I don't know where your area is. But if your winters aren't too cold
you may consider growing a winter annual cover crop in addition to
covering your garden area with mulch. Since plants enrich the soil
with nutrients from the air, a living mulch (ie. cover crop) is always
better than a dead mulch. But the one does not exclude the other.
For example, I sow lupines and broad beans between my summer
vegetables from August to December; which means that my garden and
part of the fields are already covered with a foot or more of legumes
by the time the summer vegetables are killed by the cold. I sow
lupines (for broad beans I need to dig a hole) then cover the seeds
with mulch (kitchen scraps, plant residues, rotten fruit, everything I
have got). I will keep some legumes for eating or seed-saving, but
most legumes will be cut in the spring to grow next years food in.
On 11/29/08, Peggy <peg6012@...> wrote:
> Thank you. We've always had a compost pile. We mow at the end of
> a crop. In the Fall, we spread the barn cleanings over the area we
> plan to plant the early garden, and in the Spring we spread the
> cleanings over the area for the later plantings. I lay mulch were
> needed durning the growing season and use 'spread composting' in the
> isles durning that time also. I place stuff from the compost pile
> where needed most. I guess this is the closest I can get to the
> Fukuoka Method in my area. If you all have any other suggestions for
> my area, please let me know. Many thanks,
> --- In email@example.com, "Dieter Brand"
> <brand.dieter@...> wrote:
>> Yes it will! We don't have a drought we have a "regular" dry
>> So, people here know all about dry conditions and wildfires. We
>> burned down once, a friend of mine burned down twice in the last 10
>> years. Even when it is not necessary for crops, most farmers
> plough a
>> strip of land around their fields and an even wider strip around
>> homes at the onset of the dry season so as to stop a fire from
>> spreading. Unfortunately, that doesn't improve the soil, and
>> Farming tries to avoid soil disturbance.
>> If we are serious about Natural Farming we need to acknowledge these
>> sorts of practical difficulties and try to find practical solutions.
>> There is no _one_ solution that will fit _all_ situations.
>> you have to find the right compromise between bare-soil cultivation,
>> on one hand, and leaving enormous amounts of combustible material
>> laying around during the dry season, on the other hand.
>> The aim is always the same; you need to return organic material to
> the soil by:
>> 1) mulching and cover cropping,
>> 2) heap composting, or
>> 3) manure (preferably composted).
>> 1) is suitable in rain-rich Japan and most of Asia, where organic
>> matter decomposes quickly and there is no fire risk.
>> 2) and 3) are traditionally used in arid regions because mulch will
>> not decompose without humidity.
>> Having said that, it is possible to leave mulch or vegetation in the
>> field even under arid conditions, you just have to know how much.
>> are in an extremely fire-prone region, but you won't find an inch of
>> bare soil on my 30 acres.
>> Dieter Brand
>> On 11/28/08, Peggy <peg6012@...> wrote:
>> > We've had several years of drought. Plus they celebrate the 4th
> of July
>> > around here with lots of firecrackers and bottle rockets. Won't
>> > all that dry straw laying on our ground, leave us wide open for a
>> > fire? Peg