As an urban farm the key for us to sustainability is being diverse. People are often surprised by how much food we produce here. To be quite honest, sometimes so are we, but through crop rotation, companion planting, intensive gardening, soil health, composting, and the use of cover crops, we’re able to grow enough food to feed our family and many others.
The video featured in this blog post was taken in the Spring. For most people the stand out is the corn, but if you really scan the video, you can see how many different foods we have growing in this small space. This is just one of our garden areas.
The other day, our 21 year old daughter, Brooklynn was watching as I packaged up a few orders of Asian Stir Fry Greens and she and I had a conversation about what we have growing.
This exchange led me to reflect on how much food we actually grow. Now I don’t keep track in numbers or weight, but I definitely keep records. So here’s what we’ve grown this year alone.
Herbs: Basil, Lime Basil
Produce: 4 types of tomatoes, 3 types of cucumbers, 3 types of potatoes, 3 types of peppers, 2 types of corn, 8 varieties of beans, green onions, 3 types of peas, squash, 3 types of cowpeas, cantaloupe, 2 types of zucchini, 2 types of okra, mulberries, green beans, pears, sweet potatoes, eggplants, onions, carrots, 3 types of radishes, a few lettuce varieties, strawberries, cucamelons, and pumpkins.
Flowers: 3 types of sunflowers, edible marigolds, and edible violas.
Protein: Chicken and eggs.
Storage: Jams, jellies, preserves, salsas, peppers, relishes, pickles, pesto, and frozen veggies.
Produce: 4 types of radishes, beets, carrots, 3 types of peas, green beans, 2 types of broccoli, 3 types of cabbage, 3 types of mustards, collards, arugula, 2 types of spinach, potatoes, Swiss chard, several lettuce varieties, 3 types of kale, 2 types of turnips, rutabagas, and endive.
Flowers: Edible nasturtiums
Protein: Chicken and eggs
So with all of the food produced here the question is how much space do you have? Our answer…..enough for now! Eventually we would love to expand to bigger livestock, but for now we’re content with poultry, so what we have is fine.
If we asked you the question is bigger better with what you now know about all the food we produce what would you say?
The truth is that a lot of space isn’t required to produce high quality food. You can be diverse on any level. So whether you have a small stoop, a patio, or a container garden, what matters most is how you use the space you have.
Bigger does not equal better!