the 3 Keys to Successful Gardening, to explain all 3 in detail. I also cut through the hype of 4 popular things that you don’t have to fuss with unless you want to. In addition there are lots of real-life examples and stories to encourage you and cheer you on.
A bit further down the page, I’ve listed a few of the many questions the book will answer. Also, you can check out the table of contents here.
You can get started better, cheaper and faster than you ever thought possible.
If you want to get started on the road to a great garden that will produce for you without a lot of things to learn and buy – I can help you. The choice is yours.
A few of the many questions the book answers:
- What’s possible with only 10 to 30 minute intervals almost all year long – p.13
- How to learn more by buying less – p.14
- How watering can keep your plants from being successful – p.23-24
- Why watering once a week is not the best idea – p.24
- 3 things to do to keep your losses in drought minimal – p.25
- Proof that you can garden without watering – p.26-29
- 2 Big advantages to gardening without water – p.32
- What’s the real cause of plants wilting? – p.35-36
- Why watering is most often not the answer when plants wilt – p.36
- 3 strategies that allow plants to better deal with any stress, including heat and drought – p.39
- Do you really need to frame your raised beds? – p.47-48
- Disadvantages of framed raised beds – 51-52
- Do you need a compost pile to get compost? Section IV, Chapters 4 and 5
- Do you need a soil test? And if you choose to have one, where to get a really good one. Section V
- Why air circulation is important underground as well as above ground – p.82
- Why you only have to prepare the soil once – p. 82-84
- The best time to prepare soil – p.89
- 8 steps to proper soil preparation – p. 92-97
- Can you leave tree roots in the garden? – p.97
- Why repeated hoeing and plowing/discing is bad for your soil – p. 100-101
- Should you use municipal compost – p. 110-111
- Manure has been used for farming and gardening for centuries; so why do you have to hesitate now? – p.121-125
- Should you always take the State Extension Offices’ word for things? – p.126
- Should you incorporate various organic material into the soil or leave it on top of the soil? – p.130-132
- 13 benefits of cover cr0ps – p.134-135
- How poor farming practices (not using the 3 keys to successful gardening) caused millions of acres of farmland to become useless – p.148
- 19 advantages of covering the soil – p.151
- Should you use straw or hay as mulch – p. 158-159
- What is the mulch that will give you greater soil better and faster than any other? – p.162
- Will pine needles change your soil’s pH? – p.167
- When NOT to use grass clippings as mulch – p. 173
- Should you be concerned about termites in wood chips? – p.179-180
- How to get the most out of mulching – p.188-197
- 9 reasons to mulch your garden paths – p.214-217
- Will having bare soil (not using mulch) stop rodents like voles? – p.220-223
To see Bill’s work: BillMartz.com
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