Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Is the Mittleider method organic yes or no?

Question: "Is this method OMRI approved. I was told at Steve Regan it
was not organic. Please enlighten me." Patricia

I've written quite a few articles - in the archives of the Group and
in the FAQ section of the www.growfood. com website - on this subject,
and you can find out more by reading some of them. I'll try to give
you a brief answer here:

All of the natural mineral nutrients used in the Mittleider fertilizer
formulas are approved by the USDA for use in organic gardening. And
in my personal garden, which is seen by about 800,000 people each
year, we use no pesticides, fungicides, or herbicides.

We are more concerned with producing healthy crops by feeding them
exactly what they need, and in using the best cultural practices to
avoid diseases, bugs, and weeds than in using only manure, compost,
bone meal, etc.

For the past 45 years Dr. Mittleider (37 years) and I (8+ years) have
spent much of our time conducting Family Food Production training
projects in 31 countries. In those countries as well as others around
the world people do the very best they can using only organic methods
- and many of them are starving. And it's not uncommon for families
in developing countries to spend 70 to 80% of their time providing for
their food.

Meanwhile their gardens are often filled with weeds, bugs, and
diseases - often spread by the very organic materials they use to
fertilize their gardens. Even in America a great many gardeners are
arguably hurt more by the weeds, bugs, and diseases their unsterilized
organic materials bring into their gardens than they are helped by
their fertilizer content.

And many others here and abroad end up burning their sprouting seeds
and tiny seedlings by applying too much fertilizer salts to their
gardens at the beginning, and then having their plants stop producing
in mid-season because they are starving for mineral nutrients.

We teach them a better, safer, cleaner, and more productive way of
growing food, part of which includes applying only very small amounts
of balanced mineral nutrients several times to assure even healthy
growth throughout the plants' growth and production cycle.

We believe some of the most zealous organic gardeners are actually
replicating the same primitive 18th and 19th century methods we
encounter in the developing countries, while we are trying hard to
help people everywhere learn some of the scientific principles and
procedures that have allowed one American farmer to feed more than 100
of us, in a better and healthier way.

That may be why some people say the Mittleider Method is "the best of
organic." I just say that you - and everyone - can have "a great
garden in any soil, in virtually any climate", and I travel the world
to demonstrate that reality to all who are interested in and willing
to improve their food production methods and results.

Jim Kennard

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