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Re: how to start no till farming.

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  • Tom Gibson
    Fenugreek could work if you can get it established and grow it out. The goal is to develop biomass and start building up the organic matter and carbon in the
    Message 1 of 13 , Apr 12, 2010
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      Fenugreek could work if you can get it established and grow it out. The goal is to develop biomass and start building up the organic matter and carbon in the soil. 4 hectares is about 10 acres. I don't know what you have to work that much ground with but an acre is about as much as one person can do well by hand according to Elliot Coleman, author of "The New Organic Grower". That sounds about right and it might be too much to do well in the first year. Spreading yourself too thin and doing a poor job of managing your land will yield you less and create more problems than working an area very well. I would see the first year how well you do with 1/4 acre, about 100 feet square on each side. If you can do a good job of taking care of 1/4 acre you will get as good a yield as ten acres taken care of poorly.

      The big question is where are you starting with your base fertilization? You might consider using the cheapest chemical fertilizers the first few years then putting all the organic matter back in the ground. You will need less outside inputs every year and can stop using them once the soil fertility is better. Bring everything you can get for free that will help-fish or fish bones, manure from the side of the road, large piles of organic matter, etc. Just keep bringing whatever others throw away and your soil will be the richest in the area in a few years. Get animals to help you break organic matter down but don't let them be in any one place for too long. I would rather be a crazy man with rich soil than a saint living on soil that is dead and has no organic matter in it.

      Try different things as trials to see how they do but mark one area that you can easily get to every day and treat it as kindly as you would your children and spare it nothing.

      Tom

      --- In fukuoka_farming@yahoogroups.com, "G. G. Hegde" <gghegde@...> wrote:
      >
      > Hi Tom,
      >
      > As you mentioned there is no cover crop now, that is the reason i am still
      > not clear how to start.
      > Suggestion from various people is to start with a dicot over crop, mulch it
      > in a month or so and then start with sowing rice seeds.
      > Another suggestions was to start with Fenugreek and rice.
      >
    • Raju Titus
      Dear friends, There is no relation between Natural soil strength and fertilizers. Unnatural fertilizers are unable to bring Natural soil health. Fertilizers
      Message 2 of 13 , Apr 12, 2010
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        Dear friends,
        There is no relation between" Natural soil strength "and fertilizers.
        Unnatural fertilizers are unable to bring Natural soil health. Fertilizers
        known as "Orgenic" or Bio are also comes in the category of "Unnatural
        fertilizers".
        Thanks
        Raju

        On Tue, Apr 13, 2010 at 7:52 AM, Tom Gibson <camaspermaculture@...>wrote:

        >
        >
        > Fenugreek could work if you can get it established and grow it out. The
        > goal is to develop biomass and start building up the organic matter and
        > carbon in the soil. 4 hectares is about 10 acres. I don't know what you have
        > to work that much ground with but an acre is about as much as one person can
        > do well by hand according to Elliot Coleman, author of "The New Organic
        > Grower". That sounds about right and it might be too much to do well in the
        > first year. Spreading yourself too thin and doing a poor job of managing
        > your land will yield you less and create more problems than working an area
        > very well. I would see the first year how well you do with 1/4 acre, about
        > 100 feet square on each side. If you can do a good job of taking care of 1/4
        > acre you will get as good a yield as ten acres taken care of poorly.
        >
        > The big question is where are you starting with your base fertilization?
        > You might consider using the cheapest chemical fertilizers the first few
        > years then putting all the organic matter back in the ground. You will need
        > less outside inputs every year and can stop using them once the soil
        > fertility is better. Bring everything you can get for free that will
        > help-fish or fish bones, manure from the side of the road, large piles of
        > organic matter, etc. Just keep bringing whatever others throw away and your
        > soil will be the richest in the area in a few years. Get animals to help you
        > break organic matter down but don't let them be in any one place for too
        > long. I would rather be a crazy man with rich soil than a saint living on
        > soil that is dead and has no organic matter in it.
        >
        > Try different things as trials to see how they do but mark one area that
        > you can easily get to every day and treat it as kindly as you would your
        > children and spare it nothing.
        >
        > Tom
        >
        >
        > --- In fukuoka_farming@yahoogroups.com <fukuoka_farming%40yahoogroups.com>,
        > "G. G. Hegde" <gghegde@...> wrote:
        > >
        > > Hi Tom,
        > >
        > > As you mentioned there is no cover crop now, that is the reason i am
        > still
        > > not clear how to start.
        > > Suggestion from various people is to start with a dicot over crop, mulch
        > it
        > > in a month or so and then start with sowing rice seeds.
        > > Another suggestions was to start with Fenugreek and rice.
        > >
        >
        >
        >



        --
        Raju Titus. Hoshangabad.India.
        +919179738049.
        http://picasaweb.google.com/rajuktitus


        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      • G. G. Hegde
        My reply inline. This is how I am thinking, need correction/recommendation from experts. ... really get any good crop but to ensure the whole area is covered,
        Message 3 of 13 , Apr 13, 2010
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          My reply inline. This is how I am thinking, need correction/recommendation
          from experts.

          > Fenugreek could work if you can get it established and grow it out. The
          > goal is to develop biomass and start building up the organic matter and
          > carbon in the soil. 4 hectares is about 10 acres. I don't know what you have
          > to work that much ground with but an acre is about as much as one person can
          > do well by hand according to Elliot Coleman, author of "The New Organic
          > Grower". That sounds about right and it might be too much to do well in the
          > first year. Spreading yourself too thin and doing a poor job of managing
          > your land will yield you less and create more problems than working an area
          > very well. I would see the first year how well you do with 1/4 acre, about
          > 100 feet square on each side. If you can do a good job of taking care of 1/4
          > acre you will get as good a yield as ten acres taken care of poorly.
          >
          > My idea here including the whole area instead of say 1 acre was not to
          really get any good crop but to ensure the whole area is covered, this could
          be used as mulch for next harvest. I am ok even to have rice and Fenugreek
          just cover the area and grow without even giving me any returns, though i
          have not really calculated the economics to having the whole crop fail, but
          produce the biomass that would be good enough to start the winter crop. All
          my family experience is in growing areaca/coconut and little bit to paddy
          with no chemicals, and no till is definitely a experiment and way going
          forward.

          > The big question is where are you starting with your base fertilization?
          > You might consider using the cheapest chemical fertilizers the first few
          > years then putting all the organic matter back in the ground. You will need
          > less outside inputs every year and can stop using them once the soil
          > fertility is better. Bring everything you can get for free that will
          > help-fish or fish bones, manure from the side of the road, large piles of
          > organic matter, etc. Just keep bringing whatever others throw away and your
          > soil will be the richest in the area in a few years. Get animals to help you
          > break organic matter down but don't let them be in any one place for too
          > long. I would rather be a crazy man with rich soil than a saint living on
          > soil that is dead and has no organic matter in it.
          >
          My base fertilizer would be this crop itself, even otherwise, i can buy
          organic manure i.e compost made of cow dung and green leaves, this may be
          expensive to cover the whole area, may be economically viable if i get the
          good returns. Even on this land, i am sure that no chemical was used
          earlier, it was tilled earlier and exposure to rain and sun would have
          degraded fertility.

          > Try different things as trials to see how they do but mark one area that
          > you can easily get to every day and treat it as kindly as you would your
          > children and spare it nothing.
          >

          Sure, the idea is to experiment, and increase the soil fertility, will be
          going for some timber crop, some fruits and some grains and vegetables for
          economical viability in coming years. To let you know everything is in
          planning stage, created a draft of the things that i plan to execute,
          working with Kumarswamy on the forum to validate my thoughts and getting to
          learn from everyone in the forum.

          Waiting to see my thoughts put into practice. Thanks for keeping the
          discussion going.
          GG


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