Q. “Is this method OMRI approved. I was told at Steve Regan it was not organic. Please enlighten me.” Patricia
A. I’ve written quite a few articles – in the archives of the MittleiderMethodGardening@yahoogroups.com Group and in the FAQ section of this website – on this subject, and I invite everyone interested in this subject to find out more by reading some of those articles. I will attempt to provide a brief answer here:
All of the natural mineral nutrients used in the Mittleider fertilizer formulas are approved by the USDA for use in organic gardening. And in my personal garden, which is seen by about 800,000 people each year, we use no pesticides, fungicides, or herbicides.
We are more concerned with producing healthy crops by feeding them exactly what they need, and in using the best cultural practices to avoid diseases, bugs, and weeds, than in using only manure, compost, bone meal, etc.
For the past 45 years, Dr. Mittleider (37 years) and I (8+ years) have spent much of our time conducting Family Food Production training projects in 31 countries. In those countries as well as most others around the world people do the very best they can using only organic methods – and many of them are starving. And it’s not uncommon for families in developing countries to spend 70 to 80% of their time providing for their food.
Meanwhile, their gardens are often filled with weeds, bugs, and diseases – often spread by the very organic materials they use to fertilize their gardens. Even in America, a great many gardeners are arguably hurt more by the weeds, bugs, and diseases their unsterilized organic materials bring into their gardens than they are helped by their fertilizer content.
And many others here and abroad end up burning their sprouting seeds and tiny seedlings by applying too much fertilizer salts to their gardens at the beginning and then having their plants stop producing in mid-season because they are starving for mineral nutrients.
We teach a better, safer, cleaner, and more productive way of growing food, part of which includes applying only very small amounts of balanced mineral nutrients several times to assure even healthy growth throughout the plants’ growth and production cycle.
We believe some of the most zealous organic gardeners are actually replicating the same primitive 18th and 19th century methods we encounter in the developing countries, while we are trying hard to help people everywhere learn some of the scientific principles and procedures that have allowed one American farmer to feed more than 100 of us, in a better and healthier way.
That may be why some people say the Mittleider Method is “the best of organic.” I just say that everyone can have “a great garden in any soil, in virtually any climate”, and I travel the world to demonstrate that reality to all who are interested in and willing to improve their food production methods and results.