is Biointensive? |
What is Ecology Action?
prefers to grow plants together intensively.
Nature likes life everywhere. Thus when we have an open area without
plants in it, weeds and other plants magically appear. This is the
way trees, grains, herbs, flowers and vegetables grow when left to
themselves. It is part of the biological life process.
Chinese observed this over 4,000 years ago, and imitated this living
balanced complex diversity in their farming. That was one of the reasons
that Asian agriculture remained sustainable for at least 4,000
years. About 2,000 years ago the Mayans, Bolivians, Peruvians
and Greeks took similar initiatives. People
sooner or later seem to have a kind of universal urge to plant crops
as nature does with biological intenseness Biointensively!
Mini-Farming is a way of growing crops and soil simultaneously,
with a resulting production of healthy, nutritious food for people,
and a production of healthy soil for your garden. Biointensive
techniques are the result of 10,000 years of successful field trials.
Agriculture" since the mid-1800s has not used this
practical wisdom and catastrophic soil loss has resulted.
techniques are based on thirty years of patient research
by our non-profit, Ecology Action, plus results of Biointensive mini-farms
in over a 100 countries. See "About Ecology Action" below,
or press the Ecology Action button on the navigation bar for that
is exciting and fulfilling to learn how to "grow
soil" and to be able to watch and smell the soil becoming
healthier, stronger and more productive as a result of our efforts
and care. It is surprising how much Nature gives in return for
even our smallest efforts.
By simply loosening
the soil to a depth of two feet, as is done in double-digging,
we allow water to enter the soil more easily, and sink deeper into
the soil where it can be stored. We
also allow the roots of the crops we cultivate to grow
deeper and more abundantly into the soil. The roots, when they
die, in turn serve as food for the microorganisms essential for the
soils health. All
this is facilitated by proper soil preparation. The soil, with
a little boost from us, then becomes healthier and provides us with
abundant harvests. When
the soil is sufficiently built up, simple surface cultivation of 2"/5cm
may be all that is needed to prepare the soil. Life creates more life
what a wonderful process to be part of! Gardeners,
why stop with just loosening the soil? Biointensive
Mini-Farming is a healthy, sustainable system; made up of four
individual techniques that work in unison. Using only one of these
techniques, double-digging for instance, will only give you limited
and generally unsustainble success. The
four mutually enhancing techniques of Sustainable Biointesive Mini-Farming
are: Double-Digging, Composting, Intensive Spacing, and
Companion Planting. These
techniques are described in detail in our two best-selling
manuals, How to Grow More Vegetables, and The
Sustainable Vegetable Garden.
We can see this in the simple act of deeply loosening the soil.
By deeply preparing the soil, not only do we provide air directly
to the soil microorganisms, but we also indirectly provide them
with some of their other needs water and food.
is Ecology Action?
In 1972, in response
to the world hunger problem and the need to find a way for people
to feed themselves, Ecology Action began a research, demonstration
and education garden in test what is now known as the Biointensive
method. Its goal was to find a way to raise food in a practical,
affordable, and sustainable manner using available resources.
thirty years, we have been developing the smallest and least demanding
mini-farm that will sustainably maintain a family in full health,
or in larger plots as market gardens to supply a community.
Our research and
development comes from one of the oldest long-range organic research
projects in the country, and our information and training is used
by individuals and projects in over 100 countries. Our
work with Biointensive food raising has reaped enormous return
for home gardeners. Compared with conventional farming practices,
Biointensive has the capacity to produce 2 to 6 times the yield
while using 50% less purchased fertilizer (organic), 99% less
energy, and 67-88% less water per pound of food produced.
that a gardener may be able to grow his/her own 322 pounds of vegetables
and soft fruits in a six month growing season on as little as one
hundred square feet half the size of the average kitchen.
the Biointensive method, one needs to spend only a few minutes in
the garden each day, water and weed one quarter as much, and spend
far less effort. All
of this is possible while your soils fertility is greatly
improved on a sustainable basis. With good market conditions,
it should even be possible for mini-farmers to make a living on as
little as one-eighth acre. Ecology
Action has built on the work of many cultures. Chinese, Mayan,
and other cultures had successful and sustainable agricultural systems
that thrived for thousands of years. We are re-learning techniques
that are thousands of years old.
We have spent
years making mistakes, learning and relearning to make these techniques
available to other people. The worldwide results of our research and
information outreach have been amazing and rewarding. Envision
your whole backyard covered with beautiful flowers, herbs,
fruit trees, vegetables, and grains to form a colorful living tapestry!
A profusion of nourishing plants beneficial to yourself, your
family, your soil and the worlds eco-system developed
to your taste and aesthetic design. A
nutritious, life-giving, thriving, vibrant mini-ecosystem is possible.
All you need is access to a bit of sunny land. This is the
way of the future. We
are all facing an increasingly desertified world. Forty-four percent
of the land area was already "desert" in 1977, it was conservatively
expected to reach sixty-three percent this year. Yet,
it is not too late. We can "have it all" through biologically
intensive gardening; fun, healthy food, exercise, beauty, and a wonderfully
restored planet created one garden at a time! Our
best selling manual, How To Grow More Vegetables,
is available in Spanish, Russian, Arabic, French, German, and Hindi
in addition to English and Braille. How
to Grow More Vegetables is being used in over 100 countries
worldwide. In Russia, aid groups including the Peace Corps have facilitated
the spread of Biointensive techniques as a solution to their agricultural
problems. The second printing of 10,000 copies of How To Grow
More Vegetables (fifth edition) just hit the Russian market.
The printing of the fourth edition in Russian quickly sold out despite
the economy. We
also offer over 40 other publications, videos, and other training
materials on special topics, that help you grow all your food,
compost and seeds in the smallest area with the fewest resources.
We are discovering the scientific principles that underlie these
techniques, and we use this to optimize the garden. We have developed
written "how-to" materials, and successfully tested
them all over the world. What we do is present them in a "how-to"
form that is easy for people to understand and learn.
18001 Shafer Ranch Road, Willits, CA 95490-9626 USA
tel 707-459-6410 • fax 707-459-1925
© Copyright 2003, Ecology Action of the Midpeninsula, Inc.
dba Bountiful Gardens