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masanobu fukuoka  RSS feed

 
pollinator
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In this podcast, Paul mentions Fukuoka's preference to not prune, and how it becomes sort of an "addiction" to the plant. http://www.richsoil.com/permaculture/?s=podcast+034
 
master steward
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Posts: 257
Location: Nicoya, Costa Rica
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I read a good chunk of this thread, but haven't caught up yet, so forgive me if it was brought up already.

As some of you may know, in the farm I live there is this plot that I can use for all kinds of experiments. In one area I am about to plant rice and wheat, and see how the wheat fares in the tropics (they do grow it in Nicaragua, only they must be spraying all kinds of stuff).

Already the soil is not great, but if I had spent a year just building the soil, it would be one year more before I can get the others to switch to mulching, and what not, instead of the present craziness that's going on.
Also, I am transplanting some pintoi peanuts (for lack of clover) for cover crop, but it's only a few days before planting the grains. What I'll prob do this year will be sow the grains, cover with a light mulch of charred saw dust and charred rice hulls, and then sprinkle some maní (pintoi peanuts) cuttings, in order to provide nitrogen when it decomposes, and if I'm lucky, some of it will catch root.
So far so good; I am aware I may not get much of anything this year. What I can't wrap my mind around as far as Fukuoka's method is the scattering of the rice like it was wheat, meaning without spacing.
Here in Costa Rica they plant some 10 grains every foot. This way they can hoe around as the weeds come back. I know, totally lame. Rice growing in the most naked soil. Now, Fukuoka has the rice thickly planted, says a few weeds don't harm, and for polyculture he has first the clover for all the reasons we know, and then he also plants radishes and what not.

My question is how does it get to them without stepping on the rice plants? I don't want to have a whole field of just rice, even if this year it's just a 22 sq feet plot, but what could I plant in between that grows as tall and thin like rice, and needs to be harvested after the 4 months that rice takes?
 
Suzy Bean
pollinator
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I am putting together a book/dvd/magazine page for Paul, and to save him some time from making a (short paragraph) written review of everything, I figured I'd ask permie folks to write "what Paul would say" in each thread something is talked about.

So what would Paul say about Fukuoka's work?
 
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i have no idea!
 
Posts: 517
Location: Eastern Kansas
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Aljaz Plankl wrote:i have no idea!

Me neither!

 
Posts: 114
Location: Tyler Texas
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I am starting to dig into making a self fertilizing garden. I was listening to one of Helen Atthowe's podcast. She said she doe not think that our population can be sustained with organic permaculture and that even fukuoka's field declined in his later years. Has she ever considered humanure cycling? After reading this page it seems china did fine for 4000 years. It would seem to me that the ONLY way a person deserves to eat is if they return their waste to where the food came from. Otherwise, nutrients will always have to be mined. Even the Japanese recycled their wast just as china did for centuries. Perhaps he too was mining stored fertility.

Has anyone here tried cover crops and humanure at the same time? This is an experiment I want try, and I like the idea of returning a humus to the soil, but its also tempting to just use a urine diverting toilet and use only the urine because of the ease and speed of application.

Can humanure be safely composted without the urine nitrogen source?
 
master pollinator
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I'm not sure China "did fine" as their style of food growing required clearing a lot of forest and entailed an enormous amount of labor. They were able to practice agriculture for a long time, but I'm not sure it was "fine." But I have a low opinion of agriculture compared to horticulture/permaculture....

 
Dan alan
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Location: Tyler Texas
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Thanks for that. I think I prefer the sawdust approach over buying starch bags.
 
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Tyler Ludens wrote:I'm not sure China "did fine" as their style of food growing required clearing a lot of forest and entailed an enormous amount of labor. They were able to practice agriculture for a long time, but I'm not sure it was "fine." But I have a low opinion of agriculture compared to horticulture/permaculture....



China has vast areas that have been destroyed by conventional ag and tillage. But the Chinese eventually were forced to and almost obsessively learned how to conserve fertility. However, much/most of this has fallen by the wayside with the advent of modern machines, fertilizers, and pesticides. And there are different types of ag going on in China. It would be a mistake to paint the entire, vast country with the same brushstroke.
 
Posts: 407
Location: Georgia
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Paul's podcast with John yesterday hit on Emilia Hazelip and Fukuoka. They described the Hazelip
Synergistic gardening as not resembling Fukuoka's approach. The Hazelip video shows the start up
process of a brand new garden from scratch. The concern about "way too much work" would be somewhat
mitigated in future years. There is no tilling after the initial process. There is no fertilization other than what
is left in place in the garden of crop residues. Roots are left in place.

John seemed to think an area about 1/3 the size of Hazelip's garden would be manageable. That is how I
see it as well. Hazelip was inspired by Fukuoka. Now the extension of Fukuoka's farming methods to gardening
could look different from what Hazelip came up with but some of the spirit was kept in tact. Fukuoka saw no
connection between what she was doing and what he did but I think it was there. There are inherent differences
between farming and market gardening.

 
Instructor
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Location: Reno, NV
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A question that keeps popping up on podcasts seems to be whether Fukuoka's methods and yields can be repeated. Although I doubt anyone can replicate his style exactly, I do think some of the current work on Pasture Cropping by Colin Seis comes close. It looks to me like Colin has practiced his pasture cropping with conventional, organic, and regenerative methods, and now he is teaching as part of RegenAG's topic list.

This is Time stacking done well, as done by Fukuoka, Holzer, Eliot Coleman, and others.

Basically Colin's style of Pasture Cropping involves maintaining a perennial polyculture pasture for Holistic Mob grazing (Colin raises Merino Sheep), then when the grazed pasture grasses, forbes, and legumes go dormant, a crop of annual grain or similar crop is sown. Some examples used are wheat, buckwheat, rye, millet, oats whatever mixes well into the dormant season for the pasture be it warm or cold season.

It looks to me like he's getting higher yield in his pasture crop system (4.6 tonnes/ha vs. 3.4 tonnes/ha) when compared to conventional cereal cropping. This is on top of a grazing yield and the ecological benefits of 100% perennial groundcover. Using grazing means there are fewer, if any, non-crop plants in the pasture. To me the higher yields in the pasture cropping system as compared to the conventional crop system is a critical demonstration of permaculture and overyielding polyculture that can be learned and replicated.

here's a link to an article on the Milkwood Permaculture site about Pasture Cropping.
http://milkwood.net/2010/12/07/why-pasture-cropping-is-such-a-big-deal/

and one from http://www.pasturecropping.com/ that looks as soil carbon
http://www.pasturecropping.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=69:mimicking-nature-with-pasture-and-no-kill-cropping-article-in-thinking-bigg-biodiversity-in-grain-a-graze-2008&catid=39:general-information-on-pasture-cropping&Itemid=61

A link to the upcoming class by Colin is
http://regenag.com/web/upcoming-courses/details/19-pasture-cropping.html

I'd like to know what other people think about this method as it compares to Fukuoka's methods, those of Wes Jackson, or others. Still a little simplified from a highly textured permaculture perspective, but it allows large areas of land to be managed regeneratively and sequestering carbon in the soil.

Are there other examples out there of Fukuoka style methods?
 
paul wheaton
master steward
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A one hour long video "Natural Farming with Masanobu Fukuoka"



 
Posts: 231
Location: Southern Minnesota, USA, zone 4/5
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This thread seems like an appropriate place to ask this question:

Does anyone know of a crop that can be successfully inter-seeded into a maturing stand of winter rye?

The rye has an allelopathic effect on other plants but I'm not entirely sure if it works the same on all of them or at what stages of the rye or the crop being seeded. I do know that it's possible to inter-seed alfalfa into winter rye. I did this a few years ago early in the spring when the rye was still small and the alfalfa stand turned out good. This was done without tilling, sort of. The rye was no-till drilled into corn stalks and the following spring the alfalfa was broadcast seeded passing over the field a couple of times with a rotary hoe (round spikey-toothed wheels about a foot in diameter ganged together on about 5 inch centers) This broke up the dried out stalks and leaves and probably helped the tiny alfalfa seed make better contact with the soil.

Now that I have another crop of rye ripening I'd like to get something else started now. I'm going to the seed store and will try several things but it would be nice to know if anyone else has tried this. White clover, radishes, and buckwheat are the ones I'll try first. There are also some of last fall's soybeans that I could throw out there too.

edit
ps: right now there are mostly only small yellow "weeds" and grasses growing under the rye.
 
S Haze
Posts: 231
Location: Southern Minnesota, USA, zone 4/5
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Just found this!

http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=benzoxazinoid%20tolerant%20resistant%20plants&source=web&cd=16&ved=0CEIQFjAFOAo&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.springer.com%2Fcda%2Fcontent%2Fdocument%2Fcda_downloaddocument%2FBenzoxazinoids%2Bin%2BRye%2BAllelopathy.pdf%3FSGWID%3D0-0-45-1382238-0&ei=84HEUfXtCOamygH57ICYCw&usg=AFQjCNGltdD3nNMDo4L1cOYnjAgO4atm3g&sig2=ARR6TwbnN-B6htqY2pq3AQ&bvm=bv.48293060,d.aWc

Very informative though mostly over my head, my general impression is that it's very complicated. I gleaned from it that common name species German, chamomile, bellflower, corn poppy, cornflower, velvetleaf, lambsquarter, and scientific name Consolida regalis from the buttercup family should all grow happily with winter rye. Many of them are old world species that probably co-evolved with it. I probably won't plant any of these specific species with the rye at least in significant quantities, but at least have a starting point.

I know there's no replacement for observation and interaction but it's nice to review the work of others. Hopefully it won't lead me astray for example if someone says "you can't grow this plant in rye" when really you can't grow it only in a very specific situation in rye.
 
Posts: 6
Location: Bellingham Washington OR Kuwait City
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Hi Permies and Larry,
I just caught an interview of Larry by ways of Stitcher Radio> The Permaculture Podcast>July 29 episode
Nice conversation by Scott Mann and Larry Korn. Thank You.
I feel so cool now knowing what this forum is about.

Dorene
Everson, WA, USA
 
steward
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Paul's podcast with Larry Korn discussing Masanobu Fukuoka and all of his beliefs just got re-released to listen to for free. Thought you might be interested in giving it a listen.

Podcast 007: Discussion with Larry Korn About Masanobu Fukuoka
 
master steward
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This is a very informative thread. I've greatly enjoyed reading it.

I have a few questions for you about what grains and other crops would work where we live. But first the background:

After reading One Straw Revolution and Sowing Seeds in the Desert, I'm very taken with Fukuoka's philosophy. Although, I must admit, I have quite a few doubts as to how his methods would translate to this side of the Pacific. Still, the philosophy behind it is congruent with how I wish to interact with the world, so I think it's worth spending a few years of trial and error to see if we can make it work on our little plot of land.

We don't have anywhere to grow an orchard yet, but we do have a few flat places for practicing grain raising. This year I hope to start with about 1/16th of an acre, and grow from there. Given the condition of the land and weather here, I have zero expectations of a grain harvest the first years. My goal for the first while is to observe and to hopefully improve soil conditions.

The land I'm starting with has about 1/8th of an inch of topsoil above hardpan. What grows there now is hawkweed, some white clover, and a short scrubby grass which I don't know. There are also some buttercups and crocuses in the spring.

Our weather on Southern Vancouver Island is very mild temperature wise. Winter averages about (plus) 5 to 10 degrees C. Summer between 10 and 25 degrees C. With a few dips to -10 below or +39 above every now and again. Some years we even get snow, but the city shut down if it's more than an inch.

The most difficult thing about our weather is water. From the 15th of October through to the end of April it rains. At the moment there are puddles of standing water half an inch thick where I want to plant. From May through to October, we get maybe two rain falls, one in late June and once again in the last week of August. Of course this varies from year to year, but that's the general theme the rain follows. Even in our wet season, there is actually very little rainfall (we measure in millimeters per 24 hours, instead of inches per hour like the rest of the world seems to), it's just constantly damp.

In the summer there is also a heavy dew most nights. I notice where there is lots of vegetation growing, it captures the dew and can keep the soil quite moist, but the rest of the yard the moisture is gone as soon as the sun rises. Creating an environment that can use this dew would be a great bonus.

So that's the main challenge, working with too much or too little water.

The types of grain/field crops I like to grow include barley, oats, wheat, lentils, fibre flax, buckwheat, maybe amaranth, and whatever else might benefit the soil. I'm also interested in learning about a kind of winter rice that is grown not far from here.

What would you recommend as a good winter/summer rotation cycle for this climate?

In one of his books, Fukuoka says he uses barley/rice because it breaks the disease cycle (ie, rice straw to mulch barley, barley straw to mulch rice). He mentioned if he did barley/barley then it would encourage certain diseases to transfer from the straw to the new crop. How vital is this for just starting out? For example, if I started with barley this spring, then barley grain again this winter, would it be too much, or probably fine?

What would be a good starter crop for these first few years given how little soil there is? I was guessing buckwheat or barley and white clover for this spring planting, but I would love some thoughts. Most of the books I've read are written for places that actually get precipitation in the summer and I wonder if I need something a bit more drought tolerant.

Should I be planting something with deep roots among the grain to help break up the soil like amaranth? If so, will this get in the way of using the scythe when harvesting (or mowing down the failed harvest)?

Then there is a question about clay pellets. We don't have access to much clay, not enough to pelletize the seeds. Can I make up for this by using more mulch or changing my planting timing to be closer to the harvest? I can see how the clay pellets would work well where Fukuoka was farming, but I wonder if it would be of use here. It seems to be an extra step, and I would like to follow the idea of 'what if I tried not doing this or what if I tried not doing that'. Then again, if it is a major help to growing the seeds, I can put more effort into sourcing clay.

Would love your thoughts and encouragement.
Thank you in advance.

 
r ranson
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Okay, I admit it. I've actually been playing around with Fukuoka's grain raising ideas for a month now. Experimenting and observing.

If this isn't the right place to post this, please let me know where would be better. Thank you.

It looks like we are going to have very little winter this year. The last frost was a couple of days after New Years, and given the weather patterns here and that many of the animals have come out of hibernation two months early, I feel it's a good bet our February freeze is going to pass us by.

I decided that Barley is what I can play with because if we do get a frost or even a snow, it will hold up pretty well. I bought a bag of organic barley which is usually used for animal feed, but has a great germination rate of 95%.

First attempt was the second week of Jan. I broadcast some old barley seed so that it was approx 2 seeds per inch (only less regular as per my understanding of Fukuoka's philosophy). Why that thick? Reading about small scale grain raising - traditional European methods - they recommend one seed per inch when starting out, maybe one seed per inch and a half if you have absolutely fantastic soil. (source: Small-Scale Grain Raising: An Organic Guide to Growing, Processing, and Using Nutritious Whole Grains for Home Gardeners and Local Farmers, by Logsdon and O-Brien - my memory of what I read when I borrowed it from the library). In One Straw Revolution, I remember Fukuoka saying that for the first few years, especially when dealing with poor quality, compacted soil, it is a good idea to sew the seeds extra or even twice as thick as normal.

On top of the barley, I spread about half an inch of used hay (hay the animals had nibbled on but didn't like because it was too coarse. Basically like chopped up straw). On top of that I sprinkled a tiny amount of llama berries.

Results: That night the wild ducks came and ate most of the grain. During the week, the ducks really enjoyed themselves. At the end of the week, the ducks had enough and I pealed back some mulch and looked at what was left of the grain. About one kernel per 6 inches remained and was growing well. Better than I had expected, but not as good as I hoped.

Reviewing Fukuoka's philosophy, I see some of the things I did wrong.

First off, the mulch was cut up straw - not the uncut straw that Fukuoka recommends. Also the mulch wasn't thick enough. Third aspect I failed to follow was to step on the grain. I was so careful not to step where I had broadcast, but by not stepping on the grain, it failed to push the barley into the soil. Seeds love contact with the soil, the more the better. So keeping this in mind, it was time to try again.

Second try: First weekend of February.

Broadcast grain again, this time to a thickness of two or three kernels per square inch. Walking all over the area as I broadcast (I broadcast about four times in the same area to get the grain thickly on the ground).

Mulched again with twice as much spent hay (that's what I have, so that's what I used) and on top of that with leaf mulch from cleaning out the ditch. On top of all that, a much thicker layer of llama berries.

Why llama and not chicken manure as per Fukuoka's method? Llama has several benefits that I wanted to take advantage of. First off, it's a great deterrent for many animals that enjoy grain, like mice, llamas, ducks... &c. Since I have no clay yet, I decided to try this method to protect the grain. Second, it's easier to spread around as it's in nice neat little berries. Third, I've observed that it's exceptionally good at growing grass. Llama berries are good for growing just about anything and everything green; given that their PH is pretty neutral and they are full of all the good things for roots and circulation growth in plants. But with grasses, llama berries really shine there. The grass that receives llama treatment stays greener much longer in the drought than the rest of the property. Also where the llama berries go, fewer hawkweed is found.

Results: week in and no ducks bother the grain. A good amount of the grain has sprouted. Although not evenly distributed, it averages about one to two kernels per square inch that have put down roots and are now starting to form their shoots.

So far I've only done a 10 by 20 foot section, the limiting factor being mulch. If I can get more things to use for mulching, then I'll plant more. Later, when the weather warms up, I'll add in the clover and try my hand at buckwheat on the slopes of the terraces.

But for now, the rain has come back with a vengeance. It will be curious to see how the grain survives being partly flooded. Not well, I'm guessing.

If this is interesting to anyone, I can keep the updates coming.
 
Anderson gave himself the promotion. So I gave myself this tiny ad:
Getting ready for the Better World Book kickstarter - February 2019
https://permies.com/t/99513/ready-World-Book-kickstarter-February
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