Intensive Gardening Practices - Growing a Lot in a Little Space

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Have you heard of SPIN farming? Square foot gardening? Other ways to grow more vegetables on less land than you ever thought possible? Attend this class to become familiar with the highlights of these (and other) approaches to growing a lot of food in a little bit of space, and how to apply them in your garden.

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Intensive Gardening Practices - Growing a Lot in a Little Space

  1. 1. Intensive Gardening Practices Independence Gardens Portland, OR Download the handout that goes along with this slideshow! http://bit.ly/Af WYWo January 2012 © Independence Gardens LLC Tuesday, January 31, 2012
  2. 2. Introductions What We Do • We help you DIY – Building garden infrastructure – Classes – Consultations – Doo Tees! Tuesday, January 31, 2012
  3. 3. Class Goal • Introduce a host of resources that can help you grow more in less space/time Topics We’ll Cover • Intensive vs. extensive agriculture and gardening • Common intensive methods: brief intro to some well-known approaches • Common intensive methods: focus on combining techniques • Inspiration for growing a lot in a little space What We’ll Cover TodayPreview Got Questions? Please ask as we go along. Tuesday, January 31, 2012
  4. 4. Any of these look familiar? Tuesday, January 31, 2012
  5. 5. Intensive vs. extensive agriculture Intensive • Required for sustaining high population densities • Inputs – Design: high – Labor: high – Capital: high – Water: high per area, low overall – Soil: high fertility required – Chemicals: used extensively • Outputs – High per unit of area Extensive • Practiced in areas of relatively low population density • Inputs – Design: low – Labor: low – Capital: low – Water: low per area, high overall – Soil: low fertility required – Chemicals: not generally used • Outputs – Low per unit of area Tuesday, January 31, 2012
  6. 6. Why & whence intensive gardening? • Intensive farming/gardening is framed a bit differently… – The point • Grow the most edible (for you) food in the least space possible • Minimize wasted space and resources • Minimize synthetic chemical inputs • Save time and (make) money • Feed the world – The ancestors • French Intensive – Alan Chadwick • Biodynamic – Rudolf Steiner Tuesday, January 31, 2012
  7. 7. • What’s in a name? – Named approaches can be • Systematized • Replicated • Sold • Plug and played • Your toolkit – Techniques can be • Mix-and-matched • Picked from and chosen to suit your site and lifestyle Approach vs. technique Tuesday, January 31, 2012
  8. 8. Choose your package Here are some things to think about when choosing an approach: • Founder(s) • Date of inception • The WHY behind the method • Target audience • Cost to implement • Basis in… – Science – Experience – Theory – Practice – Religion • Source of revenue – Book(s) – Teaching – Product line Tuesday, January 31, 2012
  9. 9. Postage Stamp Garden Tuesday, January 31, 2012
  10. 10. Postage Stamp Garden • Duane Newcomb (1975) Tuesday, January 31, 2012
  11. 11. Postage Stamp Garden • Duane Newcomb (1975) • Based on French Intensive and biodynamic methods Tuesday, January 31, 2012
  12. 12. Postage Stamp Garden • Duane Newcomb (1975) • Based on French Intensive and biodynamic methods • The size of the garden is the main consideration (“postage stamp-sized”) Tuesday, January 31, 2012
  13. 13. Postage Stamp Garden • Duane Newcomb (1975) • Based on French Intensive and biodynamic methods • The size of the garden is the main consideration (“postage stamp-sized”) • Ease of use is also emphasized Tuesday, January 31, 2012
  14. 14. Postage Stamp Garden • Duane Newcomb (1975) • Based on French Intensive and biodynamic methods • The size of the garden is the main consideration (“postage stamp-sized”) • Ease of use is also emphasized • Book is readily available online Tuesday, January 31, 2012
  15. 15. Postage Stamp Garden • Duane Newcomb (1975) • Based on French Intensive and biodynamic methods • The size of the garden is the main consideration (“postage stamp-sized”) • Ease of use is also emphasized • Book is readily available online Tuesday, January 31, 2012
  16. 16. Square Foot Gardening • Mel Bartholomew (1981) • Focuses on residential food production • Simple, accessible writing style and methods • Easy to wrap one’s head around • Early editions of the book easily found online Tuesday, January 31, 2012
  17. 17. GROW BIOINTENSIVETM • John Jeavons (1974) • Synthesized French Intensive and biodynamic approaches (  “biointensive”) • Ecology Action attempts to grow ALL needed materials on the land being farmed • Science-based, experimental Tuesday, January 31, 2012
  18. 18. GROW BIOINTENSIVETM Tuesday, January 31, 2012
  19. 19. SPIN Farming • Wally Satzewich, Gail Vandersteen, and Roxanne Christensen (early 2000s) • Targets emerging farmers in urban areas • Puts farming within a business/entrepreneurship context • Eliminates two major barriers to entry in farming: capital and land • Each publication costs money (but the idea is that by using the method, you will get that money back...plus!) Tuesday, January 31, 2012
  20. 20. Choose your own adventure • Not every approach recommends all of these, but they turn up frequently across approaches: – Appropriate and long-term design – Raised beds – Vertical growing – Interplanting or companion planting – Succession/relay planting – Drip irrigation – Double digging – Mulching (and sheet mulching) – Season extenders (cloches and cold frames) Tuesday, January 31, 2012
  21. 21. Appropriate design • Permaculture is design-intensive, and designed to be less input-intensive over time • Take advantage of inputs that already exist • Really KNOW your own schedule and what you have to give a garden/ what you need it to give you Tuesday, January 31, 2012
  22. 22. Raised beds • Wooden sides NOT required • Easy to customize • Easy to access • Easy way to define garden space • Recommended for gardening with children and people with disabilities Tuesday, January 31, 2012
  23. 23. Vertical growing • Stairstepping – Terracing land (or containers) to catch sun – Height-based plantings (short things/tall things) • Trellising – Grow UP on supportive structures • Hanging gardens – Grow in baskets or down from above Tuesday, January 31, 2012
  24. 24. Interplanting • Timing – Early and later maturers – WHEN does a plant use HOW MUCH space? when is it fully mature and harvestable? • Structure – Tall with short – Sturdy with vining • Function – Nutrient return – Trap crops Tuesday, January 31, 2012
  25. 25. Succession/relay planting • Hedge your bets • Harvest over time instead of all at once • Take maximum advantage of space/time Tuesday, January 31, 2012
  26. 26. Drip irrigation • Put the water where your plants can use it • Note: Don’t let the convenience of a drip system keep you away from your garden space Tuesday, January 31, 2012
  27. 27. Double digging • Soil preparation technique made popular by John Jeavons – Changes structure – Creates raised beds (no wooden sides!) • Quick and dirty, hard work with immediate return Tuesday, January 31, 2012
  28. 28. Mulching (& sheet mulching) • Build, retain, and enrich soil (your biggest asset!) – Protects soil from compaction and nutrient leaching – Increases infiltration of water from soil surface – Decreases need for frequent watering – Reduces temperature fluctuations Tuesday, January 31, 2012
  29. 29. Composting • Nutrient cycling onsite • Waste reduction – Turning a waste product back into a resource • Organic matter • Note: pay special attention to sanitation in the intensive garden Tuesday, January 31, 2012
  30. 30. Season extenders • Start earlier • Grow later • Grow a wider variety of plants • Protect your plants from extremes (temperature, precipitation, wind) Tuesday, January 31, 2012
  31. 31. Other ways to grow • Keeping animals – For poop – For products • Using humanure • Aquaculture • Hydroponics • Vermicomposting • Growing mushrooms • Sprouting sprouts Tuesday, January 31, 2012
  32. 32. Other ways to grow Tuesday, January 31, 2012
  33. 33. Other ways to grow Tuesday, January 31, 2012
  34. 34. Resources • Postage Stamp Gardening – http://www.thebooksite.net/postagestampgardening/ • Square Foot Gardening – http://www.squarefootgardening.com/ • GROW BIOINTENSIVETM – http://www.growbiointensive.org/ • SPIN Farming/Gardening – http://www.spinfarming.com Tuesday, January 31, 2012
  35. 35. Next steps for you! • A lot of this information is overwhelming and abstract, so make it manageable and concrete – Do you want to choose an approach or implement a combination of techniques? – What approach(es) or technique(s) appeal to you? • Find a buddy to do your project with you Tuesday, January 31, 2012
  36. 36. Questions? Tuesday, January 31, 2012

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