You have heard about the ears and the marital problems of Prince Charles but did you know that the Prince of Wales has been a PRESCIENT of organic gardening for almost a quarter of a century.
At last, the organic gardener cannot be considered as a wacko, nor a hippie anymore.
It is interesting to know that the number of U.S. households using only all-natural or organic fertilizer, insect controls, and weed controls increased from about 5 million in 2004 to 12 million last year, according to the National Gardening Association’s lawn and garden survey, done by Harris Interactive.
Although most of the 100 million households in the country still use conventional methods such as artificial fertilizers and pesticides, the organic fraction is growing rapidly.
And at least part of the credit goes to Charles, who has gardened organically at Highgrove House, Gloucestershire for nearly 30 years.
In books, interviews and speeches around the world, Charles roundly rejects “the ever-available chemical conveniences” in favor of a “more balanced way of tending the earth.”
In this, he was strongly influenced by the writings Albert Howard, a British botanist, known as the “father of organic farming.”
Albert Howard has also inspired JI Rodale, the founded of the Soil and Health Foundation, forerunner to the Rodale Institute, in Emmaus, Pa., in 1947.
The Institute has quietly worked with Charles on his farm and gardens in High Grove.
It is said that the Prince of Wales and Camilla even spent much of their honeymoon personally installing the plants they had received as wedding gifts. For the passionnate gardener like the royal couple, this constitutes fun.
Scott Meyer, the editor of the magazine “Rodale Organic Garden Advisor” calls Charles “an icon who plugged on till he was completely right.
“I think his leadership reassured people that organic gardening was not crazy and that this moment could happen. In fact, we got to this moment because we had people who stood up for it,” Meyer said.
It seems indeed that the tide is turning. One proof of this is the fact that home-improvement chains such as Lowe’s and Home Depot now carry an array of organic products, and even the largest purveyor of conventional lawn and garden products, now have organic lines.
This market segment is growing by about 13 percent a year, according to Keri Butler, Scott’s public affairs director.
Organic gardening is all about preserving the ecosystem. The organic garderner enriches the soil with compost and other organic matter. They control weeds the old-fashioned way, even if it uses a lot of elbow grease…
Organic everything is trendy now. You’ll be happy to learn that Rockers Bruce Springsteen and Dave Matthews, and British actress Elizabeth Hurley even have organic farms.
A last anecdote to illustrate the influence of Prince Charles: Elisabeth Hurley recently announced that her new organic meat and grain products would be sold by Duchy Originals, the organic-food company founded in 1990 by none other than Prince of Wales.
What do you know…
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