Must see video of a super productive, suburban backyard vertical garden made with salvaged materials. Enlarge video to full screen. Get a pen and paper handy to take notes. Pause occasionally to catch details. As you’re watching with gaping mouth, keep in mind the plants are only ten weeks old. Love for Life is trying to encourage people to work together to create similar gardens and unplug from the system. Be sure to catch the song at the end near 46:35.
I’m seriously considering how to incorporate some of these ideas into our forest garden. I’ve never heard of anyone combining food forests and raised beds like this, but there’s no reason it can’t work. At this time we’re considering using recycled hardwood for raised beds at ground level with bamboo poles to train the plants and support fishing net to block insects. Due to the beds sitting directly on compacted clay, the raised beds will need small gaps between boards for drainage and fishing net lining the inside to hold the soil. Cost: ridiculously cheap. Benefits such as good health: priceless. Being able to quickly ramp up food production is huge. It will take years to build up our forest garden soil quality from clay subsoil to rich topsoil, whereas it’s much easier to create rich soil in raised beds. Hopefully we can eliminate the raised beds in 5-10 years and plant directly into rich topsoil.
Love for Life soil recipe:
Blue metal chips (blue-gray mudstone)
Organic manure (no hormones): goat, duck, chicken
Compost made of rotted foliage/food scraps
Bits of rotted bark
Volcanic rock dust
Coarse zeolite (aluminosilicate minerals absorb water and slowly release potassium)
Soft rock phosphates
Lucerne (alfalfa) pellets with triacontanol (natural growth stimulant)
Kaolinite (clay mineral)
Coarse diatomaceous earth (porous sedimentary rock)
Humates (humic acid/humus)
Fulvates (water-based organic electrolytes)
VAM bacteria (vesicular arbuscular mycorrhizae)
Thousands of worms
6” lucerne mulch (alfalfa hay) on top of 10”-12” soil mix
Rocks for lizards, frogs, etc.
Paths: thick layer of wood chips
Regular foliar spray of triacontanol and seaweed
Pollinate almost every day or get bees