In the summer of 1998 two men who considered themselves expert agronomists, Larry Sagers and K.C. Abney, went public with accusations discrediting The Mittleider Method of gardening. Six specific accusations were included in their paper, including:
1. "Fertilizer cost is too high, $950 per acre. Should be $250-$300.
2. "The shotgun approach used is wasteful, cost prohibited, and environmentally hazardous."
3,"The Mittleider program causes excessive build-up of salts in the soil."
4." Environmentally hazardous due to nitrate toxicity in the ground water. It may be a "Point Source" of pollution."
5. Mittleider states a person can grow any vegetable on any soil in any climate with very little water, yet he advocates watering almost every day. This sounds like water is being wasted!"
6. "If the Mittleider program is a solution to world hunger, why do we hear nothing about its current success in developing countries?"

Professor Dillon Inouye, and Bruce Webb from Brigham Young University from BYU's Soil & Plant Analysis Lab, and other scientists from Utah State University, and the Stukenholtz Laboratories in Twin Falls, Idaho instructed us in properly and completely determining the truth about the above issues.

After extensive soil testing in Mittleider gardens of 3, 10, and 20 years the scientific results were reported as follows:
1. Yearly cost per acre to give plants all 13 nutrients they need is $260 - Schedule 1
2. Memo from BYU Soil & Plant Analysis Lab corroborates that the Mittleider Method is economically sound and environmentally friendly. Schedule 2
3. Scientific testing showed no build-up of salts, and no toxicity from any of the 13 nutrients. Schedule 2.
4. Memo from BYU Soils Lab states "The data clearly demonstrate . . no evidence of . . nitrogen over-fertilization . . . Therefore, the Mittleider Method of gardening is not a point-source of pollution." Schedule 2.
5. Because only 10-12" width is watered for 2 rows of plants, with no water in the aisles, much less water is used.- Schedule 3
6. Validations of The Mittleider Method - last 3 paragraphs.

I have included the named documents in the Files Section above, in a folder called Validations of The Mittleider Method.

There is so much more that could be said on this subject, and those of you who have attended seminars I have conducted have heard me compare the 7 ounces of fertilizer salts we apply to a Mittleider garden bed as compared to the 10-12 pounds of salts applied to the same space by an organic grower, as strong evidence that the shoe is actually on the other foot when it comes to over-application of chemical salts.


Posted by: jim@growfood.com
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