Lenggong, Perak, Malaysia
Sun 6 Feb 2011 31 °C
Sustainable farming is all about minimising. Simplifying. Reducing. Not just reducing waste or reducing our impact on the environment but reducing the time and effort it takes to produce food, and importantly in the current state of the world, reducing the space that we use to produce it.
Today we are creating crops in the sky. Overhead, hanging baskets planted with vegetables like cucumber or pumpkin which will creep and spread over the nursery so as not to take up any ground space as well as provide some much needed shade for the young plants below. Farming - Now in 3D!
To begin, we put a few drainage holes in a plastic liner, then put it inside a hessian sack, or reuse the plastic sacks that contained garlic and onions from the supermarket.
Then we layer the bottom of the lining with an alternative to peat - the fibrous peelings from the outside of a coconut shell. Then a layer of compost, another layer of "coco-peat" and a final layer of compost.
Once the seed is planted, we tie the makeshift pots to wires that have been strung across the nursery. A netting has been put in place to give the plants something to grow on.
We've used this style of gardening to reduce the amount of land that needs to be cleared for farming but it would also prove very useful for growing food in the city, providing shade for terraces and suburban back yards.
For more space saving idea's, tune in next week to see the crazy things we're doing with potatoes.