With the resurgence of small farm scale 'organic' vegetable production actual published useful information is very scarce or non existent. If you read gardening books, they are normally plagiarised from other authors, often by lazy celebrities, who either have no original ideas or just leave it all to their 'ghost' writers. Nonetheless, laziness is a common human trait and having not yet fully evolved into a robot I am here going to concentrate on my own innovations and not bore us all stupid repeating everything else! Hopefully some of the ideas will be useful for house scale gardeners as well.
I got much of my information by working for free on some of my neighbour's farms and spending the lunch break quizzing them incessantly on how they did things. They had been doing this kind of thing for over 20 years and were happy to pass on the info, particularly when bottles of homemade whiskey and apple brandy were offered!
To economically grow a ton of vegetables, or more accurately, ten tons, a certain degree of mechanisation is required, which basically means a tractor, a plough and a rotovator. Potatoes require some extra equipment such as a ridging plough, a planting machine and a harvesting machine, but try and borrow/share these items with your neighbours if possible.
Leeks require the minimum in terms of machinery, but need extra care and attention all the way from sowing the seeds to harvesting, so I have given them a much more detailed set of instructions compared to the other vegetables. The biggest mistake is to transplant them too early and in my yearly experience I have had to restrain myself for 20 whole weeks!
I do not practise permaculture as this does not work on a commercial level unless we could get a sizeable income from running courses or help from a large number of 'free' workers. Instead I practise 'Tractorculture' which takes much of the back breaking work out of the jobs. I do use 'organic' principles, but my set up is too small for it to be worthwhile paying for the official certification and so I call it 'chemical free' which means no pesticides, no artificial fertilisers and minimal use of plastic.
Pronged push out tray for above (#6240)
Machinery for Potatoes: