Presentation on theme: "No-Till methods of Food Production"— Presentation transcript:
1 No-Till methods of Food Production Natural Farming, Layer Cake Gardening, Small-scale Organic No-till
2 Masanobu Fukuoka Lived 1913-2008 in Japan Trained in Plant Pathology Wanted to Farm in a way that mimicked natureAuthor of The One Straw Revolution, The Natural Way of Farming, and The Road Back to Nature
3 4 Principles of Natural Farming No CultivationNo FertilizerNo WeedingNo Pesticides
4 Rice/Barley Succession Rice grown May-OctoberBarley Grown October-MayDone without Tilling, flooding of fields, and fertilizersMatched or exceeded yields of highly mechanized neighborsDid not ask “what more can I do?”, but instead “what can I not do?”
6 Rice/Barley Succession Barley broadcast a couple of weeks before Rice harvest with White Clover (nitrogen source)Rice Harvested, and straw spread back on fieldThin layer of chicken manure (nitrogen source) spread to help decompose straw (carbon source)In December, rice for following year broadcast in clay pelletsBarley harvested in May and straw spread on emerging rice seedlings and clover
7 Fukuoka’s vegetable experiments Broadcast vegetable seeds in his citrus orchard next to the trees amidst cloverPlanted spring plants as winter weeds began to die, and fall plants as summer weeds began to dieHis vegetables outcompeted weeds if planted with cover cropEvery season, he let a certain percentage of plants go to seedPlants in the same species cross-pollinated with each otherVegetables “re-wilded” themselves
8 Advantages/Disadvantages Method teaches us to think outside the boxEmphasis on observing environment and mimicking natural systemsLess workStraw recycles nutrients and suppresses weedsDisadvantagesHis methods for grains and vegetables not universalNeed plenty of rainfall and fertile soilVegetable method more of an experiment (wife still had traditional kitchen garden)Rice impractical in TexasResilient weeds (Bermuda & Johnson Grass)Japan’s climate much different than Waco
9 A Central Texas grain succession Using Fukuoka’s system, what type of succession would work in this climate?WinterWheat, Barley or Rye with a type of clover or vetchSummerTo be honest, I don’t know what would work3 sisters?Cowpeas?Buckwheat?Sorghum?
10 Layer Cake Gardening Salamander Springs Farm in Berea, KY Adapted, simpler version of Sheet Mulch Gardening and Lasagna Gardening
11 3 Layers Bottom Layer- Cardboard, old feed bags Middle Layer- thin layer of compost or manureTop Layer (icing)- rotted hay, leaves, or similar carbon sourceLayers are left to compost for 3 months before planting
12 Advantages/Disadvantages Not labor intensiveNo equipment neededCardboard suppresses weedsDisadvantagesRequires planning ahead and patienceSome want immediately raised beds
14 Neal Curran’s Method Beds solarized with clear plastic Fall cover crop plantedUsually a legume or a legume with a grainPopular examples include Hairy Vetch/Rye, Crimson Clover/OatsCover crops overwinter and put on rapid growth in spring and are crimped or cut at flowering stageSpring crops are transplanted into cover crop residueSame method can be used for summer cover crops to fall vegetablesAnother cover crop or vegetable bed should be planted after harvest to beat the next set of weeds
15 Advantages/Disadvantages Cost effectiveNo initial compost neededNitrogen source + Weed Suppression + habitat for beneficial insectsDisadvantagesRequires a lot of planning and proper timingEarly season crops and direct seeded plants cannot be easily grown in thick mulchIn Texas, weeds will eventually grow through cover crop mulch
16 Common Threads Green Manures and Cover Crops Creative weed suppression If you don’t have a rototiller or tractor, you have options
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