Companion planting. For reasons that are still not well understood but have been thoroughly validated, many plants complement one another and grow more abundantly together - say bush beans and strawberries. In other cases, companion plants may serve to repel garden pests of various kinds, or may attract beneficial insects. For instance, borage helps to control tomato worms and also attracts pollinators like bees.
Mutually Benefical Plants
Dont hate them.
Pioneers that colonise.
Handle extreme soils.
Fast vigorous carbon pathways.
Compaction and Acidity
Dock accumulates potassium and phosphorus and decompacts.
Calorie Farming Calorie farming. Here the emphasis is on growing the most efficient calorie-producers for human consumption. For instance, about 30% of all the crops that are grown on a small subsistence farm are high-calorie root crops, such as potatoes, sweet potatoes, parsnips and others.
Food Miles & More
Average supermarket dinner travels thousands of kilometres.
Basic Food Needs
As close to home as possible.
30% Root Crops
10% Green Vegetables
"Growing soil" is the key to long term farm sustainability. Some 50-60% of all the crops grown on a modern biointensive farm are dual-purpose crops that provide both calories for humans and an abundance of material for building compost piles. These crops include many grains, corn, fava beans and sunflowers, among others.
60% Dual Purpose
Seed and grain crops.
Quinoa; tolerates dry and germination in cold...0 o
Carbon rich crops.
Produce high carbon content for area.
30:1 Ratio for compost.
Open Pollinated Seed
First generation, from two distinct parents of same species.
Hybrid vigour" which can improve yields.
May be sterile or fail to breed.
Enabled commercial seed markets.
Farmers buys new hybrid seed every growing season.
Replace traditional farm-saved seed
Known as "high response" seed.
Fertilisers, herbicides, pesticides and water .
Hybrids bred for maximum yield, ripen at same time, over hardiness.
Farmer reliance forces high chemical inputs.
Trapped farmers in debt cycle...suicide!
Organic methods are substituted.
Creates lifeless dusty soils prone to erosion.
85% Agrichemical sales concentrated;
Syngenta, Bayer, Monsanto, BASF, Dow y Dupont .
Three corporations control 90% global grain trade;
Cargill, Archer Daniels, Bunge.
Dupont, Monsanto control seed market.
¼ seed sale genetically engineered.
Open Pollinated Seed
Traditional varieties selected for millenia.
Selected under organic conditions...grow well without chemical inputs.
More hardy, better flavor & more flexible.
Dynamic, adapt to local ecosystems.
In the past 100 years, lost 90% of vegetable varieties in the UK.
Local, unusual, home-saved varieties .
We need to find old varieties.
Local people, old gardens, seed savers.
Can create our own varieties.
Dry well – should crack.
In air tight container – rubber tube
Bright light can damage seed.
Temp can stimulate biological activity.
constant temperature of around 5° C
Pests and diseases.
Only healthy seed stored.
Neem, cayene, sand.
A "whole system" approach. Biointensive farming emphasizes the need for integrating all of the many parts and fully utilizing all of the available knowledge about farming techniques. Some of that knowledge is very subtle. For instance, it has been found that the flavor of lettuce depends on what time of day it is harvested. Lettuce is much sweeter if it is harvested before dawn, because the bitter saps descend into the plant roots during the night and rise up into the plant again when the sun comes up.