Joe Hoffman

+ Follow
since Feb 16, 2013
Apples and Likes
Apples
Total received
1
In last 30 days
0
Total given
0
Likes
Total received
1
Received in last 30 days
0
Total given
2
Given in last 30 days
0
Forums and Threads
Scavenger Hunt
expand First Scavenger Hunt

Recent posts by Joe Hoffman

I wish I'd taken some pictures in mid-Spring. Place looks like a disaster area now. I'm not that far behind you in age, Judith, so I appreciate the encouragement. I'll be keeping it up, but I'm more likely to use a mattock than a sickle with these plants.
6 years ago
Before I got started on my forest garden patch, I read Jacke and Toensmeier's book. Sat down to do the design, and found that, due to my bounty of invasive weeds, the preponderance of the recommendations were "Place garden elsewhere." Well, that's no fun, so I decided to try competitive exclusion instead. My problems are with burdock, Japanese hops, poison hemlock, and Johnson grass. My soil is calcareous, high in organic matter, low in potassium, and pH 7.6. The garden is a hole in a forest where a couple of big trees were cut down and carted off. Steep east-facing slope.

(For those who are lucky enough not to know about it, Japanese hops is a vine that grows almost an inch per hour. In May, it's little seedlings you can pluck with your fingers. In June, you can mow it or pull it up if you're wearing gloves. In July, it's tough enough to stop a lawnmower. The only thing that kills it is frost.)

In March, I planted crown vetch to steal root space from the vines. I planted Siberian kale to shade the ground. I scattered clover seeds to try and out-grass the grass. And currant bushes because I like currants. I dealt with the pH by digging little holes, filling them with compost, and planting in pure compost. The acids leaching out of the compost neutralize the soil, and the interface between compost and soil seems to have a lot of available calcium.

Results so far: the kale is a smashing success. It's all over the place now. The hemlock didn't stand a chance. A few scrawny seedlings managed to sprout. The Japanese hops, ditto. The other parts didn't work out so well. The clover grew too slowly to stop grass, and the vetch is slower than that. Johnson grass is perfectly happy growing as single, tall plants. I pull them out when I find them, but I'm not winning the race. Burdock just doesn't care. It stomps on anything in its path. (I know lots of people think burdock is a vegetable, but to me it's the reason carrots were invented.)

Conclusion: Dave and Eric were right. I think I've made the site a bit better, but it ain't no forest garden yet. There may be a lot of black plastic in its future.
6 years ago
If I knew anything about selective breeding, I'd create a breed of chickens that doesn't like fruit.
6 years ago
Challenge accepted. Educating myself is my goal. Web searching has been unsuccessful -- I found two documents on the subject on the entire Web that contain a table of numbers. One is from "Natural Method", comparing energy inputs at an order-of-magnitude level. The other is from an orchard in India, which takes a step towards measuring what I'm interested in, but with soils and crops that don't translate to my conditions.

So I'm still looking for a researcher who's quantified the results of using Fukuoka's methods. Whom would you suggest as a source?
6 years ago
Thank you for the suggestion. I have now looked, but didn't see any quantitative results. When an author begins a book with stories showing his scientific credentials, uses the language of science (in several places), and then declines to show any results, he puts himself in dubious company.
6 years ago
I'm most of the way through "One Straw Revolution", and I'm noticing lots of places where Mr. Fukuoka drops hints that he kept fairly detailed quantitative records of his planting and harvesting. Did he ever publish any records of his experiments in the scientific literature?
6 years ago
Bummer! Life picked a bad week to keep me from reading the forums.

Anyway, belated welcome, Dave! I bought EFG last year, and took almost a year to finish it. Best explanation of cation exchange capacity I've read.
6 years ago
How do you all feel about crown vetch (Securigera varia)? I have an east-facing riverbank that's eroding badly. I wonder if crown vetch, with its deep roots and aggressive attitude, could protect the spots where a tree has fallen into the river. Do you think 4-5 hours of morning sun is enough to get it established?
6 years ago
Snow peas! I planted mine today.
6 years ago
Unanimous opinion around here (Zone 6½ ) is to plant on St. Patrick's Day. We always get at least one frost after that, but it's never seemed to matter.

I missed some tiny potatoes when I harvested last July. OK, call them seeds. They sprouted in November, and grew almost a foot high before winter got them.
6 years ago