People have grown vegetables for thousands of years, but how did they do so before the age of irrigation on tap and mulch/manure by the truck load? More recently the process has become even more input intensive with the proliferation of greenhouses, hydroponics, sprays and plastic everywhere.
Cultivation systems exist on a spectrum from intensive (that use many inputs sourced from far away) through to extensive (that use less inputs but rely on more time and space). This workshop explores the rediscovery of these zero input systems for growing autumn vegetables in the sunshine coast hinterland environment that rely on natural rainfall, on farm fertility inputs, hand tools and extensive crop trialing and breeding to find plants suitable for zero input agriculture.
About the Presenter:
I am a lifelong plant nerd that has grown just about everything I could get my hands on from a very young age. As a child I took over my mother’s flower garden just as drought and water restrictions became a fact of life. I decided to stop all irrigation and only grow species that thrived on natural rainfall. That work was featured on Gardening Australia.
After a career as an academic and science teacher I retired early to a slice of ex-dairy farm in the Sunshine Coast hinterland with a new focus on sustainable agricultural systems. Here I am working steadily to trial, select and breed new plants with a particular focus on hardy staple crops that can supply essential calories. I am also working on integrating food producing trees with my beloved geese and goats.