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Re: [fukuoka_farming] growing food among grasses fukuoka style

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  • Steve Gage
    I do not mean this to be provocative or anything, but how is laying down cardboard natural ? I m not saying it s wrong , or bad , but it doesn t seem to be
    Message 1 of 26 , Feb 2, 2006
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      I do not mean this to be provocative or anything, but how is laying down
      cardboard "natural"? I'm not saying it's "wrong", or "bad", but it
      doesn't seem to be tangent to Fukuoka's ideas at all. "Ongoing
      management regime"? Are we drifting back to thinking that we understand
      what's going on, and can micromanage it? Again, if that's your game,
      fine, but it's not Fukuoka Farming (see mail list title).

      - Steve

      PS - some of Fukuoka's practices didn't seem all that tangent to
      Fukuoka's ideas either, so please don't take this too harshly :-)

      Niels wrote:
      > Hi,
      >
      > Would like to talk more about this topic.
      > Care to elaborate on the experience you have had?
      > What region are you in?
      > Timings for cutting or cardboard usage?
      > What is your ongoing management regime? Cutting? Reseeding?
      > How does the grass come back in subsequent seasons?
      > Any pics?
      > What about seedball production? Method, seed types/mixes etc.
      >
      > Tell us everything!!..............please.
      >
      > N*
      > http://del.icio.us/entrailer
      > http://nocompost.blogspot.com/
      >
      > Calin A. Radulescu wrote:
      >
      >
      >> this is one of those topics that comes back every once in a while.
      >> actually i tried once growing food among grasses with some success.
      >> this is what i learned from that experience :
      >>
      >> 1- you will have to weaken the grass mat somehow. either mow it
      >> really low, flood it or cover it with carboard etc. for a while,
      >> but don't
      >> kill it though
      >>
      >> 2- you will have more success with plants that have a strong root
      >> system and will put up a fight with the grass, like rye or dikon
      >> radish
      >> or rice ( with the right rainfall) than with corn or egplants,
      >> unless you
      >> want to break the grass mat for them
      >>
      >> 3- your soil needs to be in a pretty good shape, as the grass will
      >> compete
      >> for nutrients with the plants that you're trying to grow.
      >>
      >> 4- be observant, aware of what's going on. the season needs to be
      >> right
      >> for the plants that you're growing. the seedballs need ground
      >> contact to
      >> germinate , etc.
      >>
      >> just my 0.02$
      >> good luck,
      >>
      >> a.
      >>
      >>
      >>
      >>
      >> On Dec 16, 2005, at 12:03 AM, <buttahfly@...> wrote:
      >>
      >> > Last winter I threw out a few pounds of barley, wheat, spelt, and
      >> > kamut to
      >> > see if anything would happen. I have not seen anything come out of the
      >> > grasses that were already there
      >>
      >>
      >>
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    • Ingrid Bauer / Jean-Claude Catry
      when i first started natural farming ,i started in a field that have been hayed for many years without any input from the outside . i fenced 2 acres from the
      Message 2 of 26 , Feb 2, 2006
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        when i first started natural farming ,i started in a field that have been
        hayed for many years without any input from the outside . i fenced 2 acres
        from the 15 acres meadow he rest kept going like before , it gave me a good
        comparaison of the evolution of the flora over time .
        couch grass was the dominant with wild carot , few clover here and there (
        red tall and white short). to start grain or vegetables sowing i cut the
        grass in a wide aera and mulched with it beds thick enough to shut down the
        grass underneath. planted potatoes on the sod underneath the mulch or wited
        for the mulch to decompose before sowing .
        in the fall of the first year harvesting potatoes left a bed bared of grass
        and sow corn salad and other greens growing in the winter allways mulching
        very thick the sides of the beds to stop the grass of the trails to encroach
        on the vegetables .
        i also on a 10 metres by 10 meters square, in spring, sowed grains then cut
        the patch of canary grass ( mostly) very very short ( with a scythe) and
        left the hay on top . it worked good enough ( poorly if it was to harvest )
        for the plants to manage to makes seeds .
        i decided to not harvest and see what happens . during the winter for sure
        the grass came back and in the spring no grains sprouted and grew . i have
        the feeling that if i had sowed winter plants capable to takes over the
        grass it might have worked .

        in my actual situation i barelly have to deal with grass because i am in
        the forest .
        this experience is from the west coast of canada ( wet winters dry summer ,
        mild temperature year round ) in winter vegetation doesn't stop
        jean-claude

        > Hi,
        >
        > Would like to talk more about this topic.
        > Care to elaborate on the experience you have had?
        > What region are you in?
        > Timings for cutting or cardboard usage?
        > What is your ongoing management regime? Cutting? Reseeding?
        > How does the grass come back in subsequent seasons?
        > Any pics?
        > What about seedball production? Method, seed types/mixes etc.
        >
        > Tell us everything!!..............please.
        >
        > N*
        > http://del.icio.us/entrailer
        > http://nocompost.blogspot.com/
        >
        > Calin A. Radulescu wrote:
        >
        >>
        >>
        >> this is one of those topics that comes back every once in a while.
        >> actually i tried once growing food among grasses with some success.
        >> this is what i learned from that experience :
        >>
        >> 1- you will have to weaken the grass mat somehow. either mow it
        >> really low, flood it or cover it with carboard etc. for a while,
        >> but don't
        >> kill it though
        >>
        >> 2- you will have more success with plants that have a strong root
        >> system and will put up a fight with the grass, like rye or dikon
        >> radish
        >> or rice ( with the right rainfall) than with corn or egplants,
        >> unless you
        >> want to break the grass mat for them
        >>
        >> 3- your soil needs to be in a pretty good shape, as the grass will
        >> compete
        >> for nutrients with the plants that you're trying to grow.
        >>
        >> 4- be observant, aware of what's going on. the season needs to be
        >> right
        >> for the plants that you're growing. the seedballs need ground
        >> contact to
        >> germinate , etc.
        >>
        >> just my 0.02$
        >> good luck,
        >>
        >> a.
        >>
        >>
        >>
        >>
        >> On Dec 16, 2005, at 12:03 AM, <buttahfly@...> wrote:
        >>
        >> > Last winter I threw out a few pounds of barley, wheat, spelt, and
        >> > kamut to
        >> > see if anything would happen. I have not seen anything come out of
        >> the
        >> > grasses that were already there
        >>
        >>
        >>
        >> ---------------------------------
        >> YAHOO! GROUPS LINKS
        >>
        >>
        >> Visit your group "fukuoka_farming" on the web.
        >>
        >> To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to:
        >> fukuoka_farming-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com
        >>
        >> Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to the Yahoo! Terms of Service.
        >>
        >>
        >> ---------------------------------
        >>
        >>
        >>
        >>
        >>
        >>
        >> ---------------------------------
        >> Yahoo! Autos. Looking for a sweet ride? Get pricing, reviews, & more
        >> on new and used cars.
        >>
        >> [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        >>
        >>
        >> ------------------------------------------------------------------------
        >> YAHOO! GROUPS LINKS
        >>
        >> * Visit your group "fukuoka_farming
        >> <http://groups.yahoo.com/group/fukuoka_farming>" on the web.
        >>
        >> * To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to:
        >> fukuoka_farming-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com
        >>
        >> <mailto:fukuoka_farming-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com?subject=Unsubscribe>
        >>
        >> * Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to the Yahoo! Terms of
        >> Service <http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/>.
        >>
        >>
        >> ------------------------------------------------------------------------
        >>
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        > Yahoo! Groups Links
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
      • Calin A. Radulescu
        Hello Niels, Hello Group, This was an experiment that I did a few years ago. Basically I was trying to grow food in my backyard, at first using regular
        Message 3 of 26 , Feb 3, 2006
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          Hello Niels,
          Hello Group,

          This was an experiment that I did a few years ago. Basically I was
          trying to grow food in my backyard, at first using regular gardening,
          then learned about natural farming and read "One straw revolution".
          I am in the Pacific Northwest, Washington State, right by the
          Cascade Mtn. foothills, zone 8a, very rainy and cloudy in winter.
          The rain and cloud cover season is from October to June. So I knew
          it already that the soil in my backyard is poor and acidic, and is too
          dark as there are a few big cedar and fir trees in the neighbour's yard.
          The grass cover is regular lawn grass mixed with native weeds and
          some white clover.
          I figured that to grow better crops, the soil was in need of some
          improvement and looked into using mulching and growing my own
          compost crops (green manure). The problem with that approach is
          that around here we have lots of slugs that will eat everything; the
          heavy mulching technique is out of the question as you cannot see
          what is going on undernith the mulch. Some light mulching and hand
          picking may help. So I tried to throw in some rye and clover seed and
          of course the slugs and birds got it before they even had a chance to
          sprout. Then I read some more and figured that mowing the grass as
          low as i can may help weaken it enough to grow rye. Basically this is
          about timing; you're trying to give the seeds that you're growing a good
          chance before the grass and weeds grow back . Then some time after
          the heaviest of the winter storms have gone, I mowed the grass again,
          and covered most of the area with cardboard for about a week or so.
          In the meantime i mixed some clay with water and rye, white dutch
          clover and some daikon radish and canola seeds in a plastic bucket,
          then rolled that dough into little " sausagges " , shaped them into balls
          and let them dry out for a few days out of the rain. By that time the
          cardboard already did the job so i picked it up, toghether with most of
          the slugs and spread the seedballs on the ground. They cannot be
          " floating " on top of the grass cuttings, they need ground contact to
          sprout so I raked the area in the places where i saw this happening.
          In the he next weeks i was really doing nothing, just watching the rye
          grow. It turned out ok, waist high or even higher at some spots, too
          thin i guess, but again this was in a dark place with a poor soil. The
          clover and the brassicas didn't grow that good; I guess it wasn't
          the right timing for them, they may like less rain and some higher
          temperatures (or maybe the slugs just got them).
          I still think this was a good experience, even if there wasn't too much
          food that came out of it as such. Already i see a few ways that it can
          be improved. One thing that comes to mind is finding a summer cereal
          that grows good with less rainfall, maybe millet or sorghum. Another
          thing would be killing some of the grass each year and replacing that
          with clovers or some other legume. And of course, getting a better yard.
          Now is this natural farming ? Probably not, as there is still some nature
          control in it, but so is flooding the field. As I look at it there isn't 100%
          pure natural farming besides hunting and gathering, all other are just
          ways to grow food with the least ammount of interference, which is still
          a wish to bend nature to the human will.

          Many thanks to everyone, give it a try in your field, it works !
          And please share your experience with us !

          a.











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        • Calin A. Radulescu
          Dieter, You re wellcome, hope that will help. Calin. diebrand wrote: Calin, This sounds like very good advice. I could have saved a
          Message 4 of 26 , Feb 7, 2006
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            Dieter,

            You're wellcome, hope that will help.

            Calin.

            diebrand <diebrand@...> wrote: Calin,

            This sounds like very good advice. I could have saved a lot of
            seeds, had I known this 5 months ago. Well, I have had to learn the
            hard way. Of the cereals I tried, rye really seems to do a lot
            better in an existing stand of grass, than wheat or others for
            example.

            Thanks for sharing your experience.

            Dieter

            --- In fukuoka_farming@yahoogroups.com, "Calin A. Radulescu"
            <crandrei@...> wrote:
            >
            >



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