Registered association KomPot runs a productive community garden in Nové Středokluky based on the principles of the community-supported agriculture (CSA).
How it all began
In Czech KomPot is the abbreviation for “community food.” The idea to start first community CSA in the Czechia was born in 2011 in PROBIO-LIGA where the paths of Míla Hilgetová and Jan Valeška crossed. Míla´s family offered 1,5 acres of land on which Mila´s grandma used to grow vegetables in the past. Together with other engaged and excited people they began to build KomPot following the foreign examples.
Shared tasks and responsibilities
KomPot employs experienced gardener and occasionally other helping hands. Some of the tasks lay upon the shoulders of the members: they assist in growing, structure maintenance, administration, finances and communication. Some of them are beekeepers.
Everyone can choose his/her area of contribution and decide what he/she wants in reward.
Cultivation and gardening
So far we follow traditional agriculture methods with the autumnal tillage. Vegetable beds are organized in the traditional three-course crop rotation plan. We never use any chemical fertilizers a pesticides in accordance with the principles of organic agriculture. The first area of the three-course rotation plan is fertilized with the horse manure, second with the green fertilizer (usually Blue Tansy or Vetch) or compost and the third is left unfertilized for the nitrogen producing crops such as peas and beans. In the first course we lay the drip irrigation and cultivate seedlings of the cabbage family crops, salads, root and stem celery, peppers, eggplants. In second course we cultivate all the other roots- carrots, beetroot, parsley and parsnip, also leeks and onions, courgettes, squashes, tomatoes, radishes and so on. When useful we lay the protective textiles on the beds against pest and frost damage and to enhance the germination of seeds sowed directly. When possible we also apply the knowledge of companion planting growing onions next to carrots, strawberries next to garlic, kohlrabies in mixed cultures with salads an so on.
Alongside vegetables we are happy to give space to the variety of flowers and other plants that contribute to the diversity and general health of our land: we do enjoy the brightness and colorfulness of the blossoming sunflowers, marigolds, asters, zinnias and other annuals together with perennials grown in no-tilt areas. Alongside the fenced borders of that land we planted trees and domestic shrubs that once will serve as the windshield and offer habitat to many species of birds and insects. In the orchard we have over forty fruit trees which increase significantly the variety of our produce.
In some parts of the land we start the experiments with the popular and modern no-tilt methods looking forward to evaluate and compare the results with those achieved through old-fashioned practices.
What we get
FOOD: Annually we harvest about 6 tons of vegetables which means approximately 6 kilos a week per person from May to October. Harvest begins when we have at least five vegetable sorts.
Spring shares, for example, consist of three heads of lettuce, kohlrabies, radishes, spinach and a bunch of leaf parsley.
Later on the variety and weight increase. In summer we enjoy tomatoes, cucumbers, courgettes, green beans, peppers, eggplants, leeks, berries and many other sorts and the weight of one share reaches up to 10 kilos.
In autumn we harvest potatoes, carrots, beetroots, squashes, kale and Brussels sprouts for real gourmets.
We strive to add to each share a portion of fresh herbs: basil, thyme, sage, leaf parsley, mint or marjoram
COMMUNITY OF LIVING CREATURES: The garden houses earth organisms (abundance of earthworms), insects (butterflies, ladybirds), birds and other species (hedgehog, hare, hamster) that would hardly survive in the surrounding chemical desert. We enjoy their company a share with them our food.
We keep regular working gatherings, open days or community harvests when we meet around one table and exchange our experiences and knowledge.