[Market-farming] gardening 101

Nan Johnson nan at olemiss.edu
Wed May 25 18:17:52 EDT 2005


Having done a number of gardening 101 intro talks, I would also suggest as a 
reference Start with Soil by Grace Gershuny - it is a fantastic intro to 
organic/sustainable soil management for gardeners - the best I have seen in 
13 years of reading.  If out of print, I bet one could find it through 
internet used book stores.

If you are talking to folks who already garden and who want to try organic 
gardening, and it's a short talk, I simply make two points and then lots of 
illustrations:

1) If it is good for the earthworm, it's good for your garden (and the 
reverse).

2) Gardening with chemical fertilizers is like feeding a human thru an 
intravenous solution; gardening organically is like eating a meal of whole 
foods -which do you want? This gets into feeding the soil food web versus 
using 13-13-13 and no organic matter, etc.   When extension used to say to 
me, "Hey a nitrogen molecule is a nitrogen molecule and the plant doesn't 
know the difference" then I pull out the ole soil food web and say, "But the 
earthworm sure does>"   You know, "Feed the soil, not the plant" mantra.

Oh yes, and a third point, NEVER LEAVE YOUR SOIL BARE - always, always give 
a "blanket" (this brings in cover crops, green maures, mulch, sheet 
composting, even just newspapers, etc. - the whole organic matter thing!

It is a challenge to communicate that organic gardening is NOT just about 
using "organic" pesticides rather than "chemical" pesticides.

'nuff said.......nan at dancing goats farm, n. mississippi, zone 7b
----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Pat Meadows" <pat at meadows.pair.com>
To: "Market Farming" <market-farming at lists.ibiblio.org>
Sent: Wednesday, May 25, 2005 3:29 PM
Subject: Re: [Market-farming] gardening 101


> On Wed, 25 May 2005 16:13:21 EDT, you wrote:
>
>>the importance of farming organically would be a great place to start
>>
>
> Add to that:  the importance of eating *local* food and a
> little bit about 'food miles', and how they use diminishing
> oil resources plus contribute to global warming.  I'd print
> up the 'Ten Reasons to Eat Local Food' and give each student
> a copy. It's in several places on the web, notably at the
> Growing For Market site.....Eat local food, change the
> world!
>
> If I were giving a talk to beginners, I would advise them to
> start SMALL.  Better to have success the very first time and
> come back for more then to feel like a failure and give it
> up in disgust.
>
> I'd also give out a reading list, for the (probably) few who
> would actually read books about it.  I would include Mel
> Bartholomew's 'Square Foot Gardening', and Nancy Bubel's
> 'The New Seed Starter's Handbook'.
>
> Pat
>
>
> -- 
> ContainerSeeds.com - vegetable, herb, fruit, and edible
> flower seeds for successful container growing.
> http://www.containerseeds.com
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