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S3 Episode 04: Organic Gardening and Healthy Soil

Organic gardener Kelly Foster explains what organic gardening is, how it helps nurture healthy soil, and how you can take a step toward more of an organic approach to your home garden.

This episode is part of Series 3: Celebrating Earth Day. For a list of ParkTalk episodes and series and to submit ideas and questions, visit

Quotes from the podcast episode:

"An interesting fact is that in just a teaspoon of living, healthy soil, there are over a billion organisms, from microscopic bacteria and algae to mites, worms, beetles, ants, fungi, and plant roots. Soil is really a community of organisms where there's a cycle of life just like above ground."

"I think it's important to define what I mean by natural. I mean as close to the way that nature grows things as possible. This means keeping organic material and roots in your soil. Organic gardening is the least disruptive to nature's communities as possible. It encourages and keeps the communities of soil organisms intact."

"I would like to encourage people to be as natural as they can. I think that any step you take towards being more natural is a positive step."

Kelly Foster has a Bachelor’s degree from Benedictine University with a major in business economics and a minor in computer science. In addition to working in the field of computer science as his career, he enjoys gardening in his spare time at home and at the Green Earth Institute. He teaches the Naperville Park District’s organic gardening workshop, which is offered each spring.

For more information:

University of Illinois Extension links with gardening information, classes, Master Gardener Help Line and more:

For DuPage, Kane and Kendall Counties:

For Will, Grundy and Kankakee Counties:

List of Soil Testing Labs:

The Green Earth Institute at McDonald Farm in Naperville – a local organic farm and CSA (Community Supported Agriculture):

The Conservation Foundation - Conservation At Home information:









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