Fertilizers qualify as organic? What about Mad Cow Disease?

Mittleider Gardens Organic? What about Mad Cow Disease!

Q. Does a Mittleider garden qualify as organic? Have any of his fertilizing formulas been approved for organic gardening use?

A. An “Organic Garden” is a difficult thing to pin down with precision, because some say nothing “Artificial” can be used, some say nothing “Synthetic” can be used, and some say no chemical pesticides nor herbicides can be used. Meanwhile, the USDA names every one of the nutrients in the Mittleider fertilizers as being acceptable for use in organic gardening. So, depending on your definition, I would say that a Mittleider garden is one of the best organic gardens I have ever seen.

I’ve never met an organic gardener who doesn’t use at least one of the three nitrogen fertilizers that are our primary source of that nutrient. I’m speaking of 21-0-0, 34-0-0, or 46-0-0. They do so both in the garden and especially in their composting, because virtually everyone agrees that composting organic materials ties-up the nitrogen, and if supplementation is not done, the plants really suffer.

And yet of all the 13 mineral nutrients that man can provide his plants, nitrogen is the one that is the most “artificial” or “synthetic”, since it is the result of a several-step scientific process.

Most of the other 12 nutrients we use are ground-up rocks! However some organic “purists” will refuse to use them as “bad”, and instead use blood and bone meal, or hoof and horn meal, etc., which it is now being reported could be infected with the worst disease known to man – the incurable Mad Cow Disease.

We are very happy with the results we get by using natural mineral nutrients, and by using clean, healthy plant residues wherever and whenever we can do so.