Re: New Beginnings
- 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
Good luck with all of your great plans for the future.
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,