It seems to me I’ve spent most of my life striving to stay out of overwhelm. I find life to be much more enjoyable that way — not to mention that I get a lot more done and without the stress that can be associated with being busy.
Winter arrived here this week. I was prepared I thought. Had planned several major things like our tax returns and reviewing some internet classes to help me be a better teacher via TMG and FlowerBorders.info. Also planned a bit of research to see what’s “out there” for organic gardeners in the internet world.
I was into information overload and overwhelm after only a few hours of reviewing some of my classes because I realized how little I knew and how much I had to learn about the technical part of websites. That’s not one of my favorite things to study — and I find a lot of it very boring — but I keep at it little by little so I can know enough to make my sites even better.
Fortunately for us all — organic gardening is much more simple than computer stuff — although marketing would have you think otherwise.
Then I did a little research to enlighten me on what other folks were doing and saying about organic gardening.
A Course on Organic Gardening
I happened to come across the website of someone I “knew” who has been an organic gardener for 8 years. This person is now offering a paid course on organic gardening. The content of the course was of particular interest to me. I was anxious to compare what they thought a person needed to know to be successful in organic gardening with what I thought they needed to know.
At my first glance — I saw immediately we were on different wave lengths as to what we felt was necessary to know to be successful. (Necessary being the keyword here.)
Some of the first topics in the table of contents that my eyes fell on were:
- how soil forms
- how to determine soil texture and structures,
- cation exchange capacity and NHC (nutrient holding capacity)
- choosing a soil lab
All of these things can be interesting — but had I thought I had to know all this before I started gardening — I would have been very discouraged and into overwhelm right up front. Fortunately, I didn’t know about any of it and picked up my shovel and went to work.
That was 35 years ago and although now I understand what those topics are about and find them interesting — I absolutely know you don’t need to know those things to be successful in organic gardening.
As I continued to review the contents of the course, I was pleased to see there were some topics that we both felt were important. I’m almost certain however this course approaches most of them from a conventional “what-is-usually-done” viewpoint. Here are a few topics that were in the course and that I’ve also covered in posts on TMG. (I’ve covered many more than this — but just wanted to give you a sampling.)
- seed starting
- winter gardening (cold frames, floating row covers)
- growing mediums
- raised beds (the paid course tells you how to build them using hammer and nails; I tell you how to do it with a shovel)
- discussions on various vegetables (I have a feeling I give you much more tomatoes, lettuce, onions, potatoes and a few others)
- saving seed
- crop rotation
- succession planting
- hand pollinating
- dividing plants
- landscape design
- cover crops
- organic insecticides
- organic pesticides
- how to control slugs
- double digging and sheet mulching
- improving soil with organic matter
- peat moss
- grass clipping and leaves as mulch (and other mulches)
Gardening — unlike the computer stuff — is very simple. You don’t have to know anything complicated to get started and to be successful. Nature knows all the complex stuff that needs doing. All you have to do is the simple stuff and make her your partner.
Final Thoughts – Free Information , Information that costs, and the Future
I’ve been an organic gardener for 35 years and I know what works. I’ve passed a lot of what I know on to you through the posts of TMG at no cost to you and have been happy to do so.
Unfortunately many people need to pay money for something to feel it is of value. That’s a statistical fact.
If you’re a reader of TMG you’re obviously not one of those people. And from what I hear from those who follow my advice — I think you already know what I do works. I hope you will continue to take advantage of TMG and FlowerBorders.info while they’re up and running.
For the past six months I’ve been working on something that I’ll charge for in the future. I’ve also been planning something that I’ll give freely to all who want it. It will contain all the information one really needs to know to start gardening successfully. And the table of contents won’t be very long. 😉
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