Keyhole Gardening

Spotted this over on Monkeyfister, the keyhole garden.  An innovative idea that could help you grow your own food.

Some observations: I wonder if you could pry the cellphones and Ipods away from Americans and get a happy level of participation as shown in this video?  Somehow, I sort of doubt it.

The rusty cans was interesting, I’ve never seen that before.


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9 thoughts on “Keyhole Gardening

  • July 17, 2008 at 4:26 am

    Just over 30 years ago, a friend of mine spent a year in Lesothu, Baha’i missionary stuff – who knew that the Baha’is had missionaries? Anyway, the problem from erosion there is because colonial powers had all the trees cut down to supply wood to England back in the day. It’s ongoing results of deforestation, still empoverishing the country 400 years later. Not that South Africa, which surrounds the country, is helping. Back during apartheid all planes into Losothu were required to land in SA and pay fees. I’m not sure that has changed under the current SA government – governments being pretty naturally corrupt.

  • July 17, 2008 at 8:26 am

    I tried something like that this year. I was digging new beds, so I just made a rectangle and put a path intruding halfway into the bed. It’s not quite a keyhole shape, but it’s the same principle: you can walk around the whole thing, or up the path, and reach to any point in the bed without dedicating any space to rows.

    It’s not that different from square foot gardening, as far as I can tell…although mine isn’t raised.

  • July 17, 2008 at 8:35 am

    My earthboxes sort of ‘failed’ last year, Rubbermaid doesn’t build their plastic boxes like they used to. The earth poured down the sides into the water storage. I didn’t do anything about it at the time, just left everything alone and let the plants grow.

    In that respect, they did just fine, zero weeds to deal with and very easy watering, good production on most everything.

    This year, they didn’t get planted at all, I have no garden this year. I’ve spent all the good weather preparing my crashstead, and we have a whacked out spring weather anyway (freezing, snow, heat, rain, hail, you name it).

    My stead takes precedence this year, but the keyhole, square foot or earth box method is all quite promising. I will build a greenhouse most likely before winter, I finally have this lined up too.

  • July 17, 2008 at 12:44 pm

    Thank you for the nod, fella!

    I Do believe that stuff like this is THE way to go.

    And you’re right about getting kids in America– let alone adults to so enthusiastically work to produce something like this.

    Perhaps once our over-fed, video game addicted, American Plumkins are a bit more lean and hungry… Like after 1/3 of their classmates have starved to death.

    At least you and I posted the resource.


  • July 17, 2008 at 4:03 pm

    Nevermind getting them to help build it, you may not even be able to make them eat what grows in it!

    Did anyone see Jamie Oliver’s series about trying to fix school dinners and get rid of the Turkey Twizzlers and other fried crap and replace it with something more healthy? In many cases, the parents didn’t want their children abused in such a way… he couldn’t even get some of the kids to eat strawberries because they were so unaccustomed to the taste of something natural.

  • July 17, 2008 at 4:35 pm

    Matt, I ran into that ‘unfamiliarity with real food’ problem with one of my son’s friends, about 7 years ago. He’d go over to spend the night at the kids house, I’d have him bring over a pint of blueberries or a bag of peaches – he’d bring them back, the kid never ate real fruit and wasn’t interested in trying any. The guys would just drink soda all night, and my son would come home reeking of ciggarette smoke from the chain smoking parents.

    My son is no giant (I’m under 5 feet tall myself, so contributed ‘short’ genes) but the other kid was incredibly undersized, hyberactive, and had seizures. Gosh, what a shock.

  • July 17, 2008 at 6:32 pm

    Fernwise, that was one of J.Oliver’s points in his campaign… that by feeding the kids proper food at lunch in the cafeteria (instead of the pizza, hamburgers and chips that was being served), they’d do better in school and pay attention and focus more easily… but the school administration didn’t even seem that interested. They were focused on the fixed cost per meal, which was something like 30p (British currency — probably about 60 cents US) per meal.

    One of the parents interviewed on the show said that she feeds Turkey Twizzlers to her son for dinner because it’s all he’ll eat, but that she wouldn’t touch it herself because it’s disgusting.

    A couple of years later, he did a show going around Italy, and went into a school there. They were so much more in touch with their food. Most of the kids seemed to be able to identify raw vegetables, and the cafeterias served real food made from scratch by the cooks every day (the British cafeterias imported everything already cooked and just reheated it). In England, they couldn’t tell celery from onion.

  • July 18, 2008 at 4:36 am

    My better half and I really liked Oliver’s series, found it simply astounding. He did a follow-up series here in the states, same story, second verse, things really were not any better than in the UK.

    In a classic example of Jevon’s paradox, however, Oliver’s campaign to improve the quality of UK lunches with “real food” actually reduced the number of students eating school lunches. Instead, many switched to brought-from-home junk food bag lunches.

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