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Kenneth Kales

Kenneth Kales

Posted: February 9, 2010 04:04 PM

Bluebloods Aren't Yellow About Green

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Despite popular folklore, aristocrats, not hippies, were the first anti-establishment set to love Mother Earth.

Specifically, the modern organic movement we take part in and witness as mainstream today originated amongst British nobility at the onset of World War II. Lord Northbourne, in 1940, actually coined the phrase "organic farming and gardening" in his book Look to the Land.

Soon after, others began understanding the wisdom of nurturing nature in a self-sustaining, self-rejuvenating cycle of life and death.

In keeping with this royal tradition, many may not realize that Prince Charles has magnificently carried on this mantle for 30 years. In particular, his dedication and devotion to the organic movement can be seen at his private residence located in Gloucestershire, at the Highgrove Estate.

Coincidentally, this week marks a special occasion for the royal advocacy of organic gardening and farming. Debs Goodenough, Head Gardener to His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall arrives in New York to address the Brooklyn Botanic Garden on February 11th about all things Highgrove. From there she travels to the Berkshire Botanical Garden in Great Barrington, Massachusetts for a February 13th presentation on the remarkable Highgrove experiment turned utopia for ecological sustainability.

Since her appointment as Head Gardener about a year-and-a-half ago, succeeding the brilliant David Howard's decade-long tenure as Head Gardener, this trip will mark Ms. Goodenough's first visit to the United Sates as a spokesperson for His Royal Highness.

I had the pleasure and honor of visiting Highgrove two years ago when my company published the book The Elements of Organic Gardening written by His Royal Highness with Stephanie Donaldson. Ms. Goodenough's talks will draw heavily on the part lavish showcase, part how-to publication.

She will not only reveal the operational intricacies of running the 37-acre ecological reserve, but certainly too will add anecdotes about His Royal Highness' hand-on involvement. The Prince is not afraid to get his hands dirty, literally, and prizes the fertile soil generated and regenerated at Highgrove as a most precious resource.

Whether it is through your purchasing organic food at the local market, growing an organic vegetable in a single five-inch diameter terra cotta planter, or eliminating pesticides from your gardening repertoire, you too can experience a sense of royal lifestyle.

What started among the gentry class of landowners in Great Britain has now become a practical solution for all of us in facing the challenges of climate change.

If "reducing our carbon footprint" is to be the catchphrase for helping save the environment, then look no further than organic soil to facilitate accomplishing that. Organic soil is nature's carbon taskmaster as it naturally pulls carbon out of the atmosphere and keeps it underground.

 

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