I was planting out wheat seedlings today, and looked over at two of the unplanted beds. A couple of days ago I had needed to empty a compost bay, so had tipped two wheelbarrow loads onto a series of unplanted beds. Having just written a post on Crop Rotations, Soil Fertility, and Digging, I realised that the two barrow loads of compost on the beds was three times the level needed to maintain soil fertility needed for the Grow Bio-intensive system of Jeavons. (As explained in the earlier pos)t. I started to think about the actual amount of compost that it takes to feed two people. What follows might make you think twice.
It’s only November and I already have almost all of my seeds for next year. Some of that is down to seed saving, something that I should have done more of in the past, but the rest is down to thinking ahead. It all sounds a bit organised, but some of the seeds came too late to sow this autumn, and will have to wait until spring. The seeds that I have are very different from what I’ve grown in the past, and really show the direction that my food growing is taking, growing in a polyculture. This is the pattern for my experiments next year. New additions include rye, perennial rye, spelt, perennial wheat, soya beans, and millet. Increases include lots more broad (fava) beans, but with a substantial reduction in the salads, and leaves. This all fits in with my desire to grow all of our own food. We eat a lot of grains, so unless I grow grains, I will never produce all that we eat.
I’ve been looking at the question of how much land we need to grow our own food for some time now, but the question is not an easy one to answer, or find answers to. Whilst thinking about the problem, and during my research, I’ve also thought about how our ancestors lived, although that is obviously from an English perspective. The post doesn’t give a definitive answer to the question, so I’m deliberately not going to put too many tags into it, so that it isn’t accessed by too many people looking for hard facts. Continue reading
With almost all of my tree planting over, I’ve been getting the vegetable growing areas ready. Normally I would be doing this in Autumn, but I wanted to get the trees in first, and then the snow interrupted that, and so it is only now that I’m catching up on my work. In the interim, I’ve been catching up on my reading/research. So I’ll explain what I’m doing at the moment, and some of the different vegetable growing systems that I’ve been trying to incorporate into a coherent single ‘way’ for me to garden.