Organic Gardner Podcast – Raw Episode Garden Maker | Bill Sadler | Elwood, KS – 04.09.18

At Garden Maker™ Naturals, we want to help gardeners grow their best possible gardens. Every garden is different – different plants, different weather, different soil. Why shouldn’t your fertilizer be just as unique? Today you can build your own burger and design your own doll, so we thought you should be able to formulate your own fertilizer, too. In March of 2017, we launched Garden Maker™.


Our three core values are Natural Nutrition, Total Transparency and Complete Control. Natural Nutrition for your garden soil means we only use natural & organic ingredients. Total Transparency lets you know exactly what you’re feeding your garden, because we show you the exact formula of every fertilizer we make – every single ingredient in the bag. And Complete Control means that we make it easy to find or create a fertilizer that contains only the ingredients you want, with nothing that you don’t.

Bill Sadler Garden Maker Naturals

Tell us a little about yourself.

I’m a Bio-chemist who fell in love with sustainability

I’ve done a fair amount with

  • soils
  • endangered animals
  • environmental projects

predominantly from the business world because my belief was until the board rooms talk about sustainability nothing’s gonna change but I’m pleased to say a lot of boards are talking about green and what it takes.

Well my listeners are gonna love this because I call my listeners Green Future Growers, they’re

  • forward thinking
  • entrepreneruial
  • visionaries


IDK why in my life I am addicted to business podcasts because when I first went to college I wouldn’t have walked into the business building for the life of me.

Beauty and Briefcase

There’s this funny movie with Hillary Duff called the Beauty and Briefcase and she falls in love with this guy who is not a tree-hugger at all but he’s an environmentalist because it’s efficeincy and reduces waste. And Im very much like that I hate any kind of waste.

Garden Maker Naturals Veggies

Tell me about your first gardening experience?

That’s easy one for me!

I had a father who was a bit ahead of his time on the green side

I wouldn’t say he was  a hippy quite opposite

But he

  • liked farming
  • liked the earth
  • understanding what weeds did

At the age 7-8 we had a big garden and I was pretty involved with that

He decided I should sell extra produce

my brother preceded me

1950s we did a farm to market garden stand

back in the before anyone knew what those were

  • 350 -400 tomato plants


  • peppers
  • corn

We sold the excess in a roadside stand

father, he’s not with us but I have to give him full credit

a bit of understanding of what’s good on the earth

and to be involved as a

  • businessman
  • entrepreneurship

5-6 years

Other then a few years when I went away to college I have had a garden every year of my life. Some in there I hadn’t graduate school. My families garden or our own


long long time

There’s been an epiphany in our family because my daughter who lives down the hill from us on a farm is now the head of the family and I’m the assistant and I couldn’t be more thrilled that she has taken up the effort and the staff.

How big is your place?

It’s 200 plus acre farm

now in our family

garden viewed a large garden in most households

grapes and a number of other things

moved another generation looks like her 2 sons are engaging in the garden as well! All exciting for how long we’ve been in the garden industry?

That’s awesome! Do you want to talk about the environmental projects or the endangered animals? How a chemist falls in love with sustainability?

Yeah! a guy told me something I scoffed at when i heard it. The gentleman’s comments was you will gain your passion as you execute it and do it not at teh front end. 

once you see it work and see the results and you will get more excited and that was certainly true for me!

IDK when it all started

this opportunity arose to

environments and habitat

ecosystems are all about

very sucessful I made a  lot of friends

began to study the rest of the planet it all starts with plants

most part dependent on the plants dependent on the sun

Mother Nature

classic ecosystem on macro and micro basis. I began to appreciate was that mother nature in her good wisdom had developed nutritional systems for plants

similar to what animals had done

began to look true for plants as well

we deliver them different

ecosystems in the soil

Dr. Elaine Ingham

Dr. Elaine Ingham’s work

soil food web

quote fertilizer and nutritional plane

all of a sudden I understood mother natures systems were more related then different

chemical fertilizers which were always foreign to what an animal eats

no animal eats a refined

no animal eats a static diet

Except a animal eating synthetic in a laboratory environment

nature and what mother nature produces


bring that technology

to people

began building fertilizers

looking at natural solutions for problems

  • personally doing them as well as 
  • building products and businesses relationships

How do you build business relationships for things like that?

how that started

Particular one wiht our garden maker website

that helps customers that buy their own

People who have larger branded names

small companies that have sustainable approaches

I find it kin of a grass roots movement a lot of companies that want to participate

still a lot of road to travel to get everyone on board.

Our new website helps people access that’s the good word

it was hard to find and access so we built a way for people to access it easily



why that all got started is because I wanted to buy 100lbs

We coudn’t get them it was hard!

could buy a semi load

44,000 lbs is a lot!

Can I ask you’re asking about dirt? 1000 lbs of dirt?




  • alfalfa meals
  • mineral sources
  • find in small pound bags but 100 lbs were hard to find!

couldn’t find where I live and I couldn’t find them around other people

Garden Maker Naturals Website


access the individual ingredients in what you want

if you’re gonna feed yourself what you’re growing then you ought to know what you’re putting on the ground.

You could argue that these are all proprietary rights, but NO. People want to know

  • what they’re eating
  • feeding soil
  • what their family is going to consume

team for people


see the full formulas


literally buy a semi

  • 10
  • 5
  • 25lb amounts

very excited about that

let’s people have access

the freedom to do as they would like to do for their family!


Mike’s Mini Farm Year One

I’m trying not to say I LOVE ALL THIS! But I really do love it all. My husband’s really the gardener I like to paint in the garden and eat the vegetables maybe grow some flowers, but my husband’s the big gardener. He started this thing I call the mini farm and we are on the major search for dirt we can afford that’s high quality. 

The first year’s attempt was to be somewhat quiet, but we knew in any launch of a technology of this time there would be 

  • wrinkles 
  • bugs 
  • things

We beta tested etc so all last summer

  • We were tweaking

freight rates were not as good as they were supposed to be

  • adjusted

So for us! The real launch began in January and December

New opportunity


go online and internet

be able to buy with full transparency

customize your own

or buy individual ingredients

Do you want to talk about soil testing a bit? That has been recommended on my show a lot. Mike hasn’t gotten his soil tested, last year I actually talked him into trying it and then I dropped the ball on sending it in.

Soil Testing

Soil testing is a very valuable tool

It shouldn’t be over used and where to send things is kind of important

If anyone is listening from a University this is no slam but University 

extension services

have a tendency to make recommendations based on NPK comments lime


We look at it a different level from the University of Missouri named Albrecht


looking at how to bring

soil to life from both chemistry and biology

Part that we spend the most time thinking about is how to feed the biology

  • bacterial
  • fungal
  • insect
  • lives in the soil
  • how does that ecosystem work?

We tend to think of soil tests is do them every other year or every 3rd year because they don’t change overnight

Kind of monitor what you need to do

But we believe if you feed the soil and bring the biology back to correct balance you would be amazed how fast the soil chemistry’ begin to also align themselves

if you provide a food source in a fertilizer  a lot of the soil chemistry issues, not wane but certainly it begins to put things back in balance. I’ve watched it happen!

will begin to

guides to

Screen Shot 2018-04-07 at 7.17.18 PM.png

we like a lab called Logan Labs in Ohio

provide comments back to customers on an organic basis

They will help you solve it looking on the numbers on an organic way if that’s the direction you want to go

soil reports are kind of consumers

I love this because a lot of people ask me that. Where do you send your soil sample.

There’s a nice search engine out there called Google.

My husband likes me to use a search engine called Ecosia that plants trees for every search, sometimes I end up going to Google, but more often for my drive.

do a nice job of helping you of understanding

Albrecht-Kinsey system

what you need to apply

build what you want

If you’re a farmer need lots of stuff


If you need within 5-100 lbs of material.

Our site helps you get that going, we don’t make recommendations because that’s a big deal but the Logan Labs site  will get you going.

The other thing about organic fertilizers for your listeners is they’re incredibly forgiving!

You can add too much and can do some things but it’s really on the excessive side

chemical much more intense or you need to be much more careful about what you do

the organic side you can apply a little bit wrong

a lot about what were trying to apply to the soil

putting energy or carbon in the soil

Plants exude



plants not particularly healthy

they don’t have all the minerals they need

don’t produce enough sugards

helping feed directly those microbes which become more populated

root structure

help plant transfer more minerals then the plant becomes more robust then they can feed microbes themselves. 

think of a young animal can’t care for itself needs nurturing and caring

  • make soil healthier
  • plants healthier and then
  • plants return the favor
  • whole cycle begins

That’s how you grow prairies as high as a man on a horse

without chemical intervention

derived around

help people build those

Azomite Garden Maker Naturals

grandpa or dad

  • blood meal
  • feather meal
  • trace mineral – Azomite
  • calcium
  • eggshells in the garden

makes sense that’s what your base is.

I think people are gonna be fascinated. We’re talking April 2nd? I thought this fall why don’t we do the soil test now? Is there a reason why you need to wait till spring?

On the soil testing? No, it does not matter, you can take any time

The tradition is if you’re really gonna get into it

We have a small production vineyard, we do petioles testing

Sorry Folks this is about where I got to on the show notes and then I was driving when I edited the rest of the RAW show. One of these soon days I will get the rest fixed up right!


basically looking at what’s in the plant

soil test every 3rd year

more of an understanding

spend the money

really concerned




maybe be more valuable

soils don’t move quite as fast


year over year

take them at the similar

June all the time

year over year

take them in the summer

soils can be very wet in the spring

send them into the labs



summer in the fall

plus I like to


what we learned in our website

if you’ve taken your soil test in the summer

fall is a wonderful

calcium and phosphate sources

take time

shock value

don’t want to over apply anything

a lot of material

want to divvy that up to multiple applications

a lot of one particular nutrient

falls’ a wonderful time to make a lot of these applications

dormant from a plant side

not from a biology side

a lot is going to happen


culmination affect

slow build

approving your soil

decades to kind of mess it up

few years to get it back to where

organics work slow I won’t see any effect

you will see impact within a week


just grow from there

results from a year or two

good news is you will get bigger results in future years


petiole analysis

soil lab on U of Missouri

send in

logan offers them or not

stem or green part of the plant

grapes we take the piece the stem from the leaf that goes to the cane

might put a cover crop on it

till that in



spring as your planting

what we like is they become an immediate food source for all that biology

kickstart give an extra boost

want that biology

begin to associate


microrisal fungai

organisms when that plant is young

root hairs

synergy works same as well



applications in the spring

tend to help it grow

most people


warm season


blue grasses

spring grasses

growth as we can

time and temp

at 70-80º peak

flowers and shrubs


any time you want

fall addition

spring addition

we all know that growing tomatoes is the equivalent

that’s our guide

what we’re attempting to do

worry about bigger and greater

more nutritious

USDA has collected

nutrient profile of organically grown vegetables

seems to better

for the most part

fruit from plants or vegetables can have ea. better nutritional profile for humans

generally from these plants is


passion comes later

horn worms that are gonna show up that are chomping at those leaves

plants are gonna be healthier

gonna produce compounds that are gonna keep them away

1-2 of them

plants become more robust

become healthier

secondary compounds

lycopene in tomatoes


tend to believe what happens

more flavorful

more nutritious

healthier plant biosyjtem

flowers that would generate itself in blooms

fruit trees in health

insect management

same responses

personally dealt with

squash beetles

almost attracted to organic products

toughest to deal with

magic bullet

still struggle

squash beetles

critters have generally

if you’ve not watched the video

I think it’s on youtube

what the ecosystem did when the wolves returned to Yellowstone

impact the willows that grow erosion around a stream

long distance

between erosion on a stream bank to a wolf

number of predator insects

number is phenomenal

wheel bugs


pretty prevalent

who yes eat ladybugs

do not desire to

coyotes hard on rodents

bearing the seeds

ground squirrel population

beavers were messed up

willows eating by the elk

beaver couldn’t build their lodges


don’t like wolves

small rodent population

plants to grow better

same ecosystem in it’s own way

what your trying to bring to your farm home

don’t want wolves

want robins

nasty as they

mole or two


mulch don’t like to look at

coming back into the soil


even in our backyard

follow  procedure

less harsh treatment

Tell us about something that grew well this year.

probably one is

we do a nice job

the olympic crop of tomatoes



grow out of 8 foot high cages


right through frost

green tomatoes

tomatoes have done extremely well

phenomenal pumpkin

partly timing



change to have a very

systems will do very

we have variety

diversity is one of mother natures hallmarks of what you need to do

plant a variety

if we have 12 probably have 9 varieties

different fruits




more enjoyable in that regard



4 different

pumpkins did six

pie based pumpkins

white pumpkin

household end up with the chickens

don’t waste don’t want

recycle as much as we can

Is there something you would do different next year or want to try/new?

daughter has already

wont go into dollars


seed catalogs

in one case

we have 2 grand children

indian corn we’re gonna grow

three or 4 new things

every year

we did

pickling cucumbers on a trellis system

nothing wrong with that

probably grow something else

Tell me about something that didn’t work so well this season.

tried to maintain a natural organic lawn for numbers of years

I have not given up

mastered what I need to do in my lawn system

bursts of success stretches of not so good

don’t irrigate

I refuse to spend the money

wasteful environmental attributes

high environmental impact

not much real return

position to have a nice one

organically and naturally not mastered that in my mind

looks pretty good

weed management

don’t have all the calcium nutrition

docket take a hard look at that

sell a lot of lawn fertilizers

people have more success doing it that way

one that people

Soil test for lawn?

not normally

most systems have a balance

who they want their friends to be

don’t have to figure out that for them

provide an environment has a chance to thrive

grasses are clearly different then what you typically grow in the garden

different things will propagate

solid good nutrition

years in the line


luscious lawn and garden 3-1-5

peppers and tomatoes

excellent job in lawns

go across

good nutritious soil

I may be short some nutrients

lawn soil is not as good

till a garden work

the soil

mix things in

working their way down into the soil


forest typically where you are



fungal dominated

grasses like

don’t grow well with forests

took some of that really rich black

probably not kill your lawn

not associated with grasses

basically doing with the manures

shifting the soil type


benefit the bacteria

plant types gone through all that

different plants have a ratio


choose sources that your trying to do


different growing tomatoes

fungal dominated soil with roses

feed them different things

kelp meal


wood mulch around them

help propagate

versus a tomato or onion

all it is trying to help mother nature

Spring Garden Journal

Now Let’s Get to the Root of Things!

Which activity is your least favorite activity to do in the garden.


What is your favorite activity to do in the garden.

watching my grandchildren enjoy the garden

my grandson who is 7

dug potatoes for an hour and half

5 year old


enjoy gardening pretty rewarding

What is the best gardening advice you have  ever received?


plant organic

make healthier plants and make the bugs go away

wise advice

maybe the other paying some attention to companion plantings


next to the peppers

seems to really help

companion plantings

seem to be really

A favorite tool that you like to use? If you had to move and could only take one tool with you what would it be.

probably a hoe

more then anything else

A favorite recipe you like to cook from the garden?

I would say there are a lot of good things from the garden

wife is more of the food preparer then I am

homegrown tomatoes

Caprezi salad


unique different varieties of tomatoes

close behind that

don’t alway grow it because of space

garden fresh sweet corn

A favorite internet resource?

Im kind of bias here we work with


that I have a good site has been great

someone that I go to all the time

that’s a good one

technical side

practical side of what you do


a lot of different sites

A favorite reading material-book or a mag you can recommend?

love of growing grapes

recreational side

wine spectator

enjoyable books

hobby farm

balance of different things

current farm for  little over 50 years


all the things it does



go to magazines

daughter when I get it

she too is the most excited it has showed

gonna grow grapes in any kind of size or scale

a lot more work then we anticipated

when the successes roll in we enjoy these

a lot of work to growing grapes

pay a lot of attention to the varieties of

climate you have

trying to force things to grow where you want to grow

some historical basis to where you are


books that are written

site selection




business side

not a commodity

grow 50 acres of corn

grapes don’t do that

commercial enterprise

make sure you have a market

not instant

doesn’t instantly

gonna grow

20 plants of table grapes for your family

wine groups

cost and expense

much more involved process



working at it has been successful

5 acres

a little over 3000 plants


wine growing area historically

first bit of

Augusta Missouri

before prohibition

great culture

known to be a successful wine growing area

lot of heritage

that’s their choice



ahead of everybody

2000 years of experience

cultivars native to area

Final question- if there was one change you would like to see to create a greener world what would it be? For example is there a charity or organization your passionate about or a project you would like to see put into action. What do you feel is the most crucial issue facing our planet in regards to the environment either in your local area or on a national or global scale?

I think it’s very much local


governments are institutions that dictate green

future generations

I would love to see

every family to make a concerted effort to do 2-3 things to

green lifestyle

you and i will not determine

harvest back the precious metals

how we till our gardens

nitrogen runoff


electricity demand

water usage

adopt some amount of care

personal life

little pieces will

How do we connect with you?


have fun designing your own products

try one of ours

tweak around


more we get your support

efforts what

facebook! Instagram

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If you like what you heard on the Organic Gardener Podcast we’d love it if you’d give us review and hopefully a 5 star rating on iTunes so other gardeners can find us and listen to. Just click on the link here.