Thursday, September 28, 2006

Complete-Diet Mini-Farmin

A GROW BIOINTENSIVE® Class taught by John Jeavons at Common Ground

Does your desire for better nutrition have you wondering if you could live off your land? This class will show you how to plan a garden or mini-farm that will produce healthy, nutritious food and be highly productive as well as truly sustainable, in the smallest space possible.

John is the Executive Director of Ecology Action and the author of our book How to Grow More Vegetables, which has been translated into 7 languages and is used in over 100 countries.

I don't have enough land to live off of, but I like to think that maybe one day I may (or one life is more like it), so for now I am just having fun practicing and getting ready for that day.

I took this class recently, and it's really a very simple plan:

To feed one person, you will need 40 beds that are 100 square feet each.

60% of your crops will be Carbon or Calorie Crops (Grains). So choose 4 of your favorite crops from this category and grow 6 beds of each, for a total of 24 beds.

30% of your crops will be High Calorie Root Crops (potatoes). Choose 3 of your favorite crops from this category and grow 4 beds of each, for a total of 12 beds.

10% of your crops will be Vegetable Crops (Salad Crops). Choose 4 of your favorite crops and grow 1 bed of each, for a total of 4 beds. 3 of these beds will be used to earn money by selling the crop, only 1 will be needed to feed yourself.

Of course this formula will not work for everyone. I recently discovered that I cannot tolerate starches. This includes potatoes, dried beans or grains of any kind. So I might plant some Almond trees, fruit trees and lots of berries, in my beds.......or grow clover to graze farm animals. But it is still a very interesting concept.....which may just require a little creativity.........and definetly a lot of hard work.

For more information on how to design a diet with the recommended amount of vitamins and minerals please refer to Designing a GROW BIOINTENSIVESM Sustainable Mini-Farm – A Working Paper


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