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fukuoka farming in national forest?  RSS feed

 
Joel Cederberg
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good or bad?
 
K Nelfson
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If by no-till you mean till-less-spray-more, then no.
 
Joel Cederberg
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i guess i mean to ask peoples opinions/impressions about cultivation of public land through fukuoka/no till/seed ball broadcasting, etc.
does it strike you as taboo? viable? legal? a good idea, bad idea? etc/anything.
ideally there would be no tilling, or spraying, only mulching, seed broadcasting. i would also like to control plant population and variety of a location, as well as canopy levels and sun reach, but thats basically mulching in my opinion.

anyway, im planning on doing this and was looking for input/other points of view other than my own.

i already have been doing a version of this the past two weeks, i have permission to forage a neighbors back 40 so to speak where he has a huge stand of ragweed. ive cleared the area of ragweed and used it as mulch, then i broadcast dandilion seed balls all over the place, and they are growing like mad. alot of free food.

anyway, yea. clarification.
 
Judith Browning
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Location: Arkansas Ozarks zone 7 alluvial,black,deep loam/clay with few rocks, wonderful creek bottom!
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My first thought was...there are already a lot of edibles in National Forests in my state. They do 'controlled' burns here, allow folks to get a permit to cut firewood, we gather mushrooms and sometimes (but rarely) seeds or plants...I don't think it would be good to introduce other plants in to the system here..but maybe other forests are less abundant. I know there are bits of farm land within the National Forest bounderies in some areas.
I guess I wonder why you want to do this?
 
Terri Matthews
Posts: 469
Location: Eastern Kansas
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I broadcast grain in my lawn, and I got a small harvest. It should keep me in cracked wheat to add to my bread this winter! The thread is here, http://www.permies.com/t/21671/fukuoka/Tribute#204551

I suspect that rank vegetation would have shaded out the wheat, but it did just fine in my lawn!
 
K Nelfson
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I hope this isn't discouraging, but I question the efficiency of your efforts. Perhaps you would be better off with a piece of your own land, where you can do as you please. The same efforts may yield a better harvest and a more enjoyable experience if you built up a food forest on your own land. Even a small garden plot would probably be more effective use of time and money.

The logical conclusion of my suggestion (in a word, efficiency) is a large modern farm that is dedicated to monoculture of potatoes or some such. I'm not advocating that. I just think it would be more fun to work where it's legal and under your own control. These conveniences are so pervasive that basically all countries have property laws that protect land owners. I've worked several plots in the past and found it to be frustrating, inefficient, expensive, and fraught with politics. Just the transportation made it a bad idea. And having to deal with shared garden space is always a challenge when you're working with people who don't have the same values as you do. Sadly, the more detailed the topic, the less likely that others will agree with you. Gardening and eating are two very-detailed topics.

I don't know your situation---maybe the national forest is the only land available to you. I don't want to discourage you but if I could save you 2-3 years of angst, it's worth it to sew where you have at least some legal standing.
 
Joel Cederberg
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eventually i would like to own some land, preferably a small province somewhere with a lower class that i can control. (its hard to joke in text)

that being said, im trying to rock a nomadic style of life this next year or two, a large part of this will just be spent on blm or national forest lands anyway. so i figured id try it out while it seemed convenient. i do like the idea of tweaking mother nature though. isnt that a fukuoka ish principle? control the large force and channel it in a desirable way? im hoping it will be fun while it lasts.

but then again, i really dont know what ive talked about. because i havent gone out there and done anything yet, im heading out in 3 months once i make enough money to light on fire inside an engine.
 
C Sanct
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Location: Southern California
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What forests are you planning to live in? I don't know how well it will pertain to your location, but there's a book called "Tending the Wild: Native American Knowledge and the Management of California's Natural Resources", that details how the California Indians tended to the state as one giant forest garden. California had the densest population of Indians out of all other states in the U.S. and looking back now, it becomes easier to assess that the entire state was a gigantic permaculture project.

I wouldn't really call it Fukuoka style, but there's tremendous evidence that the huge abundance of wild fish, meat, fowl, nuts, grains, fruits, and vegetables were available for harvesting because of "wilderness cultivation" techniques.

So if you're planning to live a nomadic hunter/gatherer lifestyle, there's no reason you shouldn't incorporate horticultural skills into the mix. It's blending the line between hunter/gather and total cultivation. If you have knowledge of the systems that support your nomadic lifestyle then you can prepare or alter an area in ways that will increase your hunting and gathering yield while simultaneously improving the overall health of the forest. Can you go into more detail on exactly what you want to do?
 
Joel Cederberg
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since i fear big brother, i will not say which forest i will be doing this in. however, odds are this will take place somewhere west of the rockies.
theyll gun me down with a drone eventually anyway im sure.
i will have to peruse through this book you speak of. my main concern is that i will create chaos through my actions and not actually be a boon to nature. i like what was written in one straw revolution where they talk about altering mother nature then deserting her (and how thats bad). i want to see things through and be responsible.

so heres a more detailed idea of what i plan on doing.

my wife and i have aquired a 1982 chevy transvan with 44000 miles on it. its super sweet. we have been living in it for the past 3 months. right now we are located in wisconsin working a job that should last till the winter, upon whom's arrival we will pack it all up and head southwest where we will bum around public lands and wwoof farms until our money gives out. once our funds diminish to a certain predetermined level, we will find a "proper" job somewhere until we can continue bumming around public lands and wwoof farms.

now, the general law of the land as far as public land goes is that after 2 weeks you have to move an arbitrary amount of miles for a few days. still, there is nothing that says i cannot have two native style natural and hidden feral garden type style situations 5 miles apart and just go from one to the next forever.

so the challenge would be how to grow all indigenous foods in abundant quantity. burdock, salsify, wild rice, dandilions, thistles, garlic mustard, etc. like id need to propagate garlic mustard, but whatever. these are examples. a further challenge is to do this in such a way so that it would become invisible to law enforcement. it is my experience that cops are A holes and dont like free loading hippies who dont work to better society. (case and point, two days ago i got cuffed and detained for 2 hours on a public bike trail while foraging). however, i would like to grow some comfort foods like tomatoes and actual vegetables as well, although that would be more conspicuous.

this is a set of general and realistic goals that i have outlined for myself. at least i feel them to be realistic. some maybe less realistic ideas i have would be to actually change the landscape some with earthworks. however, i am not very experienced with earthworks, but i would like to make a swale or two just for kicks.

thats about as detailed as i can go on this.

the reason i am doing this mainly is because i believe humans were created to tend a food garden, and i would like to step into that calling.
other less noble reasons for this is because i love free food, also i eat like a pig. im pretty sure i obsessively eat. especially since i quit smoking a while back. so food better be free if im gonna be poppin it in my mouth all the time.
 
Robert Woden
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Joel, I've spent some time "behind the scenes" so to speak, with public land agencies, working through americorps programs and public land relations with a non-profit wilderness advocacy group. I felt inclined to respond because I have also entertained similar ideas. First of all, the two week interval in changing campsites only applies for a certain period of time (variable depending on land agency and region) (i.e. up to 2 months, changing sites every two weeks) You will want to check each individual public land as they are all managed differently. BLM lands tend to be the most lenient both in restrictions and degree of enforcement. Your vehicle will probably cause you a lot of headache, as that will be closely monitored, better if you could hitch to areas and just hike in. I am not sure how serious your comment about drones is, but from my experience, these are being used more extensively. I was out in the Mojave and there is a lot of drone fly-overs, but also far more helicopters, surveying and monitoring particularly for illegal marijuana grows. If you are in the southwest, they'll be looking for these and would probably be able to spot any "unusual" crops. I would think it would be wise to propigate only native plants, as your "natural amendments" could then go unnoticed by even a day-hiker. Public land agencies already use seed balls to manage plant species and restore habitat. I would imagine you would face very severe punishment for propigating any invasive species (or even non-native for that matter). An absolutely unreasonable amount of public land funding goes towards invasive-species removal no matter the degree of how impossible it might be to remove (i.e. Tamarisk throughout the Southwest!)

Anyways, I think you should go for it and tell us how it goes, I would very much doubt anyone has actually pulled off a stunt such as this, but you never know, I've met some wild-eyed fellows living off public land, one fella inparticular who carried a whole seedbank in his pack (what better weight to calories ratio!?). It would also directly confront some interesting challenges in how to truly assimilate into the natural world, you would probably learn valuable methods that could benefit permaculture systems and give insight into natural farming methods for us Americans.


 
wayne stephen
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Location: Western Kentucky-Climate Unpredictable Zone 6b
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Joel Salatin writes about older farmers watching their fields lie fallow . Their children do not want to follow in the farmers footsteps. One of his interns approached such a fellow and offered to rent his land to pasture chickens and beeves . The farmer allowed him to work it for free just to see it being used again. Why not try such an approach. Seems to me you may alter some fragile ecosystem and not be able to steward the changes to something benficial for humans and the earth. If you threw down seedballs with clover and wheat for instance , might you not be displacing an established grass that a local ground squirrel thrives on . They could eat your wheat I guess but would you then take that from the squirrrel . What would you replace in that squirrels niche - Rabbit , Chicken , Quail ? As I understand Permaculture , we are trying to imitate nature in our gardens and farms . So we have to create ecosystems and fill niches as nature does . Does this not require time and commitment ? Husbandry ? Besides , how can you foster a plot of grain on some western slope if you are sitting on a metal bench in some western pokie ? Your plot of grain would be singing " Care of Cell 44 " by the Zombies .
 
Joel Cederberg
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drones are very serious. its funny how people dont mind a physical set of eyes in the sky, but get all bent out of shape at the thought of ethereal ones.

well, i think i might try this. ive been living in wisconsin now for a month, next month ill be in kentucky, but there is a wilderness area i go to with a sickle to harvest wild edibles. while i am there i cut down squares of grass prety much bare. (golden rod, grass, wild turnip, a whole bunch of stuff) anyway, i cut it all down and scatter dandilion and clover seeds in its stead. and i just keep cutting back whatever grows. then i go find some solomans seal (great, not false) and i cut down everything that isnt great solomans seal. turns out, after a month of that you have alot more clover and solomans seal, i dont think its dandilion germination conditions yet though. ill never know. im not coming back here.

point is, it works. not very sustainable, but it works.

now my question is how you think they would react to some dude digging swales and making gabions out on blm lands?
 
John Polk
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Location: Currently in Lake Stevens, WA. Home in Spokane
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You mentioned planting garlic mustard ( Alliaria petiolata).
Don't do that on public land in WA State. It is considered a Class A noxious weed in this state.
A farmer that fails to control it on his own land can be fined $500 per day until he gets it under control.
Intentionally introducing it on public land would probably entail some jail time.
 
Joel Cederberg
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does anyone know the rules about digging on some of this land?
coul i just claim to be making a whole lot of cat holes?
 
Alex Hamond
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For what it's worth Fukuoka probably would have been against this. You mentioned something about him supporting the idea of tweaking nature, I think you have the wrong idea about him. If anything he felt that nature was perfect as it is, and anything we do to try and make it better results in unforeseen negative consequences. He would have understood that this sort of thing would have the potential to disrupt a natural ecosystem.

Think of it as anything that wasn't there to begin with is now an invasive plant, and what will this do to the local ecology?

Doing this the most ecologically friendly way possible you would obtain a complete knowledge of all the edible plants that grow their naturally. Collect seeds of those plants. Make seedballs, and hurl them out somewhere that has recently burn to the ground. In a few years there is a food forest of native plants, probably full of all kind of animals enjoying eating it. A forest is rebuilt on a fallen forest. I would see less wrong with helping that process along using the natural flora.

The main thing I suggest is that you consider and respect the local ecology and the impact your actions will have on it. So many invasive species have run rampant because someone thought it would be a good thing to plant at the time and might grow well here.



 
I agree. Here's the link: http://richsoil.com/cards
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