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7 Jan 2022
Sustainable Organic Food Crops
Sustainable Organic Food Crops

GreenAgric's Community Project ...

Are you a Sustainable Organic Food Crops Grower ?
Big or Small ...
Do you have excess crops that you would like to sell ... If so, let GreenAgric Help ...

* We will advertise on your behalf for FREE ...
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This is part of our FREE National Service to bring ... 
Growers of Sustainable Organic Food 
and Potential Buyers together ... 
as a FREE Community Project ...

*** Crops Must Be ***
100% FREE OF ALL TOXIC CHEMICALS ... 
100% ORGANICALLY GROWN ...
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you will be 'named & shamed' ...
random toxicity testing will be done ...

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Pete Moore 
The GreenAgric Group
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6 Jan 2022
Sweet Potatoes
Sweet Potatoes

Sweet Potatoes Grow Like Weeds ...

Sweet potatoes are extremely easy to grow at home in garden beds or containers. They make beautiful foliage plants which can be placed on a sunny patio and trained up a trellis. Their lush foliage also makes them lovely indoor pot plants. Here's everything you need to know about growing your own delicious and nutritious sweet potatoes.

For South Africans sweet potatoes are the traditional “soet patat” or batata, and because they thrive in hot summer conditions and are so easy to grow, they could almost be classifies as weeds. 
And, there's no denying the beauty of a sweet potato plant, whether it's placed where it can creep up a trellis or is grown in a garden bed as a groundcover, or as a simple container plant, its foliage is quite beautiful. 
And when it comes to its health benefits, sweet potatoes are well worth adding to your diet as they are loaded with vitamins, minerals, fibre, and phytonutrients that can bolster your body and mind.

The origins of sweet potatoes are shrouded in the mists of time, and although it is generally accepted that they originated in Central and South America, and we are taught in school that Christopher Columbus and his European compatriots are responsible for spreading many foods like tomatoes and chilli peppers, as well as sweet potatoes around the world, many anthropologists think that a few foods made the vast trek across the Pacific Ocean long before Columbus landed in the New World, and their proof is in the sweet potato.

Archaeologists have found prehistoric remnants of sweet potato in Polynesia dating from about A.D. 1000 to A.D. 1100, according to radiocarbon dating, and these archaeologists hypothesized that these ancient samples originally came from the western coast of South America. Among the clues were the names for sweet potatoes as the Polynesian word for sweet potato "kuumala" resembles "kumara," or "cumal," the words for the vegetable in Quechua, a language spoken by Andean natives.

For a very long time there was little genetic proof for this theory, partly because modern sweet potatoes are a genetic muddle - a hybrid of different cultivars that Europeans helped spread around the globe - so it's hard to decipher their origins from their DNA. Caroline Rouiller, an evolutionary biologist, got around this problem by turning to dried sweet potato remains preserved in a London museum, which Captain James Cook's crew picked up in Polynesia back in 1769, before all this interbreeding took place. Examining the genetic blueprint of these sweet potatoes allowed Rouiller and her colleagues to trace the root's evolution all the way back to Ecuador and Peru.

These clues naturally led to the question “how did the sweet potato travel 5,000 miles across the vast Pacific Ocean?” It is surmised that the seeds could have possibly hitched a ride on seaweed or gotten lodged in the wing of a bird, but Pat Kirch, an archaeologist at the University of Berkeley, California, thinks the Polynesians were well-equipped to sail right across the Pacific to South America, and he states that there is a lot of new evidence that the Polynesians made landfall in South America, and that it is highly possible that they had sophisticated double-hulled canoes much like very large catamarans which could carry 80 or more people and be out to sea for months. For those who like to study history there are many articles online on this subject, but no matter what you believe, today no one can dispute the popularity of sweet potatoes, and this warm-weather crop grows worldwide, from tropical regions to temperate climates.

Sweet potatoes come in two different varieties - dry flesh types and moist flesh types. The moist fleshed types convert more starch to sugars when cooked, thus becoming softer and sweeter than their dry kin and are often referred to as yams, although true yams can only be cultivated in tropical climates. Either variety has roots variously hued from white to orange or red, depending on the cultivar.

In South Africa the major commercial production areas are in Limpopo, Mpumalanga, KwaZulu-Natal and the Western Cape.

Health Benefits ...
The orange and red-fleshed types are rich in beta-carotene, a pro-vitamin A carotenoid that is converted to vitamin A by the human body, and for this reason they are grown to alleviate vitamin A deficiency in many parts of the world, including Sub-Saharan Africa, and South and East Asia. In South Africa, this food source is of great importance as a recent survey indicated that 43.6% of children aged 1 to 5 years, and 27% of women of reproductive age, are deficient in vitamin A, a level which is considered as a serious public health problem.
Sweet potato is an excellent source of carbohydrates and has a low glycaemic index (GI) because they take time to digest and so keep blood sugar constant.
Sweet potatoes are remarkably nutritious and are also rich in vitamins B6 and C, along with many other important minerals like iron and magnesium. Including them regularly in your diet can help prevent heart attacks, boost the immune system, protect the body against toxins, and improve the metabolism.

In the Kitchen ...
Use sweet potatoes grated raw, boiled, or baked, in soups, casseroles, desserts, breads, or stir-fried, and for a delicious treat make some homemade sweet potato fries!
There are many exciting ways to use your sweet potatoes in the kitchen and one classic favourite that will please adults and children alike is 'Candied Sweet Potatoes' which are often served in America for Thanksgiving and Christmas. This dish is easy to make and many recipes are available online, often including brandy. And for those with a really 'sweet tooth' Thanksgiving isn't complete without a homemade sweet potato casserole, topped with marshmallows and toasted pecans.
Savoury recipes include: 'Twice Baked Sweet Potatoes with Ricotta Cheese' where baked potatoes are scooped out and blended with ricotta, salt, pepper, and sugar (optional) until smooth, before adding finely sliced spring onions or shallots and placing the pulp back into the shells, then sprinkling Parmesan cheese and freshly chopped sage on top before popping them back into the oven to finish them off - delicious!
'Slow-Cooker Vegetarian Chilli with Sweet Potatoes' is a delicious dish where sweet potatoes are used to bulk-up vegetarian chilli with lots of sweet potatoes and veggies like red onions, bell peppers and tomatoes. To round it out, add two different kinds of beans. This sweet potato chilli has staying power, whether it’s for a weeknight dinner or a crowd-pleasing main course.
'Sweet Potato and Kale Frittata' is perfect for breakfast, lunch, or dinner; and 'Sweet-and-Spicy Chicken with Roasted Sweet Potatoes and Asparagus' is an easy weeknight dish which is packed with flavour, and the leftovers taste delicious reheated or cold. 'Bean and Corn-Stuffed Sweet Potatoes' is the ultimate filling yet quick and easy lunch or dinner meal. Microwave or bake the potatoes, top with beans, greens, cheese and spices, and voilà, a happy and full tummy is guaranteed.
Explore the multitude of yummy dishes using sweet potatoes online to find the perfect ones for your family.

Uses ...
Sweet potatoes may be not as popular as other vegetables like potatoes and tomatoes, but they still play an important role in South Africa in terms of food security and alleviating malnutrition. 
Sweet potato is grown by many resource-poor farmers in virtually all provinces of South Africa. 
Because they are very nutritious, the leafy vines are used by rural farmers feed to their stock, and the tubers that cannot be sold or eaten because they are damaged or too small or cracked, can also be used as stock feed.

In the Garden and Home ...
If you're curious about growing sweet potatoes at home, keep in mind that they do best in a sunny position. They can be grown in the vegetable garden and can even act as a temporary groundcover. They also look beautiful climbing up a trellis or trailing down a pot on the patio, where the vine will form a gorgeous foliage plant that you can harvest in autumn by tipping the pot over to remove the tubers. The plant can even make a glorious trailing houseplant, so no matter how much space you have available most folks can grow some sweet potatoes.

Companion Planting ...
Root vegetables, such as parsnips and beets, are good sweet potato companions, and bush beans also make good companions. Regular potatoes, because they are not actually closely related at all to sweet potatoes also make good companions.
Aromatic herbs like thyme, oregano and dill, are great with sweet potatoes, and to deter the sweet potato weevil plant summer savoury nearby.
Be aware that your sweet potato vine will grow to cover a large area, so take care that it doesn’t crowd out its beneficial neighbours. For this reason pumpkin and squashes, which also spread widely, do not make good companions for sweet potatoes.

Cultivation/Propagation ...
Although the sweet potato is a perennial plant in its native environment, in South Africa it is treated as an annual summer crop because it cannot tolerate cold and frost. The plant requires plenty of sunlight, with hot days and warm nights, with very few cold, cloudy days. The flesh is classified as either moist or dry, and the moist, deep orange types which are sometimes called yams, are more popular with home gardeners.
Depending on the cultivar grown, sweet potatoes have a growing season of 3 to 5 months, and planting should preferably take place from October to December. In frost-free regions planting can continue up to about March.
Sweet potatoes can be grown on a wide variety of soils and thrive on fairly deep, sandy loam which drains well. Heavy clayey soils are not recommended as they may produce misshapen roots (tubers) and cause tuber rot. Very rich soils which contain a large amount of organic material are also not suitable, because the plant will produce very lush top-growth at the expense of the tubers which will be long and thin. For this reason fresh compost or manure should not be worked into the soil immediately before planting. In very poor, sandy soils the tubers will also be long and stringy.

Sweet potatoes are usually propagated by means of rooted shoots or vine cuttings, and unfortunately for the average gardener or small-scale farmer there are not many commercial sources of cuttings. Livingseeds supplies them to the public but orders need to be placed in advance for planting from September to November. Luckily sweet potatoes are easily grown from a few well-shaped, disease-free tubers bought from the store or local farmers market, or you could get a few runners from a friend who is growing them.

Plant the tubers closely together in a seedbed, cover them with a 5cm layer of soil, and water moderately until the shoots appear, after which watering can be increased. When the shoots are about 20 to 30cm long they are ready for planting out, and the shoots are then simply tugged gently or cut off of the tubers. Cut off a small portion at the bottom of each slip before planting as that portion sometimes harbours disease organisms. Carefully plant them up to half their length into the soil, gently firming it down and watering well afterwards.    

It is possible to plant the crop successfully on level soil and then simply allowing it to spread as a groundcover, but better yields are obtained by planting on top of flattened ridges, about 25cm high. Space the ridges about 90cm to 1m apart, and space the shoots 30cm apart. The closer the spacing, the smaller the tubers will be. 

To smother weeds, conserve moisture, and keep the soil loose for root development, mulch the vines two weeks after planting. As the plants grow, draw up soil to the main stem to ensure a good yield and to prevent the sweet potato weevil from reaching the roots through cracks in the soil. Keep the beds free of weeds which can harbour pests and diseases.

If you are growing them on open soil it is advisable to occasionally lift the longer vines to prevent them from rooting at the joints, or they will put all their energy into forming many undersized tubers at each rooted area rather than ripening the main crop at the base of the plant. Otherwise, handle the plants as little as possible to prevent wounds that make them vulnerable to disease spores.

Although sweet potatoes are fairly drought resistant, if the weather is dry, water moderately to ensure a good yield, but do not overwater, or the plants may rot. About two weeks before harvesting, reduce the amount you water and allow the soil dry out a bit.

How to Grow Sweet Potatoes in Containers ...
If space is limited you will be glad to know that sweet potatoes grow easily in containers of all sorts and grow bags are available from garden centres. These bags are designed specifically to provide aeration to the roots, adequate drainage, and some even have side pockets so you can sneak a small spud here and there. When your sweet potatoes are ready to harvest, you simply lift the bag and dump the contents out onto the ground or into a wheelbarrow, making harvesting extremely easy. Grow bags can be re-used and are easy to store in the winter because of their collapsible nature, making them very economical in the long run. Many gardeners have also had great success when using whiskey barrels as well as clay containers. If you can, for pot culture, select varieties which are more compact in their growth habit.

Sweet potatoes love to remain moist, but do not like to sit in water. Therefore it is important to have a good soil mix which drains well while still retaining moisture. Therefore, when planting in containers, using a container mix amended with compost, some washed river sand, and a fertiliser for vegetables is ideal. Place gravel or pebbles at the bottom for drainage then add about 10cm of soil to cover them before planting your sweet potato slips. Then add just enough soil to secure the cuttings firmly and water well.

Once planted, make sure to water regularly. Water frequency depends upon the type and size of container selected. If you are using a grow bag which is porous, it causes the soil mix to dry out quicker than it would in a clay or wooden container, so check the soil daily and water if dry. If fertiliser was not included in your original mixture, two weeks after planting, feed with a fertiliser for vegetables. As the stems grow upward, continue to add more of your soil mix until the level reaches the top of the container.

Harvesting, Curing and Storing ...
Sweet potatoes can be harvested as soon as the roots are large enough, usually 3 to 5 months after planting, depending on the cultivar. A good indication that they are ready to be harvested is when the ridges crack open because of the swelling roots. You can also start harvesting as soon as leaves start to yellow, but the longer a crop is left in the ground, the higher the yields will be. Once frost blackens the vines, however, the tubers can quickly rot. If the vines are still green but the crop needs to be harvested, they can be cut off, but not earlier than 2 to 3 weeks before harvesting. This makes it easier to lift the tubers.
Dig the tubers out on a sunny day when the soil is dry, using a garden fork to lift them, and remember that tubers can grow a 30cm or more from the plant, so ensure you collect them all. Be very careful not to damage the tubers as any nicks on their tender skins will encourage spoilage. Damaged tubers should be used as soon as possible.

Sweet potatoes do not store very well unless they are well cured, so if you have a small crop, lift only as many as you need every time. Do not wash the tubers but rather brush the soil off and then dry the tubers in the sun for several hours before moving them to a warm and dry, well-ventilated spot to cure for 10 to 15 days. After they are cured, store in a cool place at about 13 to 16°C with a humidity of 75 to 80%. Properly cured and stored sweet potatoes will keep for several months.

A 3.5m row will produce about 3 to 4.5kg of potatoes, and if you have a large enough crop to sell, cure the roots by placing the tubers in small heaps on the land for about 7 days to dry off, covering them lightly with vines to prevent sun damage.

Problems, Pests & Diseases ...
Sweet potatoes are generally not bothered by many pests and the sweet potato weevil is the most serious pest affecting crops around the world. The adult beetle measures 5.5 to 8mm in length and appears smooth and shiny, but upon close examination shows a layer of short hairs. It is striking in form and colour, and the body, legs, and head are long and thin, giving it an ant-like appearance. The head is black, and the antennae, thorax and legs are orange to reddish brown; and the abdomen and elytra are metallic blue. The snout is slightly curved and the antennae are attached at about the mid-point on the snout.

Adults are secretive and are not readily noticed, often feeding on the lower surface of the leaves and stems of sweet potatoes, and quickly feign death if disturbed. Adults can fly in short, low flights, but rarely seem to do so. However, because they are active mostly at night, their dispersive abilities are probably underestimated. Females feed for a day or more before becoming sexually active, after which they puncture the stems and tubers of their host plant to lay their eggs. Developing larvae tunnel and feed on the fleshy roots, while adults generally attack the vines and leaves. They also spread foot rot, which creates enlarging brown to black areas on stems near the soil and at stem ends. Since weevils multiply quickly and prove hard to eliminate, try to plant certified disease-resistant slips and practice a four-year crop rotation. Destroy infected plants and their roots, or place them in sealed containers and dispose of them with your household trash.

Fungal diseases include black rot, which results in circular, dark depressions on the tubers, which should be discarded. Don't confuse this disease with less-serious ‘scurf’, which creates small, round, dark spots on tuber surfaces but doesn't affect eating quality.

Stem rot, or wilt, is a fungus that enters plants injured by insects or by careless cultivation, or wind. Even if this disease does not kill the plants, the harvest will be poor. Minimize the chances of disease by planting only healthy slips; and avoid black and stem rot by planting resistant cultivars. Reduce the incidence of dry rot, which mummifies stored potatoes, by storing the fleshy roots at the correct temperature.

Article Credits : Gardening in South Africa

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5 Jan 2022
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GreenAgric Greenhouse Tunnels

'Grow Your Own' ...
Sustainable Organic Food Crops
in GreenAgric Greenhouse Tunnels ...
for Improved Health
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Only GreenAgric Offers ...
* Free Delivery to most places on SA
* Free Assistance with your DIY Tunnel Installations
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GreenAgric are the Very Best Value for Money Tunnels in Southern Africa ...

Contact The GreenAgric Group on .
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4 Jan 2022
Reduce, Reuse, Recycle
Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

That’s a wrap: French plastic packaging ban for fruit and veg begins ...

Law bans sale of carrots, bananas and other items in plastic as environment groups urge other countries to follow ...

From Saturday cucumbers, leeks, carrots and about 30 other fruits and vegetables will no longer be sold in plastic in France. 
A law banning plastic packaging for large numbers of fruits and vegetables comes into force in France on New Year’s Day, to end what the government has called the “aberration” of overwrapped carrots, apples and bananas, as environmental campaigners and exasperated shoppers urge other countries to do the same.

Emmanuel Macron has called the ban on plastic packaging of fresh produce “a real revolution” and said France was taking the lead globally with its law to gradually phase out all single-use plastics by 2040.

Spain will introduce a ban on plastic packaging of fruit and vegetables from 2023. For years, international campaigners have said unnecessary plastic packaging is causing environmental damage and pollution at sea.

From New Year’s Day, France will ban supermarkets and other shops from selling cucumbers wrapped in plastic, and peppers, courgettes, aubergines and leeks in plastic packaging. A total of 30 types of fruit and vegetables will be banned from having any plastic wrapping, including bananas, pears, lemons, oranges and kiwis.

Packs over 1.5kg will be exempt, as will chopped or processed fruit. Some varieties, including cherry tomatoes or soft fruits such as raspberries and blueberries, will be given longer for producers to find alternatives to plastic, but plastic packaging will be gradually phased out for all whole fruits and vegetables by 2026.

Disposable tableware and cutlery on blue wooden table, top view
Single-use plastic plates and cutlery to be banned in England
Read more
With an estimated 37% of fruit and vegetables sold wrapped in plastic packaging in France in 2021, the government believes the ban will cut more than 1bn items of single-use plastic packaging a year. The environment ministry said there must be curbs on the “outrageous amount of single-use plastic in our daily lives”.

Fruit and vegetables wrapped in layers of plastic have exasperated consumers not only in France but neighbouring countries. Nearly three-quarters of British people have experienced “anxiety, frustration or hopelessness” at the amount of plastic that comes with their shopping and 59% think supermarkets and brands are not doing enough to offer refillable, reusable or packaging-free products, according to a poll commissioned by Friends of the Earth and City to Sea in June.

An Ifop poll for the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) France in 2019 found that 85% of people were in favour of banning single-use plastic products and packaging. More than 2 million people have signed a WWF petition calling on world governments to stop the plastics pollution crisis. In angry posts on social media, shoppers have complained of what they deemed absurd wrapping such as coconuts in several layers of plastic or single bananas in individual plastic bags.

Moïra Tourneur, an advocacy manager at the NGO Zero Waste France, said the French law was a “good and appropriate” move, although she questioned what she called the “surprising” list of exempt fruit and vegetables given a longer transition time of at least another year before going plastic-free. These include brussels sprouts, spring onions, green beans, broccoli, mushrooms, peaches and apricots, some of which are already sold loose in many shops. Tourneur said: “The ban is fair and fitting … Giving more time for certain fruit and vegetables is a bit of a shame. There is a climate emergency. People are conscious of the need to act urgently on this issue.”

WWF France, which has campaigned on the impact of plastics on biodiversity and marine life in the Mediterranean and across oceans, said it was important to welcome the law as “a positive step in the right direction”, while reminding governments there was more work to be done to end plastics pollution, including on microplastics.

Pierre Cannet, its director of advocacy and campaigns, said the law sent a positive message and “puts plastics at the heart of the national debate”. He added: “We need to stay humble and vigilant by saying there is still a lot to do. We’re still very far from an economy without plastic, and from all the steps needed to eradicate plastics pollution.”

Camilla Zerr, a plastics campaigner at Friends of the Earth for England, Wales and Northern Ireland, said: “I think it’s a very good approach and I would hugely urge the UK to be doing the same and not to lag behind.”

She said that in the UK fruit such as bananas or apples wrapped in plastic packages were sometimes cheaper than those sold loose, which was “very problematic”.

Zerr added: “It is interesting to note that in the UK the main brands sell fruit and vegetables wrapped, but at corner stores you can find a lot of loose fruit and vegetables on sale, which proves it is possible to go without plastic.”

Article Credits : Angelique Chrisafis in Paris

'Grow Your Own' ...
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for Food Security

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1 Jan 2022
GreenAgric Greenhouse Tunnels
GreenAgric Greenhouse Tunnels

January Special Offer ...

Confirm & Pay for your GreenAgric Greenhouse Tunnels by latest 31st January 2022 and ... 

Receive a 10% Discount on our published prices 

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31 Dec 2021
Agriculture in Africa Outlook
Agriculture in Africa Outlook

Agriculture in Africa 2014 to 2023

We end yet another extremely challenging year, by bringing you a link to a very interesting and in-depth analysis of Agriculture in Africa over a 10 year period ... 2014 to 2023 ...

Written in 2014, the details have been somewhat distorted, due to ongoing unrest in Africa, as well as the recent pandemic ... but still relevant ... now looking back in hindsight over the past 8 years ...  

Due to it's detail and length, we recommend that you click on the link below and either read the 160 pages online, or download the pdf document for your ongoing reference ... 

https://www.sagis.org.za/BFAP_2014.pdf

Africa has and will continue to be challenged by the inceases in the population verses the availability of plant food crops ... 

Having 'got off extremely lightly', so far, from the current pandemic, population numbers continue to grow disproportionately to the food crops being grown in Africa ...

As a result over 100 Million are starving !!! ...

Unless Everyone in Africa starts making a real concerted effort to 'return to the land' ... and the sooner African Governments learn to stop pay out Millions in grants, making people lazy to ...

'Grow Your Own' ...

Sustainable Organic Food Crops 

in GreenAgric Greenhouse Tunnels ... 

for Improved Health ... for Food Security

Only GreenAgric Offers ...

* Free Delivery to most places on SA

* Free Assistance with your DIY Tunnel Installations

* Free Ongoing 'Best Help and Advice' for growing your own Food Crops ...

GreenAgric are the Very Best Value for Money Tunnels in Southern Africa ...

Contact The GreenAgric Group on ...

+27 72 387 2293

or via Telegram*, Signal* or WhatsApp ...

on +27 72 387 2293

We are also available on Twitter*, MeWe*, Facebook and Messenger ...

Twitter : @GreenAgricThe

Email : Sales@GreenAgric.com

Please visit GreenAgric's Website ... https://GreenAgric.com
Open 7 to 7 - 7 days a week ...

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Please Support the ...

Pete's Pet Help Rescue Pets Food Appeal 

https://petemoore.simdif.com/Pete_s_Pet_Help_-_Rescue_Pets_Food_Appeal.html

30 Dec 2021
Start Farming with only R1 Million
Start Farming with only R1 Million

How to Start Farming with R1 million ... 

Is it possible to start a farming operation in South Africa in 2021 for less than R1 million? A number of experts discussed the start-up potential of layers, broilers, pigs, vegetables and lucerne ...

With limited capital, quick turnover cash crops such as cabbage or butternut might offer a viable business opportunity for new farmers ...

Could a recently retrenched individual who has always dreamt of farming take R1 million from his or her pension savings and start a farming operation in South Africa’s current economic climate ? ... 
The answer is yes, no, and maybe ...

In this case, the devil truly lies in the detail. For this hypothetical farm, Farmer’s Weekly limited the scope to pig, poultry (both layers and broilers), vegetables and lucerne. While experts quickly dismissed some of these hypothetical farms, others just might be possible.

A few assumptions are necessary. The first is that the farm is in Gauteng, close to a market. The second is that the potential farmer does not own land and has no political means of obtaining land.

According to Michael Corbett, FNB’s head of agriculture in Gauteng, leasing land would probably be the best bet. After all, there is a difference between being a farmer and being a landowner.

“A quick Internet search indicates that we could possibly find land to lease for between R10 000 and R12 000 a month. Depending on size and infrastructure, this could work for a new farmer.”

“Leasing does make sense, because you’ll be able to free up capital. Unfortunately, it does have the downside of not having security. That’s a risk that the farmer would have to manage.”
When leasing land it is important to keep infrastructure to a bare minimum, as it will not necessarily benefit one’s farming operation to build infrastructure on another person’s land.
That and the potential farmer has to understand the crucial importance of profit.
“You are not a developing farmer; you are a small commercial farmer. When looking at these hypothetical farms, keep profit in mind. This should always be your motive. Even if you decide to exchange your cabbages for eggs, or vice versa, a transaction is still taking place.”

No-Go Options: Pigs and Lucerne ...
The cost of the infrastructure needed to start a commercially viable piggery makes this option unfeasible for a R1 million start-up.
“To get the housing up and running for a single sow will cost around R85 000. It’s incredibly expensive to start a piggery,” 
However, if a beginner farmer decides that money is no object after all, and wants to start a piggery, it is important to keep an eye on feed prices, as feed amounts to 70% of pig farming costs ...
“Moreover, 50% of that is linked to the maize price, which is extremely high at the moment.”

Another option that is less than ideal is a lucerne as it is important to look at the value per kilogram. “Lucerne needs a lot of water, you need heavy equipment and your potential market is quite small. You’ll only be able to sell to other farmers.”

Maybes: Vegetables and Broilers ...
Our experts are divided when it comes to broilers. It might be a viable industry, as a farmer does not have to spend too much on infrastructure.
“There are many farmers who have carved out a niche for themselves,” but a producer could raise broilers in a free-range set-up and sell them live.
“The venues where people collect their social security grants could be great locations to sell live chickens. It makes sense for a person without a fridge to buy a live chicken and slaughter it at home. The same cannot be said for pigs.”

Vegetables are the easiest to get to market, but the type of vegetable is a crucial factor. Cabbages or butternuts, for example, could be profitable.
“What’s good about these is that you’ll be able to store them,” Farmers should consider growing vegetables that are not readily available. “Don’t try to compete with mega-farmers by producing tomatoes.”

Farmers should rather consider crops such as marog (wild spinach), rocket or edible flowers.

“But first, find your market. Only then will you be able to work your way back to what, where and when you’ll be able to produce. If you don’t do this, you’ll end up being a price-taker.”

Would-be farmers should also consider adding value to their products. An example of this would be vegetable preserves.

Corbett says that a cash crop such as lettuce could also be a viable option for new entrants. It costs at least R3,29 to produce a head of lettuce, and with hydroponics this goes up to R6,29. The average retail price of lettuce is around R10,40/kg.
“This comes down to a profit margin of around 40c per head of lettuce. The margins would be tight, but this could potentially be an option to consider.”

The Probable Winner: Layer Hens ...
It seems the safest option is to start a layer farm for R1 million.
This assumption is based on a 4,9ha piece of land near Benoni advertised on safarmtraders.co.za. 
The property has a storeroom of 800m2 that should be able to house two layer cages. 
A basic cage can be procured for R110 000, so this would be an infrastructural investment of R220 000. The cages are large enough to house 4 480 chickens.
“A good farmer can get 330 eggs per chicken per year, but for our theoretical farmer work on a figure of 300 eggs.”
This amounts to 1 344 000 eggs (112 000 dozen) annually. At an assumed selling price of R15/dozen, the income from egg sales would be R1 680 000.

“We’re also working on the assumption that every hen, which costs around R80 to procure, could be culled and the farmer would be able to receive R35/hen,” 
If the replacements were estimated at around 80%, then 3 584 culled chickens would add R125 440 to the farmer’s bottom line.
This means that a farmer could potentially earn R1 805 440 per annum. “But this is only your income. Costs still need to be deducted to determine profit,” 

The estimated feed costs for running such a layer farm would be R787 046 and hen replacement costs would escalate to R286 720 per year, according to Corbett’s calculations.
Other variable operating costs that must be considered are packaging (R112 000), marketing (R56 000), administration (R78 400), delivery (R84 000) and medicine (R79 520). 
The estimate shows that total annual costs could amount to R1 483 686. A farmer should also ascertain whether he or she needs to have an environmental impact assessment performed on the property.

Water, electricity and rent were not included in the calculation. However, it seems as if a farmer could expect an annual profit of just over R320 000 after deduction of costs. If the cost of utilities were added at R12 000/month, profit would be reduced to R176 000/year (R14 999/month).

A farmer should also factor in losses that could be suffered. It is probably more realistic that a farmer would earn around R10 000/month from this farm.

Article Credits : Susan Marais & Farmers Weekly

'Grow Your Own' ...
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in GreenAgric Greenhouse Tunnels ...
for Improved Health
for Food Security

Only GreenAgric Offers ...
* Free Delivery to most places on SA
* Free Assistance with your DIY Tunnel Installations ...
* Free Ongoing 'Best Help and Advice' for growing your own Food Crops ...

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Contact The GreenAgric Group on .
+27 72 387 2293
or via Telegram*, Signal* or WhatsApp ...
on +27 72 387 2293
We are also available on Twitter*, MeWe*, Facebook and Messenger ...
Twitter : @GreenAgricThe
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29 Dec 2021
No Till Benefits
No Till Benefits

No-Till ... Better Soil at Less Cost ...

One sure way of reducing soil degradation is to cut down on tillage. Numerous crops can be grown using the no-till approach, and many farmers who have done so will testify that it cuts costs and improves rain penetration in the soil.
The soil also holds more water; in fact, no-till soils generally show drought stress two weeks later than tilled soils do.

There is, however, one important requirement for no-till farming: you need to grow a legume in rotation on the land. Soya bean is usually the preferred option.

The reason for this is that a leguminous crop such as soya bean captures nitrogen (N). Without it, there would not be enough N to maximise the conversion of carbon (C) in the crop residue to humus.
You can have tons of crop residue, but if there isn’t enough N in the soil, the residue will simply evaporate as carbon dioxide.


One ton of crop residue contains about 400kg of C, of which 140kg can be converted to humus. The balance is lost to the atmosphere through metabolism of the soil microbes.
Humus contains 50% C, with a C:N ratio of about 10:1. This means that 140kg of C can produce 280kg of humus, and requires 14kg of N to do so.

Wheat residue has a C:N ratio of 80:1, so there are only 5kg N in 1t of this residue with which to form humus. Because of this shortfall of 9kg of N, 1t of residue will make only 100kg of humus. That’s a shortfall of 180kg of humus per ton of residue.

No-Till vs Tillage ...
No-till can work well for small-scale vegetable farmers growing a range of crops; I’ve been doing it for 18 years and have never looked back.
Large-scale vegetable farmers who till their lands should realise that every tillage operation reduces the soil carbon. The land may appear neat, clean, and professional, but it has been damaged, and this can only be seen with a microscope and tests.
To make the point, agronomists often show a slide at presentations of a tractor pulling an implement with flames rising from the implement to illustrate that the carbon is being burnt out of the soil.
Every soil disturbance needs to be fully justifiable. Disturb the soil as little as possible when planting the crop; don’t think that deeper and more vigorous cultivation will benefit the root system. It does the opposite, by scrambling the natural soil structure.
This slows down water penetration and, after rain or irrigation, interferes with the soil’s oxygen levels. This, in turn, favours pathogens rather than beneficial microbes.

Resistance ...
A client told me that a fellow farmer had benefitted from deep-ripping his lands and he intended following suit.
I brought him my soil probe, and we found that it penetrated 1,8m deep with little resistance. This showed him that ripping would be of no benefit to his land; it would simply cause damage and waste money. If there had been a hard layer in the land, it would have been a different story.

Article Credits : Bill Kerr is a Specialist Vegetable Grower and Farmers Weekly

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28 Dec 2021
Take Care of the 'Critical Zone'
Take Care of the 'Critical Zone'

The “Critical Zone”

The Pandemic is a Warning ... 
We must ALL Take Care of the Earth
It's Our Only Home !!!

The climate crisis resembles a huge planetary lockdown, trapping humanity within an ever-deteriorating environment ...

There is a moment when a never-ending crisis turns into a way of life ...
This seems to be the case with this Pandemic ...
If so, it’s wise to explore the permanent condition in which it has left us ...

• One obvious lesson is that societies have to learn once again to live with pathogens, just as they learned to when microbes were first made visible by the discoveries of Louis Pasteur and Robert Koch ...
These discoveries were concerned with only one aspect of microbial life. When you also consider the various sciences of the earth system, another aspect of viruses and bacteria comes to the fore. 
During the long geochemical history of the earth, microbes, together with fungi and plants, have been essential, and are still essential, to the very composition of the environment in which we humans live. 
The pandemic has shown us that we will never escape the invasive presence of these living beings, entangled as we are with them. They react to our actions; if they mutate, we have to mutate as well.

This is why the many national lockdowns, imposed on citizens to help them survive the virus, are a powerful analogy for the situation in which humanity finds itself detained for good. 
Lockdown was painful enough, and yet many ways have been found, thanks in part to vaccination, to allow people to resume a semblance of normal life. 
But there is no possibility of such a resumption if you consider that all living forms are locked down for good inside the limits of the earth. 
And by “earth” I don’t mean the planet as it can be seen from space, but its very superficial pellicle, the shallow layer of earth in which we live, and which has been transformed into a habitable milieu by the aeons-long labour of evolution.

This thin matrix is what geochemists call the “Critical Zone”, the only layer of earth where terrestrial life can flourish. 
It’s in this finite space where everything we care for and everything we have ever encountered exists. 
There is no way of escaping our earth-bound existence; as young climate activists shout: 
“There is no planet B" 
Here is the connection between the Covid lockdowns we have experienced in the past two years, and the much larger, but definitive state of lockdown that we find ourselves in ...
we are ALL trapped in an environment ...
that we ALL have already altered irreversibly !!! ...

If we have been made aware of the agency of viruses in shaping our social relations, we must now reckon with the fact that they will also be moulded for ever by the climate crisis and the quick reactions of ecosystems to our actions. 
The feeling that we live in a new space appears again at the local as well as the global level. 
Why would all nations convene in Glasgow to keep global temperature rises below some agreed upon limit, if they did not have the sensation that a huge lid had been put over their territoryb? ...
When you look up at the blue sky, are you not aware that you are now under some sort of dome inside which you are locked? ...

Gone is the infinite space; now you are responsible for the safety of this overbearing dome as much as you are for your own health and wealth. It weighs on you, body and soul. 
To survive under these new conditions we have to undergo a sort of metamorphosis.

This is where politics enters. It is very difficult for most people used to the industrialised way of life, with its dream of infinite space and its insistence on emancipation and relentless growth and development, to suddenly sense that it is instead enveloped, confined, tucked inside a closed space where their concerns have to be shared with new entities: other people of course, but also viruses, soils, coal, oil, water, and, worst of all, this damned, constantly shifting climate.

This disorienting shift is unprecedented, even cosmological, and it is already a source of deep political divisions. Although the sentence “you and I don’t live on the same planet” used to be a joking expression of dissents. 
It has become true of our present reality. 
We do live on different planets ...
with rich people employing private fire fighters and scouting for climate bunkers ...
whilst their poorer counterparts are forced to migrate, suffer and die amid the worst consequences of the crisis ...

This is why it is important not to misconstrue the political conundrum of our present age. 
It is of the same magnitude as when, from the 17th century onward, westerners had to shift from the closed cosmos of the past to the infinite space of the modern period. 
As the cosmos seemed to open, political institutions had to be invented to work through the new and utopian possibilities offered by the Enlightenment.
Now, in reverse, the same task falls to present generations: what new political institutions could they invent to cope with people so divided that they belong to different planets ? ...

It would be a mistake to believe that the pandemic is a crisis that will end ... 
instead of the perfect warning for what is coming ...
the 'new climatic regime' ...
It appears that all the resources of science, humanities and the arts will have to be mobilised once again to shift attention to our shared terrestrial condition ...

Article Credits : Bruno Latour a philosopher and anthropologist, the author of 'After Lockdown' ... 
A Metamorphosis and the winner of the 2013 Holberg prize ...

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27 Dec 2021
The Autocratic 'Damager'
The Autocratic 'Damager'

The Crucial Characteristic Missing in most farm owners and managers ... 'The Damagers'

When I was starting out in my first management job, my image of a good business manager was an individual who was decisive, unemotional and results-driven.

• Decisions were based on rational analysis, short shrift was given to employees who didn’t do their jobs in the same way, and there was little tolerance for emotion and intuition. This was the ‘autocratic’ management era, where the boss made the decisions and the employees jumped ...

• As the limitations of this insensitive style became evident, managers like myself began to realise the folly of their ways and listened a little more attentively to their staff ...
This was ‘participative’ management, which recognised that employees were not simply robots there to carry out your commands, but flesh-and-blood people with their own dreams, hopes and fears ...

• Next came the ‘collaborative’ style of management, where managers involved employees more fully in day-to-day decision-making and had far happier employees who delivered better results ...

Some years ago, I was asked to address a group of farmers. Having been through all of these management phases, I chose to talk about the evolution of management as a profession.
Books on management identify the traits and skills needed to make great managers, and in my address, I listed those I thought were the most important. 
I worked hard on that list, and thought I had pinpointed all of the main elements needed for achieving success as a manager.

But the COVID-19 pandemic showed me that I had left out one crucial quality ... a 'True Motivator'
On my original list I identified the following as the essential characteristics of any successful manager: ready to show trust; self-disciplined; good communication skills; a sense of humour; an entrepreneurial outlook; a stable temperament (never moody); loyal; humble; generous; energetic; calm under pressure; decisive; focused on issues, not people; and open and transparent ...

However, I admit that there is one critical trait I missed completely, and it’s one that managers should not only feel, but demonstrate too ... it’s 'Compassion'

'Compassionate Managers' devote time to stepping into someone else’s shoes and fully understanding their emotions and stresses. The word compassion means ‘to suffer together’, and that’s exactly the pain felt by compassionate people, triggering a desire to relieve the suffering of others ...

When you treat people with compassion, they never forget it. People will want to work with you not because of what you do, but because of who you are. COVID-19 has taught me that compassion may, after all, be the ultimate motivator. 
Indeed, there’s growing evidence that compassionate management has a direct impact on the bottom line, as it creates happier employees who are less stressed, more committed and more productive ...

Article Credits : Peter Hughes & Farmers Weekly
and 'tweeked' by Pete Moore of The GreenAgric Group, resulting from my personal experience 

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26 Dec 2021
Growing Organic Food Crops in the Andes
Growing Organic Food Crops in the Andes

A Seed for all Seasons ...
Can ancient methods future-proof food security ?

A Lesson to be Learnt from Growing Organic Food Crops in the Andes ...

The Andes sustains one of the most diverse food systems in the world. 
Through specially adapted farming techniques, farmers conserve a great variety of maize, also known as corn, and other biodiverse crops that could be key to food security, as global heating causes a more erratic climate. 
Maize has been grown in the Andes for thousands of years, in one of the highest farming systems in the world, specialising in more than 50 varieties of the cereal in a myriad of different sizes and colours.

It would be difficult to produce one variety of one crop. In one year you have frosts, hail, droughts or torrential rain.
“In the old days, the Inca People grew these Ecotypes and now we continue the path set down by our ancestors” 
There are ears of corn, ranging in colour from faintly yellowed white to deep purple. All have thick kernels and evocative names. 
Yellowish corncobs with red tinted kernels are called 'blood crier' ...
White cobs flecked with grey, are called chuspi 'small corn' ...

Historians believe what is now the world’s most widely grown cereal crop was first domesticated by People in modern-day Mexico about 10,000 years ago and subsequently spread south down the spine of the Andes to reach Peru about 6,000 years ago ...

Long before the climate crisis, these farmers’ ancestors adapted to growing crops in different niche Ecosystems, from icy mountain peaks to sunny valleys, and which have been identified as one of a handful of globally important agricultural heritage systems.

“With a few varieties, you could not face a farming year, so the response is to have many varieties. The frosts and hailstorms have always occurred and their ancestors knew how to face them” 

With more than 180 native domesticated plant species and hundreds of varieties, Peru has one of the world’s richest diversity of crops.

Backed by the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization, the project supports the farmers to preserve the native species ...

“Peru is one of eight places in the world which is considered a centre of origin for agriculture” 
“The first inhabitants and their descendants, the peasant farmers who are here, started their adaptation to this landscape more than 10,000 years ago”

“Diseases like stem rust or blight arrive, sometimes we get frost or hail. That’s why we have our seed bank in order not to lose our maize Ecotypes, so we can recover what we’ve lost and resow those varieties”
‘We continue the path set down by our ancestors'
“But many young people migrate to the city because this doesn’t generate much income” 
“What we do doesn’t bring enough income to sustain the family, so they move to the city”

“With the climate crisis, there’s less harvest, but we substitute our diet with potatoes,”  
“It’s important to work with the different varieties of maize for our food security. With global heating, there are varieties that are more resistant to illnesses and pests.”

“When I was little, the sun didn’t shine with such intensity, the temperature was mild” 
“It’s as if we live in an 'Eden' in terms of food products, we have everything to hand. This is in contrast to city life, where “everything is money”, and which became even harder during the Covid-19 pandemic ...

The custom of ayni, reciprocal communal work, remains in these remote villages, but a bartering form of exchange, known as trueque, has been hit by the pandemic’s economic impact.

Genara Cárdenas, a farmer in Ccachin, Cusco.
‘With the pandemic the people don’t want to barter, they want money,’ says Genara Cárdenas, a farmer in Ccachin, Cusco. Photograph: Jorge De La Quintana
“We go to the market and we trade with the fruit and coca from the farmers in the valley,” says Genara Cárdenas, 55, from Ccachin. “But now with the pandemic the people don’t want to barter, they want money"

Financial pressures have affected the village’s traditional way of life, but their crops have helped them remain self-sufficient despite the economic problems.

Even so, the climate crisis presents new challenges, says 55-year-old farmer Victor Morales.

“When I was young, the rains, the frost, all had their time. But today everything has changed. We had many types of potatoes and maize, now we have varieties which are more resistant to climate change.”

'Grow Your Own' ...
Sustainable Organic Food Crops
in GreenAgric Greenhouse Tunnels ...
for Improved Health
for Food Security

Only GreenAgric Offers ...
* Free Delivery to most places on SA
* Free Assistance with your DIY Tunnel Installations ...
* Free Ongoing 'Best Help and Advice' for growing your own Food Crops ...

GreenAgric are the Very Best Value for Money Tunnels in Southern Africa ...

Contact The GreenAgric Group on .
+27 72 387 2293
or via Telegram*, Signal* or WhatsApp ...
on +27 72 387 2293
We are also available on Twitter*, MeWe*, Facebook and Messenger ...
Twitter : @GreenAgricThe
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Please visit GreenAgric's Website ...
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Open 7 to 7 - 7 days a week ...

We look forward to hearing from you soon ...

25 Dec 2021
Blessed Christmas Everyone
Blessed Christmas Everyone

Blessed Christmas Everyone

Christmas Day Blog ...
'Shit Runs Downhill and Starts at the Top' ©

Today's posting is dedicated to ...
• all those who will be alone today ...
• all those who's 'families' have 'deserted' them ...
• all those who will not be so fortunate, to eat a sustainable meal today ... 
• all those who are homeless ...
• to all the domestic pets that have been abandoned and are starving today ...

all as a result of ...
'Shit Runs Downhill and Starts at the Top' ©

Very unfortunately there are millions of people ...
here in South Africa, in Africa, and the World ... 
who as a result of others ...
will not be celebrating Christmas today ...
as there are, millions of domestic pets that will ...
as a result of others ...
be going hungry today ...

Yes, the past two plus years have been 'extreme challenging' to say the least ... 
but my observation and experience, has shown that those who are more fortunate, have been 'slow' in coming forward ...
'slow' meaning 'not prepared to help'

It's easy and doesn't necessarily 'cost a fortune' to be a Philanthropist ... 
the true meaning of Philanthropy is broad and includes ... 
• giving of your time to help others ... 
• giving the car guard some change for looking after your vehicle and making it safe for you to return to your parking ... 
• 'Paying It Forward' when you receive assistance from others .
• ensuring that you show your concern and love for others by asking 'How are You ?' and then waiting for an answer ... instead of 'I trust you are well' which is a meaningless statement ...
• worse is not even having the common decency and respect to use someone's name in all forms of communication, and then not being respectful to say 'Thank You' ... 'Kind regards' ... 'Lots of Love' at the end of your communication.

Be Generous of Spirit, Act with Kindness, Be Open and Willing to Share with Others ... without any expectation of receiving something back in return. 
Celebrate the True Meaning of Christmas with Others, without envy or resentment ...

I Wish Everyone a Blessed Christmas ...
God is with You today and everyday .  
My Thoughts and Positive Prayers are for ALL of You this Special Day, as we remember it's 'true meaning' ...
Stay Safe and Keep Well
Kindest regards
Pete Moore
The GreenAgric Group



21 Dec 2021
Stop Using Glyphosate
Stop Using Glyphosate

Watch Out for Glyphosate Contamination ...

The repeated use of the herbicide glyphosate has been found to compromise fruit production. 
Symptoms of glyphosate contamination include poor growth, chlorosis and retarded growth in the apical reaches of trees. 
Glyphosate has recently become associated with a number of problems in crop production.

“Glyphosate was originally developed by Stauffer Chemical in the 1960's as a chelating agent, which means it can bond to metal elements such as iron, manganese, zinc, calcium, nickel and copper. Monsanto then patented it as a herbicide in 1974”

Glyphosate kills plants by blocking a critical enzyme pathway known as the shikimic acid pathway. The enzyme is essential for plant respiration, so a plant that receives a full dose of glyphosate cannot survive unless it is engineered or evolves to be resistant. Glyphosate also weakens a plant’s defences against infectious organisms.

Trials and Analysis ...
Apart from compromising a plant’s defences and increasing pathogen populations and virulence, glyphosate can have indirect effects on the plant’s predisposition to diseases. These include reducing its growth and vigour, altering its physiological efficiency, and modifying the soil microflora that affect the availability of nutrients involved in physiological disease resistance.

International research on the impact of glyphosate on orchard production, has been conducted by Dr Don Huber, a former professor of plant pathology at Purdue University in the US.

Contamination ...
Glyphosate enters soil via direct application and spray drift, as well as from root exudates of plants that have absorbed the herbicide.

Accumulation is exacerbated in acidic and clay soils. “The problem has been found to be more severe in heavy clay soils than in lighter soils, as glyphosate chelates with cations in the former. It’s also worse in acidic soils, as glyphosate is desorbed by phosphorus,” 

“Glyphosate contamination is associated with progressive loss of vigour, flower bud abortion, diminishing root volume, chlorosis and poor growth/budbreak in the apical reaches of the tree.

“The contamination may cause a range of problems stemming from the destruction and disturbance of important synergistic soil flora and other soil fertility processes, and/or the tying up of important minerals involved in triggering the tree’s immune system,” 

Deactivation ...
To prevent glyphosate contamination, avoid using the chemical.

When problems with budbreak, root and apical growth occur, have the affected orchards and soils analysed to identify whether the cause is glyphosate contamination. If it is, ensure that there are adequate levels of calcium, magnesium and micro-elements in the soil and trees to detoxify the glyphosate.
Humates can be used to counter this effect. 

Glyphosate has the greatest impact on the roots of the tree, severely restricting its ability to absorb nutrients, including phosphate. 

Cover Crops ...
While soil type, sand, silt or clay, in an orchard is important, another aspect that should be considered is fractal geometry, a potential new way of analysing the root architecture in soil.

“Roots, hyphae and humus have massive surface areas, and the greater the surface area, the more opportunity for biochemical reactions to occur. Also, the more diverse the biome, the more synergy and efficiency occur,” 

Some plant root systems produce protective compounds called plant secondary metabolites. If these plants are grown as cover crops, they could potentially offer incidental protection if grown in the immediate vicinity of the primary crop.

Planting a wide mixture of cover crops will maximise their beneficial impact on the soil, as each crop has its own advantages. Oats, for instance, exude allelopathic compounds that suppress diseases and weeds.

“You need diversity, as this will also help to create a diverse population of soil organisms that can keep each other in check,” 

Article Credits : Glenneis Kriel & Farmers Weekly
 
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GreenAgric's Current Discount Offer ...
Festive Season Special Offer ...

Confirm & Pay for your GreenAgric Greenhouse Tunnels by latest 31st December 2021 and ... 
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GreenAgric Consulting provides 'Best Help and Advice' to both the farming community and home gardeners ...


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14 Dec 2021
GreenAgric Greenhouse Tunnels
GreenAgric Greenhouse Tunnels

Growing Mediums for Greenhouse Production ...

Greenhouse Farming is an intensive, high-yielding operation. Using the correct Growing Medium forms the basis of the operation, and mistakes in this area can cost a farmer dearly, according to producers and experts. 

Greenhouse Farming presents a lucrative opportunity for hands-on farmers with an eye for detail. Quicker turnaround means a shorter time before return on investment, despite questionably higher input costs.

On the other hand, Greenhouse Farming is an exact science: what you put in can make or break the operation.

In most farming operations, the soil or growing medium requires more attention than any other aspect. Tunnel Farmers have a number of options.
Whichever growing medium is selected, it should be of high quality and sourced from a reputable supplier.

Sterilised ...
“You’re setting yourself up for failure by using inferior products, or those that haven’t been sterilised properly,” cautions Mbali Nwoko, the owner of Green Terrace, which cultivates peppers in Greenhouses in Johannesburg.
“I have several suppliers I rely on whom I can trust to deliver clean products. You can’t just use any old growing medium; it has to be sterilised properly to ensure there are no pathogens or chemicals that can harm the crops.
“The growing medium needs to have the correct pH levels and the saline content mustn’t be too high or it’ll burn the roots of the plants.”
“You must have complete control of what goes into the plant. The crops grow faster because you’re controlling the whole environment and how many nutrients the plant gets. You can get between 90% and 100% of your expected yield because of this. None of the nutrients that are added to the growing medium are wasted; everything is absobed.

The right medium ...
Every crop has its own unique needs, and with the variety of growth mediums on the market, farmers need to balance cost and efficiency.

“A common problem with seedlings is overwatering, which ultimately leads to root rotting. While draining excess water, a good growing medium retains optimal moisture levels in the root zone of the plant, ensuring full root development. and assistsng with aeration and prevents compaction of the soil or growing medium”

Matching the Growing Medium to the plant, is very important ...

Article Credits : Lindi Botha & Farmers Weekly

'Grow Your Own' ...
Sustainable Organic Food Crops
in GreenAgric Greenhouse Tunnels ...
for Improved Health
for Food Security

Only GreenAgric Offers ...
* Free Delivery to most places on SA
* Free Assistance with your DIY Tunnel Installations ...
* Free Ongoing 'Best Help and Advice' for growing your own Food Crops ...

GreenAgric are the Very Best Value for Money Tunnels in Southern Africa ...

Contact The GreenAgric Group on .
+27 72 387 2293
or via Telegram*, Signal* or WhatsApp ...
on +27 72 387 2293
We are also available on Twitter*, MeWe*, Facebook and Messenger ...
Twitter : @GreenAgricThe
Email : Sales@GreenAgric.com
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