In our search for a paradigm shift in our consumption and lifestyle, we started to build an organic vegetable garden. You want to know more about organic food production and waste reduction? Read on!
The road to self-sufficiency
We did research about permaculture and organic gardening, and 100 square meters should supply a family of 4. Our goal is not to be 100% self-sufficient, but to be aware of the origin of our food, learn to cultivate the land, to deal without toxic chemicals with animals and insects that eat our future food, and to maximize our resources (land, seeds, sun and water).
It is amazing to think that a few months ago, the land was like this:
Less than three months ago, it was like this:
And today, we harvested lost of vegetables including these delicious radishes:
Learning step by step
That’s how we learned the magic of life, and how delicious vegetables are grown from seeds.
Can you imagine planting seeds and two months later taste some delicious radishes? Yes, it’s very exciting to harvest and enjoy the fruit of your labor! Come and experience it with us!
First we started looking for seeds, then we did several tests of trial and error, and we still have much to learn. We started by reading several books and manuals, but most of all put theory into practice and luckily got lots of valuable advice from professionals in vegetable gardens.
The magic of sharing
As we just said, one of the first steps is to get the seeds. You have different ways to do it. We bought some; we got some from the Argentinian Pro-Huerta program, and other through the 6th Meeting of Organic Seed Exchange in Capilla del Monte.
The next step was to prepare the ground. We started out with our theoretical knowledge, and we learned through the way. Sabino – an organic gardening professional and environmental activist – generously shared his knowledge on how to prepare the land and we could improve soil quality while building beds. We have 4 beds of 10 m x 1.2 m. We will soon write about how we built these beds step by step.
Then we started to plant. As I said before, it was a learning process so we made some mistakes but to put it shortly the best thing is to pre-germinate the seeds (this is an advice from Andrea, the woman where we buy our vegetables in a field 3 km away from home).
And for most cases, it is best to start growing with seedlings at home before taking them outside in the garden. To learn how to make seedlings, check out our post here (in spanish for the moment).
Just like us, fruits and vegetables need sun, water, nutrients and care.
In Cordoba, we have approximately 300 warm days of sun.
As you might know, water is Noa´s passion. And since she was born in Israel, she and her family stressed the obvious of having a drip irrigation system in order to save water. Well, that’s how we set out on the task of installing drip irrigation in our EcoHuerta (Eco vegetable garden).
And as always, after searching on literature and getting information about previous experiences, we just jumped into the water! After a few improvements with appropriate additional materials (drip tape, valves, Tees, etc.) we are quite happy with the result (and Atina too!):
You’ll never know who enjoys the water system as well? Birds and bees!
Learning to live together
We have learned a lot with this nice challenge to merge ourselves in an organic vegetable garden. It has also been an interesting challenge not to surrender in front of obstacles.
Indeed, once we had our (almost) professional beds, and once we planted our beautiful seeds, we had to deal with neighbors. Ants and other insects attacked our garden! They were there first, that’s true, but they took our food before it could even grow!
Again, we turned to information and advice from people from the area and we could (for now) solve the problem? with organic solutions: rice and orange, diatomaceous earth, ashes around the garden and a garlic solution.
It is a difficult job because when we got rid of the ants, the garden was just devastated. We started all again, but then we had other insects comming on and eating our cabbages and lettuce!
So we will keep on taking care of our EcoHuerta with natural and organic methods. We will let you know how it works for us!
The most important thing is keeping forces and Suyana (hope) to continue planting and working although we have to start from scratch, right?
Nothing is lost, everything is transformed
As discussed previously, we aim to improve our lifestyles to reduce our environmental impact and improve our quality of life. The (re)use of organic waste is presented naturally, with two major advantages: reduce waste production and create natural fertilizer for our EcoHuerta. Also, making compost has more advantages, especially if it can be done on a larger scale.
It is very easy to make it, even at home you can buy or make an urban compost place. We will write a post on our blog soon for those who are interested about the subject.