Harmony Gardens

Living in Harmony with Nature and teaching others to garden the natural (organic) way, with emphasis on practices that lead to NUTRIENT DENSE produce!

Harmony Gardens

Harmony Gardens
Bey Home designed by Stitt Energy Systems, Inc. 2002

Welcome To Our Site

Our intent is simple: to provide useful information on gardening, health and sustainability issues. We will include class and meeting announcements, gardening information, and book reviews. The articles that Calvin writes for Garden Thyme, the Master Gardener Newsletter will be included. We will try to make this site easy to use and relevant.

About Me

My photo
Fayetteville, Arkansas, United States
Harmony Gardens is the home of Calvin and Doris Bey. As the name implies our goal is to live in harmony with the Laws of Nature. We are concerned about the environment, energy efficiency, organic gardening, alternative health, and sustainability issues. We love our Stitt Energy Systems Inc. energy efficient home, which received a First Place NAHB National Award for 2003. Calvin is a retired USDA Forest Service scientist. Each year he teaches classes in Organic Gardening in February and March and again in September. Doris is a retired RN. Calvin and Doris have put their energy efficient house up for sale (by owner). See first post for description, pictures, and house design.

May 9, 2017

Energy Efficient House with Big Organic Garden - For Sale


Energy Efficient House with Big Organic Garden
For Sale  
Calvin and Doris Bey
8779 W. Forest Hills Dr. Fayetteville, AR 72704
479-527-6951
www.HarmonyGardens.blogspot.com

    
         HOUSE FEATURES:

Area heated and cooled: 2786 sf, including 3 bedrooms, 3.5 baths, living-dining- kitchen (Great Room, sunny with south view to gardens).  

Large study, hobby room, laundry room, winter clothes storage closet, and large closet in MB that serves as a Built-in Tornado Shelter, FEMA certified. Shelter has separate foundation, double strength walls and ceiling, and metal door.

Extensive built-ins through-out. Hardwood and tile floors. Handicap accessible.

Three-car garage (816 sf), with cabinets, and entrance to attic for storage.

House designed, energy-planned, and built in 2002 by Stitt Energy Systems,Inc.


 
ENERGY SAVING FEATURES:

Received2003 National EnergyValue Housing Gold Award for “Custom Homes in the Moderate Climate” category.
Wood-burning, soapstone (8200 pounds) fireplace/oven (Tulikivi), for axillary heating of house in winter. 

Insulated foundation, poured concrete using insulated concrete forms.
6-inch thick structural insulated panels. 

Ice House Roof ® ventilates roof for 50% savings in summer AC costs.
Solar panel for heating water. 
 

Extensive windows on south exposure for passive winter heat gain, and extended eaves to control summer sun. Vinyl framed double-paned windows with low-E glass and argon gas. 

Eight ceiling fans and LED lighting throughout.
Insulated and finished 3-car garage, with shelves, work bench and cabinets. 



Kitchen

Dining/Living Area

Study 



 Master Bedroom
Master BR -- View 2

Guest Bedroom
Hobby Room

    
YARD AND GARDEN:

1.8 acres, level to gently-sloping land, in city, with city water. Lot backs up to native forest and feels like “country.” No flooding problems. 

Large (4,000sf+), productive, organic vegetable garden (with potential to triple size) including blueberries, blackberries, strawberries, figs, asparagus, and 10 pecan trees. Excellent, deep, productive, soils. 

Many shade trees, shrubs, herbs and flowers. Yard received the 2016 Fayetteville Urban Forestry Landscape Sustainability Award.

Tool storage shed, 8 x 16 feet, plus compost storage facility. 


Main Vegetable Garden

Garlic and Strawberries

Grand Champion -- Root Vegetables

Grand Champion -- Mixed Vegetables


Tall Corn Contest Winner (13.5 feet)




Italian Sweet Peppers


Figs -- Brown Turkey and Ladoka









Austrian Winter Peas and Oats (Winter Cover Crops)

"Cloned" Work Force    😋   👍   👎  

Flower and Bird Friendly Yard-- Organic practices for 15 years





PRICE: $425,000.00
 

Contact: Rod Hagan, Keller Williams Realty, 479-644-9052



November 8, 2016

Teaming with Nature --Yards and Vegetable Gardens (WAPF handout)

Teaming with Nature - Yards without Chemicals and Growing Nutrient-Dense Vegetables
 

           17th Annual International Conference of the Weston A. Price Foundation® 
                      
                                       Nov 10-13, 2016 Montgomery, Alabama
                        

                             Alvin Bey, Aiken, SC and Calvin Bey, Fayetteville, AR
 

AEBey1936@icloud.com and CFBey1936@cox.net     www.harmonygardens.blogspot.com

Introduction
For centuries there was little difference between the manner in which nature thrived and man cultivated land for domestic uses.   Starting in the 1850’s with advent of synthetic fertilizers, and especially during the 1900s, farming became more technical.  Farmers began using chemical pesticides, chemical fertilizers, genetically modified plants, new machinery, and new tillage practices.  Almost all new technology was designed to grow plants and food efficiently.  This indeed achieved large‐scale efficiencies never seen before.  Unfortunately, many of those practices led to significant losses and degradation of soils.  Homeowners’ yards, vegetable gardens and agricultural lands were all compromised.  For a large part of the world, we lost our natural way of gardening and farming and the derived benefits. 

Fortunately, we have recaptured an understanding  of   how nature works.   Understanding the following and other natural principles will provide  guidance on how to make the chemical-to-natural conversion.

Everything in nature is connected, i.e. what effects one factor effects another -- treat the plant-soil      system as one entity.

Plants and animals are designed to be healthy, i.e. they have an inherent immunity to insects and disease – treat the cause not the symptoms.

Optimal plant development occurs with a continuous flow of nutrients – use slow release fertilizers, including foliar sprays.

Biological diversity is nature’s insurance system -- use heirloom seeds and companion plantings

In this presentation, we outline how homeowners can return to a natural way of caring for yards and gardens with the results of healthier plants, fewer insects and diseases, and nutrient-dense vegetables. References to ‘synthetic’ or ‘chemical’ refer to products that are man-made and references to ‘organic’ or ‘natural’ refer to products that are naturally occurring and/or minimally processed.

Part 1 – Yards  without   Chemicals

Three-step Conversion Process 
  
The  chemical-to-natural conversion  is  best  accomplished by  following  a  simple 3-step  process.  Although simple in concept, diligence to the practical details of each step is required for complete success.

Step 1 – Get your Yard off  ‘Drugs’.
 
Stop using synthetic fertilizers, insecticides, herbicides, fungicides and all other  ‘cides’. Almost all are harmful to the beneficial organisms in healthy soil. Note:  Recently (March 20, 2015) the herbicide Glyphosate (Round Up),  and   insecticides  Malathion  and  Diazinon  were  classified  as “probably  carcinogenic to humans” by the International Agency for Research on Cancer, the specialized cancer agency of the World Health Organization. For  personal safety  avoid  human contact.

Step 2 – Change your Yard’s Diet to Natural Products

A common characteristic of organic/natural fertilizers and amendments is that they do not destroy beneficial microbes in the soil but rather enhance them.  In addition they provide the slow and continuous release of nutrients for optimal feeding of plants.  These features distinguish natural/organic products from the more water-soluble synthetic fertilizers and pesticides that are detrimental to soil microbes and provide uneven flow of nutrients to plants.

Before deciding on your natural products, obtain a soil analysis to determine which minerals are needed and in what amounts. Then use natural products like:
Compost, alfalfa meal, feather meal, or blood meal for Nitrogen (N)
Soft Rock Phosphate for Phosphorus (P)
Green Sand, Kelp or natural potassium sulfate for Potassium (K) Dolomitic Limestone for Calcium (Ca) and Magnesium (Mg)
Borax for Boron (B)
Azomite (volcanic ash) for 60-70 trace minerals
The amount and frequency of use will be guided by your soil analysis.

Step 3 –Improve the Soil Biology  (Increase the Organic and Microbial content)

Healthy soil contains a wide variety of living species that include bacteria, fungi, protozoa, nematodes, and arthropods, many of which are microscopic in nature. An acre of healthy soil typically contains 1-2 tons of these species.  These organisms function in a manner analogous to the food chain that exists in our above-the-ground environment. Importantly, the microbes generate nutrients from the organic matter and minerals in the soil and then ‘feed’ them to the plants.  Healthy populations of these microbes are maintained by adding grass clippings, compost, compost tea, and/or dried molasses to the soil.  Mycorrhizal fungi, one of thousands of these microbial species, are unique in that they attach to the roots of plants and provide a biological extension of plant roots for extraction of water and minerals from the soil quite distant from the plant.  These fungi also produce enzymes that serve as ‘antibiotics’ to control many harmful microorganisms.  Soil microbes help generate healthy soil and healthy soil leads to healthy plants.  That’s
the power of natural/organic systems.  That’s the way it was created. It’s Nature’s way and it works.                                                                                                                                              

Managing Insects and Diseases

Insects and diseases are the appropriate response to the existing conditions. The conditions may be environmental stress but are often a nutritional and/or pesticide issue -- too little, too much, toxic types, etc.   Pesticides typically kill more beneficial than targeted pests.  Research has shown that insects are attracted to weak, unhealthy plants which are often the result of using toxic pesticides and fertilizers.  Should pests persist, environmentally friendly products like neem oil, soybean oil, insecticidal soaps, diatomaceous earth, and Bacillus thuringiensis (BT), may be used for control.  Four major types of living organisms generally cause plant diseases: fungi, bacteria, viruses and pathogenic nematodes.  Disease problems are situations in which these microorganisms have gotten out of balance. Natural, disease-controlling products don’t kill disease organisms but rather stimulate beneficial organisms that bring harmful organisms into balance.  For example, powdery mildew can be controlled with applications of compost tea that contains bacteria and fungi.  Applying biologically active compost or corn meal will control Brown Patch, a fungal disease.

Managing Weeds

Thick healthy turf significantly reduces weeds. In non-turf areas, mulching will greatly reduce the germination of weed seeds.  For weed control use the following combination of ingredients: 1 gallon 10% vinegar, 1 oz. orange oil, 1 tablespoon of molasses and 1 teaspoon of liquid soap. Use only on weeds in dormant grass or weeds in mulched areas. It will kill actively growing turf. Do not apply in vegetable gardens.

Watering

Organically amended soils retain more moisture.  For example, by increasing the organic content by 1 percent, a 10,000 square foot area will retain an additional 4000 gallons of water.  In addition, the organic content significantly increases the soil’s ability to retain cationic nutrients like Calcium, Magnesium, Potassium and Sodium. It’s a win-win situation for the plant and the homeowner.

Summary – Observed Benefits of Going Natural/Organic

No turf thatch, no aeration required, no winter kill, no turf replacement
Healthier plants – reduced pests
Reduced watering needs, reduced overall costs
Reduced human and pet exposure to toxins
Reduced pollution of the environment

Keys to Success
 
Diligence to the process Patience
Learning as you proceed Good record keeping                                                                              
                                                       



References Books

Organic Lawn Care Manual by Paul Tukey
Organic Management for the Professional by Garrett, Ferguson and Amaranthus Teaming with Microbes by Lowenfels and Lewis
Teaming with Nutrients by Lowenfels

Organic gardening is an adventure with many benefits…for both you and your plants. Give it a try. It’s fun and rewarding!

Part 2 - Growing Nutrient-Dense Vegetables

Its not surprising that the general public is mostly unaware of what constitutes nutrient-dense produce.  Nutrient-dense vegetables generally are not available in grocery stores and markets.  Conventional farmers are mainly concerned about yields, not high nutrition, so they are of little promotional help.  Their standard practices include chemical fertilizers, pesticides, and genetically modified seeds, with high production goals.   Fortunately, we already know a lot about how to grow nutrient-dense produce.  The core practices go beyond just growing organic produce.  Reaching the nutrient-dense goal is most often a long-term process but can be achieved by most gardeners.

Definition  Nutrient-dense produce has high levels of minerals, and the appropriate nutrient balance.   Produce that is grown in toxin-free soils, with ideal mineral, organic matter, and biological diversity conditions will generally be more nutrient-dense.  The produce will have higher sugar and protein content, and a greater specific gravity.  These factors will contribute to longer shelf life, and increased resistance of the plants to insects and disease.  The higher sugar content will also impart increased frost resistance.  The plants will have stronger stems (more solid), with less lodging, and have improved flavor.

Nutrient Density is measured with a refractometer.  It measures the solids, i.e. the density of the minerals in the plant juice.  Specifically, it’s the amount of sucrose, fructose, vitamins, minerals, amino acids, proteins, and other solids that are found in the juice of the produce.  As a rule, you measure the part of the plant that you eat, or the most recent mature leaves.   We call the readings the Brix levels, named after a German chemist, who developed it.  

Although testing produce for nutrient density is a relatively simple process, getting the organic matter, microbial populations and all the minerals in the proper amounts and ratios is far more challenging.    Note in the examples below the big differences in nutrient content between the Bey Entry and the USDA Composite Standard. 







Butternut                Bey Entry     USDA Composite
Squash                                                 Standard
______________________________________________________

Brix Level             12.9                   8.4
Dry Matter %        25.6                 13.6
Protein, grams       4.4                    1.0

Free Nitrates          360                210
Ca, mg                     53                  48
P                            166                  33

K                        1025                 352
Mg                        51                   34
Cu                       .50                   .07

Fe                      .80                     .70
Zn                     .48                      .15
Mn                    .10                      .20
_________________________________________________________
Final Score, Weighted by Minimum Daily Requirements:
            132.8                   61.7
__________________________________________________________

Getting Started  Many people have limited gardening space, so plan, plan, plan.  First, based on space and what you like and will eat fresh, decide on what you will grow.   Second, grow some crops that store well, or that you will can, freeze, or dry.   If space allows, grow and eat a variety of  vegetables.  As you gain gardening proficiency, consider crops that do well under season extension techniques.

A very important step is selecting the best garden site possible.  Most people won’t have many options on this, but go with the area with the most sun.  Stay away from the drip line of trees and find the area with the deepest top soil and fewest stones.   Ideally, you also want an area that has not had pesticides and chemical fertilizers applied in the past.  Use non-contiguous areas.  The garden can be a single plot or many small plots.  Produce can be grown as a border around your house.

Specific Gardening Techniques  It is the soil, and the soil nutrition that primarily determines the nutrient density of fruits and vegetables.  Weather factors are important, but the soil must be healthy if it is to perform its primary functions.   A healthy soil functions effectively in water infiltration and storage, digestion of organic matter, recycling of nutrients, and supplying plants with water and nutrients.  Healthy soils must also contain major and trace minerals at the proper levels.  The techniques that help the soil fulfill these functions are explained in the 10 steps listed below.   John Jeavon’s book, How To Grow More Vegetables, is an excellent source for details on gardening (growing soil) in a sustainable manner.
  
1.  Use Minimum-Tillage to Produce a Living Soil.   Minimum-tillage makes sense from the viewpoint of reducing energy costs, improving soil quality, and increasing productivity.  Minimum-tillage results in more beneficial bacteria, fungi, earthworms, etc. --  the organisms that are continuously digesting and relocating organic matter.   Tilling can negatively impact the physical properties of the soil by destroying the soil structure, i.e. the way soil particles are held together. 

2.  Keep the Soil Covered at all Times.    Where the soil is continuously covered by plants and/or their residues is likely a garden as nature intended.   Soil covers protect the soil aggregates from beatings by the rain, suppress weeds, keep the soil cool and moist in warm summers, and promote soil microbial activity.  

3.  Grow Diverse Crops Throughout the Year.   Growing many different species of plants, over time and space, increases the number and varieties of soil microbial populations and is an insurance program against disease and pest problems.   Sugars, made from the diversity of plants, are released from plant roots into the soil.  In the soil, the sugars serve as food for soil microbes, which in turn decompose organic matter into nutrients that support plant growth.  This is the natural soil development process.   Diversity includes using cover crops  (e.g. oats, Austrian winter peas, buckwheat, clover, and rye) for soil improvement as an essential part of the crop rotation system.   Always keep a cover crop on the garden over the winter. 

The three practices listed above are aimed at maximizing the physical and biological activity in the soil.  They speed up the natural soil development processes and will lead to healthy soils, healthy plants, healthy produce and healthy consumers.   These steps take little or no input from outside the garden area.  While not entirely free, they are low-cost gardening techniques, that move us in the direction sustainable gardening.  

4.  Mineral and Nutrient Management.    The kind and amount of supplements to apply to your garden soil will depend primarily on the original rock material and past fertilizer practices.  In general, remineralization will mean adding mined and minimally processed rock and organic minerals.  Materials like alfalfa meal, soft rock phosphate, lime, kelp, wood ashes, epsom salts (for Magnesium), borax, and many others may help to correct mineral shortages.  Do not add fertilizers unless until you know they are needed.  Excess of any mineral can create a deficiency in another.   A soil test is absolutely needed to determine the necessary soil additives.  This is a topic that deserves additional attention.  See book, The Intelligent Gardener (Growing Nutrient-Dense Food) by Steve Solomon with Erica Reinheimer.  For additional help, see the following web sites:  www.growabundant.com  www.AdvancingEcoAg.com and www.IntAgLabs.com  

Most garden soils will benefit by adding compost.  In addition to organic wastes from the kitchen and dead garden materials, consider growing grains and other plants strictly for making compost.   Use the compost sparingly and wisely.  Excessive amounts of compost can lead to higher than necessary nitrogen levels in the soil, excess nitrates in the produce, and encouragement of insects.    Four to five percent organic matter in the soil is sufficient.  

5.  Raised Beds are optional, but a very useful technique.  Raised beds drain more quickly and warm up faster in the spring.  They have better aeration, which promotes better microbial activity and growth.

 6.  Double-Digging improves aeration and biological activity in most soils.  This results in deeper soils and deeper plant root development. 

7.  Energy Enhancement with Paramagnetic Rock.  Plants require magnetic energy to grow.  Obviously, the sun is a major energy source, but don’t ignore energy enhancements that come from planting by the signs of the moon.  Likewise, take advantage of enhancing magnetic energy (required for all living things to grow), through the use of (sometimes called lava sand) for increased growth rates, earlier maturity, and improved cold hardiness in all plants.   

8.  Structured Water is another excellent energy enhancement.   Simple, but effective devices that create vortices, is all that is required for adding energy to water.  These flow-forms have been used for centuries.  In short, water molecules that flow through these devices becomes less clustered (thus softer), the energy of any “pollutants” is neutralized, and the energy of the good minerals in the water are enhanced.  As a result, plants grow faster and remain more healthy than plants with city water, often loaded with chlorine.  See  www.harmonygardens.blogspot.com for details on experiments with these water structuring units. 

 9.  Use Heirloom Seeds and Save Seeds.  Heirloom seeds exist for the major garden crops.  Once you have them, take the extra effort to save seeds or vegetative starts for subsequent years.  The fruits and vegetables from the heirlooms will generally be more nutrient-dense.   Work with neighbors and friends and plan for sharing seeds.  

10.  Become a Careful Observer, Study, and Share Information with Others. If you have the impression that all gardening practices and biological processes are interrelated, you have it correct.  Interconnectedness is the way Mother Nature has designed the system to work.  That may be disconcerting to you as you try to understand what is happening in your garden, or it may be troubling as you try to prioritize your gardening activities.  Do not become overwhelmed with understanding all the interconnections.  Just remember, they serve as an insurance program for how your plants grow and survive.  Nature’s system is designed so that life might flourish.  Our job is to work in harmony with Nature, to help the world move to the goal of living sustainably and providing people with 3 healthy meals a day.  With diligence and persistence, all those who share in the adventure will be blessed.

None of us can outsource our responsibility to take care of ourselves and the earth.  When we work to breathe life back into the soil, we take one big step to improving our health, and that of others.  Start the process by visualizing the whole world as a garden, and taking care of it as our stewardship imperative.  We have a finite and limited opportunity -- one chance, one lifetime to do it right. 
   

May 24, 2016

Harmony Gardens -- Following the Paths of Nature

                                Harmony Gardens -- Following the Paths of Nature

                     Calvin and Doris Bey, 8779 W. Forest Hills Dr. Fayetteville, AR 72704.

                           CFBey1936@cox.net       www.Harmonygardens.blogspot.com


Problem:  The actions of many home owners in the US today leaves much to be desired from a “sustainable living” viewpoint.   Many owners are assaulting their yards on a yearly basis with toxic commercial fertilizers, herbicides, and pesticides.  On the 50 million acres of lawns in the US, 67 million pounds of chemicals are applied each year.  The crime is that these treated areas become deficient in native insects, which are the source of food for 97 percent of the bird species.  Is there degradation of the environment?  Yes, of course, but the real problem is the irresponsible homeowner decisions.  It doesn’t have to be that way.  

Solution.  At Harmony Gardens, Calvin and Doris Bey subscribe to a different philosophy.  Their mode of operation is to follow the paths of Nature.  As much as possible, they use a Natural model to guide operations for their lawns, shrubs, trees, and vegetable garden.  In their large vegetable garden, they emphasize growing nutrient-dense produce.

They have set up their entire yard as an environmental sanctuary.  Its a safe-haven for birds and bees, and you don’t need to worry about nasty pesticides on the tasty vegetables. The yard includes some flowers for the bees, dense shrubbery for nesting of birds, open areas and gourd-nests for swooping purple martins, extensive native hardwood trees, and even pole perches for preying red-shouldered hawks.   All of this and more is in sync with growing of nutrient-dense vegetables.

How did this all come about?  Looking for a “perfect” place to retire, and without knowing anyone in AR, Calvin and Doris moved to Fayetteville in 2000, bought a couple acres, built an award-winning energy efficient house (Stitt Energy Systems, Inc.), and started a garden.  They both grew up on farms near Alpena, Michigan and Sunshine, NC.  They met in Berea, KY, were married in 1960, and have lived and gardened, in KY, GA, MD, IL, IA, MS, AK, VA and now AR.  They have two daughters, and one grandson. 

Education:  Doris is a retired RN, and Calvin is a retired USDA Forest Service scientist.  He attended a one-room school house for his first 9 years, and was blessed to have a family that encouraged attending college.  He received a BS and MS in Forestry from Michigan State, and a Ph.D. in Genetics from Iowa State.

Gardening Practices:  For Calvin, gardening is like running a business.  To be successful you need focus, goals, operational guidelines, a willingness to learn, patience, and a passion.  Calvin enjoys sharing and teaching others, including teaching intensive Organic (Natural) Gardening classes.  

The focus is Nutrient-Dense vegetable production.  It starts by developing a healthy soil.  That means developing strong biological activity in the soil and adding the correct amounts and balance of macro and micro minerals.  The key operational guidelines include minimum tillage, keeping the soil covered at all times, and growing diverse crops throughout the year.  In addition, Calvin uses double-digging, raised beds, limited but wise use of compost, companion planting, controlled spacing, structured (energized) water, paramagnetic rock, and planting with some heirloom seeds. 

Responsibility:  Whatever generation we are in, we all end up with the same ultimate question, “ What will be our personal environmental legacy?”  The solution begins as we seriously ponder this question and begin the journey of making changes.  The challenge is formidable.  If its not for us, then who else will do it.

                                                            Our Personal Philosophy

None of us can outsource our responsibility to take care of the earth and ourselves.  As we work to breathe life back into the soil, we take one big step to improving our health, and that of others.  Only when we accept the whole world as our garden, and taking care of it our personal stewardship responsibility, will we become a community, in oneness with Nature.  The clock is ticking.  We each have a limited opportunity -- one chance -- one lifetime to do it right.

February 21, 2016

Organic Gardening and More
 The Hidden Half of Nature
Calvin F. Bey                   CFBey1936@cox.net

The Hidden Half of Nature, the Microbial Roots of Life and Health, 2016, by David R. Montgomery, PhD,  and Ann Bikle is a book about our tangled relationship with microbes.  The authors make it clear -- for people and for plants -- “good health depends on Earth’s smallest creatures.” 

The book is an interesting read.  It shows how   a geomorphologist and a biologist, who knew almost nothing about what lived in the soil, discovered the new world of soil biology through their backyard gardening experience.  They were impressed how quickly their bleak back yard was transformed in to a “flourishing Eden” simply by adding organic matter. 

They didn’t stop with just understanding the soil food web, they studied and then described the hidden half of nature that lives in our bodies, and how important it is to maintaining good health.  The similarities of microbial action in the soil and our gut is well understood, but often ignored by the ways we treat our soils and our digestive systems. 

It seems so easy and clear.  If our goal is healthy soil and healthy bodies, then we ought to avoid anything that destroys the microbes.  Many gardeners understand this and stick to using only products that are natural and non-toxic.  Sadly, other gardeners and a great proportion of the commercial farmers elect to take a different path.  Its one of the reasons so much of our topsoil is still eroding and ending up in the Gulf.   David R. Montgomery, in a previous book, Dirt - The Erosion of Civilizations, describes how our farming practices have led to soil deterioration and erosion.

The authors go further to say that human health is likely tied to the health of the soils.  Yes, we are what we eat, but more precisley we are what our microbes eat. 

In the organic gardening classes that I teach (next one March 19), I spend a lot of time on soils, microbes, and how proper plant nutrition can lead to healthy plants, i.e. plants that are immune to insects and disease. 

For many, the joy of gardening comes from marveling at the complexity and majesty of nature.  Digging into the hidden half of nature might just be the most intriguing adventure ever.   I encourage you to get educated and share.   Many in the general public know nothing about  the “hidden half of nature.”  As gardeners, we can be the messengers.






Garden 2007

Garden 2007
Heirloom "Country Gentleman" Corn