Meet Lynn Hoag
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Lynn is a Beta Tester for the Grow Your Own Nutrition garden program. That means he will be trying out the program and comparing it with his regular garden. Lynn has decided to go with the 64 square feet option. As recommended Lynn is starting with band new raised beds and completely new soil that has not had any amendments.

Lynn is a very experienced gardener and garden educator. If you ever get the chance to take one of his classes take it. You won’t regret it. Lynn has been planting fruit trees by the Ellen White method for over 60 years. This special method of planting trees results in much faster growing trees that start to bear fruit a couple of years early.

Back in 2005 I had just started my first garden program called High Brix Gardens. And my very first customer was Lynn Hoag. Lynn was teaching a community garden class at his church and wanted to compare this new approach of using a soil test and mineralizing soil with rock powders, soil amendments, live microbes, and fertilizers up against the Mittleider Method.

The Mittleider Method is well known for its high yield and relies on a regular application of soluble fertilizers and occasional applications of limestone. The problem Lynn found with the Mittleider Method was flavor. The taste just wasn’t there. The High Brix Gardens row produced almost as much as the Mittleider row but with much improved flavor. I still recall the joy Lynn had when he harvested a 17 Brix melon. Nobody in his garden class had ever eaten a better tasting melon. A few had tasted its equal but none better.

Soon after Lynn joined High Brix Gardens as a dealer to blend custom mixes for backyard gardens. Even though Lynn is semi-retired he never tires with gardening and teaching the next generation to grow their own food and fruit trees.

Lynn lives near his family an hour away from Sacramento California. His house is nestled in a beautiful hilly area among pine trees.

As a Beta Tester Lynn will be keeping track of both his regular garden and the GYON garden and sharing what he observes.

The soil we are starting with is a depleted red topsoil with low calcium and no phosphorous to speak of. I specifically asked Lynn to use the poorest soil on his property. The soil is low in electrical conductivity, trace minerals, humus, and nitrogen.

In other words, it is the perfect soil for the GYON program. Why? Because I get to set the pattern for this soil by the selection of rock powders, soil amendments, fertilizers, and carbons. If you like to dig deep into details check out Lynn’s Soil Report and my Executive Summary explaining what the soil test means and what products we used to begin crafting the soil into the ideal pattern.


Soil Analysis Report


Executive Summary

Please understand the progression of changing a depleted, unproductive soil into an environment that produces nutrient dense foods is a process. Lynn’s very best produce from this garden will not happen in the 1st year. But I can tell you from experience that even the 1st year harvest will taste better than super market produce. By year 3 you will be astounded with the complex food flavors and the energy boost you feel when you eat them. Lynn will be documenting flavor and brix readings from his garden over a 3-year time frame. Lynn will also be sharing on our upcoming podcasts giving status reports and his seasoned observations.

If you have any questions or comments about these, just leave your comments below.

Thanks, and we wish you a great garden this year,

Jon Frank


  1. cadman says:

    I’m glad you’re trying something new, b/c my Brix readings are still “POOR”, even after diligently using all 3 methods. Plus, I live in Florida where doc Reams did his work, and he was consistently getting high-Brix readings out of the produce the farmers grew in the same conditions. So something needs to change to get the Brix-up. I hate the idea of ‘reinventing the wheel’, but nobody has the brain power of doc Reams, so we have to ‘learn as we go’. Hopefully the time, labor and $ I’ve invested thus far will pay-off soon with your help. I’m losing interest in dumping my resources into land that doesn’t produce as promised.
    Cheers … Chris

  2. Jon Frank says:


    You may need to schedule a consultation call with me. There is not substitute for building the right pattern in the soil with full spectrum nutrition. This takes time and minerals but its return keeps improving year over year.

    I am sure you must be seeing an increase in plant health, productivity, and flavor. I noticed the cabbage pictures you sent earlier had no holes in them from bugs. That is excellent. I would imagine that what you grow tastes better than what is in the store. Am I correct?

    For Brix to be in the good and excellent range you need calcium, phosphorous, trace minerals/rare earth elements, and microbes to all be working correctly.

    I would encourage you to keep with the program as your soil improves.


  3. cadman says:

    Hi Jon,

    Thanx for your reply.

    How much do you charge for a consultation?
    What results do you guarantee?

    I agree (based on reading doc Reams’ materials) that I need what you say, in proper balance etc. However, your method is not like doc Reams’, in that it doesn’t use some of the materials he used in Florida, such as saw dust.

    One thing about Florida soil is it’s almost pure sand which gets washed-clean many times a year with amazing amounts of rain. For about 75% of the year the sun bakes it dry down to about the first 2″-3″. So you get this cycling of baking then washing, oven then flooding (mostly during the summer months). Then there’s no telling what happens during the winter months: It could be wet or dry, cold or warm. This is nothing like living in the fertile hills of Pennsylvania, the sandy loams of NJ, or the hard scrabble of NY state.

    My point is, something more needs to be done to the Florida soil if your amendments are going to ‘take hold’. I believe it has to do with organics + clay, but don’t know how to do it. I just don’t have time to learn doc Reams’ method (or Dan Skow’s). That’s what I hired you guys to tell me.

    If you’ve worked with Florida soils, then you really don’t need to do anything different with me, b/c my soil is typical sugarsand from south-central Florida. Doc lived and worked about 1.5 hours east from where I live. It’s all the same soil around here, believe me.

    That’s what I hope you guys have figured out on this permutation of your soil analysis and amendments. Otherwise, I’m just throwing money on the ground and watching it wash away, with a minimal of benefit. I want to make my ‘investment in the soil’ count, not waste 90% and keep 10%. This isn’t the stock market. I want to keep 90% and waste a max of 10%. That’s how manufacturing works, except they want to have less than 3% ‘rejects’ (not 10%).

    Granted, I can finally grow tomatoes and cabbages this year. However, some things did better and others did worse. For example: rutabagas brixed out to a little over GOOD last year, but this year they’re POOR. Same with all the roots I grew. Kohlrabis are struggling this year, but last year they did great. Broccolis did good this year, but I never grew them before, plus they brixed to POOR. Kale did poorly this year, and did great last year. In fact, everything I grew with amendment this year brixed out to POOR. The only produce I grew that brixed out consistently at Excellent+ is my bananas. They are native to this climate, and all’s I do is periodically dump on them bagged chicken manure, a 5 gallon bucket full of molasses water, Azomite, CalPhos, and granulated kelp. That’s it, nothing special. And the more it rains, the better and quicker they produce. Amazing plants! Orinoco variety from Japan. Got the pups from a friend.

    My guess on the vegies is there’s a number of things going on this year in the soil that weren’t happening last year, both good and bad. Also, I only grow what the root-knot nematodes don’t destroy. They got worse since using these amdendments. I assume it’s b/c they are getting more plant roots to feast on! None of the stuff I grew this winter is susceptable to root-knot nematodes.

    Anyways, I’m convinced that something more is needed to get this Florida ground to properly produce, and it’s probably more like what doc Reams talks about doing. After all, he lived nearby. So hopefully you’re going to get that figured-out for us growers here in Florida.

    Cheers … Chris

    • Jon Frank says:


      You can schedule a consultation call here:

      You bring up many points that need back and forth interaction on the call.

      The main thing I would like to say is that it is important to build phosphorous levels with soft rock phosphate and not compost. The reason is that SRP is a clay that holds calcium and many other nutrients in the root zone. This is the foundation for building calcium. Calcium is the foundation for a proliferation of roots, and roots are microbial feeding stations. To address nematodes use crab and shrimp shell powder around your garden.


  4. cadman says:

    Hi Jon,

    Thanx for getting back to me.

    I know all that stuff already, and have been doing it for a number of years (except the shell powder).
    The thing about is, I can’t find a source of ground-up shells around here, even though I’m on the coastline.

    I’ve used CalPhos for almost 7 years, so that’s not the problem.
    I’m convinced that the problem is there’s some amendments needing to be added which help the soil HOLD the nutrients which I’m dumping into it. That’s the problem. I won’t go into the details on why I believe this b/c it would take too long, but suffice to say that’s what I’m convinced of. That’s why I wrote what I did about clay and sawdust … or whatever.

    How much do you charge for a consult?

    Cheers … Chris

  5. cadman says:

    Hi Jon,

    I will add this affirmation and reiteration:

    The amendments I have applied, based on your analysis, have helped. But it’s obvious to me that they are not helping enough. And based on what I’ve seen for 7 years in this soil, SOMETHING MORE IS NEEDED (i.e., something in your analysis is missing).
    It hast to do with helping the soil HOLD THE NUTRIENTS.

    Doc Reams talked about “ionic availability of nutrients in the soil”. That’s what I”m talking about. He also said that even sandy soil WILL HOLD NUTRIENTS, EVEN IN HEAVY RAIN SITUATIONS. He should know, b/c he lived here and accomplished that effect.

    The 2 problems I have are LACK OF MOISTURE RETENTION and LACK OF NUTRIENT RETENTION. I need a solution to those 2 issues. Doc did it on average in about 3 years of soil building. That’s what I expected from you guys.

    I don’t know any other way to say it. I’ve said it as plainly as I possible. It’s like when I tell a computer tech what’s wrong w/my computer. I give them solid clues, and expect them to know how to diagnose it and tell me the fix. If they’re diagnosis is correct, the fix it works, if not, then it doesn’t. That’s what I’m doing with you.

    I just want to know what EXTRA I need to do to get the soil to make it HOLD NUTRIENTS and HOLD MOISTURE.

    Please don’t tell me to “give it more time”, b/c I can see that more TIME is not going to fix this problem. I need ADDITIONAL AMENDMENTS … that address these particular FLORIDA issues.

    I trust I’ve sufficiently clarified where I’m at with this?

    Cheers … Chris

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