Aug 17, 2009
We were quite happy with our 71kg of pumpkins from the trial 35ft x 10ft 'no-dig' patch.
From that first pilot, we have decided it may be more efficient all-round to grow pumpkins in raised-beds. Here's a couple of pictures of our pumpkin raised-bed patch:
Of course we are not advocating using clay bricks for the raised-beds. We happened to have some left over from the walit house.
You can also use bamboo as the next picture illustrates:
It will be interesting to know the overall cost-effectiveness of this 'raised-bed' method for growing pumpkins in terms of energy and effort used, production, etc.
Jun 28, 2009
Sustainable farming in practice here:
1. This is a 'No-Dig' 35 feet x 10 feet pumpkin patch. Barely 2 months, we now have 42 pumpkins (the red tips mark the pumpkins), with more to come judging by the flowers.
2. The original soil is sandy. We build up the beds using compost, some soil and mulch.
3. Three varieties of pumpkins are planted here, creating diversity to reduce outbreaks of insect or fungal and bacterial problems. So far we have had one bacterial problem which we quickly addressed by uprooting and destroying the plant. Fungal problems have been minimal and have been addressed by quick action using cassia alata juice. Insects have not been serious. The beetle A. abdominalis is present but does not seem to cause any problems to the pumpkin plants.
4. No purchased fertiliser, or any other input have been used here. We only use our farm made compost.
5. We are now looking forward to see whether a second crop of pumpkins using the same plot of land can produce similar yields. That would really be a test of sustainability.