Day #107
How to Efficiently Grow Food

Day #107 @How to Grow a Huge Amount Of Food in a Limited Space

Abundant Urban Farmer. One woman in the suburbs of Melbourne and what she is doing to become self-sufficient.

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Activity#1A @Vocabulary Check & Preview

Find out how much you KNOW and how much you DON’T KNOW!

Activity#1B @Vocabulary Quiz & Check

For those of you unsure of your answers to the above activity, this one provides immediate feedback to many of the difficult words.  Go straight to the video if you are feeling confident. 

Activity#2@Interactive Video
Recall and Comprehension Check

Checking the Fitness of Your Short-term (or Working) Memory as well as your degree of  understanding.

Transcript And Translation

Translation  courtesy of Mari 

One of the things that’s so concerning about the state that we’re in at the moment is so many people are losing that connection to the land.

So The Plummery has been an experiment in how can we regain that connection to food in the city.

Is it possible to produce a meaningful amount of produce on a pretty standard sized urban block?

I guess the answer is: Yes! It is absolutely possible.

My name is Kat Lavers, I live at a place called The Plummery, which is a typical quite small suburban block on Wurundjeri country about six kilometers from the center of Melbourne, Australia.

I live here with my partner Danny and also very regular WWOOFers, people who come and stay with us and learn in exchange for board and food.

The block is 280 square meters, which includes the house and some quite large areas that are not currently producing food.

The food-producing area is about a hundred square meters, so a 10×10 meter square.

In 2018 we harvested 428 kilos of herbs, vegetables, fruits, and eggs from this small space.

That amount of production has been enough to supply two adults and regular guests with almost all of our fresh produce, not just in summer but in the entire year.
生産量は、夏だけでなく年間を通して、大人2人と常連客に 新鮮な食材を供給するのに十分な量が得られています。

I’ve been on the site for 10 years.

When we first arrived it was a very rundown house, the garden was full of ornamental plants, it had lots of lawn, so we had a lot of work to do.

We’ve used a process called permaculture design to really get the most out of the space that we’re living in.

We’ve taken the time to observe the site, think about all the different seasonal implications of where we are, think about our own needs as humans,
and how to really make the site as elegant a design as possible so that we get more out than we put in, in terms of our effort and time.

私たちは、費やした労力と時間以上のものを得られるよう、時間をかけて土地を観察し、季節的な影響を考慮し人間としてのニーズを考え、できるだけエレガントな デザインにすることができる方法を模索してきました。

I’ve tried to work out what’s the optimum arrangement of vegetables to plant together in each bed so that they are all producing well and not competing with each other. それぞれの苗床にどのような野菜を一緒に植えれば、どの野菜もよく育ち、互いに競い合うことがないのか、最適な配置を考えてみました。

So we do plant really densely and we have a tight rotation system.

We keep our quails in an aviary where they have concrete paving underneath and then a layer of mulch that becomes compost over time, something called a deep litter system. ウズラを鳥小屋で飼育しているのですが、鳥小屋の下にはコンクリートが敷かれ、その上にピート式鶏舎といわれる、時間が経つと堆肥になるマルチング材が敷かれています。

Quail are also really quiet animals, which is a huge advantage in small city blocks where you’ve got neighbors close by.

And most importantly for me this is a really really ethical solution where the quail have got something to scratch around in looking for bugs.

For me it’s really important if I am going to eat animal products that those animals have the best life that we can possibly give them.
もし動物性食品を食べるのであれば、その動物ができる限り最高の状態で生活できることが 非常に重要だと思っています。

So we’re not self-sufficient and we’re not really aiming to be self-sufficient here, what we are aiming for is community dependence.
そのため、自給自足をしているわけではないし、自給自足を目指しているわけでもなく、 地域社会への依存を目指しているのです。

We’re aiming to have most of our diet coming from either this household or within our bio region.

So of course we’re not self-sufficient in things like grain and dairy and oil, so we aim to source those from producers that are as local as possible and people that are managing land in a way that is consistent with having a future.
なので、当然、穀物や 乳製品、油などは自給自足していないので、できるだけ地元の生産者や、未来を見据えた 土地管理をしている人たちから調達することを目指しています。

My main income comes from working for a local council in Melbourne’s West running a program that teaches people about organic gardening and permaculture.

I’m also a freelance permaculture teacher designer, educator, facilitator.

Many people when I explain how much food we’re growing here think we must be full-time farmers, you know, slaving away in the garden to produce a little bowl of tomatoes, but it’s just not the case at all and in fact we think that we spend about 4 hours a week on average to grow that amount of food, which is a lot less than I expected it to be, to be honest.

What does take a lot of time is setting up these systems, so implementing the design and also learning the skills to grow food.

Even then, that has all happened for us in the last five or six years.

It’s actually quite achievable if you do want to prioritize that in your own life.

So lots of people tell me, ‘Oh this so exciting, I wish I could do that at home but I just don’t know really where to start. I don’t feel like I’ve got a lot of time.’ 多くの人は、「まぁ、とてもわくわくするわね。家でもできたらいいんだけど、 何から始めたらいいのか分からなくて。あまり時間もないし。」とおっしゃいます。

And so one of the best things you can do if you’re getting started is just start really small, start with a square meter; observe that, look after it. なので、これから始めるのであれば、本当に小さなこと、1平方メートルから始めて、それを観察し、世話をすることが最善の方法です。

You’ll actually get more produce out of a smaller garden that you’re managing and tending well than you will out of a huge garden that runs away and that you can’t observe properly.

It’s really important that we start to build a bit more resilience into our cities and food is just one of the ways that we can build a level of resilience from those larger systems.

We know we have sometimes got crises going on, large floods, bushfires, let alone occasional economic instability.

In those times one of the things that becomes most critical, of course, is access to fresh produce, and the city might never feed itself completely in fresh produce but we can add a buffer, we can do something which minimizes the packaging, the transport, the fuel use, the chemical use, all the impact that comes along with conventionally produced foods.
そのような時には、新鮮な食材を手に入れることが最も重要なことの1つで、街の中では新鮮な食材で完全にまかなうことはできないかもしれません。包装、輸送、燃料の使用、化学物質の使用など、 従来の食品に伴うあらゆる影響を最小限に抑えることができるような緩衝材を加えることは可能です。

And something that to be honest brings us great joy while we’re doing it, as well.