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RE: [fukuoka_farming] Re: no till no yield

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  • Linda Shewan
    I have the Sepp Holzer video with 3 films on it. His land is my dream - the diversity he has is so fantastic. However - Sepp does extensive earthworks to get
    Message 1 of 3 , Apr 14, 2009
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      I have the Sepp Holzer video with 3 films on it. His land is my dream - the
      diversity he has is so fantastic. However - Sepp does extensive earthworks
      to get started including the dams and aquaculture system, terracing and the
      raised beds. Then I think he uses pigs to do the tilling for him before he
      seeds his annual crops again (but the video is not clear on that - just says
      he uses the pigs to do the hard work for him so I have made some
      assumptions). Makes sense and certainly is less work than tilling yourself
      but I wonder whether some on this list would consider it 'no till'. I see
      it as a natural process ... He sows an ancient grass for grain and he saves
      all his own seed. Brilliant system for sure.

      I absolutely believe the perennial nature of permaculture and forest gardens
      (Sepp Holzer, food forests, Greening the Desert) is the key, as opposed to
      relying on annual vegetables. We really should be able to create a system
      that relies very little on yearly sowings shouldn't we. Also see some of
      Sepp Holzer's vegetables - they are crosses between zucchini and pumpkin etc
      and he is ok with that! They still taste great. In the food forests video
      put out by Geoff Lawton (of Greening the Desert) they show the way to create
      a food forest - 1 swale first with plantings directly on the berm and just
      below. Once this takes hold with good biodiversity in this one area add
      another swale downhill (or at next contour line - even flat land has
      contours) and continue. A food forest will continue producing food for ever.
      The video shows a 300 year old food forest in Cambodia (I think) and a 2000
      year old food forest in Morocco - unbelievable.

      Gunther - it sounds to me like you really are putting into action what
      Fukuoka was really getting at. He let his hardy vegetables self-seed and
      they reverted to a wild form, much more pungent and probably distinctly less
      attractive - but we want our vegetables the way we think they should be so
      we keep planting new ones every year. We need to learn to eat wild food and
      weeds, perennials (fruits, nuts and vegetables) and self-seeding annuals. It
      was a bad summer but my best tomatoes came from the self-seeded plants. The
      ones I planted were hit by frost while the self-seeded ones powered on. On
      my 6 metre by 8 metre garden plot I now have self-seeding silverbeet,
      tomatillos, tomatoes, mountain spinach, nz spinach, scorzonera, rocket,
      parsley, amaranth, garlic (I just toss the little bulbils from the top),
      walking onions, not enough lettuce and too much borage. This is not much of
      a list I know but it is improving every year - and I am patient! Of course I
      also have the edible weeds but my family don't like them very much - we are
      working on that as well.

      Linda





      --- In fukuoka_farming@yahoogroups.com
      <mailto:fukuoka_farming%40yahoogroups.com> , michael hollihn
      <michaelhollihn@...> wrote:
      >
      > my feeling is we are all arguing with regards to volume, the ones who
      > want more volume/quantity will eventually fall back on tilling...
      >
      > has anyone watched the video on sepp holzer that i recommended?
      > (youtube) 300 acres of no till, basically he has oviously low volume
      > per acre being on a mountainside, however, i think the very important
      > piece of information to glean from this is the symbiosis of plants
      > with deep, medium and flat root systems...if this is achieved, one can
      > even grow successfully in arid climates (with sufficient mulch)...
      >
      > also, has anyone read the files (pdf) of jean pain, and what he
      > achieved in provence, it doesn't rain all summer after the spring
      > rains and he grew beautiful tomatoes, eggplans, and leeks without ANY
      > irrigation...basically he did a lot of prep work with regards to
      > compost and mulch, however, the very important piece of information
      > here is microrhyzal fertility from the compost and the thick layer of
      > mulch....
      > --
      > michael hollihn,
      > british columbia,
      > www.michaelhollihn.wordpress.com (bioregional timber frames)
      > www.kettleriverfood.ning.com (building food security in the kettle
      > River watershed)
      > 'Be the change that you want to see' ghandi




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