This page was last updated on the 31st of May, 2015 by Patrick Carpen.
I must admit that I have had a life-long fascination with the soil. I like to plant. I like to watch plants take root and grow healthily, and more importantly I like to “reap what I sow”.
My dad is a fanatic when it comes to the soil. He said to me once, “everything, even your computer, comes from the soil”. If you really check the nitty-gritty of it, that is probably what it does boil down to – at least to some extent. But I don’t agree with him. I believe that everything comes from above – from God. And indeed, my theory would prove to have greater merits since the sun is our most primary source of energy. So the theory that “everything comes from above” wins out against “everything comes from the soil”. And the theory “everything comes from the hand of God” wins above all, since it is God who made the sun.
Philosophies aside, I have an obsession with organic gardening. I once planted some vines that grew about four times the normal size that anyone had ever seen; and people would say “I’ve never seen leaves that big!”
Organic gardening is gardening without the use of poisonous pesticides, weedicides and manmade fertilizers. It is “all natural gardening”.
The Red Sand
Red sand excavated from mountainous areas, far away from the sea, in my experience is one of the organic gardener’s most valuable resource. Its composition is rich and fertile. Its texture allows proper drainage and at the same time a good retention of moisture. I’ve mixed soil that contained 50% red mountain sand, 35 percent rice mill ash and 15 percent cow manure. The results were staggering: leaves that were four times the expected size.
Rice Mill Ash
God in heaven knows what led me to extract the waste ash that is a by-product of rice milling and incorporate it into my organic gardening soil. But I have a hunch that the size of the plants which chanced to grow in the locality where this ash was thrown had something to do with my inspiration. I figured out that there had to be something “nutritious” within this substance – the rice mill ash. I bagged it off and brought it once to my garden. The results were staggering: plants which grew on this ash were flourishing.
It is the old farmer’s adage: cow manure is the best. I wouldn’t be so quick to judge. I know other animal waste can be just as effective, but I do have the experience that yes, cow manure does wonders for nourishing plants.
Natural Pest Repellents
Now we come to a genuine difficulty in organic gardening: keeping away pests. There are bandits everywhere I guess, even in the kingdom of plants: elements which come to plunder and cause destruction. No matter how healthy your plants are, no matter how great your soil is, I’ve found that pests and insects always come to destroy plants. Most farmers are forced to use poisonous spray. But as an organic gardener, I’m duty bound to avoid these methods at all costs. The duty of the organic gardener is to find plants which will grow in the garden and repel pests naturally. Quite a few of these plants exist, and they are very effective. In addition to repelling pests, these plants can make your garden look good; and act as an added source of income.
Turning Grass Into Gold
Turning grass into gold? Who has ever heard of such fairy tales? Well, in fairy tales perhaps, but not in the world of reality! In my organic gardening endeavors, I do turn grass into gold: not literally, but figuratively speaking. I take the same grass that sucks the soil of its nutrients, stifle tender plants, rob them of sunlight and stunt plant growth, and I turn it into a force for good. Can you imagine watering a crop for just once in six months? Can you imagine not ever having to pull weeds from around the roots? How is all this achieved? By turning grass into gold. When you see the pictures which illustrate the concept of harnessing this most prolific, hindering and destructive enemy of crops as a force for good, you will indeed agree that I am turning grass into gold.
I’m going to detail with photographs my next project in organic gardening on this page. Look out for updates and have fun.