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Author:  user_48634 [ Thu Apr 12, 2007 7:46 pm ]
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I've had several homes on chemical programs before I heard Bob Webster on the radio in San Antonio. One day he suggested using ordinary corn meal to get rid of powdery mildew on my roses. I applied the stuff and it not only got rid of the mildew, but it got rid of the aphids. I've been 100% organic ever since. That was about 2002.

Author:  Tricky Grama [ Fri Apr 13, 2007 7:24 am ]
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Always interested in growing things. My mother & I lived w/her parents who had nearly 1 ac of garden in the back yard. So I learned 'organic' b/4 it was 'in'. Picked off the potato beetles watched butterflies & that sort of thing.

Fast forward to adulthood: somehow developed a brown thumb. Grew tons of tomatoes at one home I lived in but have not had much success for decades since.

Saw HG's column in the paper & it was a forehead-slapping moment. Started to TRY to put some things into practice. Then purchased 20 ac to 'practice' on. Then came the canker worms!! Emergency call to Howard's show! Got the trichogramma wasps & they worked!

Hence, I AM the Tricky Grama.

Author:  merri [ Wed Apr 18, 2007 12:05 pm ]
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I am new here, and new to organic gardening, too.
My husband and i recently purchased 5 acres of his cousin's land south of Ft. Worth, adjecent to our two acres in the flood plain forest. didn't really used to be a flood issue, but with all of the development, our place was under water every year! long story short - we bought the land and actually moved our house up the hill (not as easy as it sounds).

My background is in sustainable development and plant population ecology. I attended graduate studies at Appalachian State U where we worked with local farmers: trying to help phase them out of tobacco and monocultures into more community supported agriculture systems. THe culture and way of life up there is threatened by tougher tobacco legislation as well as rampant resort development. I guess in some ways, you can say that I have always been one of those annoying academics that understands the need for diversity, healthy soil systems, organic farming, etc - but never got her hands dirty! My ex was always being transferred, and I never even had time to put flower beds in...(moved lots of potted plants around!!)

SOOOO, here I am transpalnted in texas via my ex husband. I meet the lvoe of my life and we launch an art venture: my avocation since birth. THus far we are survivng artists (not starving, that is). We lived in apartment for years, then moved to our little house where the creek was perpetually in the living room, now we have room to stretch out and - literally - put down some roots. I couldn't get gardening fast enough!!!!

We want to use the place as a retail sculpture garden for our creations. I insisted that we do everything organic, which is proving to be quite the challenge!!!! Part of the process is putting in raised veggie beds: our land is rock hard and no worms, organic matter or anything...

guess that is enough rampling about me...
glad to meet you and hope we can learn together about growing fantastic plants without the poison!
cheers, merri

Author:  Nadine [ Wed Apr 18, 2007 1:24 pm ]
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I got into organics by listening to Howard Garrett. 8) One day, while listening to the radio, I heard about a show hosted by someone whose name I recognized from a book I enjoy: "Plants of the Metroplex". (I admit that I had just looked at the plant selections and did not pay much attention to the rest of the book). One Sunday, I tuned in and listened. Wow, I had no idea the products I had been using were not only counter-productive, but also harmful to my health. What I learned about orange oil and food products was intriguing and so I tried it. I found that not only did these things work, but they worked better and were much more pleasant to use.

It was quite a paradigm shift. It changed my life forever.

The "natural way" began in the yard (gardening) but it has since moved into the house (cleaning products) and into my body (organic foods and nutrition awareness). I guess you could say it consumed me!

Author:  merri [ Wed Apr 18, 2007 4:17 pm ]
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those photos are outstanding!
i love their place...but am jealous of those tomatoes :twisted: mine look all shrively, yellowy and burned. le sigh
thanks for the link!

Author:  merri [ Wed Apr 18, 2007 9:56 pm ]
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I wonder if they use one of those wall 0 water things...I have heard you can really start early because they warm the soil. It has been so cold here in ft. worth this spring - and I wonder if it might explain my shrively, yellowy, burned problem (vs. nutrients).

ta ta,

Author:  grdngrl [ Sun Apr 29, 2007 9:01 pm ]
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We bought our house 10 years ago in the fall and I promptly built several large raised vegtable beds Square Foot Gardening style using treated wood. Then I got pregnant, and the following spring was 6 months along and planted way too much, and had a baby in June. I had pictured my maternity leave to be this pastoral vision of harvesting the bounty from my lush garden and welcoming my child to this wonderful life! Holy Cow! That was the first time I became aware of El Nino summers--we had something like 30-40 days over 100 degrees. Total Garden Failure! And how can one little bity baby take every moment of two full grown adults to care for!! Plus I started listening to Howard, started worring about that treated lumber, and started wondering why I was trying to grow conventional greenbeans when I could by them at the store for $1.29? Ripped up the treated lumber, framed my beds with some free, very short, untreated 4x4s that the lumber wholeseller gave me, and continued to madly build more each spring for several more years in March and April than I could ever take care of in July and August! The last 3 years I have concentrated on taking out beds that weren't working for me, mulching the daylights out of them to keep the weeds from taking over and am returning some areas to wildflowers and low care natives this year. I'm back to my original 4 large beds for veggies that I can actually take good care of, and I'm learning about buttrfly and native plants. My son is 9 now, and he likes to 'help' mostly by turning the waterhose on full blast and trying to hit the birds in the trees! His school received a large grant to build a butterfly habitat and kitchen garden, and we've been heavily involved with that. The gardening life is great! If only I didn't have to work I could REALLY get to it!

Author:  Nadine [ Mon Apr 30, 2007 9:31 pm ]
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Thank you, grdngrl, for getting this topic back on track.

It is easy to deviate and go off in another direction. I am guilty of it myself! :oops:

How about other crewmembers conversions? Were you fortunate enough to be born into the natural way of organic living?

It is interesting that some people start in the health aspect, some in gardening, etc. Then it often seems to change the entire lifestyle! Was your start in organic home care, organic gardening methods, green home building/improvement, etc...? Awesome! 8)

How did YOU come to know the organic ways of living?

Author:  Tree Dude [ Thu May 10, 2007 1:03 pm ]
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By listening to The Natural Way.

Actually, I did had an organic mind before I knew anything about organics. Examples : I did not like too much mulch on top of "roots"(root flares, but I thought they were roots), did not like over pruning and thinning trees especially live oaks( my favorite trees! in Houston/Galveston area we had some big ones), did not like topping trees including crape myrtles. I remember in 4th grade, our science class discussed about dangers of pesticides and herbicides. I did not like them because they stink,stank,and stunk. I did not like or believe in staking trees or wrapping them.
When I heard DD on radio, it changed my thinking and interests in soil health. Because if soil is healthy the trees will be, and will be for along time

Tree Dude

Author:  Nadine [ Sat May 12, 2007 10:13 am ]
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Tree Dude is right. Feed the soil and the rest falls into place!

Author:  goo0h [ Thu May 17, 2007 7:37 am ]
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Dchall_San_Antonio wrote:
I've had several homes on chemical programs before I heard Bob Webster on the radio in San Antonio. One day he suggested using ordinary corn meal to get rid of powdery mildew on my roses. I applied the stuff and it not only got rid of the mildew, but it got rid of the aphids. I've been 100% organic ever since. That was about 2002.

And I saw David's post about this discovery and thought I'd try it. Previously I was using all sorts of "recommended" chemicals to keep an antique rose bush alive on some property I bought. The poor rose bush only got worse. So figuring I had nothing to lose, I pruned the rose bush down pretty seriously and put down a bunch of corn meal. Low and behold it did fabulously. That's when I began to wonder if there was another, simpler, more natural way to do things. I still have lots to learn, though.

Author:  Eden's Garden [ Sun May 20, 2007 9:24 am ]
Post subject:  Before it was cool

I guess I have pretty much been so frugal, I was organic by benign neglect. LOL I do remember falling prey to the marketing campaign of MG and Sevin Dust one summer when I lived in IL. But at that time there was really only one gardening mag - OG - and so I subscribed to it and learned other methods - that were free usually. Growing up in the 70's up north, they beat recycling, water conservation and pollution movement, into our heads and it stuck. I don't know why or where things seemed to change and people got more worried about things looking perfect, but I'm sooo glad society seems to be coming back around to embracing being better stewards of the earth. And when we do that - we are all better off.

I used to "race" my neighbor growing tomatoes when I was in IL. He'd go to the hardware store and buy plants and I'd put my seeds into my rich prepared beds. I always had tomatoes before he did! And that was without MG. My ex insisted on the 4-step lawn program that Scotts used to put out on our 2nd home, but he seemed to lose interest ( in a lot of things LOL ) so that went by the wayside - thank goodness. I learned to live with insects - heck they don't eat that much - and learned why plants were getting them was usually because I wasn't taking care of them right. I had the wonderful opportunity to work in our city's conservatory part time and saw all the tropicals and propagating, etc. After taking some classes down here and continuing my education in hort., I discovered Howard's program and it simply seemed to confirm what I had been doing all along. It was nice to know I wasn't the only one!

Now, over 20 years later, I'm so into organics that I drive most of my family and friends nuts with it. But, I tell them, I'd like to be one of those people who die of natural causes, not some horrible disease caused by eating of today's over processed and under nutritious foods. I live on a small farm in the southeast corner of Dallas county. I collect eggs from my range free chickens - and let me tell you, they are truly range FREE - and we don't use anything but natural solutions for flies around our stables. The pond is all natural and when you can get to them, so are the blackberries, grapes and asparagus that got naturalized out here in the sandy soil of the pasture. I love the natural way - it is so much less stressful than trying to keep everything looking formal anyway! Who has time???

I try to teach my customers (my organic garden center is out here on the farm, too) and whoever will listen how to work with nature and garden what I call, God's way! I love to learn from ya'll and I think that we are all doing what gardening is all about, sharing successes and failures to help each other. We need to all get together and have a huge plant/seed swap - maybe even out at my farm! Wouldn't it be neat to meet each other? Nadine - what about it? :idea:


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