"Poor farmers grow crops, but good farmers grow soil” is an adage of uncertain origin. “He (John Jeavons—ed.) believes the goal is not simply to grow crops but to grow soil” was cited in a 2003 book.
An alleged Japanese folk saying—it has also been called a CHinese proverb—was posted in 2009:
“The poor farmer grows weeds
The fair farmer grows crops
The Good farmer grows Soil.”
“Microbes Will Feed the World, or Why Real Farmers Grow Soil, Not Crops” by Brian Barth was published in Modern Farmer on April 22, 2014.
The Zen of Gardening in the High and Arid West:
Tips, Tools, and Techniques
By David Wann
Golden, CO: Fulcrum Publishing
He (John Jeavons—ed.) believes the goal is not simply to grow crops but to grow soil. When we grow crops but don’t regenerate the soil, it’s like “milking a cow but not feeding it.
TP Humor, Poems, Prose & Wit
Posted 14 June 2009 - 09:59 AM
The poor farmer grows weeds
The fair farmer grows crops
The Good farmer grows Soil
The Poor farmer quote came from “Gardening at the Dragon’s Gate” by Wendy Johnson
She said it was a Japanese folk saying
Google Groups: rec.gardens
Jet Star Tomatoes
As Charlie Underlog often recites,"There are no gardening mistakes, only experiments.”—Janet Kilburn Phillips. A damn good observation that seems to have become a cottage industry with everyone quoting it, but Ms. Phillips seems to be unfamiliar with chemical fertilizers. Real gardeners grow soil as well as plants. Jobes tomato spikes and Miracle Grow aren’t healthy for your soil and they are a MISTAKE. It’s cheaper and more eco-friendly to get ORGANIC fish emulsion (the seas have been polluted too: copper, lead, mercury, arsenic, PCBs, and PBDEs) or manure for your plants. Don’t even have to dig it in. Sprinkle it around your plants or side dress with it (18 lb/100 sq.ft., chicken manure).
Google Groups: Walpole Food
I love this quote from an old Japanese proverb: A poor farmer grows weeds, a mediocre grows crops, and a good farmer grows soil”.
Symphony of the Soil
Organic farmers “grow soil and that soil grows plants.” Check out Symphony of the Soil: http://ow.ly/pFuCn RT!
10:10 AM - 13 Oct 2013
Citizen Farmers: The Biodynamic Way to Grow Healthy Food, Build Thriving COmmunities, and Give Back to the Earth
By Daron Joffe
New York, NY: Stewart, Tabori & Chang
As the old Chinese proverb goes, a bad farmer grows weeds, a good farmer grows crops, and a great farmer grows soil.
The Real Food Revolution:
Healthy Eating, Green Groceries, and the Return of the American Family Farm
By Congressman Tim Ryan
Hay House, Inc
Peter (Volz—ed.) loves to quote a Chinese saying that sums up Oxford Gardens’ approach to growing: “A bad farmer grows weeds. A good farmer grows crops. But the best farmer grows soil.”
Microbes Will Feed the World, or Why Real Farmers Grow Soil, Not Crops
By Brian Barth on April 22, 2014
Out on the horizon of agriculture’s future, an army 40,000 strong is marching towards a shimmering goal. They see the potential for a global food system where pesticides, herbicides and fertilizers are but relics of a faded age.
They are not farmers, but they are working in the name of farmers everywhere. Under their white lab coats their hearts beat with a mission to unlock the secrets of the soil — making the work of farmers a little lighter, increasing the productivity of every field and reducing the costly inputs that stretch farmers’ profits as thin as a wire.
“Poor farmers grow crops, but good farmers grow soil.” Abe Collins
1:38 PM - 19 Dec 2014
“Organic farmers don’t grow plants. Organic farmers grow soil and soil grows crops.” @SoilSymphony
8:57 PM - 25 Apr 2015
Plants Need a Little Vigor? How to Choose a Good Fertilizer
By Brian Barth on June 28, 2016
The old adage that real farmers grow soil, not crops, is more important than ever in the age of high-input chemical agriculture.