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Organiphobia Newsletter

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Organiphobes are those who oppose organic products, techniques and programs. 


Bayou Bend - a Great Example of Organic Success
Houston, Texas

I guess it shouldn’t surprise me that I still run into people regularly that don’t really understand what an organic program is. Some people who claim to be organic don’t even understand it fully. The definition is quite simple. Organic gardening is the practice of improving the life in the soil and doing nothing to hurt it. It’s a good time to update a column I wrote years ago about why it is so hard to get everyone to jump on board the better program.

Why are the majority of homeowner’s, farmers, ranchers, golf course superintendents and landscape professionals still using the toxic chemistry approach even though the organic approach has been proven so successful on residential and commercial properties of all sizes? The reason is that these people are organiphobes. Some are literally even afraid of the term “organics.” Organiphobes have a fear of organics for five basic reasons:

1. Understanding organic techniques. Organiphobes know how to recommend and use the toxic chemical products, but they don’t yet understand the organic products and techniques. These concepts and details are not usually covered in university research nor are they featured in the traditional industry publications. In addition, no comprehensive organic program is being taught at any major university. Most people have a strong tendency to stay with procedures and products that they have dealt with in the past and understand how to use.

2. Profit from chemical sales. Many people make money from the sale of toxic chemicals. Those whose income is received directly or indirectly from the sale of toxic pesticides and artificial fertilizers are usually organiphobes. At stake here are advertising money, commissions, research grant money, bonuses, kick backs, gifts, basic salaries and cash flow. It’s an understandable situation.

3. Paradigm problems. Paradigms are the boxes we allow ourselves to be put in and held in. People with paradigm problems are usually not stupid. Organiphobes not only can’t understand what we're talking about, but they also can’t even see the other options at all. For these people, organic techniques don’t exist or they aren’t just worth considering as proper horticulture and agriculture. Such people can’t see how significantly the world is changing, nor can they see that working with nature is much easier and more cost effective than trying to dominate it with the toxic chemistry products that don’t work well overall.

4. Fear of standing alone. Most people feel intimidated about going against the grain and being mavericks or pioneers. It is much more comfortable for them to continue doing what others are doing – even if it is wrong. When adopting the organic approach, each person needs to accept more personal responsibility. Since the majority of people in landscaping, horticulture and agriculture have no formal training or research in organics, they are uncomfortable with that much responsibility. If something goes wrong with the toxic chemistry approach, which it usually does, the organiphobes can simply say that they are using "state-of-the-art" technology and the failure is not their fault.

5. Inability to admit being wrong. This may be the most powerful obstacle. It’s difficult for most folks to admit to a mistake. The bigger the mistake, the harder the admission. The loudest critics of organics are those who are the most schooled in using the “treat-the-symptom-with-artificial-products” approach. Some PhDs understand nature’s workings, but many focus only on their specialty and don’t consider nature as a whole. They can’t see the entire picture.

Today many thousands of large-scale commercial projects, small commercial projects and residential gardens are organic and thriving. Yet organiphobia persists. Unfortunately, the organiphobes still have majority control. On the positive side, toxic-chemical rescue systems are on the decline, and organic methods are gathering momentum. The reason is simple: The Natural Way works best. Read More – Basic Organic Program.

If you need help with organiphobia please read our new book – Organic Management for the Professional.

If you have any questions on this newsletter or any other topic, tune in Sunday 8am -11am (CT) to the Dirt Doctor Radio Show. The phone number for the show is 1-866-444-3478. 

Please share this newsletter with everyone in your address book and all of your friends on Facebook and Twitter to help me spread the word on organics.

Naturally yours,

Howard Garrett

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