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Re: New Member

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  • Janie Nicol
    Dear Eitan and Bart, I have not heard of Fukuoka s death and I would think Michiyo would let us know if he did. By my reckoning, he ll soon be 94. As to
    Message 1 of 27 , Jan 24, 2007
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      Dear Eitan and Bart, I have not heard of Fukuoka's death and I would think Michiyo would let us know if he did. By my reckoning, he'll soon be 94.

      As to visiting his farm he stopped receiving visitors long ago when he handed half the farm over to his son - I read this in his book, The Road Back to Nature, which was published in the mid to late 1980s.
      Like many others I have always wished that I might have been able to visit his farm myself and see, hear and most importantly experience natural agriculture in action (or rather non-action). But knowing the impossibility of this wish it has been necessary to just turn to the land where I live and make a start. If you can find someone in the same bioregion as yourself doing something like natural agriculture (even if they do not perhaps call it that) then I would suggest you visit them. If you know of no one else doing anything approaching natural agriculture then I would suggest downloading the One-Straw Revolution from the files section of this group and beginning. In an earlier post I mentioned 3 principles Fukuoka used to conjure his four principles of natural agriculture (Buddhism seems to be an approach based on lists: the four noble truths, 12 skandas, 8...) but then I recalled elsewhere he said that all it takes to be a natural farmer is to act with no-mind.

      I think we are all already endowed with the equipment necessary to understand if we are on the right path when we practice natural farming, any problems that arise come from a failure to listen deeply enough to ourselves. So yes, perhaps it is best to just forget Fukuoka and begin.

      Jamie
      Souscayrous

      PS Bart, could you please send your last email again as through changing software I have lost some emails - thanks

      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • kikoricco
      Im new to natural farming myself and I struggle to understand why some of the techniques could work at night in my bed with my eyes wide open in the darkness.
      Message 2 of 27 , Jan 24, 2007
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        Im new to natural farming myself and I struggle to understand why
        some of the techniques could work at night in my bed with my eyes
        wide open in the darkness. Like suppressing weeds with clover or
        other plants. I was wondering whats the point of doing that if theres
        is still gonna be plants that compete with the main crop. I think I
        understand now. The point is not thats there too many weeds in a
        wheat field but that the weeds that appear are not directly useful
        for the farmer. So replacing them with a different "weed" like some
        leguminous vegetable that is edible and takes their place or clover
        that takes their place but is not very demanding due to its small
        size and so does not take up much nutrients and fixes nitrogen. Of
        course weeds are defined by man and all plants are useful and if a
        few weeds apear here and there who cares because they add to the
        diversity (which in turn helps balance the insects) and help cover
        the soil. Im very interested in trying the polyculture of Squash corn
        and beans in the same field. the more I think of it the more it seems
        logical (the indians are geniuses). The squash covers the soil, while
        the corn stretches up to the sky and the beans climb up stalks and
        around everywhere and fix nitro in the soil. The one question Im
        still grapling with is to how to start farming in a field. I read in
        Fukuoka book that one could just broadcast seedballs of different
        vegetables and wild plants in a field and that they would come up
        themselves. Instead of using making little holes one just coats the
        seeds. This makes sense to me. But would one have to apply mulch
        first to smother the other vegetation, or trample it with some kind
        of manual mower. Once a grain field is established I read that
        Fukuoka broadcasts his next grain crop over the previous one while
        its still standing along with clover seeds. he then harvests and puts
        the threshed straw over the field. Im guessing that acts like a cover
        so seedballs are not needed. Does anyone have any clarifications to
        give me. thank you.
      • Robert Monie
        Hi Kikorrico, Some of the freshest and most original efforts to farm naturally are to be found in Great Britain. Iain Holhurst, for example, who now runs a
        Message 3 of 27 , Jan 24, 2007
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          Hi Kikorrico,

          Some of the freshest and most original efforts to farm naturally are to be found in Great Britain. Iain Holhurst, for example, who now runs a stock-free farm (no animal input, no animal manure) began as a traditional animal-manure dairy farmer over twenty years ago and for totally economic and pragmatic reasons began to move towards more sustainable methods. This odyssey carried him over first to organic farming, and now to a distinctly vegan closed-loop method that fertilizes using rotations of green manure and rotations of the crops growing in or alongside it.

          I recommend Holhurst especially for 2 compelling reasons: 1) he has been a successful Commercial farmer for some time, producing over 500 boxes of produce for clients weekly, using the sustainable techniques he writes about; 2) he is co-author of a recent book that tries to redirect agriculture beyond the traditional categories of chemical farming, animal farming, and traditional organic farming towards a plant-only closed system that does the job. His book (co-authored with Jenny Hall and to be released in the US in a few months) is "Growing Green: Animal-Free Organic Techniques."

          Holhurst has reported success in growing some food crops directly over the green cover crops (as Fukuoka did with vegetables) and some alongside the cover crops. I doubt that he has worked out the details yet for every crop in every kind of soil, but he is well on his way toward making reliable generalizations, especially for crops and soils in Great Britain. After you read his book, if you have a chance to meet with Holhurst (in person or by correspondence), I don't think you will regret it. Also, both Holhurst and his co-author Hall are trying to recover techniques known to the British ley farmers of the 19th and early 20th centuries but now nearly lost. The big difference is that Holhurst and Hall are adapting these techniques to stock-free, vegan soil culture.

          I would call attention to the word "techniques" in Holhurst's book. As human beings, without techniques we can only dream.


          For a little glimpse of what Holhurst does see
          http://www.vegfolk.co.uk/news/docs/Tolhurst.pdf



          Sincerely,

          Bob Monie
          New Orleans, LA
          kikoricco <kikoricco@...> wrote:
          Im new to natural farming myself and I struggle to understand why
          some of the techniques could work at night in my bed with my eyes
          wide open in the darkness. Like suppressing weeds with clover or
          other plants. I was wondering whats the point of doing that if theres
          is still gonna be plants that compete with the main crop. I think I
          understand now. The point is not thats there too many weeds in a
          wheat field but that the weeds that appear are not directly useful
          for the farmer. So replacing them with a different "weed" like some
          leguminous vegetable that is edible and takes their place or clover
          that takes their place but is not very demanding due to its small
          size and so does not take up much nutrients and fixes nitrogen. Of
          course weeds are defined by man and all plants are useful and if a
          few weeds apear here and there who cares because they add to the
          diversity (which in turn helps balance the insects) and help cover
          the soil. Im very interested in trying the polyculture of Squash corn
          and beans in the same field. the more I think of it the more it seems
          logical (the indians are geniuses). The squash covers the soil, while
          the corn stretches up to the sky and the beans climb up stalks and
          around everywhere and fix nitro in the soil. The one question Im
          still grapling with is to how to start farming in a field. I read in
          Fukuoka book that one could just broadcast seedballs of different
          vegetables and wild plants in a field and that they would come up
          themselves. Instead of using making little holes one just coats the
          seeds. This makes sense to me. But would one have to apply mulch
          first to smother the other vegetation, or trample it with some kind
          of manual mower. Once a grain field is established I read that
          Fukuoka broadcasts his next grain crop over the previous one while
          its still standing along with clover seeds. he then harvests and puts
          the threshed straw over the field. Im guessing that acts like a cover
          so seedballs are not needed. Does anyone have any clarifications to
          give me. thank you.






          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        • Andrew E Fister
          Yes, veganic gardening has been catching on. There is a farmer in Maine, Will Bonsall, who has been doing veganic gardening for over 30 years. He is also the
          Message 4 of 27 , Jan 24, 2007
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            Yes, "veganic gardening" has been catching on. There is a farmer in
            Maine, Will Bonsall, who has been doing veganic gardening for over 30
            years. He is also the primary curator for Potatoes, Peas, Runner Beans,
            Fava Beans and Biennials for the Seed Savers Exchange. He is also the
            founder of Scatterseed Project, which conducts workshops on veganic
            gardening, seed saving, self reliance, regional food independence and
            sustainability. Scatterseed Project maintains literally thousands of
            varieties of vegetable seed.

            Andrew Fister
            Wandafar Sanctuary
            Glasgow, KY

            On Wed, 24 Jan 2007 14:31:57 -0800 (PST) Robert Monie
            <bobm20001@...> writes:
            Hi Kikorrico,

            Some of the freshest and most original efforts to farm naturally are to
            be found in Great Britain. Iain Holhurst, for example, who now runs a
            stock-free farm (no animal input, no animal manure) began as a
            traditional animal-manure dairy farmer over twenty years ago and for
            totally economic and pragmatic reasons began to move towards more
            sustainable methods. This odyssey carried him over first to organic
            farming, and now to a distinctly vegan closed-loop method that fertilizes
            using rotations of green manure and rotations of the crops growing in or
            alongside it.

            I recommend Holhurst especially for 2 compelling reasons: 1) he has been
            a successful Commercial farmer for some time, producing over 500 boxes of
            produce for clients weekly, using the sustainable techniques he writes
            about; 2) he is co-author of a recent book that tries to redirect
            agriculture beyond the traditional categories of chemical farming, animal
            farming, and traditional organic farming towards a plant-only closed
            system that does the job. His book (co-authored with Jenny Hall and to be
            released in the US in a few months) is "Growing Green: Animal-Free
            Organic Techniques."

            Holhurst has reported success in growing some food crops directly over
            the green cover crops (as Fukuoka did with vegetables) and some alongside
            the cover crops. I doubt that he has worked out the details yet for every
            crop in every kind of soil, but he is well on his way toward making
            reliable generalizations, especially for crops and soils in Great
            Britain. After you read his book, if you have a chance to meet with
            Holhurst (in person or by correspondence), I don't think you will regret
            it. Also, both Holhurst and his co-author Hall are trying to recover
            techniques known to the British ley farmers of the 19th and early 20th
            centuries but now nearly lost. The big difference is that Holhurst and
            Hall are adapting these techniques to stock-free, vegan soil culture.

            I would call attention to the word "techniques" in Holhurst's book. As
            human beings, without techniques we can only dream.

            For a little glimpse of what Holhurst does see
            http://www.vegfolk.co.uk/news/docs/Tolhurst.pdf



            Sincerely,

            Bob Monie
            New Orleans, LA
            kikoricco <kikoricco@...> wrote:
            Im new to natural farming myself and I struggle to understand why
            some of the techniques could work at night in my bed with my eyes
            wide open in the darkness. Like suppressing weeds with clover or
            other plants. I was wondering whats the point of doing that if theres
            is still gonna be plants that compete with the main crop. I think I
            understand now. The point is not thats there too many weeds in a
            wheat field but that the weeds that appear are not directly useful
            for the farmer. So replacing them with a different "weed" like some
            leguminous vegetable that is edible and takes their place or clover
            that takes their place but is not very demanding due to its small
            size and so does not take up much nutrients and fixes nitrogen. Of
            course weeds are defined by man and all plants are useful and if a
            few weeds apear here and there who cares because they add to the
            diversity (which in turn helps balance the insects) and help cover
            the soil. Im very interested in trying the polyculture of Squash corn
            and beans in the same field. the more I think of it the more it seems
            logical (the indians are geniuses). The squash covers the soil, while
            the corn stretches up to the sky and the beans climb up stalks and
            around everywhere and fix nitro in the soil. The one question Im
            still grapling with is to how to start farming in a field. I read in
            Fukuoka book that one could just broadcast seedballs of different
            vegetables and wild plants in a field and that they would come up
            themselves. Instead of using making little holes one just coats the
            seeds. This makes sense to me. But would one have to apply mulch
            first to smother the other vegetation, or trample it with some kind
            of manual mower. Once a grain field is established I read that
            Fukuoka broadcasts his next grain crop over the previous one while
            its still standing along with clover seeds. he then harvests and puts
            the threshed straw over the field. Im guessing that acts like a cover
            so seedballs are not needed. Does anyone have any clarifications to
            give me. thank you.

            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]




            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
          • linda
            I love the term veganic gardening. That is what I do although people I encounter give me some flack about not using animal products, including fish, for my
            Message 5 of 27 , Jan 24, 2007
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              I love the term "veganic gardening." That is what I do although people I
              encounter give me some flack about not using animal products, including
              fish, for my gardens. It just came naturally though, the vegan part, since I
              am a vegan how in the world could I justify using animal fertilizers,
              including fish fertilizer and be consistent. I guess I will have to change
              my "organic garden" tag to "veganic gardening" which will bring the
              questions on.
              linda
              linda's organic gardens: http://photos.yahoo.com/womyn47

              ----- Original Message -----
              From: "Andrew E Fister" <aefister@...>


              > Yes, "veganic gardening" has been catching on.

              > On Wed, 24 Jan 2007 14:31:57 -0800 (PST) Robert Monie
              > <bobm20001@...> writes:
              >
              > Some of the freshest and most original efforts to farm naturally are to
              > be found in Great Britain. Iain Holhurst, for example, who now runs a
              > stock-free farm (no animal input, no animal manure) began as a
              > traditional animal-manure dairy farmer over twenty years ago and for
              > totally economic and pragmatic reasons began to move towards more
              > sustainable methods. This odyssey carried him over first to organic
              > farming, and now to a distinctly vegan closed-loop method that fertilizes
              > using rotations of green manure and rotations of the crops growing in or
              > alongside it.
            • Bart
              Great to hear that the old Master is still alive, I do feel sorry for my stupid mistake. greetings, Bart
              Message 6 of 27 , Jan 25, 2007
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                Great to hear that the old Master is still alive, I do feel sorry for
                my stupid mistake.

                greetings,
                Bart
              • Jamie Nicol
                Dear Kikoricco, I think your question: How to start farming in a field ? is just to the point. Fukuoka suggests scything the existing vegetation of a field
                Message 7 of 27 , Jan 25, 2007
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                  Dear Kikoricco, I think your question: 'How to start farming in a field'?' is just to the point.

                  Fukuoka suggests scything the existing vegetation of a field as close to the ground as possible before broadcasting the seedballs (or just seed). I've tried this and have to say little seems to germinate. But then Fukuoka says it requires several years (and several seedballings) to make significant change. And we should not forget that his rice/barley succession, direct-seeded into green manure did not evolve from a rough field, but one that had been carefully tended for hundreds of years.

                  But another question arises from the above, and that is 'What is it we want when we start farming a field?'

                  When we answer this question for ourselves the actual practice of our farming becomes clear.

                  Jamie
                  Souscayrous




                  ----- Original Message -----
                  From: kikoricco
                  To: fukuoka_farming@yahoogroups.com
                  Sent: Wednesday, January 24, 2007 7:51 PM
                  Subject: [fukuoka_farming] Re: New Member


                  Im new to natural farming myself and I struggle to understand why
                  some of the techniques could work at night in my bed with my eyes
                  wide open in the darkness. Like suppressing weeds with clover or
                  other plants. I was wondering whats the point of doing that if theres
                  is still gonna be plants that compete with the main crop. I think I
                  understand now. The point is not thats there too many weeds in a
                  wheat field but that the weeds that appear are not directly useful
                  for the farmer. So replacing them with a different "weed" like some
                  leguminous vegetable that is edible and takes their place or clover
                  that takes their place but is not very demanding due to its small
                  size and so does not take up much nutrients and fixes nitrogen. Of
                  course weeds are defined by man and all plants are useful and if a
                  few weeds apear here and there who cares because they add to the
                  diversity (which in turn helps balance the insects) and help cover
                  the soil. Im very interested in trying the polyculture of Squash corn
                  and beans in the same field. the more I think of it the more it seems
                  logical (the indians are geniuses). The squash covers the soil, while
                  the corn stretches up to the sky and the beans climb up stalks and
                  around everywhere and fix nitro in the soil. The one question Im
                  still grapling with is to how to start farming in a field. I read in
                  Fukuoka book that one could just broadcast seedballs of different
                  vegetables and wild plants in a field and that they would come up
                  themselves. Instead of using making little holes one just coats the
                  seeds. This makes sense to me. But would one have to apply mulch
                  first to smother the other vegetation, or trample it with some kind
                  of manual mower. Once a grain field is established I read that
                  Fukuoka broadcasts his next grain crop over the previous one while
                  its still standing along with clover seeds. he then harvests and puts
                  the threshed straw over the field. Im guessing that acts like a cover
                  so seedballs are not needed. Does anyone have any clarifications to
                  give me. thank you.





                  [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                • delta_webmaster
                  I agree with Jamie, how to start farming in a field, is just to the point. My farming experiments have been largely successful if I start with hand tillage.
                  Message 8 of 27 , Jan 25, 2007
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                    I agree with Jamie, "how to start farming in a field," is just to the
                    point.

                    My farming experiments have been largely successful if I start with
                    hand tillage. Subsequent seeding into standing crops succeeds in most
                    cases where there is enough water to start germination. Less
                    successful have been my attempts to overcome dominant grass covered
                    fields. At some point in reading Fukuoka I remember the statement
                    that some weeding (tilling?) may be required to get started. I have
                    been attempting to go from a smaller area of hand tillage to a larger
                    area by casting seed into standing grasses with little success. At
                    most, legumes represent 10% in this manor. White clover is especially
                    difficult to establish this way. Red clover has been a little better.
                    This could be a regional difference.

                    I am interested in any methods the group members have used to get
                    started in persuading a new mix of ground cover. I remember one post
                    that suggested a round-up type chemical product to get started and I'm
                    reluctant to do this. I have considered an early spring rototilling
                    to plant clover into. Any other ideas? I think direct seeding and
                    cutting the overgrowth of grass would eventually be successful, but
                    coming from a culture of immediate gratification I don't see waiting
                    years and years on top of the years already invested.

                    The only answer to the question, "What is it we want when we start
                    farming a field," it seems to me, is a chance in the long run of
                    success in farming a field. Or am I missing an esoteric point here?



                    --- In fukuoka_farming@yahoogroups.com, "Jamie Nicol" <jamienicol@...>
                    wrote:
                    >
                    > Dear Kikoricco, I think your question: 'How to start farming in a
                    field'?' is just to the point.
                    >
                    > Fukuoka suggests scything the existing vegetation of a field as
                    close to the ground as possible before broadcasting the seedballs (or
                    just seed). I've tried this and have to say little seems to germinate.
                    But then Fukuoka says it requires several years (and several
                    seedballings) to make significant change. And we should not forget
                    that his rice/barley succession, direct-seeded into green manure did
                    not evolve from a rough field, but one that had been carefully tended
                    for hundreds of years.
                    >
                    > But another question arises from the above, and that is 'What is it
                    we want when we start farming a field?'
                    >
                    > When we answer this question for ourselves the actual practice of
                    our farming becomes clear.
                    >
                    > Jamie
                    > Souscayrous
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    > ----- Original Message -----
                    > From: kikoricco
                    > To: fukuoka_farming@yahoogroups.com
                    > Sent: Wednesday, January 24, 2007 7:51 PM
                    > Subject: [fukuoka_farming] Re: New Member
                    >
                    >
                    > Im new to natural farming myself and I struggle to understand why
                    > some of the techniques could work at night in my bed with my eyes
                    > wide open in the darkness. Like suppressing weeds with clover or
                    > other plants. I was wondering whats the point of doing that if theres
                    > is still gonna be plants that compete with the main crop. I think I
                    > understand now. The point is not thats there too many weeds in a
                    > wheat field but that the weeds that appear are not directly useful
                    > for the farmer. So replacing them with a different "weed" like some
                    > leguminous vegetable that is edible and takes their place or clover
                    > that takes their place but is not very demanding due to its small
                    > size and so does not take up much nutrients and fixes nitrogen. Of
                    > course weeds are defined by man and all plants are useful and if a
                    > few weeds apear here and there who cares because they add to the
                    > diversity (which in turn helps balance the insects) and help cover
                    > the soil. Im very interested in trying the polyculture of Squash corn
                    > and beans in the same field. the more I think of it the more it seems
                    > logical (the indians are geniuses). The squash covers the soil, while
                    > the corn stretches up to the sky and the beans climb up stalks and
                    > around everywhere and fix nitro in the soil. The one question Im
                    > still grapling with is to how to start farming in a field. I read in
                    > Fukuoka book that one could just broadcast seedballs of different
                    > vegetables and wild plants in a field and that they would come up
                    > themselves. Instead of using making little holes one just coats the
                    > seeds. This makes sense to me. But would one have to apply mulch
                    > first to smother the other vegetation, or trample it with some kind
                    > of manual mower. Once a grain field is established I read that
                    > Fukuoka broadcasts his next grain crop over the previous one while
                    > its still standing along with clover seeds. he then harvests and puts
                    > the threshed straw over the field. Im guessing that acts like a cover
                    > so seedballs are not needed. Does anyone have any clarifications to
                    > give me. thank you.
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                    >
                  • Robert Monie
                    Will Bonsall is an acknowledged seedsman; glad to hear he farms veganically ( stock free ). This puts him in the company of the late Scott Nearing, Elliot
                    Message 9 of 27 , Jan 25, 2007
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                      Will Bonsall is an acknowledged seedsman; glad to hear he farms veganically ( "stock free"). This puts him in the company of the late Scott Nearing, Elliot Coleman, Yoshikazu Kawaguchi, Iain Tolhurst and many others who produce veggies decade after decade, letting the "roots and cover crops" do the work of fertilizing the soil and nourishing the right microbes rather than recruiting animals to supply manure.

                      FEDCO seeds has a tribute to Will and a link to his Scatterseed project at
                      http://www.fedcoseeds.com/moose/scatterseed.htm

                      Andrew, do you know if Will by any chance offers an internship in veganic gardening/farming? This might fill the bill for the several new Fukuoka list members who have been looking for places to learn their craft.

                      Bob Monie
                      New Orleans, LA


                      Andrew E Fister <aefister@...> wrote:
                      Yes, "veganic gardening" has been catching on. There is a farmer in
                      Maine, Will Bonsall, who has been doing veganic gardening for over 30
                      years. He is also the primary curator for Potatoes, Peas, Runner Beans,
                      Fava Beans and Biennials for the Seed Savers Exchange. He is also the
                      founder of Scatterseed Project, which conducts workshops on veganic
                      gardening, seed saving, self reliance, regional food independence and
                      sustainability. Scatterseed Project maintains literally thousands of
                      varieties of vegetable seed.

                      Andrew Fister
                      Wandafar Sanctuary
                      Glasgow, KY

                      On Wed, 24 Jan 2007 14:31:57 -0800 (PST) Robert Monie
                      <bobm20001@...> writes:
                      Hi Kikorrico,

                      Some of the freshest and most original efforts to farm naturally are to
                      be found in Great Britain. Iain Holhurst, for example, who now runs a
                      stock-free farm (no animal input, no animal manure) began as a
                      traditional animal-manure dairy farmer over twenty years ago and for
                      totally economic and pragmatic reasons began to move towards more
                      sustainable methods. This odyssey carried him over first to organic
                      farming, and now to a distinctly vegan closed-loop method that fertilizes
                      using rotations of green manure and rotations of the crops growing in or
                      alongside it.

                      I recommend Holhurst especially for 2 compelling reasons: 1) he has been
                      a successful Commercial farmer for some time, producing over 500 boxes of
                      produce for clients weekly, using the sustainable techniques he writes
                      about; 2) he is co-author of a recent book that tries to redirect
                      agriculture beyond the traditional categories of chemical farming, animal
                      farming, and traditional organic farming towards a plant-only closed
                      system that does the job. His book (co-authored with Jenny Hall and to be
                      released in the US in a few months) is "Growing Green: Animal-Free
                      Organic Techniques."

                      Holhurst has reported success in growing some food crops directly over
                      the green cover crops (as Fukuoka did with vegetables) and some alongside
                      the cover crops. I doubt that he has worked out the details yet for every
                      crop in every kind of soil, but he is well on his way toward making
                      reliable generalizations, especially for crops and soils in Great
                      Britain. After you read his book, if you have a chance to meet with
                      Holhurst (in person or by correspondence), I don't think you will regret
                      it. Also, both Holhurst and his co-author Hall are trying to recover
                      techniques known to the British ley farmers of the 19th and early 20th
                      centuries but now nearly lost. The big difference is that Holhurst and
                      Hall are adapting these techniques to stock-free, vegan soil culture.

                      I would call attention to the word "techniques" in Holhurst's book. As
                      human beings, without techniques we can only dream.

                      For a little glimpse of what Holhurst does see
                      http://www.vegfolk.co.uk/news/docs/Tolhurst.pdf

                      Sincerely,

                      Bob Monie
                      New Orleans, LA
                      kikoricco <kikoricco@...> wrote:
                      Im new to natural farming myself and I struggle to understand why
                      some of the techniques could work at night in my bed with my eyes
                      wide open in the darkness. Like suppressing weeds with clover or
                      other plants. I was wondering whats the point of doing that if theres
                      is still gonna be plants that compete with the main crop. I think I
                      understand now. The point is not thats there too many weeds in a
                      wheat field but that the weeds that appear are not directly useful
                      for the farmer. So replacing them with a different "weed" like some
                      leguminous vegetable that is edible and takes their place or clover
                      that takes their place but is not very demanding due to its small
                      size and so does not take up much nutrients and fixes nitrogen. Of
                      course weeds are defined by man and all plants are useful and if a
                      few weeds apear here and there who cares because they add to the
                      diversity (which in turn helps balance the insects) and help cover
                      the soil. Im very interested in trying the polyculture of Squash corn
                      and beans in the same field. the more I think of it the more it seems
                      logical (the indians are geniuses). The squash covers the soil, while
                      the corn stretches up to the sky and the beans climb up stalks and
                      around everywhere and fix nitro in the soil. The one question Im
                      still grapling with is to how to start farming in a field. I read in
                      Fukuoka book that one could just broadcast seedballs of different
                      vegetables and wild plants in a field and that they would come up
                      themselves. Instead of using making little holes one just coats the
                      seeds. This makes sense to me. But would one have to apply mulch
                      first to smother the other vegetation, or trample it with some kind
                      of manual mower. Once a grain field is established I read that
                      Fukuoka broadcasts his next grain crop over the previous one while
                      its still standing along with clover seeds. he then harvests and puts
                      the threshed straw over the field. Im guessing that acts like a cover
                      so seedballs are not needed. Does anyone have any clarifications to
                      give me. thank you.

                      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]

                      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]






                      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                    • kikoricco
                      Thanks for the reply. So any suggestions or success stories? I jutfrustrated sometimes because nobody tells any success stories jsut problems and mysteries.
                      Message 10 of 27 , Jan 26, 2007
                      • 0 Attachment
                        Thanks for the reply. So any suggestions or success stories? I
                        jutfrustrated sometimes because nobody tells any success stories jsut
                        problems and mysteries. Encouragment is very important. Thanks
                        --- In fukuoka_farming@yahoogroups.com, "Jamie Nicol"
                        <jamienicol@...> wrote:
                        >
                        > Dear Kikoricco, I think your question: 'How to start farming in a
                        field'?' is just to the point.
                        >
                        > Fukuoka suggests scything the existing vegetation of a field as
                        close to the ground as possible before broadcasting the seedballs (or
                        just seed). I've tried this and have to say little seems to
                        germinate. But then Fukuoka says it requires several years (and
                        several seedballings) to make significant change. And we should not
                        forget that his rice/barley succession, direct-seeded into green
                        manure did not evolve from a rough field, but one that had been
                        carefully tended for hundreds of years.
                        >
                        > But another question arises from the above, and that is 'What is it
                        we want when we start farming a field?'
                        >
                        > When we answer this question for ourselves the actual practice of
                        our farming becomes clear.
                        >
                        > Jamie
                        > Souscayrous
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        > ----- Original Message -----
                        > From: kikoricco
                        > To: fukuoka_farming@yahoogroups.com
                        > Sent: Wednesday, January 24, 2007 7:51 PM
                        > Subject: [fukuoka_farming] Re: New Member
                        >
                        >
                        > Im new to natural farming myself and I struggle to understand why
                        > some of the techniques could work at night in my bed with my eyes
                        > wide open in the darkness. Like suppressing weeds with clover or
                        > other plants. I was wondering whats the point of doing that if
                        theres
                        > is still gonna be plants that compete with the main crop. I think
                        I
                        > understand now. The point is not thats there too many weeds in a
                        > wheat field but that the weeds that appear are not directly
                        useful
                        > for the farmer. So replacing them with a different "weed" like
                        some
                        > leguminous vegetable that is edible and takes their place or
                        clover
                        > that takes their place but is not very demanding due to its small
                        > size and so does not take up much nutrients and fixes nitrogen.
                        Of
                        > course weeds are defined by man and all plants are useful and if
                        a
                        > few weeds apear here and there who cares because they add to the
                        > diversity (which in turn helps balance the insects) and help
                        cover
                        > the soil. Im very interested in trying the polyculture of Squash
                        corn
                        > and beans in the same field. the more I think of it the more it
                        seems
                        > logical (the indians are geniuses). The squash covers the soil,
                        while
                        > the corn stretches up to the sky and the beans climb up stalks
                        and
                        > around everywhere and fix nitro in the soil. The one question Im
                        > still grapling with is to how to start farming in a field. I read
                        in
                        > Fukuoka book that one could just broadcast seedballs of different
                        > vegetables and wild plants in a field and that they would come up
                        > themselves. Instead of using making little holes one just coats
                        the
                        > seeds. This makes sense to me. But would one have to apply mulch
                        > first to smother the other vegetation, or trample it with some
                        kind
                        > of manual mower. Once a grain field is established I read that
                        > Fukuoka broadcasts his next grain crop over the previous one
                        while
                        > its still standing along with clover seeds. he then harvests and
                        puts
                        > the threshed straw over the field. Im guessing that acts like a
                        cover
                        > so seedballs are not needed. Does anyone have any clarifications
                        to
                        > give me. thank you.
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                        >
                      • Jamie Nicol
                        Dear Kikoricco, I have just bought an old vineyard that is split into two, roughly acre-sized fields. These fields have been in vines for more than 100 years
                        Message 11 of 27 , Jan 27, 2007
                        • 0 Attachment
                          Dear Kikoricco, I have just bought an old vineyard that is split into two, roughly acre-sized fields. These fields have been in vines for more than 100 years and with the constant ploughing, spraying (Lime, Copper Sulphate, Round-Up, Pesticide) and leaving the soil naked year round and thus prone to erosion, the soil is almost free of organic matter, dusty (no structure) and devoid of microorganisms - ie almost dead. The field I mentioned I'd seedballed with little immediate success was lush, with many grass, legumes, wild flowers...etc and had not been ploughed for more than 30 years, only mown to keep woody plants from taking over.

                          Because of the life in the pasture I would be loath to do anything to disrupt the obviously healthy cycling of myriad life and continue with scything and seedballing/seeding until I had changed what was growing; while for the old vineyard I propose passing a tractor to breakup the plough-pan, to break up the huge clods of soil (it is clay rich here and when dry becomes very hard and these clods weighing upto 25kg have been left after the digging up of the vineyard) and refill the gully that has formed in the lower field due to rainfall erosion.

                          Vastly different solutions are required for vastly different circumstances. Perhaps if you gave us an idea of the field you want to begin NF in we could all be more specific with recommendations and techniques that work.

                          Jamie
                          Souscayrous

                          PS I'd be very pleased to hear from anyone with ideas of what to do with the old vineyard. Mediterranean climate, clay soil, calcareous, southerly aspect, 600mm rainfall, falling mostly in autumn but some in spring but with large annual difference (300mm in last 12 months), -7C average annual minimum, 50-60 days above 30C. Thanks
                          ----- Original Message -----
                          From: kikoricco
                          To: fukuoka_farming@yahoogroups.com
                          Sent: Saturday, January 27, 2007 2:04 AM
                          Subject: [fukuoka_farming] Re: New Member


                          Thanks for the reply. So any suggestions or success stories? I
                          jutfrustrated sometimes because nobody tells any success stories jsut
                          problems and mysteries. Encouragment is very important. Thanks
                          --- In fukuoka_farming@yahoogroups.com, "Jamie Nicol"
                          <jamienicol@...> wrote:
                          >
                          > Dear Kikoricco, I think your question: 'How to start farming in a
                          field'?' is just to the point.
                          >
                          > Fukuoka suggests scything the existing vegetation of a field as
                          close to the ground as possible before broadcasting the seedballs (or
                          just seed). I've tried this and have to say little seems to
                          germinate. But then Fukuoka says it requires several years (and
                          several seedballings) to make significant change. And we should not
                          forget that his rice/barley succession, direct-seeded into green
                          manure did not evolve from a rough field, but one that had been
                          carefully tended for hundreds of years.
                          >
                          > But another question arises from the above, and that is 'What is it
                          we want when we start farming a field?'
                          >
                          > When we answer this question for ourselves the actual practice of
                          our farming becomes clear.
                          >
                          > Jamie
                          > Souscayrous
                          >
                          >
                          >
                          >
                          > ----- Original Message -----
                          > From: kikoricco
                          > To: fukuoka_farming@yahoogroups.com
                          > Sent: Wednesday, January 24, 2007 7:51 PM
                          > Subject: [fukuoka_farming] Re: New Member
                          >
                          >
                          > Im new to natural farming myself and I struggle to understand why
                          > some of the techniques could work at night in my bed with my eyes
                          > wide open in the darkness. Like suppressing weeds with clover or
                          > other plants. I was wondering whats the point of doing that if
                          theres
                          > is still gonna be plants that compete with the main crop. I think
                          I
                          > understand now. The point is not thats there too many weeds in a
                          > wheat field but that the weeds that appear are not directly
                          useful
                          > for the farmer. So replacing them with a different "weed" like
                          some
                          > leguminous vegetable that is edible and takes their place or
                          clover
                          > that takes their place but is not very demanding due to its small
                          > size and so does not take up much nutrients and fixes nitrogen.
                          Of
                          > course weeds are defined by man and all plants are useful and if
                          a
                          > few weeds apear here and there who cares because they add to the
                          > diversity (which in turn helps balance the insects) and help
                          cover
                          > the soil. Im very interested in trying the polyculture of Squash
                          corn
                          > and beans in the same field. the more I think of it the more it
                          seems
                          > logical (the indians are geniuses). The squash covers the soil,
                          while
                          > the corn stretches up to the sky and the beans climb up stalks
                          and
                          > around everywhere and fix nitro in the soil. The one question Im
                          > still grapling with is to how to start farming in a field. I read
                          in
                          > Fukuoka book that one could just broadcast seedballs of different
                          > vegetables and wild plants in a field and that they would come up
                          > themselves. Instead of using making little holes one just coats
                          the
                          > seeds. This makes sense to me. But would one have to apply mulch
                          > first to smother the other vegetation, or trample it with some
                          kind
                          > of manual mower. Once a grain field is established I read that
                          > Fukuoka broadcasts his next grain crop over the previous one
                          while
                          > its still standing along with clover seeds. he then harvests and
                          puts
                          > the threshed straw over the field. Im guessing that acts like a
                          cover
                          > so seedballs are not needed. Does anyone have any clarifications
                          to
                          > give me. thank you.
                          >
                          >
                          >
                          >
                          >
                          > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                          >





                          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                        • Royal A. Purdy
                          Jamie, I recommend you take a look at the Yeomans Plow website. (www.yeomansplow.com); somewhere there in the Red Book catalog section is a photo of the
                          Message 12 of 27 , Jan 27, 2007
                          • 0 Attachment
                            Jamie,

                            I recommend you take a look at the "Yeomans Plow" website.
                            (www.yeomansplow.com); somewhere there in the "Red Book" catalog
                            section is a photo of the very minimally invasive Yeomans type plow
                            being used in a vineyard environment. While there also study
                            the "Keyline" system techniques links as viewed from a Fukuoka Style
                            Natural Farming practitioners perspective and point of view. Good
                            luck.

                            Be safe. Sincerely,

                            Royal A. Purdy, The Elysian Fields and Pasture Project
                            A.H. Tuttle and Company
                            1007 County Road 8
                            Farmington, New York 14425
                            www.ahtuttle.com
                            rapurdy@...
                            315-986-7007
                          • Jamie Nicol
                            Dear Royal, thanks for the tip on the Keyline system. I came across it some years ago while enthralled by permaculture (Mollisson has perhaps done more than
                            Message 13 of 27 , Jan 28, 2007
                            • 0 Attachment
                              Dear Royal, thanks for the tip on the Keyline system. I came across it some years ago while enthralled by permaculture (Mollisson has perhaps done more than anyone to champion Yeoman's techniques). But my aim is to minimise machinery use and my reluctant use of a tractor, plough and harrow is a one-off. But, again, given the right circumstances (I've read with interest 'The Basis of Keyline' and the success in rebuilding pasture quickly), it might well have an application within NF.

                              A particular technique is neither right nor wrong because before any technique is applied there is the reason that puts it to use.

                              Jamie
                              Souscayrous


                              ----- Original Message -----
                              From: Royal A. Purdy
                              To: fukuoka_farming@yahoogroups.com
                              Sent: Saturday, January 27, 2007 5:21 PM
                              Subject: [fukuoka_farming] Re: New Member


                              Jamie,

                              I recommend you take a look at the "Yeomans Plow" website.
                              (www.yeomansplow.com); somewhere there in the "Red Book" catalog
                              section is a photo of the very minimally invasive Yeomans type plow
                              being used in a vineyard environment. While there also study
                              the "Keyline" system techniques links as viewed from a Fukuoka Style
                              Natural Farming practitioners perspective and point of view. Good
                              luck.

                              Be safe. Sincerely,

                              Royal A. Purdy, The Elysian Fields and Pasture Project
                              A.H. Tuttle and Company
                              1007 County Road 8
                              Farmington, New York 14425
                              www.ahtuttle.com
                              rapurdy@...
                              315-986-7007





                              [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                            • Javier Dávila
                              Jamie In my little experiencie that have with the clay in my land i see that the bacteria that get the nitrogen from the air don´t success if the clay not
                              Message 14 of 27 , Jan 28, 2007
                              • 0 Attachment
                                Jamie

                                In my little experiencie that have with the clay in my land
                                i see that the bacteria that get the nitrogen from the air don´t
                                success if the clay not allow to breathe the roots.

                                Javier H.



                                At 07:51 a.m. 28/01/2007, you wrote:

                                >Dear Royal, thanks for the tip on the Keyline
                                >system. I came across it some years ago while
                                >enthralled by permaculture (Mollisson has
                                >perhaps done more than anyone to champion
                                >Yeoman's techniques). But my aim is to minimise
                                >machinery use and my reluctant use of a tractor,
                                >plough and harrow is a one-off. But, again,
                                >given the right circumstances (I've read with
                                >interest 'The Basis of Keyline' and the success
                                >in rebuilding pasture quickly), it might well have an application within NF.
                                >
                                >A particular technique is neither right nor
                                >wrong because before any technique is applied
                                >there is the reason that puts it to use.
                                >
                                >Jamie
                                >Souscayrous
                                >
                                >----- Original Message -----
                                >From: Royal A. Purdy
                                >To: <mailto:fukuoka_farming%40yahoogroups.com>fukuoka_farming@yahoogroups.com
                                >Sent: Saturday, January 27, 2007 5:21 PM
                                >Subject: [fukuoka_farming] Re: New Member
                                >
                                >Jamie,
                                >
                                >I recommend you take a look at the "Yeomans Plow" website.
                                >(www.yeomansplow.com); somewhere there in the "Red Book" catalog
                                >section is a photo of the very minimally invasive Yeomans type plow
                                >being used in a vineyard environment. While there also study
                                >the "Keyline" system techniques links as viewed from a Fukuoka Style
                                >Natural Farming practitioners perspective and point of view. Good
                                >luck.
                                >
                                >Be safe. Sincerely,
                                >
                                >Royal A. Purdy, The Elysian Fields and Pasture Project
                                >A.H. Tuttle and Company
                                >1007 County Road 8
                                >Farmington, New York 14425
                                >www.ahtuttle.com
                                ><mailto:rapurdy%40ahtuttle.com>rapurdy@...
                                >315-986-7007
                                >
                                >[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                                >
                                >
                              • Andrew E Fister
                                Hey Bob, I believe Will and Molly do take on interns, but you have to contact them directly at Khadighar Farm in Maine. From what I gather they are pretty low
                                Message 15 of 27 , Jan 29, 2007
                                • 0 Attachment
                                  Hey Bob,
                                  I believe Will and Molly do take on interns, but you have to contact them
                                  directly at Khadighar Farm in Maine. From what I gather they are pretty
                                  low tech, so if you want to find out anything you'll have to contact them
                                  by snail mail or telephone. Will is very much regionally focused and
                                  utilizes only those resources that are available to his area. So I would
                                  say anyone interested in learning his gardening ways from outside the New
                                  England zone might want to take that into consideration.

                                  Andrew Fister
                                  Wandafar Sanctuary
                                  Glasgow, KY

                                  On Thu, 25 Jan 2007 13:18:21 -0800 (PST) Robert Monie
                                  <bobm20001@...> writes:
                                  Will Bonsall is an acknowledged seedsman; glad to hear he farms
                                  veganically ( "stock free"). This puts him in the company of the late
                                  Scott Nearing, Elliot Coleman, Yoshikazu Kawaguchi, Iain Tolhurst and
                                  many others who produce veggies decade after decade, letting the "roots
                                  and cover crops" do the work of fertilizing the soil and nourishing the
                                  right microbes rather than recruiting animals to supply manure.

                                  FEDCO seeds has a tribute to Will and a link to his Scatterseed project
                                  at
                                  http://www.fedcoseeds.com/moose/scatterseed.htm

                                  Andrew, do you know if Will by any chance offers an internship in veganic
                                  gardening/farming? This might fill the bill for the several new Fukuoka
                                  list members who have been looking for places to learn their craft.

                                  Bob Monie
                                  New Orleans, LA

                                  Andrew E Fister <aefister@...> wrote:
                                  Yes, "veganic gardening" has been catching on. There is a farmer in
                                  Maine, Will Bonsall, who has been doing veganic gardening for over 30
                                  years. He is also the primary curator for Potatoes, Peas, Runner Beans,
                                  Fava Beans and Biennials for the Seed Savers Exchange. He is also the
                                  founder of Scatterseed Project, which conducts workshops on veganic
                                  gardening, seed saving, self reliance, regional food independence and
                                  sustainability. Scatterseed Project maintains literally thousands of
                                  varieties of vegetable seed.

                                  Andrew Fister
                                  Wandafar Sanctuary
                                  Glasgow, KY

                                  On Wed, 24 Jan 2007 14:31:57 -0800 (PST) Robert Monie
                                  <bobm20001@...> writes:
                                  Hi Kikorrico,

                                  Some of the freshest and most original efforts to farm naturally are to
                                  be found in Great Britain. Iain Holhurst, for example, who now runs a
                                  stock-free farm (no animal input, no animal manure) began as a
                                  traditional animal-manure dairy farmer over twenty years ago and for
                                  totally economic and pragmatic reasons began to move towards more
                                  sustainable methods. This odyssey carried him over first to organic
                                  farming, and now to a distinctly vegan closed-loop method that fertilizes
                                  using rotations of green manure and rotations of the crops growing in or
                                  alongside it.

                                  I recommend Holhurst especially for 2 compelling reasons: 1) he has been
                                  a successful Commercial farmer for some time, producing over 500 boxes of
                                  produce for clients weekly, using the sustainable techniques he writes
                                  about; 2) he is co-author of a recent book that tries to redirect
                                  agriculture beyond the traditional categories of chemical farming, animal
                                  farming, and traditional organic farming towards a plant-only closed
                                  system that does the job. His book (co-authored with Jenny Hall and to be
                                  released in the US in a few months) is "Growing Green: Animal-Free
                                  Organic Techniques."

                                  Holhurst has reported success in growing some food crops directly over
                                  the green cover crops (as Fukuoka did with vegetables) and some alongside
                                  the cover crops. I doubt that he has worked out the details yet for every
                                  crop in every kind of soil, but he is well on his way toward making
                                  reliable generalizations, especially for crops and soils in Great
                                  Britain. After you read his book, if you have a chance to meet with
                                  Holhurst (in person or by correspondence), I don't think you will regret
                                  it. Also, both Holhurst and his co-author Hall are trying to recover
                                  techniques known to the British ley farmers of the 19th and early 20th
                                  centuries but now nearly lost. The big difference is that Holhurst and
                                  Hall are adapting these techniques to stock-free, vegan soil culture.

                                  I would call attention to the word "techniques" in Holhurst's book. As
                                  human beings, without techniques we can only dream.

                                  For a little glimpse of what Holhurst does see
                                  http://www.vegfolk.co.uk/news/docs/Tolhurst.pdf

                                  Sincerely,

                                  Bob Monie
                                  New Orleans, LA
                                  kikoricco <kikoricco@...> wrote:
                                  Im new to natural farming myself and I struggle to understand why
                                  some of the techniques could work at night in my bed with my eyes
                                  wide open in the darkness. Like suppressing weeds with clover or
                                  other plants. I was wondering whats the point of doing that if theres
                                  is still gonna be plants that compete with the main crop. I think I
                                  understand now. The point is not thats there too many weeds in a
                                  wheat field but that the weeds that appear are not directly useful
                                  for the farmer. So replacing them with a different "weed" like some
                                  leguminous vegetable that is edible and takes their place or clover
                                  that takes their place but is not very demanding due to its small
                                  size and so does not take up much nutrients and fixes nitrogen. Of
                                  course weeds are defined by man and all plants are useful and if a
                                  few weeds apear here and there who cares because they add to the
                                  diversity (which in turn helps balance the insects) and help cover
                                  the soil. Im very interested in trying the polyculture of Squash corn
                                  and beans in the same field. the more I think of it the more it seems
                                  logical (the indians are geniuses). The squash covers the soil, while
                                  the corn stretches up to the sky and the beans climb up stalks and
                                  around everywhere and fix nitro in the soil. The one question Im
                                  still grapling with is to how to start farming in a field. I read in
                                  Fukuoka book that one could just broadcast seedballs of different
                                  vegetables and wild plants in a field and that they would come up
                                  themselves. Instead of using making little holes one just coats the
                                  seeds. This makes sense to me. But would one have to apply mulch
                                  first to smother the other vegetation, or trample it with some kind
                                  of manual mower. Once a grain field is established I read that
                                  Fukuoka broadcasts his next grain crop over the previous one while
                                  its still standing along with clover seeds. he then harvests and puts
                                  the threshed straw over the field. Im guessing that acts like a cover
                                  so seedballs are not needed. Does anyone have any clarifications to
                                  give me. thank you.

                                  [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]

                                  [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]

                                  [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]




                                  [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                                • emilie hamilton
                                  Thank you for information of Will and Molly s veganic farm in Maine. I have been seeking out farmers who value vegan farming in order to find a place to farm
                                  Message 16 of 27 , Jan 29, 2007
                                  • 0 Attachment
                                    Thank you for information of Will and Molly's 'veganic' farm in
                                    Maine. I have been seeking out farmers who value vegan farming
                                    in order to find a place to farm this coming spring when I
                                    finish house/pet sitting here in Massachusetts. I had the
                                    blessed opportunity to met Helen Nearing just after Scott had
                                    died - then left New England for a period of time.

                                    The other area of the country I have considered moving to is
                                    Kentucky - still remember the beauty of plum trees in blossom in
                                    early spring driving through Kentucky a number of years ago.

                                    I would much appreciate information of veganic farming farms
                                    anyone has knowledge of here in the US. THANK YOU. Blessings,
                                    Em

                                    Let the beauty we love be what we do. Rumi
                                    Let everything you do be done in love.
                                    1 Corinthians 16:14
                                    'Love is the measure.' Dorothy Day
                                    'Gather yourselves...All that we do now must
                                    be done in a sacred manner.' Hopi Elders 2001



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                                  • Robert Monie
                                    Hi Kikoricco, What is success ? I grow chinese greens (yo choy, bok choy, tah tsoy, purple mustard, lemon cucumbers, gai lan, perilla, Vietnamese mint,
                                    Message 17 of 27 , Jan 30, 2007
                                    • 0 Attachment
                                      Hi Kikoricco,

                                      What is "success"?

                                      I grow chinese greens (yo choy, bok choy, tah tsoy, purple mustard, lemon cucumbers, gai lan, perilla, Vietnamese mint, Vietnamese coriander and others) as well as scallions, onions, chives, lemon grass, cucumbers and kumquats in decent amounts (about 75% of what a chemical garden of the same size would support) on soil that has been enlivened by successions of cover crops with some vegan composting and a little annual soil innoculation
                                      (with glomus microbes bred by Dr. Michael Melendrez). No till, no fertilizer, no pesticide (though I do spray garlic extract). I think I have a modestly successful "natural" garden and I have started gardens with friends in other locations on the same principles that are doing modestly well. If by "success" you mean beating the yield that your neighbors get with chemicals, I say forget it. Natural farmer Y. Kawaguchi reports that he is doing well after several decades with a yield of about 80% of what the chemical farms produce, and I say very loudly, "good enough"! Some commercial vegan farmers (who are moving pretty fast in the direction of "natural" farming) may be able to do better or may not; we shall wait and see.

                                      Seventy to Eighty percent the yield of chemical farming is enough. In the "developed" world, obesity is increasingly common, even in infants. Cutting back to 70% calories, if the food is nutrient dense, would be an improvement for most people.

                                      Be happy! Find a mentor who knows seeds and grows veganically. How about Will Bonsall in Maine? (Khadighar Vegan Farm, 39 Bailey Road,. Industry, Maine 04938 or Khadighar Farm, Box 1167, Farmington, Maine 04938--thanks to Andrew for the lead). Veganic farmers are necessarily minimalist, since they forego the use of blood, feathers, bone, hair, animal manures, guanos and urine. This minimalism usually pushes them in the direction of Fukuoka's ideal closed-loop system, with very pleasant results.

                                      You need to become a cover-crop and root-growing farmer before you become a food-crop farmer. You need to grow plants that feed the soil and develop humus first before you can grow plants that feed human stomachs.

                                      Grow a succession of cover crops for a few seasons to find out what thrives in your area before trying to grow food crops. Take pride in what big, lush cover crops you can grow; cover the fields with them! Try buckwheat, rye, spelt, ladino or New Zealand clover, hairy vetch, red and yellow clover, oilseed radish, "trios" triticale, chicory, nettle. Your cold weather might support bell beans (fava) as well. Here and there (definitely not for complete cover), try some rows of deep rooted "wild" plants like purple coneflower (Echinacea purpurea) with its 24-inch minimum root, deep accumulator herbs like sorrel, plantain, dandelion, and burnet, and some monster root grass like Vetiver grass, with its up to 10-foot long roots.

                                      You can also plant some Easy food crops for cover, such as green onions (scallions)--those from the produce shelf at grocery stores will take root in most soils (assuming that the produce clerk didn't cut off the roots).

                                      It doesn't matter if you want to try these cover crops separately or mixed so long as you have a fair idea of when not to plant them (buckwheat won't usually grow in the winter, and
                                      Daikon radish won't grow well in the hot summer heat, for example). If I put any of these seeds in seedballs, they don''t grow at all for me; but most will grow if I just sow them "naked." There will be some seeds that your region does not like. In New Orleans, hairy vetch usually doesn't sprout, or if it does it wilts soon after. I have planted wheat over and over just to see only a stalk or two every 30 feet or so. But rye grows so wild and fast that you can sow it over a pile of dead leaves and it will take root and cover the leaves with a thick mat of bright green shoots!

                                      My Vietnamese farmer friends say that the best you can do is to "make life easy (or happy)for the roots and their friends" (meaning the microbial life that feeds them), and you will be successful. Working with Vietnamese farmers in the New Orleans area, trading
                                      cultures, picking brains (as well as Asian greens), and sounding out sympathies, I have learned to roll as the Earth rolls. After a couple of seasons of unsuccessfully trying to get Gai lohn seeds established in a well-composed, cover-cropped New Orleans East field, the farmers just dug up some gai lohn seedlings (which had roots waiting to be made happy) from another field, and the transplants did just fine. In fact, there's no law against growing all your veggies from plug packs for the first few years if your soil doesn't like seeds. Richters in Canada (they ship to the US) has some wonderful "plug packs" of Chinese Cabbage, Japanese eggplants, Gai-lohn, Pak-Choi, and Alpine Strawberries waiting to be made happy. (See http://www.Richters.com). So does Grizzly Hill Farm (http://www.GrowOrganic.com). Their seedlings include purple tomatillo, lemon cucumber, Suyo long Chinese cucumber, mizuna mustand, tat tsoi, and purple wave mustard.

                                      Some soils don't like annuals but will grow perennial vegetables (from seed.) John Jeavons' Bountiful Gardens (http://www.bountifulgardens.org) now offers a perennial vegetable exploratory packet (LAY-6610) that includes asparagus, perpetual spinach, seakale, good king henry, rhubarb, artichoke, welsh onion, and sorrel.

                                      Start growing!

                                      Bob Monie
                                      New Orleans, LA
                                      After the Flood




                                      kikoricco <kikoricco@...> wrote:
                                      Thanks for the reply. So any suggestions or success stories? I
                                      jutfrustrated sometimes because nobody tells any success stories jsut
                                      problems and mysteries. Encouragment is very important. Thanks
                                      --- In fukuoka_farming@yahoogroups.com, "Jamie Nicol"
                                      <jamienicol@...> wrote:
                                      >
                                      > Dear Kikoricco, I think your question: 'How to start farming in a
                                      field'?' is just to the point.
                                      >
                                      > Fukuoka suggests scything the existing vegetation of a field as
                                      close to the ground as possible before broadcasting the seedballs (or
                                      just seed). I've tried this and have to say little seems to
                                      germinate. But then Fukuoka says it requires several years (and
                                      several seedballings) to make significant change. And we should not
                                      forget that his rice/barley succession, direct-seeded into green
                                      manure did not evolve from a rough field, but one that had been
                                      carefully tended for hundreds of years.
                                      >
                                      > But another question arises from the above, and that is 'What is it
                                      we want when we start farming a field?'
                                      >
                                      > When we answer this question for ourselves the actual practice of
                                      our farming becomes clear.
                                      >
                                      > Jamie
                                      > Souscayrous
                                      >
                                      >
                                      >
                                      >
                                      > ----- Original Message -----
                                      > From: kikoricco
                                      > To: fukuoka_farming@yahoogroups.com
                                      > Sent: Wednesday, January 24, 2007 7:51 PM
                                      > Subject: [fukuoka_farming] Re: New Member
                                      >
                                      >
                                      > Im new to natural farming myself and I struggle to understand why
                                      > some of the techniques could work at night in my bed with my eyes
                                      > wide open in the darkness. Like suppressing weeds with clover or
                                      > other plants. I was wondering whats the point of doing that if
                                      theres
                                      > is still gonna be plants that compete with the main crop. I think
                                      I
                                      > understand now. The point is not thats there too many weeds in a
                                      > wheat field but that the weeds that appear are not directly
                                      useful
                                      > for the farmer. So replacing them with a different "weed" like
                                      some
                                      > leguminous vegetable that is edible and takes their place or
                                      clover
                                      > that takes their place but is not very demanding due to its small
                                      > size and so does not take up much nutrients and fixes nitrogen.
                                      Of
                                      > course weeds are defined by man and all plants are useful and if
                                      a
                                      > few weeds apear here and there who cares because they add to the
                                      > diversity (which in turn helps balance the insects) and help
                                      cover
                                      > the soil. Im very interested in trying the polyculture of Squash
                                      corn
                                      > and beans in the same field. the more I think of it the more it
                                      seems
                                      > logical (the indians are geniuses). The squash covers the soil,
                                      while
                                      > the corn stretches up to the sky and the beans climb up stalks
                                      and
                                      > around everywhere and fix nitro in the soil. The one question Im
                                      > still grapling with is to how to start farming in a field. I read
                                      in
                                      > Fukuoka book that one could just broadcast seedballs of different
                                      > vegetables and wild plants in a field and that they would come up
                                      > themselves. Instead of using making little holes one just coats
                                      the
                                      > seeds. This makes sense to me. But would one have to apply mulch
                                      > first to smother the other vegetation, or trample it with some
                                      kind
                                      > of manual mower. Once a grain field is established I read that
                                      > Fukuoka broadcasts his next grain crop over the previous one
                                      while
                                      > its still standing along with clover seeds. he then harvests and
                                      puts
                                      > the threshed straw over the field. Im guessing that acts like a
                                      cover
                                      > so seedballs are not needed. Does anyone have any clarifications
                                      to
                                      > give me. thank you.
                                      >
                                      >
                                      >
                                      >
                                      >
                                      > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                                      >






                                      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                                    • kikoricco
                                      Yes, It all makes sense. Get the land back into shape by planting colonizing species that do well in extreme soils, deep rooted plant and plants that improve
                                      Message 18 of 27 , Jan 30, 2007
                                      • 0 Attachment
                                        Yes, It all makes sense. Get the land back into shape by planting
                                        colonizing species that do well in extreme soils, deep rooted plant
                                        and plants that improve soils, always keep ground covered. My
                                        definition of success is being able to live off the land while
                                        enhancing the life of everything associated with it. plants, animals,
                                        etc...blablabla. I would have to say my main frustration in living
                                        here in NYC were my only garden is 3feetx3feet in front of the house
                                        and its already taken up by my mother in laws Jesus statue and a bunch
                                        of ugly bricks.
                                        Ive been doing a lot of reading and Im impatient to move to South
                                        America which I will b doing in a year. My plan is to go to Brazil and
                                        learn from these people
                                        http://www.farmingsolutions.org/successtories/stories.asp?id=89#
                                        the guy who started it all is a swiss guy and 20 years ago bought a
                                        big amount of abandonded farm land that used to be rainforest but was
                                        degraded to the point of abandon. With his simple slash/ mulch
                                        agroforestry techniques 5 years later he had Cacao been yields far
                                        higher than the national average and now his land looks just like the
                                        rainforest it used to be with Bananas, pineapples, cacao, native
                                        fruits, nitrogen fixing trees, etc...he has noticed endangered species
                                        that thrive in his land. Even the cacao producing french multinational
                                        that lives next door has hired him as a consultant. Him and people who
                                        trained under him started a polyculture project in the dyrlands area
                                        of brazil with much success. Same agroforestry techniques but designed
                                        with different plants suitable to the conditions and now the banks
                                        that used to require the farmer to use chemicals and monoculture in
                                        order to get a loan are considering changing that to requiring
                                        polyculture to get a loan. Its showing that there is a future on the
                                        farm and it has stopped many people from moving to the slums in Rio.
                                        I did a lot of reading on the internet of the natural farming of the
                                        Indians in the americas.
                                        http://ppathw3.cals.cornell.edu/mba_project/ETHURSTON.html
                                        its very interesting.
                                        also on the Hopi Tribe (of arizona) I was reading that traditionaly
                                        hopi farmers didnt till the soil and their crops were interspersed
                                        with rows of native vegetation (what most people call weeds) to help
                                        retain moisture fight erosion windbreak insect resistance etc...
                                        also natives in the polynesian islands used to do slash mulch
                                        agriculture of banana trees, taro, etc...
                                        Im very intersted in growing corn, pole beans and squash together. Ive
                                        heard that the corn must be planted a week before or else it will get
                                        smothered. and then beans and squash together.
                                        I guess for any type of natural farming it is best to get seed from
                                        other natural farmers as it is used to being sown naked etc...
                                        I will try to contact Will Bonsall but Im already tied up this year
                                        with a certificate in horticulture from the brooklyn botanical garden.
                                        im sure I would learn alot more with will. I would have to decide
                                        because its improtant for me to at least have a little certificate
                                        that recognizes me as something. gives credit in the eyes of society.
                                        Also check out the CASE STUDIES at Zeri.org
                                        very very interesting. you MUST check it out.











                                        --- In fukuoka_farming@yahoogroups.com, Robert Monie <bobm20001@...>
                                        wrote:
                                        >
                                        > Hi Kikoricco,
                                        >
                                        > What is "success"?
                                        >
                                        > I grow chinese greens (yo choy, bok choy, tah tsoy, purple
                                        mustard, lemon cucumbers, gai lan, perilla, Vietnamese mint,
                                        Vietnamese coriander and others) as well as scallions, onions, chives,
                                        lemon grass, cucumbers and kumquats in decent amounts (about 75% of
                                        what a chemical garden of the same size would support) on soil that
                                        has been enlivened by successions of cover crops with some vegan
                                        composting and a little annual soil innoculation
                                        > (with glomus microbes bred by Dr. Michael Melendrez). No till, no
                                        fertilizer, no pesticide (though I do spray garlic extract). I think
                                        I have a modestly successful "natural" garden and I have started
                                        gardens with friends in other locations on the same principles that
                                        are doing modestly well. If by "success" you mean beating the yield
                                        that your neighbors get with chemicals, I say forget it. Natural
                                        farmer Y. Kawaguchi reports that he is doing well after several
                                        decades with a yield of about 80% of what the chemical farms produce,
                                        and I say very loudly, "good enough"! Some commercial vegan farmers
                                        (who are moving pretty fast in the direction of "natural" farming) may
                                        be able to do better or may not; we shall wait and see.
                                        >
                                        > Seventy to Eighty percent the yield of chemical farming is enough.
                                        In the "developed" world, obesity is increasingly common, even in
                                        infants. Cutting back to 70% calories, if the food is nutrient dense,
                                        would be an improvement for most people.
                                        >
                                        > Be happy! Find a mentor who knows seeds and grows veganically.
                                        How about Will Bonsall in Maine? (Khadighar Vegan Farm, 39 Bailey
                                        Road,. Industry, Maine 04938 or Khadighar Farm, Box 1167, Farmington,
                                        Maine 04938--thanks to Andrew for the lead). Veganic farmers are
                                        necessarily minimalist, since they forego the use of blood, feathers,
                                        bone, hair, animal manures, guanos and urine. This minimalism usually
                                        pushes them in the direction of Fukuoka's ideal closed-loop system,
                                        with very pleasant results.
                                        >
                                        > You need to become a cover-crop and root-growing farmer before you
                                        become a food-crop farmer. You need to grow plants that feed the soil
                                        and develop humus first before you can grow plants that feed human
                                        stomachs.
                                        >
                                        > Grow a succession of cover crops for a few seasons to find out
                                        what thrives in your area before trying to grow food crops. Take pride
                                        in what big, lush cover crops you can grow; cover the fields with
                                        them! Try buckwheat, rye, spelt, ladino or New Zealand clover, hairy
                                        vetch, red and yellow clover, oilseed radish, "trios" triticale,
                                        chicory, nettle. Your cold weather might support bell beans (fava) as
                                        well. Here and there (definitely not for complete cover), try some
                                        rows of deep rooted "wild" plants like purple coneflower (Echinacea
                                        purpurea) with its 24-inch minimum root, deep accumulator herbs like
                                        sorrel, plantain, dandelion, and burnet, and some monster root grass
                                        like Vetiver grass, with its up to 10-foot long roots.
                                        >
                                        > You can also plant some Easy food crops for cover, such as green
                                        onions (scallions)--those from the produce shelf at grocery stores
                                        will take root in most soils (assuming that the produce clerk didn't
                                        cut off the roots).
                                        >
                                        > It doesn't matter if you want to try these cover crops separately
                                        or mixed so long as you have a fair idea of when not to plant them
                                        (buckwheat won't usually grow in the winter, and
                                        > Daikon radish won't grow well in the hot summer heat, for
                                        example). If I put any of these seeds in seedballs, they don''t grow
                                        at all for me; but most will grow if I just sow them "naked." There
                                        will be some seeds that your region does not like. In New Orleans,
                                        hairy vetch usually doesn't sprout, or if it does it wilts soon after.
                                        I have planted wheat over and over just to see only a stalk or two
                                        every 30 feet or so. But rye grows so wild and fast that you can sow
                                        it over a pile of dead leaves and it will take root and cover the
                                        leaves with a thick mat of bright green shoots!
                                        >
                                        > My Vietnamese farmer friends say that the best you can do is to
                                        "make life easy (or happy)for the roots and their friends" (meaning
                                        the microbial life that feeds them), and you will be successful.
                                        Working with Vietnamese farmers in the New Orleans area, trading
                                        > cultures, picking brains (as well as Asian greens), and sounding
                                        out sympathies, I have learned to roll as the Earth rolls. After a
                                        couple of seasons of unsuccessfully trying to get Gai lohn seeds
                                        established in a well-composed, cover-cropped New Orleans East field,
                                        the farmers just dug up some gai lohn seedlings (which had roots
                                        waiting to be made happy) from another field, and the transplants did
                                        just fine. In fact, there's no law against growing all your veggies
                                        from plug packs for the first few years if your soil doesn't like
                                        seeds. Richters in Canada (they ship to the US) has some wonderful
                                        "plug packs" of Chinese Cabbage, Japanese eggplants, Gai-lohn,
                                        Pak-Choi, and Alpine Strawberries waiting to be made happy. (See
                                        http://www.Richters.com). So does Grizzly Hill Farm
                                        (http://www.GrowOrganic.com). Their seedlings include purple
                                        tomatillo, lemon cucumber, Suyo long Chinese cucumber, mizuna mustand,
                                        tat tsoi, and purple wave mustard.
                                        >
                                        > Some soils don't like annuals but will grow perennial vegetables
                                        (from seed.) John Jeavons' Bountiful Gardens
                                        (http://www.bountifulgardens.org) now offers a perennial vegetable
                                        exploratory packet (LAY-6610) that includes asparagus, perpetual
                                        spinach, seakale, good king henry, rhubarb, artichoke, welsh onion,
                                        and sorrel.
                                        >
                                        > Start growing!
                                        >
                                        > Bob Monie
                                        > New Orleans, LA
                                        > After the Flood
                                        >
                                        >
                                        >
                                        >
                                        > kikoricco <kikoricco@...> wrote:
                                        > Thanks for the reply. So any suggestions or success
                                        stories? I
                                        > jutfrustrated sometimes because nobody tells any success stories jsut
                                        > problems and mysteries. Encouragment is very important. Thanks
                                        > --- In fukuoka_farming@yahoogroups.com, "Jamie Nicol"
                                        > <jamienicol@> wrote:
                                        > >
                                        > > Dear Kikoricco, I think your question: 'How to start farming in a
                                        > field'?' is just to the point.
                                        > >
                                        > > Fukuoka suggests scything the existing vegetation of a field as
                                        > close to the ground as possible before broadcasting the seedballs (or
                                        > just seed). I've tried this and have to say little seems to
                                        > germinate. But then Fukuoka says it requires several years (and
                                        > several seedballings) to make significant change. And we should not
                                        > forget that his rice/barley succession, direct-seeded into green
                                        > manure did not evolve from a rough field, but one that had been
                                        > carefully tended for hundreds of years.
                                        > >
                                        > > But another question arises from the above, and that is 'What is it
                                        > we want when we start farming a field?'
                                        > >
                                        > > When we answer this question for ourselves the actual practice of
                                        > our farming becomes clear.
                                        > >
                                        > > Jamie
                                        > > Souscayrous
                                        > >
                                        > >
                                        > >
                                        > >
                                        > > ----- Original Message -----
                                        > > From: kikoricco
                                        > > To: fukuoka_farming@yahoogroups.com
                                        > > Sent: Wednesday, January 24, 2007 7:51 PM
                                        > > Subject: [fukuoka_farming] Re: New Member
                                        > >
                                        > >
                                        > > Im new to natural farming myself and I struggle to understand why
                                        > > some of the techniques could work at night in my bed with my eyes
                                        > > wide open in the darkness. Like suppressing weeds with clover or
                                        > > other plants. I was wondering whats the point of doing that if
                                        > theres
                                        > > is still gonna be plants that compete with the main crop. I think
                                        > I
                                        > > understand now. The point is not thats there too many weeds in a
                                        > > wheat field but that the weeds that appear are not directly
                                        > useful
                                        > > for the farmer. So replacing them with a different "weed" like
                                        > some
                                        > > leguminous vegetable that is edible and takes their place or
                                        > clover
                                        > > that takes their place but is not very demanding due to its small
                                        > > size and so does not take up much nutrients and fixes nitrogen.
                                        > Of
                                        > > course weeds are defined by man and all plants are useful and if
                                        > a
                                        > > few weeds apear here and there who cares because they add to the
                                        > > diversity (which in turn helps balance the insects) and help
                                        > cover
                                        > > the soil. Im very interested in trying the polyculture of Squash
                                        > corn
                                        > > and beans in the same field. the more I think of it the more it
                                        > seems
                                        > > logical (the indians are geniuses). The squash covers the soil,
                                        > while
                                        > > the corn stretches up to the sky and the beans climb up stalks
                                        > and
                                        > > around everywhere and fix nitro in the soil. The one question Im
                                        > > still grapling with is to how to start farming in a field. I read
                                        > in
                                        > > Fukuoka book that one could just broadcast seedballs of different
                                        > > vegetables and wild plants in a field and that they would come up
                                        > > themselves. Instead of using making little holes one just coats
                                        > the
                                        > > seeds. This makes sense to me. But would one have to apply mulch
                                        > > first to smother the other vegetation, or trample it with some
                                        > kind
                                        > > of manual mower. Once a grain field is established I read that
                                        > > Fukuoka broadcasts his next grain crop over the previous one
                                        > while
                                        > > its still standing along with clover seeds. he then harvests and
                                        > puts
                                        > > the threshed straw over the field. Im guessing that acts like a
                                        > cover
                                        > > so seedballs are not needed. Does anyone have any clarifications
                                        > to
                                        > > give me. thank you.
                                        > >
                                        > >
                                        > >
                                        > >
                                        > >
                                        > > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                                        > >
                                        >
                                        >
                                        >
                                        >
                                        >
                                        >
                                        > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                                        >
                                      • Bart
                                        Maybe we should consider yields rather in terms of minerals, vitamins and general nutritional value per suare meter, instead of volume and weight. It appears
                                        Message 19 of 27 , Feb 2, 2007
                                        • 0 Attachment
                                          Maybe we should consider yields rather in terms of minerals, vitamins
                                          and general nutritional value per suare meter, instead of volume and
                                          weight. It appears that organic vegetables have up to 100% more
                                          mineral content (preliminary studies cited in Paul Pitchford's
                                          "Healing with whole foods"). So in terms of mineral/vitamin/etc.
                                          yield, what at first sight (volume and weight) appears to be a lesser
                                          yield, may in fact be a far superior one.

                                          Volume and weight are really irrelevant; the ability of produce to
                                          sustain healthy life is the real issue. Looking at it that way,
                                          natural or veganic farming has a far superior yield compared to
                                          chemical farming.
                                          Also comparing input of energy and "products" (chemical or not) with
                                          output, natural and organic farming have a much higher relative yield,
                                          they are much more efficient.

                                          I myself experienced very clearly that I needed to eat much less
                                          volume and weight once I began to eat only organic food. It has a much
                                          higher nutritional "density", so to speak.

                                          So forget about producing only 80% compared with chemical neighbours,
                                          if you compare input-output-efficiency and nutritional "density", the
                                          neighbour looses spectacularly... It's even worse than that: some (or
                                          all) of chemically produced foods are even non-foods in reality,
                                          industrially grown cabbages for instance have been reported to cause
                                          infant death (intoxication by nitrates). Who cares for the chemical
                                          neighbours' nitrate bomb disguised as cabbage anyway?

                                          Bart
                                        • Tradingpost
                                          Couldn t agree more about the nutritional density factor. However I do believe the 80% figure allows the industrial farming sector to frame the debate, and
                                          Message 20 of 27 , Feb 2, 2007
                                          • 0 Attachment
                                            Couldn't agree more about the nutritional density factor. However I do
                                            believe the 80% figure allows the industrial farming sector to frame the
                                            debate, and it's highly misleading. Studies have shown diversified small
                                            farms to be far more productive overall than industrial farms when total
                                            output is taken into account instead of a single cash crop mechanically
                                            farmed with chemicals.


                                            paul tradingpost@...

                                            Beware of all enterprises that require new clothes.
                                            --Henry David Thoreau
                                            *********** REPLY SEPARATOR ***********

                                            On 2/2/2007 at 9:18 AM Bart wrote:

                                            >Maybe we should consider yields rather in terms of minerals, vitamins
                                            >and general nutritional value per suare meter, instead of volume and
                                            >weight. It appears that organic vegetables have up to 100% more
                                            >mineral content (preliminary studies cited in Paul Pitchford's
                                            >"Healing with whole foods"). So in terms of mineral/vitamin/etc.
                                            >yield, what at first sight (volume and weight) appears to be a lesser
                                            >yield, may in fact be a far superior one.
                                            >
                                            >Volume and weight are really irrelevant; the ability of produce to
                                            >sustain healthy life is the real issue. Looking at it that way,
                                            >natural or veganic farming has a far superior yield compared to
                                            >chemical farming.
                                            >Also comparing input of energy and "products" (chemical or not) with
                                            >output, natural and organic farming have a much higher relative yield,
                                            >they are much more efficient.
                                            >
                                            >I myself experienced very clearly that I needed to eat much less
                                            >volume and weight once I began to eat only organic food. It has a much
                                            >higher nutritional "density", so to speak.
                                            >
                                            >So forget about producing only 80% compared with chemical neighbours,
                                            >if you compare input-output-efficiency and nutritional "density", the
                                            >neighbour looses spectacularly... It's even worse than that: some (or
                                            >all) of chemically produced foods are even non-foods in reality,
                                            >industrially grown cabbages for instance have been reported to cause
                                            >infant death (intoxication by nitrates). Who cares for the chemical
                                            >neighbours' nitrate bomb disguised as cabbage anyway?
                                            >
                                            >Bart
                                          • Tradingpost
                                            Have to throw in these references about farm size and efficiency. paul tradingpost@lobo.net ... While the “bigger is better” myth is generally accepted, it
                                            Message 21 of 27 , Feb 2, 2007
                                            • 0 Attachment
                                              Have to throw in these references about farm size and efficiency.

                                              paul tradingpost@...
                                              -----------------

                                              While the “bigger is better” myth is generally accepted, it is a
                                              fallacy. Numerous reports have found that smaller farms are actually more
                                              efficient than larger “industrial” farms. These studies demonstrate
                                              that when farms get larger, the costs of production per unit often
                                              increase, because larger acreage requires more expensive machinery and more
                                              chemicals to protect crops.
                                              from http://www.keepmainefree.org/myth3.html

                                              THE MYTH:
                                              Industrial agriculture is efficient.
                                              THE TRUTH:
                                              Small farms produce more agricultural output per unit area than large
                                              farms. Moreover, larger, less diverse farms require far more mechanical and
                                              chemical inputs. These ever increasing inputs are devastating to the
                                              environment and make these farms far less efficient than smaller, more
                                              sustainable farms.

                                              Proponents of industrial agriculture claim that “bigger is better” when
                                              it comes to food production. They argue that the larger the farm, the more
                                              efficient it is. They admit that these huge corporate farms mean the loss
                                              of family farms and rural communities, but they maintain that this is
                                              simply the inevitable cost of efficient food production. And agribusiness
                                              advocates don’t just promote big farms; they also push big technology.
                                              They typically ridicule small-scale farm technology as grossly inefficient
                                              while heralding intensive use of chemicals, massive machinery,
                                              computerization and genetic engineering - whose affordability and
                                              implementation are only feasible on large farms. The marriage of huge farms
                                              with “mega-technology” is sold to the public as the basic requirement
                                              for efficient food production. Argue against size and technology - the two
                                              staples of modern agriculture - and, they insist, you're undermining
                                              production efficiency and endangering the world's food supply.

                                              While the “bigger is better” myth is generally accepted, it is a
                                              fallacy. Numerous reports have found that smaller farms are actually more
                                              efficient than larger “industrial” farms. These studies demonstrate
                                              that when farms get larger, the costs of production per unit often
                                              increase, because larger acreage requires more expensive machinery and more
                                              chemicals to protect crops. In particular, a 1989 study by the U.S.
                                              National Research Council assessed the efficiency of large industrial food
                                              production systems compared with alternative methods. The conclusion was
                                              exactly contrary to the “bigger is better” myth: “Well-managed
                                              alternative farming systems nearly always use less synthetic chemical
                                              pesticides, fertilizers, and antibiotics per unit of production than
                                              conventional farms. Reduced use of these inputs lowers production costs and
                                              lessens agriculture’s potential for adverse environmental and health
                                              effects without decreasing - and in some cases increasing - per acre crop
                                              yields and the productivity of livestock management systems.”

                                              Output Versus Yield

                                              Agribusiness and economists alike tend to use “yield” measurements when
                                              calculating the productivity of farms. Yield can be defined as the
                                              production per unit of a single crop. For example, a corn farm will be
                                              judged by how many metric tons of corn are produced per acre. More often
                                              than not, the highest yield of a single crop like corn can be best achieved
                                              by planting it alone on an industrial scale in the fields of corporate
                                              farms. These large “monocultures” have become endemic to modern
                                              agriculture for the simple reason that they are the easiest to manage with
                                              heavy machinery and intensive chemical use. It is the single-crop yields of
                                              these farms that are used as the basis for the “bigger is better” myth,
                                              and it is true that the highest yield of a single crop is often achieved
                                              through industrial monocultures.

                                              Smaller farms rarely can compete with this “monoculture” single-crop
                                              yield. They tend to plant crop mixtures, a method known as
                                              “intercropping.” Additionally, where single-crop monocultures have
                                              empty “weed” spaces, small farms use these spaces for crop planting.
                                              They are also more likely to rotate or combine crops and livestock, with
                                              the resulting manure performing the important function of replenishing soil
                                              fertility. These small-scale integrated farms produce far more per unit
                                              area than large farms. Though the yield per unit area of one crop - corn,
                                              for example - may be lower, the total output per unit area for small farms,
                                              often composed of more than a dozen crops and numerous animal products, is
                                              virtually always higher than that of larger farms.

                                              Clearly, if we are to compare accurately the productivity of small and
                                              large farms, we should use total agricultural output, balanced against
                                              total farm inputs and “externalities,” rather than single-crop yield as
                                              our measurement principle. Total output is defined as the sum of everything
                                              a small farmer produces - various grains, fruits, vegetables, fodder, and
                                              animal products - and is the real benchmark of efficiency in farming.
                                              Moreover, productivity measurements should also take into account total
                                              input costs, including large-machinery and chemical use, which often are
                                              left out of the equation in the yield efficiency claims.

                                              Once the flawed yield measurement system is discarded, the “bigger is
                                              better” myth is shattered. As summarized by the food policy expert Peter
                                              Rosset, “Surveying the data, we indeed find that small farms almost
                                              always produce far more agricultural output per unit area than larger
                                              farms. This is now widely recognized by agricultural economists across the
                                              political spectrum, as the inverse relationship between farm size and
                                              output.” He notes that even the World Bank now advocates redistributing
                                              land to small farmers in the third world as a step toward increasing
                                              overall agricultural productivity.

                                              Government studies underscore this “inverse relationship.” According to
                                              a 1992 U.S. Agricultural Census report, relatively smaller farm sizes are 2
                                              to 10 times more productive per unit acre than larger ones. The smallest
                                              farms surveyed in the study, those of 27 acres or less, are more than ten
                                              times as productive (in dollar output per acre) than large farms (6,000
                                              acres or more), and extremely small farms (4 acres or less) can be over a
                                              hundred times as productive.
                                              ------------------

                                              Small-scale farming is as old as agriculture itself. One study of 15
                                              countries, primarily in Asia and Africa, found that per-acre output on
                                              small farms can be as much as four to five times higher than on large ones.
                                              Russia, over the years, has often produced 30% to 50% of its food on
                                              household plots representing as little as 3% to 5% of all Russian farmland.
                                              The productivity of small-scale farms is also being widely recognized by
                                              agricultural economists who call it the “inverse relationship between
                                              farm size and productivity.”
                                              http://www.growbiointensive.org/grow_need.html
                                              ---------------------

                                              "However, by managing more “intensively” the new farmers are able to
                                              net far more profit from each dollar of sales. They reduce their costs of
                                              purchased inputs through diversification, increase the value of their
                                              products through niche markets, focus on the things that they do best, and
                                              work together to do the things that they can’t do as well alone. As a
                                              result, their net return per dollar of sales may be 40 to 50 percent rather
                                              than the 15 to 20 percent for a conventional farm. Thus, the net returns
                                              on a farm with $100,000 in annual sales may be $40,000 to $50,000 and even
                                              a farm with $50,000 in annual sales may net $20,000 to $25,000 to support
                                              the small farm family. The bottom line is that 10 acres, intensively
                                              managed to produce high valued products, may generate more profits than
                                              1,000 acres used to produce bulk agricultural commodities - corn, cattle,
                                              wheat, cotton, etc. Many small farms make some fairly big profits."
                                              Farming for Profit and Quality of Life, John Ikerd
                                              http://www.ssu.missouri.edu/faculty/jikerd/papers/SFTkeynote.html
                                              --------------
                                              "“Get big or get out” is a refrain with which American farmers are all
                                              too familiar. Small farms are seen as being too small to survive, and
                                              thus, unworthy of serious consideration. For example, government programs,
                                              including publicly funded research and education, tend to focus on large,
                                              commercial agricultural operations as the future of American agriculture.
                                              In fact, the opposite is true. Most large, commercial farming today are
                                              too big to survive. Small farms are the future of farming in America. "
                                              Many Farms Are Too Big To Survive, John Ikerd
                                              http://www.ssu.missouri.edu/faculty/jikerd/papers/SFT-Too%20Big.htm
                                              -----------



                                              *********** REPLY SEPARATOR ***********

                                              On 2/2/2007 at 8:10 AM Tradingpost wrote:

                                              >Couldn't agree more about the nutritional density factor. However I do
                                              >believe the 80% figure allows the industrial farming sector to frame the
                                              >debate, and it's highly misleading. Studies have shown diversified small
                                              >farms to be far more productive overall than industrial farms when total
                                              >output is taken into account instead of a single cash crop mechanically
                                              >farmed with chemicals.
                                              >
                                              >
                                              >paul tradingpost@...
                                              >
                                              >Beware of all enterprises that require new clothes.
                                              >--Henry David Thoreau
                                              >*********** REPLY SEPARATOR ***********
                                              >
                                              >On 2/2/2007 at 9:18 AM Bart wrote:
                                              >

                                              >>So forget about producing only 80% compared with chemical neighbours,
                                              >>if you compare input-output-efficiency and nutritional "density", the
                                              >>neighbour looses spectacularly... It's even worse than that: some (or
                                              >>all) of chemically produced foods are even non-foods in reality,
                                              >>industrially grown cabbages for instance have been reported to cause
                                              >>infant death (intoxication by nitrates). Who cares for the chemical
                                              >>neighbours' nitrate bomb disguised as cabbage anyway?
                                              >>
                                              >>Bart
                                            • Jamie Nicol
                                              Dear All, in an attempt to broaden the discussion of success and to avoid falling into esoteric chatter, I thought some words of Fukuoka would be
                                              Message 22 of 27 , Feb 2, 2007
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                                                Dear All, in an attempt to broaden the discussion of 'success' and to avoid falling into 'esoteric' chatter, I thought some words of Fukuoka would be pragmatic:

                                                " To achieve a humanity and a society founded on non-action, man must look back over everything he has done and rid himself one by one of the false visions and concepts that permeate him and his society. This is what the 'do-nothing' movement is all about. Natural Farming can be seen as one branch of this movement. Human knowledge and effort expand and grow increasingly complex and wasteful without limit. We need to halt this expansion, to converge, simplify, and reduce our knowledge and effort. This is in keeping with the laws of nature. Natural Farming is more than just a revolution in agricultural techniques. It is the practical foundation of a spiritual movement, of a revolution to change the way we live."

                                                Obviously, the tenor of these words seems to suggest that NF and 'success' might not be to do with yield, qualitative or quantitative.

                                                Jamie
                                                Souscayrous

                                                ----- Original Message -----
                                                From: Tradingpost
                                                To: fukuoka_farming@yahoogroups.com
                                                Sent: Friday, February 02, 2007 4:10 PM
                                                Subject: Re: [fukuoka_farming] Re: Success Stories for Kikoricco



                                                Couldn't agree more about the nutritional density factor. However I do
                                                believe the 80% figure allows the industrial farming sector to frame the
                                                debate, and it's highly misleading. Studies have shown diversified small
                                                farms to be far more productive overall than industrial farms when total
                                                output is taken into account instead of a single cash crop mechanically
                                                farmed with chemicals.

                                                paul tradingpost@...

                                                Beware of all enterprises that require new clothes.
                                                --Henry David Thoreau
                                                *********** REPLY SEPARATOR ***********

                                                On 2/2/2007 at 9:18 AM Bart wrote:

                                                >Maybe we should consider yields rather in terms of minerals, vitamins
                                                >and general nutritional value per suare meter, instead of volume and
                                                >weight. It appears that organic vegetables have up to 100% more
                                                >mineral content (preliminary studies cited in Paul Pitchford's
                                                >"Healing with whole foods"). So in terms of mineral/vitamin/etc.
                                                >yield, what at first sight (volume and weight) appears to be a lesser
                                                >yield, may in fact be a far superior one.
                                                >
                                                >Volume and weight are really irrelevant; the ability of produce to
                                                >sustain healthy life is the real issue. Looking at it that way,
                                                >natural or veganic farming has a far superior yield compared to
                                                >chemical farming.
                                                >Also comparing input of energy and "products" (chemical or not) with
                                                >output, natural and organic farming have a much higher relative yield,
                                                >they are much more efficient.
                                                >
                                                >I myself experienced very clearly that I needed to eat much less
                                                >volume and weight once I began to eat only organic food. It has a much
                                                >higher nutritional "density", so to speak.
                                                >
                                                >So forget about producing only 80% compared with chemical neighbours,
                                                >if you compare input-output-efficiency and nutritional "density", the
                                                >neighbour looses spectacularly... It's even worse than that: some (or
                                                >all) of chemically produced foods are even non-foods in reality,
                                                >industrially grown cabbages for instance have been reported to cause
                                                >infant death (intoxication by nitrates). Who cares for the chemical
                                                >neighbours' nitrate bomb disguised as cabbage anyway?
                                                >
                                                >Bart





                                                [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                                              • Tradingpost
                                                High yield and sustainability are not mutually exclusive. To agree that you have to sacrifice one for the other gives up the field to the how will we feed the
                                                Message 23 of 27 , Feb 2, 2007
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                                                  High yield and sustainability are not mutually exclusive. To agree that you
                                                  have to sacrifice one for the other gives up the field to the "how will we
                                                  feed the world" agribusiness spin. Serious researchers and growers have
                                                  shown higher outputs from small areas grown organically. We know healthy
                                                  plants producing well from healthy soil are higher brix and taste better.
                                                  And I'm not talking about some weird hybrids either.

                                                  paul tradingpost@...

                                                  Beware of all enterprises that require new clothes.
                                                  --Henry David Thoreau

                                                  *********** REPLY SEPARATOR ***********

                                                  On 2/2/2007 at 4:52 PM Jamie Nicol wrote:

                                                  >Dear All, in an attempt to broaden the discussion of 'success' and to
                                                  >avoid falling into 'esoteric' chatter, I thought some words of Fukuoka
                                                  >would be pragmatic:
                                                  >
                                                  > " To achieve a humanity and a society founded on non-action, man must
                                                  >look back over everything he has done and rid himself one by one of the
                                                  >false visions and concepts that permeate him and his society. This is what
                                                  >the 'do-nothing' movement is all about. Natural Farming can be seen as one
                                                  >branch of this movement. Human knowledge and effort expand and grow
                                                  >increasingly complex and wasteful without limit. We need to halt this
                                                  >expansion, to converge, simplify, and reduce our knowledge and effort.
                                                  >This is in keeping with the laws of nature. Natural Farming is more than
                                                  >just a revolution in agricultural techniques. It is the practical
                                                  >foundation of a spiritual movement, of a revolution to change the way we
                                                  >live."
                                                  >
                                                  >Obviously, the tenor of these words seems to suggest that NF and 'success'
                                                  >might not be to do with yield, qualitative or quantitative.
                                                  >
                                                  >Jamie
                                                  >Souscayrous
                                                  >
                                                  > ----- Original Message -----
                                                  > From: Tradingpost
                                                  > To: fukuoka_farming@yahoogroups.com
                                                  > Sent: Friday, February 02, 2007 4:10 PM
                                                  > Subject: Re: [fukuoka_farming] Re: Success Stories for Kikoricco
                                                  >
                                                  >
                                                  >
                                                  > Couldn't agree more about the nutritional density factor. However I do
                                                  > believe the 80% figure allows the industrial farming sector to frame the
                                                  > debate, and it's highly misleading. Studies have shown diversified small
                                                  > farms to be far more productive overall than industrial farms when total
                                                  > output is taken into account instead of a single cash crop mechanically
                                                  > farmed with chemicals.
                                                  >
                                                  > paul tradingpost@...
                                                  >
                                                • Bart
                                                  I agree wholeheartedly that this is the real issue of natural farming, and that in natural farming yield is not a goal - in a sense, there is no goal. Thank
                                                  Message 24 of 27 , Feb 4, 2007
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                                                    I agree wholeheartedly that this is the real issue of natural farming,
                                                    and that in natural farming yield is not a goal - in a sense, there is
                                                    no goal. Thank you for pointing this out.

                                                    However, let's be careful not to get trapped in Nothingness (which is
                                                    one of the diseases of zen). If my industrial farmer neighbour comes
                                                    to me and tells me, "hey, did you see the sun came up in the west this
                                                    morning", I will tell him that this is not true, i.e. that this is not
                                                    the right way to use these words. I know there is really neither east
                                                    nor west, that these are concepts or illusions, and that the sun
                                                    (another concept) doesn't care, and so on. However, if you open your
                                                    mouth and use words, you should use them correctly.
                                                    In the same way, if he comes to me and tells me "you and your natural
                                                    farming, your yield is pitifull", I think it is important not to let
                                                    ourselves be trapped in his incorrect (selective) use of the term
                                                    "yield", only referring to weight/volume and making abstraction of
                                                    many other important factors.
                                                    Or we can just smile to him of course, but I for one know that if my
                                                    smile doesn't come profoundly from the heart, I better argue :)

                                                    This "industrial high yield"-lie is a stick behind the door with which
                                                    organic producers/consumers/sellers are often beaten on the head -
                                                    with their own full cooperation, choosing to go along with the narrow
                                                    weight/volume-perspective and not finding an adequate response.

                                                    But again, I do think it is very iportant to remember, time after
                                                    time, that he real issue in natural farming is doing nothing.

                                                    Bart

                                                    --- In fukuoka_farming@yahoogroups.com, "Jamie Nicol" <jamienicol@...>
                                                    wrote:
                                                    >
                                                    > Dear All, in an attempt to broaden the discussion of 'success' and
                                                    to avoid falling into 'esoteric' chatter, I thought some words of
                                                    Fukuoka would be pragmatic:
                                                    >
                                                    > " To achieve a humanity and a society founded on non-action, man
                                                    must look back over everything he has done and rid himself one by one
                                                    of the false visions and concepts that permeate him and his society.
                                                    This is what the 'do-nothing' movement is all about. Natural Farming
                                                    can be seen as one branch of this movement. Human knowledge and effort
                                                    expand and grow increasingly complex and wasteful without limit. We
                                                    need to halt this expansion, to converge, simplify, and reduce our
                                                    knowledge and effort. This is in keeping with the laws of nature.
                                                    Natural Farming is more than just a revolution in agricultural
                                                    techniques. It is the practical foundation of a spiritual movement, of
                                                    a revolution to change the way we live."
                                                    >
                                                    > Obviously, the tenor of these words seems to suggest that NF and
                                                    'success' might not be to do with yield, qualitative or quantitative.
                                                    >
                                                    > Jamie
                                                    > Souscayrous
                                                    >
                                                  • Andrew E Fister
                                                    The only time an argument exists between natural farming and conventional farming is when I am having it in my mind. If I am arguing (making one view good and
                                                    Message 25 of 27 , Feb 4, 2007
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                                                      The only time an argument exists between natural farming and conventional
                                                      farming is when I am having it in my mind. If I am arguing (making one
                                                      view good and another view wrong) that's when I get trapped in the
                                                      illusion of concepts. If I make a distinction between "nothingness" and
                                                      "somethingness" as if they are states of mind I could be trapped in, I am
                                                      also trapped. Once I start having this petty argument with my neighbor, I
                                                      am indeed trapped. Unless of course I also know the trap is an illusion,
                                                      in which case I can play and be in love with my conventional farming
                                                      neighbor.

                                                      If natural farming is about how "to do" and how "not to do" then I am not
                                                      doing it and not - not doing it.

                                                      Andrew Fister
                                                      Wandafar Sanctuary
                                                      Glasgow, KY

                                                      b 2007 08:53:16 -0000 "Bart" <bartovan@...> writes:
                                                      I agree wholeheartedly that this is the real issue of natural farming,
                                                      and that in natural farming yield is not a goal - in a sense, there is
                                                      no goal. Thank you for pointing this out.

                                                      However, let's be careful not to get trapped in Nothingness (which is
                                                      one of the diseases of zen). If my industrial farmer neighbour comes
                                                      to me and tells me, "hey, did you see the sun came up in the west this
                                                      morning", I will tell him that this is not true, i.e. that this is not
                                                      the right way to use these words. I know there is really neither east
                                                      nor west, that these are concepts or illusions, and that the sun
                                                      (another concept) doesn't care, and so on. However, if you open your
                                                      mouth and use words, you should use them correctly.
                                                      In the same way, if he comes to me and tells me "you and your natural
                                                      farming, your yield is pitifull", I think it is important not to let
                                                      ourselves be trapped in his incorrect (selective) use of the term
                                                      "yield", only referring to weight/volume and making abstraction of
                                                      many other important factors.
                                                      Or we can just smile to him of course, but I for one know that if my
                                                      smile doesn't come profoundly from the heart, I better argue :)

                                                      This "industrial high yield"-lie is a stick behind the door with which
                                                      organic producers/consumers/sellers are often beaten on the head -
                                                      with their own full cooperation, choosing to go along with the narrow
                                                      weight/volume-perspective and not finding an adequate response.

                                                      But again, I do think it is very iportant to remember, time after
                                                      time, that he real issue in natural farming is doing nothing.

                                                      Bart

                                                      --- In fukuoka_farming@yahoogroups.com, "Jamie Nicol" <jamienicol@...>
                                                      wrote:
                                                      >
                                                      > Dear All, in an attempt to broaden the discussion of 'success' and
                                                      to avoid falling into 'esoteric' chatter, I thought some words of
                                                      Fukuoka would be pragmatic:
                                                      >
                                                      > " To achieve a humanity and a society founded on non-action, man
                                                      must look back over everything he has done and rid himself one by one
                                                      of the false visions and concepts that permeate him and his society.
                                                      This is what the 'do-nothing' movement is all about. Natural Farming
                                                      can be seen as one branch of this movement. Human knowledge and effort
                                                      expand and grow increasingly complex and wasteful without limit. We
                                                      need to halt this expansion, to converge, simplify, and reduce our
                                                      knowledge and effort. This is in keeping with the laws of nature.
                                                      Natural Farming is more than just a revolution in agricultural
                                                      techniques. It is the practical foundation of a spiritual movement, of
                                                      a revolution to change the way we live."
                                                      >
                                                      > Obviously, the tenor of these words seems to suggest that NF and
                                                      'success' might not be to do with yield, qualitative or quantitative.
                                                      >
                                                      > Jamie
                                                      > Souscayrous
                                                      >




                                                      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                                                    • rajuktitus
                                                      Dear Charie, This is working for me i opened this page send by you write mail to group fukuoka_farming@yahoogroups.com. Thanks Raju
                                                      Message 26 of 27 , Dec 17, 2008
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                                                        Dear Charie,
                                                        This is working for me i opened this page send by you write mail to
                                                        group
                                                        fukuoka_farming@yahoogroups.com.
                                                        Thanks
                                                        Raju
                                                      • grannis04
                                                        Greetings from Maine. I am a new member to this site having arrived here from the fukuoka web site. I have been experimenting with natural farming/ gardening
                                                        Message 27 of 27 , Jan 13, 2009
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                                                          Greetings from Maine. I am a new member to this site having arrived
                                                          here from the fukuoka web site. I have been experimenting with natural
                                                          farming/ gardening for about three years. I have been an organic
                                                          gardener for forty years and now I am starting over and I'm completely
                                                          amazed! why did I not see this before. It is the Mahayana aspect of
                                                          natural farming that rings true to me. Last season we grew a corn crop
                                                          "Abenaki", a flint type from native american origin, of course. With
                                                          the high fuel prices last spring I said to myself, "grow a high input
                                                          crop such as corn and do it without fossil fuel input". I planted in
                                                          an orchard that was mixed grasses, clover, etc. I close cut with a
                                                          hand sythe and then covered rows with mulch in preparation for
                                                          planting. After two weeks I pulled back the mulch and pressed corn
                                                          seed ( saved from previous years crop) on to the soil. I covered the
                                                          seed with a light cover,Half inch, of finished compost. after
                                                          germination I applied cut grasses from the paths to the plants.
                                                          Thinned to one foot spacing then I top dressed lightly with chicken
                                                          litter and grass cuttings, this was done about three times during the
                                                          growing season. Every time I looked at my corn I would say," You guys
                                                          are A-Maize-ing!". The end of the story is that we are eating our own
                                                          cornbread made from the corn. The corn produced approx. 25 lbs. from
                                                          approx. 150' of row space. My next project is to see if I can produce
                                                          enough corn to supply my family and my chickens.
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