Sur une petite parcelle de terre

Leland Daugherty nous parle d'un style de jardinage que l'on peut
utiliser pour faire pousser toute notre nourriture en abondance.

Le "jardinage au pied carré" est une approche de conservation de la terre appliquée au jardinage et cela est idéal pour les gens qui préfère conserver plus de terres pour l'habitat de la faune.

Dans son article, Leland partage avec nous certains faits concernant les aspects et l'historique de cette méthode.

On y retrouve également des sources de renseignements sur ce sujet.


























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On a Small Breadth of Land

    Leland Daugherty,
    Falls Brook Center
    April 1999


i.gif (173 bytes) desire for you to know about a style of gardening that can be used to grow all of your food in abundance, including your grains, on a very small breadth of land (for one person: approximately 1/5 acre or 8600 square feet, with a 90 day growing season). I will call this style of gardening "square foot gardening", though it is know by many other names around the world. This land conserving approach to gardening is ideal for those people who want to see more land available for wildlife habitat. Should this square-foot gardening be adopted by the majority of people, vast areas of land could be returned to a natural state.


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(photo:Leland Daugherty)


To date: the known aspects of square-foot gardening are:

1) A deep-cultivation of the soil with a process called "double-digging", with a spade and fork. This makes a delicious, soft bed for the roots of a plant to reach into.

2) Fertilization with ideally prepared compost.

3) Closer spacing of plants than usually seen in most gardens, yet not so close to affect ideal growth.

4) Growing of grain crops that produce not only food to eat, but also much needed bio-mass to feed the soil (after the grain’s straw has been composted).

5) Growing open-pollinated varieties of plants to save seeds from.

6) Using permanent, raised growing beds, rather than row-planting.

7) Companion planting.

8) Using all of these aspects together, for they all are needed to make the system work.

Many more aspects are yet awaiting discovery, particularly those at a regional level. Regional discoveries will include: learning about which plant varieties are best suited for our relatively short growing season; learning about growing, threshing, and cleaning grains on a small-scale; making ideal compost to increase the soil’s humus content and decrease the reliance on imported fertilizers; how to save seeds from year to year; and how to make a living from the garden!

There is a history to all of this, most notably from China. For 4,000 years, the Chinese practiced a growing-bed style of agriculture. They were able to produce one person’s entire yearly diet on 5,000 square feet of land, or approximately 1/8 of an acre. Why has this approach not been adopted in our Western World? One reason may be that the great expanse of wilderness that lay before the European immigrants when they arrived kept the conservation of land to a low priority. The traditional rows of vegetables, each with a barren pathway beside it, is simply a waste of precious space, water, and fertilizer.

The Ecology Action organization, located in California, has been relearning these historical ‘square-foot’ techniques since 1972. The culmination of their labor has produced an important book that details their findings. It is entitled How to Grow More Vegetables* than you ever thought possible on less land than you can imagine. The book is a solid, sturdy description of what is necessary to grow one’s own food in a sustainable and resource conserving way, and advice on how to do it. Their address is listed below.

Regarding seed saving, a noble act, please consider investigating membership with Seeds of Diversity Canada. They are a non-profit organization that publishes a Seed Listing with which members lists and trade thousands of different seeds with other members. Fun! Also, a book which greatly clarifies the processes necessary to save seeds is Susan Ashworth’s book entitled,
Seed to Seed.

The following are resources I feel deserve attention:

1) WWOOF Canada is a non-profit organization dedicated to getting folks who want to experience working and living on an organic farm, together with organic farmers. They provide members with a directory of farms all across Canada and abroad that will allow you to drop in during the year and work for room and board. Two-thumbs up!

2) Lee Valley Tools and Garden Tools. Quality products. Big on diversity. Canadian owned. Free catalogue.

3) Berry Hill. Country living and farm supply company. Canadian owned. Free catalogue.

4) Stocking Up. The book. A glorious text to learn the great art of preserving food. Comprehensive. From Rodale Press.

Resource Directory

Ecology Action
5798 Ridgewood Road, Willits, CA 95490 USA

Seeds of Diversity Canada
P.O. Box 36, Station Q, Toronto, ON M4T 2Z7

Seed to Seed, by Suzanne Ashworth
ISBN 0-9613977-7-2 (Soft cover)

How to Grow More Vegetables* than you ever thought possible on less land that you can imagine, by John Jeavons ISBN 0-89815-767-6 (Paper bound)

D WWOOF Canada
Carlson Road, RR#2, S-18 C-9,
Nelson, BC V1L 5P5

Lee Valley Garden Tools
1090 Morrison Drive, Ottawa, ON
K2H 1C2

Berry Hills Ltd.
75 Burwell Rd., St. Thomas, ON
N5P 3R5

Stocking Up
by Carol Hupper Stoner
Rodale Press, 33 E. Minor St. Emmaus, PA 18049 USA

Well folks, here’s to a glorious growing season!