Growing Food In Small Spaces

The Plummery’s vegie patch is the productive heart of our urban permaculture system. Measuring a modest 30 m2 (including paths), it has been managed through just a couple of hours a week. We swap our persimmons for pumpkins and buy a sack of potatoes, but year-round almost all of our vegies come from this little patch. Our records show that it produced more than 170 kg in 2016!

So what’s the secret? Do we use biochar, rock dust, mycorrhizal fungi? Is it biointensive? What about wicking beds, or vertical gardens? There are no magic bullets. The key to great yields is not sexy or even that difficult. But it does require a thoughtful design, attention at the right time and a healthy dose of commitment.

If you’re blessed with ample space, a wild self-seeding vegie patch and laissez-faire attitude might be all you need. Perhaps you grow produce for other reasons—to connect children with their food, or to enjoy screen-free time outdoors.