Organic gardening is focused on the inputs – what you put into the soil and on the plants – with the expectation of better nutrition as a result. High brix gardening is focused directly on the end result – the nutrition levels – and providing specific inputs necessary to obtain this. The methodologies are therefore the opposite although the goal is the same.
One is input-driven, while hoping for better nutrition, and the other is result-driven, while providing only those inputs that improve the result.
In an organic program, you can’t put inorganic substances into the soil or on the plants, but you can put organic ones. Organic substances must meet the organic standards as defined by the USDA (see earlier post What about Organic?) Organic means it comes from a living thing. And the result is that you expect better fruits and veggies, right?
But there is no guarantee of better nutrition. One person could be following an organic program and not get good results. Their soil could be lacking something, or maybe they don’t really know what they’re doing. Maybe they didn’t water when it was needed. There are a hundred things that can go wrong.
Or maybe for many the real point is money and not the most nutritious produce. Just meet the standards for organic certification, sell for the organic prices, and then spend as little as possible while still maintaining your certification.
This is one pitfall of the USDA program – there is no testing of organic produce. It is ONLY about the inputs. I have personally found some conventional produce that tests significantly higher than their organic counterparts (see Carrot Test for Brix Levels).
High brix processes could change everything.
High Brix Gardening
High brix gardening is not limited to organic inputs as determined by USDA standards, but it can produce far more nutritious produce.
Imagine if you could objectively test the nutrient levels in a plant at any time. You could put more organic matter in the soil, and then test. You could foliar feed by spraying the leaves, and then test. Many people use manure teas in their organic gardens. Foliar feeding produces results very quickly – within a few hours – as long as the soil is balanced and has plenty of microbes.
After a while you’d know EXACTLY what produces the best results in a particular crop.
That’s the general idea, and the research has already been done. Anyone can learn how to do it.
People who pay for high brix produce COULDN’T CARE LESS about whether it is organic certified by USDA standards. They simply pull out their refractometer and test it themselves. If it meets the brix level that the seller claims, they buy it. If those carrots test at 12-13 brix (what to speak of 14-15) they know that no inorganic pesticides were used, they know that the produce is not “good-looking but nutrient-poor hydroponic” – they know all this because you cannot grow high brix produce using such methods.
High brix really puts the power into the hands of two parties – the consumer, and the grower who actually cares about selling a top-quality product.
The huge commercial citrus buyers in Florida are already paying a premium for high brix citrus. High brix produce does not rot. It will gradually dehydrate. The commercial buyers are willing to pay more, because high brix produce has a very long shelf life. Whole Foods has recently contracted with a high brix tomato grower, and I’m sure they are paying a premium.
My consultant told me directly that anyone who can grow really high brix produce can practically name their price. It is a sellers market – especially as consumers become educated and so few sellers are growing it. Everything will gradually start to be based on QUALITY – verifiable quality – and not just appearance.
We encourage you to read up on this, and try it yourself.
We’re even providing a community garden all set up with the soil amended in accordance with high brix methods. Of course you need to follow the rest of the program – monthly nutrient drenches and weekly foliar sprays – to get really high brix produce. But we’ll even supply that for you.
Some day consumers using the brix scale to personally measure nutrient levels will become commonplace, and they will all demand better quality – verifiable quality. Until this happens, if you want top-notch fuits and veggies, you have to grow them yourself.
And if you’re not growing anything yourself, at least buy a refractometer and test everything you buy, so you can pick out the most nutritious produce. It’s so easy!
For more information, here are some links.