The Natural Way of Farming will probably not be republished. You'll have to find it in a used bookstore, in a friend's library or on line.
You know, I don't remember that one, at least we never did it while I was at his farm. It doesn't seem like such a bad idea as long as one isn't robbing Peter (the forest) to pay Paul (the human tended garden).
Going to the forest to gather mulch sounds like work to me. Perhaps useful while bringing the soil back to life, but unnecessary thereafter.
rose macaskie wrote:
travis asks how fukoaka spaced the different crops he planted in the same bit of land.
Advice for Travis' Friend I expect should be to plant some of the really deep strong tap rooted plants that can make their way down through the hardpan below tiller depth. Then instead of harvesting those roots, mow down the crop and let them rot in/on the ground to provide organic matter. This might take a few years.
Otherwise, I would Probably be turning that field to a food forest to take advantage of the different conditions on that ground seeing as it's been a problem field in a tilled culture.
Then again, if he knows that tilling is the problem and he still wants to try tilling it again, there may be no changing his mind from the outside.
I once mentioned that maybe he should broadcast plant some turnip or mustard into parts of a separate field for this purpose but he scoffed at the idea. He's all about getting a crop harvested asap. And even though he's read Fukuokas book, I still don't think he makes the connection between his tilling and the compacting of the soil. Either that or he doesn't see any other way to go about prepping the field. I feel like a Jedi who's seen his friend go over to the dark side...
There are some radish that might do his site good too.
However, I fear you are right that your friend is strongly affected by the dark side.
The insanity of our traditional plow based agriculture, expecting a different outcome from the same repeated actions, sigh. Some people have the idea that machine and chemical mono crop agriculture is the only way to make money and few see the light before it is too late.
I'm curious. This field has obviously been doing poorly for more than one season right? How long has it been giving him problems and what has he tried, what is the crop?
Is he willing to just leave it fallow for a few seasons and mow down the weeds to improve the soil? The weeds that tend to grow are probably the answer to fixing the problem if he lets them.