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Re: [fukuoka_farming] No-Till farming

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  • Dieter Brand
    John,   I have compared (in thereory and in practice) heap composting to field or in-place composting for a number of years.  Whenever I have tried to bring
    Message 1 of 10 , Oct 5, 2008
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      John,
       
      I have compared (in thereory and in practice) heap composting to field or in-place composting for a number of years.  Whenever I have tried to bring the discussion to this subject on this list or in other groups, I have encountered a surprising lack of interest; which I find surprising because the subject is at the very heart of what distinguishes Natural Farming from other types of farming or gardening.
       
      Needless to say, like you, I'm in favor of in place-place composting and have reduced my heap composting from more than 200 wheel barrows per annum a few years ago to less than 50 at present.  Having said this, I think it is however dangerous to generalize, while I agree that, in principal, in-place composting involves fewer losses and makes better use of the available biomass, we need to understand that different places, different climates etc. require different methods.  From my reading of Fukuoka, I believe he understood this.
       
      In some places heap composting can be of advantage, while in other places manure may be the best way of returning organic matter to the soil.  There are also cultural factors that need to be taken into account.  It is both ignorant and arrogant to insist that one method is best for all.  I don't believe that Fukuoka would have claimed such a thing.
       
      Dieter Brand
      Portugal
       
      PS: I like your idea of composting by trampling.  I think this group should be about exchanging practical information about what works best in our experience and not about telling other what to do.



      --- On Sun, 10/5/08, John Warner <daddyoat@...> wrote:

      From: John Warner <daddyoat@...>
      Subject: Re: [fukuoka_farming] No-Till farming
      To: fukuoka_farming@yahoogroups.com
      Date: Sunday, October 5, 2008, 5:45 PM






      Hello Fukuokans,

      We have been practicing hand-scale, no-tillage growing for a dozen years and are making enough money at it to support our family. Within the past year, since we retired our sickle bar mower and replaced it with a scythe, allows us to make the claim that we make no direct use of fossil fuel requiring inputs such as tillers, mowers, shredders and the like. To be sure, there are still indirect inputs such as vehicle transportation of inputs [mulch material] to our site by commercial landscape maintenance gardeners and transporting our products to the farmers market for sale.

      A key to making this work is following Fukuoka's rejection of making compost. I regard compost making as the greatest waste of time ever invented in the practice of horticulture. First you have to haul crop wastes out of the garden and throw them in a pile then try to turn that stringy trash with a shovel or fork and then haul them back again. Haha, haha, what tooth gritting folly! We leave wide alleyways between the beds where we throw crop residues and what weeds that may work their way up through the mulch to be crushed and trampled under foot after being dried by the summer sun. This also works well in our cool, moist winters too which favor decomposition of foot compacted plant material. Many [it would be laughable if it were not so sad] suffer through all this labor under the illusion that they are making "fertilizer" in their compost piles. Lesson number one in the most elementary chemistry class is that [fertilizer] "elements cannot be created or
      destroyed" They can only be recombined with other elements to make compounds [or moved from place to place].

      If one wishes to have a sustainably productive garden, one must make use of out of garden, or at least out of bed, inputs. "Cut and carry" is a term used in African hand-scale livestock production whereby the husbandperson goes out into the greater countryside, or perhaps into the commons, and carries back fodder for her penned up animals. This practice can be more profitably applied to what Bob Monie calls "vegan agriculture" [or something on that order] and used for feeding food plants instead of animals because, through the process of photosynthesis, the energy in the mulch materials is returned to the plant foods produced in the garden. When fed to livestock, most of that energy is lost to entropy and the forager will need to gather many times more to sustain his caloric requirement. As a general rule, I figure that a cartful of mulch hauled into the garden will, over time, produce a similar cartful that can be hauled out but there will be a little
      loss to leakage into the atmosphere and deeper soil.

      For information in scythes visit http://www.scytheco nnection. com. I bought a scythe from them and can highly recommend their product and service. For our taller, more deeply rooted crops, we first clear beds with a scythe, then cut roots just below the surface with a round point shovel and toss stumps into the alleyways before remulching.

      For more information on our Whole Systems model and method, visit http://www.WholeSys temsAg.org. Nothing to sell here.

      More information on "cut and carry" can be found with an in quotes search but you will need to weed out nonagricultural uses of the term.

      Good wishes all,

      John Warner, near Fresno, California
      Hand-scale, no-tillage market grower since 1996
      http://www,wholesys temsag.org

      ----- Original Message -----
      From: Raju Titus
      To: fukuoka farming
      Sent: Sunday, October 05, 2008 12:24 AM
      Subject: [fukuoka_farming] No-Till farming

      Dear friends,
      Mark Watson doing No-Till farming and educating farmers. This is not a
      Fukuoka farming but is very close to it.Growing crops without burning
      straws and without tilling is having 100% positive impact on ecology
      .This method is very encouraging in dry land farming and places where
      farmers burning straws.Please see and do comment.
      Thanks
      Raju Tittus

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


















      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • Pat D
      Are there any Fukuoka farms that need a helping hand?  or would even let me camp on their land and study their methods?  I want to see this fukuoka stuff
      Message 2 of 10 , Oct 5, 2008
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        Are there any Fukuoka farms that need a helping hand?  or would even let me camp on their land and study their methods?  I want to see this fukuoka stuff firsthand.  Thanks.






















        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      • La Clarine Farm
        Hi John, thanks for the excellent post and clear explanations. Your website is also one of the best out there as an information source. I d encourage
        Message 3 of 10 , Oct 5, 2008
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          Hi John, thanks for the excellent post and clear explanations. Your
          website is also one of the best out there as an information source. I'd
          encourage everyone to check it out. There is much to ponder there, and
          much to inspire. I especially like the idea expressed about closed vs
          open systems. While a closed system sounds good philosophically (ie the
          "farm organism"), it misses the point that every organism HAS to
          interact with other organisms. Without that ability to interact, the
          closed system can become "cancerous", feeding on itself until there's
          nothing left of it. Perhaps this is why biodynamics has had such a
          difficult time working for a lot of people.

          I've been working toward your goal on my small farm. Our exception is
          our compost - we have a herd of dairy goats, and all their manure and
          stable bedding gets composted at our place. Some of it is used for our
          vineyard and garden. Some goes to the neighbors for their own use. It
          IS a lot of work, and I'd love to find another alternative, but right
          now composting it is the best solution.
          Once again, thanks for sharing you insights!

          Best,

          Hank

          John Warner wrote:
          >
          > Hello Fukuokans,
          >
          > We have been practicing hand-scale, no-tillage growing for a dozen
          > years and are making enough money at it to support our family. Within
          > the past year, since we retired our sickle bar mower and replaced it
          > with a scythe, allows us to make the claim that we make no direct use
          > of fossil fuel requiring inputs such as tillers, mowers, shredders and
          > the like. To be sure, there are still indirect inputs such as vehicle
          > transportation of inputs [mulch material] to our site by commercial
          > landscape maintenance gardeners and transporting our products to the
          > farmers market for sale.
          >
          > A key to making this work is following Fukuoka's rejection of making
          > compost. I regard compost making as the greatest waste of time ever
          > invented in the practice of horticulture. First you have to haul crop
          > wastes out of the garden and throw them in a pile then try to turn
          > that stringy trash with a shovel or fork and then haul them back
          > again. Haha, haha, what tooth gritting folly! We leave wide alleyways
          > between the beds where we throw crop residues and what weeds that may
          > work their way up through the mulch to be crushed and trampled under
          > foot after being dried by the summer sun. This also works well in our
          > cool, moist winters too which favor decomposition of foot compacted
          > plant material. Many [it would be laughable if it were not so sad]
          > suffer through all this labor under the illusion that they are making
          > "fertilizer" in their compost piles. Lesson number one in the most
          > elementary chemistry class is that [fertilizer] "elements cannot be
          > created or destroyed" They can only be recombined with other elements
          > to make compounds [or moved from place to place].
          >
          > If one wishes to have a sustainably productive garden, one must make
          > use of out of garden, or at least out of bed, inputs. "Cut and carry"
          > is a term used in African hand-scale livestock production whereby the
          > husbandperson goes out into the greater countryside, or perhaps into
          > the commons, and carries back fodder for her penned up animals. This
          > practice can be more profitably applied to what Bob Monie calls "vegan
          > agriculture" [or something on that order] and used for feeding food
          > plants instead of animals because, through the process of
          > photosynthesis, the energy in the mulch materials is returned to the
          > plant foods produced in the garden. When fed to livestock, most of
          > that energy is lost to entropy and the forager will need to gather
          > many times more to sustain his caloric requirement. As a general rule,
          > I figure that a cartful of mulch hauled into the garden will, over
          > time, produce a similar cartful that can be hauled out but there will
          > be a little loss to leakage into the atmosphere and deeper soil.
          >
          > For information in scythes visit http://www.scytheconnection.com.
          > <http://www.scytheconnection.com.> I bought a scythe from them and can
          > highly recommend their product and service. For our taller, more
          > deeply rooted crops, we first clear beds with a scythe, then cut roots
          > just below the surface with a round point shovel and toss stumps into
          > the alleyways before remulching.
          >
          > For more information on our Whole Systems model and method, visit
          > http://www.WholeSystemsAg.org. <http://www.WholeSystemsAg.org.>
          > Nothing to sell here.
          >
          > More information on "cut and carry" can be found with an in quotes
          > search but you will need to weed out nonagricultural uses of the term.
          >
          > Good wishes all,
          >
          > John Warner, near Fresno, California
          > Hand-scale, no-tillage market grower since 1996
          > http://www,wholesystemsag.org <http://www,wholesystemsag.org>
          >
          > ----- Original Message -----
          > From: Raju Titus
          > To: fukuoka farming
          > Sent: Sunday, October 05, 2008 12:24 AM
          > Subject: [fukuoka_farming] No-Till farming
          >
          > Dear friends,
          > Mark Watson doing No-Till farming and educating farmers. This is not a
          > Fukuoka farming but is very close to it.Growing crops without burning
          > straws and without tilling is having 100% positive impact on ecology
          > .This method is very encouraging in dry land farming and places where
          > farmers burning straws.Please see and do comment.
          > Thanks
          > Raju Tittus
          >
          > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
          >
          >
        • Raju Titus
          Dear Dieter, Than how seeds germinate without tilling in nature ? Raju ... [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
          Message 4 of 10 , Oct 5, 2008
          • 0 Attachment
            Dear Dieter,
            Than how seeds germinate without tilling in nature ?
            Raju


            On 10/6/08, Dieter Brand <diebrand@...> wrote:
            >
            > Raju,
            >
            > We have been through this before. This link, like most no-till links you
            > have posted before, is about using herbicides to kill weeds. That is NOT
            > natural farming.
            >
            > Further, as I have repeatedly mentioned, in dry-land farming seeds
            > germinate and crops grow without a single drop of rain, that is not possible
            > without tilling.
            >
            > Dieter Brand
            > Portugal
            >
            > --- On Sun, 10/5/08, Raju Titus <rajuktitus@...<rajuktitus%40gmail.com>>
            > wrote:
            >
            > From: Raju Titus <rajuktitus@... <rajuktitus%40gmail.com>>
            > Subject: [fukuoka_farming] No-Till farming
            > To: "fukuoka farming" <fukuoka_farming@yahoogroups.com<fukuoka_farming%40yahoogroups.com>
            > >
            > Date: Sunday, October 5, 2008, 8:24 AM
            >
            > Dear friends,
            > Mark Watson doing No-Till farming and educating farmers. This is not a
            > Fukuoka farming but is very close to it.Growing crops without burning
            > straws and without tilling is having 100% positive impact on ecology
            > .This method is very encouraging in dry land farming and places where
            > farmers burning straws.Please see and do comment.
            > Thanks
            > Raju Tittus
            >
            >
            > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
            >
            >
            >


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