Monday, February 27, 2006

A message from Jim

Dear Friends:
Are you one of the vital few or the trivial many? (Pareto’s law) I submit that your
knowledge of the Mittleider Method of gardening labels you as belonging to the vital few, and that with that
knowledge comes both opportunity and responsibility.
The book The Tipping Point, by Malcolm Gladwell, describes how the few can make a tremendous
positive difference for everyone else, which he compares to an epidemic, or that point before which not
much seems to be happening, and after which effects begin to explode.
Mr. Gladwell uses the law of the few, the stickiness factor, and the power of context to show how this is
We Need to Start An Epidemic - And You Can Help!
Family gardening should be almost as common and important as the family car, because your garden
can feed you even when your car won’t run because there’s no gasoline, or when there’s no food to buy in
the stores, or when there’s no money to buy food for whatever reason. This is the context, or the
overriding reason why the message you carry is so vital for everyone.
And gardening should be sustainable, using true principles and the best methods and techniques, so it will
yield the “most bang for the buck,” making it worthwhile and enjoyable for the long term. The Mittleider
Method will feed your family! It gives you ”the garden you’d want if your life depended on it.”
However, today effective family vegetable gardening is done by only about 1% of the people who
may soon desperately need it.
The best growing principles, methods and procedures are the closely guarded secrets of the large field and
hydroponic growers, while the large majority of gardening families are back in the 19th century, using only
manure and compost – and frightened that any use of “chemicals” will threaten their health, or even their
The one big exception to that bad scenario about family gardening is the Mittleider Method, and you
have found it. It is the method of growing vegetables that’s sometimes called “the poor man’s hydroponic
method” of growing.
It’s called that because it teaches the best principles, methods, and techniques - borrowed from the
large commercial and hydroponic growers - but adapted to the small family garden, and without the
problems so often associated with commercial growers, such as over-use of fertilizers, pesticides and
herbicides, high cost, and lack of freshness and flavor.
The Mittleider Method provides a recipe for gardening success that promises a great garden in any soil, and
in almost any climate. The principles are true and work everywhere, having been tested and demonstrated
virtually worldwide, and the procedures are simple and straightforward.
Now here’s our opportunity – and my challenge to you!
Great changes have always been initiated by just a few people who knew what they wanted, were
focused, and were willing to share their knowledge with everyone they could influence.
I challenge each of you to be the few who help people around you improve their lives while preparing for
the uncertainties of the future, by promoting, teaching, and demonstrating true gardening principles as taught
in the Mittleider Method of gardening, and getting others to do the same. We must not wait to act until the
99% are beating down our doors for food!

This is how viral marketing works. Word of mouth follows a geometric progression similar to epidemics.
Ideas, messages and behaviors spread just like viruses do. They share an underlying basic pattern; they are
contagious, little causes can have big effects, and change does not happen gradually but seemingly in one
dramatic moment.

I also need your help and feedback to package the Mittleider gardening message in such a way as to
make it irresistible. All we have to do is find the stickiness factor – or the thing that helps people
remember it as valuable to them. This is very important, especially when we suffer from so much information
overload these days. Capturing someone’s attention and getting the information to stick is paramount, so
share your ideas as to how we can make the message more compelling – please!

What can you do? Small, close-knit groups (150 or less) have the power to magnify the epidemic
potential of a message or idea. So, choose the 150 individuals or families with whom you can have a
genuinely social relationship, and help them understand and appreciate the value and importance of family
gardening. Your email list, a church congregation, gardening group, voting district, family, or neighborhood
association may give you a good place to start.

Loan them a book or CD. Tell them of your own success. Offer to teach a seminar. Point out the benefits
of learning and doing it now, before their need is urgent and it’s too late to learn or prepare.

If you do nothing more than get them to buy a can of vegetable seeds and a couple bags of fertilizer,
you’ve done tremendous good. A triple-sealed #10 can of 16 heirloom vegetable varieties that can be
stored for many years can be purchased at the Foundation website or at Seeds &
fertilizer are a must for any long-term food storage program!

The Foundation will help you by making materials available for you to use in spreading the word, at our
cost. For example, here’s something new you haven’t seen, but you should!. And I’ll bet you have friends
who’d be interested in a short video about Madagascar – that strange and fascinating island off the east
coast of Africa. Watch it yourself and see if it isn’t compelling!

The ½-hour video of a training project I conducted there will show the amazing difference between
Mittleider gardens and those being produced by other methods. And the country and people are so
interesting! It took many thousands of dollars to produce the video, but replication costs are low, so I can
make it available for only $6 in quantities of two or more ($10 for one).

Any of the books and CD’s will also be made available for direct order (after your personal copy) at a 40%
discount, to help you get them out to others.

Do any of you have other ideas as to how we can help? We are happy to entertain your thoughts and ideas.

Do something now! Make your voice heard, and your influence felt. You can make a difference for good in
the world around you. And remember “out of small things proceedeth that which is great.”

Thanks for your interest in gardening, your willingness to do it right, and your courage to share.

Jim Kennard, President
Food For Everyone Foundation
“Teaching the world to grow food one family at a time.” Jim AT Growfood Dot com


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