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Books, beds and stars

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  • Larry Haftl
    Hi all, I also took Robert Monie s advice and ordered the Weedless Gardening book. Should get it and have it read by the end of this month, and would love to
    Message 1 of 5 , Apr 6 7:27 PM
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      Hi all,

      I also took Robert Monie's advice and ordered the "Weedless Gardening" book.
      Should get it and have it read by the end of this month, and would love to
      have an online discussion of it as Robert suggested (great idea - internet
      book club discussion). So far there is Robert, Gloria and myself... anyone
      else care to get the book and join in the discussion (not necessary to read
      the book in order to comment, but I suspect it would help). And does anyone
      object to doing this on this list? If so, I can easily set up a separate
      mailing list for anyone who wants to participate, but I think it might be
      more valuable to have this kind of discussion here.

      Unrelated to that... I had a thought about the projects section of the
      website that I would like to bounce off of you all. Several people have
      written to me off-list about liking the projects section but being reluctant
      to have an entry for them because they don't have an extensive natural
      garden going. I got to thinking about this and thought why not use this
      section to include anyone on the list who is trying to implement a natural
      garden no matter what size. It could be sort of a electronic garden tour to
      see what people are doing, and a way to spur conversation about experiences.
      We can post photos, other documents, and links in the section that can be
      easily accessed without going through YaHell
      registration/cookies/advertising. Or maybe think of each entry as something
      like a journal of how each person is going about tring to implement
      Fukuoka's (or something very much like Fukuoka's) method. Those of you who
      have a lot of information to share but don't have a website to do it with
      could use this section to do that. Make it much more useful and somewhat
      interactive. What do you all think?

      And unrelated to all of that... had a small mental breakthrough last night
      and thought I would share it with you all for comment.

      As I mentioned before, I am about to make some raised beds. The question of
      how to keep weeds and grass from completely taking over the newly made raw
      beds has been nagging at me. I'll have plenty of straw to cover them, but
      that presents a couple of problems: will keep the soil from warming up, and
      will make it hard for direct-seeded plants to get enough light/heat to
      germinate/sprout/grow.

      I was feeling really stressed about getting these beds made because it's
      still too wet out there and I kept feeling that I was getting behind the
      curve on the coming growing season. Then I was doing some reading/thinking
      and realized I didn't have to rush to get the beds in now. I can put them in
      at the end of this month and still be in good shape. The key came while I
      was making up a list of planting dates for various veggies. Last frost date
      here is about April 22, and so I wanted to get the beds in before then. And
      the question about keeping weeds from overrunning the new beds kept nagging
      at me. I got to thinking of alternatives to the straw mulch and buckwheat
      reared it's head. I can sow buckwheat as soon as I make the beds and cut it
      down in time for the main planting season (starting about June 1). There may
      be some allelopathic drawback, but it seems minimal.

      What really changed was that I slid my focus to long-term instead of
      immediate. If I'm making these beds for the first time I should not expect
      them to be immediately productive. If I don't think in terms of getting
      something from them this year but primarily getting the beds in good shape
      for next year things started to fall into place. I can spend this coming
      growing season building the soil qualities for future use rather than for
      immediate use. I can put in rotations of plants to build soil health/tilth
      rather than to produce a lot of food this year. I probably should have
      thought this way from the beginning, but as I mentioned before it sometimes
      takes time for ideas to get through my thick skull, and it seems like there
      is always this urge to see something produce now to "justify" the time,
      effort and money going into the garden. Increasing soil health is not very
      visible, unless you measure it by what is growing, and so it is so easy to
      focus on what is growing rather than what is happening underneath them.

      Sorry to ramble on about this. Just seemed like something worth mentioning.


      Larry Haftl
      larry@...
      http://LarryHaftl.com
      http://FukuokaFarmingOL.net
    • sethwai
      Hi Larry, Great idea to have a place where we can discuss our farms/gardens as we evolve (hopefully) towards natural farming. Count me in. I have read the
      Message 2 of 5 , Apr 7 9:41 AM
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        Hi Larry,

        Great idea to have a place where we can discuss our farms/gardens
        as we evolve (hopefully) towards natural farming. Count me in.

        I have read the Weedless Gardening Book. I don't remember being
        all that impressed with it. Still I may have picked up a few good
        ideas from it. I look at gardening books like I do cookbooks. If I
        get 1 or 2 good ideas from them I'm happy.

        I seeded parsnips, spinach and sweet clover in the coop garden
        this weekend. The sweet clover is for the beekeeper's bees and the
        soil. The spinach and parsnip are in alternating rows. Sometime
        after the spinach is harvested I'll plant oats or millet that will
        winter kill a mulch on top of the parsnips. They'll be harvested
        next spring. Spring parsnips are soooooo sweet. I used a u-bar on
        the beds to loosen them up a bit w/o seriously harming them.
        Eventually, this tool will also not be used. Unfortunately, the
        other coop members are used to rototilling and are bit perplexed on
        how one can farm w/o tilling. I also realized this weekend that some
        people really enjoy all the digging of the soil regardless of whether
        it is actually beneficial.

        Lew
      • J. P.
        ... Should get it and have it read by the end of this month, and would love to have an online discussion of it as Robert suggested (great idea - internet book
        Message 3 of 5 , Apr 7 10:29 AM
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          >>>"Weedless Gardening" book.
          Should get it and have it read by the end of this month, and would love to
          have an online discussion of it as Robert suggested (great idea - internet
          book club discussion). So far there is Robert, Gloria and myself... anyone
          else care to get the book and join in the discussion (not necessary to read
          the book in order to comment, but I suspect it would help). And does anyone
          object to doing this on this list? If so, I can easily set up a separate
          mailing list for anyone who wants to participate, but I think it might be
          more valuable to have this kind of discussion here.

          I for one would like to hear what you think of a book of that title. it
          sounds fascinating. My opinion is, have the book discussion on-list. I
          must comment however, that the same guy apparently wrote a book on Pruning
          (which Amazon will sell you in a package deal with Weedless Gardening), so
          the author is clearly not all-Fukuoka in approach.

          Joanne
          Los Angeles, CA
        • Beatrice Gilboa
          Hi Larry and all, ... else care to get the book and join in the discussion (not necessary to read the book in order to comment, but I suspect it would help).
          Message 4 of 5 , Apr 8 1:34 AM
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            Hi Larry and all,

            >> So far there is Robert, Gloria and myself... anyone
            else care to get the book and join in the discussion (not necessary to read the book in order to comment, but I suspect it would help).
            And does anyone object to doing this on this list?

            - Ready to hear-read your comments and discussion, on this list.
            But really no time at the moment to read this book.

            BTW I'll be off line again from friday until the end of this month.
            So don't expect any of my numerous comments on the list for this period of time <VBG>


            >> about the projects section of the website that I would like to bounce off of you all. Several people have written to me off-list about liking the projects section but being reluctant to have an entry for them because they don't have an extensive natural garden going.

            - After my star representing a so small garden anyone can take the jump!


            >> It could be sort of a electronic garden tour to see what people are doing, and a way to spur conversation about experiences.

            - Isn't it a great idea to go a bit beyond the words, or to help the words by the image?
            ... without cloging the help of you, Larry, of course!


            >> We can post photos, other documents, and links in the section that can be easily accessed without going through YaHell
            registration/cookies/advertising. Or maybe think of each entry as something like a journal of how each person is going about tring to implement Fukuoka's (or something very much like Fukuoka's) method. Those of you ...//...Those of you who have a lot of information to share but don't have a website to do it with could use this section to do that. Make it much more useful and somewhat
            interactive. What do you all think?

            - I agree whith you. It's a good idea if you're thinking it's not a problem for you, and if we can trust you saying "No" or "help!" when it's becoming too much of work rather than pleasure. No idea or comment about YaHell <g>


            >> I am about to make some raised beds. The question of
            how to keep weeds and grass from completely taking over the newly made raw beds has been nagging at me

            - personnaly, I don't bother too much and cut them quite short (that what I was going to do on the photo was taken -a bit late because of my absence) and lift them Only if there are really too close to the veggies I'm growing.


            >> I can spend this coming growing season building the soil qualities for future use rather than for immediate use.


            - That what I thought for my own small peace of garden and the soil is already "greatfull" as I'm myself for it which is surprising me for its growing capacity to keep moister. Beds are building themself much quicker than I thought... With the help of weeds and grass cuted (before they are in bud or in bloom) among other organic waste.

            With your climate (that I'm more used than mine now) I would'nt mulch heavily before mid-May.. or would try to mulch one bed with a big cover of various mulch and another whith almost no mulch until the soil has warmed up. A way to not choose in advance but to try the short term vision AND the long term vision.

            Best wishes to you and all
            Beatrice
            Israel

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          • Beatrice Gilboa
            ... (which Amazon will sell you in a package deal with Weedless Gardening),so the author is clearly not all-Fukuoka in approach. Interesting to know that,
            Message 5 of 5 , Apr 8 2:05 AM
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              >>the same guy apparently wrote a book on Pruning
              (which Amazon will sell you in a package deal with Weedless Gardening),so the author is clearly not all-Fukuoka in approach.

              Interesting to know that, Joanne
              Udim, Israƫl
              site web(URL): http://perso.wanadoo.fr/beagil/




              >>"Weedless Gardening" book.
              the same guy apparently wrote a book on Pruning
              (which Amazon will sell you in a package deal with Weedless Gardening), so the author is clearly not all-Fukuoka in approach.

              Interesting to know Joannes. Thanks.
              But I'm still ready to read your comment on it...
              with this on background, but keeping my mind open.
              or as Paul says:
              "I am certainly interested in hearing more comments as others read the book" but I'll not read it directly <g>

              Beatrice
              Israel


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