Re: Invitation to view Banana NF Album
- Hi Luke and group
Very nice to hear from you. I am a coffee fanatic having tasted many of the world's best varieties from the coffee club I belong to. I buy from small local plantations. I think the closest to your location I have tried recently was from Kenya.
I enjoyed reading your post and wish I could buy both coffee and bananas from you. I know little about either but think both would grow well in a Fukuoka system of farming. Maybe you can ship me some coffee?
You are very knowledgeable with soil science. I mentioned in a recent post that I think one reason why more do not adopt Fukuoka Farming is because many of us inherit poor soils. I will be ready to quit all cultivation and farm as close to permaculture as one can get with our grassfed beef operation in 2 or 3 more years.
My original soil tests here showed less than .5% organic matter and neglible levels of P and K. I apply 4000 pounds of organic matter (cattle manure) each week now to 15 acres and should have organic matter up to 5% and enough fertility to stay in equilibrium for many years. I have over a dozen species of introduced and native species in my pastures.
I always enjoy seeing others photos! I am featuring some on my sustainable website.
--- On Wed, 1/20/10, Luke Powell <luke@...> wrote:
From: Luke Powell <luke@...>
Subject: Re: Invitation to view Banana NF Album
Date: Wednesday, January 20, 2010, 3:11 PM
Hi Jim (and fellow
Coffee? Did someone metion coffee?? ha ha ha. My
ears pricked up there.
Re your wanting photos of coffee being grown
naturally Jim, my coffee fields were originally
completely cleared of natural vegitation and cropped with groundnuts, corn,
beans..... The coffee is presently planted in lines (to suit my irrigation
system), so not a 'natural' scene for you, sorry Jim.!! ha ha ha
FYI, I am now planting local indigenous trees,
within the straight coffee lines, to act as shade trees for the
coffee. This rainy season (Nov-April), I have also intre-cropped (between the
coffee lines) 1) upland rice (for mulch), 2) soya beans (for animal feed)
and 3) sunhemp (for mulch). I can send you some
photos of this type of coffee growing should you wish. It is NOT coffee grown by
the Fukuoka 'doctrine' (for want of a better word).
I don't know anything about Fukuoka's companion
planting of crops for a crop like cofffee which will be in the ground at least 6
years. (I hope for longer). Your advise on how to manage my coffee crop by the
Fukuoka method will be greatly appreciated and valued.
FYI, from my limited understanding, 80%
nutrients can come from the air should the plant be healthy. In
addition, different crops require different soil nutrients that will
encourage the 'crop-specific' (coffee) active
soil microbiology (rhizospere). This then (mycorhiza, earthworms ...) will make
available the required nutrients for the plant.
Unless you 'import' those
missing nutrients (for the rhizosphere) on to the farm (eg by growing companion
crops and/or by broadcasting lime for Ca), you will not achieve the optimum
genetic quality potential of the crop at harvest (as measured
with a refracometer).
The soil on my farm does not 'naturally' contain
all the nutrients (Ca, P, Mg, S...), in the correct ratios, required by the
coffee plants. I use a soil test (soil sampled in the 'winter' - is this the
right time???) to help determine what major elements are required (Ca, P
... ). I then use a refractometer weekly to help me asses which 'variable'
nutrients (N, B, Zn, Mg, compost tea....) are needed to be applied (foliarly) to
my coffee at that particular point in the coffee's growth cycle
(vegitative growth, flowering, berry expansion...).
I don't know what your interest is, in coffee, but
I am a coffee grower in Zambia, trying to grow the healthest trees producing the
highest quality coffee bean. I have recently joined the Fukuoka group, though I
have been an avid 'lurker' on Brixtalk for a few years. I
am still learning and will listen to anyone recount their experiences or offer
As this thread was originally about a 'banana
album', FYI, I have also planted bananas by the 'Grandma White method'
below my coffee pulpery. This is to act as a water 'effluent'
sink from when we wet pulp and ferment the coffee (do you know how coffee is
processed?). I can't wait to taste my first bananas.!
Enough rambling, time for bed.
Regards to all that have read down to this point,
goodnight and blessings,
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