Win a deck of Permaculture Playing Cards this week in the Permaculture forum!
  • Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic
permaculture forums growies critters building homesteading energy monies kitchen purity ungarbage community wilderness fiber arts art permaculture artisans regional education skip experiences global resources the cider press projects digital market permies.com private forums all forums
this forum made possible by our volunteer staff, including ...
master stewards:
  • James Freyr
  • Nicole Alderman
  • Anne Miller
  • r ranson
  • Mike Jay Haasl
  • Dave Burton
  • Pearl Sutton
stewards:
  • paul wheaton
  • Joylynn Hardesty
  • Joseph Lofthouse
garden masters:
  • Steve Thorn
gardeners:
  • Dan Boone
  • Carla Burke
  • Kate Downham

Emilia Hazelip Technique

 
Posts: 411
Location: Georgia
13
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Benford that layout looks pretty awesome I must say. I hope you
will keep us updated in the spring and summer on how it is working.

I am going to predict it will look like a big glob of vegetation to anybody
who doesn't know the layout but you will be able to move in and out of
easily.
 
gardener
Posts: 2347
Location: Fraser River Headwaters, Zone3, Lat: 53N, Altitude 2750', Boreal/Temperate Rainforest-transition
303
hugelkultur forest garden fungi trees books food preservation bike solar woodworking
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
hi all,

I didn't read all the comments but will probably do so as I love Emilia's work and have watched her video a few times. I used to correspond with her in the Fukuoka Farming Yahoo group years ago before she sadly passed away. To answer one question, when she talks of crop location in the video, I believe she just mentions that she never plants the same thing in the same place the next year, and encourages a diversity of root types in the soil which form different communities and source different nutrients. Emelia was one of the most studied and experienced gardeners that I've ever had the pleasure of connecting with online; she was way ahead of her time in many ways. I always found her insight was some of the best in that Fukuoka forum, or at least it always seemed to me to be what my instinct was telling me was right. Her ideas about synergy in the soil matrix came partly out of Fukuoka's ideas, and also out of Elaine Ingham's work on soil micro-biology. Elaine's work also was some of the inspiration behind the Actively Aerated Compost Tea methods in Teaming With Microbes.
 
Alex Ames
Posts: 411
Location: Georgia
13
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Roberto pokachinni wrote:hi all,

I didn't read all the comments but will probably do so as I love Emilia's work and have watched her video a few times. I used to correspond with her in the Fukuoka Farming Yahoo group years ago before she sadly passed away. To answer one question, when she talks of crop location in the video, I believe she just mentions that she never plants the same thing in the same place the next year, and encourages a diversity of root types in the soil which form different communities and source different nutrients. Emelia was one of the most studied and experienced gardeners that I've ever had the pleasure of connecting with online; she was way ahead of her time in many ways. I always found her insight was some of the best in that Fukuoka forum, or at least it always seemed to me to be what my instinct was telling me was right. Her ideas about synergy in the soil matrix came partly out of Fukuoka's ideas, and also out of Elaine Ingham's work on soil micro-biology. Elaine's work also was some of the inspiration behind the Actively Aerated Compost Tea methods in Teaming With Microbes.



Roberto I am glad Hazelip studied Ingham's work but also am glad she simplified her approach. That is what
appeals to me about what she did. She had more confidence in the soil's auto-fertility than me. It seems to me some soils
would be good to go if you just mounded and mulched, others would need some help initially.
 
Roberto pokachinni
gardener
Posts: 2347
Location: Fraser River Headwaters, Zone3, Lat: 53N, Altitude 2750', Boreal/Temperate Rainforest-transition
303
hugelkultur forest garden fungi trees books food preservation bike solar woodworking
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
On soil auto-fertility, here's my chain of thought. I personally believe that the earth inherently wants plants to cover it, and I believe that Emilia felt the same way. The result of this is that plants will, if given right moisture conditions, and not too much or too little heat, grow. As pioneer species (from which many of our edible vegetable plants have been derived) grow in the soil, the matrix of the soil life builds and grows, and never leaves, especially on the micro fiber root hairs, the root channels after they rot, the earthworm tunnels, and all of the microbial communities. It is not to say that the soil is immediately self fertile, but that it is a matrix, which can be combined, with the living essences of all of these synergistic interactions, to become increasingly fertile as the community develops. Although air is an extremely important element that becomes more and more incorporated through the tunnels and the off-gassing of the breathing microbes and plants and fungi, the massive aeration of Tilling destroys this fragile dynamic, as well as the fertility. So, if you add organic material (which also adds air spaces), and plants, and it has the proper water and heat levels. Boom-fertility. A few worms or inoculations of compost are bound to help!
 
Roberto pokachinni
gardener
Posts: 2347
Location: Fraser River Headwaters, Zone3, Lat: 53N, Altitude 2750', Boreal/Temperate Rainforest-transition
303
hugelkultur forest garden fungi trees books food preservation bike solar woodworking
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Alex,

What sort of help did you have in mind?
 
Alex Ames
Posts: 411
Location: Georgia
13
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Roberto pokachinni wrote:Alex,

What sort of help did you have in mind?



In my posts in this thread from around Oct. 25 and on I detailed what I did
in my heavy clay situation. I am continuing to add manure and leaves and other than
working compacted areas with a garden fork occasionally, I just do like Hazelip advised.

I leave roots in place and crop residue on top or if I don't like it's looks I may put it under
the mulch. At some point soon I expect to be just planting and harvesting. I mixed things
together when I built the beds and now everything just goes on top. Worm population is
pretty good.

 
Roberto pokachinni
gardener
Posts: 2347
Location: Fraser River Headwaters, Zone3, Lat: 53N, Altitude 2750', Boreal/Temperate Rainforest-transition
303
hugelkultur forest garden fungi trees books food preservation bike solar woodworking
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Hi Alex,

Yes. I read your posts again.

It seems you are bang on, Alex.

You do need to break up clay. Some folks do it with daikon, or other spike roots, but a fork works faster. You use a fork. Emilia tilled. In Emilia's video you can see that the area was tilled. What I believe she did was till it and then build the beds up, and, I think the paths get tilled again and then shoveled onto the beds. She was against tilling, but she realized that it was best to do it just this once, to get the soil loose and ready for plants, then not ever till again, leaving the plants and worms to do the rest.

Clay is one of the hardest thing to deal with in any garden initially, in my opinion, but there are bonuses to clay that I believe greatly benefit from the deep bed/hugulkultur approach. One is that it is proven that clay soils hold nutrients better (better cation exchange capacity). Another is that the buried clay holds moisture, just like hugul logs. Broken clay on the surface can be a problem because it can be drying, and it can create clods, and it can create a hard surface that beads water, this can inhibit seed germination. But if the clay was shoved in under compost, or imported topsoil, or mulch then it can gain/keep moisture. The more you mulch clay, the more water it holds. The more it is exposed to the air the more it causes problems.

Sounds like you are doing everything right. This is a really good thread. I'm really glad to see that Emilia's work is being emulated in these designs. It is the ultimate memorial to her life's work.

I will be incorporating her methods with some additions on my new property hopefully this year. Additions beyond what Emilia describes (not necessarily all in the first beds the first year...) will likely include more perennials, wild transplants, trees and shrubs (wild and domestic), inoculations from wild soil (from old growth systems), biochar throughout the beds particularly large pieces in the hugul woody base, and fine biochar dusts in the top and south faces for heat gain (I'm zone 3), biodynamic preps, taller hugul mounds, actively aerated compost tea, fungal inoculations, stones for heat gain and storage , and also ponds for heat storage. The intention is to have islands of wild diversity, and a great diversity of plant ages, heights, leaf shapes, root shapes, root depths and plant shapes. My hope is that this will increase the synergistic elements, by building much more robust ecological systems, much as Sepp Holzer did. As much as I would like to have mostly perennials it is less likely in zone 3 to do so (possible with lots of berries and fruit and hazel nuts, just not with a lot of the perennial plants that are common on this website threads). In spite of the fact that I really want to go in the exact opposite direction of the agri-monocrop system, I may have mini mono-crop type grove systems within the bed in order to facilitate an ease of harvesting and tending annuals like carrots, but my intention is to do so in ways that are surrounded by diversity of perennials and annuals, random annual poly-cultures, and or the mentioned wild islands.

I have a large area to play with. My problem is that my organic soil is very thin, and my subsoil is very rocky and gravelly and sandy, thus draining. But I will do it.

Great stuff, all. and nice photos too!
 
Alex Ames
Posts: 411
Location: Georgia
13
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Roberto you have a more thorough understanding of Emelia's methods than
I do and I appreciate you sharing your thoughts. I hope your projects go well!
 
Roberto pokachinni
gardener
Posts: 2347
Location: Fraser River Headwaters, Zone3, Lat: 53N, Altitude 2750', Boreal/Temperate Rainforest-transition
303
hugelkultur forest garden fungi trees books food preservation bike solar woodworking
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Perhaps I do have a more thorough knowledge, but I do not have the practical experience yet in this regard that you are already gaining. I was fortunate to be able to converse in forums with Emilia, but also have gained a lot of insight into other practices which I want to incorporate as mentioned.

For instance, She did not involve herself with hugulkultur that I'm aware of. She did not use biochar, and chose to let the plants and microbes do the innoculations on their own, for instance. She did not use compost in the garden, which on the other hand I definitely will at the beginning. She used some perennials but was predominantly annual focused.

My intention is to create her system with a lot of annuals for sure, especially at the start as a focus, but more in a wider spaced food forest type situation so that the larger gaps between tree and shrub clusters gives light to annual beds. The larger plants (incorporating trees and shrubs-most of them edible), the perennial systems, and the wilder elements, and inoculations that I envision are well beyond what she was working with in that video, but I believe that my plans take the synergy to another level, much more like Sepp Holzer's ideas and like many food forest ideas. I'm hoping with the multiple systems that I described that I will experience the greater synergistic success down the road, and that the system, as mentioned will be more robust/resilient than hers.

One of my original inspirations in gardening was Fukuoka, and one of the primary elements that I learned from his work is that Nature needs to be involved as much as possible. And we need to mimic natural systems. That really grooved in my brain. I knew that I wanted to be as close to Nature as I could and still garden. So that's the goal. Wild plants and wild inocuations, mixed in the system of feral and domesticated plants.
 
Alex Ames
Posts: 411
Location: Georgia
13
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Roberto your ideas are very good. If I was trying to make a living from permaculture
it would resemble agro-forestry more than a full canopy food forest. Why? Light. You
have hit on a way to get light into your plans which opens up a world of plants that
would not be very productive in shade.
 
Alex Ames
Posts: 411
Location: Georgia
13
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Roberto I have begun using biochar some. I think it is going
be very beneficial.
 
Roberto pokachinni
gardener
Posts: 2347
Location: Fraser River Headwaters, Zone3, Lat: 53N, Altitude 2750', Boreal/Temperate Rainforest-transition
303
hugelkultur forest garden fungi trees books food preservation bike solar woodworking
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Awesome Alex. I think that biochar is a wonderful thing. I have done a lot of theoretical study of biochar and I have some experience with it already, but I'm looking forward to building a bigger more productive retort, and doing some controlled experiments/study plots/demo gardens with it. Unfortunately, I may not have as much time on my property this year as I thought. I think I'm going to be working away from home. This will help get the land paid for quickly but it will delay a lot of the growing and building that I had planned for the next few years. It is probable that I will only get a few regular type beds in (on the contour at least). The snow just left.
 
Alex Ames
Posts: 411
Location: Georgia
13
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Roberto pokachinni wrote:Awesome Alex. I think that biochar is a wonderful thing. I have done a lot of theoretical study of biochar and I have some experience with it already, but I'm looking forward to building a bigger more productive retort, and doing some controlled experiments/study plots/demo gardens with it. Unfortunately, I may not have as much time on my property this year as I thought. I think I'm going to be working away from home. This will help get the land paid for quickly but it will delay a lot of the growing and building that I had planned for the next few years. It is probable that I will only get a few regular type beds in (on the contour at least). The snow just left.




How do you see the best possible use of biochar in the Hazelip type setup. My beds are built and I have
no intention of expanding except in unused corners inside my fence. What should be added to the biochar?
how should it be applied? What benefits should I be looking for from having used it? Etc. are what I would
appreciate your opinion on.

As far as your land and having to work to get it paid for before you can get much done. Do what you can when
you get a chance. Small bites will keep your enthusiasm up.
 
Roberto pokachinni
gardener
Posts: 2347
Location: Fraser River Headwaters, Zone3, Lat: 53N, Altitude 2750', Boreal/Temperate Rainforest-transition
303
hugelkultur forest garden fungi trees books food preservation bike solar woodworking
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

James Driscoll wrote:This looks similar to the Jeavon's bio intensive method (http://www.growbiointensive.org/index.html).



I just reviewed the whole thread and remembered that I wanted to comment on this.

James, I believe that Emilia did study with Jeavons at one point. What differs greatly from her methods and Jeavons' is that Jeavons relies on compost, and he doesn't mulch. Jeavons relies on a closed canopy to reduce weeding, but weeds by cultivation until the canopy closes. With Emilia's method, she preps the soil intensively once and allows the micro-ecology of whatever else is left in the soil after harvest to provide fertility with the help of the breaking down mulch which is added often. The mulch provides a barrier to weeds, makes the ones that do appear more leggy and easier to remove. This greatly reduces the need to cultivate the soil (which destroys the fertility communities). As the years progress, and mulch breaks down to become the top layer of soil, there are fewer and fewer weed seeds being exposed, and less need for weeds to repair soil (since it's more fertile and always covered). Thus, as she states, you must weed as much as a regular garden at the beginning, but the need is reduced as the system progresses in years and soil complexity.

Alex: I also wanted to comment in regards to this quote:

Emilia Hazelip in the document I alluded to above said "I have long since given up
following the lunar/cosmic calendar, there being insufficient evidence of results to
justify the time and complication of applying it."

So she may have had some points of agreement with Jeavons but it is safe to say
she was not of the bio-intensive camp. Ruth Stout and Fukuoka appear to have had the biggest
influence on her. I also tend to think that she was a bit unique.



I think you are confusing Steiner's Biodynamic gardening, with Bio-intensive, when you quote her misgivings with the cosmic calendar planting. It is in Bio-dynamics that they plant, tend, and harvest crops according to what the moon and stars are doing. I don't think Jeavons involves himself with this at all in bio-intensive.

You are right that Ruth Stout and Fukuoka are her closest influences along with Bill Mollison.


 
Alex Ames
Posts: 411
Location: Georgia
13
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Roberto I know less about using biochar than I do about who is the advocate of planting by
the moon! I need you to step up and be my brain for me. Neither of the people I am trying to
emulate, Hazelip and Stout continue to supplement the soil other than the break down of mulch
and crop residues. I feel like I am stepping out on a limb to fool with what I have. I started with
red clay and even with tons of worms working the beds still seem compacted or at least not as
loose and workable as I would like.
 
Roberto pokachinni
gardener
Posts: 2347
Location: Fraser River Headwaters, Zone3, Lat: 53N, Altitude 2750', Boreal/Temperate Rainforest-transition
303
hugelkultur forest garden fungi trees books food preservation bike solar woodworking
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Alex Ames wrote:

How do you see the best possible use of biochar in the Hazelip type setup. My beds are built and I have
no intention of expanding except in unused corners inside my fence. What should be added to the biochar?
how should it be applied? What benefits should I be looking for from having used it? Etc. are what I would
appreciate your opinion on.

As far as your land and having to work to get it paid for before you can get much done. Do what you can when
you get a chance. Small bites will keep your enthusiasm up.



I used compost and my own diluted 10:1 urine to make a quick compost tea. In one case I mixed this with shredded leaves and mulched an onion bed, and in the other I worked it into the soil with onions and potatoes.

What you want is something that is nutrient rich, and possibly something that is towards the nitrogen end of the spectrum rather than carbon, since the char is carbon.

Some folks use fish fertilizer.

I guess the best use of biochar would be to add it to your mulch, or to compost that you add when you are planting. What are you using to inoculate your biochar? Inoculation is what makes it "Bio". If you do not add nutrients to the char, it will absorb nutrients from the soil until it self inoculates. This might cause nitrogen drawdown. Most people use compost or a compost tea to put nutrients into the matrix of the biochar. Some just put the charcoal into their compost as they are building it (which inoculates it), and then use the compost, when complete, as is. If you are needing to have your beds warmed by the sun (if that's an issue in your climate as it is in mine), then cover your beds with a dusting of it. The darkness will increase the heat retention of the beds.

If there is a lot of ash with your char then you might not want to put it where you plant potatoes. The alkalinity will give you scab.

Some say you can mix it into your soil up to 50%. Most go less. If you build a new bed, I would suggest putting 10-50% biochar in with your soil, and dustings of it into your hugulkultur wood. But that's a lot of char to produce. Whatever you do, in whatever quantity, your garden will benefit.

The benefits might be readily apparent and might not. What I mean by that is that if you have no control group in your experiment you may not see the results of the difference. If you build two beds that are otherwise identical and add char to one, then you have a control and you can see the difference.

What happens with Bio-char is that the char has a twisting comb matrix which is basically like a very complicated catacomb of caves and nooks and crannies. These have little pockets of resins and other plant nutrients (because the cooler retort does not burn these off completely). Fungi, Bacteria, and more some of the more macro of the micro biology that can fit in the char like some nematodes, take up residence in these charcoal bits. They are safer there from predation. These micro-beings feed off the char nutrients and off each other, and colonies and communities form within these char bits. The biochar holds water within the catacombs, and it also holds air. The char provides nutrient retention zones, and as a porous aggregate both drainage and water retention, plus habitat. It basically acts as soil texture. It imitates the crumb structure (tilth) of good soil, and accelerates the tilth process. Worms love it, not because they can live in it, but because the charcoal provides habitat for their food sources. Every one of those bits of biochar is a fertility engine.

As micro fungi develop and integrate a community matrix of their own in your soil, they will trap nutrients throughout their bodies which might otherwise get lost to leaching. They will store nutrients in the char colonies which they love, and when they eventually die, the nutrients are available to community. The fungi also deliver nutrients to the plants that you are growing and the plants exchange sugars in return. This all happens anyway in any soil, especially if you don't till. But from what I understand it is increased with biochar.

So what you should see is healthy bigger more robust plants.

I have not yet done any experiments to see what results I could see, but my plants were all very healthy. All the experiments that I have seen on the internet (and there is a fair number of them for you to find), indicate bigger yields/healthier plants.

As far as my land goes. I will be doing some stuff, and I get exactly what you are saying; and I will. I thought I was going to be around building an Earthship project nearby and would have access to my own projects on my spare time (before and after work and on weekends), but I got called up and have to go to a medical physical appointment with the Railway tomorrow! I'd applied to work on the track maintaining gangs which means that I'll be 10 days on and 4 days off of hard labour all over B.C. and Alberta (which is a huge geographical area). I might get back on some weekends, but some of those places where I might be stationed would be a full days drive each way to my land. Which is a lot of extra driving considering all the overtime I'll be putting in with the gangs... I'll definitely do it anyway most of the time. But I do have intentions of building at least a little (short) hugul mound very soon, and I might get some bio char in it too.
 
Roberto pokachinni
gardener
Posts: 2347
Location: Fraser River Headwaters, Zone3, Lat: 53N, Altitude 2750', Boreal/Temperate Rainforest-transition
303
hugelkultur forest garden fungi trees books food preservation bike solar woodworking
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Alex Ames wrote:Roberto I know less about using biochar than I do about who is the advocate of planting by
the moon! I need you to step up and be my brain for me. Neither of the people I am trying to
emulate, Hazelip and Stout continue to supplement the soil other than the break down of mulch
and crop residues. I feel like I am stepping out on a limb to fool with what I have. I started with
red clay and even with tons of worms working the beds still seem compacted or at least not as
loose and workable as I would like.



Clay takes time, and so does good gardening. The only suggestion that I would make in regards to this is to focus your intentions on compost making big time. Forget that Hazelip doesn't do compost. You have to consider that your situation is not what hers was. Every garden situation is different. The more organic matter is incorporated into the soil, the better off you will be. The microbes and worms will break the clay down. But it will take time. The less the clay is exposed to air the better, as it's moisture content will make it's nutrients accessible, but it's drying will create problems. Worms do penetrate clay, and nutrients do get trapped on it and in it. Make compost from tree leaves and grass clippings----not weeds gone to seed (not even grass gone to seed). You will be building a weed free soil system on the top of your beds. This compost will hold moisture consistently and will help the soil life work your clay. I suggest not worrying about the clay, or your soil texture, but continue to lasagna on top. Cover all the clay as if you are building a new lasagna bed, and just keep on going. I can't think of anything else at the moment.
 
Alex Ames
Posts: 411
Location: Georgia
13
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I have a mixture about 1/2 biochar, 1/4 horse manure and 1/4 compost from kitchen scraps. I blended
all that together and moistened with rainwater. What I really like about this mixture is how light
it is. Tilth will be improved. Am I on the right track?
 
Alex Ames
Posts: 411
Location: Georgia
13
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Roberto thanks for the info. It is a confirmation of some of the things
I have been doing as well as some new things to try.
image.jpg
This is a confirmation of some of the things I have been doing as well as some new things to try.
This is a confirmation of some of the things I have been doing as well as some new things to try.
 
Roberto pokachinni
gardener
Posts: 2347
Location: Fraser River Headwaters, Zone3, Lat: 53N, Altitude 2750', Boreal/Temperate Rainforest-transition
303
hugelkultur forest garden fungi trees books food preservation bike solar woodworking
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I thought I posted a reply here but I guess it vaporized. Yes you are on the right track.

Kitchen waste compost is great: High nitrogen, no weed seeds. Biochar will like this.

Rainwater: Generally pretty alkaline which is what most veggies like.

Horse Manure: Needs to be composted or aged; might have weed seeds. If it's not composted or aged, it could be too hot for your plant roots. Horses do not have the extra stomachs and they don't chew cud like cattle, so their digestion is less complete. Be extra diligent about weeding grass and other horse pasture weeds from your bed. If the manure is not too "hot", you could plant anything directly in this mix. Horse manure has good nitrogen, and has grass fibers which give good soil texture and food for microbes.

The only other thing I was thinking you could do in regards to your heavy clay clumpy textured soil was, if you have a tiller, till back and forth in a path or outside your garden area until you have some really fine clay material, and then spread this where you want to do some planting. I only say this because you seem to be pulling your hair out about this.

 
Roberto pokachinni
gardener
Posts: 2347
Location: Fraser River Headwaters, Zone3, Lat: 53N, Altitude 2750', Boreal/Temperate Rainforest-transition
303
hugelkultur forest garden fungi trees books food preservation bike solar woodworking
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Ha! we always seem to be posting while the other is writing!

No worries! That's what this place is all about.

Nice pic's. Is this photo from this spring, or last year?
 
Alex Ames
Posts: 411
Location: Georgia
13
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Picture is from late this afternoon. The garlic is all that made it through Winter. So I am
enjoying watching things come up.
image.jpg
I am enjoying watching things come up.
I am enjoying watching things come up.
 
Roberto pokachinni
gardener
Posts: 2347
Location: Fraser River Headwaters, Zone3, Lat: 53N, Altitude 2750', Boreal/Temperate Rainforest-transition
303
hugelkultur forest garden fungi trees books food preservation bike solar woodworking
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Beautiful. Are those Iris'? There might be the odd dandelion poking it's little leaves through the dead and dormant thatch of my feral meadow, but your yard location is considerably in advance of where mine is. Look at that nice green grass! Where are you?
 
Alex Ames
Posts: 411
Location: Georgia
13
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Roberto pokachinni wrote:Beautiful. Are those Iris'? There might be the odd dandelion poking it's little leaves through the dead and dormant thatch of my feral meadow, but your yard location is considerably in advance of where mine is. Look at that nice green grass! Where are you?



Yes those are Iris and here is a few more. I am in Georgia, USA.
image.jpg
Yes those are Iris and here is a few more.
Yes those are Iris and here is a few more.
 
Roberto pokachinni
gardener
Posts: 2347
Location: Fraser River Headwaters, Zone3, Lat: 53N, Altitude 2750', Boreal/Temperate Rainforest-transition
303
hugelkultur forest garden fungi trees books food preservation bike solar woodworking
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Beauty all around! I've been through Georgia once. Lovely part of the world. I was fortunate to see it in it's flaming Autumn Glory.
 
Alex Ames
Posts: 411
Location: Georgia
13
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Here is my potato patch which is on an old burn site.
image.jpg
Here is my potato patch
Here is my potato patch
image.jpg
It is on an old burn site.
It is on an old burn site.
 
pollinator
Posts: 1312
Location: northern northern california
137
forest garden foraging trees fiber arts building medical herbs
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
i am not following this method entirely, but i have definitely borrowed a page or two from this book.

as well as ruth stout and fukuoka, and natural farming, both as fukuoka talked about and the more technical version done as korean natural farming or other versions, with IMO and FPJ and such. not that i follow any of those methods to the letter, but these are the books i am borrowing from =)

there are a couple of things that i disagree with about emilia hazelip's technique. one which comes to mind is never pulling up the roots of dead plants. though this does create some disturbance of the soil, to me it seems a minor disturbance and that it can be helpful in working against compaction, and allowing a small place where water sinks deeper in...in the space left once the root is pulled. there are a few other minor points, like i said i dont do this method entirely, but for the most part i really enjoyed and agreed with much of what was central to this.

i came across this a while back and would like to post them for sharing.
i dont know who made this web space and it appears they arent writing there any more, but there is a lot of good writing on emilia hazelip, natural farming, and fukuoka.

http://seedzen.wordpress.com/natural-farming-documents/synergistic-agriculture-documents/

http://seedzen.wordpress.com/natural-farming-documents/natural-farming-documents/

http://seedzen.wordpress.com/2011/10/22/the-natural-farming-of-vegetables/

http://seedzen.wordpress.com/2011/11/04/the-natural-farming-of-vegetables-part-two/

http://seedzen.wordpress.com/2011/11/07/the-natural-farming-of-vegetables-part-three/

http://seedzen.wordpress.com/2011/11/15/the-natural-farming-of-vegetables-part-four/

http://seedzen.wordpress.com/2011/11/15/the-natural-farming-of-vegetables-weeds-tell-the-soil/
 
Alex Ames
Posts: 411
Location: Georgia
13
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Leila thanks for the links. There is some useful (to me) new info there.

From a practical perspective leaving roots in place requires being patient enough
to let them rot in place and leave passage ways where they used to be. Then
all the nutrients they possessed are now in the soil. Sometimes they get in the way
and you have to work around them when you are planting. However, I usually stick with
the program and leave them in.
 
leila hamaya
pollinator
Posts: 1312
Location: northern northern california
137
forest garden foraging trees fiber arts building medical herbs
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Alex Ames wrote:Leila thanks for the links. There is some useful (to me) new info there.

From a practical perspective leaving roots in place requires being patient enough
to let them rot in place and leave passage ways where they used to be. Then
all the nutrients they possessed are now in the soil. Sometimes they get in the way
and you have to work around them when you are planting. However, I usually stick with
the program and leave them in.



yes i can see the logic, and i cant say its unfounded or wrong, just not what occurs to me to be the way to go.
so i pull up roots of dead plants, and i do think that this small disturbance is not that big of a deal, and actually has benefit in creating some lumpiness in the ground and a place for water to enter deeper into the beds. these kinds of holes and space of small disturbance seem to be beneficial IMO.

i do leave all dead plant matter in the bed, usually right where its from, chop and drop, but sometimes off to the side a bit like with chunky big roots and such. then i will mulch over the dead plants pulled up. i am also adding off site inputs, straw and cardboard and other things that i can get my hands on, but also using on site inputs like leaves and biochar. and this is another thing which i think is helpful.

so yeah i am not completely doing this method, or really any other. but over all i really agree with much of it, and reading about it find myself emphatically nodding my head in agreement with many of the ideas.
 
Alex Ames
Posts: 411
Location: Georgia
13
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Fukuoka seems to have done something that Nature doesn't get done on it's own
very often. He would probably say that is because Nature is not left on it's own very
often.

I can appreciate what Fukuoka was able to do but can't imagine trying to duplicate it. I do not
think Ruth Stout was as lazy as she made herself out to be. She was gardening into her 90's.
In spite of my best intentions I am far more hands on than her when it comes down to it.

Emelia Hazelip's garden in the YouTube video was a start up project. I don't think it represented
the quality of plant life that she was working toward. Had she not died I believe she would have been
making adjustments as she went. I am perhaps more of a proponent of her method than a practitioner
of it but i am working toward the same thing. That is, a simple way to grow things without starting over
from scratch every season. Soil that is improving with each season in a garden that not over run by
weeds and a victim to every malady of disease and pests.
 
Roberto pokachinni
gardener
Posts: 2347
Location: Fraser River Headwaters, Zone3, Lat: 53N, Altitude 2750', Boreal/Temperate Rainforest-transition
303
hugelkultur forest garden fungi trees books food preservation bike solar woodworking
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Thanks for posting those links Leila.

I'll definitely check them out sometime soon. I think that your idea to pull the roots has some merit, if compaction is an issue.

The additional microclimates and water penetration and air penetration in the beds would be helpful, particularly in the initial stages.

I wont be on the internet much in the next little while, but wanted to ask how long you have been using these types of methods and any comparison that you might have to methods you practiced previous to them.
 
Posts: 154
Location: Central New York - Finger Lakes - Zone 5
2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
As I watched the video I was thinking elements of mulching, raised beds, French Intensive, No till ...
As others have mentioned, this only works well when you begin with fertile ground...just laying mulch on 'parking lot subsoil' is gonna take years and years before anything grows well.
 
leila hamaya
pollinator
Posts: 1312
Location: northern northern california
137
forest garden foraging trees fiber arts building medical herbs
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Roberto pokachinni wrote:Thanks for posting those links Leila.

I'll definitely check them out sometime soon. I think that your idea to pull the roots has some merit, if compaction is an issue.

The additional microclimates and water penetration and air penetration in the beds would be helpful, particularly in the initial stages.

I wont be on the internet much in the next little while, but wanted to ask how long you have been using these types of methods and any comparison that you might have to methods you practiced previous to them.



yeah i am also offline for a while, its totally hectic season.

i do think that minimal disturbing of the soil by pulling up dead plants and even "weeds" (though not the friendly good weeds =) ) is beneficial for helping water get deeper and working against compaction. i am too lazy to do it frequently, so its not like its a lot of disturbance. it probably matters what your soil is to begin with, i have tended to have a lot of clay.

as i said earlier, i am not using this method to the exact letter, but my method has some elements of this, with a side of ruth stout, and a dose of fukuoka, along with whatever other elements i have developed over time, or seem good in whatever context i am working in at that moment, whats on hand to be used, etc. context is important.

i do like to sheet mulch, with cardboard and use a ton of mulch ...once i started doing that it was like - why havent i been doing this along!?!!? it was a huge improvement for me, improved yields, less work, and hardly no weeds, except the ones i preferred. i also have made a lot of different kinds of raised beds, and while i have never made a bed exactly like the beds emilia hazelip advocates, i do like what she did and think its a good way to go. stuck that in my mental file cabinet for later potential use =)

i have been using these kinds of similar methods for 10 + years, and after the first couple of seasons i used sheet mulch and deep mulch i definitely felt like i wish i had been doing that all along. previous to this i had gardened in the way i learned as a younger person - rather straight forward -light till with shovel, try to get out as many weeds/roots as possible, mix in organic matter/compost/manure and plant. sometimes, then as now, i screen the local soil through hardware cloth to get out more roots and make it fluffier.

for simplicity sake this method is ok, but using the sheet mulch, lasagna ish style, lots of straw/woodchips/compost/biochar/IMO/leaves and a bit of screened soil/recycled bag dirt on the very top is probably the way i will garden from now on. at some point i may try a bed exactly like what emilia advocates, only without the leaving all plants roots part.
i think she showed a clear easy to follow example for a basic method that could be replicated easily and would provide a good place for a beginner to get a good grasp of a nice gentle way of producing food. from there i think someone could get the hang of it and start improvising and changing it up a bit as they go.
 
leila hamaya
pollinator
Posts: 1312
Location: northern northern california
137
forest garden foraging trees fiber arts building medical herbs
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
and here, since i have been playing with my camera a bit lately, some photos of my new first year garden, just getting going.
these pics are a bit boring as its so early, but perhaps they are interesting just to show the deep mulch.

you cant see all the layers obviously, but this is:
thick cardboard covering the very bottom---> compost some aged some fresh----->five barrels of leaves plus a few more garbage bags of leaves-----> straw/hay---->two wheelbarrows of biochar------> sawdust/woodchips from huge firewood gathering project, mostly around the edges but also thrown around into the middle of bed-----> local soil -screened/IMO/recycled bag soil on the very top with some more straw.

its not quite that linear though, i just put clumps in here and there, so the layers arent all totally covering the area, but thats the general gist. the layers over lap each other, i am not particularly OCD or precise and just throw it together however =)

if i had some more, or was inspired to dig some and screen it, it could probably use a bit more soil, but even the delicate seedlings seem to be doing good in the deep mulch below the top thin layer of soil.



 
Alex Ames
Posts: 411
Location: Georgia
13
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I hope you will send more pictures as things begin to grow.
 
Alex Ames
Posts: 411
Location: Georgia
13
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Compare to my post of April 22. It is getting hot.
image.jpg
Compare to my post of April 22. It is getting hot.
Compare to my post of April 22. It is getting hot.
 
Posts: 173
Location: Montmagny, Québec, Canada (zone 4b)
1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Hey ALex, the garden is going great

Here from last year, I added a new section to the garden. Almost same size as the old one. Last fall, I had put cardboard and straw to prepare the ground (cover with grass). Tis spring, when time came to do the trenches, the grass wasn't completly off. So I had 2 choices 1- put my potatoes under straw to prepare more or 2- keep on preparing the new beds to sow.

I finaly decided to shovel the trenches, put the ground and yes, the grass inside out, on the beds. After that I raked the top leaving the grass pieces there so they cmopost...I had compost on top to prepare since my ground is quite hard (clay and heavy, a bit of sand and a ton of worms). I planted my tomatoes and then mulch with straw. I have half the section done. With our soooooooo nice (not so) temp...I hope to finish it soon.

In the old section, the garlic is going great. Most of the perennials (herbs) made it and are looking great. For a reason I don't understand half my echinacea didn't makde it and again, I lost my lavender. The calendula self seewd itself but not as much as I tought it would. And finally, the coriander that I sewed the seeds last fall doesn't seems to want to start.

For the rest, I try to hand throw seeds on our big fiel sowed last year with clover, vech and mil...I will see what it will do. I also planted the potatoes in the field and a patch of 3 sisters....

Photos to come...

isabelle
 
Alex Ames
Posts: 411
Location: Georgia
13
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Isabelle I look forward to seeing the pictures. You have put a lot of work into your beds.
I think it will get better every year.
 
Isabelle Gendron
Posts: 173
Location: Montmagny, Québec, Canada (zone 4b)
1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
But this year, in my last year beds, I have so much horsetail...I guess my ground is acidic so that is why. And this winter I had throw the stove hashes on it...imagine. I guess I didn't help. I didn't put a lot but seems like too much. I had compost to help. We will see.

Isabelle
 
Alex Ames
Posts: 411
Location: Georgia
13
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Isabelle Gendron wrote:But this year, in my last year beds, I have so much horsetail...I guess my ground is acidic so that is why. And this winter I had throw the stove hashes on it...imagine. I guess I didn't help. I didn't put a lot but seems like too much. I had compost to help. We will see.

Isabelle



If horsetail grows around here I am not aware of it. I had to look it up.
It said they spread by spores rather than seed. That is unique. I don't want any!
 
No one can make you feel inferior without your consent - Eleanor Roosevelt. tiny ad:
A rocket mass heater heats your home with one tenth the wood of a conventional wood stove
http://woodheat.net
  • Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic
Boost this thread!