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New to Biointensive Farming, help, tips please

 
Posts: 97
Location: South Mississippi
18
hugelkultur hunting homestead
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Hi I'm trying to get any tips, help learning and growing biointensively. I have read some books on the topic but the more I read the more I see I am just scratching the surface. Also some info says one thing and another person says never do that. So I'll say some of the things I'm planning and how I plan on changing as time, weeds soil and other things change.

OK, so I'm first using lots of composted chicken manure I get from a neighbor along with other manures I get from local horse and cattle farms near me. I make sure all these have NO herbicides used in their fields or bedding materials. I'm adding from 6-8 tons of compost per acre and may even do this per crop for the first few years. I'll see how the soil and plants do with this intensive amounts of input.

I also am fighting roots and grass in my fields atm so I am also deep tilling (chisel plow) and then discs and/or turning plow. I plan on reducing this tillage as soon as possible and hope that within a year or 2 I'll only use chisel plow and minor tilling only the top 2 inches with danish tines while rebuilding my 4"x48" raised beds. I'm also planting cover crops in winter (clovers) and these will be cut and then turned into the soil with the danish tines as the clover will be cut before they seed so maximum nitrogen fixation and because of the selection I know that these clovers will die even if after turning them under they don't die, that they won't have time to regrow and go to seed so they will be incorporated and shouldn't cause weed problems as they also will die by the time (annual clover) my hot weather transplants are put in those raised beds (peppers, okra, tomatoes). Also many weeds will be killed when using my dirt pan that builds the raised beds.

I'm also making 2 large worm beds that will also have some manure along with crop residues and also organic matter from woods, food I ate (leftovers LOL) etc. I am also learning about hugelkultur and making a few large hugelkultur beds from the many trees I cleared out of my crop land.

So any tips, things I need to learn, things ya'll may see I'm thinking wrong... ??? Thanks...YA"LL
 
pollinator
Posts: 11796
Location: Central Texas USA Latitude 30 Zone 8
1039
cat forest garden fish trees chicken fiber arts wood heat greening the desert
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By biointensive do you mean the Biointensive growing method?  http://www.growbiointensive.org/

On what scale are you attempting this?

 
C Rogers
Posts: 97
Location: South Mississippi
18
hugelkultur hunting homestead
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Not sure about http://www.growbiointensive.org/ as I haven't had a chance to read all of this, but to me a simplified version would be to instead of growing crops in rows 30+ in spacing, I plant them same row spacing as in row spacing. Example is onions at 6" spacing I also plant them in 6" rows that are spaced 6" also. Now there is much more than just this but thats the main planting idea along with adding enough inputs to be able to grow this intensively.

I'm growing on 3 acres of crop land (rotating) and using cover crops in fall/winter. And also I'll have an acre of perennial beds growing both veggies and flowers in them. Some of the flowers I'll also transplant into fields as I'm also growing flowers to both sell but also as companion planting to control insects and attracting good bugs.
 
Tyler Ludens
pollinator
Posts: 11796
Location: Central Texas USA Latitude 30 Zone 8
1039
cat forest garden fish trees chicken fiber arts wood heat greening the desert
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Ok, just pointing out that "Biointensive" is the name for a specific method of growing food, which uses the following practices:

Double-Dug, Raised Beds
Composting
Intensive Planting
Companion Planting
Carbon Farming
Calorie Farming
The Use of Open-Pollinated Seeds
A Whole-System Farming Method

http://www.growbiointensive.org/grow_main.html

3 acres of intensive planting is a lot for one person to manage!
 
C Rogers
Posts: 97
Location: South Mississippi
18
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I think the more correct term for what I'm trying to do is intensive farming. Instead of double digging 3 acres I chiseled plowed and disked in tons of manure. I am composting both regular and worm composting. Intensive planting, companion planting. Mostly if not all my seeds are open pollinated. Some corn is NON-GMO but may be F1 hybrids along with some flowers and fruits but 90+ % is open pollinated and some old sweet corn is also used (open pollinated). As you've seen I am trying to learn about carbon farming and I have no idea what calorie farming is but to me it sounds like growing things you need that are higher calories to grow, but thias doesn't alway work with what sells best if farming is also your income. I'll grow what the market demands.
 
C Rogers
Posts: 97
Location: South Mississippi
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Tyler Ludens wrote:Ok, just pointing out that "Biointensive" is the name for a specific method of growing food, which uses the following practices:

....
Calorie Farming


Ok so what exactly is calorie farming, was I even close???
 
Tyler Ludens
pollinator
Posts: 11796
Location: Central Texas USA Latitude 30 Zone 8
1039
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Biointensive is mostly about growing food for one's own household, so "Calorie farming" is growing food plants with a high calorie content, such as your corn, or potatoes, sweet potatoes, etc, to provide calories in a vegan diet.  Biointensive is typically a very small-scale method of growing food, in the smallest possible space.  I think some of the ideas could be scaled up.  If you can get a copy of the book "Grow More Vegetables" by John Jeavons, it might give you some helpful ideas for planning your intensive farm.

There are also research papers and things available for a nominal cost:  http://www.growbiointensive.org/publications_main.html
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