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Re: Community garden nutrient inputs

  • Subject: Re: [cg] Community garden nutrient inputs
  • From: "Sharon Gordon" gordonse@one.net
  • Date: Sun, 26 Jan 2003 08:37:22 -0500

For a garden to be sustainable, the ideal would be to grow all the compost
on site.  Jeavons has found that the garden alance to do this seems to be
60% Crops that produce a lot of compost
30% Crops that produce a lot of calories
10% Crops that produce the rest of the vitamins and minerals we need
For information on this system, see the 6th edition of How to Grow More
Vegetables Than You Ever Thought Possible on Less Land Than You Can Imagine
by John Jeavons.  There are also some helpful more detailed compost related
booklets at http://www.bountifulgardens.org .  Perhaps a couple of people
would like to go this route as an experiment/demonstration of what can be

Another source for sustainability information suited to your area would be
your local permaculturists.  There's a world wide directory at
http://www.permacultureactivist.net .

However since it will be awhile before everyone grows 99% of what they eat
locally and recycles all the compost locally, it makes sense to me to make
good use of what other people would toss into the landfills. In the US there
is a problem with a herbicide that's not breaking down during the composting
process, so if herbicides like that are allowed in your area, you might want
to test each finished pile for this before using it on your gardens.  Ecoli
can be present in unfinished manure composts.  Medical chemicals can be
present in manure too.

Some people get around this by only using compost materials from lawns where
people don't use chemicals, and the waste from organic food stores.


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