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Re: [fukuoka_farming] Re: natural farming course

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  • yarrow@sfo.com
    At 12:05 AM +0800 11/2/09, Anne Marie Wan wrote: I practically live in the desert. The soil in my yard is sand and for me it is a challenge to attempt to
    Message 1 of 7 , Nov 1, 2009
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      At 12:05 AM +0800 11/2/09, Anne Marie Wan wrote:
      I practically live in the desert. The soil in my yard is sand and for me it
      is a challenge to attempt to change the desert into a fertile field. It
      rains only during the end of autumn, winter months and if we are lucky a
      little in the early spring which means that in summer where rain is most
      needed it is very dry.
      >>

      Anne Marie,
      I'm a gardener, not a farmer, and one of the seed catalogs I read
      annually comes from a farm in Iowa that has sandy soil: Sand Hill
      Preservation. Were I in your situation, I'd seek out farmers who have
      similar conditions and find out what natural strategies were
      successful.

      I have a similar rainfall pattern here, but clay soil. I don't till,
      I make and use lots of compost, and have occasionally used comfrey,
      borage, and other plant teas. I've also come across some interesting
      ideas about culturing indigenous microorganisms using rice-rinsing
      water and cooked rice
      http://www.rodaleinstitute.org/20040401/Hamilton
      (though as a vegan I'd avoid the milk preparations), which sound like
      fun science experiments that could probably help any kind of soil.

      Variety selection is one important factor. For instance, some
      cucurbits in my garden attract cucumber beetles; others don't get
      them at all. Timing of planting matters, too.

      I think deep-rooted plants are another crucial element. In my garden,
      comfrey is an easy deep-rooted plant.

      I use lots of mulch (delivered free, from tree trimmers, plus the
      occasional straw bale) to hold moisture in the dry season. If I had
      more than a small garden and wanted to harvest or divert rainwater,
      I'd look into swales.

      Tanya

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    • Tom Gibson
      Annemarie, You have to remember that Fukuoka took over farm land that had been hand worked for centuries. He didn t create a large farm in a year or a decade,
      Message 2 of 7 , Nov 1, 2009
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        Annemarie,
        You have to remember that Fukuoka took over farm land that had been hand
        worked for centuries. He didn't create a large farm in a year or a decade,
        he worked his entire adult life to achieve his success. The biggest mistake
        that you can make is this American concept that everything you do is like
        going to Wal-Mart or Home Depot and presto bango you have something that
        looks like a completed project. Nature and natural farming doesn't work that
        way. You do what you can during the period of transition always keeping your
        principles that lead you to where you are going. If you are lucky the
        transition period will be mostly done and you will have achieved all of your
        goals, if you are starting from scratch, by the time you leave your farm to
        your children. Hopefully they will have the patience and wisdom you did when
        you started down that road. There isn't a right way or a wrong way to do
        this. There is the way that works best for you in your environment with your
        resources and capabilities. Many people give up projects like this because
        they are so hard on themselves that they never meet goals that were
        unrealistic.



        The problem with industrialized agriculture is that it treats food and
        nature as if it were a simple chemical commodity. Nature is strip mined
        until it is barren and dead. Then unsustainable circles of ever increasing
        inputs and poor quality food and a devastated nature is created. If you can
        avoid that, keep feeding the soil and your soul by appreciating what you
        have accomplished you will have accomplished much.



        You can see what is going on in our food forest
        and get more information about local food security at
        <http://camaspermaculture.blogspot.com/> Camas Permaculture

        Tom Gibson





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