deano Martin

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since Oct 11, 2011
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Recent posts by deano Martin

The idea was to use both.
The chicory was to add to the biomass, but also as a way to use its deep roots to 'mine' minerals and bring them up. I sowed the chicory too thickly in some of the beds, and it suppressed the clover.
An alternative would be to use a deeper rooting legume like red clover, rather than/as well as white clover. Less chicory might work, and I want to try again, but thin out a bit earlier.
8 years ago
For Alison
There is so much conflicting advice about drought/mulching. If you read Steve Solomon, or Widstoe, they recomend digging, and hoeing to get the water down deep, and prevent the loss of water by capiliary action. It's pretty dry here, and I find that mulch acts like a sponge, encouraging more surface roots. That's fine if you can irrigate, but if not, plant roots are high up, and the water table is low. Not mulching may encourage the plant roots to forage deeper, and follow the water down.
I had to remove the straw from my paths as there were too many slugs in it. It worked well in two dry years, but not in a wet one. A flexible approach seems much more appropriate than a dogmatic 'one way only' system, which was the idea behind the article in PM.
Wishing you all well in your endeavours
Deano
8 years ago
Hi All.
I'm glad that at least one of you found my article interesting.
What i'm trying to do is to combine the patterns of Bonfils and Jeavons, with some of my own ideas added. There's still a long way to go, and I'm also trying to integrate chickens into the system to use for slug control, and to eat the ground layer prior to planting out the following year's grains.
The grain experiments were quite small this year, but are expanding.
If any of you are trying a similar type of grain/vegetable rotation, I would be keen to exchange information.
I'm only an occasional visitor to these forums, but
8 years ago
I posted an update to my Bonfils trials in the 'other' Bonfils thread with a link to my blog post which gives some more detail.
http://deanom.wordpress.com/2012/08/02/polyculture-update-and-small-scale-grain-harvested/
if you're reading about the system, here, you may want to cross refer with the other thread, or perhaps an ADMIN could join the two threads so that all of the |Bonfils stuff is together?
Deano
8 years ago
Just thought that I'd update my earlier comments on this thread.
I harvested rye and spelt from my (small) Bonfils trial beds yesterday. I'll not know what the yields are like until the grain is dried, threshed, and weighed, but look a little low. In my system the grain beds are also the main providers of composting materials for the rest of the system. The addition of chicory to the understory has yielded masses of biomass, but may have reduced the grain yield.
As my rye is not a true Winter variety, I have the ability, by using modules/soil blocks, to harvest a crop before planting out the transplants.This will allow me to sow at the right time, but transplant later. I hope that this will either allow me to reduce the spacing between grain plants, or use adifferent interplant, either broad (fava) beans or an alternative grain.
I put a quick post about the harvest on my blog http://deanom.wordpress.com/2012/08/02/polyculture-update-and-small-scale-grain-harvested/ if any of you want to read about it.
My perennial rye and spelt is not yet ready to harvest.
Deano
8 years ago
Hi Elisabet.
The chicory is deep rooted, and will gather minerals from the subsoil, which will be made available whenever the top growth is cut. It is also easy to kill off, should I need to.
The forest garden is an acre in size. It can cover the whole space if it wants too. I don't need to I find that it is controlled well by pasture, and tight mowing.
Regards
Deano
9 years ago
Hi Mathew
I'm quoting Joel Salatin, who gives the system a mention in his latest book. I'm sure that there will be people experimenting with different ways to manage their land.
Regards
Deano
9 years ago
Thanks Burra
My reading suggests that it needs a different innoulant. I wonder how much of that is sales talk.
Thanks for taking the time to reply.
Deano
9 years ago
Hi Mathew.
Yes. My reading suggests that it is only used to produce a grain crop one year in five. It threfore seems to fit in well when used with livestock. The Bonfils method seems to be more suitable for small scale cropping, and theoretically can produce a grain crop every year.
Regards
Deano
9 years ago
Hi all
Have any of you come across a soya bean innoculant available in the UK/EU?
Cheers
Deano
9 years ago