A Good Example of Natural (no-till) Farming

— In fukuoka_farming@ yahoogroups. com, “grannis04″ <grannis04@. ..> wrote:
> Thomas and all,
> I did not till prior to starting. The ground was a
> garden 10 years ago but has been grasses,clover etc. since then. my
> focus now is on growing corn and beans because they are basic staple
> foods that make a complete protein when eaten. These plants should be
> a foundation for self-sustainability .
> In the spring I choose a section of ground I wish to grow on.
> This would be in early may when the grasses are starting to grow but
> the temperature is still too cold to plant. I use a scythe or a push
> lawn mower w/bag to cut the area once the growth is starting to speed
> up. This first cut should be cut very low, almost earth level. These
> cuttings are then piled where I intend to grow, either rows or beds or
> whatever you choose. These piles of mulch will remain in place for two
> to three weeks. When the planting conditions permit pull back the
> mulch and cut the ground covers back quite low one more time. The
> seeds are then placed on top of the ground and gently pressed to the
> surface to get some contact. I have also just broadcast seed with good
> results as well. I then apply a small amount (1/2″) of finished
> compost or sifted soil over the seed. I mainly do this to hide the
> seed from birds and to get the moisture up. Over this i lay a thin
> layer of grass cuttings from the last cut I made. When the seed
> sprouts and primary leaves are out I start to move the previously
> removed mulch back up close to the plants. The plants are thinned to
> appropriate spacings and then mulched more closely. Here to note that
> the mulch layers I use are never over 3” or 4″in depth. I will
> continue to cut the paths and apply the cuttings through out the
> season. I will also apply small amounts of chicken litter on top of
> mulch layer two or three times. Some areas are only mulches with no
> chicken and they also do well. Your growing season work is mainly
> cutting and applying the cut materials. I call this moving the Qi.
> Matter is neither created or destroyed, it only changes form. So we
> move plant material from the paths and apply it to the crop and we
> grow natural, bio-regulated plants that feed us. A word on mulch too,
> by applying mulch,(feeding) our plants we are getting the full benefit
> of that plant material with all of it’s nutrition without having an
> animal made out of it first. I’ve also spent a lot of time on my
> stomach lifting up mulch layers to watch what was going on under
> there. From what I’ve witnessed going on and from what I understand
> all the nutrition happens right at the top layer of soil.
> Steve G.


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