Thursday, 19 April 2012

Urban Farming Presentation - Michael Ableman

Do you know only 1% of the population grow the food for the other 99% of us. What a huge responsibility!

Tuesday night I watched the film "Beyond Organic", which is where Michael Ableman started in growing organic vegetables for sale, before the fim he gave a presentation on his thoughts about growing vegetables, the state of the system around the world, it was very interesting and I liked a lot of his ideas.

Wednesday he gave a powerpoint presentation on high density vegetables farms he has setup in America and Canada in city environments. A few of the market gardens are completely grown in containers on asphalt and one of the markets in it's first year made $70,000 US. It really was very impressive and the gardens are giving people meaningful work and an income.

He now farms in Canada and gave us tips and hints on what is working for him. A few things that stood out from the presentation are:

-It's 40% farming, 60% marketing
-Time and space! You have to be smart with the crops you are growing, having seedlings ready to plant as soon as the crop has been harvested. Growing a fast crop with a slow crop. You also need to use everybit of space smartly.
-Michael said a market garden is possible in 1/8 - 1/4 of an acre.
-The farms that succeed are the ones where the farmer is present, observing taking notice of everything that is happening on the farm.

He is a really interesting guy with great ideas, his website is here if you would like to find out more about him - http://www.fieldsofplenty.com/

He is hoping to come back in our Summer to present a 3 day workshop on starting, setting up and running a productive and finacially viable market garden. Although it would be an overload of information I am quite interested.

It was a really great day and a chance to catch up with a few people I ran into that I hadn't seen for a while.

1 comment:

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