Friday, January 20, 2012

Exploring gardening philosophies

Over the last year I have done a lot of exploring.
I just felt my garden could do better, I could do better in and for my garden.
Over the years I have experimented with a lot of ideas from books, magazines and info I find on-line, don't get me wrong they aren't all bad but after you read them all you constantly find that everyone thinks theirs is the best possible way to grow the greatest amount of vegetables possible or they contradict each other or you try it out and have the worst vegetable harvest ever, like I did last year.
Everyone nowadays seems to be an expert. Every garden show I go to have plenty of those experts some know what they are doing, but some don't, even they think they do.
I know a lot of things about gardening but I don't think I'll ever would think I am an expert to tell people how to garden.....nope I am not garden show ready.

So first here is my disclaimer: whatever I write here on my blog are my experiences and trials in gardening, and I don't take any responsibility of you are copying what I am doing and now your crops failed, your vegetable garden is a mess, whatever.......I don't know it all!

so that's being said, I have decided I am staying with the experts, I am going to learn and study organic growing philosophies that have been done for a long time, with lot's of trials and research that show it works.

Sorry weatherman, that lost his job and likes to garden and now gives lectures about his gardening experiment......your method just didn't work out for me. You don't know what you're talking about and I finally figured out why all my seedlings died on me last year, why my seeds did not want to sprout and my harvest was meager. It was the leaves I put in spring on my beds, the ones I got from the city leaf pile and were full of Oak leaves and Walnut tree leaves and you said it would be alright to put them on even that late in the season, short time before planting. Comes out these leaves have growth inhibitors that prohibits seeds from sprouting and hinders the growth of young seedlings, and those leaves need to be first broken down, composted, to use them in your vegetable-garden.

This I first learned from an old book from Rodale Press named "High-Yield-Gardening" that is out of print but still can be searched for and found used on the Internet.
I don't know about you but I trust the books Rodale Press releases, since Rodale Institute has a large organic gardening research facility that documents what works and doesn't work and they have been doing it for a long time. I also found many found references in the other books I have been reading,  "to only use composted leaves or if you put them on your vegetable-beds let them compost down on the beds for at least half a year or more until they turn into leaf mold" none said to put leaves directly on your beds a short time before planting.
I learned about the 'leave' issue in old Biodynamic gardening books,
the method Rudolf Steiner 
promoted after he found the food quality diminishing after long years of  industrial farming and tried to get farmers back to natural ways of agriculture in harmony with nature,

including in harmony with the moon, the planets and the stars .

I read about composting leaves first in the Bio Intensive books from John Jeavons

one of the founders of the Ecology Action Organization and Research facility in California. Biointensive is practically a combination of the French-Intensive Gardening technique from the 1800 and the Rudolf Steiner Biodynamic Method.

And I read about this in the Perma-Culture book "Gaia's Garden",
at least in concern for vegetable garden areas.
Perma-Culture which has the concept of using your garden and the whole property as an eco system, incorporating sustainable designs, natural areas, including backyard farm animals and food forests wants you to never have to bring anything from the outside in to feed and nourish your garden, it all is supposed to be sustained by what you grow and compost from your property and so you design your whole property accordingly......just think Permanent Culture.
Again Permaculture borrows much of its core philosophy from another method, which is Rudolf Steiners Biodynamic gardening even it lacks the mystical elements.

All of these methods tell you to compost your leaves before growing your vegetables in them, so that's what I am going to do.

At first when I started reading these books I thought it was all a bit too complicated but as I started to read all the books simultaneously I realized that all these methods really have all the same philosophy and follow the same principles. "Garden with Nature!" and "Garden sustainable!"and "Use the land to grow your food so you get most out of it with the least amount of land used!"
So I will take the principles that fit my need (sorry John Jeavon.....I don't think I'll do the double digging) and once I figure it all out, including that "Planting by the Moon" I think I'll be set.
Learning from the experts will make my garden grow better!


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