Sustainable Gardening – What is it?

Raspberry Fence

What is sustainable gardening? This is the dictionary definition of sustainable.

  1. Capable of being supported or upheld, as by having its weight borne from below.
  2. Pertaining to a system that maintains its own viability by using techniques that allow for continual reuse: sustainable agriculture. Aquaculture is a sustainable alternative to overfishing.
  3. Able to be maintained or kept going, as an action or process: a sustainable negotiation between the two countries.
  4. Able to be confirmed or upheld: a sustainable decision.
  5. Able to be supported as with the basic necessities or sufficient funds: a sustainable life.

I recently watched the documentary “Fresh” on Netflix.  It was amazing how much we have gone against the grain of the way things “used to be”, to modernized farming in all areas, and have created an unsustainable culture.  Our animals have disease because of the way they are cared for and what they are fed and our soils are being depleted of any and all nutrients.

Tomatoes grown in hay bales.

Tomatoes grown in hay bales.

It has been 2 years since I was introduced to the documentary “Back to Eden“. This film is rather long, almost 1 1/2 hours but it is well worth the time.  Paul Gautschi will introduce you to gardening the way Yehovah intended nature to do it.  He grows a fabulous garden without tilling or water.  He plants the same plants in the same area year after year and uses no fertilizer or chemicals.  Since I live in Florida I have had to tweak things a bit and have recently been gardening some in hay bales.  This year I used my old hay to fill my raised beds and build some hay raised beds.  I guess that really can be considered sustainable gardening too.

Corn

Corn in a raised hay bed.

celery and onions

Raised bed. Growing kitchen scraps of celery and onions.

I have had to replenish some of my mulch and have added new mulched areas.  The other day I was digging up a weed in the mulched area and found a red wiggler.  Guess that means this method is working in my nothing but sand soil.

My property is .28 of an acre and our house takes up 1200 sq ft. As of today these are the things I have growing in my garden:

  • Apples – 2 types, Fuji and Golden Dorset,  (I am keeping all my trees around 6 ft)
  • Night Blooming Jasmine
  • 23 pineapple plants (4 are producing pineapples right now)
  • 2 Lemon Grass plants
  • 2 rose bushes
  • Raspberries
  • Muscadine Grape Vine
  • Watermelon
  • Green Beans, pole and bush
  • Peppers
  • Celery
  • Onions
  • Several types of tomatoes
  • Purple Sweet Potatoes
  • Parsley
  • Lemon Basil
  • Corn
  • Seminole Pumpkins
  • 3 Guava trees
  • 6 Morniga
  • 1 Citrus
  • 2 Kiwi
  • 1 Avocado
  • Mulberry
  • Elderberry – like weeds!
  • 1 Pig nut Hickory
  • 1 Beauty Berry
  • Bananas

Have you or someone you know tried this type of sustainable gardening?  I would really like to hear how it is going.

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