Monday, 26 February 2007

Comparisons

Over the season I'll be keeping you updated about how my site compares with my neighbours, highly mechanised, "conventional" farm. I've nothing against his field, it's just the closest example of industrial agriculture.
As I said before, the turning circle for the gleaming beasts(giant tractors) is a wee bit smaller than my entire plot.
The cauliflowers are gone and it's time for potatoes. The obligatory plastic (to heat up the soil) has been stretched out using special equipment. Neat rows march across the landscape.


As you can see here:


It's a big area of heavily compacted earth, nothing will grow here for months. So far this year there has been Cauliflower, then potatoes. If he's lucky he will get one more crop in this year, bringing the total to 3. THink about all the gaps here. Even if each crop can produce for 2 months, that's still only 6 months a year of produce. Compare that with an established garden and polytunnel. we eat fresh kiwis every morning. we've been eating them since December and will continue to until April.

Imagine this field(about 20 Acres) Covered in fruit trees and the odd polytunnel, there would be food available all year round, minimum wastage and a massive increase in Biodiversity. Instead of a cold empty field you would hear birdsong, see spring emerge into the landscape..

I'll keep harping on about this for some time yet, so have a good think about it!

Back to the project and things are coming along, the next warm day we get that skin is going up on the tunnel, here's an overhead shot taken from a precarious position on top of a trailer:


The first woodchips have been put on top of the heating pipes:


All I need to do is add lots and lots of water to start the process and tropical conditions should follow..(frantically crossing fingers and toes)

I met 2 new visitors by the potato bed today: Pesky magpies, guzzling down some choice "romano" spuds! They soon got the boot, but it's left me wondering how to prevent riff raff like these from feasting on the produce...

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