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Re: [fukuoka_farming] hi stephen nasby

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  • Emilia HAZELIP
    i ve been (my computer, that is) out of service for few days: acute virus attack...(so whatever postings have been done since 11/24 i m not aware of..) about
    Message 1 of 2 , Dec 1, 2002
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      i've been (my computer, that is) out of service for few days: acute virus
      attack...(so whatever postings have been done since 11/24 i'm not aware
      of..)

      about cold soil: putting mulch without having ridges or raised beds is the
      reason ur soil keeps so cold...the colder the climat the quicker ur soil
      would warm up if detached from the general mass: there are machines to
      do -once- that heavy work of ridging or raising beds for big surfaces.

      >
      > You wrote>about the fields, the ones for pasture cannot be the same as the
      > ones for grazing...try to organize the space considering the hay that u'll
      > need for the long canadian winters.>
      >
      > I assume you mean hay and grazing pastures should be separate. We do have
      > plenty of property - 50 extra acres we haven't figured out what to do
      with -
      > so separating hay fields and pasture are not a problem. But, do you mind
      > explaining why I should do this?

      animal hoofs when the ground is wet/humid, not only compacts deeply the soil
      but squashes germinating buds...all that destroys at the short term the
      fields...if when u harvest the hay u leave a bit scatered as a surface green
      manure that will feed the soil foodweb organisms better than the manure
      droppings from the pasturing animals.

      > But still, the alfalfa was 18 inches minimum, and I only let them skim it
      a
      > couple of hours a day. Rotational grazers and books I have read, told me
      it
      > is important to rotate the hay and pasture fields and give everything a
      > chance to be grazed. What is your reason for keeping them separate?

      a quick passing when the ground is really dry & the plants neither to low
      nor to high, won't hurt the hay fields, but how often those conditions can
      be had?
      >
      > >electric fencing is the easiest way to do rotational grazing & Allan
      > >Savory's "holistic resource management" a must book for animal husbundry
      as
      > >it is André Voisin's "soil, grass & cancer" book to understand the
      reasons
      > >for the ill health of "captive" animals (u can order this from ACRES USA
      > >(info@...)>
      >
      > I used electric fencing for grazing this year - finally got a relative to
      > help me set it up - and also have Allan Savoury and Voisin's books. I try
      to
      > read all my books over the winter to refresh myself and remind me of some
      of
      > the practises I use - hard to keep everything in my head when I have too
      > many interests (maybe I need to cut back:<).
      >
      > >u may contact the Permaculture Activist for getting the names of people
      in
      > >canada involved with permaculture>

      pcactivist@... what about subscribing to their publication ?
      >
      > Thank you very much for this link!!!! I do have Bill Mollison's
      > Permaculture, but speaking to people who are practising his methods is
      very
      > helpful!!
      >
      > We did not cut our alfalfa the first year, though most do or graze it.
      Glad
      > to hear it is a good practise.
      > >From the 2nd year & beyond: give as many cuttings BEFORE THE FLOWER BUDS
      > >appear -as ur climate lets u- considering that u must allowd the plants
      to
      > >have a full growth cycle of going to flower & set the seed BEFORE first
      > >frosts >
      > On an optimal year with lots of rain, one might get two cuttings before
      > August 15th and hope it grows enough to not get root heaving or frost
      > damage, but we never have. I am really pleased to hear that we have been
      > doing something properly even though we didn't have any reason other than
      > what we felt would be best for the longevity of the field. The last two
      > years, we did one cutting in early July - but during early bloom - and
      left
      > it to grow and at least half of it went to seed in September. The reason
      all
      > of it was not able to go to seed was due to machinery break downs and
      delays
      > in harvesting.
      > As far as I understand though, you are saying we should cut BEFORE the
      > flower heads even appear, which will optimize nutrients in the hay,

      THE REASON is not so that the hay will be more nutritious but: integrating
      the plants nutritional needs as well...why exploiting one organism to
      benefit another when u can stablish a long term multy-species partnership?

      and
      > getting a smaller yield and less TDM? I am curious to know if we could get
      > two cuttings and still have it go to seed, due to the fact that we would
      be
      > cutting it even earlier than normal (before heads appear), but one could
      > experiment with a small part of the field, so they didn't compromise the
      > whole field. It is an interesting idea. Out of curiosity, I shall have to
      > look in my books at the nutrient content of alfalfa before it starts to
      head
      > out. It should be easier on our equipment also, as the alfalfa is less
      > stemmy. Are there any good reading/books/websites on your method?

      to my knowledge, not, although most of my info comes from André Voisin books
      & Marc Bonfils talks.

      > Most around here cut alfalfa at 100% bloom to get more hay and end up with
      a
      > lesser quality that is hard and stemmy. Only people feeding dairy cows go
      > for the higher nutrients but less total hay. As we drove to church today,
      I
      > noticed that everybody's hay fields are down to the dirt (1-2 inches high
      at
      > most), and the cows are still grazing them. But their stands are lucky to
      > last 2-3 years before needing re-vamping, and they are the ones telling me
      I
      > am going to destroy my fields with lack of care!
      > Do you apply any type of fertilizer to your hay fields - ie manure etc? If
      > you are always taking away in the form of hay, does it not compromise the
      > health of the field and lower nutrients?

      by the cartesian/newtonian logic plants deplete soils fertility...but since
      plants 95% nutrition comes from the atmospheric gasses & sunlight, from the
      moment the cutting hay times respects the plants physiology, that the field
      management respects soil's non-compacting needs & that an slight amount of
      hay is left as mulch at the fields, just the microbial population corpses
      underground will leave over 2tons/ Ha(2acres1/2)/year of "manure" within the
      soil, without counting the fertility given by the
      night-crawlers-earthworms...what destroys hay fields & pastures is
      overcutting, overgrazing & compaction, but not the careful grazing or
      mindful hay harvesting.

      Do you do soil testing to determine
      > the initial fertility of the field?

      u can tell the quality of a field just by the diversity & vitality of the
      plants in it

      > Also, you mentioned
      > "when u do the last cutting, having seeds in it, new plants have the
      > possibility to start their life cycle so that u'll have a permanent field
      of
      > multiage plants..."
      > Are you actually cutting the alfalfa going to seed and letting it lie,

      u can harvest all the last cuting, seeds will drop by themselves on the
      field, "older" hay can be mixed with the greener one or lactic fermented for
      winter keeping

      or do
      > you let it stand and fall over naturally? I figured running our mower over
      > the 40 acres again to mulch the standing hay, would not be helping the
      soil
      > in any way (just more compaction), so I let it stand and mulch naturally.
      It
      > also catches more snow and the wind isn't able to blow it away - we get
      > severe winds in the winter that blow snow and topsoil all over.

      Rolling it over after seed maturing with a light, or wide type wheels
      machine, will nourrish soil's foodweb instead of the birds while protecting
      the soil...
      >
      > >grains raising: for ur climate u may also try the Bonfils method:
      permanent
      > >cereal field with no-till involved for cold climates.>
      >
      > This isn't a no-till with herbicide method is it? It is getting popular
      > around here to go to no till, but the herbicides they use!!!!

      Ecological No-Till doesn't uses fertilizers, herbicides or pesticides,
      although it can utilize the same type of mecanization
      >
      > >fruit trees: starting them "on site" -at their final place- won't cost
      much
      > >money & it's the (almost) only way to give to the trees their double root
      > >system>
      >
      > Do you mean starting from seed? We usually buy year old trees from
      > nurseries. Do trees transplanted only have a single root system -

      YES! any removed young tree from it's birth ground loosses its "tap" root
      for ever...even if u had a lot of info, this one is seldom given either in
      the organic books or the conventional ones, the omission is capital since
      once a tree lacks it's double feeding root system dependency on us &
      sickness follows...

      I admit to
      > being sadly lacking when it comes to information on fruit trees.
      >
      > >animal power...a most efficient way to compact soils>
      >
      > I try to use animal power to haul hay etc, and think it is more
      beneficial -
      > besides healthier for environment - than using a truck or tractor.

      If u move around with horses (they are the worst!) when ur soil is wet/damp
      the compaction that they are doing is unfortunately worst for the soil/the
      environment than the other alternatives...(& don't forget that big animals
      release also a lot of methane gas...)

      > I have a question for anybody who wants to comment. Our soil here is
      > notoriously low in trace minerals, especially in selenium. Though I
      > supplement with natural minerals, I have had a few problems with white
      > muscle disease - selenium deficiency - and am not able to find any help on
      > restoring the minerals to the soil naturally. Nobody I talk to has any
      > advice or help, and says once the minerals are gone, they are gone for
      good
      > unless you apply them in the form of chemicals. Also, nobody is familiar
      > with restoring trace minerals, just nitrogen, phosphorus, etc. I am trying
      > to grow some high selenium herbs for my animals, though I do not
      understand
      > how selenium deficient soil can grow herbs that are higher in selenium -

      another book worth it's reading is Ch.Louis Kervran "Biological
      Transmutations", as well as J.A.Cocannouer "Weeds Guardians of the
      soil"...u'll understand how a plant grows where it lacks some mineral &
      leaves behind in its tissues what wasn't there... grow comfrey plants to
      feed ur deficient soil as well as to feed ur animals...u can eat it too!
      emilia
    • tiakd14477
      ... to low nor to high, won t hurt the hay fields, but how often those conditions can be had? We live in quite a dry area where having the ground really dry
      Message 2 of 2 , Dec 2, 2002
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        > a quick passing when the ground is really dry & the plants neither
        to low nor to high, won't hurt the hay fields, but how often those
        conditions can be had?>
        We live in quite a dry area where having the ground really dry
        happens too often. RE. the height of the hay fields is different but
        can be managed. I didn't allow my cows out till mid June this year,
        because of the slow growth of the fields, and it being too dry as
        that will wreck the ground also by churning it to dust. And then they
        are also locked out of pasture areas when we get lots of rain because
        they do damage to the soil and grass. I am raising a miniature breed
        of cow which do less damage than the larger breeds of livestock,
        though they still do enough damage.

        > u can harvest all the last cuting, seeds will drop by themselves on
        the field, "older" hay can be mixed with the greener one or lactic
        fermented for winter keeping>
        The only problem I see with harvesting the last cutting is that by
        the time our alfalfa has gone to seed, there is nothing but stalk
        left which the animals will not eat - at least my animals do not eat
        the old, hard stems. So if I do not care to harvest the last cutting
        for hay (which I would think is even more beneficial by allowing the
        seeds, leaves AND stalks to remain in the field), I believe you are
        recommending flattening/rolling it somehow vs leaving it standing. If
        I let it stand, within a year the stalks have been squished over or
        flattened by the weight of the winter snow, but then I am losing the
        seeds to some birds?
        What type of machine are you referring to that rolls it? Some type of
        vehicle? Everything we own is very heavy, so I don't know what a
        person could drive over it to flatten it somewhat which wouldn't do
        serious compaction to the soil.

        > If u move around with horses (they are the worst!) when ur soil is
        wet/damp the compaction that they are doing is unfortunately worst
        for the soil/the environment than the other alternatives...(& don't
        forget that big animals release also a lot of methane gas...)>
        I try not to drive or haul anything when it is wet, but as we don't
        get a tremendous amount of moisture, that isn't usually a problem. I
        don't believe my horse's hooves have more impact than my heavy truck
        for hauling manure or hay, and I believe the truck releases a lot
        more junk into the air than any of my animals do, but if you choose
        to do it another way, that is your choice, and I have a great respect
        for your advice and help. I try to use my own energy as much as
        possible by hauling a small sled with runners behind me, but
        sometimes a little more strength is needed than I have. But I do haul
        the daily hay/straw to the animals by myself and also haul manure off
        by hand.

        >Ch.Louis Kervran "Biological Transmutations". . .Cocannouer "Weeds
        Guardians of the soil"...u'll understand how a plant grows where it
        lacks some mineral & leaves behind in its tissues what wasn't
        there... grow comfrey plants to feed ur deficient soil as well as to
        feed ur animals...u can eat it too!>
        Thank you for these book recommendations which will help me
        understand the herbalists viewpoints.
        Regards
        Heather
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