Hi All! I am researching corn production, aiming to gather the best current thinking about permaculture & regenerative approaches.
In your opinion, who are the top people that would be good for me to talk with? Especially folks who are:
1. Home-scale or small-scale producers growing corn with excellentpermaculture or regenerative practices
2. Larger-scale farmers growing significant quantities of corn, innovating towards permaculture 3. Ecological / permaculture / regenerative Ag researchers who are really geeky about corn
I grow a lot of corn. I don't claim to be a permaculturist, nor to practice regenerative agriculture. I don't even have a good working definition of what those terms mean... All I know, is that I am practicing agriculture in the same manner, and in the same fields that my family has been farming for 7 generations. We have designed our agricultural system around what works in this area. Seems close enough to a permanent agricultural system to me.
I'll say this about growing corn... The rumors I hear on the Internet, is that corn is a hungry crop that depletes the soil. My experience is that some of the best places to grow things on my farm are where the corn grew last year... I figure that is because I only remove the seeds of the corn from the field. The stalks and cobs get returned to the soil where they grew. I do not allow people to feed my 'waste' corn stalks to animals. I do not allow people to remove corn stalks from my garden for 'decoration', unless they pay for the organic matter that they are removing.
I am working on breeding perennial corn, but I don't have much expectation of it being winter hardy in my climate. I already have crosses between Z. mays and Z. diploperennis. After I select for rhizomous roots with large kernels, then I'll send samples to warmer climates for overwintering outdoors. I am also working on frost tolerant corn. Eventually, the perennial and frost tolerant lines aught to be combined.
Corn Sheller: The best tool ever for dealing with grain corn.