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RE: Re: Has-beans? support bush beans? (Trellises)

  • Subject: [cg] RE: Re: Has-beans? support bush beans? (Trellises)
  • From: Don Boekelheide <dboekelheide@yahoo.com>
  • Date: Mon, 7 Jun 2004 07:08:30 -0700 (PDT)

Thanks for the pic of the trellises, Jim. Picture is
worth a thousand words. That's a nice set up. That's
also why I like pole beans. I've seen a similar setup
with sugar peas.

Which brings up two things -

Trellises can be a tool to increase production (as
they are for CASA's beans). I'm seeing this with cukes
in the Robbins Park Community Garden here. The
trade-off is in cost of materials and time, and both
of these costs may be relatively modest. But they
work, especially to increase yield when space is

Unrelated issue (sort-of related) -

Techniques from production agriculture (intensive
trellising, 'grow-bag' technology, season extenders
like hoop houses, hydroponics...) all can increase
yields, and some have 'organic' versions so they don't
have to mean high chemical use (though folks need to
be wary of this, in my experience). On the other hand,
there are trade-offs. Such systems are often more
costly than you'd think, require strong support
(especially with irrigation and pest management) and
can engender a very different approach to gardening,
focused on production and maybe a bit frantic, than
the relaxing joy of watching a diverse garden grow.
You can see it some pics of these systems, which start
to look more and more like a commercial nursery or
agribusiness field.

I don't know how I feel about such techniques, yet.
Only, perhaps, that we'd be wise to consider carefully
the accessibility and sustainability of new
agricultural technologies, even 'appropriate tech'
ones, looking beyond yield to assess their impacts,
pro and con, in the democratic (hopefully) and
aesthetic context of our gardens and urban farms.

Just musing, better get back to work,


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