Complete Gardening Raised Bed Systems - Some History
Growing Organic Vegetables in elevated garden beds offer many benefits including:
Ease of Access
Extended Growing Season
Reduced Garden Pests
Improved Soil Vitality
Elevated garden beds can be set up on almost any level spot (even on flat roof tops or concrete patios - just make sure you have at least 6 hours of direct sun per day) —with less effort and dependency on existing soil conditions to produce significantly more vegetables per square foot. This makes the (French) intensive raised bed method (also referred to as square foot gardening) ideal for a wide range of applications from backyard gardens to rooftop gardens, corporate grounds, school gardens, community gardens, and more
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And to see some of the potential features of a Backyard Farmers Raised Garden Bed please see below:
History of raised vegetable beds...
Raised bed gardening has become increasingly popular lately and the reasons why are numerous. But this is not a new concept.
Ancient civilizations from the Indians of the Americas, to the Romans, Egyptians and old world European cultures, used various forms of elevated garden beds. Garden beds raised incredible amounts of food for generations through the ages.
The founder of Backyard Farmers, Al Benner has a family lineage that is no exception. His ancestor,
Ludwig on his father’s side emigrated to Philadelphia from Germany on a ship called “Fame” in 1749. Ludwig Benner was a farmer and set up his family farm in northern Bucks County. The Benners
recently visited their “roots” by paying a visit to Ludwig’s Grave. (photo: Coleman & Owen Benner
- the next generation of Benner farmers)
Elevated garden beds were very popular in the old world. Many homes along the Rhine River in the
Alsace-Lorraine region of Germany (Ludwig’s birthplace) were certain to
have had "Four Square" garden beds raised up to warm soil earlier in
spring and allow for better drainage during wet periods.
Interestingly, not far from where the Benners live in Philadelphia is the Peter Wentz homestead. These German immigrants settled thirty miles north of Philadelphia in the 1740’s, built there own stone home, and along the way constructed four large raised bed vegetable gardens behind the farmhouse. A re-constructed version of these still exists today.
You can also see a similar garden design layout for another German farmstead here.
Clearly, intensive method raised bed gardening and companion planting has been popular for centuries. Even as recently as the 1940's Americans grew 40% of their own produce in their backyard "victory gardens". Mabye it is time to get back to our “roots”...