seedlings

GROWING VEGETABLES – NATURE’S WAY TO WEALTH

WHAT?

No need to rest your garden in winter?

No need for crop rotation?

Your garden virtually looks after itself? 
AND  produces many times more than other growing methods,
PLUS it regenerates itself year after year, all by itself?

No pests  in your vegetable patch?

Virtually no weeds?

No digging your vegetable garden?

Your vegetable patch needs very little water?

Surely not.

Oh! yes, it is true.

The Food4Wealth’s special planting arrangement mimics nature on the same principle as one finds in a forest.

The forest does not plough, nor does it burn.
Where the leaves and branches fall, that is where they lie.

And in the carpet that forms in the forest, aerobic and anaerobic microbes set to work.
Nature has had these things under control for millions of years.
It’s only humans who have made things more complicated.
 

In the same way, ecological vegetable gardening provides interdependent relationships
between the living components.

These relationships mutually benefit the various components,
so the vegetable garden actually runs all by itself.
because the Food4Wealth vegetable plot is a natural ecosystem. 

Regular harvesting maintains the ideal vegetation balance required to run the garden like a natural ecosystem. 

It’s the ultimate win-win situation.  

Harvesting is good for people, but it’s also good for the garden. 

The biggest challenge that faces modern vegetable growing,
is to incorporate –

pest ecology
plant ecology
soil ecology, and
crop management
into a method that is reliable and efficient.

Until now this has never been achieved.
BUT!
The Food4Wealth method naturally combines all of these factors without any effort. 

Most of us don’t have much time to spend in the garden.  Jonathan White only invests around eight hours per year to growing his food, and although he lives on a small farm, he only uses a space of around 6m x 6m.  That’s an area that could fit into many suburban backyards several times over. 

Jonathan’s vegetable garden

The most wonderful thing about this method is that he knows he can ignore his vegetable garden for months and it won’t miss a beat. 

So, if you believe growing food is only for tough, bearded warriors with a lot of time – think again.  

ECOLOGICAL gardening is JUST the thing for YOU.

Categories: Agriculture, ecology, Farming, Food, Food crisis, Food security, Growing, healthy, Low maintenance, maintenance, Nutriets, Organic, Plant, Produce, seedlings, seeds, Self-seeding, Vegetable gardener, Vegetables, Veggie garden, Wealth, Zero tillage | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

GROWING VEGETABLES – AND GUINEA FOWL

Town brings in Guinea fowl to control tick population

I would never have believed that Guinea fowl could be useful around vegetable gardens.

There are only three things I know about Guinea fowl:

  1. They are pretty
  2. Initially, I had only seen them portrayed on quilts, pottery and toys
  3. Then in June 2012 I saw them “in the flesh” for the first time – and they were disciplining a recalcitrant member of their posse.

But at lunch with a friend at Ninos coffee shop one day I turned to Mary and said, “You are famous. Your veggie bathtub is on the internet.”

Johannesburg Zoo

This set off a discussion on vegetable gardening and pest control, and soon Mary was telling us that the Johannesburg Zoo keeps Guinea fowl to reduce the rat population and insects.

I was fascinated by this snippet. Rats can play havoc with your vegetable garden.
I know that lemon mint repels rats.
But this was the first time I had heard that Guinea fowl kill them.

Conversation turned to stopping snails in their tracks with coffee grounds and crushed eggshells, only to learn that Mary, having worked at the Johannesburg Zoo for 26 years, collected vegetable devouring snails from her garden and put them in a tub in her fridge freezer! As soon as she had a goodly amount, out came the tub of snails which she took to feed the birds at the zoo.

Back to vegetable gardens and Guinea fowl
You will be pleased to know that this bird is very useful in your garden.

  • It seldom, if ever, bothers your vegetables or flowers; living instead on insects and grasses.
  • They control deer ticks, wood ticks, grasshoppers, box elder bugs, flies crickets, and all other insects.
  • Apart from eating mice and small rats, their noisy call will actually discourage rodents.
  • They also kill snakes, and,
  • if you are security conscious, they will alert you to anything unusual going on, on your property (perhaps neighbours who may covet your vegetables in the deep of night?)

So, give it a thought – if you are struggling to control pests and insects in and around where you are growing vegetables, get yourself a posse of Guinea fowl.

You can actually train them to come when you call.

And if you have a problem with bees, hornets or wasps, all you have to do is show it where the insects congregate, and you’ll be able to move around your garden without fear of being stung – the Guinea fowl will do the rest.

A wonderful addition to your vegetable garden, don’t you think?

Categories: Agriculture, Birds, bugs, crickets, ecology, Farming, Food, Food crisis, Food security, Grasshoppers, Guinea Fowl, Insects, Nature, Nutriets, Organic, Pest, plants, Quality vegetables, seedlings, seeds, Self-seeding, Ticks, Vegetable gardener, Vegetables, Veggie garden, Zero tillage | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

GROWING VEGETABLES – eBOOK AND VIDEO PACKAGE

WHAT WILL YOU GET WHEN YOU PURCHASE THE FOOD4WEALTH eBOOK AND VIDEO PACKAGE?

  1. Firstly, Food4Wealth is a sustainable, ecological vegetable growing model, professionally produced by the environmental scientist, Jonathan White
  2. It is extremely easy to read and easy to understand.
  3. The Food4Wealth model will show you how to setup your own organic food garden completely.
  4. You will be taken through the entire process of growing your own vegetables in in a very small amount of space – for just a few hours effort. 
    • His Food4Wealth ebook contains 80 pages
    • and 60 minutes of videos.

The Key Principles of the Ecological Gardening Method

  1. Plant densely
  2. Plant a diversity of plants within a given area
  3. Get a good composting system set up and use the compost as a surface mulch on bare patches
  4. Allow some plants to go to seed
  5. Only interfere with the system when a single species of plant over-dominates and simply scratch out excess plants when they are small. 

His vegetable growing package also includes:

    • project plans
    • checklists
    • a maintenance plan
    • materials list
    • provides detailed tips, tricks and techniques to grow organic food successfully 
    • email support with all replies sent within 24 hours.

FREE REPORT:  “What is ecological gardening?” click here.

TO
PURCHASE
YOUR VERY OWN
eBOOK and SET OF VIDEOS
CLICK HERE.

Categories: Affordability, Agriculture, Bare patches, ecology, Economical, Farming, Food, Food crisis, Food security, Growing, Increased yields, Low maintenance, manure, Mulch, Nutriets, Organic, Pest, Plant, plants, Preparation, Produce, Save money, seedlings, seeds, Self-seeding, Vegetable gardener, Weeds, Zero Chemicals, Zero tillage | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

GROWING VEGETABLES FOR THE LESS FORTUNATE

“WHO IS MY NEIGHBOUR?”

One of SUCCESSFUL GARDENING PROJECTS’ aims is to encourage us all to think not only of ourselves, but of our neighbours and those in need.

Elkhart County (USA) are doing exactly this.

May the reblog of their August post spur you and whatever group you are part of, to do something similar in your own community

Elkhart County Grassroots Hub

Helping hands come in all shapes and sizes.

Elkhart County’s community gardens bring people together of all ages and from every walk of life. You DON’T have to be an experienced gardener to be of assistance. One woman who picked beans last night told me that she had never before picked a bean in her life. But, she said she likes how working in the garden makes her feel. “This feeds people here in our community,” she explains. “We can get a little sweaty and dirty for someone else. Giving back is a good thing.”

‘Seed to Feed’s’ coordinator, Dave Hochstetler, says that the vegetables are coming in so plentifully that “Seed to Feed” needs 30 pickers each time: Mondays at 9 a.m., Tuesdays at 7 p.m. Tell your churches, tell your clubs, tell your families. Great group project. Call Dave for details: 574-349-4905 or dhhooch@aol.com .

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Categories: Agriculture, Blessing, Commitment, Community, Donate, Farming, Food, Food crisis, Food security, God, Growing, healthy, Helping, Less fortunate, Neighbours, Plant, Poor, Produce, seedlings, seeds, Soil, Time, Vegetable gardener, Vegetables, Veggie garden | Leave a comment

VEGETABLE GROWING – KEEP THE SOIL “ON THE GROUND”

Soil erosion

Is your vegetable garden’s soil frittering away through soil erosion?

Here is a shocking statistic – though soil erosion is a natural process, human activity accelerates soil loss up to 24 billion tonnes every year. [1]

This is even more concerning, especially as topsoil contains most of the soil’s nutrients and organic matter. As one author put it, “Soil erosion: it can run away with your farm.” [3] (or even your vegetable patch!)

Add to this, wind, and the speed at which rain drops hit the earth (4.5 to 19 mph), can you afford to turn your hand at vegetable gardening or farming if the soil just won’t lie down?

HOW TO KEEP THE SOIL IN YOUR GARDEN – ON THE GROUND

The short answer is – mulch your vegetable garden . (You knew that, didn’t you.)

But here is something you may not know – don’t dig over your soil.
You’re probably wondering,
“If I don’t dig over the soil, how will I plant the seed/seedlings?”

To answer this question let me first tell you about two microbial life forms in your vegetable patch:
1. Aerobic microherd – these are all microbes that absolutely need oxygen in order to survive.
2. Anaerobic microherd – these are all microbes that don’t need oxygen to survive, but may or may not use oxygen in their life cycles.

If you dig over the soil in your vegetable garden, the microbes assigned their place in life will be turned upside down, and will die. Aerobic and anaerobic microbes are there to help you grow your vegetables to their optimum potential by improving he soil’s health and texture.

Consequence of digging over your garden?
Bang! goes your attempt at growing vegetables.

The answer?
Don’t plough, don’t overturn the soil like our predecessors taught us.

Here’s what you do:

  • You dig only where you will place the seed or seedling – click here to see how it is done.

Mulching
I had a wonderful time in Mwinilunga (Zambia’s North West Province). In 2009 Chief Kanyama invited me to train 36 villagers in the Farming God’s Way method (or, Foundations for Farming). They had never heard of mulching. But as soon as they understood the value of retaining moisture and keeping the ground “on the ground,” they set to it with vigour, collecting straw and old maize stalks to cover the land. They are now reaping harvests not heard of in their farming history.

The Benefits of Mulching[4]
• Mulching is essential to the survival of your landscape during a drought. Mulch will reduce the amount of water that evaporates from your soil, greatly reducing your need to water your vegetable plants.

• …improves the quality of your soil by breaking up clay and allowing better water and air movement through the soil. Mulch provides nutrients to sandy soil and improves its ability to hold water.

• …acts as an insulating layer on top of soil, keeping it cooler in the summer.

• …keeps weeds down, and the weeds that do grow are much easier to pull.

So! Are you ready to grow vegetables successfully?

Let me know how this has made a difference to the health of your vegetables.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Acknowledgements

[1] http://www.envirothon.org/pdf/CG/using_the_USLE.pdf

[2] http://www2.kenyon.edu/projects/farmschool/types/soil.htmhttps://www.google.co.za/#hl=en&sclient=psy-ab&q=speed+at+which+rain+hits+the+soil&oq=speed+at+which+rain+hits+the+soil&gs_l

[3] http://faq.gardenweb.com/faq/lists/organic/2002114848008095.html

[4] http://www.ccwater.com/files/Drought101Mulch.pdf

Categories: Agriculture, ecology, Farming, Food, Food crisis, Food security, Growing, healthy, Increased yields, Mulch, Nutriets, Organic, Organic matter, Plant, plants, Preparation, Produce, Rain, seedlings, seeds, Self-seeding, Soil, Vegetable gardener, Vegetables, Veggie garden, Wind, Zero tillage | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

GROWING VEGETABLES – THE “COMPANION PLANTING” WAY

Margaret Roberts’ passion for growing vegetables and herbs is clearly evident in the way she writes in her book titled, “Companion Planting.”

Each herb and vegetable is introduced with a short history of the plant, its culinary, medicinal and pest repellent properties. She has trialed each and every entry in her many books, and pioneered organic methods before the word “organic” was ever coined.

There is so much to garner from her books.

The first book I bought I gave to a Chief in Kanyama, Mwinilunga District, Zambia. I could not do without my own copy for along, so, I bought another copy – and was robbed!.

So I bought a third copy.

As you can tell, I am passionate about growing vegetables the Companion Planting way. There is much information to be culled from it. For instance, I set up two Excel schedules: one reflected the medicinal properties of the herbs and the ailments it can either relieve or cure. The other dealt with herbs that could control pests.

Margaret Roberts also provides recipes for sprays to protect your vegetables and herbs, and provides references to herbs that break down compost.

In her book, “The Essential Margaret Roberts, my 100 Favourite herbs,” she outlines how to plan a herb garden, propagation of vegetables plants, and much-much more.

For more information on Margaret Roberts Herbal Centre, click here.

Categories: Agriculture, Companion planting, ecology, Farming, Food, Food security, Green manure, healthy, manure, Nutriets, Organic, Pest, Plant, plants, Preparation, Produce, Save money, seedlings, seeds, Self-seeding, Soil, Vegetables, Weeds | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

GROWING VEGETABLES – BLOOD AND BONE IN THE COMPOST?

When I first heard  of adding a blood and bone meal to add to one’s compost I mentally gagged at the thought of what it may do to the vegetables I wanted to grow? We’ve all heard at one time or another that blood can become contaminated. How then can it be dug into our compost? The health implications made me shudder.

But I later learned that the blood is not used before it is dried, and the mixture of blood and bone is put through a steaming process to clean it. One can be assured then, that what you buy at the butchery is safe. I would, however, not recommend buying it from a butchery in a rural area where steaming facilities are not available. So there is no threat to one’s vegetable patch.

Because of its nitrogen fixing properties and its calcium and phosphorous nutrients. blood and bone mix is excellent for mixing into compost which will later be added to the soil in your vegetable garden. I would recommend, however, that you first have the soil tested for nutrient content. You don’t’ want, for instance, to have too much, for instance, as it will affect your vegetables and they may even die off.

The good news is – bone and blood m eliminates the need to buy fertilizer, and is probably cheaper.

The bottom line is – how can you best improve the soil in your vegetable garden AND save money? I can recommend Jonathan White’s article on composting. Here is an extract from his article on composting  –

“Do you consider composting as just another way to dispose of unwanted vegetable waste, pruned branches, twigs, grass and leaves? Whilst this may be a valid solution to deal with rubbish, composting can be valuable option when used in the right way.

“For instance, compost builds valuable nutrients that will feed the soil in which you grow vegetables that will in turn one day, feed you and your family.  I only use compost on my vegetable gardens.  Manage your vegetable garden using compost, and it will become an integral part of the whole food production system.  Creating compost is a way to collect nutrients in one form – waste – to turn it into another form – food.

“Most people throw away what is left over after preparing vegetables for a meal. In other words, they buy X amount of nutrients, take what they need for the moment, and discard the rest. That’s like throwing Dollars into the rubbish bin.

To “raise capital” on the discarded parts of the vegetables, put this “capital” to work in your vegetable garden. That way the nutrients will be used again and again without any cost to you.

“What a way to save money!

“Put differently:
Composting creates a nutrient cycle on our property.

“We are part of that cycle because we consume the nutrients when they are, for a brief time, in a useful form.  Then the discarded portion returns to the compost to slowly make their way into another useful form – then we consume them again.

“This cycle can continue indefinitely. Of course, some nutrients you will never see again. But with diligence you will be surprised how much compost you can create to generate more nutrients than you can recycle.

“My composting system is large because I have a few large vegetable gardens. I believe that the size of your vegetable garden should be determined by how much compost you can create, and not merely by the amount of space you have in your backyard.

“To run a rich, high yielding vegetable garden you need to have some sort of soil conditioning plan, and the best thing for your soil is a generous layer of good compost on the surface a few times per year. “

To read more, click on this link, COMPOSTING.

Categories: Agriculture, Blood and bone mix, Compost, ecology, Farming, Food, Food crisis, Food security, Growing, Mulch, Organic, Organic matter, Plant, Produce, seedlings, seeds, Self-seeding, Soil, Vegetable gardener, Vegetables, Veggie garden, Zero tillage | Leave a comment

GROWING VEGETABLES – BATHTUBS AND BATHWATER

A friend of mine grows spinach, cherry tomatoes and herbs in a recycled old claw foot bath three metres from her back door.

Planting vegetables in a bathtub

She lives in an old redbrick railway cottage with not much space in her backyard to grow vegetables, especially as two large trees tend to overshadow the yard. There are few places where the sun can flood seeds and seedlings with precious warmth.

So this bath became particularly useful as in the initial stages she could move it  around to access the best spot while it is still empty and light.

Just one question: would the plughole provide sufficient drainage? (just joking). Line the tub with gravel.

Inquire at your nearest nursery or hardware store for soil that would best ensure proper drainage. The most valuable element your vegetable bathtub will contain is compost and perhaps the addition of peat moss if you wish.

Mary takes recycling seriously. Next to her bathtub garden is a large green JoJjo tank with an inflow pipe connected to the  the gutter on the roof. This water is particularly useful to water her vegetable garden during the dry season.

Recycling bathwater
Given her penchant for recycling I’ve wondered whether bathwater could be used to water her vegetable garden?

With increased costs of water in cities and towns being so high, it was worth exploring the possibility, so I read through comments related to recyling bathwater on a several sites. Overwhelmingly gardeners’ experience reveals that soapy water (except anti-bacterial soap) does not damage your vegetable plants. Many comments claim that their vegetables actually thrive on it.

Personally, I give Margaret Roberts the benefit of the doubt. In her book, “Companion Planting“, she includes a number of recipes combining herbs, water and Sunlight Soap powder to use as sprays. They soapy element allows a concoction to stick to plants.

I would trust her judgement on this, as she has trialed these recipes over many years. (Margaret is listed in Who’s Who in South Africa, and a rose is named after her.)

Margaret Roberts’ book: Companion Planting

Categories: Agriculture, baths, containers, Food, Food crisis, Growing, healthy, planting in a bathtub, plants, Recycle, seedlings, seeds, Toxic, Vegetables, Warning | Leave a comment

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