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Is SFG considered organic gardening?

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Is SFG considered organic gardening?

Post  Dunkinjean on 5/17/2010, 3:38 pm

Just a silly question....

1) Is SFG considered organic gardening using Mel's Mix?

2) If not, what is the difference?

Thanks for you assistance!

Dunkinjean
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Dunkinjean

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Re: Is SFG considered organic gardening?

Post  Mirjam on 5/17/2010, 3:54 pm

I think you can make it as organic as you like, by choosing the way you fertilize and deal with possible pests. So, I guess there is no difference Smile
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Re: Is SFG considered organic gardening?

Post  auntiemommy on 5/17/2010, 4:17 pm

I see nothing not organic about the basis of Mel's mix itself. I would say that the base is organic, then it just depends on what you add or don't add to it throughout the year. Following Mel's guidelines in the book would result in an organic garden, or as close to one as you could get IMO. I love knowing exactly what has and has not been put on my plants. No herbicides or pesticides here.
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Is it organic gardening?

Post  Dunkinjean on 5/17/2010, 4:28 pm

I thought it is organic gardening. I didn't buy Mel's mix but my husband and I used his suggested ingredients (2-3 kinds of compost, peatmoss and vermiculite) and made it ourselves. One of the compost I am trying is mushroom compost. I will just wait and see!
Thank you everyone.

Dunkinjean
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Re: Is SFG considered organic gardening?

Post  miinva on 5/17/2010, 10:17 pm

As far as I know, organic is about what chemicals are and aren't used when gardening, so if you used compost that didn't contain chemicals that aren't considered organic, then you're organic. The term organic is misleading because things are often labeled organic meaning that it's plant material, while others use the term organic in the USDA sense of the word.

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How organic is SFG?

Post  BertieFox on 5/18/2010, 2:27 pm

Vermiculite is an industrial product, but I've never read anything criticising its manufacture or explaining its impact on the environment. There were major concerns in the 1990s about vermiculite (which is a mica type product) being contaminated with asbestos... http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vermiculite but now it should be much purer and safer.
Once in the soil, it is pretty inert anyway and won't affect plants or plant growth.
If you use organic fertiliser in your Mel's mix, then you are being organic. Personally, I use my existing soil, into which I mix for each square, four handfuls of well rotted garden compost, two handfuls of weathered wood ash, and four handfuls of vermiculite. I apply a handful of a seaweed based organic fertiliser around the plants in each square. By adding more each time you plant, you gradually transform your soil.

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Re: Is SFG considered organic gardening?

Post  LaFee on 5/18/2010, 2:59 pm

Truly organic is a mind-boggling maze of rules and regulations.

As long as you start with organic materials and use organic treatments (pests, fertilizer, etc) -- then it's as close to organic as I think you can get without having to deal with the regulations.

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Re: Is SFG considered organic gardening?

Post  miinva on 5/18/2010, 4:05 pm

We bought a great big bag of vermiculite from the only vermiculite mine in the United States, so I know it's a product that can be mined. I also know they used to fill cinder blocks with it for insulation, but that's about the total of my knowledge Smile I know the vermiculite we got is considered coarse.

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Re: Is SFG considered organic gardening?

Post  LaFee on 5/18/2010, 4:14 pm

Vermiculite is a naturally-occuring mineral, and as such is considered inert. The issue was that there was a vermiculite vein in Montana that unfortunately ran right next to a vein of asbestos...so there was significant cross-contamination. That mine closed in the 1980s...so the issue is long dead, but people don't realize how long it's been.

Here's a really odd factoid...I used to buy a lot of produce at a hydroponic farm in Florida...they use a blend of vermiculite and perlite as a growing medium, with an extensive drip system to simultaneously feed the plants with water and nutrients.

They tried to certify as an organic farm, but can't get their growing mix certified as organic because it isn't actually soil. But they do follow organic farming practices...so they are organic, but can't be certified as such because of one requirement...and they can't use soil in a hydroponic system, so it's a Catch 22.

Go figure.

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