Category Archives: Organic food gardening

The title says it all – organic food gardening = growing your own food using organic methods.

Soil and CO2

This is by far the best explanation of soil sequestration (storage) of CO2 in soil that I have seen. I cannot understand why farmers, gardeners and governments are not jumping on this as a way to help to drastically reduce atmospheric CO2.

Get the PDF here

Why can’t we imagine how the land feels?

This article in The Guardian raises issues that explain why the world is in the state it is. If we see the planet only as a resource to be ruthlessly exploited then we will kill ourselves and every other living organism. What we have forgotten is that everything we need we need to survive comes from the Earth.

This is particularly true of soil. If it as only seen a substrate to provide support for engineered plants that rely chemical inputs to survive then we are doomed.

The loss of soil to erosion and resulting prediction that there is only 40 years of topsoil left should be a resounding wake up call. Yet there is no panic, there are no demonstrations in the streets, there is no understanding of what it means.

Comfrey juice fertlizer

Looking through the gardening books this morning I found this old favourite. It is an original 1976 first edition of “Comfrey, past, present and future”.  It used to be well known in organic gardening circles but seem to have dropped off the radar in recent years.

I found the book in the HDRA shop, Henry Doubleday Research Association, at Ryton Organic Gardens. Now called Garden Organic there is no longer a shop and the gardens are a mere shadow of their former shadow of what they once were. And just at a time when we need to push for more sustainable food growing.

As we are building a new organic garden it seems obvious that Comfrey juice production should be part of it.

Lawrence Hills bred a sterile version of Comfrey, he called it “Bocking 14”. It will not self seed, which is crucial if you want to prevent it spreading!

There are three linked pages that explain why Comfrey liquid is so good, how to make small quantities and how to scale up production for larger gardens.

A chemical analysis of Comfrey liquid

Making small quantities of Comfrey liquid

Scaling up production for the larger garden

Please note: Comfrey liquid made by pressing the leaves and small stalks is totally different to Comfrey tea.

Why can’t we do this in the UK?

This area in Detroit is now America’s first 100% organic, self-sustainable neighborhood

Here is the video

This is an amazing project which works in so many different ways. Why can’t we do this in the UK? In time of food banks, poor nutrition, rickets in kids and a very insecure food supply it really is time we were doing project like this. So what is stopping us? I really want to know!

Is it the national depression that hangs over us? Is the cynical way the British look at everything these days? Or is it that nobody has the guts and energy to do such projects?

I really want to know what stops us taking control of our food supply.

Organic outperforms conventional agriculture

Just to show that all the misguided hype about how we need huge inputs of fertiliser, pesticides and GM is just that, hype from the vested interest of the huge agrochemical companies that make a profit out of fear.

And organic gardening probably outperforms conventional food gardening. See this link to out own trials.

From: “Kiss the Ground: How the Food You Eat Can Reverse Climate Change, Heal Your Body & Ultimately Save Our World” 2018, Kindle edition, p.138.

Why composting is vital

It might seem daft, it might appear to be cranky and a marginal activity but composting has enormous benefits. As they say in the video using composting reduces soil erosion, creates more fertile soil and locks up CO2. We are lucky in this part of Derbyshire as green waste and food waste is collected and composted. We try to give away as little as possible and compost it here for use on the veg garden. It’s not hard to do, see this page for more information and please email me if you want help.

See what they are doing in New York

New garden almost ready to plant

More progress today after a big change of plan. We discovered an old water tank in the middle, of the plot which is only about 15cm (6 inches) below the surface. We could of built raised beds over it giving a total soil depth of around 38cms (15 inches.) Instead we decided on a major redesign to leave the area clear. There are now five, 2m x 1m beds and one, metre square bed (not yet filled.) This has increased the growing area to 11 square metres using the same number of boards with two 1m lengths left over. They might end up as part of a planter for the centre area.

The beds are now in place and have been filled with a soil and composted manure mix. All that is needed is some green waste compost to top off the beds and we can start planting.