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Re: [fukuoka_farming] New Beginnings

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  • cliff davis
    hi everyone, i have a garden system that mimics or trying to mimic Emilia Hazelips. We have been gardening with this system for a few years now and there is
    Message 1 of 12 , Jan 24, 2006
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      hi everyone, i have a garden system that mimics or trying to mimic Emilia Hazelips. We have been gardening with this system for a few years now and there is so much to learn. We are seeing that each gardener probably has their own tricks but it is so important to stick with the Fukuoka philososphy extended into the market garden by Emilia.
      We use a lot of daikons and every bed always has a N fixer. We leave all roots in the ground and feed the young sandy soil with chicken manure and plant manures with lots of mulch. We are currently starting some experiments with EM to compost our food scraps for greenhouse mix. We plant roots directly and carefully pull them out when we want to harvest. We took a soil test not to long ago and the nitrogen was trace. However, I do believe this to be good because our test kit probably test nitrogen in Nitrate form and not ammonium . This has a lot to do with the Ethylene Oxygen cycle. I hope that we are right. The literature on the site will tell about the Ethylene Oxygen Cycle and its importance in no till systems of agriculture. The gardens are still an experiment but we see success with it and we will be expanding into a larger area this summer.
      For those with clay soils it is good to sow a cover crop mixed with daikon alfalfa and other accumulator plants that can bust thru the hardpan and gather the minerals that are needed to establish a feeding system for the topsoil organisms to eat. Leave the roots in the ground allowing them to grow rot grow rot. Undersowing can also be done to stack in time as well as stacking in space.
      Another thing we are working on is NFX trees and shrubs in the garden system. Autumn Olive, Acacia, and locust's. There are more but the idea is to use these trees to mine the soil with their roots and to use the leaves after coppicing on the garden as mulch. There are many good ideas out there. I suggest we all keep an eye on what nature does and always stick to the fundamentals of Fukuoka Farming. To copy Fukuoka exactly might lead to much discouragement as I have heard from those who tried and tried.
      Nature Provides
      Cliff Davis
      Turtle Island Permaculture

      "Katherine T." <BeltaineBabe@...> wrote:
      Hello list members;
      I have been surveying literature about the Fukuoka farming methods
      for several months now. I have little money to begin with but I am
      ready to begin my first garden using the Fukuoka philosophy. I am on
      nearly ten acres of poorly draining, shallow (less than a meter in
      most places,)heavy clay soil which sits atop an expansive hard pan
      and rock sedimentary layer. I live in the northern Sacramento
      Valley. The area is a part of the tributary flood plains for the
      Sierra Nevada Mountain range of Northern California.

      I purchased the first two books, but am a bit confused as to where I
      should begin and what steps to take first. Which seeds complement
      one another best for mixing and rolling into compost/clay balls. If
      anyone has any suggestions for a newbie on a budget please let me
      know. I have access to purchasing rice straw and hay from
      neighboring ag businesses but am selective in that I would like to
      keep pesticides and petrol residues out of my gardening system.

      This impoverished and neglected piece of land cries out for
      attention. There are few trees. I have a mulberry and two old and
      sickly black walnut trees, but thought to plant some pawlonia trees
      to help restore some of the shade. There must have been extensive
      harvesting historically here as the name of the township is Pleasant
      Grove!" But there is hardly a copse let alone a grove in sight.

      Also, how does one handle major rodent issues. I have rice rats and
      field mice galore. I have several good mousers, but the cats won't
      take on the rats as they are aggressive and large. I did take the
      snake suggestion to heart but must find a supplier. Most wildlife in
      the local area has long ago been decimated so the natural balance is
      in disequilibrium. There is so much to consider. With costs rising
      and wages in decline, I need to have a garden which will meet my
      family's diet requirements as well as perhaps supplement my meager
      income.

      Are there any recommendations on books or websites that I can use to
      help me combine seeds for seed balls successfully, or is it hit and
      miss? I have read many wonderful ideas here already and am looking
      forward to being a more active list member. As a novice, I have so
      much yet to learn, but...the student is ready!

      Gratefully yours,
      Katie


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    • Katherine T.
      Thank you, Dieter, Bill, Cliff et al; I look forward to sharing my experiences and learning from yours. I chose fukuoka because I have some physical challenges
      Message 2 of 12 , Jan 25, 2006
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        Thank you, Dieter, Bill, Cliff et al;
        I look forward to sharing my experiences and learning from yours.
        I chose fukuoka because I have some physical challenges and I like
        the spiritual components of the methodology.

        Thank you all for the suggestions and linkages. I know that at least
        one local man has been successful in his practice of this natural
        farming method. His soil is different than mine but that can be
        ammended a bit with time and energy.

        I am fortunate to have available, when I can afford it, some very
        rich compost which a local landfill operator creates out of all of
        the food service industry organic wastes from the San Francisco Bay
        Area restaurants. The large wine producers in Napa and Sonoma use
        this compost for their vineyards. I can purchase it when I can
        arrange for its transportation. We are some 80 miles away from where
        it is composted.

        I will be buying some redworms and creating my own vermiculture
        plant soon. It and a solar composting toilet are two of my proposed
        spring projects for this year. I know that, in my state, humanure
        can only be used on flowers and ornamentals but that is okay with
        me. I am also interested in the Rudolf Steiner Flow forms for grey
        water treatment. I learned of them at a permaculture seminar I took.
        We are fortunate to have a local Rudolf Steiner school locally that
        I can take classes at and visit their gardens too.

        I guess my biggest problem it just getting off the computer and
        getting out there to work. But the ground is soggy and the weather
        cold. We still have a chance to have nighttime freezes so I can only
        work on plans and preparations for things thus far. I thought to
        start buying seed and making seedballs first, but need to decide
        what complements of seeds I want.

        I have been thinking purple vetch, buckwheat and mustard seed would
        help build up the soil. I have milk thistle all over the place and
        want to harvest some of it. I have a few varieties of wild grasses
        as rice, alfalfa and oat are grown commercially out here and the
        wind blows them far afield. Some of these are genetically modified
        species though I cannot know which ones. It is a natural occurrence
        and the land has received them and they have proven fertile. They
        grow so I leave them alone.

        My field has been fallow for many years. I believe the top soil was
        mined at sometime in the past because our field sits 3 feet lower
        than any other in the area. Fortunately my house is on higher
        ground. The field flood and becomes impassable as when one tries to
        cross it one sinks two feet down. I am of Dutch Frisian Ancestry so
        I thought to but some wooden shoes to walk about the field just as
        my ancestors might have in the Groenigen region of the Netherlands.

        I have read that the Frisians were distinguished into two classes
        and my ancestors were the "Clay" Frisians" since they inhabited the
        flood plains and estuaries of the confluence of the Maas, Rhine and
        other rivers flowing out into the North Atlantic. So, maybe,
        learning more about my heritage might have benefits to working the
        clay soils here in California.

        When I read the books by Dr. Fukuoka I wondered how the method might
        translate into an American Fukuoka Methodology. Where I am used to
        be the Rice Producing Capital of the United States, but it is
        heavily reliant upon fossil fuel and irrigation. I don't want to
        deal with that. I have two wells. One for the field which I thought
        to put either a treadle pump into or have a solar pump installed. It
        is offline at the moment.

        I also want to start a pond. We are in the flight path of the
        Canadian snow goose, trumpeter swans, egrets and other avian species
        which have lost much due to expansive suburban development in the
        region. I would like to host them in some small way, if they pose no
        threat to my crops or my family (Avian Flu being the concern)

        I am choosing to get a couple of goat kids to raise for keeping the
        grasses down. This is a hazardous area for grass fires due to the
        long hot summers. The grasses grow thick and deep during the spring
        season and then dry out and thatch. It is another reason I thought
        Fukuoka might work here, but it poses a fire hazard, too.
        Anyone raise goats before? I need a little goatherding advice if you
        can share your experience. Like, which breeds would be best suited
        to my needs.

        I want to free range chickens, too. But am concerned about the
        migratory bird vector issues with the potential for a pandemic of
        the avian flu. So, I am still not decided on chickens yet.
        We also have west nile virus in the area. Two men and many horses
        have died of it last year. Mosquito abatement is a huge concern for
        the area. Even though it is cold, we have mosquitoes already
        breeding in the rain water pools all over the property.

        Well, I posted a couple of photos of the area I live in. As I go I
        will post more pictures of my progress. I will consider the Acacia
        trees, Dieter. I chose the pawlonia because of their fast growth and
        the fact that their leaves can be used as fodder and even food for
        human consumption. I am going to plant some Bamboo, too, for
        sustainable building materials and to help create a microclimate.

        Well, I think that is enough open online brainstorming for now. I am
        tired already just thinking how much work I have planned for myself!!
        LOL But, I know I will be happy with the results once I get started.

        It is just nice to have a place to talk about it all.

        Thanks and fertile blessings,
        Katie
      • michael
        However, the problem of slugs is still not resolved. The ducks, which have a small pond in the middle of the garden, turned out to be inefficient (they re
        Message 3 of 12 , Jan 29, 2006
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          'However, the problem of slugs is still not resolved. The ducks, which
          have a small pond in the middle of the garden, turned out to be
          inefficient (they're asleep when the slugs are in full swing!). Emilia
          is looking for other predators to intervene in the biological struggle.
          '

          For those of you with slug problems, create a pond near your garden.
          Toads will find it and create hundreds of little toads, as well as
          song. Your slugs will disappear and you will have little toads
          everywhere. You will also notice the fat mama hanging around for
          crickets and other larger snacks. They are all very active at night.
          Mama will avoid your feet. The little ones not always so. Careful on
          your midnight walks.
        • michael
          As a philosophy and not a gardening method, Fukuoka s essence needs to be internalized and placed in your context. Start any which way, seedballs or no, watch
          Message 4 of 12 , Jan 29, 2006
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            As a philosophy and not a gardening method, Fukuoka's essence needs to
            be internalized and placed in your context. Start any which way,
            seedballs or no, watch things grow, find what they like and where they
            like. In the beginning, I tried too hard. 10 years later, I found less
            effort better than more.

            On Jan 24, 2006, at 10:17 AM, Katherine T. wrote:

            > I have been surveying literature about the Fukuoka farming methods
            > for several months now. I have little money to begin with but I am
            > ready to begin my first garden using the Fukuoka philosophy.
          • michael
            Where there are mice, there are snakes. Unless they have been chemically suppressed or eradicated through fear. Start with the amphibians. Create a pond. Frogs
            Message 5 of 12 , Jan 29, 2006
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              Where there are mice, there are snakes. Unless they have been
              chemically suppressed or eradicated through fear. Start with the
              amphibians. Create a pond. Frogs and salamanders will come. Snakes will
              come once you have green cover (any) and do not use toxins. If you
              believe you have toxins in your soil, put water hyacinths in your pond,
              harvest the hyacinths come Winter, and dispose of at a toxic waste
              repository. Do not compost the hyacinths; they have accumulated
              concentrations of heavy metals and complex organics if they were in
              your soil. Move the pond the next year or the year after that. Plant
              where the pond was.

              On Jan 24, 2006, at 10:17 AM, Katherine T. wrote:

              > I did take the
              > snake suggestion to heart but must find a supplier. Most wildlife in
              > the local area has long ago been decimated so the natural balance is
              > in disequilibrium.
            • michael
              This is easy. Especially where you are. You may be able to let Winter greens grow. Many of the chicories and chards may survive your Winter. We must dry daikon
              Message 6 of 12 , Jan 29, 2006
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                This is easy. Especially where you are. You may be able to let Winter
                greens grow. Many of the chicories and chards may survive your Winter.
                We must dry daikon tops, ferment leeks, cabbage and beans, dry tomatoes
                and peppers, and dig roots through the Winter. Parsnips grow wild and
                are quite sweet in January. Medlars need the weeks of being frozen to
                turn their insides into custard.

                On Jan 24, 2006, at 10:17 AM, Katherine T. wrote:

                > I need to have a garden which will meet my
                > family's diet requirements
              • michael
                This is much harder. Identify a high value crop that likes your area and you.
                Message 7 of 12 , Jan 29, 2006
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                  This is much harder. Identify a high value crop that likes your area
                  and you.

                  On Jan 24, 2006, at 10:17 AM, Katherine T. wrote:

                  > supplement my meager
                  > income
                • michael
                  But they do eat baby snakes. Cats are not a remedy as they are not part of the ecosystem. Dogs are much better mousers that cats, and most will kill rats near
                  Message 8 of 12 , Jan 29, 2006
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                    But they do eat baby snakes.
                    Cats are not a remedy as they are not part of the ecosystem.
                    Dogs are much better mousers that cats, and most will kill rats near
                    your premises. Some dogs were bred to kill rats.

                    On Jan 24, 2006, at 10:17 AM, Katherine T. wrote:

                    > I have several good mousers, but the cats won't
                    > take on the rats as they are aggressive and large.
                  • circlesmc
                    Hi Katie, and All, I ve just joined this group and I m finding the information posted here very interesting and of value. My thanks go out to all of you. Goats
                    Message 9 of 12 , Jan 29, 2006
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                      Hi Katie, and All,

                      I've just joined this group and I'm finding the information posted
                      here very interesting and of value. My thanks go out to all of you.

                      Goats prefer bushes, love roses, and they will eat small trees too.
                      They eat grass, but if the bushes, etc. are available to them, those
                      will be eaten first. I love the nubians. Their milk has a higher fat
                      content and the milk makes excellent cheese. Goats can carry TB so
                      make sure that any new additions to your homestead are tested first.

                      I live in CA too and my ground is like yours. I've found that herbs
                      do very well here.... year after year with very little effort on my
                      part. Onions and garlic are growing well in my garden right now,
                      along with new strawberry plants. Cantaloupe, all of the melons, also
                      corn tend to do well when it gets a little warmer, and peas planted
                      while the weather is cool do well too. Mixed greens need the cool
                      weather also. I've just put out some thornless black berry starts
                      that seem to be happy in the ground here. I have trouble with tomato
                      plants, but last year I did get a crop. Figs and some of the nuts
                      like this climate too.

                      GM crops? This whole technology scares me. Rice and oats...I don't
                      think that they have approved GM in those crops yet, but I could be
                      mistaken.

                      Good luck with all of your great plans for the future.

                      Carolyn



                      From: "Katherine T." <BeltaineBabe@...>
                      Date: Wed Jan 25, 2006 2:20 pm
                      Subject: Re: New Beginnings

                      Thank you, Dieter, Bill, Cliff et al;
                      I look forward to sharing my experiences and learning from yours.
                      I chose fukuoka because I have some physical challenges and I like
                      the spiritual components of the methodology.

                      Thank you all for the suggestions and linkages. I know that at least
                      one local man has been successful in his practice of this natural
                      farming method. His soil is different than mine but that can be
                      ammended a bit with time and energy.

                      I am fortunate to have available, when I can afford it, some very
                      rich compost which a local landfill operator creates out of all of
                      the food service industry organic wastes from the San Francisco Bay
                      Area restaurants. The large wine producers in Napa and Sonoma use
                      this compost for their vineyards. I can purchase it when I can
                      arrange for its transportation. We are some 80 miles away from where
                      it is composted.

                      I will be buying some redworms and creating my own vermiculture
                      plant soon. It and a solar composting toilet are two of my proposed
                      spring projects for this year. I know that, in my state, humanure
                      can only be used on flowers and ornamentals but that is okay with
                      me. I am also interested in the Rudolf Steiner Flow forms for grey
                      water treatment. I learned of them at a permaculture seminar I took.
                      We are fortunate to have a local Rudolf Steiner school locally that
                      I can take classes at and visit their gardens too.

                      I guess my biggest problem it just getting off the computer and
                      getting out there to work. But the ground is soggy and the weather
                      cold. We still have a chance to have nighttime freezes so I can only
                      work on plans and preparations for things thus far. I thought to
                      start buying seed and making seedballs first, but need to decide
                      what complements of seeds I want.

                      I have been thinking purple vetch, buckwheat and mustard seed would
                      help build up the soil. I have milk thistle all over the place and
                      want to harvest some of it. I have a few varieties of wild grasses
                      as rice, alfalfa and oat are grown commercially out here and the
                      wind blows them far afield. Some of these are genetically modified
                      species though I cannot know which ones. It is a natural occurrence
                      and the land has received them and they have proven fertile. They
                      grow so I leave them alone.

                      My field has been fallow for many years. I believe the top soil was
                      mined at sometime in the past because our field sits 3 feet lower
                      than any other in the area. Fortunately my house is on higher
                      ground. The field flood and becomes impassable as when one tries to
                      cross it one sinks two feet down. I am of Dutch Frisian Ancestry so
                      I thought to but some wooden shoes to walk about the field just as
                      my ancestors might have in the Groenigen region of the Netherlands.

                      I have read that the Frisians were distinguished into two classes
                      and my ancestors were the "Clay" Frisians" since they inhabited the
                      flood plains and estuaries of the confluence of the Maas, Rhine and
                      other rivers flowing out into the North Atlantic. So, maybe,
                      learning more about my heritage might have benefits to working the
                      clay soils here in California.

                      When I read the books by Dr. Fukuoka I wondered how the method might
                      translate into an American Fukuoka Methodology. Where I am used to
                      be the Rice Producing Capital of the United States, but it is
                      heavily reliant upon fossil fuel and irrigation. I don't want to
                      deal with that. I have two wells. One for the field which I thought
                      to put either a treadle pump into or have a solar pump installed. It
                      is offline at the moment.

                      I also want to start a pond. We are in the flight path of the
                      Canadian snow goose, trumpeter swans, egrets and other avian species
                      which have lost much due to expansive suburban development in the
                      region. I would like to host them in some small way, if they pose no
                      threat to my crops or my family (Avian Flu being the concern)

                      I am choosing to get a couple of goat kids to raise for keeping the
                      grasses down. This is a hazardous area for grass fires due to the
                      long hot summers. The grasses grow thick and deep during the spring
                      season and then dry out and thatch. It is another reason I thought
                      Fukuoka might work here, but it poses a fire hazard, too.
                      Anyone raise goats before? I need a little goatherding advice if you
                      can share your experience. Like, which breeds would be best suited
                      to my needs.

                      I want to free range chickens, too. But am concerned about the
                      migratory bird vector issues with the potential for a pandemic of
                      the avian flu. So, I am still not decided on chickens yet.
                      We also have west nile virus in the area. Two men and many horses
                      have died of it last year. Mosquito abatement is a huge concern for
                      the area. Even though it is cold, we have mosquitoes already
                      breeding in the rain water pools all over the property.

                      Well, I posted a couple of photos of the area I live in. As I go I
                      will post more pictures of my progress. I will consider the Acacia
                      trees, Dieter. I chose the pawlonia because of their fast growth and
                      the fact that their leaves can be used as fodder and even food for
                      human consumption. I am going to plant some Bamboo, too, for
                      sustainable building materials and to help create a microclimate.

                      Well, I think that is enough open online brainstorming for now. I am
                      tired already just thinking how much work I have planned for myself!!
                      LOL But, I know I will be happy with the results once I get started.

                      It is just nice to have a place to talk about it all.

                      Thanks and fertile blessings,
                      Katie
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