Jeremy is the garden mastermind in our family. He grew up in West Virginia and still dreams about the juicy garden tomatoes stuffed into his sandwiches as a kid. When we started dating, he was already planting spinach in the backyard at his rental house. How many college kids do you know that do this? That was the start of his gardening itch. He went on to earn a Ph.D. in Biology and is now a professor at our local university. Have a look around his lab and you’ll find test tube vials, fruit flies, and students bent over microscopes. You may be wondering what this means for you. With his passion for research and understanding of the inner workings of nature, you’ll get a whole lot of gardening information and resources based on research and over fifteen years of experience in the garden.
After a few years of moving around for post-docs, Jeremy got a permanent job. We bought a house with a big, sloping backyard and Jeremy literally hit the ground running with garden plans. Not everything went as planned, and you can read about his first attempt at digging here. We’re now fifteen years in, and our garden keeps getting better. But back to the research – it’s a huge benefit for the garden. Jeremy will dive into garden forums, research papers and websites for days until he comes up with the best way to plant, or the best varieties of seeds, or the best way to stake a tomato. He’s also pretty protective of the garden, and will run out during lightning storms to cover plants from hail damage. Anytime the weather is nice, you can find him in the garden, digging, planting, weeding, and keeping everything in order. All of his hard work has paid off, and our family benefits every year with fresh and delicious organic fruits and vegetables. We enjoy the juiciest and most flavorful heirloom tomatoes, the best tasting spinach, unbelievably good green beans and so much more. With over 15 years of experience, I think we can all benefit from Jeremy’s garden research and wisdom. That’s why we started this website. To share the resources you need to get started on your garden and enjoy the delicious benefits of organic gardening.
I’m Susie, the main writer, garden apprentice and product reviewer for Umbel Organics. Back in my 20’s, I was an avid trail runner and adhered to a strict low-fat diet. I assumed that I led a healthy lifestyle. But after my dad, mom, and uncle were diagnosed with cancer within a fairly short time frame, I began to examine my lifestyle choices. With two little girls to raise, it hit me that I needed to take a closer look at the pesticides and harmful chemicals in the food, skincare products and cleaning supplies my family was exposed to.
With a degree in Biology and a master’s degree in Geospatial Analytics, I love to research and dig deep into my favorite topics, and at this point, natural living is at the top of my list. After reading tons of scientific papers and loads of books, I’ve learned a lot about the harmful chemicals lurking in conventional cleaning products and air fresheners, the carcinogenic weed killer and pesticides for sale at the garden center and the endocrine disruptors in everyday skincare products. I now read labels and choose products consciously and carefully to reduce my family’s exposure to harmful ingredients.
I’m on a journey to make my home (and everything in it) a place that’s not the source of health issues, but rather a haven that I feel good about spending time with my family in. Over the years I’ve been slowly “greening up” the inside of our home, but I’ve still got a way to go – you’re definitely in a judgement-free space here!
I know that living a healthier lifestyle doesn’t happen overnight, and I’m not here to overwhelm you. It’s okay to start with small steps. With just a few simple changes, you’ll be on your way to making your home a safe and comfortable place for your family.
Being kind to your body and using less harmful chemicals also translates to being kinder to the planet. You’ll also find many eco-friendly swaps and suggestions on the website that not only benefit your well-being, but also the well-being of our planet.
Perched on a hillside, our backyard garden takes the extreme Colorado elements in stride. Maybe it’s because my husband Jeremy (read more about him above) runs out during hail storms to cover the tomatoes and nestles old milk jugs full of hot water next to the most sensitive plants on cold nights, but our garden produces the most amazing organic produce around. After over fifteen years of experimenting and tweaking just about every method in the books, Jeremy has our garden pretty well dialed in. With methods like succession planting and season extending, he’s managed to make the most of growing crops in zone 5 at 6,000 feet. I’m giving him all the credit here, but I’m a few steps behind him and still have a lot to learn.
- We want to minimize our family’s exposure to chemical pesticides, herbicides, and synthetic fertilizers.
- A 2018 study linked a diet high in organic fruits and vegetables to a reduced risk of lymphoma and post-menopausal breast cancer. With a family history of cancer, it makes even more sense to grow our own organic produce.
- According to a 2014 review, organic produce may deliver more antioxidants than conventionally grown produce.
- There’s nothing like a fresh organic vegetable straight from the garden. It’s incredible! You’ll have to plant your own garden and taste for yourself.
What is Umbel Organics?
We’re a husband and wife team dedicated to helping you lead a healthier lifestyle. From organic gardening how-to’s to creating a natural, non-toxic home, we share our best tips, recommendations and products to green up your life.
Whether you’re starting an organic garden, want to reduce plastic waste in the kitchen or are greening up your skincare routine, we can help. We cover topics ranging from how to maximize a small garden space to our favorite clean deodorant to zero waste bathroom solutions. If you want information that’s backed by research and lots of testing, you’ve come to the right place!