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Regional Advice

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  • Stephen Inniss
    Hello, I have been listening to this group for a few weeks. My only other source so far concerning Mr. Fukuoka s ideas has been a copy of One Straw
    Message 1 of 1 , Nov 11, 2001
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      Hello,

      I have been "listening" to this group for a few weeks. My only other
      source so far concerning Mr. Fukuoka's ideas has been a copy of One
      Straw Revolution (courtesy of the local library).

      I would like to create a local adaption of what Mr. Fukuoka describes.
      Since I am not living in a similar climate zone, I won't be growing
      citrus trees, or Mr. Fukuoka's cycle of rice and winter grain, but I
      haven't yet learned what would be the best suite of plants here. I am
      hoping to hear from others who have already tried his methods in a
      climate like mine. I'm aware that with fewer than 100 people on this
      list worldwide, only a few if any are in equivalent situations, so my
      apologies to the rest of you for taking up your time.

      By way of background, I presently have a little under one acre of land
      on a gentle slope on the rainshadow side of Vancouver Island in British
      Columbia. That means heavy rains through the winter, especially in
      November, occasional frosts from October to March, snow on a few days of
      the winter, and a dry summer (drought enough to dry out grasses and
      stress some trees). The soil is clay-based, and mostly well drained,
      though soggy in a few places over winter. The natural cover on the site
      would have been douglas fir, red cedar, arbutus, and, garry oak, and
      broad leafed maple (with alder and cottonwood as early colonizers after
      logging or forest fires). Since then it has been a dairy farm, and then
      a garden/orchard, but it was very lightly 'tended' over the last few
      years before I moved here. Other than trees or bushes, most of the land
      that isn't a house is covered in grasses and vetch typical of the local
      hayfields, together with a few flowers (especially yarrow, lupins, and
      shasta daisies, introduced apparently as part of a "wildflower" mix a
      few years ago), though there is a small patch of regenerating local
      woodland with an undergrowth of Himalayan blackberries. The present
      edible plants are apple, plum, peach, cherry, various hybrid grapes,
      blueberries, rasberries, asparagus, rhubarb, dill, horseradish,
      strawberries, garlic, hazelnut bushes, two young walnut trees, and the
      ever-present and invasive blackberries. All are thriving. From past
      experience, cool weather vegetable crops do very well in this region,
      and although summers are not expecially warm one can usually grow short
      season squash and sweet corn. Potatoes do quite well in this climate,
      and a local farmer tells me that oats will grow well here (though they
      are not grown locally for human consumption) but that rye does less
      well.

      So, what have others in similar climates tried, and what was the result?
      What have you used for a cover crop (right now I'm assuming white
      clover)? What vegetables do well, and were seedballs necessary? Have you
      tried integrating potatoes into the scheme, and if so how does that work
      with a cover crop? Anyone out there with an idea of the appropriate
      kind(s) of grain, if any?

      Many thanks in advance for any information you can provide! If there is
      interest, I can post results of what I try here.




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