Continuing on in our Abundant Garden Series; this is the final segment in our highlight of the Mittleider Gardening Series.
My 3rd criteria for a gardening method is that it MUST be preparedness oriented. Meaning, if I can do it today when everything is hunky dory, but I can’t do it tomorrow when there’s a financial collapse or a long-term power outage, then that just won’t work for me. I need something in which I can truly prepare for TODAY in order to use it 5 years or 10 years from now. Fortunately, the Mittleider Gardening Method DOES satisfy that need. The micronutrients that are harvested from the bottom of the ocean floor have an unlimited shelf-life—at least one that’s longer than you or I are ever expected to live. So that means that I can stock up on several bags of the nutrients now and have them when I’m gardening 10 years from now. The micronutrients, combined with the Epsom salts and the standard base fertilizer of nitrogen, phosphorous and potassium (in amount s of 13-13-13 to as high a 22-22-22) is widely available and have a shelf-life as long as the micronutrients and should most definitely be a focus in the plans of any self-respecting prepper.
Furthermore, the methods TO garden are simple enough and fit my “minimal physical exhaustion and other viable resources” criteria as well. Mind you, gardening does take work, but I found this method to give me SO much more yield in a 50 foot space than what I would have had to work to maintain otherwise in a third of an acre space. That definitely meets my criteria.
4th criteria: Creates nutritional food via all-natural materials: Most people don’t realize that eating their veggies today has nowhere near the same health benefits as eating their veggies 50 years ago. Why? Because the nutrients are stripped from the soil after all of this time. If it’s not in the soil, folks, it’s not in your food and if it’s not in your foods then it’s very challenging to get it any other way nowadays. Vitamins and such are typically full of synthesized nutrients and believe you me, the body can tell the difference between a real nutrient and a “pretend one.” (that’s why our urine is so yellow when we take Vitamin C or Vitamin B supplements—our body is rejecting the synthetics.) There’s also the matter of us overworking the soil. Traditionally, farmers allow parcels of land to rest a growing season while they work to put nitrogen back into the soil to produce proper yields.
Plants need 13 nutrients that man can supply. They are listed in the MGM books, and include the major nutrients of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potash; the secondary nutrients are calcium, magnesium, and sulfur - as well as the chlorine which is a part of the compound most often used for potash, and the trace elements - or micro-nutrients - include zinc, boron, manganese, iron, copper, chlorine, and molybdenum. Only the micronutrients are in the Micro-Nutrient bags. More importantly about the ingredients is the fact that they are in a form that the plants can actually absorb! I’ve said this a lot to folks who are trying to get healthier—it’s not about the nutrients you consume, it’s about the nutrients you ABSORB; and plants are the exact same way.
The good news though is that with the MGM, you’re nourishing the soil at the first of planting and then every week therein until just before it’s to be harvested. This is counter to the required practice of organic gardeners. You see, the USDA requires that organic gardeners stop feeding the plants as much as 12 weeks prior to them being harvested. Doesn’t really make sense, if you ask me—to starve our plants of vital nutrients when they are at their biggest size? Sounds a bit backwards, to me. Whereas with the MGM, you’ll have significantly better tasting produce, larger produce, and MORE produce because you will be giving them—and you, ultimately—all of the nutrients they will need from the beginning to the end. This strategy also covers my 5th criteria: Going Easy on the soil:
Instead of stripping the soil from all she’s got, you’re actually revitalizing it with the MGM approach. You see, when the winds and the rains come, the nutrients in the soil get washed away, down to the creeks and rivers and ultimately over to the oceans where they sit…until folks harvest those nutrients to put back into the soil. If the nutrients were synthetic, then your plants would have little success in absorbing them. The micro-nutrients are nothing more than the recapturing of the vital micro-nutrients needed for excellent soil, healthy produce, abundant yield, AND it will also bless you with a faster germination time. Remember, a plant cannot be any stronger than its weakest soil element. So, healthy soil is vital not only for this year’s crop, but the subsequent years as well. Many years ago a popular, upscale garden attraction in my area claimed publicly that the Mittleider Method of Gardening was killing the soil. Well, some professors at Brigham Young University decided to do some investigation on their own to prove or dispel that claim. They took 45 soil samples from three different gardens ranging from new gardens, middle stage and well-established Mittleider Gardens. Their results? There was ZERO toxicity and ZERO ground water issues.
Gardening Tip: As an added boost to the health of your soil, you can plant pea vetch or Hairy Vetch (Vica viislloa) in the spring or fall to introduce valuable nitrogen into the soil as well as an abundance of organic matter, even in acid soils. If you mow over it just as the blooming starts, or allow the plants to just die, you’ll leave a natural mulch behind that will require little to no tilling for planting. If you allow it to set to seed, it will be a perennial plant for you. Hairy Vetch is also EXCELLENT as a weed controller. Some folks like to plant the Vetch around their newly planted trees or shrubs.
#6: Maximum Yield for the Space: Because the garden is being nourished so thoroughly, you’ll find that you will get a much larger yield. Part of the MGM is founded on creating a garden that will grow vertically wherever possible. Even a melon or squash up to 6 pounds can be trained to grow vertically. This is such a vital principle that if a person were to solely adapt the art of growing vertically they’d find as much as a 30% increase in their yield! The taller the plant, the less energy that’s wasted in growing it.
Gardening Tip: It doesn’t’ matter which way your gardening rows face. What does matter is that your bigger plants don’t block the sunlight from your smaller plants, so be sure to put your taller plants in the North or East section of your garden and the shorter ones more south and west.
#7: Inexpensive: I had no idea how many die hard gardeners there were out in the world until I started on this journey several years ago. Moreover there are some extremely opinionated folks too when it comes to “the” garden method to use. But when I began looking at the methods based on the costs involved in getting the gardens going, I couldn’t believe some of the astronomical expenses that folks would go to all because they watched some slick movie or a series of YouTube videos. Square foot gardening, for example, I found to be a waste of time and expensive. Biointensity method—the only thing I found to be intensive was the amount of money and work I needed to expend to get it up and going. Back to Eden gardening—most persons who set this up dedicate a great deal of money for this method too, primarily in the form of wood chips. Most fertilizers sold out there have only 1% of the actual NECESSARY ingredients and nutrients but a whole lot of stuff you don’t need. That’s one of the reasons why this method is more inexpensive than others is because you’re not paying for stuff you don’t need.
Furthermore, while I believe that everything that I’ve purchased on the Mittleider method, Jim Kennard, who’s the founder of Food for Everyone.org has taken the most important chapter in each of his books and made them available on his website for free.
Gardening Tip: You’ve no doubt heard that drainage is critical to having good plants but you might not realize that the drainage has a lot to do with the proper airflow that the roots need. So be sure that you’ve given appropriate attention to ensuring proper drainage. The roots need AIR, the plant itself needs the water and the leaves need the sunlight.
#8: Grow Food Fast: I need great soil and nutritious food NOW, not three years from now that the Back to Eden Gardeners have to wait. Can you imagine what kind of disaster would have occurred if the settlers in Utah didn’t plant any crops along their trek for the benefit of those that would follow all because they wanted to create “better soil” that required three years?
It’s no mystery that the kids who are fed better in the U.S. outgrow the kids the same age in third world nations. It all comes down to the children being given what they need. Well, with the MGM, you’ll get what you need faster than any other method I’ve seen. Every MGM gardener gets pretty excited when they see the pace in which their very first MG crop comes in. As a result, they discover that the crops are ready to harvest faster than the same crop would without the MGM. This means that not only can you expect a higher yield, but you can actually squeeze in some extra crops in one growing season. You know what tastes better than perfectly sweet 84 day corn? 84 day sweet corn in 62 days! *grin* This is the ONLY kind of “fast food” I allow in my home now. *grin*
Gardening Tip: The majority of all fertilizers are salt. (Salt and seeds do not get along very well, by the way; they burn! Most fertilizers encourage 2 ½ pounds of salt in the same area in which the MGM only uses SEVEN OUNCES.
#9: Easy to Maintain: There’s a great book made available by the Food For Everyone.org entity called “Six Simple Tips to Gardening Success”. It’s one of the many that Mittleider published. This one is written in such a way that an 8 year old could follow it and use it to maintain the garden. (Remember the story about Jim Kennard’s 8 year old daughter taking care of his highly visible featured garden while he was touring?) Yes, there’s work to get started, but I can tell you that you don’t HAVE to set up everything just the way the MGM suggests. For example, you don’t have to do the PVC piping at the roots for watering, but if you DO, then instead of getting up each morning around 6:30 a.m. to water your plants by hand (the best time of day to do so), you can just have an automatic timer turn your water on and water right at the base of your plants for a whomping 60 seconds while you catch some more zzzzz's. The same holds true for properly setting up the T frames at the beginning of the gardening rather than trying to wrestle with the happy little growers later on and trying to get them to grow vertically. Truthfully, it’s not so much that it’s more work involved to set up a Mittleider Garden; it’s simply about eliminating a whole lot of other work later on depending on how much work you put into the garden in the front end. Nothing ever worth growing and eating had grown without work in this world. I personally have discovered that each of the steps that the Mittleider Gardening method encourages to be done upfront saves me a whole lot of work and maintenance later.
#10: Requires a Minimal Amount of Water: To cut to the chase, the Mittleider Gardening Method is known to use 70% less water than traditional gardening methods. I don’t know about you, but water is a resource that I’m anticipating being in low supply in a crisis scenario. I’m going to need all I can get for hygiene, medical care, cooking, cleaning, etc. I’m planning on using rainwater to take care of the needs of my garden in a crisis scenario. That means I have to make every drop count. As such, I don’t intend to waste any water on the leaves of the plant. It’s the base of the plant that needs the water. So, instead of taking all of those detours and fanning out the water to areas that the plant will never get a drop of it, the Mittleider method focuses on putting the water exactly where it’s needed. You saw how I noted earlier that 60 seconds of daily watering is all most plants are going to need with the exception of some really hot days in the middle of desert areas. In which case you might want to give the plants a little more of a reprieve late in the afternoon. I spoke to a fabulously successful gardener the other day who has to set his alarm for 2:18 in the morning just so that he can have his turn with the irrigation water at which time he’ll flood all of this water into his garden. The sad thing to me—other than having to get up at that hour—is that so much of that water isn’t even necessary if you’ve followed the proper principles of planting in the first place. I can’t imagine ANY other gardening method using less water while still producing high yields like the Mittleider Gardening Method does.
Mittleider Method has changed the lives of millions of people all because he changed the way they grow food. I strongly encourage anyone who’s reading this to take the same step for change—grow your food and eat what you grow, using the Mittleider Gardening Method.
Just one last reminder: The Five Star Preparedness Group Buy is still going on for 2 more days in which you can take advantage of the Mittleider Gardening special they’ve got going on. In a nutshell, you’re getting $150 worth of heirloom, open-pollinated seeds that have been triple sealed hermetically for only $117 PLUS you also get the Mittleider micronutrients AND books and CDs and DVDs explaining every little detail about the Mittleider Gardening Method for that same price. Oh, and if you want it shipped to you, they’re only charging $5 shipping. Yeah…kind of hard to say “no” to this one. But it ends June 7th. So get on it. *grin* Remember, you’ll need the PROMO code to get that deal though. It’s not publicly listed on their site that way, so go here for the details. Click Here.
© 2013 Of COURSE this post is Copyright Protected by Preparedness Pro. All Rights Reserved. NO portion of this article may be reposted, printed, copied, disbursed, etc. without first receiving written permission by the author. This content may be printed for personal use only. (Then again, laws are only as good as the people who keep them.) Preparedness Pro will pursue all violations of these rights just as vigorously as she does any of her other freedoms, liberties, and protections.