Tuesday, 9 July 2013

Great inspiration

While trawling round the web looking for inspirational images of allotments, square foot/meter planting, and intensive growing, I happened upon this picture, which is borrowed from and © the Dervaes family of the Urban Homestead in Pasadena, California.

It was the fact there are just so many raised beds in the photo that caught my eye, jam packed with beautiful fresh produce, and initially, I just loved the layout of the garden.  It's inspiring all by itself.

A big "wow" escaped my lips when I realised that the family of 4 adults manages to grow a mind-boggling 6,000lbs of produce in a year, and somewhere on this home plot they manage to fit in chickens, ducks and a couple of goats too!  Not only do they manage to meet almost all their own food needs, they also have surplus to sell and make a living from.

What I found really phenomenal though, is that the family's growing space is just 1/10th of an acre, or approximately 20m x 20m, which, coincidentally, works out to be 400 sq m and roughly the same size as my allotment.  Can you guess what I'm thinking yet?!

OK, I have to be realistic.  It's taken the Dervaes's quite a number of years to get their plot looking this good, so I can't expect mine to be anything like it overnight.  Mine is also an allotment, whereas theirs is their back (and front!) yard.  I also don't know that I really want to produce quite as much as they do.

What their efforts do prove however, is that it's entirely possible to grow a significant amount of produce in a very small space.  It also highlights just how wasteful commercial food production is when you consider it apparently takes 1.2 acres to (commercially) produce the food for one person.  They manage to feed four people from 1/10th of an acre.

We can all take a leaf or two out of their book garden and grow some of our own food, no matter how small our growing area is.  Even if your "garden" is limited to a couple of buckets to grow lettuce in, DO IT!  The more food we can grow to feed ourselves with, the less we spend at the supermarket and the less hold the corporations have over us.  And if you have a lawn?  My advice would be to dig it up and grow food you can eat and feed your family with.

Until next time.

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