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Mark Highland, The Organic Mechanic


As a young kid, Mark made his connection to the natural world early, digging around in his grandmother’s vegetable garden, pulling weeds, picking caterpillars off plants, and harvesting ripe fruit. The work was hard (but fun!) and he knew he was hooked from the moment he turned over that first forkful of rich Illinois soil.

Academic studies and work experiences
After high school, Mark earned a BS degree in Environmental Horticulture at the University of Florida. It was in Florida that Mark received the nickname, “The Organic Mechanic”. Employment ventures after graduating took him to the west coast, working for a landscape construction company and a certified organic farm.

Deciding to return to graduate school, Mark focused his MS degree studies on compost and potting soil. His academic work helped Longwood Gardens in southeastern Pennsylvania develop composts to use in their own potting soil. After the Longwood Graduate Program, Mark worked as a Compost & Soil Specialist at Longwood Gardens before starting The Organic Mechanic Soil Company, LLC.

Where in the world is Mark these days?
When he’s not out in the greenhouse or warehouse, Mark spends much of his time traveling to garden centers, trade shows and similar venues to promote, educate and inspire others to the many rewards of organic gardening. He has taught classes at Longwood Gardens, The Tyler Arboretum, Mt. Cuba Center, The Scott Arboretum, Callaway Gardens, and speaks regularly at public events like The Philadelphia Flower Show, as well as to numerous garden clubs.

At Organic Mechanics, “We work on your soil!” ®
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