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Raw Episode 236: Garden Maker | Bill Sadler | Elwood, KS
9th April 2018 • GREEN Organic Garden Podcast • Jackie Marie Beyer
00:00:00 01:12:22

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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