What is Bio-Intensive Gardening?

I mentioned in my post Visiting Our Backyard Garden that someday I hope to do bio-intensive gardening. This idea was birthed way back in 2004, if I'm not mistaken, when I went to the Technology and Livelihood Resource Center (TLRC). I came across this Gabay sa Negosyo booklet "Bio-intensive Gardening" and I bought it. Upon reading, I had the desire to do it someday. The day has not yet come, but I would like to share with you a little something about it. Maybe you would be encouraged to do it, too.

Bio-intensive gardening is a program implemented not only in the Philippines but also in about 142 countries all over the world. In the Philippines, it is a program launched by the International Institute of Rural Reconstruction which was awarded the Alan Shawn Feinstein World Heingri Award in 1994-1995.

What I like about this bio-intensive gardening method is that
  • You don't need a big land. This method is able to use a 60-150 sqm of land to grow enough food for a family of 6. That's how efficient this system of mini-farming is - the whole garden bed is used productively.  You grow more food in less space.
  • You don't need to spend too much on farming resources so you save more money. This is because you will use natural fertilizer and natural ways of controlling pests. Moreover, there are techniques being used in this method of farming which lessens the expense on seedlings, water consumption and maintaining the fertility of the soil.
  • You get to harvest and feed yourselves with fresh and chemically-free vegetables, root crops and fruits.
  • You help sustain the environment by conserving the soil and keeping the air clean.

Here's a video to give a brief introduction about Bio-intensive gardening. This is part of the online series of how-to videos by John Jeavons and Cynthia Raiser Jeavons. Check out the rest of the videos from Ecology Action or from John Jeavons' YouTube channel.

If you want to use employ bio-intensive gardening in the Philippines, I recommend that you buy the booklet from TLRC. It is written in Filipino and it shares information on composting, choosing the type of crops to plant and more that is suitable in Philippine climate and soil type. You can order it by mail on this page.


teecup said…
I would love to do this - if only I had a green thumb and the luxury of time :)

By the way, is the book something that we can request for free? Or is it available for a fee?
Chin chin said…
I also am not a green thumb, teecup. But I think it is a great idea and would like to try it someday. The book is sold for P60 but if you wish to watch the videos at Ecology Action, your can view 8 videos for free.
sir rob said…
Summer here is so unbearable already and all that we planted dried up already especially that we just came from a 3 week vacation.

BTW, I was hurriedly posting the article no link seen between cellphone and brain tumor to catch up with Adgi cut off time and I did not noticed that it was cut. I was able to finish it after I saw your comment notification. Hope you drop by again.
teecup said…
@Chin: I see... thanks so much for the heads up! Hurray :)
Tes said…
Hi Chin, it's been a long while, but it is only this time that I was able to post about a similar award you honor me with some time in February 2010. Let me take this chance to say thanks a bunch, friend! *hugs*
Chin chin said…
@sir rob, that's sad that what you planted dried up. But I think bio-intensive gardening has a technique which helps keep the soil from really drying up.

@teecup, No problem.

@Tes, thanks for remembering me even if it was quite a while.

God bless you all.

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