True Living Organics

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Organic gardening is enjoying a return in popularity; the basic concept is to use natural organic processes nurtured to a ‘best-case’ scenario.
Organic gardening is enjoying a return in popularity; the basic concept is to use natural organic processes nurtured to a ‘best-case’ scenario. Like feeding alfalfa to cattle in a barn, cattle would eat it in the wild as well, but the amount available can be higher and the barn provides more ideal and controlled conditions.
The Rev’s writing has a healthy dose of organic zealot to it, but faulting him for that would be tantamount to faulting me for having fingerprints on my glass. His collection of organic best practices is collectively known as True Living Organics, and this book spells them out in easy-to-read language, with colorful photos. All the major topics required for success are covered.

We share a preference for MH HIDs (metal halide, high intensity discharge), and his experience with a 205-watt LED being an acceptable replacement in performance to a 400-watt HID is in line with my own experience – although there was no comment on the issue of price difference.

The Rev walks the reader through garden setup, and discusses soil and soil amendments in detail. One of the fundamental principles of soil web gardening that the author advocates is to take care of the soil, and let the soil take care of the plant. To ensure proper soil activation, The Rev describes a process of setting newly-mixed soil into a cold (or warm) compost pile, and allowing the organic biological processes a chance to get started, before using the soil as a growth media for plants.

My favorite parts of the book are the sections on base mixes and dry amendments – well worth reading several times, and sure to be some of the most frequently consulted parts. Expect those pages to become the most thumb-worn. I tend to treat my soil for reuse by mixing it in with the rest of my garden waste for a trip through the compost pile. The Rev shows a simplified method that does not require any additional material.

Actively-aerated compost teas are a proven method of inoculating soils, and The Rev devotes an entire chapter to the manufacture and use of these teas. His recommended reading list has several of my own favorites listed.

Overall I thought it was a good book on organic gardening, one I am sure to refer to myself in times of need. It is obvious from the writing that The Rev is passionate about organic gardening, and is excited to share with his readers all that he has learned over the years. Although a bit heavy-handed on the organic crusader side of issues, True Living Organics presents a solid addition to any soil gardener’s library.

Peace, love and puka shells,

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