Permaculture market garden
I recently spoke with Julia Veitch, a superb permaculture practitioner in
Canberra, Australia, about permaculture methods of market gardening.
She was taught the excellent Eliot Coleman organic gardening methods, with
soil blockers and fastidious rotations, and this will give you good results.
However, it's not permaculture, and it's labour intensive. You can make a
living that way, and it's hard work for limited return. In this district
several organic producers sell a box of vegetables (+flowers etc) each week
to a set group of subscribers, which seems to be the best method of marketing.
Her suggestion for a permaculture market garden was to have two large fenced
areas and to rotate these each year. She gave specific suggestions for
green manure crops while it was getting started, and predator-habitat
plantings around the edges.
Then you put chooks (this is Australian for chickens) in one pen, and run
them for free-range eggs. They also dig up the soil, fertilise, get rid of
weeds and pests, etc.
In the other pen, which was prepared by the chickens the previous year, you
broadcast a mixture of seeds, e.g. corn, tomatoes, anything, all mixed
together. You avoid your pathways which are made of something very cheap
(e.g. sawdust, which will be dug up by the chooks the next year). You rely
on diversity to give you enough crop, shade out weeds, and reduce pests.
Does anyone have any comments on this approach?
Crossroads Medieval Village Co-op