Amit Enventres wrote:Once set up though, I will have very little off site input because the system will have enough energy on this 0.22 acres to cycle itself. I will probably have to pull in some electricity, gas, logs, some water, grain, meat, and dairy for survival, and the rest will be frivolous. That maybe a few years out still though.
Joseph Lofthouse wrote:About 9 growing seasons ago, I stopped importing composts, mulches, and fertilizers to my fields. I make a point of returning unused vegetables and peels to the fields. I grow a tremendous amount of weeds, they get chopped and dropped where they grew, as do the crop residues. I love corn, it seems like the place where the corn grew last year is the most fertile location in my fields. And the weed suppression properties of a patch of corn really please me. During that same time, I have selected for plant varieties that thrive in my soil exactly as it is.
However, the plants I grow in the greenhouse are grown in about 95% imported materials. Coconut coir, peat, perlite, and a bit of home-brew compost for micro-organisms and fertility. My soil has a tremendously healthy store of weed seeds, and the pH is high, and it's very silty, so it's not very suited for growing potted plants, especially not for market. I don't want to be exporting my weed seeds to other gardens. I'd like to resolve these issues one of these years. I go through about 35 five gallon buckets of potting soil in a growing season. It's the largest expense on my farm. I don't trust commercial composts due to previous problems with them. Chances are though that I'm not going to deal with this issue unless coconut coir becomes unavailable.