Archive for August, 2010

It’s fair to say that a lot of people who grow their own vegetables take an interest in organic farming and a more sustainable approach to food production. Hand in hand with this – the perception that monocultures are a complete no-no. That’s what makes this article (and accompanying video) by Frederick Kaufman so interesting (to me, anyway).

Written for  America’s Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), Kaufman’s article puts an alternative spin on the concept of sustainability by looking at how large-scale monoculture farming (in this case, Frank Muller’s uber-tomato farm which, last year, supplied 60,000 tonnes of tomatoes to Unilever) might actually be part of a green farming solution rather than wholesale contributor to its problems.  The article looks at ways in which high-precision management, a focus on productivity and spot-on book-keeping can be part of a green farming solution.

Counter-intuitive, but plenty of food for thought….


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September planting 2 – the southern hemisphere

On this particular front, I can only really speak from my experiences growing vegetables in Cape Town, South Africa. If you’re really worried about cold-hardiness, waiting until late-August/September before sowing your favourite vegetables should see you right. Here are some ideas for the next week or two’s sowing… (more…)

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Whether it’s Spring or Autumn in your neck of the woods, there’s plenty for you to plant now…

As September approaches, southern hemisphere grow-your-own-ers are looking forward to a summer filled with the sort of produce those of us in the northern hemisphere are eating the last of. Regardless of where you’re living, the good news is that there’s plenty to do on the grow-your-own front in September. Here are some ideas, split between those of us heading into spring and those of us wondering what we can eak out of our gardens in the leaner autumn and winter months. Today, it’s the northern hemisphere… (more…)

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Spot the corn on the cob, aubergine, runner beans, tomatoes...

It’s been a long time since I last posted. That’s got quite a bit to do with me upping sticks and moving to France. I’ve spent the past few months with no access to a garden or any space to grow my own, although I did manage the obligatory radishes along with a few tomato plants, an aubergine and a squash in among the flowers in the small bed at the front of the first house I stayed in. Given that almost all the locals have their own potager positively teeming with everything from tomatoes to artichokes, potatoes, cabbage, courgettes, salad leaves, onions and everything in between, I’ve been gazing longingly over the walls of my new-found neighbours since I got here.

Among the most beautiful sights are the rows of Marmande, a French heirloom variety of tomato (more…)

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