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The Jeavons Center Mini-Farm Report
by John Jeavons, Executive Director, Ecology Action

Happy Summer from The Jeavons Center! The Farmer/ Teacher/Trainer Team, including Mini-Farm Manager Melvin Castrillo, Assistant Garden Manager Suraya David Sadira, Liv Dennen (our newest Farmer/Teacher Trainer and Intern for 5-Credits with the University of California-Santa Cruz for the summer) and FTT Jessi Mikow are doing excellent work and accomplishing much as our busy season gets into full swing. With the much-needed late rains and snow our Northern California hills have gotten this year, everything is growing fast, and there is a lot in the Mini-Farm to catch up on.

Melvin and Suraya are participating in Ecology Action’s 2022 8-Month Online Internship, which adds to their long-term skill base — and takes a full day away from farming each week from April through November. In addition to their overall work in the research mini-farm, each FTT has a focus on a specific project. For Melvin, it’s Compost Monitoring and Water Availability; Suraya’s focus is Bed 21: Four Compost-Type Long-Term Testing and Fertilizer Availability. Upcoming projects include Arid Section Crop Growing and the Ultra Accelerated Learning/Teaching Project. This Summer, Liv Dennen, a senior at University of California-Santa Cruz will be joining the team again for a credit-earning internship and some additional GB framework. She was a real help last year! Suraya and Liv have a small herbal business together creating good herbal products. As part of our ongoing 10-Bed Unit research project, Melvin, Suraya, and Jessi are designing and growing their own Complete Balanced Diet 10-Bed Growing Units to learn from.

This year The Jeavons Center will be harvesting the results of testing 5 different barley varieties provided by the KUSA Seed Society (, be sure to check out their wonderful and diverse Seed and Literature Catalog!) In the 2022-2023 growing season, we hope to test/grow out up to 50 additional barley varieties. Barley is especially important to TJC as it matures in months, while other winter grain and seed crops, such as wheat, triticale, oats, and cold weather fava beans Banner variety take up to 8 months to mature. With our short growing season and unpredictable rainy season (despite our recent, much-appreciated rain, we, like almost the entire western United States, are in a severe drought), Barley gives us more flexibility in planning and planting, plus produces more calories and biomass per unit of time. The Jeavons Center Mini-Farm Report By John Jeavons, Ecology Action Executive Director Lorenz Schaller, the director of KUSA, has a three-volume comprehensive set of publications that contain everything you could possibly want to know about barley. Soon, a fourth volume on recipes will be published.

I’m still working on my next book, The Next Steps, a sequel to and companion to How to Grow More Vegetables, Fruits, Nuts, Berries and Other Crops With Less Water On Less Land Than You Can Imagine, 9th Edition. It is nearing completion and I hope it will be ready for publication by the end of the year. This is not a usual type of book; it is more like a library. Rather than reading the whole thing from start to finish, I intend readers to select the topics they are most interested in and read them, after reading How to Grow More Vegetables... You will find some repetition and duplication in The Next Steps; this is so each topic you chose to focus on will be complete in and of itself. In great part The Next Steps is written for people who have some significant training in and experience with GROW BIOINTENSIVE. It contains a lot of information that is covered in Ecology Action’s Onsite 8-Month Internships and current 8-Online Zoom 8-Month Internships. In the Way, it is truly The Next Step for many. I think (and hope!) you will enjoy the process!

The Jeavons Center Garden Tour PosterOn July 30, we’ll be hosting a tour of The Jeavons Center Mini-Farm, from 9 a.m. - 2 p.m. gives a good introduction to GROW BIOINTENSIVE® sustainable mini-farming, what our practical research site is accomplishing, and how our sustainable method relates to world agriculture. Included: a discussion of the overall world challenges that humankind faces in the areas of soil, food, and nutrition; a tour of the garden and discussion of several crops in particular; and several 30-minute mini-classes on double-digging, composting, seed propagation, sustainable home garden crops, and cooking with solar ovens, and an herbal perspective, given by staff, apprentices, and interns. See for details and registration.

On August 5-7, TJC will present a Zoom 3-Day Basic- Level Certified GROW BIOINTENSIVE Closed-Loop Sustainable Teacher’s Workshop which is an important step to becoming a Global GROW BIOINTENSIVE Mini-Farming Farmer Leader. Pre-requisites apply, see Ecology Action’s Self-Teaching Mini-Series Booklet 30 on Certification, available free of charge at growbiointensive. org/ePubs.

On October 29 and November 5, 12, and 19, Ecology Action will present our 4-Saturdays Introductory GROW BIOINTENSIVE Workshop online. It's fun, interesting, and easy to participate in! See workshop.html for details and registration.

EA Online 4 Saturdays Workshop Poster

Let’s Come Together To:

Grow Hope

Grow Abundance

Grow Biointensive!

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