Organic Gardening and purchasing soil


Brenna has recently completed reconstruction of an old home and wants to replace the old soil with organic so that she can have  a large vegetable garden in one corner.  She has called several companies that deliver soil and they all tell her that they have organic but not certified.   She would like to bring the soil in as soon as possible.



To summarize, you were looking for a business that would provide certified organic soil.  I phoned around and received the same answer as you did, that the companies do not provide certified organic soil by the truckload.

What I suggest is an alternative. Before replacing the entire yard, I recommend that you do a complete clean up of construction debris and then have the existing soil tested.   The Ontario Ministry of Agriculture and Food  has a list of accredited soil testing laboratories at this website: .   The  University of Guelph Agriculture and Food Laboratory website is difficult to reach, so try this direct link:
Unless the test results indicate toxic soil, I would recommend amending what you have.  This would involve bringing in soil, compost and mulch every year, ideally in the fall.  Achieving an organic garden may be a slower, more involved (and more enjoyable) process than shipping in truckloads of earth.
To get you started on your research, I recommend two good books on soil amendment and growing organic vegetables:
Patrick Lima: The Organic Home Garden Key Porter Books c2003
Marjorie Harris: Ecological Gardening Random House c1996
The Toronto Master Gardeners free seminars and presentations on this subject are also a good source if you wish to learn more.
Lastly, the City of Toronto Public Health Department has published an excellent Guide for Soil Testing in Urban Gardens. Read more about this step-by-step guide in Toronto Master Gardeners – Latest news:
All the best