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Re: New Beginnings

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  • 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 1 of 12 , Jan 29 4:13 PM
      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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