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Local foods---growing 180+ pounds in a 4x6 foot space


Here's a possible plan for the Florida Habitat for Humanity Houses that
I described in the previous post.

Here is a possible plan for your Florida 4x6 beds below. It's planned for 2 
plantings of cool season crops and one planting of warm season crops.

An excellent book for planning gardens like this is How to Grow More 
Vegetables than you ever thought possible on less land than you can 
imagine, 5th ed by John Jeavons. It will help you figure out a design and 
planting schedule that will work well in your area. It's been my experience 
that raised beds with good soil can usually achieve the medium levels of 
yields the first year.

Also, I would urge you to do as much edible landscaping as possible for the 
yard in general. For this year you may wind up with smaller fruit trees, 
and shrubs(fruit or herbal). What would be great is if you can find several 
people who will grow trees now for the houses the group builds in 2004 and 
beyond. Then you could have larger trees to go in the yards at less 
expense. If you can get someone to do perennials for flower beds too, that 
would add to the beauty of the houses. You may want to design several 
different plans based on the cultural food preferences of your habitat 
families. And also choose favorite varieties of plants. If you plant edible 
flowers they can be used in salads, desserts, and rice dishes. If you plant 
nonedible ones, avoid the super toxic ones or sweet pea flowers that might 
be confused with garden peas.

Cool season--plant this in the spring and the fall 
********************************************************
1 planting yield total yield/year in pounds

2 Cabbages 4 8
4 Collards 8 16
32 Carrots 16 32 (large yield carrots)
2 Chard, Swiss 4 8
2 Kale 4 8
8 Lettuce, leaf 4 8
8 Mustard 4.5 9
18 Onions 4 8
18 Peas, bush 1 2(more if edible pod)
288 Radishes(72/month) 16 32
8 Spinach 4.5 9
4 Pansies(spring) - -(pansies edible, don't
or Stocks(fall)           know about stocks)
-------- -----------------------------------------
  Total cool season yields 140 lbs plus flowers

Warm season--plant this once in the summer 
*********************************************************************
  24 Beans, green snap 6
2 Cucumbers 6
8 Lettuce, leaf 4 (See Cooks summer leaf mix)
288 Radishes (72/month) 16
4 Peppers 4
1 Squash, zucchini 3(put at one end of bed)
2 Tomatoes 4(put in 2x1 at end of bed)
1-2 Nasturtium - (pretty flowers, tasty in salads)
1 Herb square .5 (1 plant each of basil, parsley, oregano & dill) 
*******************************************
Total warm season yield 43.5 lbs plus flowers

Total for year = 183.5 pounds of vegetables plus flowers

With careful timing there could be something to eat fresh everyday except 
for the first month. Although if you could plan well it might be possible 
to plant the gardens even before the house is done as long as the grading 
is finished so that there will be a good garden by the time the house is 
finished. The homeowners will need flats to keep a steady supply of 
transplants coming along for when a plant or crop is finished and removed. 
It would be helpful to include a hose, nozzle, ruler, trowel and copy of 
Jeavons' book as well. The bottom end of an old toothbrush works well as a 
dibble.

Each pack of many of the seeds will provide enough seeds for 25 or so 
houses. Exceptions for most packs would be beans and radishes. Jeavons' 
book has info so you can figure out the seeds from the weight of the 
package if the catalog doesn't tell the number of seeds per package. For 
the homeowners who would like to save more money and have seeds better 
adapted to their location, you could have a seed saving class and later a 
seed swap. Please use heirloom/open-pollinated seeds to make this possible.

Sharon
  gordonse@one.net


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