Saturday, November 14, 2009

Perennial-Based Agriculture - The Future?

I know that I would rather see the suburbs covered in
food forests than large fields of annual monocultures.

Everyone is always thinking about how the farming way of
life is dissapearing faster than ever.

Well...if that means destroying forests to plant monocultures,
and using endless amounts of fossil fuels to keep the whole
scheme going, then good riddance.

Every year, plow the soil, fertilize it, pack it down,
plant all the seeds, manage the weeds (usually with poison),
harvest the crop, (after ALL that) - and plow again and start over. CRAZY.

Just plant perennials and mulch mulch mulch.
Berries cost an arm and leg nowadays.
Who wants GMO corn besides corn syrup makers
and conventional grain-based factory beef farmers?

Im excited to get some hardy kiwis next year,
the ones that are about the size of a grape.
Those vines can put out 100lbs a year, and
I know people that will gladly spend $10 a lb for
good organic hardy kiwis like that, especially from
someones's "Space of Love - Family Domain".

Doing so many annual just seems like so much hassle to me.
It just fights nature every step of the way.

Dont get me wrong, I love tomatoes and melons
and cucumbers and all that good stuff,
but Ive decided that besides my sq foot raised beds,
Im going to make the whole core garden in the center
just perennial herbs like mint, lavender, sage, lemon balm,
catnip, sorrel, oregano, thyme, etc,
then do the borders with the raspberries and keep
doing rhubarb. I ran out of places to put grapes
so I put some in the core area too and will eventually have to
build a trellis for them. But yes...all perennials I think...I cant see why not.

Lots of flowers like echinacea, comfrey, yarrow, chamomile.
All perennials. Just let the clumps expand.
I bought a small chocolate mint, and it really took off this year.
I can only imagine what 4 years would bring. I really had to keep
it trimmed back so it wouldnt push too hard on the rhubarb.

This was the size of a dinner plate last spring,
and now its 5'x6'. Perennials! And the bees love mint flowers!

I think we will see this shift coming really soon,
many have already caught on and are making a serious
living selling their surpluses. The time is coming.

And with energy only becoming more scarce,
transitioning to this way of raising food with little fossil fuel
imput will be the key to adaptability and profit in the 21st century.

Think about patches and patches of Mint, Oregano, Lavender!
Nothing better...and bees just know its perfect for them.

And Deb from Debbie Does Raw sent us guavas and dates
in the mail, and nothing on earth smells better than a ripe guava.
Love you Deb!!! All we have in NYC is apples and pears now..haha.