" IT'S OUR GARDEN " By Elizabeth and Crow Miller

WHY DO YOU GARDEN ORGANICALLY, OR SHOULD ?

Although there could be as many answers to that question (?), as there are organic gardeners, here is our very unofficial survey that shows some fairly similar answers, with about 7-main categories. Here is an inventory of the most popular reasons for organic gardening as asked to the 4,357 people who visited Spring Meadow School of Organic Farming & Gardening last season

WHY DO YOU GARDEN ORGANICALLY ?

Enjoyment seems to be paramount with many folks. Many people like to watch the tender new growth come to full maturity and, as a bonus, you get to eat it!

Extra Fresh Vegetables, Naturally, corn on the cob and newly picked peas are especially noticeable, but this trait extends to all vegetables you grow yourself, especially under the organic method-. A phenomenon noted by most people when harvesting their very first vegetables from their vary first gardens is that everyone eats much more of a given vegetable than they would of a similar store bought variety.

Saving Money is certainly on most people's mind today. Did you ever hold a package of say, carrot seed, in your hand and think what a great potential mass of food could come from that small packet ?

Desire For Organically Grown Food can be one prime mover in growing your own. Organically grown produce are, in some areas, hard to come by, and are usually more expensive even when readily available. When you do your own growing you are sure your produce is organic, some so-called organic farms, just say their organic so they can make more money. A real organic farm will be certified, and glade to show you certification.

Extra Income may be derived from your garden. This could be as simple as a casual offering for sale of some surplus crop or as intensive as planning and marketing crops through the whole growing season, (as we do at Spring Meadow School of organic farming & gardening) changing vegetable varieties as the seasons change, from early peas and asparagus to pumpkins and cabbages.

Helping Our Ecology by recycling animal and vegetable wastes by means of composting, tilling directly into the soil or by burying the wastes in a trench appeals to many people. Our National waste problem is monumental and it is a terrible waste to burn leaves, straw, cotton ginn and grainary

waste as is still done in too many places. Because organic growers forego the use of toxic chemicals; both with fertilizers and poison sprays, there is that much less of those two substances to pollute our streams, rivers, and creeks.

Relaxation can still be an important reason for gardening, especially for people whose occupations keep them confined inside all day. Fresh air, sun and the peacefulness of a garden, your garden! can have a beneficial effect on a person who is tired, harried and sick of central air and heat. Working in the beauty of the garden can be a natural tranquilizer.

Sense of Accomplishment is no little thing. When winter is here, we can feel secure with stores of jellies, jams, plump pickles, jars of beans, corn, fruits, and a root cellar well stocked with boxes of potatoes, carrots, cabbages, onions and winter squash.

So those are some of the more prevalent reasons Why Organic Gardening is growing so fast in the United States. But for most of us who have control of our food supply, it's not just a garden, " IT'S OUR GARDEN," And that's a vital part of our lives.

Copyright · 1996 / Crow Miller, Syndication / Garden Philosophy / #59 /