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Organic ag seminar draws large crowd

The M.U.M. Review    Translate This Article
8 February 2006

A seminar on organic farming and greenhouses in Maharishi Vedic City drew a paid attendance of 80 people last month.

Participants came from around the state and included faculty from state universities, organic and conventional farmers, greenhouse operators, and backyard gardeners.

The seminar was led by Dean Goodale, director of Maharishi Vedic City Organic Farms. Mr. Goodale has been farming organically for over 20 years and is largely responsible for the outstanding results attained at the city's organic farm and greenhouse.

'Side-by-side comparisons with conventionally-grown produce are dazzling,' says Mr. Goodale. 'Consumers are enjoying a higher level of quality than they've ever experienced before. It's really satisfying to head up this project in the heart of Iowa.'

The seminar included a lecture on the 'Principles of Organic Farming,' a tour of Iowa's largest vegetable greenhouse, and a question-and-answer session on organic farming and greenhouse operations. It was sponsored by Maharishi World Peace Vedic Organics, Maharishi Enlightenment Center, and Maharishi Vedic City. Media coverage included KTVO and two articles in the Des Moines Register.

Special features of the Maharishi Vedic City greenhouse include its year-round operation—unusual in the Midwest—and the fact that the plants are grown directly in the soil. 'Most vegetables grown in greenhouses are grown hydroponically, in an artificial medium using nutrient solutions,' Mr. Goodale says. 'You can get better-tasting, more nutritious produce using soil, but the soil is much more of an art to get it right. The soil is full of living organisms. When you get it right, amazing things happen.'

Begun in 2003, Maharishi Vedic City Organic Farms ships as much as 8,000 pounds of organic produce a week to grocery stores and restaurants in Chicago, Des Moines, Iowa City, and elsewhere. The farm covers 160 acres of organic land, including the 1.2-acre organic greenhouse, the largest vegetable greenhouse in Iowa. Crops include tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, lettuce, bok choy, chard, green beans, melons, herbs, and more.

Copyright © 2006, Maharishi University of Management

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