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

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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.

January 11, 2011

Earthing for Better Health

EARTHING: Reconnecting with Mother Earth

By Calvin F. Bey

“As often as possible expose any part of your body skin to the earth or grass or natural water, lake, stream or ocean. When in your garden use non-insulating shoes, or even as you sit and read or do other actions, stay grounded.” This is a 1969 quote from Matteo Tavera, a French Agronomist, farmer and naturalist. It comes from his series of letters where Tavera espoused his visionary hypothesis that all biological life, including humans, requires continued contact with “natural electricity, which governs us all,” and furthermore, that no biological life can exist in full health without such contact. He calls it the “Sacred Mission,” meaning that our mission for life is to reconnect to the Earth.
This grounding concept did not get much exposure until it was independently rediscovered during the past decade by Clinton Ober. It has now been developed into a health improvement phenomena called Earthing.

Earthing, sometimes called grounding, is a topic you will likely be hearing more about. It is an easy-to-use and powerful health-promoting tool, backed by research and many case studies. The best source of information on the subject is the 2010 book, Earthing: The Most Important Health Discovery Ever? by Clinton Ober, Stephen T. Sinatra and Martin Zucker. If you want to check the subject of Earthing out go on-line to

Most Americans are not in tune with the energy, biorhythms, and inherent values of Nature. Nor are they generally very sensitive to what is going on within their own bodies. For the most part, even the modern farmers and gardeners are quite detached from truly intimate association with Nature. Many farmers ride their tractors in air-conditioned cabs, and if on the ground, they walk around on shoe soles made of rubber or synthetic material that insulates them from the earth. The small-scale gardener, with hand tools, and on his/her knees, generally does a better job in being physically connected to the earth.

In short, Earthing is suffusing your body with negative-charged free electrons that are so abundantly present on the surface of the earth. Dr. Gaetan Chevalier, Director of Earthing Institute says that Earthing restores a lost electrical signal to the body that seems to stabilize the complicated circuitry of our essentially electrical bodies. As your body equalizes to the earth’s energy level, you may sense a warm, tingling sensation with a felling of ease and well-being. In the body the electrons are the source of power for antioxidants, which in turn satisfy and quench free radicals. In essence, it stops the free radicals from stealing electrons from healthy tissues, which can result in tissue damage and chronic inflammation which is at the heart of many serious diseases.
It doesn’t stop there. Observations and research show that Earthing can increase energy, reduce chronic pain, improve sleep, reset our biological clocks, relieve muscle tension and headaches, promote quicker recovery from injuries, and much more. Earthing can also decrease one’s exposure to the harmful electromagnetic fields (EMFs) that originate from wiring in our homes, computers, appliances, power lines, cell towers, and other sources.

The feeling of grounding is something to which we can all relate. It is the fresh, rejuvenated, and energetic feeling that we experience when we walk on the grass in the spring in bare feet. I feel it when I am on my knees in the garden pulling weeds or digging produce, and I now get that same feeling when I hook myself to a copper wire that is connected to a metal rod driven into the ground outside my house.
It is very easy to get grounded, or connected to the earth. You can get a complete description of how to get grounded, and sources of materials by going to For a reasonable price you can buy grounding sheets for your bed, foot mats, desk pads, and more for use in your home. These devices simply hook into the ground wire in the home electrical system. The kits for this are being distributed by Generations Chiropractic, in Fayetteville, Arkansas.
If you prefer to build your own grounding device, here are the simple steps. Drive a metal rod into the earth next to the house. Any good conductor like copper or iron will do just fine. Connect a metal wire to the rod and run it into the house. Almost any kind of electrical wire will do. Connect the wire to your foot or just hold it in your hand. You are now grounded.

To make the grounding process easier in your home, you can make a simple foot mat by weaving some bare electrical wire on to a small piece of wood board or even cardboard. A similar device can be easily made for the bed. The wire placement or design is not critical. You just need something that provides for easy direct body contact.

There is a plethora of individual cases showing the positive effects of grounding. As a dowser, I can say that the detectable energy field of every person I have tested expanded outward by 50 percent or more, after they were grounded. Some users have felt an immediate tingling effect, while some others felt nothing immediately, but then had sensations later. The good things that Earthing can do for you will likely occur whether you feel the tingling sensation or not.

This Earthing concept and practice will just seem too simple for many Americans. For those who think that modern science and prescriptions are the main solutions to better health, this simple practice will be puzzling. Its important to remember that this is not something man has invented or created. As part of the natural process of energy flow and balance in Nature, its been available for our use since the beginning of time. Its part of Nature, where health is the default position.

Doing our part to heal the land and the people of the world is a responsibility we all share. Among the many things that we do, I suggest we all add one more -- help promote the practice of Earthing. I take this “healing’ responsibility seriously, and I hope you will too

This simple homemade foot mat made with copper wire and a thin piece of plywood, and hooked to an iron rod driven into the ground is all it takes to experience Earthing.

Calvin F. Bey, Ph.D., is a retired agriculture scientist, living in Fayetteville, Arkansas, with a passion for teaching others about nutrient-dense gardening and better health. He and his wife, Doris, use their demonstration garden and energy-efficient home to help others understand the concept of sustainability. He can be reached at or by visiting

January 3, 2011

The Roundup Story

The Roundup Story

Calvin F. Bey

Few things in life are simple and gardening is no exception. Answers to questions on garden design, plant selection, soils, fertilizers, mulches, compost, cover crops, and rotations can become complex. To help simplify, I promote practices based on ecological rules. None of us would knowingly consume arsenic, simply because we know that poisons are bad for our health. A similar guiding ecological rule exists for gardening. “If a substance is toxic, i.e. not healthy for the soil, do NOT use it on the garden.”

What about the use of Roundup? Chemically known as glyphosate, Roundup kills almost anything that is green. Lawn, horticulture, and agriculture folks debate whether Roundup is safe.

At the recent AcresUSA meeting, Dr. Don Huber, spoke on the topic, “Understanding Glyphosate.” Huber is a retired Purdue University pathologist, who has researched the effects of Roundup for 20 years. His findings, and that of many others confirm the fact that Roundup is toxic and not good for the health of the soil or the plants.

Roundup was patented in 1974. The same product was patented 10 years earlier as a simple chelator, i.e. a substance that immobilizes or grabs and holds other compounds. So Roundup gets into the soil and grabs the elements, especially manganese and other micro nutrients.

Monsanto, the manufacturer, claimed Roundup was biodegradable. Oops. You don’t see that on the label anymore. In a French Court, it was proven that it did not fully degrade in the soil. Studies show that the negative effects of Roundup last for more than 10 years.

Worse than that, research studies from many places are showing reduction in vigor and yield, increased chlorosis, mottling, leaf distortions, bud and fruit abortion, plant infertility, increased attack by insects, and more. Other key consequences of using Roundup are:

1. It robs plants of nutrients, i.e. reduced uptake of manganese and other nutrients. This effect carries over to animals that consume the plants.

2. It reduces nitrogen fixation.

3. It increases the virulence of some pathogens and makes crops more susceptible to disease.

4. It kills beneficial soil organisms, and poisons the soil for all plants.

5. It increases lodging in crops.

6. It produces unfilled kernels in corn.

7. Weeds are becoming resistant and super-weeds are developing.

Huber showed examples in commercial production where glyphosate damage was severe, including crops where Roundup had not been applied for several years. In MN, 1000 acres of seed potatoes could not be certified because of excess glyphosate in the tubers, that came from growing Roundup Ready soybeans and spraying with Roundup the previous year. Lawsuits against Monsanto are in process in MN and ID regarding potatoes.

History teaches us that where societies have not taken care of the soil, the civilization fails. I don’t see the use of Roundup as a debatable issue. It is bad for the soil, our environment, our plants, our domestic and wild animals, human health, and our future. It’s a serious threat to the sustainability of agriculture and food production.

So what is the solution? We know Roundup should not be used! We know it is a serious matter. We know too that the answer begins with what we do in our own back yards. We owe it to our children and grandchildren to do what is right.

Have questions? Check out “Roundup” on the net and see for yourself. Read the 2010 Institute of Science in Society report, “Glyphosate Tolerant Crops Bring Diseases and Death.” It is replete with up-to-date references.

Garden 2007

Garden 2007
Heirloom "Country Gentleman" Corn