Phil Hawkins wrote:So I'm thinking what if you took the SFG approach, but augmented it with some more "systems feeding systems" plantings and other perma-goodness?
For example, I am picturing a 4' x 4' hugelkultur mound, where only 8 of the 16 "squares" are planted for my benefit, and the others being for soil improvement, etc., with a perennial legume (like an acacia) in the top, that you would coppice to shock some nitrogen back into the soil.
Leila Rich wrote:Some of it's insanely retentive and he loves double-digging
Tyler Ludens wrote:My main criticism of Biointensive is "it's too much work!" But I have found much of value in it, though I don't utilize many of the techniques anymore. It is meant to be a way to grow the most food in the smallest amount of space, not meant to be the easiest way to grow food!
Alan Stuart wrote:Nothing against biointensive, it has it's place in the world of sustainable ag for sure.
Alan Stuart wrote:And thanks for sharing those videos Phil I will definitely be using some ideas form them
Leila Rich wrote:Phil, I hope it's clear I'm just throwing out ideas and concepts to investigate; I'd be mortified if someone took anything I said as being prescriptive!
Judging by your posts, that's not a danger, but just in case...
Phil Hawkins wrote: 60% is dedicated to compost crops like alfalfa!
Tyler Ludens wrote:
Some of the compost crops are also calorie crops such as grains. In a more permacultury manner, the compost crops could be trees or shrubs, instead of annuals, especially if they also yield food.
S Haze wrote: I'm trying to set up the foundations to convert farm land into a permaculture based system, maybe similar to Mark Shepard's. In order to do so I need something that works with record high land prices and near-record high net profit on corn and soybean acres.
S Haze wrote:
In my area there are a few hearty souls who grow grapes, apples, hazelnuts, forage crops and more with good yield data, but in a monocrop situation. How about extrapolating out with a design of poylcultures or guilds on some type of square or mosaic pattern that tries to follow the contours. If the 80 acre field has 20% wet drown-out land or sandy soil, etc. then the a proportional number of "tiles" can fit that ground. Normally I'm not so business-like but in order to ever get my farming partners on board I'm going to need a bulletproof plan.
Cj Verde wrote:
I'm not totally sure, but it sound like you want to monocrop several different crops in a quilt like fashion. I don't think that's going to give you the results your looking for. What they call "stacking" might be a better approach. Take your friend who monocrops apples and hazelnuts. There are permaculture setups that space out the tree crops to grow forage (alfalfa or clover) in the orchard. It reduces your yield by 75% but if you bring in sheep to do controlled grazing, and then pigs in the fall to harvest the fallen apples, you wind up with a 150% total return of yield on the land then if you had monocropped. Of course if you use the 20% "drown out land" to raise water loving crops (watercress?) or turn it into a catfish farm, further increasing your land yield, then it's even easier to justify the stacking approach.
Tom Pavlo wrote:I read through that book last night. I was just wondering whether anybody had an opinion about his soil mix.
The compost I get and have no problem with. My question regards the peat moss and the vemiculite. I am not at all famililiar witht he latter. However, peat moss I have heard is not produced sustainably. He argues that these two parts of the mix help with water retention and soil compaction. Is there something else that I should consider using in my soil mix?
Thanks for all of your thoughts!
Raven Sutherland wrote:
to learn about spacing your plants ever so accurately in a timely fashion
so that the plants outside leaves just touch creating a microclimate
the other point is to replace something growing in a spot that is being harvested
and have it waiting to go in....
Tom Pavlo wrote:I read through that book last night. I was just wondering whether anybody had an opinion about his soil mix.... From there, I was going to layer on a ton of compost (my town gives it away for free).
On top, I was going to add just about six inches of topsoil/dirt from around the area and mix in some of my homemade compost.
The SFG book recommends the following mix:
1/3 peat moss
The compost I get and have no problem with. My question regards the peat moss and the vermiculite. I am not at all familiar with the latter. However, peat moss I have heard is not produced sustainably. He argues that these two parts of the mix help with water retention and soil compaction. Is there something else that I should consider using in my soil mix?