What Do You Want To Ask John Jeavons?

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I have setup a phone interview with John Jeavons – yes, the man behind of amazing Grow Bio-Intensive gardening method – which is the most complete system for individual food self-reliance.  He is also the force behind all the research on family-scale food production over at Ecology Action.  And author of the bible on growing food How To Grow More Vegetables Than You Ever thought Possible On Less Land Than You Can Imagine.How to Grow More Vegetables book cover_

I told John that I would be collecting your questions for the interview.  What would you like to ask John?  Here are some of the questions I have (and I am working on a long list);

  • In the forward of the 7th edition, Alice Waters mentions a woman in Vancouver, British Colombia that is earning $400/wk growing gourmet vegetables on 1/16th of an acre using the principles of the mini-farm developed by Ecology Action.  That is pretty amazing.  How possible do you think that is for us listening on this call right now?
  • Why didn’t they include animals in the system?  Is it because even small livestock such as chickens or rabbits are often too expensive for many of the parts of the world where the BI system is used?  Or because animals adds a level of complexity to quantifying the research?
  • Can John speak a bit about the concept of “peak soil”?  How does it happen, and where are we today?  Have we crossed a point where the planet can no longer support the population we have?
  • What does John think about home scale aquaponics systems?

Please enter your questions in the comments box below and I will post the interview as soon as it is recorded!

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Marjory Wildcraft

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Marjory Wildcraft is an Expedition Leader and Bioneer Blogger with The [Grow] Network, which is an online community that recognizes the wisdom of "homegrown food on every table." Marjory has been featured as an expert on sustainable living by National Geographic, she is a speaker at Mother Earth News fairs, and is a returning guest on Coast to Coast AM. She is an author of several books, but is best known for her "Grow Your Own Groceries" video series, which is used by more than 300,000 homesteaders, survivalists, universities, and missionary organizations around the world.
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96 Comments on What Do You Want To Ask John Jeavons?

  1. Pamela Keith

    Hello John…Thank you for your time. This is what I read today and it creates problems in our future. Please read on.

    Pollution levels in China have now reached a true crisis… and much of this is drifting over to the USA and settling on crop lands where it contaminates our food:


    How can we protect our plants? Even if we cover them, they will still get the toxins. Please give some advice on how to protect ourselves.

    Our future is at risk and being a Senior, it all concerns me. I use to do organic gardening, but I can’t get down any longer. I’m mid 60’s. Please answer. I would really appreciate it.
    Thank you for your input.

  2. R. Hunter

    What do you think of keyhole gardening? I live in an area where we get little rainfall and the last 2 winters have had little rain, especially this year.

    Compost for keyhole: I notice some gardeners use telephone books and newspaper, items that can decompose but I worry about the ink in these items. I’ve heard some newspapers use soy ink, but don’t know about phone books.

  3. cikndy

    i’m interested in community gardens , co-ops and possibly looking at small parcels of city land that is vacant or to small to build or sell . Can you give me a heads up on these ideas.

  4. T. Hartwig

    My question relates to soil & soil testing,…. any recommendations for a low cost soil tester & what should i look for (PH/Acidity) when testing soil. I live near Dallas & as another member mentioned above (ref raised bed gardening), the summer heat can be problematic. So, when working with compost, what is an optimal goal (for the non-expert)?

  5. Amedee Friestedt

    Hi John. I live in the Washington, DC area. Many years ago, I visited the National Arboretum and saw examples of “more efficient” ways to grow vegetables. One example was full size cabbages growing from a cylinder of soil, nutrients, watering system, etc., kind of the same concept as the strawberry pot but a more self-contained system. I don’t remember if the columns were hanging or standing on the ground. Do you recommend this type of vertical growing as sustainable for a small plot farm? Are there drawbacks do you think?

    Thank you in advance for your advice.

  6. Christopher de Vidal

    For John: Have you tried your methods in cold and dry locations to see how much less (or more?) productivity you get? That way one could adjust the charts in your book based on location.

  7. Amanda

    I’ve noticed for many years that the bees love my garden, especially the bean and squash blossoms (still wanting to find a way to get rid of squash bugs). What do you think about keeping bees near a garden and what are the plusses and minuses of it. Thank you!

  8. Hazel Maunder

    Not a blogger. dont have anything for that, but am a prepper on a decent farm. I know our garden area needs to be fertilized, but spring is almost here, what is the best way to help it so that the plants and food will actually grow, they didn’t do anything at all last year.Will be planting in May I hope.

  9. Chuck Parr

    With four (soon to be five) children, I have learned the important of saving a buck or two when it comes to groceries. And there is no better way than from your own back yard! Great info here!

    • Justin Arman

      Lloyd, Marjory will be out for a few days on a wilderness trip. She’ll be responding to your question when she gets back.

  10. Trista

    This seems like a great investment, my husband wants to start gardening so we can produce our own food instead of having to purchase it. He will love this. Thanks

  11. Marc Werschem

    In talking about aquaponics, do you know where a person can purchase the fresh water lobsters? The only place I found requires a minimum purchase of 1000.

  12. Frank

    I really enjoy having my own garden to grow my own fruits and vegetables. My question is where I live there has been a drought off and on for several years now. What would be the best way for watering your garden with out installing an expensive sprinkler system?