Re: [fukuoka_farming] hugelkultur saves the world
- Thank you, Mike, for finding the quote and taking the trouble to repeat it here. I find it frustrating that people try to promote things that are obvious steps backward here (if one has studied the basic foundation literature.) They are just creating confusion and wasting people's time, not to mention wasting fossil fuels and making an ugly mess of the landscape.
On Nov 11, 2012, at 3:50 AM, trenthillsmike wrote:
> In Fukuoka's own words,
> "Let us talk about how I went about restoring those barren mountain slopes. After the war, the technique of deeply cultivating a citrus orchard and digging holes for adding organic matter was being encouraged. When I returned from the testing centre, I tried doing this in my own orchard. After a few years I came to the conclusion that this method is not only physically exhausting, but, as far as improving the soil is concerned, is just plain useless.
> At first, I buried straw and ferns, which I had brought down, from the mountain. Carrying loads of 90 pounds and more was a big job, but after two or three years, there was not even enough humus to scoop up in my hand. The trenches I had dug to bury the organic matter caved in and turned into open pits.
> Next, I tried burying wood. It seems that straw would be the best aid for improving the soil, but judging from the amount of soil formed, wood is better. This is fine as long as there are trees to cut. However, for someone without trees nearby, it is better to grow the wood right in the orchard than to haul it from a distance.
> In my orchard, there are pines and cedar trees, a few pear trees, persimmons, loquats, Japanese cherries, and many other native varieties growing among the citrus trees. One of the most interesting trees, though not a native, is the Morishima acacia. This is the same tree I mentioned earlier in connection with ladybirds and natural
> predator protection. The wood is hard, the flowers attract bees, and the leaves are good for fodder. It helps to prevent insect damage in the orchard, acts as a windbreak, and the rhizobium bacteria living within the roots fertilize the soil.
> This tree was introduced to Japan from Australia some years ago and grows faster than any tree I have ever seen. It sends out a deep root in just a few months and in six or seven years it stands as tall as a telephone pole. In addition, this tree is a nitrogen fixer, so if 6 to 10 trees are planted to the quarter acre, soil improvement can be carried out in the deep soil strata and there is no need to break your back hauling logs down the mountain."
> --- In email@example.com, paul wheaton <paul@...> wrote:
> It was Fukuoka that tried hugelkultur and decided it was a lot of work. So he planted a nitrogen fixing tree seed and said that he would let the tree create the hugelkultur for him.
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- Hello Brian,
I much prefer to leave my logs and brush in piles where I've collected them when I need to collect them. Normally, I try to leave them where they fall. I've observed that they become magnets for insects and other wildlife as Nature does whatever she will with them. I'm only just realizing that the less that I try to do, the more that I seem to accomplish. I'm still trying to understand how that can be. I wonder if Fukuoka would see that as encapsulating do nothing.
Hugelkultur may have it's place in permaculture but I don't think that has anything to do with the essence of natural farming. I think also that using anything other than handtools gets one on a very complicated path that can't be understood. Despite our complex brains, we seem to function better by keeping life and the processes of life simple.
--- In firstname.lastname@example.org, Brian Kennedy <thefreedomofcraft1@...> wrote:
Thank you, Mike, for finding the quote and taking the trouble to repeat it here. I find it frustrating that people try to promote things that are obvious steps backward here (if one has studied the basic foundation literature.) They are just creating confusion and wasting people's time, not to mention wasting fossil fuels and making an ugly mess of the landscape.