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FARM WORK

FOOD & GARDENING AT BELENTEPE

‘Growing your own food…

is one of the most dangerous things you could do because there is a chance of becoming free!’

  • By enriching and protection our soil,
  • By increasing the water holding capacity of the soil (by increasing the organic matter content),
  • By starting a food forest,
  • By plant guilding,
  • By not using any chemicals,
  • By generating an ecosystem of plants, animals, insects, bacteria, fungi,

  • We produce our natural food.

First step is to regenerate the soil. Click here to read about our soil works.

1.4 hectare land would provide plenty of space for gardening and producing food for one family.

A walk in the land:


West side: vineyard, fruit trees.



We do not till the soil. We initially seeded the soil with legumonous grass such as vetch, clover, alfalfa. We cut these down in May and a couple more times during the summer. And we lay the cut grass on the soil to cover it. (more on this in Soil Works page...)

left image: vetch, clover, alfalfa...

right image: bee plant -Phacelia. Bees love its flowers and pollens. The plant itself is a very beneficial green manure crop.


Soil is protected with the dried grass clippings. These form a blanket on top of the soil suppressing weeds and also help keep soil moisture during hot & dry summer days.



Also these cut grasses turn into soil in time, increase the organic matter content of soil thus enabling the soil to hold more water and most importantly we generate new top soil.

The neighboring lands are getting degraded, eroded year after year, whereas our soil are improving and getting more fertile.

OUR GARDENS:

These are our fertile vegetable gardens:



During hot summer days we cover the gardens with filter shade clothes. Being at an altitude of 750 meters (closer to the sun), the sun's rays bake the land and the shading really helps plants cope with the extreme sun rays.


   



These are our 'plant ponds' - our 'registered' design - described in more detail in Water Harvesting page.

End of 2014 we have 3 plant ponds with 100 m2 garden area.

Raised Plant Beds:

Raised beds can produce x6 times more than traditional gardening. The top soil is initially tilled, aerated, loosened. Then on top of this, new layer of materials are laid to raise the bed: mulch, cut grass, leaves, compost, shredded cardboard, rock minerals, wood ash, top soil... In time these layers decompose and produce a very rich top soil.




Raised beds can be boxed with old construction timber, rocks, pieces of natural wood, bricks... Length of the beds may vary but the width should be such that a person can reach easily without stepping on the bed.

Below we are adding perlite (porous material which can hold lots of water in it and helps the soil retain water for longer periods of time...



Any natural, organic material that can decompose can be added in the raised beds.

The the beds can be seeded, baby plants planted and then mulched.

Left: jerusalem artichokes & potatoes growing in the raised bed and deeply mulched to protect the soil.

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