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10 Ways Organic Gardening is like Good Business

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10 Ways Organic Gardening is like Good Business

I was out puttering in my garden this morning, planting a few new perennials – (I’m running out of space for planting new things!). My mind was on work, as it is a lot these days. I stood up for a second, and looked out over my now-5-year-old garden, and thought of how far we have come together. When I started it was rocks and sandy clay—a dusty, hard-packed, unproductive mess. Now I’ve got incredible bushes, trees, flowers, herbs, vegetables; and everything is filling in and working together to create a hospitable, productive, and beautiful garden. And working in the garden is a lot easier, too.

Beginner’s Guide to Organic Gardening

As I was napping on my couch a bit later (it’s Sunday, mind you—even CEOs need a day of rest!), I started thinking about how good business is similar to organic gardening. I’m in my second year of the job as CEO of Rodale, and it’s kind of like the second year of starting a new landscape—I can see the potential, and I can also see how far we have come…but as any gardener knows, there is lots more to be done. And as anyone who has seen me garden knows, I’m always a big dreamer! People have called me crazy…until they come back a few years later and see what I’ve done.

I’m hoping if I use these same principles at work, I may have just as much success:

1: First, have a good plan for the “bones.” In garden terms, the bones refer to the parts of the landscape that you want to last a long time—pathways, trees, patios. But that’s also a plan for how to make the most of what you have and minimize the challenges you face, whether it’s too much water or not enough. In business, this means deciding what business you are, and are not, going to be in for a long time. It’s the commitment part. It’s the key to making it all work together.

2: Think long-term—especially when it comes to the big stuff like trees. A tree can take 5 to 10 years to grow big enough to have an impact or bear fruit. Just like new parts of the business: You have to be patient, and make sure they are planted in the right space so they don’t get too stressed to survive. And then have patience. Shouting at a plant has never made it grow faster!

Plant the right variety for your conditions now and enjoy the benefits for years to come.

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Read more: General Health, Guidance, Lawns & Gardens, Maria's Farm Country Kitchen, Nature, , , , , , ,

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35 comments

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4:43AM PDT on Mar 29, 2014

Personally I think overjoyed I discovered the blogs.
In The Blonde Articles

7:25AM PDT on Mar 23, 2013

Thank you Maria, for Sharing this!

3:02PM PST on Dec 4, 2011

I really like this post! I'm trying to turn my garden fully organic but it's overrun with bugs and obviously I don't just want to plant anything nice if it's going to get chewed up. Can I buy organic pesticides off the shelf or do I have to get an organic garden pest control people in?

1:18AM PDT on Aug 13, 2011

Good comparisons. Another is that both a business and garden need continuous incremental improvements to be successful. In a garden this includes several Maria's ideas: being open to the unexpected/unplanned, investing in the ground work, re-arranging when things aren’t working as is and working towards the big picture. It also means not leaving things for long periods. People and plants need tending to produce their best and both need that tending in small, but often, packets. It’s healthier for both employees and gardens to have 10 minutes a day of weeding out the unwanted and tying in/encouraging the desirable than big events once per month.

Another analogy that works for both, is “luck is preparedness meeting opportunity”. When you do your homework and know what you need, what the pros and cons are of an option, environmental factors that might affect the situation, etc. then when an opportunity arises, you know if it is worthwhile and what the value could be to you and yours.

I enjoyed this article. Thanks for posting it.

7:14AM PDT on Jun 19, 2011

Just started a community garden project and am also getting tips from other community gardeners.

2:11PM PDT on Jun 16, 2011

thanks!

1:07PM PDT on Jun 16, 2011

Thanks for sharing.

9:21AM PDT on Jun 16, 2011

Thanks. Our property/gardens have always been organic.

7:08AM PDT on Jun 16, 2011

ty

10:09PM PDT on Jun 15, 2011

thanks for sharing.

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