Organic Gardening

organic gardeningOrganic gardening can be described as the original way to farm. Not so long ago – before the end of WWII, when corporations began introducing chemicals to promote increased crop production – humans everywhere had no other option except to grow their fruits, vegetables, and grains. We grew our food without fertilizers, pest controls, and with very little interference from man. We certainly never “genetically modified” our crops, and we always knew where our food came from – and that it was safe and sustainable.

The primary component of organic gardening is knowing where all of your garden’s ingredients come from. You wouldn’t want to build an ideal soil and then introduce a genetically-modified seed by accident – or conversely, you wouldn’t want to waste money on organic, non-GMO seeds, just to plant them in a generic soil, which could be tainted with disease or mystery seed remnants.

Secondly, organic gardens should have a variety of crops which are known to thrive in your specific climate. Organic gardens never contain all of one type of crop, as this is harmful to the soil over time. In addition, organic gardeners’ known best practices include “cover cropping” in the offseasons. After harvesting your main or cash crops for the growing season, we recommend planting a non-cash crop such as cereal, barley or clover. This will help regenerate the soil in the offseason, as well as provide cover from the elements.

In the interest of returning fully to the principles of sustainable organic gardening, we follow no-till practices on our farm, as this method has been shown to protect the internal structure of the soil, allowing it to thrive and even improve season after season. Soil erosion and nutrient deficiency is one of the primary disadvantages of modern farming methods. No-till means that once our soil is “built” or created, the layers are never disturbed again. This more closely resembles the way in which soil develops in nature (undisturbed) and allows for maximum root growth throughout.

Occasionally a gardener will run into a patch of hard soil. There are a few options to break up this soil safely. We recommend planting a crop with hearty roots that will “dig” through the soil as the plant takes hold. Another option is to introduce earthworms – a gardener’s best friend and natural digger! Finally, a layer of quality top dressing and mulch will add moisture to improve any soil, and especially help to soften up an especially rough patch.

Many people consider beginning an organic garden in their own backyard but feel intimidated by the challenge. This needn’t be so! Much like anything in life, this challenge is best taken one small step at a time – and it is incredibly worth the investment!

Critical to this process is the planning of your garden space. We promote the practice of permaculture, which means planting your crops mindfully, with the intention of continuous development of the space so that it will eventually meet the needs of all of its inhabitants. Crops are generally planted in layers, similarly to how they’d be found in nature, and are allowed to go to seed after flowering. Ideally, in a permaculture environment, the different crops create symbiosis, balancing one another’s pH, nutrient needs, and preventing weeds, pests, and other unwanted maladies.

If you are wanting to start small, we recommend container gardens, which can be made to literally any size. In addition, since these gardens are created inside a container, they can exist above ground level – making this an excellent option to avoid compaction caused by stepping on your garden beds, for those with problems bending, or for indoor gardening situations. The height and size of the garden’s container is entirely up to you! Once you have built your container, fill it with your favorite soil mix, and start planting! Water (with plain water or a tea) at the roots only when the soil is dry. You can check this by putting your index finger a couple of inches into the soil – if it still feels moist down by the roots, wait to water. If it is dry, it’s time to water again.

For many people just like you, organic gardening has become a fun and relaxing hobby to share with their loved ones – knowing that it helps reduce stress while allowing families to consume healthier, quality food, all while making a positive impact on the Earth.

Organic Gardening Guides


Growing Basil

Growing Basil
If you choose to grow just one herb at home this year, basil should be a top contender. Because this fragrant garden favorite is so easy to grow in the...

Read More

Growing Berries

Growing Berries
Everyone loves growing an edible landscape. One of the backbones of an organic garden is small fruits, such as strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, and blackberries. These fruits have been family favorites for...

Read More

Growing Carrots

Growing Carrots
If you've never bit into a fresh picked, garden-grown carrot, then you have no idea what you are missing. Grocery store carrots are grown with only the goal of easy...

Read More

Growing Cauliflower

Growing Cauliflower
Growing cauliflower is a rewarding adventure in vegetable gardening. Cauliflower is a “biennial” crop - meaning that it is a flowering plant which takes two years to complete its life...

Read More

Growing Celery

Growing Celery
Celery, known to the scientific world as “Apium Graveolens ” from the Apiaceae - family is related to carrots, fennel, parsley, parsnips, and hemlock. It originated in the Mediterranean and...

Read More

Growing Chives

Growing Chives
Though chives may be small, their benefits are plentiful! Both low in calories and high in flavor, these hollow, tubular leaves may appear similar to green onions. However, they are...

Read More

Growing Cilantro

Growing Cilantro
Cilantro is a staple cooking herb throughout Asia and Latin America. And, the distinctive taste will either cause you to fall in love or make you want to spit it...

Read More

Growing Comfrey

Growing Comfrey
Many years ago, comfrey was grown as a popular medicinal herb. Reaching nearly five feet tall, with large, prickly leaves beneath hanging clusters of colorful, bell-shaped flowers, the true benefits...

Read More

Growing Cucumbers

Growing Cucumbers
Cucumbers are a summer garden staple, as delicious to eat as they are simple to grow. Once you taste a vine-ripened cucumber from your own backyard, it's hard to understand...

Read More

Growing Eggplants

Growing Eggplants
If your summer nights are spent outdoors grilling, then growing eggplants should be a necessity for your backyard garden. Popular in Central Asia and the Mediterranean, eggplants are a beautiful...

Read More

Growing Garlic

Growing Garlic
Garlic might be one of those culinary staples that you take for granted every day. However, the pungent taste of garden-grown garlic might be all it takes for you to consider...

Read More

Growing Green Onions, Leeks, and Shallots

Growing Green Onions, Leeks, and Shallots
Welcome to the rest of the allium family! Green onions, leeks, and shallots are all popular garden additions and kitchen staples. Depending on your familiarity with these veggies, you may be...

Read More

Growing Hot Peppers

Growing Hot Peppers
Peppers have long been a garden staple, and with the right treatment, growing hot peppers is easy and almost effortless. If you can't get enough spice in your food, growing your...

Read More

Growing Kale

Growing Kale
Is there any vegetable that offers a better return on investment than kale? Not only is this stately green extremely nutritious and easy to use in a wide variety of...

Read More

Growing Lavender

Growing Lavender
There's a lot to like about lavender. Known for its rich, luxurious scent, the lavender plant is a stunning perennial evergreen, which originated in southern Europe and the Mediterranean. Long...

Read More

Growing Lemon Grass

Growing Lemon Grass
Do you love the taste of the tropics but live too far from the equator to take advantage of it in your garden? There's no reason to despair if your...

Read More

Growing Lettuce

Growing Lettuce
Why do so many of us put up with bland, flavorless lettuce from the grocery store? Not only does supermarket lettuce have to travel thousands of miles to make it...

Read More

Growing Mint

Growing Mint
Mojitos at a moment's notice? Yes, please! It turns out that mint is one of the easiest herbs to grow at home. In fact, your biggest problem when growing mint might...

Read More

Growing Okras

Growing Okras
Southern gardeners have known a secret for years that their northern counterparts are only just beginning to pick up on; okra is an incredibly delicious, versatile vegetable. And, growing okras...

Read More

Growing Onions

Growing Onions
It's a waste of tears crying over the tasteless onion varieties in your local grocery store when growing onions of your own is so simple. Originally hailing from Pakistan, homegrown...

Read More

Growing Oregano

Growing Oregano
Every Italian food lover knows the benefit that a well-grown sprig of oregano can add to their cooking. The zesty taste of oregano makes it a perfect addition to any...

Read More

Growing Parsley

Growing Parsley
If you think parsley's only good for being a garnish on the salad bar, you are missing out on the incredible flavor that this herb has to offer. Parsley originated...

Read More

Growing Peppers

Growing Peppers
Move aside tomatoes! Growing peppers is quickly becoming a favorite for Americans to grow from home, and it's easy to see why. The gorgeous colors and robust flavors of pepper plants mean...

Read More

Growing Potatoes

Growing Potatoes
Today most people across the world are quite familiar with the potato. It is the world’s fourth-largest food crop, after rice, wheat, and maize. Originally cultivated by the Inca Indians in...

Read More

Growing Pumpkins

Growing Pumpkins
Just the thought of chilly weather might leave you salivating for the sweet taste of pumpkin pie. However, there are so many other uses for this hardy squash than a Thanksgiving...

Read More

Growing Rosemary

Growing Rosemary
As a staple herb throughout Mediterranean cooking, rosemary has earned itself a reputation for its potent evergreen taste. Plus, it is easy to use in a number of different dishes. This...

Read More

Growing Sage

Growing Sage
Growing sage is fairly simple for just about anyone. And, as a longtime favorite for seasoning all types of food, sage is a highly aromatic herb that you can put...

Read More

Growing Spinach

Growing Spinach
When you've got the winter blues and are eager to get something green started in your garden, growing spinach might be the season extender you've been looking for. As one...

Read More

Growing Squash

Growing Squash
Squash is not just delicious, but is a healthy and versatile addition to your backyard garden, as well. Squash is high in vitamins A and C, and an excellent source...

Read More

Growing Sweet Potatoes

Growing Sweet Potatoes
Sweet potatoes are known for their rich, golden flesh and are enjoyed by families around the world in a variety of dishes. Surprisingly easy to grow and occasionally mistakenly referred...

Read More

Growing Tarragon

Growing Tarragon
Don't let its reputation for being tricky to master scare you off; growing tarragon is actually easy once you know a few secrets about it. Unlike other herbs that can...

Read More

Growing Thyme

Growing Thyme
For those that can't get enough of Mediterranean cuisine, growing thyme should definitely be on your 'must-grow' list this season. Native to the warm climates of the Grecian coast, thyme...

Read More

Growing Tomatoes

Growing Tomatoes
Tomatoes have a minor reputation for stubbornness but have no fear! You’ve come to the right place to learn how to start growing tomatoes in your own backyard! We have...

Read More