You may not realize this but your soil matters when you garden. I certaintly didn’t! As a newbie home gardener, I’ve always had issues growing my plants. They either died quickly or I found it hard to keep up. I also learned that I probably didn’t have the right soil that didn’t provide sufficient nutrients to plants.
Recently, I’ve been using True Organic, a farm-grade soil that’s the only certified organic fertilizer trusted by the largest organic growers for over 20 years. To learn more, I had the chance to interview Justin Comages, a True Organic Representative, who shared more about soil (who knew that soil CAN die?!), True Organic and what makes them different.
Interview with True Organic
Weekend Jaunts: How did the idea for True Organic come about?
Justin Comages: At True Organic, our vision is of an earth restored to its true organic roots, replenished with organic matter, reversing the effects of chemical and synthetic-based gardening. Our purpose is to lead the growing organic movement with premium plant foods and soils that set a higher organic standard, so they are true to the way nature intended, and true to the next generation. our mission is to return more soil to its organic roots by providing home gardeners with plant foods and products made from ethically-sourced, premium organic ingredients that yield the healthiest results for people and planet.
Weekend Jaunts: How are you different from what’s out there?
Justin Comages: We control the entire process from raw materials to the finished goods, unlike the majority of the sector that relies on a lot of toll manufacturing and co-packaging. This allows True Organic to offer the best in QC and consistency. We are the only plant food manufacture that is ISO22000 accredited, which is a 3rd party audit that verifies a food safety management system.
Weekend Jaunts: What are some of the best ways for consumers to introduce better soil practices in their gardening?
Justin Comages: The best and easiest way to improve their soil practices is by switching to or better yet starting with Certified Organic Plant foods. Synthetic or Conventional forms of plant food are designed to feed the plant, which they do effectively, but inversely they are very harsh on soil microorganisms and the environment. Organic plant foods are based simply on proteins, carbon, and carbohydrates, very similar to our own diets. It’s in this way the Organic Plant food feeds the soil and soil microbes, which in turn consume and convert these into a mineralized form of nutrients available to the plant. So the end result when using organic plant food is still a thriving plant, but also a thriving and improved soil. The best part about this is that each and every time you apply Organic Plant foods you’re making a positive difference in your soil’s health and quality. As opposed to degrading it at the expense of growing a plant, which is the case with synthetic, petroleum-based plant foods.
Weekend Jaunts: What are some shocking truths about soil?
Justin Comages: This one is so vast because you never know what is “shocking” to people, but generally:
- Dirt is NOT Soil. Soil is a living, breathing organism. A small handful of healthy soil contains more microbes than we have people on Earth.
- Soil CAN die… Just like any other living thing. It can be drowned, dried, over, or undersupplied with nutrition essential to maintaining a survivable balance. This is much more similar to our own bodies than most people realize.
- One healthy acre of soil can hold/store over 9000 tons of water. That’s approx. 2.2 Mil gallons in one Acre. To put that into perspective Lake Shasta the Largest reservoir in CA and the 8th largest in the US at full capacity has about 4,552,000 ac/ft of water (1.484 Trillion Gallons). It would take 674,523 Acres to hold that much water. The shocking part to me is that is only .0064% of the total area of California!
Soil is a renewable resource, but it’s not fast. It takes ~ 500 years to create 1 inch of new topsoil (the healthy/productive) portion of soils.
Weekend Jaunts: What products should consumers try if they are just starting to grow?
Justin Comages: True Organics’ main focus when creating the packaging was to address this very question. Our blends Clearly represent in words as well as a graphic the best option for what you are growing. Our True Organic All-Purpose dry will make a successful gardener out of anyone that follows the straightforward and simple ways to use. And once they see just how easy that is, the addition of our all-purpose liquid throughout the growing season will even start to impress a well-experienced gardener.
Weekend Jaunts: Anything else to add?
Justin Comages: Our packaging is produced with a min of 20% Post-Consumer Recycled plastics. This % will grow every year as more material becomes available. A lot of the fun things are included in the Brand Guide Melinda mentioned, but my main addition would be the emphasis and passion at which True Organic puts on food safety.
We view ourselves as part of the food production chain, whether that is large-scale commercial organic production like Taylor Farms, Grimmway, Driscoll’s, Zirkle, or right in your own backyard. Gardening is an experience that can be shared across multiple generations in the same patch of soil, our #1 GOAL is to make sure that is possible in the absolute safest way with the safest products.
Learn more about them at True Organic