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February 27, 2013


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I agree with Scott. Soil Science Products fertilizers have made a huge difference in my garden. Thanks Nick!

Nick Penovich

Hi Jean,

Soybean meal is a commodity. We don’t buy from a specific farmer, therefore it is hard to tell if the soybean meal we use is a GMO product or not. That said, when blending fertilizers one must choose their battles. Bottom-line: We only use soybean meal in our Bloom Driver 2-5-6. A 4# bag contains just 0.69 ounces of soybean meal, along with 2# of humic shale that has long chain carbon sugars to feed the indigenous microbes that will desecrate that 0.69 ounces of soybean meal in no time. This interaction gives us the protein the soil needs.

I chose soybean meal over using animal wastes in our products. Animal waste byproducts have their own set of problems that I feel significantly outweigh the GMO issue. Since we don’t use animal wastes in our products, they’re a great choice for vegetarian and vegan gardeners.

I’ll be at Bellevue Nursery next Saturday (03/09/13 @ 11:00 AM) and on Sunday at Bainbridge Gardens (03/10/13 from 11:00 AM to 3:00 PM) to discuss our products and give out samples. Please stop by if you’re in the area, but please, don’t stop asking questions here.

Scott – thanks for your endorsement. Sure glad you’re getting good success and I hope all is going well with you.


valerie Easton

Thanks, Jean, for bringing this up - I have such knowledgeable readers - you're doing a fine job vetting the components of the fertilizer...I've asked Nick to answer here in a blog comment...so stay tuned.

Jean Whitesavage

What about the soybeans used in this product? where is it farmed? organic or GMO?
Big soy is one of our nation's farming problems.

valerie Easton

Thanks so much Nick - we all appreciate the explanation. I hope Daria feels okay about this now?

Nick Penovich

Hi Darla,

We use soft rock phosphate in our products. Soft rock phosphate is a byproduct from the hard rock phosphate mining operations of yesteryear and is surface mined from the old settling basins of those operations.

Some of the reasons we use soft rock phosphate are: it’s a good supplier of silicon, has a decent amount of boron and it contains a tremendous amount of trace minerals – about 60 altogether – along with a type of electromagnetic energy, or field, that helps to hold calcium up in the root zone. Soft rock phosphate provides tremendous benefits to soil, microbe, and plant life and plays an important part in building soil to help produce healthy plants and nutrient dense foods. Also, it’s insoluble in water, meaning it won’t move or dissolve into the soil or leach into our waterways.

I’m happy to answer any other questions you might have.


valerie Easton

Hi Daria,
That's a good question - I've asked Nick, the owner of Soil Science Products, to answer your question here in the comments section...stay tuned....

valerie Easton

Hi Scott,
Thanks for writing; that's good to hear....

Scott Conner

Congrats to you for bringing on Soil Science Products. I've been using for a couple of years with good results
Scott Conner


I've read that rock phosphate comes from strip mining -- any idea where they get theirs?

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New Book: Petal & Twig

  • Petal & Twig Made The New York Times!
    From Anne Raver's review: "Valerie Easton, a Seattle-based garden writer, discusses the art of growing and arranging cut flowers in “Petal and Twig: Seasonal Bouquets With Blossoms, Branches and Grasses From Your Garden” (Sasquatch Books; $16.95). Written as an informal diary, with photographs of arrangements from her own garden, and tips on cutting and keeping flowers fresh, the book inspires ideas not only on what to grow but on how to combine (or not) those beauties inside. See review here: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/03/29/garden/new-books-on-growing-and-arranging-flowers.html?scp=1&sq=petal%20&%20twig%20anne%20raver&st=cse
  • The first reviews on the new book are in! From Publisher's Weekly:
  • "Open your eyes and keep it simple: those are two lessons Easton passes on from her own 40 years in the garden. When selecting and arranging flowers for bouquets, you needn’t spend a bundle buying a bundle of imported flowers.....The result will be unique, local, imaginative, and inexpensive. Color photos throughout illustrate and inspire."

In the News

  • Montreal Blogger Reviews "A Pattern Garden"
    I was so pleased to find that "A Pattern Garden" is still being reviewed...check out Allan Becker's generous review on his Garden Guru blog.. I felt like Allan really understood what I was working towards in that book....he writes...."There is a delightful abstract quality to this publication. In it, the author takes good garden design to a higher, more spiritual level. Instead of discussing the aesthetic and scientific elements of design, as so many traditional garden design books do, she focuses on the role played in garden design by archetypal ideas - a.k.a. patterns - that reference the longings of human beings. These pleasure and comfort-rooted ideas are those that inspire designers to create gardens that are satisfying beyond their beauty." see more at http://allanbecker-gardenguru.squarespace.com/journal/valerie-easton
  • Planting art
    Check out this interview with Val in the Chicago Tribune on using art in the garden...

The New Low Maintenance Garden

  • Reviews Are In....
    "Over the years, countless books have espoused a low-maintenance approach to gardening. None have been as engaging, practical, or inspiring as this latest of Easton's contributions to the gardener's bookshelf,"
    - Pacific Horticulture magazine, Jan/Feb/Mar 2010

    "A handy guide to a garden you can raise without a corresponding increase in your blood pressure..handsome and informative...."
    - Metropolitan Home, Dec. 2009

    "This book is an invaluable addition to the garden library – destined to be a classic for many years to come."
    - Garden Design Online

Photo Credits

  • The banner and portrait photos were taken by Jacqueline Koch; all other photos by Val Easton unless otherwise credited.


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