RE : [fukuoka_farming] on the ground
What is the "marc" which Jamie is using ?
De : Larry Haftl [mailto:larry@...]
Envoy� : samedi 5 avril 2003 09:46
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Objet : [fukuoka_farming] on the ground
And to keep the balance between philosophy and practicallity...
Actually trying to apply Fukuoka-san's principles is NOT easy. I'm all
charged up, plan firmly in hand, ready to start turning my weed patch
natural garden and all I'm getting is rain again. I'm ready to start
the raised beds but when I go out to the area the ground keeps yelling
NOT YET! I'M TOO WET!
I finally decided to use grass straw for mulch and the core of some of
beds. The decision was made because that is what I have readily
me (farmer down the road who doesn't use herbicides has bales at a
reasonable price). The recent discussion on mulch alternative was really
thought-provoking, but I think what it ultimately comes down to is what
available that is suitable. In my case it was the grass straw. In
was the marc (boy I wish I had some of that available here). Others use
leaves (almost all of my trees are evergreens). I might have been able
get something more "exotic" such as hardwood chips or rice hulls or
whatever, but they would not have been from a local source and would
cost a lot more. As it is, the farmer is going to drop some bales off at
place as he takes a load up to the local feed store.
I still have a lot of grasses and weeds in the yard, but the problem has
diminished greatly when I realized that I didn't have a yard full of
I had a yard full of forage for the chickens (and now I've got 58
old chickens about to be put to work as organic lawnmowers). I still
lot of grass encroachment on the raised beds area, but I'm hoping that
straw mulch and rotated cover crops will keep the wild grasses and weeds
from totally dominating that area. I finally decided that I will always
some weeds and wild grasses and that is OK. I'll just have to learn how
collaborate with them to make us all happy.
One thing I keep realizing is that "this is now and that is then". By
mean that it is very natural for vegetation to change over time as
conditions change. If I don't particularly like what I've got right now
doesn't worry me too much as I know that what I will have will be
from what is there now. This is true whether I do something to an area
not, so all I plan to do is to see if I can encourage the changes to
in something more edible/beneficial than what is there now. I think the
lies in thinking about it all in terms of years rather than seasons, and
influencing rather than controlling how and where it is going.
Something else quite unexpected has also crept into all of this. Seed
saving. When I started to think of growing things from seed to seed
(self-sustainability) there was a very subtle shift in the way I thought
about growing anything. Fits right in with that collaboration versus
thing. It's one thing to plant and grow something in order to harvest
edible parts, and something quite different to grow something not only
edible parts, but also to enable the plant to reproduce for next season
year (and the one after that and the one after that). Changes not only
you will plant/cultivate but also what you will plant. When I let my
really go on this I got to the point where I'm even willing to plant
seeds knowing that the seeds they produce will not bear similar plants
time. Adds a very delightful and adventurous element to the mix.
And almost completely unrelated to all of that... ducks and geese need
water. It is not healthy or natural for them to live without a pond or
of some sort. And when you raise ducks or geese or chickens for food
are not friends or pets. They are food. My chickens will be able to live
rich, natural, protected, and stressless a life as I can possibly
for them all the way to my freezer.
And finally, I apologize for not updating the website very much of late.
really has been a very busy time and something had to drop down on the
priority list. But thanks to the rain and finishing all of the rush
articles, I'll be trying to catch up this weekend.
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