3 Secrets to Beyond Organic Greens

Posted by on Oct 8, 2015 in Grow Better Greens Podcast | Comments Off on 3 Secrets to Beyond Organic Greens

In this week’s episode, we’re diving back into growing greens with high brix. How exactly do nutrient dense farmers pull this off? We’ll share the three things we know to be pivotal in taking a regular, organic garden and turning it into an exceptionally healthy food-growing machine!

You can listen, or download for later here:

3 Secrets to Beyond Organic Greens

Why Beyond-Organic? Revisiting Brix
Start with Soil Minerals
Protect your Work
Fortify Like a Pro
Why Do You Grow Food?

Why Beyond Organic? Revisiting Brix

We’ve used the phrase ‘Beyond Organic’ to describe this next phase of organic gardening – the phase of putting more nutrients per calorie into our veggies.

While growing organic food often involves a list of practices to avoid, such as the use of harmful herbicides and pesticides, Nutrient Dense growing is more focused on a to-do list of positive, preventative actions.

Quite like engaging in daily vitamin therapy!

The biggest problem that I see within this movement is a marketing one. We’re all using different names to describe the same process, and not a one of them is doing the movement any favors:

  • “Nutrient Dense”okay, but that term means something different to food buyers. It means following a diet rich in sweet potatoes, broccoli, berries, and salmon…
  • “High Brix”accurately describes the outcome we’re looking for, which is more overall nutrients in our food (measured via Brix) but only a tiny sliver of the population even knows what this means…
  • “Biological Farming” – while this involves the use of balancing soils with minerals, it implies a scale and attachment to science that excludes most home growers…

Start with Soil Minerals

So, whatever we call it (I’ve just been saying that I’m a Soil Mineral Gardener), our job is to understand the 3 necessary steps to growing high-Brix, nutrient dense food!

The very first step to is to test and amend your soil with minerals.

The gist of working with Soil Minerals is as follows:

Just like with human health, it’s entirely possible for a garden to receive all kinds of high quality food and nutrients while still suffering from the effects of malnutrition.


Yes, it happens all of the time! Check out our free video series below to learn about how “All Disease Starts in the Gut” applies to plants as well as humans:

Until certain elements are balanced in such a way that provides the perfect environment for microorganisms to live their lives to the fullest, the nutrients our plants need will not be delivered and/or absorbed, even if they’re present!

But…What if you don’t want to or can’t amend your soil with minerals?

Does this mean that you’ll be unable to grow food with super high Brix?

I say just do the best you can and move on to steps 2 and 3. You’ll still be harvesting better food, though you may not see the highest levels of nutrients that you could be growing.

Protect Your Work

The second ‘secret’ step to growing Beyond Organic, nutrient dense, high brix food is to protect your soil.

The main reason that we’ve been collectively unable to source high quality foods over the past 30-ish years, is a result of de-mineralization.

As we humans populate the earth and make more room for our own needs (housing, energy, iPhones, laptops, etc…) we disturb natural systems and remove minerals at an alarming rate.

Even if you’re not ‘mining’ minerals directly, you’re likely losing them into the air and local waterways, as a general result of your local ecosystem having been changed through development.

Whether or not you go to the effort of replacing the minerals that may have disappeared from your own backyard, you certainly want to stop the ones you have right now from going anywhere – your garden needs them!

The best way to keep minerals put is to protect your soil from wind and water erosion by using mulch.

To learn more about how and why to use organic mulch in your home garden, check out Episode 11 of the Grow Better Greens Show.

In my opinion, mulching is non-negotiable!

Fortify Like a Pro

Here we are at the last and final step that you need to put into practice if you want to grow food with more nutrients per calorie in each and every leaf, fruit, and veggie:

Foliar Feeding!

While amending your soil is a long-term strategy (once per year over 2-5 seasons), Foliar Feeding is all about the here and now.

Think, intense vitamin therapy via an i.v. drip!

By spraying your plant leaves with a fine mist of nutrients, they’ll be absorbing the good stuff immediately through their stomata (think skin pores).

Foliar Feeding is a great practice for two important reasons:

  1. if your soil is out of balance, your plants are not getting necessary nutrients in the normal way -they need some extra help
  2. once your soil is delivering nutrients like a champ, your plants will still benefit from extra nutrition – they’re literally Mamas in the maternity ward, about to give birth to loads of little babies!

Foliar feeding is like Pre-Natal Vitamins for Plants

Next week, on Episode 20, we’re dedicating the whole show to the practice of foliar feeding your plants.

Until then, you can learn more about it in this racy post (don’t worry, it’s entirely PG!):

How to Garden Like a Pot Grower

Why Do You Grow Food?

In this section we ask our listeners to share why they’re growing food. This week Leslie Anne, a registered dietician from Tennessee shares why her family grows food.

Leslie Anne won a collection of Liz’s heirloom leafy green seeds, available on Amazon.

Thanks for reading my blog : ) I appreciate your time and wish you much success in growing healthy food!