Efficient Gardening

A few weeks ago I attended an excellent talk and discussion panel hosted by The Food Gardeners Alliance, we posted a little more on them in a previous post.

Buying produce from a supermarket is perhaps one of the most un-environmentally friendly things you can do, not just the direct resource usage of farming, but the effects of product transport, wastage, refrigeration, personal transport and much more. We only have a small patch in our (mainly concrete) back yard but it’s enough to supply us with just under half of our weekly food, the statistics on this are :

A 4 by 5 metres patch can produce enough for 2 people, approximately 200kg a year with only 2 or 3 hours a week of work.

Even if you have no yard or garden there are many tricks to be performed with containers, an issue we have also frequently covered here.

Lets take a look at a few more tips offered by some of the speakers at the discussion.

David Holmgren is an infamous figure in the recent resurgence in gardening, one of the co-founders of Permaculture he proposes a more holistic approach to gardening, considering micro cultures and climates to encourage growth and nature. It’s a fairly involved process and there are many who offer courses, literature and insight into it. Rest assured it’s not just applicable to those with lots of space, permaculture can also be practiced easily in restricted spaces with processes such as Rooftop gardening, planting in containers, vertical gardening and aquaponic systems.

Diggers is an organisation perhaps better reserved for those with slightly larger gardens, but for a source or certified organic seeds it is ideal. Specialising in vintage, cottage and heirloom varieties of plants Diggers maintains an impressive list of breeds that you’ve probably never heard of.

Jane Edmanson is a famous figure in the gardening world, host of TV shows for many years and generally a figure of respect and trust in the wider community. Her tips were generally a lot more practical and common-sensical, moving themes back into the home and the benefits that growing and eating our own produce can bring, such as gardening being a great source of exercise and that fresh produce could help reduce obesity. She also bestowed the virtues of seasonal planting, something that can frequently be overlooked when your attracted to the myriad of pretty plants available to you.

There was also an interesting representative from Sustainable gardening Australia, but I admit that I had to leave early, so missed what they had to say, expect something on the SGA in the near future.