Re: fukuoka on an allotment
- i do not speak with great authority based on my own experience. i,
too, have considerable angst, not knowing if i am doing it
right...but that's a good thing, i think. it sounds to me as if you
have the right attitude for fukuoka natural farming....
if you scatter your seedballs around the time the season's weeds are
dying back and before the current season's weeds have had a chance to
grow tall, at least some of your seeds will have a chance... if you
throw them all over your land you will be able to observe over time
which plants do better where. if you can gradually seed/ replace the
taller weeds with shorter ones such as clover, that will help too over
time...also, i remember fukuoka-san saying that at first you will have
to use more seeds to cover the same area in order to get it
started...then in the following seasons, you will be able to reduce
the amount of seeds it takes.
i think fukuoka did dig some, such as creating terraces and burying
wood in trenches. these should be done by hand, not with machines such
in my own case, (this may be right or wrong, but i did it), i made
some hedge rows to, over time, raise the bottom of my gradually
sloping land to prevent erosion and run off down by the road. i have
an old building which i am going to have to tear down on another part
of the property that has a lot of rose of sharon seedlings clogged
together in front of the building. i would have to remove these in
order to remove the falling in building. so, i planted a thick
hedgerow with these, not by digging a trench, but by digging
individual holes in the hardpan area down by the road, and spreading
out the seedlings. eventually, as they grow, i hope they will improve
the soil here, as well as providing wildlife shelter and forage,
privacy and holding in and conserving water. this cost me nothing
except labor...(and i become stronger because of the labor!)...
hedgerows can provide some of the same benefits as terraces, i believe...
as far as tomatoes go, i love them too, doesn't everyone?!...
fukuoka-san, in his book on natural farming, mentioned that tomatoes,
along with cucumbers, have been over-hybridized to the point where
they cannot survive in the wild anymore, and must be babied...the late
great emilia hazilip, in her synergistic method, created permanent raised
beds for these types of kitchen vegetables in which one would add
mulch/compost to the surface of the ground and then plant the veggies
into this created and piled up soil. you are digging, but only into
this soft upper soil. this is the way i understand it, anyway. she was
a great disciple of manasobu fukuoka, and her method is explained in
the files of this group...
i hope that helps you...i think the fukuoka way is less about what
rules you should or should not do and more about the appreciation,
celebration and respect of nature and nature's abundance, and the
cultivation of true love and non-violence in us as individuals...
robin, your fellow worrier!
--- In email@example.com, "poojyum" <poojyum@...> wrote:
> I live in the south west of UK near London and a couple weeks ago got
> my allotment. For those that dont know, an allotment is a plot of land
> allocated by local government for residents to grow their own
> vegetables. Now this allotment was cultivated last season by
> apparently "unenthusiastic" gardeners. Nothing but weeds are growing
> but its not too bad. I can see soil here and there in patches. There
> are earthworms moving about but I dont know how many. In each visit, I
> tend to see at least an earthworm. I started off scattering green
> manure seeds without rolling them up into seedballs or anything. It
> was on the ground for a few days but then almost all of them suddenly
> disappeared. I figured out the reason when a flock of birds took off
> from my plot when they saw me coming ;) So I rolled the vegetable
> seeds and green manure seeds into seedballs and scattered them. They
> were still there the last time I saw them. We had some rains this week
> and I picked up a seedball and the seeds in it are sprouting too. The
> balls crumble nicely at my touch.
> I dont want to remove weeds. I plan to keep them and just scatter
> seedballs around them. But then there is the doubt to confront you
> know. Wont the weeds crowd out the vegetables? I have read all three
> of fukuoka's books ... as much as I love his methods and want to try
> it .. in fact I'm trying ... but the doubts nag in the mind you know.
> Maybe I'm worried about the 'success' of my effort. Probably that
> should go. I should just sow seed and accept what I get. But then off
> I went to the plot today and dug a small hole and transplated a tomato
> I had started from seed in a peat pot on my windowsill. So there you
> go I have tilled the plot just a bit! Aaagh. Trusting Fukuoka is hard.
> Maybe I need to be patient too.
> Can you please listees give me a few encouraging words cos I'm sure
> youve been there and done that!
> Best wishes