Gardening

Ecological garden in Navarrevisca: urbanites cultivating

We continue with our desire to show you gardens around the world! With a little delay (since I visited this garden in July and August) today I present to you Antonio’s organic garden in Navarrevisca (Ávila, Spain).

I already told you a little about this town in the Sierra de Gredos in the post Navarrevisca and its ecological initiatives: the gardener fair, so if you haven’t seen it, I recommend that you take a look, it’s very interesting this day they organized!

If you have entered the category “Gardens around the world” you will have seen that we have done a lot of reports on orchards, but the truth is that this has been one of the ones that I liked the most. It is incredibly large, very beautiful and cared for, and has a lot of different vegetables and greens. I have learned a lot from visiting this organic garden and I thank Antonio for showing me and for his patience.

Why do city people grow organic gardens?

Although Antonio was born in this town in the mountains, we could say that he is a man from the city. He has lived and worked all his life in Madrid, he had been buying fruits and vegetables in the supermarket for years, and he has not been directly related to agriculture, nothing more than in his childhood.

So … why did this man so “from the city” start to cultivate an organic garden? Well, because we already saw in the post of Benefits of orchards , that they are a source of life and wisdom … as that Chinese proverb said (and now that we are in Beijing it comes to our hair …):

If you want to be happy one day, get drunk;

If you want to be happy for a year, get married;

if you want to be happy all your life, grow a garden

As Antonio told me, in addition to the taste of the food, which is incomparable,  he likes to have his own organic garden because it entertains him a lot and helps him disconnect from the stressful pace of life in Madrid. For him, “working” in the garden is not working, and although he spends 8 or 10 hours a week there, he enjoys doing it, and more than a chore it is a relaxing and very satisfying leisure activity.

He told me that he had never cultivated anything before until he decided to start his organic garden, and that he did not know much about plants or agriculture , except what he remembered from when his mother cultivated a small garden at home many years ago. So…  Anyone can do it? Yes of course!!  “Just as I have learned reading, asking other gardeners, finding out on the internet … anyone can cultivate an organic garden .” From here we encourage you to decide to cultivate an organic garden , a small flowerpot or to participate in one of the community or neighborhood gardens in your city.

What’s in Antonio’s organic garden

This garden has everything! From vegetables and varied vegetables,  to small red fruits , through aromatic and even fruits ! (there is a pear and a lemon tree too).

In the photo on the right there are  cauliflowers and broccoli (at the beginning and to the left of the terrace), red cabbage (the vegetable with large purple leaves on the right), cabbages and, in the center, a plant that I have known thanks to Antonio but that It seems very interesting: the Molokhía. It is a plant that comes from Egypt and Palestine, and is widely used in Egyptian cuisine and in other East African countries. In addition to its culinary use, Molokhía has good nutritional properties, health benefits, and medicinal properties

Tomatoes are the star of the garden par excellence,  as  there are more than 15 different varieties!  In the next post I will show you why each one and some tricks to grow them.

There are also green beans , various kinds of lettuce  ( Oak leaf , Pink Lollo and Golden Spring Vatavia ), Swiss chard , liléaceas such as celery and onion , purple basil (which is very rich in salad and that Antonio plants at the beginning and at the end of the tomato and pepper beds to help prevent whitefly and other pests, as we saw in the post of Aromáticas in the garden: which ones and why ).

Tips and tricks for the organic garden

Now I will tell you about some of the good ecological practices that Antonio carries out in his garden and, thanks to which, as he tells me, he has practically no problem with pests and diseases (many of them we have already seen in other posts of Agrohuerto so I’ll just leave you the links):

  • Drip irrigation : water is better used since there is less evaporation and, in addition, the risk of fungi is reduced.
  • Favorable crop associations : what I have told you about basil is an example. Another, associating onions with lettuces, since their usable part is different (root and leaf) and they are perfectly compatible since their nutrient requirements complement each other.  
  • Crop rotation : where there are tomatoes or peppers (nightshades), the following year it puts leaf or root vegetables (such as collard greens, onion, celery …) or legumes such as beans to enrich the soil.

And here the post today! In the next one, Organic tomatoes: varieties and tricks to grow them , I will talk about how it is grown in this cold-climate town in the Sierra de Gredos.

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