Dec 27, 2009

Food Introduction

Part of the challenge of Project Caveman is to start growing my own food, using seeds sourced from shops, bought food from the Markets, and seed saved from the garden, with an eventual reliance on saved seed over time. I'd like to get to about 50% of food production from home.We started with some herbs in July, and they actually didnt die, thanks to Sara's presence. During Surgery rotation, about October, after getting back from Texas (Australia) I started getting the gear needed to do it, and its actually been really cheap to get it all set up.
  • Worm Farm: $100
  • 2000 worms: $100
  • 150 pots (ugly but cheap): $15
  • Random other pots (nice ones): $100
  • 40 bags of potting mix, $3 a bag: $120
  • 10 blocks of Peat: $30
  • 8 Germination trays, $8 each: $64
  • Seeds from Eden Seeds: $70
  • Miracle-Gro x 2: $30

And that's it for a complete (initial) set up, to allow a whole heap of veges to be grown at home, for kitchen scraps to be recycled and used as fertiliser and establish a germination system that can be close-looped after a certain amount of time.  If I was going to do it even cheaper, I'd get rid of the nice pots, maybe blow off the worm farm, and it would be possible to be up and running for less than $300.

Eventually I'll get all nice pots and put in a raised garden bed or three, and spend some more money on it, but this is a decent start, and Ive got a coomplete closed-loop system up and running in only 2-3 months.

From the second last photo, you can see the latest crop that's in the process of being transitioned from the germination trays to pots. Its the bit that take the longest actually, but mainly coz Im filling the posts with mix for the first time each time they get transferred.

At the moment there are about 70 plants in pots, and another 50 waiting to be transferred across from the germination trays in a few weeks time, once they get a bit bigger. At the moment, we've got carrots, tomatoes, sweet potatoes, beans, watermelon, onions, beetroot, corn, lettuce, herbs in, with some more to come!

Im trying to avoid things like hydroponics, aquaponics at this stage, just trying to make the growing as primitive as I can, within the constraints of living in the city and needing to move house in a few months. Ideally I'd have a few acres and go nuts with raised garden beds and flat ones, but with only 300 square meters to play with, I cant do what I'd ultimately like to do, but that gives me a chance to show whats possible in the city (not that I know what that is).