Just ask Balaam, who was rebuked by his donkey.
Yesterday someone left a nasty comment on my recent video about planting sunn hemp. Though I’m sure the fellow wasn’t speaking for God or seeing any angels (of the holy kind), since his remark was wrong on several points:
“Your videos are the perfect dialectic. PAS. Problem, Agitate, Solution. Till, weeds, cover crop. WELL, if you’d quit tilling, you wouldn’t have the weed problem and you wouldn’t need the promoted cover crop. You steal so much stuff from Youngsang Cho’s “Jadam Organic Farming,” it’s pathetic. Just once, give credit to him because you can’t have been in this niche for so long and have never read any of his books. I’ve read all the comments to this video and you haven’t liked or responded to any of them. You should at least have one of your “perfect” children do that for you. Garden Like a Viking responds/replies to all comments on his videos.”
First, he claims I caused a problem with weeds which then needs fixing. I don’t know if you’ve grown potatoes before, but it turns up a lot of soil. The weeds were going to be there, and the area was a mounded mess after harvest, so yes, we tilled, which did indeed bring in more weeds. Fair enough. He’s obviously in the no-till cult, which is fine. We see plenty of those.
Second, he claims I’m stealing from JADAM. I do indeed own the book, and read it once a few years ago. The only part I recall being truly inspired by was the use of anaerobic fertilizers, which expanded greatly on what I was already experimenting with, i.e. “Dave’s Fetid Swamp Water.” You can read a post on that from back in 2017.
Of course, I don’t know how using practices similar to someone else or borrowing techniques – even if I had been inspired by Cho – is “pathetic.” If he had read TURNED EARTH: A Jack Broccoli Novel, he would know that I made some amusing references to radical communist no-till farming, meaning that some of the plot points in the “World’s First Gardening Thriller” were JADAM-inspired, even if I didn’t really jump into the system in my garden design.
When I find an author which is inspiring or who shares a good idea, I give him credit. I do not go around deliberately “stealing” ideas from other people and re-branding them. We are all building on the work of those who came before us, and I have reviewed and shared many books and videos. I would venture to say that I recommend more books than any other YouTuber in the gardening space. Our troll is obviously not familiar with my work.
Missing those references completely is what I would truly call “pathetic.” If you’re going to criticize, at least be factual. Heck, you can see my current reading list right here on the blog. Please, trolls, try to hone your skills a bit.
Third, he writes that he’s “read all the comments to this video” and that I hadn’t responded or liked any of them.
So what? All that meant is that I hadn’t been sitting at my computer after the video premiere, catching comments as they rolled in. I respond to a huge amount of questions on my videos. After posting this one in the late afternoon, however, I left my office and spent a few hours working with some of the family on caulking and painting in our guest cottage so we can prepare the space for visiting family. Oh no! I didn’t read the comments for a few hours! I obviously hate my audience!
No, I literally have a life. And a family.
Finally, he insults my children, by mockingly calling them “perfect.” Okay, I have no idea what his beef is, but he’s obviously a bitter guy. I told him this was bad for his soul and spent some time praying for him. I don’t get why people have the need to be so sour about various gardening videos, but it’s an indicator of serious issues. He is a jackass, yes, but he needs to find Truth instead of tilting against windmills online.
But, despite the vitriol, here’s the useful nugget in all this: he mentions a channel with a host who is much better than I am, obviously, called “Garden Like a Viking.”
I wasn’t familiar with that one, so I looked him up and subscribed. His videos are quite good, from those I saw. I watched this one this morning and found it to be a great demonstration on one way you can use manure tea to feed the garden:
I like the filtration mechanism he uses. A bucket and a mesh paint strainer. Perfect!
I haven’t gone as far as using a pump to apply our various anaerobic teas, but it’s a great idea. Having the second barrel in the garden for diluted teas is useful as well.
Generally, I simply ban liars and name-callers (unless they are amusing) from my channel. It’s not worth the time of day to respond. But in the case of this comment, I was happy to find an accidental connection to someone on YT with good ideas.
*Photo at top by Chris F, via Pexels.