Re: [fukuoka_farming] slopes & what came first, the chicken or the egg?
- LIFEFULL NEW YEAR TO ALL!
about the new poll: who has set it up? wouldn't it be the guy who has bought the name & he now wants a lot of money to sell it?
heather, the books permaculture 1 & 2 they were addressed to southern hemisphere readers & when they say north: to us it means south...to avoid this communicating problem between hemispheres, afterwards it was choosen the term: winter sun/summer sun, no longer mentionning north
marc bonfils hasn't published a single thing...in france, the non-profit organization "las encantadas" have made accessible through photocopies some of his work written by him as simple notes & translated to english the reports of 2 students attending one of his workshops...personnaly i had the luck of having many conversations with him & learned a great deal this way.
concerning the management of perennial forage plants, as i mentioned on another posting:
"about alfalfa...(or any other perennial legume) if u want to allowd them long & healthy life: the first year of implantation don't give them ANY cutting until they've gone, not only to flower but to seed (at this growth phase the young roots receive plant nutrients when they need it most, at their beguinning of perennial life: potentially up to 2O years if respecting their growing needs...)
That is only for the first year.
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 (during this time the plant is feeding its perennial roots & making nutrient reserves for strong spring pick up) BEFORE first frosts...(in canada u may only can have one cutting..., in the canary islands they can make 13...) if u handle ur alfalfa this way it will last for ever without having to touch the field again: as 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 multiaged plants..."
the reasons...if one is considering the global health of a system, one cannot only evaluate one isolated component...so, an alfalfa field will be able to fonction healthly for many many years if the "manager" respects it's own physiological needs...perhaps the first cutting before budding wont be as proteinically rich as if it contained the "energy sap" for its own reproduction...but at the long term the global benefit to the animals, the plants & u, will be superior (& if u want that feed to be richer in protein: border ur field with comfrey & mix the cutted leaves to the animal feed...)
one thing for sure: when one is doing something new, u'll be surrounded by people sapping ur energy with the comments of their doubts...it takes not only courage but a deep need to go in a different direction than mainstream to persevere in an heretical doing...
concerning raised beds: i've have made them up as high as 5Ocm tall with no need to support them with anything: just give them a pyramidal slant to the slopes, they will crumble a bit to beguin with but they stabilize in time.
in cold climates the soil warms up much faster in raised beds as by being detached from the main surface they don't have to wait for the whole soil mass to warm up to get that raised soil with a warmer t°. the paths must be as well with mulch: sawdust is the most appropriate for this need, in ur climate it doesn't need to be too thick, but enough to make the walking "soft".
...for those among this group that are so certain that the human species biocidal manifestations comes from our deep nature rather than from superimposed pathological cultural hypnosis: i'll insist the recommendation for their reading of a most important book: "evolution of the brain: creation of the self" ( routledge publishing house) by the neurologist (& medecine nobel price) john c. eccles...
contrary to well believed brainwash: our brains physiologically are programmed for friendly social interactions...but the early educational traumatisms imposed by the customs of many cultures start the pathological behaviour but that only happens on the cultures that have pathological social "traditions"...
many many human cultures have (& somewhere may still be) fonctionning manifesting life respect...no abuses justified etc.etc. comming to final conclusions about "humans" without acknowledging their existence is in my opinion: an act of facistic arrogance...& concerning one of those cultures with which i been in contact their traditionnal diet in spite of being "opportunistic": eating what the environment offers: meat when they can, eggs, some larvas, diverse plants, etc. their social behaviour is a most impressive achievement of human kindness & so peaceful that as a whole culture the nobel peace price should be given to them (before the last members of them gets genocided...) i'm talking about the "bushmen" of southern africa...
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- Emilia, thanks for letting me know about the hemisphere information.
I was finding it a bit confusing, but now I understand.
I actually haven't come across a single person here who has
been uninterested in your suggestions on alfalfa, they just were
trying to understand how it worked. Your explanations make complete
sense now. I had been wondering if the cuttings after the alfalfa
flowered were depleting the plants of something, and you helped me
to understand with your explanation of "energy sap". Now I
understand why everybody here has to re-plant every 3-5 years when
they farm conventionally.
Re. comfrey. I have read over and over how if you plant
comfrey, it goes crazy and can't be contained and actually becomes a
weed. I want to plant a fair bit for supplementing the animal's
diets, and for use in the garden, but am hesitant on where to plant
because of the warnings. Any comments? I have a few other "pesky
weeds" that the animals enjoy and haven't gone rampant yet, but no
experience with comfrey. I'm going to have to start doing some more
research on it.
Re. raised beds. Out of curiosity, how wide are your paths? How
far down did you dig the soil in the paths to apply it to the beds:
just the topsoil level? Do your 5 foot beds account for the sloping
sides, or do you have 5 feet of top and then the sides slope? You
don't find 5 feet is hard to work with? Everybody recommends 3-4 and
I did four, though if I am making slanting sides, 5 might be better.
When you mention planting lettuces etc to the sides of the bed, am I
right in thinking you are planting in the pyramid slope? Or is that
Do you have any objections to bringing in some soil/compost/manure
from elsewhere on the property to raise the beds up? And if somebody
is making new beds on existing sod, do you recommend bringing in
just soil or a mix of soil, manures, compost etc?
Does anybody find it matters which direction the beds are planted -
ie. east west vs. north/south?
Does anybody here have all Bill Mollison's books? Do you think they
are all helpful? I'm just trying to determine whether or not I want
to purchase permaculture 1 and 2 and would love anybody's input on
And if anybody wishes me to, I will take my questions to Emilia
privately and not use the list, if some of the questions are not on-