David The Good’s Secrets to Growing Better Produce

David The Good’s Secrets to Growing Better Produce

We asked David The Good to explain whether he uses organic or non-organic methods to grow fruits and vegetables on his tropical homestead. He offers some sound philosophy, practical growing tips, and weird videos.

Most experienced garden bloggers and YouTubers can hold forth on a great many topics related to growing food with organic vs. non-organic methods. What we wanted to know was, How do you, personally, choose to grow food for yourself and your family?

We asked gardening blogger/YouTubers from two quite different growing zones: David The Good, a tropical gardener, and Joey Baird from Wisconsin. David has written the guest blog post below, and soon we’ll publish a Q&A with Joey.

About Our Guest Contributor

David Goodman, permaculture, homesteading, prepping, and organic vegetable gardening blogger.

David The Good runs The Survival Gardener website and a YouTube channel. His YouTube bio says he focuses on “permaculture, homesteading, prepping, gardening, chickens, cassava and lots of craziness…”

Definitely check out David’s videos. Your initial reaction may likely be, “Wow, this is one very strange dude,” but watch for another minute or two and you’ll realize, “Hey, this is one very smart dude.”

String Trimmer Composting

Get the Most Food for the Least Amount of Work

By David The Good

My primary consideration in gardening is, “How do I get the most food for the least amount of work?”

My secondary consideration is, “How do I do this without poisoning the ecosystem and/or myself and my family?”

Obviously, the least amount of work would involve skipping garden day and just ordering pizza on a credit card…but that way fatness lies.

Though I don’t bill myself as an organic purist, I’m a lot closer to that end of the organic growing spectrum, and in many ways I go beyond most organic gardeners.

Nature was designed with patterns that can be observed. It has checks and balances.

For instance, if you decide to spray all the aphids on your grapevines with malathion — or even an “organic” pesticide – you’ll also wipe out the up-and-coming ladybug population.

The more you try to control an ecosystem, the more work it takes to keep it running.

Add more species! Add habitat for insects! Let weeds grow and don’t be quick to reach for that malathion or Sevin dust!

A Gardening Lesson From an Untended Patch of Forest

Take a lawn as another example. A perfect swath of green composed solely of a single species of grass is unnatural. Maintaining it in green perfection requires a lawn mower, fertilizer, weeding and watering.

Now consider the patch of forest growing on that empty lot down the road. Though it’s not watered, fertilized, weeded or mowed by man, it’s healthy, green and loaded with a wide range of plant and animal species.

Adding more species, more insects, more fungi, and more bacteria makes your life a lot easier.

Even mixing up your plants in the garden and leaving some patches of weeds and wildflowers around the edges reduces your pest problems significantly. The more unlike nature your gardens, the more work you’ll have to put into them.

Totally Insane Compost Tea Recipe

Organic vs. Chemical Gardening

My general philosophy on organic vs. chemical gardening is that synthetic chemicals and even most organic pesticides are unnecessary if you tap into the underlying patterns in nature.

Sure, you may need to go pick some hornworms off your tomatoes — but if you have good insect populations in your garden, you won’t have nearly the issue with the green devils that you would if you were growing a monoculture patch of tomatoes in the middle of a green lawn.

Add more species! Add habitat for insects! Let weeds grow and don’t be quick to reach for that malathion or Sevin dust!

Fertilizing: Feed your Soil’s Micronutrients

I use anaerobic compost teas for most everything my plants need, along with some ashes and charcoal.

(Read about David The Good’s innovative composting methods in his book, “Compost Everything: The Good Guide to Extreme Composting.”)

Commercial chemical fertilizers are okay if you need food fast and don’t have time to build the soil, but relying on them leads to a degradation of your gardens and food that is less healthy.

For the best quality produce and the best use of your land long-term, learn to compost  everything, learn to make your own fertilizers, build the soil.

Think of all the micronutrients your plants need for maximum health. And as they grow, let some weeds grow around the edges so the good insects have places to live and breed. More food: less work!

Why Weeds Are Good

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