Last weekend Michael, Zag and Stephen packed the ute with seeds, mulch and tools, and went to Sydney to teach a Serious Backyard Veggies workshop with special guest Costa Georgiadis. Planting, planning what goes where and what goes in next, natural pest management and all the ‘how to grow great tomatoes/eggplant/celery/carrots etc’ tips that could be squeezed into 2 days…
It was pretty darn fun, with lots of students saying ‘this is all the stuff i needed to know but didn’t know I needed!’ And also had the consequence that the front of the Alexandria Park Community Garden is now packed with spring veggies. Check out the gorgeous photos Cathy Xiao Chen took…
When you come down to it, the techniques of market gardening meet backyard veggie production in many ways – sure, there’s differences of approach if you’re growing 40m square of carrots as opposed to 1m square, but much of the knowledge is the same…
I think sometimes we expect too little in terms of production from our backyard gardens, I know Nick and I certainly did when we lived in Melbourne. But in fact you can grow a large amount of amazing, nutrient dense food in a small space. And a lot of it is about giving yourself permission to get serious.
It’s also a curious fact that the smaller your growing space, the more you can pack in per square meter.
Compare the possibilities of a 4m square backyard veggie bed to the same surface area of a broad-acre vegetable production field… if planted and managed well, the amount of veggies and herbs you could harvest from that 4m square backyard bed over a season would be at least 10 times (if not far more) the nutrient output of 4m square of broad-acre growing.
It’s all about stacking plants in time and space, intercropping, undercropping and basically designing your backyard patch for ultimate production. And the best bit is you get rewarded with good clean food, grown right outside your door. Happiness is a garden.
Big ups to Michael Hewins for designing this useful, informative and hands-on course, and to Costa for co-presenting 2 days of active knowledge about serious veggie production.
Also thanks to Stephen Couling and Michael Zagoridis for all their help, to Cathy Xiao Chen for the gorgeous photos, and to Adso (Adam Kennedy) for his ongoing awesomeness making beds and coordinating everything with care and flair, as always.
- Future Serious Backyard Veggie courses are here
- Future Organic Market Gardening courses (intro and materclass) are here