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About rye and natural agriculture

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  • Karri Varpio
    For those interested in rye as cover crop and no-till planting, check www.newfarm.org/index.shtml. For those interested in Shumei natural agriculture, check
    Message 1 of 3 , Sep 24, 2003
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      For those interested in rye as cover crop and no-till planting, check
      www.newfarm.org/index.shtml.
      For those interested in Shumei natural agriculture, check
      www.newfarm.org/index.shtml.

      Karri
    • Robert Monie
      Hi Karri, Thanks for the information. Several other farmers have been using rye cover crops and no-till with commercial success, most notably Steve Groff at
      Message 2 of 3 , Sep 25, 2003
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        Hi Karri,

        Thanks for the information. Several other farmers have been using rye cover crops and no-till with commercial success, most notably Steve Groff at Cedar Meadow Farm in Pennsylania and Edie Dasher at Golden Harvest. Groff grows pumpkins, tomatoes, and many other fruits and vegetables in a 25 lb. vetch to 30 lb rye cover-crop mix. See http://www.cedarmeadowfarm.com .


        The Shumei "natural agriculture" is often called "nature farming" to distinguish it from Fukuoka's "natural" farming. Ms. Hamilton's three-part journalistic coverage of the Shumei approach has much "human interest" and presents the broad philosophy of following nature's way as closely as possible with no amendements, biological controls, or fertilizers, but after reading it, I must say I that cannot picture clearly just what these farmers are growing or what they are doing to get it to grow. Avoidance alone is only avoidance. You can't eat avoidance. If Farmer X grows 10 bushels of barley and 16 bushels of cowpeans on X square feet of land, it is nice to see exactly that. If someone tells me that Shinto produced this result, I will smile and bow. If someone tells me that Zen, or Catholicism, or Confucianism, or Gnosticism, or Zoroasterism or Epicurian Atomistic Materialism produced it, I will do the same. But it is really the results and the human interaction with the land
        that interest me, not the "isms."

        A refreshing quality of the Shumei series is its willingness to confront the very modest yields that nature farming seems to be acheiving. The author admits that the Shumei farms do not look very productive, but the Shumei go on growing food their way anyway. Sustainable agriculture may be worth pursuing even if it doesn't give heavy yields per acre (or square foot). A lifestyle in which we don't all have three or four SUVs in every driveway or refrigerators and freezers bursting with surplus that we never really need may not be so bad after all.


        The quality of the food grown and its adequacy in sustaining health and well-being may be much more important than the quantity of the yield. Steve Diver runs a tangent to this topic in his thread "Men Say No, But Mice Know the Difference," which suggests that the more natural kinds of gardening/farming and plant-breeding may produce aromatic plants that livestock and other animals (including the human "animal") naturally prefer. To read this entertaining exchange between Steve and others just go to Google.com and search for "Men Say No, But Mice Know the Difference."

        Bob Monie, who on a good day might know the difference too, in
        Southeast Louisiana, Zone 8, with two Roma tomatoes still ripening on the vine in late September.

        For those interested in rye as cover crop and no-till planting, check
        www.newfarm.org/index.shtml.
        For those interested in Shumei natural agriculture, check
        www.newfarm.org/index.shtml.

        Karri




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      • les landeck
        good site Karri Thank You. ... __________________________________ Do you Yahoo!? The New Yahoo! Shopping - with improved product search
        Message 3 of 3 , Sep 25, 2003
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          good site Karri Thank You.
          --- Karri Varpio <karri.varpio@...> wrote:
          > For those interested in rye as cover crop and
          > no-till planting, check
          > www.newfarm.org/index.shtml.
          > For those interested in Shumei natural agriculture,
          > check
          > www.newfarm.org/index.shtml.
          >
          > Karri
          >
          >
          >
          > ------------------------ Yahoo! Groups Sponsor
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          > To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to:
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          >
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