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Jay North
Mr. North has been featured in People Magazine, New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Vogue, Cosmopolitan, The New Yorker, and thousands of other publications. Moreover Jay has appeared on The Tonight Show, Good Morning America, NBC Nightly News, World News, Sunday Magazine, and hundreds of other TV and radio talk shows voicing informed opinions on edible flowers and organic farming.
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Getting Started in Organic Gardening for Fun and Profit
By Jay North

 Getting Started in Organic Gardening for Fun and Profit is all about how you can start your first garden or farm or begin to convert your existing garden or farm into a healthy, productive and profitable, natural source of organically grown produce, plants and flowers.

     Organic gardening is not new, even though we have recently seen a "movement" of sorts in response to health consciousness and reports of how a dependence on chemical fertilizers, pesticides, insecticides, food additives and other substances has led to contamination of our soil, our water supply and our air. Not to mention their ill effects on consumers of mass-produced foods, as well as the people and animals who live in the contaminated environment we have created.

     For many organic growers, farming or gardening is a passion. We feel a connection to the Earth and believe it has become a moral duty to protect her and provide for her. Aside from the apparently spiritual affiliation, it's just plain fun to be out in the sun playing in the dirt and watching things grow--something I never dreamed I would be doing until my wife Pamela introduced me to organic gardening as a way to help feed our menagerie of exotic pets and help distract me from my hectic business life.

     Organic gardening has been in existence long before the term "organic" was coined. It is comprised of the methods farmers have used for centuries to grow healthy plants without chemicals, which are actually relatively new to the market. The term "organic" has really only been around for about forty years or so.

     There has been a mindset in the gardening and farming industry that you cannot produce large enough quantities, large enough fruits, vegetables or flowers, or spot-free produce without the use of chemicals.

     But as our ancestors knew thousands of years ago, planting the right selections in the right way and carefully maintaining them can produce bumper crops of gorgeous edible and ornamental plants and maintain the natural balance of nutrients in our soil. Chemical-free foods are the best deal for our planet and provide the best nutritional value. EAT ORGANIC.

     Many large-scale food producers are discovering what today's consumers want. They want to have confidence that the foods they are eating and serving their families are healthy. They also want to know that they have done their share to preserve the Earth that their children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren will inherit.

     In response to consumer demand, growers are scurrying to convert their fields into organic farms and gardens. Whether you want to grow only enough to consume, trade, or sell at the local farmers' market or to produce large-scale crops for worldwide distribution, the principles remain the same. Plants, whether edible or ornamental, merely need good soil, sun, water and protection against hazards such as pests, disease and harsh weather.

     You can successfully grow any plant organically with the right conditions. The first step is choosing what you will grow and deciding how much you will need to plant based on your needs or goals in sales. You can select one crop or a variety of crops and you can grow in a window box or on a 1,000-acre farm as long as you know the basics and believe me, they are easy to learn. There is nothing mysterious or difficult to adapt to.

     1st Don't Fight Nature. Know your growing zone and research what plants thrive best in your climate. This is easily determined with the aid of your local garden shop or nursery or just look it up in the Farmer's Almanac. The next step will be obtaining a soil sample analysis. This can best be done by contacting your local Home/Ag Extension Service. Be sure to get samples from different areas of the land where you wish to plant as the soil will not be uniform across your property. Mark each soil sample so you will know where it came from when the results arrive. A local botanical garden or university will likely be able to help you read your soil analysis if you are unsure of what it means

     When choosing a location, be aware of conditions such as how well plants will be protected from high winds, how well the area drains (most plants will not tolerate standing water), and how easily accessible the plants will be for maintenance and harvest. Once you know what to plant and where it will thrive, you're ready to begin! One last word, be sure and make it fun.

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