How we grow
During the summer of 2018 we successfully grew 100% of our plant products from organic seeds. We are aware of the problems caused by GMO's (Genetically Modified Organisms) and we would prefer to prevent plants from germinating in factory nurseries in an unnatural way. We need our plants to be hardy, to be grow in a harsh mountain environment, so they better acclimatise as soon as possible!
Natural and organic plant protection and fertility
Our first year was a real learning process. We experienced a wide variety of insect and fungi enjoying the new vegetables. With our new found knowledge combined with hints and tips given to us by locals we have managed to reduce our crop loss. Spring of 2019 our team of Indian Runner Ducks got to work on the bugs and our homegrown chillies were an ingredient in our homemade pesticide spray. We used copper based spraying to reduce fungal infections and others that have a bio certification. We fertilise our land using manure sourced from local bio farmers and are also composing our own garden waste.
Rainwater Harvesting and Gravity Irrigation
Farming on a hillside might seem challenging to some. We are using it to our advantage! Never a chance of flooding our crops and a ready made slope for rain water harvesting and gravity irrigation. So we avoid feeding our plants with chlorine, fluoride and other additives in the mains water supply. We believe that water is a finite resource and we are lucky to have it, therefore we should conserve it whenever possible.
Water is still the main challenge at Boccatorta, we are constantly looking for ways we can use it effectively and efficiently. Locals have warned us of summer droughts occurring in the previous years. It may be the case that we begin harvesting the mountain dew!
We are also making our own Ollas to bury in the Hugelbeds.
We are growing our vegetables using some of Holzer's ideas. We want lemons.
Recycling materials for construction
We received donations from local businesses of pallets and just about anything we feel can be useful on the farm. We want to maximise resources and their usefulness, avoiding being part of the 'throwaway culture' that presides today and wanting to show that gardening is accessible for all.