Book Review: Grow More Vegetables (Grow Biointensive) By John Jeavons

John Jeavon’s How to Grow More Vegetables is not just a detailed manual for gardeners but an exposition of a style of gardening which breaks the norm from organized gardening.  Jeavons uses soil science to explain how plants can benefit from being grown in closer proximity than is usually accepted.  He points out that by growing plants close together you can reduce the amount of water and soil lost by evaporation and wind as well as being able to use less land for agriculture.  Jeavons acknowledges that some soil and nutrients will always be lost though while gardening and thus a gardener must be constantly building up his soil by composting items which are grown in the garden (as well as compost from outside).  In this way a plant which drew up nutrients from the soil will be broken down during composting and it’s nutrients released back into the soil for other plants to absorb.

The book contains many easy to replicate methods for different types of composting for different environments.  He also provides information on compost makeup as well as dos and don’ts of composting.  In the back of the book are extensive lists of pant rotation charts, plants which benefit each other when grown near each other and other companion planting advice.

Jeavons calls his methods Grow Biointenstive, and claims that they are more sustainable than most current gardening practices.  One of the methods he claims to have invented is a method of double digging in compost to soil.  In this method the compost is easily interspersed into the soil by use of a shovel with the least amount of digging necessary, something that anyone who has dug holes can appreciate.  I recieved this book a few months ago and have very much appreciated looking through it and have learned a lot of useful information.

Upcoming Food & Ag Event By Santa Monica Farmer’s Market

This event has been put up on the E3 Faccbook Page and looks quite interesting.  Here is the description:


New Agtivists: Young Visionaries in Agriculture and Artisinal Food Production

The 2013 Santa Monica Farmers Market Panel Discussion Series, featuring chefs and farmers, kicks off with Nate Peitso from Maggie’s Farm, Nate Siemens from Fat Uncle Farm, Matt Parker from Shiitake Happens, and Paul Osher from Bean & Thyme. Moderated by Rose Lawrence from Red Bread.
The event is at the Santa Monica Public Library this Thursday at 7PM.
Facebook Event Page Here

Farmer Superbowl Ad + Other Videos

If you happened to watch the Super Bowl yesterday you might have also caught this truck advertisement.  It is quite visually stunning and set to the lilting voice of Paul Harvey.  The ad was an interesting ode to a population that has been quickly shrinking.  I felt like it was an interesting mixture of family farm imagery and industrial farm imagery.  If you’re interested in reading a bit more about the ad NPR (overview), The Atlantic (race) and Christian Post (general love).   Some of the important background information to note is that this video signifies a financial contribution from Ram to the FFA.


So God Made a Farmer:



On a different note, here is a short showing the work that the UC system has been doing to help farmers utilize social media to connect with their customers and communities.   Similarly to the video above, this is also about promoting farmers and their role in today’s society.

UC Program:



American Meat is a documentary about the problems facing mass confinement livestock farmers.  Don’t shy away from this movie if you’re worried it will be pushing ideologies on you.  The director worked hard to let the confinement farmers have their say in a very heartfelt way as to the issues facing them and why it is hard for them to get out of the style of business they’ve entered.

Trailer for American Meat:

UCLA Student Garden Before and After Pics

UCLA Student Garden Before and After Pics

Here’s a blog post documenting the progress of the garden thus far:

Enclosed Ecosystem that Can Sustain Life for Decades

Enclosed Ecosystem that Can Sustain Life for Decades

You guys might have seen the “I Fucking Love Science” post that went viral over the weekend.  It features a man and his large antique ecosystem that has only been opened once in 40+ years to add more water.  What’s awesome about this is that you don’t need the fancy big bottle to make one and it is a great way to learn the basics of the Earth’s ecosystem.

Original Facebook Post (my apologies if this link doesn’t work):

How To:

Garden Work Party Tomorrow

Hello Everyone!


I’ve updated the Student Garden Blog with a post about the garden.  This weekend I’ve been getting everything ready for tomorrrow.  What’s happening tomorrow?  We are building five beds and filling them all (plus two others) in with a good soil mixture. 

Jason from Waste Watchers will also be contstructing several more compost bins.  

We will have music and food, so bring an ipod!  


If you’re interested in coming out to help please feel free to call me: (707) 303-5732


Here is some relative information:

Facebook Event:


UCLA Student Garden Blog: