Saturday, September 20, 2014

Tilling a garden

How Tilling A Garden Causes More Problems Than Benefits


* Today's submitted article was written by: Phil Nauta is a SOUL Certified Organic Land Care Professional and holds a Certificate In Organic Landscape Management from Gaia College. 


Garden tilling, also called cultivating, is often done with a gas-powered rototiller that goes down perhaps 6 or so inches, but soil can be "tilled" with a tool such as a pitch fork, too.

As you know, tilling a garden is when you turn the soil over so that some of the lower soil comes up and some of the upper soil goes down. It's kind of like a food processor for your soil, just not as fast.

You may think it is more necessary in organic gardening because we don't use pesticides like the no-till farmers, but that isn't the case.

Reasons For Garden Tilling

The main reasons organic gardeners may till the soil are to:

* Reduce weeds
* Relieve compaction
* Make the soil look fluffy and nice
* Allow more air and water into the soil
* Loosen and warm up the soil in spring for planting/seeding
* Cause organic matter to break down faster and give more nutrients

Does Tilling A Garden Accomplish The Above Goals?

In the short term the above organic gardening goals are often satisfied, but right from the start, garden tilling can cause more problems than benefits. If there are plants in or near the garden, their vital surface roots are damaged, giving easy access for root-feeding organisms and decreasing water and nutrient uptake.

But the main disadvantage is the effect on beneficial microorganisms and earthworms, both of which are absolutely essential to the health of your soil.

Garden Tilling Problems

Upon tilling a garden, the microbes that need oxygen are buried, killing many of them. The microbes that can't live with too much oxygen are brought to the surface, killing many of them.

Garden tilling causes the miles and miles of beneficial fungi to be sliced into pieces. Those fungi provided important nutrients to the plants, so that is no longer happening. Earthworms are also killed and their tunnels destroyed.

All of these critters had taken a long time to find the perfect spot for them in the soil. They worked day and night to build themselves little homes and cities. It takes years for this to happen and garden tilling destroys that all very quickly.

Does Garden Tilling Help In The Long Term?

Tilling your organic garden when it is wet causes long term structural damage to the soil, but even when the soil is dry, there are several serious long term consequences.

While annual weeds will have been killed, many perennial weeds have been cut into pieces that all come back as new weeds. While your vegetable seeds now have perfect conditions in which to germinate, so do all of the weed seeds that were lying dormant lower down in the soil.

While the initial influx of air and water broke down the organic matter more quickly, and released nutrients to allow microbes and plants to flourish for a short time, that organic matter is oxidized (basically burned) faster than it is replenished. Annual garden tilling causes a gradual decrease in organic matter in the soil.

This loss of organic matter decreases soil fertility, nutrient-holding capacity, water-holding capacity and hurts soil structure. If the soil is left bare, it can crust over so that water runs off and causes erosion instead of infiltrating.

The damage of larger plant roots can result in permanent and severe damage of the canopy (especially in trees).

So garden tilling is mostly inappropriate in organic home gardening, but there are 2 situations when I may consider doing it:


Friday, September 19, 2014

Becoming better

-- Quote of the Day -- 

"I smile when I look back at the troubles that have strengthened me. What seemed to be insurmountable struggles then, are now beautiful ornaments illuminating my soul."

~ Dodinsky

 Quotes like these remind me to reconsider my reactions to challenges in my every day life - seeing them as jewels or ornaments, as opportunities for growth, instead of the end of my world. 

I am this person today BECAUSE of the experiences of trauma and joy in my lives, not despite them. I am stronger, know more and (hopefully) am a better person. 

Find Dave and Lillian Brummet, excerpts from their books, their radio program, blog, and more at: * Support the Brummets by telling your friends, clicking those social networking buttons, or visiting the Brummet's Store - and help raise funds for charity as well! 

Thursday, September 18, 2014


-- Quote of the Day -- 

"Nature is sanative (conducive to spiritual healing), refining, elevating. How cunningly she hides every wrinkle of her inconceivable antiquity under roses, and violets, and morning dew! Every inch of the mountains is scarred by unimaginable convulsions, yet the new day is purple with the bloom of youth and love. "

~ Ralph Waldo Emerson - Progress of Culture

 Lustrous Moon

How many millions of
Pairs of eys
Glancing up
Become mesmerized
And could not tear
Their eys away 
From you?

For just that moment
While private thoughts
Flit in their minds
And like mine, 
Flashing imagery 
Of days long past
And out of view.

All in that moment
When millions of eyes 
Just happen to glance up
And in that one moment
Become mesperized by
Your glowing face that cries
"Tomorrow is brand new".

*excerpted from our Rhythm & Rhyme book:

Find this in print and e-book formats @:

Find Dave and Lillian Brummet, excerpts from their books, their radio program, blog, and more at: * Support the Brummets by telling your friends, clicking those social networking buttons, or visiting the Brummet's Store - and help raise funds for charity as well! 

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Ocean cleanup

*submitted article 
September 15, 2014, Amsterdam - The Ocean Cleanup, founded by Dutchman Boyan Slat (20), has successfully completed its crowd funding campaign. With the support of over 38,000 funders from 160 countries, in 100 days over $ 2 million (US) has been raised. 

This success brings The Ocean Cleanup another step closer in its quest of cleaning the oceans of plastics. The next step, which comprises the construction and testing of large-scale operational pilots, can now be initiated. 
The funding raised will be utilized to deploy a series of up-scaling tests, ultimately resulting in a fully operational offshore cleanup array in 3 years’ time; the final preparation before full-scale execution. The team projects the first pilot to be operational within a year. Within this year a sequence of expeditions is also being planned, which are focused on collecting further oceanographic data for engineers to work with. 
Boyan Slat, founder and CEO of The Ocean Cleanup Foundation: “Plastic pollution has been recognized by the UN as one of the major environmental challenges facing mankind in the 21st century. The crowd funding received so far enables us to start the Pilot Phase, in which we push the concept from feasible to executable. Hence, we are very grateful to all of whom have supported us worldwide, all crowd funding and professional in kind contributors, as well as the many volunteers and ambassadors who invested their enthusiasm, and gave us the confidence to keep going.” 
On 3 June 2014, Boyan Slat presented The Ocean Cleanup’s feasibility study - a 530-page report, authored by 70 scientists and engineers - proposing a viable method to clean half of the so-called ‘Great Pacific Garbage Patch’ within ten years’ time. At the same time, a crowd funding campaign was launched, aiming to collect US$ 2 million within 100 days. Within 98 days, the US$ 2 million target had been reached. After completion, US$ 2,154,282 had been raised, making it ‘the most successful non-profit crowd funding campaign in history’, according to ABN AMRO’s crowd funding platform SEEDS, who facilitated the campaign. 
The Ocean Cleanup will now assemble a new team to lead the research, and plans to start the pilot phase next month. As Slat tweeted today: “I can’t wait to get started again.”

Find Dave and Lillian Brummet, excerpts from their books, their radio program, blog, and more at: * Support the Brummets by telling your friends, clicking those social networking buttons, or visiting the Brummet's Store - and help raise funds for charity as well! 


Tuesday, September 16, 2014

chit chat

-- Quote of the Day -- 

At times, challenges hit with the force of a roaring, rushing waterfall. The true test, however, is whether you can put your arms up and enjoy the feel of the water.

 ~ Aviva Kaufman

Whew! I'm back in the office. Apologies for that - but our garden cleanup and a few other house projects just needed more attention than I could give it while working the office as well. Some times we, as self-employed and self-marketing business owners have to make the call to take time for other life projects and people as well. lol I've often wished I had a couple more hands and at least one employee... a personal assistant of sorts. (ha, ha). 

Book sales have really taken a dive since the changing economy a few years ago and while the economic recovery is happening it is very slow. There is also a record number of some 3,000 or more books published every single day. Yep - every day. Trying to get your books to receive big sales in this era is very difficult. I'm so glad that we decided some time ago to diversify our business and offer a number of varying services. 

Earlier this year we had a computer malfunction... my hard drive fried, melted actually. So we had to invest in another computer and that took a lot of time getting it set up with the new programs, etc. Sadly I wasn't able to recover my data so I had to go back to our most recent data save file (which wasn't really recent enough) and try to recoup what I could and make up the rest via researching the old emails, etc. 

It took quite a while for me to muster the energy and enthusiasm for re-writing the manuscript. Luckily I did print out what I had done only because I needed to use it as well - so I do have that to fall back on too. 

Now that the garden is reaching completion and cold weather is coming we are in a bit of a scramble to harvest, process, clean up and amend the gardens and finish existing projects. Whew! 

Dave's drum lessons will be starting up next week - so I put out a few announcements locally; already there are some students from last year vying for his time. We sure appreciate that. 

Today I am really physically hurting, so I'm trying to take the morning off from physical work letting the bod recover a bit... Great time to get back at the blog! I actually missed the blogging process and look forward to what the future reveals here for all of us. 

A lot of folks out there are already planning their gift shopping so I want to put out a reminder that we do have 6 books available that may appeal to your gift-giving recipient list this year. Please do check out the store page on our site to learn more: supporting us this way you are helping us keep free services like this blog active. 

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

OK - I'm taking a couple days off from the office, but will be back again after the weekend. Thank you for understanding :)

Please do scroll through the archive posts though and feel free to share any information or resources with anyone in your contact list.


Monday, September 8, 2014

It's easy to be green!

-- Quote of the Day -- 

" Nature is man’s teacher. She unfolds her treasures to his search, unseals his eye, illumes his mind, and purifies his heart; an influence breathes from all the sights and sounds of her existence."

 ~ Alfred Billings Street

-- Positive Living -- 

Nature is such a powerful entity, one that rejuvenates us and makes us whole. We can give back to nature and help protect sensitive living beings with some very simple steps. Fall is here and it is time to plant trees... That is always a good place to start. Planting a few trees on your property, donating some to the city park or local schools is always helpful to the community - or join some of the non-profits out there that plant trees for your with your donation. Starting a garden and landscaping your property, encouraging your apartment or condo building to start balcony and roof top gardens, creating more diversity in the gardens and landscaping... mulching and using water saving irrigation. 

Of equal impact is to pick up litter... when walking the streets and alleyways, when enjoying parks, when hiking trails or visiting lakeside shores - we can easily pick up some litter. Just pack a few plastic shopping or bread bags in your pocket and make an effort to fill at least one of them during your outing. Be sure to sort out the returnables and recyclables when you get home. If you have found something reusable (i.e. a child's toy, dog's ball, person's eye glasses) take it to a shelter, a thrift or second hand store, or some other outlet in your community that accepts donated items. 

Increase your recycling efforts at home and at work. Keep a box in the vehicle for recyclables too. 

These simple activities take very little time or effort, they cost virtually nothing (except in the case of planting perennials and trees of course) and each action has a massive ongoing impact on the environment, available resources, businesses, community, and health. These activities are easy to make into habits, and family activities, or workplace social events. 

Imagine how much of an impact you can have if you personally took on these activities this year, and every year after. How many people will you influence and inspire to do similar things? What if you got your business, fellow employees, or family involved? You'll see the positive impact of your efforts immediately and it is so satisfying.

To learn more about how you can save money, improve your community, build a better business, and make the world a better place  - visit:  - and look for the links pertaining to the Trash Talk - It's Easy To Be Green 2-part book series. ($6.99 ebook / $12.99 print version)

Find Dave and Lillian Brummet, excerpts from their books, their radio program, blog, and more at: * Support the Brummets by telling your friends, clicking those social networking buttons, or visiting the Brummet's Store - and help raise funds for charity as well!