Sound fancy but in simple terms it is about growing edible food that has no man made chemicals used on them.
People use chemicals to speed up growth, to deter pests, to kill weeds.
These chemicals seep into the soil, the edges of gardens especially, they make their way into the plants and the produce itself is ‘infected’.
Growing without chemicals can be a challenge as there are moths, caterpillars, snails etc living from the garden. In turn they often destroy shoots, seedlings and even established plants. There are some natural pesticides that can be used to help deter and we use neem oil sprayed on leaves every now and then. We are planting neem trees on 5 Eyes Farm for this purpose.
Instead of using chemical nutrients we spend a good deal of time composting and worm farming
The aquaponics is one of the best ways to manage organic growing because you don’t need any compost, nutrient or additive for the vital growth of veggies.
As well as aquaponics, which accelerate growth naturally, wicking beds and reservoir beds with good composting reduce water needs and also create healthy crops. Amazing what you can do with a little bit of garden, even in the ever changing climate of Melbourne.
Produce is something we are trying to control. If you plant too much of 1 thing then when it is ready it needs to be distributed which is especially difficult with soft leaf produce like lettuce. It does not store or keep well so we are trying to cycle the seeds and plant every 2 weeks and compost the mature plants as soon as they are no longer useful.
Fruit is minimal in our scheme right now but we have passion fruit, blue berries and giant black berries and the strawberries are taking off in the aquaponics. There are also lime trees, fig trees and apple trees in progress.