Thursday, September 11, 2014

Basic Organic Principles and the "One Box Challenge"

"The worst part of ignorance 
isn't what we don't know;
it's that so much of what we do know
 just isn't so!"

The Big Question:  What Do Plants Want!

Plants are very forgiving of our lack of knowledge and use of quick fix methods. Are you frustrated in not knowing why your garden plants are struggling?  The healthiest and best tasting harvests come from plants whose needs are fully met.  

  • Plants do best when their growth from germination to harvest is uninterrupted
  • We ensure uninterrupted growth by giving plants access to healthy soil structure , nutrients, moisture, light, and proper temperature.
  • We attempt to protect our crops from anything that hinders growth like pests, disease, weeds, or temperature and water fluctuations.

Plant Stress Factors

  • Lack of nutrients, disease, pests, fluctuations in water and temperature, wind, extreme weather, weeds, and the ignorant gardener

Results of Stress on a Plant

  • Growth slows or stops
  • When a plant moves from "growth mode" to "stress mode" changes occur which affect the size and quality of the harvest
  • Leaves become tough, fibrous, and bitter
  • Roots and fruits lack sweetness
  • We get a poor yield on our investment of time and money
  • The gardener becomes stressed

Goal of Organic Methods

The goal is to provide plants with what they need for uninterrupted growth.  Don't hinder nature but help her.
  •  Organic gardening methods are based on plant and soil biology
  • With a greater understanding of cells and microbes we have a greater understand of what a healthy plant needs and how plants react to stress
  • All your garden problems will start or end in the soil and your choice of gardening methods



    Interested in learning more?  

    Try the growing organic "One Box Challenge."  I'm inviting first time gardeners to to start small and enjoy success while learning to grow organically.  

    I'm challenging the gardener still using synthetic, chemical crutches to try the organic method.  

    I will provide step by step help to grow a raised bed garden on monthly posts. 
    Devote at least one box to organic methods. No cheating or mixing methods.  

    I will provide the following help on posts:
    • Schedules of what garden chores to do and when to do them
    • Solutions for pests and disease
    • How to fertilize
    •  List of supplies you will need
    • Suggestions on varieties to try and when to plant

    Leave a comment with your name, location, and experience if you want to be apart of the "One Box Challenge." 

    If you live in New Harmony, come to the Preparedness Fair this Saturday September 13th from 4-6 at the Kannarriville church and visit my booth.


  1. Hey hey! Good and very relevant read considering the state of our agricultural soils - I have been blogging articles in similar lines too recently (conservation agriculture and the like)! Glad to have found you via the Homestead Bloggers Network! Will be here often for updates :)

  2. I would love to take the One Box Challenge! I live in the beautiful mountains of Morgan County, West Virginia. I gardened as a youngster with my parents but didn't pay much attention :( I love gardening and I've dabbled in it but nothing serious yet but I am ready to get serious about it. I know the basics, just want to learn to do it all organically to provide healthy nutritious food for my family.

  3. Welcome to the "One Box Challenge." I'm so excited you are taking this challenge. You are joining about 25 others who also want to grow healthy nutritious food for their families. Here's a link to the first part of the preparations. On the blog in September it's called Fall Garden Preparations