Biointensive is a method of growing as much organic food as possible in the smallest amount of space. The method draws upon a variety of intensive agricultural methods practiced thousands of years ago in China, Greece and Latin America, as well as French intensive techniques practiced in the 1700’s and 1800’s, and Biodynamic techniques developed in Europe in the early 1920s. The culmination of these techniques has developed into what is now called GROW BIOINTENSIVE sustainable mini-farming.
It’s a method adapted to address the unsustainable nature of the global food system, which nearly all of us depend on. The method was designed to provide food security for those who practice it, while continually building and developing the soil and conserving natural resources. The result is producing safe food year after year in the same small space. Practiced in over 130 countries across the world, this method has proven that a complete diet can be produced by people in any climate where food can be grown, with very limited resources.
The 8 elements of BIOINTENSIVE:
• Double-Dug, Raised Beds – to create a healthy environment for roots and beneficial soil organisms
• Composting – to provide healthy, inexpensive fertilizer that keeps the soil producing year after year
• Intensive Planting – to maximize efficiency and productivity, and to conserve water
• Companion Planting – to take advantage of the beneficial synergy between certain plants
• Carbon Farming – growing fertilizer while growing food
• Calorie Farming – growing the greatest number of calories per pound of food
• The Use of Open-Pollinated Seeds – to encourage farmer independence and regional food security
• A Whole-System Farming Method – using all aspects of the system to create a healthy, sustainable farm
This means that, using GROW BIOINTENSIVE mini-farming techniques, small farmers can grow food using:
• 67% to 88% less water. So they still may grow food in a drought, like the one taking place in Kenya right now.
• 50% to 100% less purchased fertilizer. So they can still grow food even when they don’t have much money.
• 99% less energy than conventional agriculture, while using a fraction of the resources. So they don’t contribute
to agricultural pollution. In fact, GROW BIOINTENSIVE helps sequester carbon in the soil, which helps reduce
greenhouse gas levels in the atmosphere.
...and that GROW BIOINTENSIVE, when used as recommended by Ecology Action, can also help farmers:
• Produce up to 2 to 6 times more food per unit of land, as compared with conventional agriculture. This means
more food security and less poverty, particularly for those who need it most: small farmers in developing coun- tries.
• Build fertile soil – sustainably – up to 60 times faster than nature. So farmers can continue to feed their fami- lies and communities into the future, without destroying their environment.
• Reduce the amount of land needed to grow equivalent amounts of food and compost materials by as much as
50% or more, as compared with conventional agriculture. This means protected ecosystems, more wild-land,
safer wildlife, and a healthier, happier planet for us all.
“Jodi Roebuck is one of the most focused, motivated food & seed growers I have worked with in 44 years of GROW BIOINTENSIVE sustainable mini-farming work” –