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Transforming an old field

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  • Samten Norbu
    Hi all revolutionaries:) I have a friend with fields that have been untilled for over 25 years, only rarely cut for hay. I d like to start growing some grain
    Message 1 of 4 , Nov 1, 2007
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      Hi all revolutionaries:)

      I have a friend with fields that have been untilled
      for over 25 years, only rarely cut for hay.

      I'd like to start growing some grain in her fields
      using natural farming methods. It's my understanding
      that fields like this are the healthiest as the
      grassland ecosystem is completely intact.

      I wonder if you could help me choose a grain to grow
      (I'd love to grow rye, barley, spelt...)
      ...and help me discover how to nudge the field towards
      growing my crop for me... Fukuoka-style. I've read
      all his books, but I'm no farmer or gardner (yet).
      This would be my first active foray into natural
      farming. ! :)

      The soil is heavy with clay but not unworkable. The
      fields grow very well on their own, growing high and
      dense so it's a fertile situation. I live near the
      Canadian US border (near Ottawa Ontario Canada).

      Any discussion or information is much appreciated.

      Alexander

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    • Dieter Brand
      Samten, If you don t want to plough, a mixture of rye and vetch is a good choice for sowing into an existing stand of grass and/or weeds. Wheat and barley
      Message 2 of 4 , Nov 1, 2007
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        Samten,

        If you don't want to plough, a mixture of rye and vetch
        is a good choice for sowing into an existing stand of
        grass and/or weeds. Wheat and barley can't compete
        with grass. You could also try lupines or daikon.
        However, whatever you do it will probably take you
        more than one season to crowd out the grass and
        the weeds. Since you are in Canada, buckwheat
        may also be a good choice. It grows very quickly,
        3 months until seeds start to form. The rye you can
        cut as much as you like, it will always grow back
        until the grains start to form. Except for clover,
        legumes (lupines, field peas, vetch, etc.) usually
        don't grow back after cutting. Legumes are usually
        cut during flowering, when the amount of N his
        highest. Check with the local farmers for the cash
        or cover crop best suited to your region. They will
        also provide you with the dates for sowing. But
        don't tell them that you are going to sow without
        ploughing or they will take you for some silly city
        jerk bent on wasting good seeds.

        Dieter Brand
        Portugal


        Samten Norbu <earth2rodger@...> wrote: Hi all revolutionaries:)

        I have a friend with fields that have been untilled
        for over 25 years, only rarely cut for hay.

        I'd like to start growing some grain in her fields
        using natural farming methods. It's my understanding
        that fields like this are the healthiest as the
        grassland ecosystem is completely intact.

        I wonder if you could help me choose a grain to grow
        (I'd love to grow rye, barley, spelt...)
        ...and help me discover how to nudge the field towards
        growing my crop for me... Fukuoka-style. I've read
        all his books, but I'm no farmer or gardner (yet).
        This would be my first active foray into natural
        farming. ! :)

        The soil is heavy with clay but not unworkable. The
        fields grow very well on their own, growing high and
        dense so it's a fertile situation. I live near the
        Canadian US border (near Ottawa Ontario Canada).

        Any discussion or information is much appreciated.

        Alexander

        __________________________________________________
        Do You Yahoo!?
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        http://mail.yahoo.com




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        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      • Jeff
        - ... committing to food production. If the ecosystem is in tact there are groups that may pay her to keep it natural. Other than that you would do well to
        Message 3 of 4 , Nov 1, 2007
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          -
          >
          > I have a friend with fields that have been untilled
          > for over 25 years, only rarely cut for hay.
          >
          >Please have your friend check the status of endangered plants before
          committing to food production.

          If the ecosystem is in tact there are groups that may pay her to keep
          it natural.

          Other than that you would do well to include other 'woody' naitives
          into your natural gardening scheme.

          raspberries, hazelnuts, black walnuts, butter nuts, black cherries
          should all be hardy to your area. THis would serve as windbreaks and
          to provide a more natural diversity.

          Then plant the main crop in the alleys.

          Please let us know the germination sucess for this method into dense
          grass.

          Jeff
        • Samten Norbu
          Thanks Dieter! :) ... __________________________________________________ Do You Yahoo!? Tired of spam? Yahoo! Mail has the best spam protection around
          Message 4 of 4 , Nov 1, 2007
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            Thanks Dieter! :)

            --- Dieter Brand <diebrand@...> wrote:

            > Samten,
            >
            > If you don't want to plough, a mixture of rye and
            > vetch
            > is a good choice for sowing into an existing stand
            > of
            > grass and/or weeds. Wheat and barley can't compete
            > with grass. You could also try lupines or daikon.
            > However, whatever you do it will probably take you
            >
            > more than one season to crowd out the grass and
            > the weeds. Since you are in Canada, buckwheat
            > may also be a good choice. It grows very quickly,
            > 3 months until seeds start to form. The rye you
            > can
            > cut as much as you like, it will always grow back
            > until the grains start to form. Except for clover,
            >
            > legumes (lupines, field peas, vetch, etc.) usually
            >
            > don't grow back after cutting. Legumes are usually
            > cut during flowering, when the amount of N his
            > highest. Check with the local farmers for the cash
            >
            > or cover crop best suited to your region. They
            > will
            > also provide you with the dates for sowing. But
            > don't tell them that you are going to sow without
            > ploughing or they will take you for some silly
            > city
            > jerk bent on wasting good seeds.
            >
            > Dieter Brand
            > Portugal
            >
            >
            > Samten Norbu <earth2rodger@...> wrote:
            > Hi all revolutionaries:)
            >
            > I have a friend with fields that have been untilled
            > for over 25 years, only rarely cut for hay.
            >
            > I'd like to start growing some grain in her fields
            > using natural farming methods. It's my understanding
            > that fields like this are the healthiest as the
            > grassland ecosystem is completely intact.
            >
            > I wonder if you could help me choose a grain to grow
            > (I'd love to grow rye, barley, spelt...)
            > ...and help me discover how to nudge the field
            > towards
            > growing my crop for me... Fukuoka-style. I've read
            > all his books, but I'm no farmer or gardner (yet).
            > This would be my first active foray into natural
            > farming. ! :)
            >
            > The soil is heavy with clay but not unworkable. The
            > fields grow very well on their own, growing high and
            > dense so it's a fertile situation. I live near the
            > Canadian US border (near Ottawa Ontario Canada).
            >
            > Any discussion or information is much appreciated.
            >
            > Alexander
            >
            > __________________________________________________
            > Do You Yahoo!?
            > Tired of spam? Yahoo! Mail has the best spam
            > protection around
            > http://mail.yahoo.com
            >
            >
            >
            >
            > __________________________________________________
            > Do You Yahoo!?
            > Tired of spam? Yahoo! Mail has the best spam
            > protection around
            > http://mail.yahoo.com
            >
            > [Non-text portions of this message have been
            > removed]
            >
            >


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