Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Starting with Sustainability

One of the primary values here at Mule Shoe Farm is to be sustainable. This is not necessarily a goal but rather the process of developing habits. The way I understand it, sustainability describes a system of agricultural production that supports itself - indefinately. Sustainability is a method ofliving because you cannot do one big project and achieve sustainability. You must keep at it.

I came across this concept from several different angles. One angle was through organic gardening methods, another was researching Community Supported Agriculture; and a third angle was researching native methods of cultuvation. The fourth way I approached the sustainability question was from a cost basis. And finally I looked at from he basis of simplifying my life.

Organic Gardening methods are characterized by an emphasis on building soil quality, thereby avoiding chemicals to control weeds and pests. An essential element in building soil health is compost. When soil is healthy, plants are healthy and nutritious.

Other Organic Gardening methods include intercropping, raised beds, companion planting, varying varieties of a vegetable, using predator controls, growing green manure crops and mulching. I will discuss each of these in more detail on Wednesdays. Next week, I will discuss composting. I invite your questions posted in comments of course, so I can answer them next week.
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