Creating a Sustainable Vegetable/Grain Food Production System

Small scale grain growing

Rye and Spelt

This very Popular page has been moved to my new blog, and cab be read HERE.





Establish Aim



The Reason Why


Initial Analysis


Gather Information


  • The Resilient Gardener by Carol Deppe
  • Buffalo Bird Woman’s Garden
  • How to Grow more Vegetables by John Jeavons
  • Farmers of Forty Centuries by FH King
  • Growing Green by Jenny Hall and Iain Tollhurst
  • The Harmonious Wheatsmith by Mark Moodie and Graham Bell
  • The One Straw Revolution by Masanobu Fukuoka


The Resilient Gardener


Buffalo Bird Woman’s Garden


How to Grow More Vegetables


Farmers of Forty Centuries


The One Straw Revolution/Harmonious Wheatsmith


Growing Green


Other Sources




What to Grow?


What Method Do I use?


How do I maintain soil fertility?


Mycorrhizal Fungi


Organic Material


How much land will it take to grow my own food?



What Do I Grow?


Plant Table

Table of Plants selected


How to Grow them and Maintain Soil Fertility?



Experiment One. Bonfils Plus


Rye, Broad Bean, White Clover, and Chicory polyculture

Rye, Broad Bean, White Clover, and Chicory polyculture


Experiment Two. Creating a tall, Winter Hardy Broad Bean


Bean Echinacea and chicory polyculture in raised bed

Bean Echinacea and chicory polyculture in raised bed


Polyculture of perennial rye

Polyculture of perennial rye


Experiment Four. Soybeans and Innoculum


Soybean experiment


Intercropping/Green Manures





Bonfils Plus


Spelt Bonfils

Spelt. May 2012, grown using the Bonfils method

Spelt Bonfils

Spelt July 2012

Heavy wind and rain has caused the rye plants to lodge (fall over/lean).

Bonfils rye

Bonfils rye lodged


Broad Beans

Bean Breeding

Bean Breeding Experiment


Perennial Bonfils


Vegetable Grain Polyculture

Vegetable Grain Polyculture

perennial rye Bonfils

Polyculture with perennial rye


Perennial rye bonfils

perennial Bonfils polyculture

Soybeans and Innoculum

  1. soybean experiment

    Soybean experiment


Growing Soybean innoculant

Growing Soybean innoculant

Intercropping and Green Manures

Overall Evaluation Summary


Second Evaluation September 2012


Third Evaluation November 2012.


4 thoughts on “Creating a Sustainable Vegetable/Grain Food Production System”

  1. Fantastic work. I am looking at doing some bonfills stuff, mostly with wheat, so this is very interesting. One thing I noticed is you dont seem to have mentioned jerusalem artichokes (in my brief read) , one of the finest green manures/food/ fodder crops around.

  2. Hi Dave
    Thanks for the comment. Good Luck with the Bonfils stuff. it’s fascinating to do.
    We don’t eat Jeruslaem Artichokes, so I don’t use them in the garden any more. Agree with your thoughts though.

  3. Hi Deano

    This is really fascinating stuff. I will come back and read it properly another day as tis late now and I have just looked at the intro / background.

    I am very nearly obsessed with how to feed oneself in practical terms. I know I can’t do that in my small garden, but I am trying to consider how to include different food groups and nutritional needs. My musings are not in any way as systematic as yours, but they are continuously rumbling around in my head.

    Ten years or so ago I trained in nutritional therapy and it is my nutritional knowledge that is saying all the time that we cannot rely on just growing the types of foods normally grown in back gardens and allotments. We need proteins, fats / oils and also need bulk sources of sufficient carbohydrate. Most fruits and veggies (whether traditional annuals or unusual perennials) are needed in the diet for minerals, vitamins, phytonutrients and fibre. All absolutely essential but far from the whole story. So my musings are taking me towards grains (carbohydrates and some proteins), mushrooms (lots of protein and many interesting medicinally active compounds), seeds (for fats / essential fatty acids) and fish. Although some of these are not practical for me to investigate at present I am trying to ascertain in general terms the relative proportions of growing space required for crops for particular functions in order to raise them in roughly the proportions required in the diet.

    Keep up the good work!


  4. Hi Anni
    I’m still at the nuts and bolts stage. Will it work? What are the yields?etc. I intend to start at with loooking at calories first, will it provide enough energy, and then dig deeper into it’s overall nutritional value. It would be really useful to have people who know a bit about that contributing in some way.
    I’m hoping to enlist a few more experimenters at the Convergence next weekend, which would speed things up a bit.
    The tables in jeavons’ book are a good start point for yields, as they are based on regular sized beds (100 sq ft). Whilst the yields quoted there may be higher than we can achieve here, they give a start point to work from.
    Enjoy the rest of the post when you read it

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