Hello, I am Adina. My local business is called The Compost Gardener. I am the Purveyor of Poo, Compost Concoctor, Organic Garden Consultant, Permaculture Designer, and a Master Gardener Volunteer in the South Florida town where I live.
I grew up playing in the yard that surrounded my father’s vegetable garden. My father’s children were not forced or cajoled into gardening, but we were always present when food was coming out of the ground, and we were insatiably interested in the compost pile with it’s busy hosts of wriggling, jumping, scurrying invertebrates, it’s earthy smell, and its dark rich color.
I left Maryland when I was 19 and moved to South Florida where I have lived ever since. Not long after I got here I worked at a retail nursery and learned about ornamental perennial gardening in Florida. Plants were discounted for employees there and I went to town in my own garden. A decade later I had a vegetable garden and was determined not to poison my food.
At first I looked for organic fertilizers and tried to do battle with insects using bactericidal sprays and natural insecticidal sprays. I found that practice to be an overall frustrating and mostly ineffective waste of time and money. I quit fertilizers and sprays of any sort and soon after I began to practice the no till no dig way of growing. Suddenly my soil quality was increasing from season to season rather than becoming depleted. I had to learn about the universe of living creatures and organisms I had observed so many years before in my father’s compost before I could begin to understand why the no till practice was so critical to the health of my gardens. Not long after going no till I resigned fully from doing battle with any insects in the garden, and it turned out there was enough food coming out of the garden for me and the insects, and the less I did battle the less I lost to pests and disease.
The natural next step was the study of Permaculture. Permaculture gardening is the simplest most natural approach to growing. I was on my way to permaculture long before I learned the word. Studying Permaculture gave me a larger understanding of in how many ways we can mimic nature in our gardens to increase the health and the yields of our crops without increasing our efforts. I have learned a great deal in the last 5 years or so, and I think this blog chronicles that journey. For that reason I do not go backwards and correct old posts. If a newer post contradicts an older post in this blog the newer post is likely to be the one that reflects what I currently believe to be true and correct. For any confusion this causes the reader I am sorry.