By Robert Cohen Executive Director Text Only

My 2003 Garden

This summer, I look forward to enjoying breakfast, lunch,
and dinner in my garden, picking and eating ripe vegetables
directly from living plants. In a few weeks, I'll harvest
between 2 and 3 gallons of sweet organic strawberries. Since
March, I've been enjoying eight different varieties of
lettuce, red and green basil, and enough spinach to
overwhelm Popeye the Sailor-man. Three different varieties
of garlic are close to being picked and six types of potato
plants now stand about two feet tall. Each day, I enjoy
spearment tea from an enormous bush. I steep a gallon of tea
at a time and need no sweetener for the resulting sweet
aromatic beverage.

Last year, I planted my first garden. If me, with a scarlet-
red thumb can do it, you can do it too. I used the
principles of "square-foot gardening." My plants taught me
valuable lessons. Waiting for them to grow took so much
time. I was impatient. I learned the reason why their
initial above ground growth was so slow. My plant reserved
their initial energies to promoting successful lives. Their
initial growth was happening underground, out of my
nearsighted vision. What chemical messages were the plant's
roots sending to micro-organisms in the dirt? Those
chemicals probably included yet-to-be discovered natural
herbicides and pesticides. At a certain time in the plant's
above ground growth spurt, she would manufacture new
chemicals for flying insects and hungry small mammals. Do
not eat my leaves! In order to mature to healthy summer
plants, plants first had to develop strong foundations in
the spring. Their root systems would spread unseen to
promote such growth. Roots and foundations. Are we any

We must have strong blood. They must too. Our bloods are so
similar! I learned that from reading about the 1930 Nobel
Prize award given to Dr. Hans Fischer. The most important
protein in human blood is hemoglobin, containing a center
atom of iron. The protein in plant blood is chlorophyll,
containing a center atom of magnesium. Other than that, the
two molecules are nearly identical. Plants need sunlight to
manufacture that protein. Exposing tiny seeds to proper
sunny exposures in my garden insured proper growth. Ellen G.
White once recognized that good blood was essential to
keeping a living creature strong. In 1905, she wrote:

"In order to have good health, we must have good blood; for
the blood is the current of life. It repairs waste, and
nourishes the body. When supplied with the proper food
elements and when cleansed and vitalized by contact with
pure air, it carries life and vigor to every part of the
system. The more perfect the circulation, the better will
this work be accomplished."

Plants circulate waste too. The process of photosynthesis
creates waste. A plant circulates waste products through her
body and excretes minerals into the soil. Nitrogen through
the soil. Oxygen through her leaves. Her waste product of
oxygen nourishes air-breathing mammals.

There is nothing sold in any supermarket to compare to the
sun-ripened taste of ripe, red cherry tomatoes. Nor can one
find cucumbers, peppers, carrots, or peas to compare to what
I grow without the aid of pesticides and herbicides.

Ninety-two years ago, in 1911, Ellen G. White wrote:

"Families and institutions should learn to do more in the
cultivation and improvement of land. If people only knew the
value of the products of the ground, which the earth brings
forth in their season, more diligent efforts would be made
to cultivate the soil. All should be acquainted with the
special value of fruits and vegetables fresh from the
orchard and garden."

Five dozen corn stalks grow outside of Lizzy's bedroom
window. Last year, I planted six varieties of tomatoes, 20
plants in all. This year, I've got thirteen varieties in the
ground and a total of 40 plants.

I planted bulbs last fall, and my garden is now a splash of
color. Dozens of nasturtium plants promise further June
beauty, with large green leaves surrounding my broccoli,
beets, cauliflower, cabbage, asparagus, carrots, and

Planting a garden couldn't be easier. I was once so
intimidated. Here's what I did last year. This year's garden
will save quite a bit of food bill dollars and provide
delicious organic produce. Last year's garden:

Plant a seed today. Buy a tomato plant or two. Nature pretty
much does the rest. I add about five minutes per day of easy
work with my hoe.

Robert Cohen, author of:   MILK A-Z
Executive Director (
Dairy Education Board

Do you know of a friend or family member with one or more of these milk-related problems? Do them a huge favor and forward the URL or this entire file to them.

Do you know of someone who should read these newsletters? If so, have them send an empty Email to and they will receive it (automatically)!