I’m Phil. This page is a place for me to outline why I do the work I do. It’s just some rough notes for now – a work in progress – but it’s important to get this stuff down in order to get the ball rolling.

I guess I wanted to share it with potential partners, employees, clients, customers and suppliers, just so we can make sure we’re on the same page. I like to work with kindred spirits.

I run a website called Smiling Gardener where I teach organic gardening with a focus on growing nutrient-dense food.

Other than the personal love I have for running my own business and working from home, one of my main purposes in business is to be able to make a positive difference in the world.

I live a relatively simple lifestyle. I don’t like to have much stuff, so I don’t want or need much money for myself. My goal is to give most of my income to worthy causes, and maybe eventually start my own non-profit organization.

I want to improve the health of people and the planet. I’d like to focus on helping people, both in North America and abroad, to:

  • Grow their own food
  • Access and consume healthy food
  • Access clean drinking water
  • Understand holistic health and nutrition
  • Care for their environment
  • Do it all sustainably, limiting the need for continuous donations

And I’m beginning to partner with other website owners who have similar missions.

I love William McDonough’s question: how do we love all the children of all species for all time?

I put a great deal of effort into choosing charitable organizations that meet my standards and objectives, to which I contribute my money and time.

I currently give at least 10% of my profits to charities, including (but not limited to) the following organizations. My ex-wife Heather gave to many of these organizations with me.

  • Center For Food Safety. They use legal actions and public education to curtail industrial agricultural production methods that harm human health and the environment, and to promote sustainable alternatives.

  • David Suzuki Foundation. David Suzuki is a hero of mine, and the foundation has a lot of wins on international environmental issues. Climate change/environment are their main areas, but they do a good job integrating their work with economic and community policy.

  • Farm Sanctuary. They work to end cruel factory farming practices through investigations, public education, legislation, and litigation. I don’t agree with all of their positions, but I support their work.

  • Fruit Tree Planting Foundation. Their ultimate goal is to plant 18 billion fruit trees to alleviate world hunger, combat global warming, strengthen communities, and improve the surrounding air, soil, and water.

  • Kitchen Gardeners. They’re empowering people around the world to achieve greater levels of food self-reliance through the promotion of kitchen gardening, home-cooking, and sustainable local food systems.

  • Nature Conservancy. They conserve and protect important land, stopping it from being developed, and they do a very good job.

  • National Resources Defense Council. Big environmental group combining grassroots with legal and science. While I often like to support smaller non-profits, these folks do a good job.

  • Open Source. I support various organizations that make software and distribute it for free, such as Joomla and WordPress and associate extensions and plugins, among other things. This software helps me do my job and I support the values of open source.

  • Union Of Concerned Scientists. They use science instead of hype to change government policy, corporate practices, and consumer choices regarding global warming, sustainable food/power/transportation, and reducing the threat of war.

  • Water School. They have a simple, practical and affordable method of improving the quality of water and sanitation practices in the developing world. Their work so far is looking very effective and I think it needs to go further.

  • World Teacher Aid. They currently work in Kenya, Uganda, Ghana and El Salvador, focusing on education by funding daily feeding programs, teachers, students, and schools.

  • Vegan Outreach. They distribute vegan pamphlets to people all over the U.S. Seems too simple, but it really works. Plus their website is full of great info.

  • World Wildlife Fund. Big, international organization that uses science to meet the needs of both people and nature.

If you have questions/comments, please email giving@secondstarpress.com