Re: [fukuoka_farming] Agroforestry in a Nutshell | Center For Deep Ecology
- Here is his book Restoration Agriculture
On Sat, Mar 23, 2013 at 5:57 AM, Sumant Joshi <sumant_jo@...> wrote:
> Very interesting indeed!! especially Sheppard's ideas and the food forest.
> This is real long term sustainability. Unless people adopt these new memes,
> it is indeed going to be very difficult if not calamitous for many
> societies. Sheppard's forest is what I call 'pockets of sustainability'.
> I like this ""There are two problems with agriculture - even organic
> agriculture," said Shepard recently on the phone. "You are either trying to
> keep something alive that wants to die, or you are trying to kill something
> that wants to stay alive."
> When these things really catch on, the 'conventional' economy is going to
> take a hit
> Sent from my BSNL landline B-fone
> Warm regards,
> Sumant Joshi
> Tel - 09370010424, 0253-2361161
> > From: Ohnwentsya <dorianeldritch@...>
> >To: firstname.lastname@example.org
> >Sent: Saturday, 23 March 2013 1:40 AM
> >Subject: [fukuoka_farming] Agroforestry in a Nutshell | Center For Deep
> >I got this on another list I read, and it seems like this person is
> following Fukuoka's work to some degree, even tho he is not mentioned. I
> like the mention of following the ecosystem that was present in the area
> prior to colonization as a map-it seems like if we work with what is
> natural for the area we can more easily overcome the obstacles.
> >I guess the trick would be in places that have been under cultivation for
> millenia, to discover what that original ecosystem was, tho maybe it is
> represented in smaller areas that were not disturbed for whatever reason?
> >I got a book called "Priceless Florida" that goes into detail on each of
> the dominant ecosystems that were present here(and still are in more
> fragmented form) and how they work, what plants and animals are endemic to
> them etc. I don't know if such books exist for all areas but where they are
> available they could be very helpful to overcoming things like the cover
> crop issue that has been discussed here.
> >If you can discover what covered the ground before it was disturbed, even
> if that plant is not easy to establish again in the disturbed state you
> would know the characteristics that are most adapted to the soil and
> rainfall etc. and it might be possible to find things that would replace
> the hard to eradicate weed grasses but be beneficial, even if they were
> native to somewhere else.
> >Where I live is beach sand and is considered part of the "back dune"
> environment, basically a transition area between the beach and the open
> Pine forest ecosystem that once covered most upland areas. Annual crop type
> agriculture is near impossible, but Surinam cherries, citrus, carambola,
> loquat and many other tropical and subtropical fruit trees survive with no
> inputs and thrive with a little attention. The only groundcovers that
> succeed here are beach plants and desert plants-except of course where
> people have watering systems, add fertilizer etc.
> >Agroforestry in a Nutshell
> >Posted on March 12, 2013 by C4DE
> >"Invest in the millennium. Plant sequoias," said farmer and author
> Wendell Berry.
> >Or, if you're Mark Shepard, plant chestnuts. For Shepard, the owner of
> New Forest Farm and a farming consultant, the long-lived perennial trees
> are a central feature in the ideal farm landscape. Annuals - i.e. corn,
> soybeans, and many other vegetables that have to be planted and harvested
> every year - are labor-intensive and come with steep environmental costs
> such as erosion, soil degradation, and nutrient runoff. So permaculturists
> like Shepard see planting fruit and nut trees and other perennials - which
> only need to be planted once, and then, once mature, continue to produce
> year after year - as a key to sustainable food systems. His 106-acre farm
> in southwestern Wisconsin is filled with hazelnuts, chestnuts, pine nuts,
> currants, berries, apples, and much more.
> >Shepard calls his approach "restoration agriculture" (that's also the
> name of his recently published book), and his hope is to mimic nature as
> much as possible to produce high-quality crops while restoring the health
> and fertility of the land.
> >"There are two problems with agriculture - even organic agriculture,"
> said Shepard recently on the phone. "You are either trying to keep
> something alive that wants to die, or you are trying to kill something that
> wants to stay alive."
> >Using a method he fondly calls "STUN" - sheer, total, utter neglect -
> Shepard propagates varieties of fruit and nut trees that produce edibles
> early and often, and continue to thrive in an agriculture system that, once
> planted, mostly gets ignored until it's time to harvest. If the plants
> can't naturally stand up against the vagaries of disease, pests, and
> weather, Shepard yanks them out. The resilient ones are bred and planted.
> >Instead of endless rows of industrially managed corn and soybeans,
> Shepard utilizes a permaculture technique known as the keyline system to
> create a series of berms and swales - glorified drain ditches, really - to
> capture and retain rainwater. From above, the miles of swales feeding
> hundreds of thousands of thirsty trees and other perennial crops look like
> mythic crop circles.
> >"The trees are the producers of the staple crops," says Shepard.
> "Chestnuts are nutritionally equivalent to brown rice and similar to corn.
> Hazelnuts have three times the oil-per-kernel weight and a similar protein
> profile [as] soybeans. Plus we have the nutshells, which can be burned in a
> pellet stove or gasified to generate electricity."
> >Shepard uses the oak savannah ecosystem - which covered much of the
> Midwest prior to European settlement - as an ecological model for his farm.
> Beside larger fruit and nut trees, like apple, mulberry, and pine nut, he
> grows shrubs like nanking cherry and hazelnut. Berry patches border the
> forest while other edibles - asparagus, winter squash, or green peppers -
> fill in the alleys between each row of trees in an agroforestry practice
> that's referred to as "alley cropping."
> >"We used to grow all kinds of annual produce but we are doing less and
> less of that now since our woody crops [fruit and nut perennials] started
> producing. When we first began, we were relying on the alley crops for cash
> flow but [we're] now moving more toward grazing," says Shepard.
> >Multi-species grazing on silvopasture - the intentional combination of
> livestock, forage, and trees on grass - now plays an essential part in the
> operation. Cattle and pigs eat the grass under the trees as well as
> whatever fruits and nuts that are not harvested for market sales or the
> on-farm cidery where apples and other fruits are pressed, fermented, and
> sold as hard cider. Because the livestock, nuts, and fruits are integrated
> into the same plot, they complement each other, much like the parts of a
> forest do, rather than competing for space, nutrients, water, etc.
> >While New Forest Farm is still trying to perfect its system, Shepard
> believes the farm can support up to 100 cattle, 200 hogs, 200 sheep, and
> thousands of turkeys and chickens. Raising animals in this way has the
> potential to revolutionize food systems that are dependent on feeding corn,
> soybeans, and other grain-based feeds to animals in confinement.
> >"We've generated numbers that show our system is capable of out-yielding
> corn by 30 percent on calories per acre," says Shepard. "And as far as
> nutrition per acre, it's off the charts. Then throw in the fact that the
> whole system is perennial - we don't have any more planting costs,
> maintenance costs are minimal, no pest or disease control, no [fertilizer]
> >As animal feed costs are rising because of the record droughts in the
> Midwest, Shepard stands to do really well raising livestock this way. He
> gives his large animals a little grain with vitamin supplements (his steer
> gets only three cups of grain a day, whereas conventionally raised steers
> need as much as 25 pounds of grain feed a day). Shepard plans to quadruple
> the number of animals on his farm next year.
> >The idea, eventually, is to have cattle, chickens, hogs, sheep, and
> turkeys in a leader-follower system - all of the animals will be kept in
> small paddocks and moved frequently to aggressively trample-graze the
> alleys between trees and shrubs.
> >Due to this year's drought, Shepard's apples were nonexistent and the
> chestnuts and hazelnuts were way down. But the farm has a large variety of
> crops that produce at different times and thrive in multiple climatic
> conditions. He believes this approach will be crucial for farmers facing
> the unpredictable, potentially destructive weather of the future. "This
> summer was the driest on record in our part of Wisconsin and we had the
> finest cattle and hogs we've ever had," he says.
> >Source: Grist
> >This entry was posted in Permaculture, Solutions and tagged Chestnut,
> Food Forest, Hazelnut, Mark Shepard, New Forest Farm, Permaculture,
> Restoration Agriculture. Bookmark the permalink.
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