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urban market gardening

  • Subject: [cg] urban market gardening
  • From: Minifarms@aol.com (by way of Sally McCabe)
  • Date: Tue, 9 Jul 2002 22:02:05 -0400

I am looking for a group in some city who is interested in urban market
gardening and a farmer's market.  I want to teach a workshop and set up a
farmer's market in which to sell the produce.  I will volunteer my time and
expenses must be provided.  See below.

Ken Hargesheimer

USA:  TX [SP College],  MS;  FL, CA
Mexico, Rep. Dominicana, Cote d'Ivoire, Nigeria,
Honduras, Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, Haiti
Tel  806-744-8517; Box 1901, Lubbock  TX  79408-1901
Workshops in permanent-bed agriculture [urban & rural] :  gardening,
mini-farming, mini-ranching worldwide in English & Spanish
Demonstration Garden:  South Plains Food Bank-Lubbock Green Market Garden.
Beds:  double dug raised bed, straw mulched bed; sawdust/manure mulched bed,
compost mulched, green manure bed.  drip irrigation, winter gardening with
hoop house.
minifarms@aol.com  +  minifarms.com

"The largest underused agricultural resource we have is the urban poor."
Marty Strange, Soil, Food and People Conference, Sacramento CA, Mar 2000

Urban Garden, Mini-Farm Workshops

I train people in permanent bed agriculture [PBA].  What I teach is not new.
Permanent raised beds and organics were used for 2000 years BC in the USA,
Guatemala, Mexico and other countries.  Use little outside inputs and no
inorganic fertilizers, no insecticides, no herbicides, no pesticides, no
fungicides, no machinery.

We are beginning the age of the 2.5 to 10 acres farm."  K. Klober, Small Farm
Today, Jan 01

There is unlimited financial opportunities for local mini-farming, marketing
locally.  PBA can provide a very comfortable living for a person/family.
Average gross income for marketing gardening is $8,000 per acre.  With
value-added [example-flowers] it can go up to $35,000 per acre.

Beds:  All gardening and farming should be done with permanent raised beds.
20% of the land will be in permanent paths for walking.  That saves 20% of
the fertilizer, planting, irrigation water, etc.  Soil becomes loose and free
with many worms and micro-organisms.  Most insect and disease problems are
solved.  Erosion is stopped.  Little capitol investment is needed.  Free
urban land is available in most cities.

A,   Double Digging for gardens:  This is for those who have very little land
and must produce as much food as possible.  After one to two years this can
double and even triple the yields while reducing the labor by half compared
to traditional gardening.  Each year the beds are more fertile and higher.
Digging the beds is very labor intensive.

B. No-till for gardens/mini-farms:  No digging, no plowing, no cultivating,
no machinery.  Millions of acres are farmed no-till in the USA, Latin America
and Africa.  It is now spreading across Asia.  Compost surplus organic
matter.  Use green manure/cover crops.  This is what most people should
practice:  After three to five years, the yields can double while reducing
the labor by half compared to traditional gardening & farming.  Each year the
beds are more fertile and higher.  One person can farm several acres using
hand and power gardening tools.

No technique yet devised by mankind has been anywhere near as effective at
halting soil erosion and making food production truly sustainable as
no-tillage (Baker , 1996)

Winter Production:  In cold climates extend the growing season to twelve
months.  Use PVC hoops covered with clear plastic over the beds.  In colder
climates use a large hoop greenhouse [DIY-$500] and inside it use hoops over
the beds.

Drip Irrigation:  Use drip tape in the beds.  If pressure water is not
available, use bucket drip irrigation kits.

Use only personal/family labor with hand tool: hoes, planting hoes, shovels,
rakes, digging forks, hedge clippers, hand clippers, weed cutters, loppers,
scythes, power units with attachments, etc.

Inter-Urban - The core of all large cities have extensive areas of vacant
land, high numbers of unemployed people and these are in the middle of
thousands of people.  There are few supermarkets.  Little fresh fruits and
vegetables.  What an opportunity!  The people can farm the vacant land and
operate farmer's markets to sell those around them.

Urban - The people grow some of their food because they want to avoid
chemicals in their food.  Most people grow some vegetables.

Peri-Urban - There are large amounts of unused land which can be farmed.
Animals can be raised.  People will drive to the mini-farm/ranch/dairy to buy
fresh food.  Raw milk sells for $6.00 per gallon near Lubbock TX.

Micro-entrepreneurship:  Most urban agriculture is directed by NGO's but
there are unlimited opportunities for private minifarms all over every city.
Employment is limited and most jobs are low paying.  Urban homesteading and
PBA are a realistic option: socially and financially.  High schools should be
training students in PBA.

Economic development is a major concern for most towns and cities.  PBA is
very effective economic development.  It benefits local people.  Thirty
experienced families can sell $15,000 each in the inter-city farmer's market.
 That is "created wealth".  That is $500,000 added to the local economy each
year.  This wealth stays in the city rather than being sent to a corporate
office somewhere; even abroad.

Youth:  Jobs are low paying.  Urban market gardening/mini-farming offers
unlimited financial opportunities.  They must be told about the opportunties.
 Request a copy of "Urban Youth Gardening."

Marketing:  The market is all around the minfarm.  There is a local market
for almost any organic food:  meat, eggs, raw milk, grains, fruits,
vegetables, flowers, etc.  25 states give food stamps redeemable only at the
Farmer's markets.  The Lone Star Card can be used at farmer's markets
beginning this season.  The FM Mall is a new idea for marketing without the
farmer being present since most farmers want to grow and do not like to sale.
 Put them in apartment complexes.  New crops: Stevia [sweetener] can be grown
for sale to diabetics and dieters: 0 carbohydrates, calories; Baby corn;
whole grains, ethic vegetables, etc.

Workshops, usually two days, are practical and how-to.  I take seed catalogs,
reference books [English, Spanish], videos [drip & biointensive, mulching,
no-till] as well as a sample copy of Urban Agriculture magazine.  I can take
sample organic fertilizers, hand tools, and irrigation kit.  I demonstrate
irrigation, making a raised bed and a no-till bed.  I can help with farmer's
markets and marketing.

Ken Hargesheimer

Mini-Agriculture, a book of ideas: [8 x 11, 40 loose pages]  Permanent Beds
- water system; single dug; double dug; mulch system [Stout]; nature farming
[Fukuoka], no-till mini-farm/ranch with only handtools [Honduras];  cold
weather,  micro-climates, tools, etc.  A copy is given to each workshop.  Can
be purchased for $10 ppd. CD or hard copy.

I charge US$90 per day, including travel days from Lubbock TX and expenses:
air ticket, lodging [home or hotel], food [home or restaurant], travel [car,
bus, etc].

Buy Local, Buy Fresh, Buy Organic
Grow local, Grow organic, Sell local

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