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8062Re: New Polyculture, rotations, and weed control....

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  • della99999
    Oct 2, 2008
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      I wonder what you mean by "red clover mulched while still green".
      I plant clover in the aisles of my gardens and mow them high when
      they get very big. It does work well for me for weed control in the
      aisles although it drives my husband nuts. He's rateher conventional.

      Also I have done the 3 sister planting. Unfortunately my site was too
      wet this year and nothing grew as big as it should have.

      --- In fukuoka_farming@yahoogroups.com, "Jeff" <shultonus@...> wrote:
      > I recently finished a book,
      > (The End of Food by Paul Roberts)- Against the Grain by Manning is
      > much better.
      > But I did manage to learn a thing or two (two to be exact, lol)
      > One of the paragraphs mentioned a reasearcher at my alma mater, Iowa
      > State. Matt Liebman
      > Anyways, he's an endowed chair (meaning his research isn't funded by
      > agribusiness)...
      > He has some interesting theories (he's got a book out),
      > but anyway
      > he's working on developming Low External Imput (LEI) agriculture,
      > ideas is to use minimum (although some is allowed) artificials...
      > He found that
      > Red Clover mulched while still green (still green is important)
      > reeduced weeds for 3-4 weeks
      > Sorguhm and rye (also mulched green) also had effects (though he
      > rye tends to suck up too much nitrogen)
      > this is called alleopathy
      > anyways, this is one of three solutions he uses to decrease weed
      > competition (I get the feeling that we would like to achieve no
      > outside herbicide, and doesn't mind the occasional weed)
      > the other two are crop rotation and incouraging weed predators..
      > aka mice, beetles crickets and birds..
      > apparently the right mice (deer mice and white footed) can consume
      > majorit of the weed seeds....
      > they harvest 10 times the amount insects do.. the bird thing wasn't
      > elaborated on...
      > crop rotation.. being in Iowa.. Liebman modified a corn-soybean
      > rotation...
      > he tested adding tritacale or wheat,(with red clover winter cover)
      > or two years alfalfa
      > and indicated where you start your rotation when taking on a new
      > management affects the long term consequences of weed seed bank...
      > specifically, soybeans are the weakest link (hence the popularity of
      > round-up ready soy)... and then just starting with corn, vs soy can
      > reduce long term weeks by 20%+
      > Anyways, I thought this might be something people on this board
      > appreciate.
      > Well non related to the book,
      > I stumbled across something I consider even more dramatic...
      > its a cold-climate adaption of the three sister's concept...
      > http://www.umanitoba.ca/afs/fiw/030703.html
      > it uses wheat, canola (rape), and field peas
      > a staple, oil seed, and legume..
      > Which seems to compare favorable to a two species system like the
      > Bonfil's method for wheat...
      > I'm going to try and track down a scientific article on this for
      > details...
      > but if this concept holds true it would open the door to all kinds
      > possibilities...
      > The low growing oilseeds
      > mustards, rape (canola), crambe, sesbania, radish, flax(?), seasame
      > not sure about the last two, they might be too close to staple
      > forms, also a consideration would be sunflower, but that might be
      too big
      > other staples..... sorhgum (with sunflower!!), millet, buckwheat
      > flax/seasame), ....amaranth (with flax/sesame) Quinoa (with
      > flax/seasame), Potatoes (with sunflowers?)
      > other legumes ... cowpeas, red clover, field peas, (SOYBEANS?),
      > beans, lablab, faba, winged bean, adzuki bean, crimson clover,
      > (groundnut), ....
      > what about a vegetable version
      > brocoli (oil seed?), string beans (legume), and staked
      > tomatoes
      > dry-land rice, brocoli, soybeans
      > what about cucumber sunflower and soy or string beans, or yard long
      > (getting away from the oil-staple-legume)
      > the legume seems necessary.. but I think the other two are changable
      > based on growth form....
      > the staple (or substitue) would be tall and later, or any and early
      > the oilseed (or substute) would by short and early, or shade
      tolorant late
      > the problem is they haven't figured out how to mechanize this
      > harvesting....
      > btw.. anyone have experience with three sisters...
      > how far apart do you plant...
      > I'm never seen a working model...
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