Welcome to Mittleider Gardening Magic advice and tips! I'm excited to be sharing the wisdom of “the world's greatest vegetable gardener.”
I've been a Mittleider gardener ever since the mid 70's when Jacob Mittleider moved about a mile from my home, and I became his student – patterning my own garden after his prolific backyard masterpiece.
We became friends as I worked with him over the years, and after assisting him on a major teaching project in Russia in 1993, I continued working with him on several other projects. And finally in 1998, after 20 years of study and work under Jacob's tutelage, I was given the responsibility and privilege of carrying on his work. I accepted this full-time non-paying job with the proviso that he would continue to stay involved and answer any and all questions, to which he readily agreed, since gardening was his life's greatest love (just ask his wife, Mildred). Sadly, Jacob died just one month after his 88th birthday, on May 23, 2006. Therefore anything you need to know that Jacob hasn't already taught me, I will research from his prolific writings.
So, just who is Jacob Mittleider, and what's his Method all about? You may have seen a neighbor's beautiful and highly productive Mittleider vegetable garden, and wished yours looked and produced like that. Or perhaps you've heard of the great work he's done around the world. Maybe you even have one of his books and have experimented with growing your own vegetable garden this way. If so, then you may know Jacob's history, but for those who don't know him let me tell you very briefly why he's so famous, and why he promises you a “great garden in any soil and in any climate.”.
For the past 43 years Dr. Jacob Mittleider has quietly and without fanfare dramatically improved the lives of multiplied thousands of people, and even changed the economies of countries, by teaching people how to better feed their families by growing healthy and highly productive vegetable crops – both personally and commercially. He has created 75 teaching and demonstration projects in 27 countries – and has documented his experiences and the great lessons he learned in 10 books, 9 manuals, and 86 video lectures.
So much for introductions! Let's get down to learning about growing better vegetable gardens, shall we?
What problems or questions do you have? I will teach you the principles of successful gardening, but I also want to resolve any concerns you may have. There are many conflicting ideas, methods, and procedures out there, and we will do our best to give you factual “works every time” advice and counsel. A few topics we'll discuss, about which you might have some concern, include:
1. “My soil is terrible, and nothing will grow. What must I do with my soil so that it will grow a good garden?”
2. “I hear that chemicals are poisoning our waterways, and that organic growing is much healthier, how do I grow a healthy, productive garden without hurting the environment?”
3. “It seems like so much labor-intensive work, with little reward. Is there a way to have a garden that makes financial sense?”
4. “Weeds just take over our garden, and the vegetables don't really have a chance. What's the answer?”
5. “Bugs, diseases, and critters get most of our produce! It's hardly worth growing for the little bit we manage to save – what can we do to minimize our losses?”
6. “We want to be self-sufficient in food, but we've heard it would take 2 ½ acres in order to be truly self/sufficient. We live on a 1/3-acre lot – what practical chance do we have to accomplish that?”
7. “I hear using hybrid plants will only make us dependent on the big seed companies, and I want to use heirlooms, so I can save the seed and be assured I'll always be able to have good plants, is this something I can do, and how do I do it?”