In its basic form, mounds are constructed by piling logs, branches, plant waste, compost and additional soil directly on the ground. The pile has the shape of a pyramid and is about 1.5 m high. The sides of the two slopes both have a grade of between 65 and 80 degrees. When positioned on sloped terrain, the beds need to be put at an angle to the hillside (rather than having them parallel to it). This makes sure the beds do not receive unequal amounts of water. In most cases, it’s also useful to have the beds positioned against the prevailing wind direction. The raised bed can form light-duty swales, circles, and mazes. Mounds may also be made from alternating layers of wood, sod, compost, straw, and soil. Although their construction is straightforward, planning is necessary to prevent steep slopes that would result in erosion.
ICF will employ a bio-intensive growth method which utilizes:
• Double-Dug, Raised Beds
• Intensive Planting
• Companion Planting
• Carbon Farming
• Calorie Farming
• The Use of Open-Pollinated Seeds
• A Whole-System Farming Method
Bio-intensive farming techniques make it possible to grow food using 67% to 88% less water, 50% to 90% less fertilizer, and 99% less energy than commercial agriculture, while using a fraction of the resources. Bio-intensive farming produces more food and builds up soil on less land.
Contrary Farming will have our organic soils and compost tested quarterly to verify that we are growing in an optimal environment. ICF will post these test result continuously on our website. Cultivation of our soils and compost is our first crop and possibly our most valuable.