Bless your insides once again Sydney, and thanks to Hillview Farms for making our remote mountain produce available in the big smoke 🙌 🌿
130 bunches with <1% blemish rate and we're up to our fifth or sixth harvest off one set of plants?! ZERO chemicals or artificial inputs ... I think it's real folks, natural farming really is better. How?
1) Healthy soil = healthy plants . Our soil was compact and denuded of organic matter by decades of industrial agriculture. We added 25 tonnes of mushroom compost from the local landscape supplier and mixed it into the native soil with a walk-behind rotary hoe. Since then, the soil has not been turned, and will remain No-Dig from now on 🪱
2) Hygiene ! Cleanliness is next to Godliness, and slugs live in rotten and fallen leaves. Good thing is, chickens love slugs! So I regularly walked among the rows grabbing the lower and fallen leaves to feed the chooks. It never took more than 10 minutes, never felt like a drag, and we save chicken feed at the same time. Lifting the rotting leaves allows sunlight and airflow to enter the plant base, slowing the reproduction of slugs and other composter microbes. Chemicals really not required here! "Sunlight is the best disinfectant" -- One of the benefits of living in a dry continent. 🌞
3) Artisan harvesting / Syntropy . We trim our kale plants with tailor's scissors, choosing each leaf individually as we bunch. Like all good farm workers, we treat the exercise as a challenge, a meditation and a repetitive motion to perfect more and more efficiently. I picked 130 bunches this morning in 2.5 hours at relaxed but focused pace. This method allows for easy discard of damaged outer leaves ensuring that almost every bunch is at 100%. Shall we say it together? No chemicals required (So Fresh and So Clean Clean) ✂
4) Flower beds . Keep the insect life in balance, protect against pest attack. The local bees love it, great for beekeepers and pollination 🌼
Anyway, let us know if you've had any good experiences in the garden and we'll compare notes.
What I do know is that this kale is "Oh So Sweet", I could see the sugar syrup oozing out the stem in the early rays of sunrise. As I put the bunches straight into water, like a bunch of flowers, it made me think ...
Sometimes an upset stomach just needs a REST from agricultural chemicals. So many new illnesses with fancy names come down to poison intolerance. Not all of them of course, but some of them.
We should provide clean and pure food to our people. With better health, every other aspect of life will become easier. What can be better than clean, frost-sweetened, nutrient dense plant food? All vitamins and protein are readily available and easy for the body to digest?
Vandana Shiva from Navdanya International mentioned that 7 days organic produce reduces the presence of glyphosate in the body by 70%. Surely if natural produce tastes better, requires less work, costs less to produce, it wouldn't hurt to just experiment ... does eating clean food benefit one's life ? I believe, from personal experience, that it does. I know that others would agree.
Our kale plants are looking very clean, and with recent warm weather the majority have gone quickly into bud. We'll be pruning most of these flower heads before maturity to encourage more leaf growth around the stem. We're already up to 5 or 6 harvests off one generation of plants? Let's see how long they can last 😉
Thanks again to all the folks whose names we don't yet know who give our kale a try. We think of you and bless your insides ! May the produce heal and nourish, and let's all grow more of our own food. It's pretty easy once we get the hang of it! 🌳🏞💕