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Posted by Emil Hasanov over 7 years ago
AsSalam Aleykum! I would like to share first small victory. Being the only Permaculture consultant in Azerbaijan I frequently face lack of understanding and scepticism from people who never heard of Permaculture.
This spring we started a keyhole garden at our "demo site". The way I built it was like this - sheet mulch on the bottom, then a bit of rotten wood, horse manure (about 20cm thick), and equal amount of dark soil on top of manure. Hay mulch on top of soil was added. I planted four plants of tomatoes, two aubergines, been plant ("lobya" in Azerbaijani), couple of watermelons and melons.
When I was building this, I know my neighbours were smiling. A lot of times, when I share Permaculture techniques with them, they immediately and openly conclude that these things will not work HERE. They say that these methods might work OVER THERE, but not here.
So, after I planted tomatoes when the plants were about 10-15 cm tall, they were badly infested by aphids. I was immediately given advice from well-meaning neighbours to spray the plants with chemicals. I said, well, if the aphids kill tomatoes, so be it. I don't care. This is an experiment. I want to see if aphids kill tomatoes. I only watered the plants and continued to do nothing else.
Since I travel quite a bit, I asked one of my neighbours to water our garden while we were away in June. When I came back to check the site out, I couldn’t believe my eyes. The tomatoes grew so rampantly that they overflowed outside the keyhole garden bed. I did not think about stakes, partly because I was convinced that they are not going to make it.
When the neighbour walked by he stopped to speak to me, later that day he admitted that he is impressed with the results. I couldn't believe what I heard. He actually admitted that this method worked beyond his expectations. I asked him if his tomatoes are as good as mines, he said he never seen such growth and such productivity and what made him even more excited is that he knew I did not use any chemicals and labour.
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