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G&G Cover Story – Dr. Earth® – Healing our Planet

For the past 26 years, the company Dr. Earth® has focused on its mission of providing commercial and hobby growers around the globe with the highest quality organic gardening products available. Of all the companies that manufacture and supply organic horticultural products, not one compares with the consistency and focus of Dr. Earth®’s ecologically friendly mission. The owner and CEO of Dr. Earth®, Milo Shammas, is admittedly a capitalist. However, he has never, and will never, allow his drive for success to overshadow the importance of operating his company in an ecologically friendly manner. In other words, Milo will never permit his company to compromise its root mission of protecting and healing the earth, even if that compromise meant he could make more money. Milo’s passion for protecting and healing the planet not only inspired the name Dr. Earth®, but also continues to motivate him to invent, innovate, and solve problems within the organic horticultural sector.

Though his interest in organic horticulture started when he was a child helping his mother in the garden, Milo’s notoriety in the horticultural industry began after he introduced the first inoculated prepackaged soils. He has been called the “Godfather” of probiotic soils (soils that are inoculated with living beneficial microorganisms) because of this achievement. Before Dr. Earth®, no prepackaged soil contained added microorganisms. Many imitators have followed Dr. Earth®’s innovative approach to prepackaged soils.

Organic Integrity

There is a good reason why Dr. Earth®’s tagline is “The Root of Organic Integrity”. Every one of Dr. Earth®’s products is organically certified and comes from non-GMO sources. Dr. Earth® has never purchased its ingredients from questionable or so-called “organic” sources. Instead, Dr. Earth® prides itself on only sourcing the highest quality, non-GMO, organic products available. In addition to non-GMO and OMRI verified organic products, Dr. Earth® has earned the prestigious OIM certification from the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA). The OIM (organic input material) certification is difficult to obtain because it evaluates a product’s entire process, from the beginning to the end, to see if it meets organic food production standards throughout. The fact that Dr. Earth® offers products that are non-GMO, OMRI, and CDFA’s OIM certified illustrates beautifully the company’s integrity. Dr. Earth® is the only manufacturer to have exclusively certified organic products in every horticultural category, including insecticides and herbicides. Simply put, this is a company truly committed to healing our planet. They also realize that organic horticulture is not only the safest and best way to promote healing in individuals, but it is also the best way to promote the healing of our communities and of our earth.

Innovative, High Quality Products

It’s easy to state that organically grown produce is superior and all gardeners should grow organically. However, superior results are not guaranteed just because a gardener uses organic horticultural products. There can be vast differences between organic horticultural products, the organic ingredients being used, and the sources of those “organic” ingredients. The quality of the organic products being used in a garden will have a direct impact on the growth rate, overall health, and nutrient value of the finished produce. This is one reason why Dr. Earth® continuously improves and expands its product lines with new, innovative organic products. Dr. Earth®’s extensive certified organic product lines include liquid fertilizers, dry fertilizers, prepackaged soils, individual organic ingredients, herbicides, pesticides, fungicides, and even an organic pet spray. Within each product category, Dr. Earth® continues to set the bar high with incredible, new products.

Pump and Grow Liquid Fertilizers

One completely new product line they are offering is the Pump and Grow Liquid Fertilizers. These fertilizers offer a no mess, no mix experience for gardeners. All a horticulturist needs to do with a Pump and Grow Fertilizer is to pump a couple of squirts on to the soil and water it in within 24 hours. All the food-grade ingredients used in Pump and Grow Liquid Fertilizers are safe and will not burn the plants. Unlike other liquid fertilizers, Pump and Grow Liquid Fertilizers do not need to be watered in right away. For those sensitive to fertilizer odors or for indoor gardeners, Pump and Grow Liquid Fertilizers do not give off an unpleasant odor. In fact, it smells like soy sauce. There will be no manure or fish odors emanating from your plant containers when you use Pump and Grow Liquid Fertilizers. All in all, these fertilizers are a no mess, no hassle solution to fertilization. The Pump and Grow Liquid Fertilizers product line is one of the most convenient organic gardening-specific fertilizers that has been introduced in some time and is another shining example of Dr. Earth®’s innovative approach to organic horticultural products.

Living Soils

A high quality living soil is the foundation for success in organic horticulture. Dr. Earth®’s premium soils are made from clean, pure, and natural ingredients. All the Dr. Earth® soils are certified organic and contain a special blend of beneficial microorganisms. As previously mentioned, Dr. Earth® was the first company to offer soils inoculated with beneficial microorganisms. Since that time, many companies have copied Dr. Earth®, which is why there are so many soil companies that claim their soils are packed full of beneficial microorganisms. However, the other companies fall short of producing a soil that can harbor living beneficial microorganisms throughout the shipping and storing of the soil.

After a soil is packaged, it is shipped and stored for some time. During shipping and storage, the soil bags are exposed to large temperature variances, including very hot and very cold temperatures. These extreme conditions can actually kill the beneficial microbes before the gardener even opens the bag of soil. To rectify this problem, Milo Shammas patented his ProMoisture Hydrate (which is derived from aloe vera). He discovered that by using an extract from an aloe vera’s inner fillet, he could protect the living microorganisms within the prepackaged soil from extreme temperatures. Plainly speaking, if a prepackaged soil does not contain ProMoisture Hydrate, it cannot protect the microorganisms within from extremely hot or extremely cold temperatures. ProMoisture Hydrate is the key to protecting the valuable beneficial microorganisms that the consumer is paying for when he or she purchases a living soil. From the beginning, Dr. Earth® has included beneficial microorganisms in every prepackaged soil sold. It is Dr. Earth®’s proprietary TruBiotic® blend of beneficial soil microbes and mycorrhizae that has set it apart from the rest of the imitators who produce organic prepackaged soils. Some recent exciting additions to Dr. Earth’s extensive living soil line-up include the all new Free® Vegetarian Potting Soil and Life® All Purpose Potting Soil.

Free® Vegetarian Potting Soil

Free® Vegetarian Potting Soil is comprised of a unique blend of ingredients, free from chemicals, GMOs, chicken manure, or any type of animal by-product. This soil is recommended for any indoor or outdoor container planting project. In addition to container planting, Free® Vegetarian Potting Soil can be used as a soil amendment for in-ground trees, shrubs, flowers, and vegetables.

Life® All Purpose Potting Soil

Life® All Purpose Potting Soil is formulated specifically to produce remarkable results in container gardening. The blend of ingredients provides nutrients that are immediately available, along with slower release nutrients that continue to nourish the plants for several months. As with Free® Vegetarian Potting Soil, Life® All Purpose Potting Soil is great for containers, but can also be used as a soil amendment.

Dry Fertilizers

Dry fertilizers are a great way for a horticulturist to amend his or her soil with specialty blends of organic ingredients. Dr. Earth®’s dry fertilizer line-up includes custom blends for anything from all-purpose gardening to exotic plant blends. Similar to the premium prepackaged soils, all of the Dr. Earth® dry fertilizers contain the TruBiotic® blend of beneficial microorganisms. Pure Gold®, Dr. Earth®’s all-purpose dry fertilizer, is a powerful soil amendment with the ability to quickly release balanced nutrients to the plants, while also sustaining balanced nutrition for several months. Dr. Earth®’s dry fertilizers can be amended to the soil prior to planting and/or used as a top dress for added nutrition throughout the growing season. All of the Dr. Earth® brand dry fertilizers are derived from the purest, highest quality organic ingredients.

Pure and Natural Single Ingredient Fertilizers

Pure and Natural Single Ingredient Fertilizers are dry fertilizers derived from a single ingredient. Dr. Earth®’s top-shelf single ingredient fertilizers are sourced exclusively from certified organic sources. Unlike other companies’ single ingredient fertilizers, Pure and Natural Single Ingredient Fertilizers include the TruBiotic® blend of beneficial microorganisms. This is just another example of how Dr. Earth® goes above and beyond when it comes to providing growers with the highest quality and most advanced organic products. In addition to its blood meal, bone meal, kelp meal, alfalfa meal, bat guano, and fish bone meal Pure and Natural Single Ingredient fertilizers, Dr. Earth® is now expanding its Single Ingredient line to also include insect frass, worm castings, greensand, neem meal, linseed meal, bio char, karanja meal, camellia meal, rock phosphate, crustacean meal, and feather meal.

Liquid Fertilizers

Liquid fertilizers have the advantage of delivering nutrients almost immediately to the plants. Dr. Earth® has many different liquid fertilizers available, including formulations for vegetable gardens, roses and flowers, buds and blooms, lawn care, fruits and berries, acid loving plants, and cacti and succulents. Other formulations include a Pure Gold® All-purpose Liquid Fertilizer and specific starter and root care blends. The all-purpose Pure Gold® fertilizer stands out due to its diverse blend of essential macronutrients, micronutrients, and trace minerals. Liquid fertilizers are not necessarily meant to replace all dry fertilizers, but, rather, to be used in conjunction. For outdoor horticulturists, liquid fertilizers are especially effective as supplemental nutrition during the later stages of the season. The Dr. Earth® liquid fertilizers come in concentrated form. Put another way, a little goes a long way and they should be diluted in water according to the application instructions.

Final Stop® Sprays

As mentioned previously, Dr. Earth® is the only manufacturer to have exclusively certified organic products in every horticultural category, including insecticides and herbicides. The Final Stop® product line includes 100% organic pesticides and herbicides that are just as effective as their chemical counterparts. One particular product, the Final Stop® Weed Killer, is just as effective as a popular chemical herbicide (which has been in the spotlight lately for its devastating effects on pollinators and the environment). In short, the Final Stop® Weed Killer is capable of performing just as well as its harsh chemical nemesis. More and more people are starting to realize that chemical herbicides have a long-lasting, harmful effect on the soil, water, and wildlife. Final Stop® Weed Killer is an alternative that consumers can use without harming themselves, their pets, or the planet. Most importantly, Final Stop® Weed Killer is extremely effective at killing weeds and acts quickly (it kills weeds in an hour). Like the popular chemical herbicides on the market, Final Stop® Weed Killer is a non-selective herbicide capable of killing broadleaf weeds, foxtail, and even crabgrass. In order for our species to heal the planet, we must reject the use of an arsenal of chemical products. Instead, we need to turn to a company like Dr. Earth® whose priority has always been to create effective products that are derived from Mother Nature, but are not harmful to her.

Quest for Real Sustainability

In all industries, there is waste. If we really want a healthy planet in the future, we need to act now and find sustainable methods that reduce, recycle, repurpose, or eliminate waste products. Every day we all make numerous decisions that affect the environment. From the food we eat to the transportation method we choose, there are many choices we make in our everyday lives that will influence the future health of our planet. Dr. Earth® is a company that encourages people to pay attention to food and product labels and to be conscious of water use. To boycott companies that put profits above the health of our people and planet. Because Dr. Earth® is so confident of its own procedures and products, it encourages consumers to take a moment to consider the products they are purchasing: to read the ingredient label or research a company’s manufacturing procedures and input products. Most importantly, Dr. Earth® wants people to use their voices and be heard.

One of Dr. Earth®’s specific visions for sustainability is utilizing the waste created by supermarkets. Eight to ten percent of all meats and vegetables are thrown out by supermarkets because they are not sold in time. To help counteract such massive waste, Dr. Earth® has teamed up with a company that collects waste food from supermarkets. The would-be waste is then converted into quality organic fertilizers. The waste collection company uses a large food waste digester machine to brew the organic waste into a carbon-rich, certified organic fertilizer. Dr. Earth® uses that freshly created fertilizer as an ingredient in its liquid fertilizer blends. Dr. Earth® sees this process as a perfect fit to its quest for sustainability. Instead of food waste rotting away in some landfill, it can be repurposed into a rich, organic fertilizer and used to grow a healthy garden. This kind of progressive and bold action is what Dr. Earth® is all about. It is always on the search for methods, techniques, or products that can help solve real world issues.

Passion for Clean Water

To date, scientists have yet to discover any living creature that does not require water for survival. We all learned in school that our bodies are made mostly of water and how clean water is imperative to a healthy planet. The sad fact that many people around this world do not have access to clean water is a real concern to the company founder, Milo Shammas, and is why he personally supports the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation. In addition to Milo’s personal contributions supporting clean water initiatives, his company has a mission for clean water. Over the next two years, Dr. Earth® is teaming up with Ocean Bound Plastic® to remove 10 million pounds of plastic that is at risk of polluting our oceans. The plastic is collected before it enters our oceans and is converted into usable products. Dr. Earth®’s commitment to one million bottles (to use for their liquid fertilizers) from Ocean Bound Plastic® in 2019 is a shining example of their commitment to clean water for all of us.

Synthetic and chemical fertilizers, pesticides, and herbicides are harmful products that continue to lurk behind people’s ignorance. If everyone understood how destructive and harmful many of these products actually are, there would surely be a swift shift in our horticultural products and methods. The good news is that an increasing amount of people are beginning to realize the dangers associated with chemical-based garden products and, at the same time, are discovering all the benefits that go along with organic gardening products. From healthier plants to producing more nutrient dense food, organic horticulture offers countless benefits to those willing to give it a try.

As a society, we are currently standing at a crossroads where the upcoming generations, who are increasingly environmentally conscious, must lead us to a truly sustainable future. Many of the chemical fertilizer manufacturers are being pressured to create products that help our planet achieve an ecological balance, instead of disrupting it. This is why so many companies have recently jumped on the organic bandwagon. Unlike these companies, Dr. Earth® didn’t get involved with organic products because of increasing demand or pressure from consumers. Dr. Earth® has always, and will always, manufacture 100% organic products. Their continued commitment to our planet’s health is apparent in the products it produces and in the way it employs production methods which help to heal our planet. There is no arguing Dr. Earth®’s success as a business, but it’s important to remember it has always followed the organic lifestyle path. Not just because it was profitable or trendy, but because that has always been, and always will be, the ethos of Dr. Earth®.

For more information call 707.448.4676 or visit DrEarth.com.

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