One Hectare Market Garden – Questions on Getting Started

Q. I have contacted you before about a farm in Vietnam to provide food and some income for a small hamlet in coastal Vietnam.

I feel the Mittleider method will far outproduce other methods. And it seems to be by far the most feasible.

There is a certain stubbornness involved with gardening throughout the world and it is no better and maybe worse in agricultural-dependent societies.

After asking about thoroughly no one here can agree on what can grow in this environment, Given it is very warm, sunny and has adequate rainfall.

Along with using the Mittleider method and if necessary constructing some shade cloth above beds or rows, I am of the opinion ANYTHING can grow here. My questions involve Dr M’s initial work in New Guinea and his introduction of 16 vegetables and fruits when previously they grew around 4.

Can you give me more details on what those varieties were? There is a handful of staples of course but I would be interested in knowing what they grew in New Guinea.

I am also curious as to how this method can be applied to an orchard. I will be starting one of those as well with a pretty simple variety of trees.

I also need to know about getting large orders of Fertilizers to Vietnam (there are a few fertilizer companies here and they would be the first choice).

I would like some input on what best ratios to purchase and
maybe dress with pre-plant or some other material as well as how to use manure.

Some Vietnamese I am sure, regardless of what we are doing, will want to do the method with manure. And possibly large “cover crops” can be grown with manure for grazing and feeding livestock?

I have decided to go ahead and do this as well as keep animals to
provide income and Food. (Chad Fowlkes)

A. I believe everything will grow there also. And production will be MUCH higher using balanced natural mineral nutrients than with manure.

The following vegetables would be grown by Jacob almost everywhere he went, in addition to local varieties already being grown:

beans, beets, broccoli, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, celery, chard, corn, cucumbers, lettuce, melons, onions, peas, peppers, potatoes, radishes, spinach, squash, tomatoes, and turnips.

That’s more than 18, and doesn’t include sweet potatoes that were
being grown in Papua New Guinea, so we’ll both have to guess which ones they didn’t grow there.

The method works well with trees also, insofar as improving growth and yields, but they aren’t grown in raised beds or anything like that. The main thing to do is fertilize – once per year with Pre-Plant and three times per year with Weekly Feed – and eliminate weeds, which compete for plant nutrients.

I recommend you find large successful farmers and/or greenhouse
growers, and pick their brains regarding their fertilizer sources.

You do everything you can to find the the main ingredients including:

calcium (lime),
nitrogen (ammonium nitrate or urea),
phosphorus (DAP – di-ammonium phosphate if possible),
potassium (potassium chloride – or some other combination), magnesium (Epsom Salt – magnesium sulfate – or other).

And look also for the micro-nutrients including:
boron (borax, solubor, or other)
copper (copper sulfate is most common)
iron (iron sulfate or a chelated compound)
manganese (manganese sulfate usually)
molybdenum (sodium molybdate usually)
zinc (zinc sulfate usually)

If any of the micros are not available in the country we may be able to help you find a way to ship them in.

You don’t need the 100% water-soluble materials that the greenhouse growers usually use. Those are quite a bit more expensive and may actually not be as good for growing in the dirt as the slower-release less expensive materials.

As soon as you are able to determine what’s available in the major ingredients tell me what the choices are, along with the percentages of each nutrient and the costs, and I will help you determine which ones to use and how much to buy of each.

Let’s get the mineral fertilizers figured out first, and later we can discuss the use of manures if necessary.

Jim Kennard