|The rewards of good soil: Incredible produce in your backyard!|
When we teach vegetable gardening in our How to be an Urban Hippy and Traditional Wisdom Rebellion Programs, the first thing we start with (after planning your patch) is the soil.
Our soil is more important than many people realise; it provides the opportunity for growth, the nourishment for survival and is the basis upon which our entire existence rests.
The saying Mother Earth; is no lie and she is no measly contributor!
In each of the different farming systems there are different perspectives on the soil; each allocating a different reverence to the stuff the food is grown in!
Biodynamic and organic farmers believe the soil is crucial and add organic matter, including manures and composts, to improve the quality and nutritive value of the soil.
In Biodynamic systems they also add fermented preparations to the soil.
These methods of farming exclude the use of artificial chemicals and rely entirely on unique farming systems, crop rotation and care of the soil.
There have been shifts in the conventional farming methods in the last 20 years also, to a minimum till approach, which minimises the negative impacts of farming on the soil (breaking up and destruction of microbes and hummus) and a greater recognition of the value of the soil.
There has also been an improvement in understanding the importance of crop rotation and the value livestock plays in adding nutrition to the soil through their manure.
The point of all this is to let you know, that when you decide to start your veggie patch at home, no matter how small it is (even if it is a tub on your verandah with a couple of herbs in it), pay particular attention to the soil.
If you are going to scrimp on anything…don’t make it the soil. Start with the best quality you can buy or find, beg or borrow and make sure you tend to it during the growing season by feeding it and keeping it moist and protected.
Your plants will thank you for it and in turn you will be rewarded with delicious and nutritious food.