Thursday, February 14, 2019

Home veggie gardens can save the world

I have been following the articles posted on The Conversation.   Research from The Food and Agriculture Organization has discovered that in actual fact three quarters of the worlds food is grown in family farms.  I get quite frustrated when I hear of all the food that is actually sent to landfill from large scale agriculture.  I know that each little deformed tomato or spotty cucumber out of my garden has been loved along its growth journey and gets pride of place on my plate, but I certainly don't grow enough to feed the family.  I think Morag Gamble at our Permaculture Life has done some marvelous work in introducing permaculture classes to families in Kenya. Every little family farm and home veggie garden should be inspired and helped in every way possible.

I am a great believer in building up healthy soil in order to produce lots of healthy produce in my little garden.  There is so much conflicting thought on the matter, and in fact without planning it I have ended up with one no dig garden bed, one perrenial bed and one conventional raised bed. The one right at the back that started out as being a hughelkulture mound was contained into a raised bed, then I laid a thick layer of newspapers on top and covered with a thick layer of council mulch.   I cut slits into the newspaper to plant out a few cassava plants, because I had nowhere else for them to go.  Then as I noticed more and more volunteer sweet potatoes coming up, they were also moved into the bed.   That is what grows best here in the tropical wet season. I think when it comes to planting season, I will have to dig up the cassava and sweet potato, but might then cover with newspaper and mulch again, simply cutting out little slits to plant the seedlings into. I like this system.

For now though, I cannot grow much in the garden as the                                grasshoppers and numerous other insects seem to be very                              hungry.  I am growing microgreens and sprouts inside,                                   while I plan what I will plant outside once the weather                                                                             cools down.

The other bed has the few little volunteer plants that remained from my old garden.  The lettuces that keep going to seed, and then reviving themselves.  The everlasting rocket, cast iron parsley, and of course all the lovely ginger.  Every time I found a little bit of ginger I would pop it into this bed, and my gosh I think I am going to get a bumper ginger crop.  I have been digging out the turmeric volunteers as I always have way too much turmeric, but last year I got a bit low on ginger, so am making sure that doesn't happen again!
Of course with all the rain there is lots of colour in the garden - this is off to the side, outside the bedroom window.

Farmers footprint is a short film about how regenerating the soil is helping farmers to move away from heavy chemicals.  Well worth watching.   In the meantime I am working on creating lots of compost to add just before our growing season starts. 


  1. My niece is big into permaculture and grows a huge amount of food for her family. Parsley, now that is something my neglected garden has no trouble growing. I myself am feeling a bit puffed out on food production, so I am pleased that the fruiting season is just about over and I get a rest for a few months. Such as shame that I have been picking up hundreds of inedible pears and apples this week.

    1. It definitely seems to be the way to go - all this chemical dependency is certainly not increasing production or making us healthier. I struggle a bit with parsley in the hot season. Oh gosh I wonder why your fruit is inedible - because of the heat?

    2. Codling moth, fruit fly and age spots.

  2. I have also made a raised garden with the newspper under the mulch at the too as Morag suggested on her blog. It is nice not to have to pull out weeds but the veggies haven't been happy in the heat unfortunately. Roll on winter.

    1. Chel,
      Yes I think you suggested I look at the video of hers. I am anxiously awaiting for the weather to cool down so that I can try out my beds. The ginger is doing really well.


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