Temporal Nature of Farming

The Barefoot Farmer

In gardening, planting takes planning. There are so many factors to consider. Luckily I have 40 years of mistakes behind me, so here we go.

First, where were the crops over the last few years? Crop rotation keeps the ground growing a different crop each year. Most crops can come back to the same land after three years, but peas and melons would rather wait for seven years.

Next, how long will the crop be there? We grow celery, swiss chard and parsley together every year, because they stay in the ground until December. Beans, cucumbers and summer squash each last about 90 days, so they are planted together. Sweet potatoes and peppers go until frost, so they are together too.

But a sweet potato row will devour a early pepper row. We have had to take a machete into the battle between them to save the peppers from the…

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