The Whole System Approach Of Biointensive Gardening

Here’s a quick review of biointensive gardening.

The 8 steps are to:

  • Improve your soil with 1) deep soil penetration (double digging), and 2) compost.
  • Plan for approximately 3) 60% carbon crops (cover crops), and 4) 30% calorie-dense crops/10% vegetables.
  • Increase yield and garden health by 5) planting intensively (close together) using the triangle method, and 6) using companion planting and crop rotation.
  • Improve plant health by 7) using open-pollinated seeds and saving them every year.

And then comes the last step, 8) taking a whole system approach.

This basically means: “Do ALL of the 7 other steps – not just some of them.”

For example, if you double dig and plant intensively, you need to use compost or you’ll deplete soil fertility.

And if you don’t plant enough cover crops, you won’t be able to make enough compost in the first place.

This is one of those steps that’s easy to forget because it’s not a “how to” like the others.

But ultimately, taking a holistic approach is what organic gardening is all about – working with nature, focusing on the root causes of health and disease rather than just using band-aids, etc.

The reason I started this whole series was because I began donating a portion of my income to an amazing charity called Organics 4 Orphans.

They teach biointensive gardening in Africa to help people grow their own nutritious, medicinal food, feeding themselves and the orphans in their communities and then earning an income from the surplus harvest.

You can read more about them in my blog post here.

I also mentioned my organic fertilizers, and that I was spraying a mixture of effective microorganisms, blackstrap molasses, liquid kelp and ocean water.

And that’s all for this series!