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Can I Grow Seeds and Greens for Sale, Sustainably?

From Ecology Action

Question:  I am interested in a version of gardening ecology that relies on greens, baby greens, microgreens and sprouts, along with rejuvelac (a nutrient-rich fermented probiotic drink made from freshly sprouted grains) at the income level. This requires a lot of seeds, and I would like to incorporate the idea of growing the biomass for compost while producing seed.

Answer: Thank you for your question. Generally, growing salad greens is not the optimal way of growing biomass needed for sustainable soil fertility, since you are basically selling off your biomass (the greens) without keeping any significant biomass for the garden. In addition, in order to keep your crops Booklet 13 - Growing to Seed"growing soil" in a sustainable, "closed-loop" manner per GROW BIOINTENSIVE standards, only 10% of cultivated area, not including paths, should be used to grow marketable crops. Marketing a larger percentage of your crops permanently exports valuable resources off of your farm, causing a significant amount of mineral loss from your soil.

We encourage to learn more about closed loop soil and food growing. Taking a three day workshop will connect you with other people with similar interests, dynamically learning together. Check out Booklet #13 'Growing to Seed' especially column L which indicates the number of plants to grow, including lettuce #15, in order to preserve plant diversity. Also recommended are the books 'Saving Seed' by Marc Rogers and 'Seed to Seed" by Suzanne Ashworth, both easily found on Amazon.

Good Luck!

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