30 Days to Harvest

Intensive Polyculture

Have you ever stopped by the side of the road and marvelled at how healthy those clusters of "weeds" look? Imagine if you could replicate that in your own backyard but, instead of undesirable plants, you could have only edibles. Good news! It is much simpler than you think and incredibly rewarding as you will be eating the bounties of your garden in as early as 30 days. No secret here. This system is what nature intends and we refer to as polycultures.

In this workshop you will learn how to intensivelly grow a lot of food in a small space 
(say a 4' x 8' garden bed). Rather than focussing on rows and cells, we will be looking at how to combine particular crops so that they can share the growing space without negatively affecting each other. Based on their harvest time, we will scatter seeds on the garden bed and will minimally assist nature do the rest. In essence, you will end up with a garden bed that is intensively populated by edible species.

This polyculture system offers a number of advantages:

1) Natural balance: Because you are creating a diverse ecosystem you will be utilizing the natural insect repellents that certain crops are known to exude, therefore discouraging pest. At the same time, other species will invite in beneficial insects who will feast on those critters who are not naturally discouraged.

2) Maximize space efficiency: Because the crops will grow and yield at various rates, we will be managing the growing space accordingly. For example, radishes, which tend to occupy substantial space rather quickly, will be out of the ground by the time your chard and lettuces need that room. As a result you have very little soil exposed which, in turn, will prevent weeds from growing.  

3) Abundant and continuous yields: One of the greatest rewards of polyculture systems is that as the season progresses you will have something new coming out of your bed. Also, as you continue to harvest and the weather gets warmer, you will use the vacated soil to grow heat-tolerant crops (think about your peppers, tomatoes and basil striving where your lettuce was just a few weeks early). 

Cost and Registration

Individual registration is $25. We love to work with families, and especially children, so we are happy to offer a family registration for $35

Saturday, April 21, 2018
St. Isidore Homestead
Grottoes, VA
Register Here