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Re: [fukuoka_farming] Re: Question about drought

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  • Dieter Brand
    Peg, I don t know where your area is. But if your winters aren t too cold you may consider growing a winter annual cover crop in addition to covering your
    Message 1 of 4 , Nov 30, 2008

      I don't know where your area is. But if your winters aren't too cold
      you may consider growing a winter annual cover crop in addition to
      covering your garden area with mulch. Since plants enrich the soil
      with nutrients from the air, a living mulch (ie. cover crop) is always
      better than a dead mulch. But the one does not exclude the other.
      For example, I sow lupines and broad beans between my summer
      vegetables from August to December; which means that my garden and
      part of the fields are already covered with a foot or more of legumes
      by the time the summer vegetables are killed by the cold. I sow
      lupines (for broad beans I need to dig a hole) then cover the seeds
      with mulch (kitchen scraps, plant residues, rotten fruit, everything I
      have got). I will keep some legumes for eating or seed-saving, but
      most legumes will be cut in the spring to grow next years food in.

      Dieter Brand

      On 11/29/08, Peggy <peg6012@...> wrote:
      > Thank you. We've always had a compost pile. We mow at the end of
      > a crop. In the Fall, we spread the barn cleanings over the area we
      > plan to plant the early garden, and in the Spring we spread the
      > cleanings over the area for the later plantings. I lay mulch were
      > needed durning the growing season and use 'spread composting' in the
      > isles durning that time also. I place stuff from the compost pile
      > where needed most. I guess this is the closest I can get to the
      > Fukuoka Method in my area. If you all have any other suggestions for
      > my area, please let me know. Many thanks,
      > Peg
      > --- In fukuoka_farming@yahoogroups.com, "Dieter Brand"
      > <brand.dieter@...> wrote:
      >> Peg,
      >> Yes it will! We don't have a drought we have a "regular" dry
      > season.
      >> So, people here know all about dry conditions and wildfires. We
      >> burned down once, a friend of mine burned down twice in the last 10
      >> years. Even when it is not necessary for crops, most farmers
      > plough a
      >> strip of land around their fields and an even wider strip around
      > their
      >> homes at the onset of the dry season so as to stop a fire from
      >> spreading. Unfortunately, that doesn't improve the soil, and
      > Natural
      >> Farming tries to avoid soil disturbance.
      >> If we are serious about Natural Farming we need to acknowledge these
      >> sorts of practical difficulties and try to find practical solutions.
      >> There is no _one_ solution that will fit _all_ situations.
      > Basically,
      >> you have to find the right compromise between bare-soil cultivation,
      >> on one hand, and leaving enormous amounts of combustible material
      >> laying around during the dry season, on the other hand.
      >> The aim is always the same; you need to return organic material to
      > the soil by:
      >> 1) mulching and cover cropping,
      >> 2) heap composting, or
      >> 3) manure (preferably composted).
      >> 1) is suitable in rain-rich Japan and most of Asia, where organic
      >> matter decomposes quickly and there is no fire risk.
      >> 2) and 3) are traditionally used in arid regions because mulch will
      >> not decompose without humidity.
      >> Having said that, it is possible to leave mulch or vegetation in the
      >> field even under arid conditions, you just have to know how much.
      > We
      >> are in an extremely fire-prone region, but you won't find an inch of
      >> bare soil on my 30 acres.
      >> Dieter Brand
      >> Portugal
      >> On 11/28/08, Peggy <peg6012@...> wrote:
      >> > We've had several years of drought. Plus they celebrate the 4th
      > of July
      >> > around here with lots of firecrackers and bottle rockets. Won't
      > having
      >> > all that dry straw laying on our ground, leave us wide open for a
      > big
      >> > fire? Peg
      >> >
      >> >
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