Welcome to the website of the book:
Sustainable Gardening Made Easy – From design to harvest: How to grow organic, sustainable food in colder climates
With Sustainable Gardening Made Easy, you can create your own garden where everything grows and thrives! When you learn how and what to do, there are almost no needs to do the weeding or watering, and neither chemicals nor human-made fertilizers are needed. Because when you learn from nature itself and work with it instead of against it, everything will be perfect.
The book Sustainable Gardening Made Easy is divided into three parts to make it easy to find back to exciting parts. The parts are:
- How nature works when left alone
- Permaculture explained
- From plans to plants to harvest; what to do
For extra guidance, Sustainable Gardening Made Easy has 138 descriptive illustrations to understand how to do it. More about how to do it you can find at the end of the book where there is an appendix of 30 pages with growing facts. These schedules are:
- Green manure plants
- Plants for companion planting schemes
- Plants that indicate soil types
- Plants that thrive in shade
- Plants for natural wind protection
It is with a tremendous and passionate commitment to nature, agriculture, and the food on our tables that I have written this book.
I will, therefore, give a brief overview of what today’s food production looks like, its pitfalls, and what is needed for us to move on to sustainable food production.
I do this because of my heartfelt desire for more people to understand how unnaturally things are grown today and how important – and easy – it is to grow naturally.
I hope you will enjoy your road to grow organic your own sustainable garden with all this knowledge.
Ewa Pettersson, author of “Sustainable Gardening Made Easy”
Introduction of the book
Here you can read about some of the reasons why I wrote Sustainable Gardening Made Easy.
Food production today
With fewer and fewer farms with ever-increasing monocultures, today’s industrial farming causes enormous problems – such as deforestation, soil erosion, and pollution. Fresh ground is continuously being broken to grow the amounts of corn, soy, grains, and oilseeds that the industry is demanding for food, animal feed, and fossil fuel. Production of various animal products such as beef, pork, poultry, and fish is also heavily industrialized.
Large-scale organic crops
Just because a farm has gone organic does not always mean that it is better or more sustainable than the conventional farm was.
Organic systems can be as unsustainable as the conventional ones if these are made up of large monocultures. In many greenhouses, crops are not grown in natural soil – but in various substrates where all nutrition comes from the irrigation with different nutritional solutions.
The only good thing about these large-scale organic crops is that the toxic chemicals are gone.
There is a silent change happening with our nature and our food that is spearheaded by the biochemistry Industry, where intensive research is underway to produce new effective products of various kinds. All to increase returns, especially financially. This change is done using everything from newer forms of gene modification (GMO) to the latest big thing, known as “synthetic biology”.
Today’s food supply
Everything we’ve decided that we need produces far away from us and transported to the cities – just as the shelves need restocking.
A severe effect of today’s food industry is that most people have lost all knowledge and understanding of how things are produced. There are frightening many of us who do not know how our food is produced – much less what it contains.
When both vegetables and animal products are produced at the lowest possible cost with maximum profit, no consideration is given to what the food ultimately contains. The problem is that plants and animals are what they eat! On top of this, more and more food products are eked out with everything from water to various chemical additives.
The domestic food supply is said to sit at just under 50%. This low level of food supply may not sound that alarming, but you need to remember that everything produced in Sweden is entirely dependent on imports of so-called input goods, such as fuel and fertilizers. The fuel sector has some domestic stocks, but these reserves won’t last more than a few days in a crisis.
In practice, we have become entirely dependent on transports from all over the world working around the clock. This dependence is an unsustainable system that risks collapse at the slightest disruption of the various transport routes.
Organic and small-scale farming
Some time ago, the UN issued a report that points to the problem of today’s industrial agriculture.
The report says that the world can cope with the challenges in terms of food supply, fewer chemicals, and less fossil fuel. They mean that by converting to local, ecological, small-scale, and sustainable agriculture, we will be able to support an increased population. At the same time, nature and the environment will thrive.
The best organic farming form is one where you grow with a crop rotation schedule and keep different kinds of animals. Such a system does not deplete the soil but rather strengthens it.
Animals are not only needed for food, but they are also required first and foremost for the work they do in the fields. When they graze, they fertilize the soil with their manure and keep the soil surface porous with their cloven hoofs. This grazing way is essential because when the soil is porous – the rainwater is absorbed by the soil and does not flow off the ground as it does in those vast monocultures. At the same time, this grazing reduces soil erosion.
In an organic system, the animals are also allowed to live more naturally and eat the food they were intended to eat. Which, in turn, means that they stay healthier and that less medication is needed. Good for the animals, but also for those of us who choose to eat their meat. Here too, the result is a non-toxic and nutrient-rich food.
Start growing your own
Starting to grow your own food is not only exciting and fun, but it also yields food that you know is healthy. In addition, it provides you with the satisfaction of contributing something positive to the change that needs to happen.
If you don’t know where to start, I would highly recommend permaculture. Around the world, the number of people who use permaculture with great success is steadily growing.
Initially, permaculture may feel a little alien, and some of the ways of thinking may be perceived as being contrary to what we are used to. Still, once you understand the foundation – a world of crystal-clear simplicity opens up. All you need to know already exists in nature.
We need to slow down a little and start to follow nature’s own rules and rhythms. After all, all things don’t – and shouldn’t – happen right away. Taking the time to observe, to think about what is available and what is happening in your little piece of nature provides not only knowledge – but also more opportunities to enjoy what you already have.