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.

April 3, 2013

♥    Water, Precious Water   
 Calvin F. Bey 

Water!  Perhaps the most common and the least understood compound in the world.  Its more than just a molecule with an oxygen and two hydrogen atoms.  Much more.  We take water for granted, until we discover that it is either scarce or toxic.   We fear we won’t have enough in times of drought, and we fear how the chlorine and fluoride are toxic in our bodies.  Good water is a precious commodity.  

As an avid organic gardener, I have used water frequently to keep my plants productive.  Watering the plants was especially critical during the heat and drought in the summers of 2011 and 2012.  I tried to apply water appropriately, being sure to not use more than is needed by the plant.   In the process, I have often wondered how the plant was feeling about my watering regime.  Too much?  Too little?  Bad quality?  

With emphasis on growing nutrient dense vegetables, I take pride in striving to follow the Laws of Nature.   I avoid harsh chemical pesticides and chemical fertilizers and I have used filters to reduce chlorine when watering.   Yet I have wondered about the effectiveness of my watering regime.  

Years ago I learned about some unusual water energy properties of water.  I read Living Water by Olof Alexandersson, the story of Viktor Schauberger and the Secrets of Natural Energy, and The Hidden Messages in Water by Masaru Emoto, and Your Body’s Many Cries for Water, by F. Batmangheldj M.D.  These books caused me to think more about water quality, but I did not change the way I was watering my plants.  I often lamented, “if I could only live next to a river, then I could pump better water on my garden.”   Really, I yearned for a mountain stream with water pure and clean.

Regarding drinking water, I never felt like I had the answer as to what water is best.  There are choices -- carbon filters, chlorine filters, reverse osmosis, high pH (ionized) water, subtle energy-enhanced, ultra-violet, or even distilled water.   So the calendar turns to 2013, and I am no further along, and I am not even trying to figure out which water is best.  Then the phone rings and I am re-introduced to structured water.

Old researchers are born-skeptics, so like many things I wanted proof that this structured water had useful properties.  For a couple weeks, in my spare time, I immersed myself in studying what was known and proven about this structured water.   The proof for me is in the application, so when I saw positive field results, by folks with no vested interest, I knew I had to give it a try.   

I encourage you to go to for information on structured water.  See the videos, read the testimonials, and try to understand what this is all about.  Some folks have asked me to explain how it works, so they can then try it.  With a little knowledge about chemistry, and the concepts of coherence, water tension, and bio-photon life force energy, the structuring can be generally explained.    Structured water is certainly not toxic and evidence shows that it works--for people and for plants.  

 Go on the site shown above to get all the benefits of structured water for people, animals, and even how it is beneficial for your household plumbing system.  I will have more personal information on all that when we get our whole house unit in early April.  

Because of the verified results of structured water for increasing plant growth, I started there with a small demonstration.  Basically, I simply wanted to see for myself if there were differences between the structured, Natural Action Water and my city tap water.  I have been very encouraged, so much that I will be using Natural Action Water (structured water) on my entire garden this year.    Here in Northwest Arkansas we are now involved with establishing our spring gardens.  On this web site, I will keep you updated as to garden progress, and information regarding the water.

See the photos on the next two pages and decide for yourself.  Imagine if you increased yield by 20 percent and reduced water needs by 20 percent.  It is easy for me to justify a garden unit.  And with nutrient dense produce, what a bonus.

I don’t sell these devices, but simply refer you to a Authorized Distributor in Arizona.  Victoria White welcomes phone calls and emails and will be very helpful with any questions.  Of course you can contact me also.   Contact for Victoria White is:

Victoria White             
13542 W. Sacred Earth Place
Tucson, AZ 85735      

Rooted tomato cuttings from same mother plant, comparing Natural Action Water (structured) vs. tap water (control).  Results shown, on right, after 20 days.

Red cabbage, comparing structured vs. tap water.  Results after 17 days.

Flat Dutch cabbage, comparing structured vs. tap water.   Results after 17 days.

Broccoli, comparing structured vs. tap water.  Results after 17 days.

Demonstration of Natural Action Water on Early Growth of Mat Penstemon

Mat penstemon, P. linarioides.  Original pictures on left.  Pictures on right showing effect of Natural Action Water (structured) vs. tap water (control), after 25 days.   

January 30, 2013

First Place Award for Highest Nutrient Dense Butternut Squash

                                    First Place Award 
              for Highest Nutrient Dense Butternut Squash

“Why do you put so much emphasis on growing Nutrient Dense produce?”   I get that question often and the answer is simple.   Produce in most stores today is not nutrient dense, and those nutrients are critical for us if we are to regain and/or maintain our health.    

In my organic (natural, biointensive) gardening classes we spend considerable time dealing with the nutrient dense concept.   In a nutshell, to produce nutrient dense fruits and vegetables we need to go beyond just growing produce organically.   By that I mean, just meeting minimum organic standards gives no assurance that the produce will be nutrient dense.  The added dimension requires having available minerals in the soil in the right amounts and in the correct ratios, plus having an energized soil, with a soil food web that is alive and healthy.  

My gardening practices are based on the John Jeavons Biointensive concepts and practices plus advice from International Ag Labs, and many others.   Slowly over the years, I have moved forward on this front, gradually increasing the nutrient density (i.e. the Brix value) for everything in my garden.  Beyond the fun of growing the vegetables, the real joy and value comes from eating produce that tastes better and better each year.  I have just received verification that in general my “beyond organics” approach and my fertilizing recommendations (all of which I teach) are on the right track.

Here is the report from International Ag Labs with results on nutrient density levels for my 2012 Butternut Squash.  The results below show the comparison of my squash with the USDA standard reference.

      USDA Reference          C.Bey Butternut Squash       Deviation from  USDA                    
           Nutrients per 100 grams   Nutrients per 100 grams      Reference (percent)
Protein                  1 g                            2.7                                        +170 
Calcium              48 mg 114.7 mg                                 +139
Phosphorus         33 mg 104.4 mg                                 +216

Potassium          352 mg                      565.9 mg +  61
Magnesium         34 mg                        49.8 mg                                +  46
Copper               .07 mg                          .25 mg                                  +257

Iron                   .70 mg                          .74 mg  +   6
Zinc                  .15 mg                         1.06 mg                                  +607
Manganese         .20 mg                           .11mg -   45

International Ag Labs is very involved in promoting nutrient dense vegetable production, and this entry was part of a 2012 International Ag Lab competition for growing nutrient dense butternut squash.  

 I am pleased to say that my squash was the First Place Winner.   Although my squash contained minerals that were several times higher than the USDA composite sample, I think there is potential for still higher mineral content.  Many factors contribute to growing nutrient dense produce.    
It is interesting to note that my soil test from International Ag Lab for this year shows manganese to be very low, the only mineral that was low in my butternut squash.  
Go to the International Ag Lab  website for a detailed report on all the entries in the contest.  Here is a brief overview of results.

 Rank ND Score           Name
1      132.8      Calvin F. Bey  Fayetteville, AR   --  Roughly 37% ABOVE the ND standard
2           105.6
3           101.9
4       96.6          Nutrient Dense Standard
5             95.9
6             94.6
7             93.6
8             93.7
9             92.4
10           89.9
11           86.7
12           83.9
13           83.0
14           82.6
15           77.3
16           75.5
17           69.9
18           68.1
19           66.9  
20           65.4
21           63.4
22     61.7       USDA composite sample --Roughly  37% BELOW the ND standard
23           57.6
24           57.2
25           55.9
26           54.5
27           53.1
28           52.9
29           48.5

A Green Bean Example:  Here is an example comparing a local market bean with a backyard garden bean.  The Brix level of neither is especially high.   Brix level readings for beans can range from 4 to 10.   This was reported in the June 2007, Acres U.S.A. magazine by Jon Frank.  

Element           Rating or Content          
Measured     Sample #1      Sample #2
Brix Level 4.2 6.1

Dry Matter 8.1% 16.6%
Protein 1.75 g 3.34 g
Calcium                  70 mg 130 mg

Magnesium 30 mg 50 mg
Phosphorus 40 mg 80 mg
Potassium 190 mg        580 mg

Copper 0.1 mg 0.4 mg
Iron                     1.3 mg 2.1 mg
Zinc                     0.7 mg 2.3 mg
Manganese 0.29 mg       0.35 mg 

What is striking here is that just by going from Brix readings of 4.2 to 6.1 made a big difference in nutrition levels.   In most cases, the nutrient levels more than doubled.  Moving up to a Brix level of 10 would certainly make additional nutritional gains.  

What Is Associated With A High-Brix Reading?  When you grow nutrient dense produce you can expect other things to also change.  Here are some of the major factors associated with high Brix readings.

*  Greater carbohydrates for better metabolic function.

*  Greater mineral density, e.g. increased calcium and more trace minerals such as copper, iron and manganese.  Trace minerals function as the co-enzymes in the digestive process.  

Better taste.  Taste is built on the carbohydrate and mineral levels in the produce.

Increased shelf life.  Dr. Reams, the pioneer on studying nutrient dense produce, took the same watermelon to the State Fair, three years in a row. 

* Increased insect and disease resistance.  Plants in poor health emit an electro-magnetic frequency that draws in insects.  This is not true of healthy plants.  Nature designed insects to get rid of poor quality plants that are susceptible to disease.  Professor of Agronomy, an eminent soil scientist, William Albrecht put it this way,  “Insects and disease are the symptoms of a failing crop, not the cause of it.  It’s not the over-powering invader we must fear but the weakened condition of the victim.”
  • Animals prefer nutrient dense crops.  Animals have a higher sense of instinct than do humans.  In controlled studies, they go after the more nutritious, non-GMO, pesticide-free produce.  

In my organic (natural) gardening class we will discuss 10 concepts and practices (guidelines) that lead to high Brix produce.  Follow the guidelines and your garden will evolve to a higher state, growing vegetables that remind you of those with flavors that your grandmother grew.   

Garden 2007

Garden 2007
Heirloom "Country Gentleman" Corn