Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Which Garden Method?

"P" asked me, "What kind of farming method do I use? I've read some of your blog and can't figure out if you're organic or natural farming." 

Frankly, I'm my own "whatever-works-for-me" method. My aim is to be fairly self reliant, low input, low impact. Sort of like permaculture without the "cult" part. Thus I'm not a diehard advocate of any one particular system. On top of that, I'm always adapting. When I find something that works better, I use it. 

Organic?  That sounds great, but I don't use the chemicals like they do. So I guess I fall more into the "better than organic" classification. But there's that pesky tad of roundup used on the driveway and fence line, a problem for organic proponents. 

Biodynamic? Some of the woo-woo stuff makes my eyes roll, but otherwise it's ok, though I'm not a diehard follower. 

Biointensive? I use a few principles. But frankly, double digging on my farm surely will never happen in my lifetime. I'm glad if I can get "8 of soil! Gardening atop lava rules out biointensive double digging. I actually have some garden spots with only 3" of soil, for real!. Yes, I successfully produce food in those beds, but it takes a bit of creativity. 

Moon cycles? No. Tried it one year and didn't see any difference at all.

Companion planting? Not normally. I only have a few crops that grow among each other, and I don't even know if they are on the companion gardening charts. 

Polyculture? In some areas, yes. But not everything. My annual veggie beds are not polyculture. But the majority of my growing beds are small and are tucked into places here and there among other vegetation. But other areas are definitely polyculture. It all depends upon the crops and the location.

Korean natural farming? I use some principles, but not the system as a whole. 

Hawaiian methods? Somewhat. Old Hawaiian farming methods help quite a bit on this farm and give me ideas how to solve some issues. 

Heirloom gardening? Although I do indeed grow some heirlooms, I also grow plenty of modern varieties and a few hybrids. 

Ruth Stout method? There's a lot to be said for her methods, and I use plenty of her ideas on this farm. But my young soil isn't to the point yet where I can use solely her methods. 

No till? Other than for grass type crops, I haven't had much success with my no till experiments. Yes, I a tiller. I till between annual crops. No-till is left for the areas that include the orchards, hugelpits, and pastures.

As you have guessed, I'm not a diehard advocate of any particular gardening method. But the closest thing I'd say is permaculture. Permanent agriculture. I'm surely not 100% on board with this either. I use propane and gasoline, although not a lot. And there's that nagging tad of roundup. 

Low input, low impact......lots of my own labor. "L, L, & L". That sums it up. Soooooo, what to label it? Yeah, there's lots of people out there that insist on things having a label. Ok, how about the "li-li-lomol" method.  😉

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