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Had someone tell me today...

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Re: Had someone tell me today...

Post  givvmistamps on 4/8/2012, 5:13 pm

@Turan wrote:From my perspective SQF is a wonderful gateway to gardening, especially for veggies. Because of the clear cut format it is not too over whelming to go from thinking about to doing. It is standardizing and simplifying what was called French Intensive gardening 40 years ago. 4X4 is a doable commitment for almost any one, and will give a positive feed back in many different ways.
A study of the carbon footprint of food grown in a garden using ANSFG methods versus French intensive methods would be interesting to see. I think it would start out being heavily in favor of the FI and then as the SFG matured over the years it would equalize.

It warms the cockles of my heart to find a place so full of enthusiasm for gardening, so many people jumping from contemplating to doing. I have given several people these books or links to similar set ups because it is so doable.

Hey, thanks for the link! That must be the other method my prof used when she developed her plans. Her growing paths were raised up a bit due to all the compost she'd added, and I now remember her referring to double-digging.

I really need to pull out my class notes & such!
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Re: Had someone tell me today...

Post  Turan on 4/8/2012, 7:09 pm

@givvmistamps wrote:

Hey, thanks for the link! That must be the other method my prof used when she developed her plans. Her growing paths were raised up a bit due to all the compost she'd added, and I now remember her referring to double-digging.

I really need to pull out my class notes & such!

She also probably heaped her good soil from paths to beds.

Double digging.... that is so much work that it scares a lot of people and is also held in a sort of extremist fixation by some. It has its uses and was itself a reaction against the sub-compacted soils that is a symptom of gardens that have been tilled every year at the same depth. It is really good if you have drainage troubles and it can make available nutrients, especially minerals, from deep soils. Recognizing it is not needed for a good bed was one of Mel's points. I have done it once. Did not see the need here except when determined to dig out thistle roots all the way down.
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Re: Had someone tell me today...

Post  givvmistamps on 4/8/2012, 7:40 pm

This was in the Piedmont of Virginia, where the soil is almost completely clay. She had to do a cover crop the first couple years to get the hard-pan broken up, compost the plants when they were through with their job, then start adding compost to her plots. It took her quite a bit of work, and the double-digging was necessary, but she found this really funky tool that made the job a lot easier without using a tiller that wouldn't go deep enough. She had to cover-crop the walking paths and quite a ways farther out from her intended garden, too, just so the plots wouldn't act like water troughs in a heavy rain.

Talk about dedicated! But she took it in parts, and was in the process of cover-cropping another section of land so she could expand her operation. I believe their goal was for her husband to be able to quit his job and join her in the farm work. Her operation was too big for her to justify the cost of building and filling boxes for everything; she sold produce to several local restaurants as well as at the farmer's market, sold eggs from her chicken operation, they raised a beef cow or two each year for their own use, and she was looking at getting more livestock.

She was my hero by the end of that semester! Looking at how I write about her, I guess she's still my hero. I've been thinking I should look her up and send her some photos of my little plots.
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