Thursday, March 6, 2008

Hip Methods: Old Biointensive & New Vegan Wisdom

Early in 2008 we were introduced to a hip, classy vegan couple living here in the Bay Area. Little did we know that in networking with these clients we would be setting foot upon the path to high-yield vegetable gardening methods. The chance to work in a vegan garden environment - a plus! - adds a surprising, exciting and enlightening element to our daily gardening practices. Often, our clients turn out to be centers of knowledge & inspiration and this is certainly true in this case.

Vegetable gardening links to our collective past as a species. Not relegated to commercial food or restaurant consumption, growing & cultivation are age old art forms which span the visible horizon of food-chain dynamics. It's often said that if each person with available land used it to produce their own fruits & vegetables that we as a nation would find ourselves liberated from the chain of dependency which stretches from market to stove-top. In lessening or eliminating the need to drive to the local supermarket for fruits & veggies, and eliminating the usage of chemical fertilizers, pesticides, store bought compost, mulch and amendments, we are in a way taking control of our lives at a basic level so important and overarching in our culture as to seem a new phenomenon - but it's nothing new.

Many agrarian cultures in Asia, Mezzo-America and even Europe have shed light on the concept of high-yield gardening for calories. The simple truth is, it works. Add to this wisdom the high art of vegan environments and we can at once address cultural, environmental and personal issues of health & well being which transcends traditional gardening practices. We are lucky in that we choose to live and operate in the San Jose/San Francisco Bay Area where the information culture was born & raised. This explains why so many friends, teachers & clients are so well informed.

As we engage in the process of high-yield, vegan gardening & garden maintenance services we learn more than a few things about cultivation, bed preparation and overall resource availability using only on-site resources which are abundant and self-replenishing. Using the an evolved offshoot of the French Intensive method, first widely hailed here in the U.S. by one Alan Chadwick in Santa Cruz in 1971, now called 'Biointensive' by John Jeavons (a local Bay Area & international gardening hero) we are hoping to help create and sustain a food rich culture of best practices, highly influenced by the values put forth by our friends & clients. Staying true to these values has absolutely no drawbacks, cuts down on the resource chain so embedded in our petroleum-rich culture of years past and ensures that the land, culture and people can better provide for themselves while helping mother earth rest just a little easier.

Be well,
Topaze & Patrick McCaffery

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