The French were the pioneers in intensive gardening during the WW-I and WW-II.To be honest to history we might summon the Chinese ,Greek,Babylonian and Mayans ancient biointensive farming methods 4000 years ago.Whether you want to call it French fries or freedom fries it is up to you, but we are interested in results.If you live in S.Florida you must know that sand is the rule of the land.So , when the growing season pops up and the hurricane season goes down..You better be prepared to work your front/backyard no matter how small the space to grow your own organic fruits and veggies in an ecconomy that is stripping us all of our jobs,homes,cars and not to say more
What you need to start with is a class from a local urban farmer who lives near by.Check out the localharvest.org to find one by you your zip area.
Next, you need to understand that organic gardening does not compromise .So get educated by reading a book or ask questions.Urban farming in S.Florida is a challenge.Start with a plan for the location of your future garden that is exposed to ample sun light.Then start to dig and double dig not to look out for weapons of mass destruction but in case to extract any debris that are toxic like pcb,plastic,petroleum products etc..The land here was filled to raise the level of the home structures for avoiding flooding.You have heard about the land fills in the Acreage lately and you might have an idea what did they contain !
Here are some suggestions to follow:
1-Prepare your own organic soil and compost.
2-Mimmick the natural flow of growing that is let the plants grow close to each others without the extra empty spaces allocated to a path for example.
3-Plant heirloum locally obtained organic seeds and avoid Genetically engineered ones.
4_Use raised bed in flood prone area and trench dug beds in high grounds.Dig and double dig always .
5-Make use of vertical gardening and introduce trellis wherever needed.
7-Be sustainable.Avoid loss of nutrients and humus and keep adding nutrients every growing season through organic composted manure and organic fertilisers and ammendments like blood and bone meal.
8-Follow the phases of the moon in your planting and harvesting.Educate yourself by reading the Farmers Almanac which has a lot of tips to guide you.
9-Be conservative in using water for irrigation.I find that growing intensive wise in containers saves you a lot .Plus you do not have to worry about being fined for watering and breaking the current draught watering rules.Use mulch to keep the texture of the soil moist and avoid burning the roots during the zesty summer .
10-Use Xeroscaping as a rule of thumb.Meaning , plant the right plant in the right place.Do not plant a water loving plant next to a draught tolerant plant.
It is good to always join a network of local urban farmers to exchange ideas and seeds.Urban and community farming is becoming more popular in Florida as more big agri business exit the farms .The future is for the ones who can live off the land and keep the land a living place for the living.
Happy urban farming.
We can help you get started .Join our on going classes on organic gardening.Visit our web link at: