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Re: New Beginnings

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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 1 of 12 , Jan 25, 2006
      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 2 of 12 , Jan 29, 2006
        '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 3 of 12 , Jan 29, 2006
          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 4 of 12 , Jan 29, 2006
            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 5 of 12 , Jan 29, 2006
              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 6 of 12 , Jan 29, 2006
                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 7 of 12 , Jan 29, 2006
                  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 8 of 12 , Jan 29, 2006
                    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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