With very little work I am still pulling out baskets of tomatoes, cucumbers, cabbage, beans, squash, and greens from the gardens. The nights are getting cool enough that tonight I will need to bring in the houseplants. Crickets still sing for summer as I write. These gardens have been such a lovely respite. They didn’t cost much to start or maintain and if I did have more money for amendments it would have been even more prolific. Each year the soil will get better and better with techniques I have learned over the years from organic gardening and permaculture. I am still learning.
A garden is not just a hobby. It is one of the most fundamentally important things we ought to be doing. To provide really fresh, nutritious food without chemicals and without the oil needed to produce, package, and ship our food from across the world is imperative to the health of our beautiful earth, and in a time of epidemic chronic disease, imperative for our own health too.
Miraculous Abundance; One Quarter Acre, Two French Farmers, and Enough Food to Feed the World by Perrine and Charles Herve-Gruyer is a lovely guide filled with inspiration and ideas. By simply focusing our energies on the soil and improving it we then let nature grow all of the food. We are the helpers, not the geniuses behind food production!
The author states, “If we want to live sustainably on this planet, a growing number of people will have to reconnect with the land and produce food for themselves and the community….But the farmers of tomorrow will not come from the agricultural class that has been reduced to near extinction; they will come from the cities, offices, shops, factories, and more….Their farms will be places of healing, of beauty, and of harmony.” The farms will be in front yards, in the country, on balconies; we will have to find a way to feed all of us because the current food model is killing us and killing the earth. Period.
Our yard in the city is the equivalent of four city lots, or just under a third of an acre. We have utilized very little of it this year and are still producing all of our own produce for our week’s meals plus some for canning. I have purchased the rest of the vegetables for putting up from local farmers, thereby boosting my local economy and putting food up for our winter meals. I have chickens for eggs in the city and just purchased a goat share so that I can get plenty of fresh milk to drink and make cheese and other dairy products. I trade classes or spend my grocery money on fresh meat from my friends that are ranchers. Now I just need to get staples. I save money, eat better, and support my local friends and farmers. This is the model that we may all have to follow sooner or later. Unsustainable systems are doomed to fail, and Honey, if you look at our food and medical systems….better plant some comfrey and Oregon grape root while you’re at it.
But we can do this! We can support each other and help each other with knowledge and tool sharing, with friendship and bartering. What can you plant next year?
8 Comments Add yours
I have heard of this book before but not read it. Soil is definitely something I am working on. What specifically have you done which you think helps your system work?
Just letting well enough alone. We have never been on a farm for more than three seasons so we are excited to have our own place. Every year we just keep adding more chicken straw and compost and lightly digging it in the next spring. If we get a bug infestation of a crop then they won that year. We don’t try to eradicate everything. We use the chickens in the fall to clean up the gardens. Every year the soil just got better and better! I have much to learn still.
Thank you for your reply – sounds like lots of organic matter going into your soil!
You are in France, right?
Close: I’m in England.
I couldn’t recall which!
We are planning an aquaponic system off our pond…. we will see how it goes!