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Feeding Your Family from your Garden
March 16, 4:00 PM
Will Bonsall will present a series of informative talks at the Oakland Public Library on successful gardening.
After working as a prospector, draftsman, gravedigger, hobo, musician, logger, artist and copy machine repairman, Will Bonsall became a homesteading farmer. He and his wife, Molly Thorkildsen, and their two sons tend Khadighar in Industry, Maine — a unique example of veganic gardening, i.e., maintaining soil fertility sustainably without animal manures. They focus on self-sufficiency, growing a wide range of vegetables, fruits, grains and legumes using extensive terraces, solar-powered irrigation, intensive (not raised) beds and ramial chips (chipped branches of deciduous trees).
Bonsall has gone far beyond homesteading, however, by founding and directing the Scatterseed Project to help preserve crop plant diversity and more recently by co-founding the Grassroots Seed Network. His first book, Through the Eyes of a Stranger (Xlibris 2010), is a futuristic eco-novel. His second, Will Bonsall’s Essential Guide to Radical, Self-Reliant Gardening (Chelsea Green, 2015), covers his in-depth knowledge of growing food in novel ways expressed with his irrepressible humor and thoughtful philosophy about ways to help ourselves economically and nutritionally while also helping the environment — our “garden without borders.”
The schedule for the three part series:
- March 16, 4:00 p.m., More Food, Less Space:
A group of techniques using the garden’s vertical dimension effectively, companion planting, intensive wide bed spacing, using both ends of short seasons, etc.
- March 23, 4:00 p.m., Sustainable Fertility:
Maintaining your garden’s tilth without importing lots of stuff from elsewhere. Composting, home-grown mulch, green manures (even when you haven’t enough space), and accessing the minerals that are already there (without mining).
- March 30, 4:00 p.m., Seed Saving:
Whether you have some special variety that isn’t always available in the marketplace or whether you just want to cut costs, it helps to know how. Discussion includes maintain purity, maturing- processing-storing seeds. Overwintering biennials for seed (like carrots, onions and kale).
All presentations are sponsored by the Library and offered free of charge. Will’s book, Essential Guide to Radical, Self Reliant Gardening, will be available for purchase.