Recently we held a Biointensive Growing course with Jodi Roebuck at Buena Vista Farm in Gerringong. It was a big learning experience for everyone involved!
The Biointensive Method is one that focusses on growing vegetables with maximum productivity from minimal space, in as immediate a timeframe as possible.
This means there’s lots of energy that needs to be contributed at the start of the process, to fast-track the preparation of the growing space.
Usually, this energy is in the form of double digging a garden bed – something that we’ve experimented with already, but in this weekend we saw how a world leading educator approaches that same, seemingly basic, task.
And I learned that it’s all about how you approach it. By the end of our double digging garden bed exercise, we were huffing and puffing – glad to have done it, but the sorer for it.
But of course, like any human-scale farming technique, there’s the hard way, and the easier way – and during this weekend, Jodi Roebuck shower us the easier way, with ergonomic thinking and digging, aikido, and the right tools and attitude.
By the end of this course, everyone went home with a lot to think about.
It was great to see a healthy mix of existing full-time growers, backyarders, homesteaders and not-quite-yet-growers all there together debating, discussing + digging.
We’re looking forward to discovering how this practice informs future growing, spacing + planning. We think the tendrils of biointensive will reach all over, both in its ‘pure’ form, and the many lessons to be learned from how this method can integrate with other growing techniques + approaches.
Biointensive Growing resources:
- How to Grow more Vegetables – book
- Biotintensive pamphlet resources
- The Backyard Homestead Mini-Farm & Garden Log Book
- All of John Jeavons’ books
- Ecology Action website
Other good books:
- Test your Soil with Plants – John Beeby
- The Holistic Orchard – Michael Phillips
- Grass Productivity – Andre Voisin (free download)
- The Seed Savers Handbook – Jude + Michel Fanton
- The Organic Seed Grower: A Farmer’s Guide to Vegetable Seed Production – John Navazio
- Seed to Seed: Seed Saving and Growing Techniques for Vegetable Gardeners – Suzanne Ashworth
- The Market Gardener – Jean-Martin Fortier
- All of Eliot Coleman’s books
- The Resilient Farm and Homestead – Ben Falk
- Koanga Garden Guide – Kay Baxter
A big thanks to Jodi Roebuck for leading the learning, Grow Farm Forage‘s Linda Machon for assisting, Buena Vista Farm for the soil, classroom and incredible food, and to everyone who came along to learn!
Good growing to you all! Our courses with Jodi happen in in Spring and Autumn. Stay tuned via our mailing list and we’ll let you know.