Articles, Blog

I got the flu – only one thing to do…

November 4, 2019

So I really messed up this past year. I had so much going on in my life that I didn’t
devote much time to my garden. And that means this winter, I’ve have hardly
any truly nutritious food to eat. And THAT is one of the main reasons I caught
a nasty flu a couple of weeks ago – my first flu in at least 10 years. When you get the flu, it’s easy to get upset
at the virus. “Man, I HATE this virus!” But the real problem is that my immune system
was weak enough that the virus was able to multiply. The good news is that as I lay in bed for
a few days, it became clear that I had begun to take my health – and my garden – for granted. And coming to that realization has given me
the kick I needed to get back into using the strategies I’ve always used to grow highly
nutrient-dense food, AND it’s inspired me to want to expand my organic garden this year. Why? Well, because I need access to MORE nutritious
food in the winter. And although this flu wasn’t much fun, it’s
not what I’m really concerned about. What I’m concerned about is if my body is
open to the flu, it may be open to more serious issues. 1 in 2 men get cancer. 1 in 3 women. I’d
rather skip it altogether. Same goes for the other big diseases of our
age – heart disease, lung disease, stroke, Alzheimer’s, diabetes. Luckily, I know how to give myself the best
chance at preventing these, which is to improve my health, which I strongly believe is done
through nutrition and exercise and cultivating a happy mind. Fortunately, growing your own food contributes
to all of these things. And if you do it right, the one it contributes
to the most, also the one I specialize in, is nutrition. The problem is that most of the food you buy
in the grocery store or from the farmer’s market is quite low in nutrition – even most
of the organic food. But if you take the time to learn how, you
can grow food that is SO much more nutritious than food you can get anywhere else. I’m talking especially about getting more
minerals into that food, which will still be there even if you’re storing it throughout
the winter to make sure you don’t get the flu like I did. When I say more nutrition, I mean 30% more,
50% more, even 100% more – especially when we talk about the major minerals like calcium
and magnesium. In other cases – especially with micronutrients
such as iodine and boron – it can be hundreds of times more. And it can start as simply as remineralizing
just 100 square feet of soil with some basalt rock dust and a little bit of good compost
and then planting that area with potatoes. You can then eat two of those potatoes every
day throughout the winter to bring some more nutrition into your diet. Or feel free to substitute squash or apples
or whatever you prefer to eat in the winter, because although a lot of nutrition writers
focus on the mineral composition of various foods, in my experience what’s much more
important is how that food was grown. What I mean is, I’d rather eat the same
nutrient-dense potatoes every day rather than a big diversity of, say, 10 different nutrient-poor
foods. That being said, some foods are highly medicinal.
For example, I would always suggest including a small patch of garlic in your garden for
the benefits it will bring both you and the garden. Anyway, rock dust is just one of the many
wonderful options we have available to us. I’m currently working on a checklist I’ll
be sending you next week. It will contain a list of these options I
intend to use in my garden this year to get more nutrition into my potatoes and squash
and apples and everything else I grow, and it’s also what I’ll be using to prepare
a new area so I can grow even more nutritious food. Because more nutrition means less disease
for me. And less disease means more time to enjoy
life. If you’re on my email list you can look
out for that checklist in your inbox in a week or so. And another heads up: I’m going to be opening
up my online organic gardening course – The Smiling Gardener Academy – for enrolment very
soon, just for a few days. I get a lot of emails this time of year from
people who want to enrol in the course, and it’s time to welcome a new group in there
which is always really exciting. If you’re on my email list, I’ll let you know when
that’s open. For today, I’d just say feel free to share
this with someone who might want to get that checklist I’ll be putting out next week. If you’re on my website right now you can
use the sharing buttons that are on the right side of this page, of if you’re on Facebook
or Youtube you can use their sharing buttons. If they do want that checklist, they can get
onto my email list themselves by coming to my website and filling out the form that’s
also on the right side of almost every page of my website. They also get my free ebook
and my 15 organic gardening lessons when they get onto that email list. As for you, I’d love to hear from you down
below: What problems have you faced in your garden in this past year, or what questions
do you have for this year? I’ll be responding to every one. That’s all for today, we’ll see you soon.


  • Reply Snarky Grin March 20, 2016 at 12:30 am

    Oh no Phil, I hope you're feeling better!! At least the experience has rebooted your passion.

  • Reply Catherine Reid March 21, 2016 at 4:35 pm

    Great video, Phil. I love the idea of boosting the nutrient value of what I grow, with the right soil amendments. Does this require a soil test, to know what to add? Or are there indicators in the garden of imbalances, such as the type of weeds present?

  • Reply Robert Conatser March 22, 2016 at 3:39 pm

    I'm sorry about your illness. The flu is no joke. Keep in mind that nutrition alone won't prevent most cases. Vaccines help much more.
    Anyway, I feel your pain. My spouse is disabled and showing signs of dementia at age 43. We're still adjusting to this new reality, so I've had little time to work on my garden.
    I'll keep watching to see how you catch up! I need all the help I can get. You make great videos!

  • Reply blastmyself April 16, 2016 at 2:26 am

    Problem is plants just die on me. Last year I got back a hand full of nuggets from a good size sweet potatoe. I've had more nutrition in the sweet potatoes I planted then I get back. should I start taking vitamins to quit catching colds? at least till I learn to grow? subbed up

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