Windy Huaman

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since Sep 18, 2018
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Recent posts by Windy Huaman

We planted our tropical food forest without regard to integrating animals in the early years. There are more than 11,000 small tree saplings.

We broadcast many cover crop seeds, but weeds still gain a foothold somehow. Probably because we didn’t use any viney species, for fear that they would strangulate the saplings. Also, it was pasture for many years, so there are many dormant grass seeds.

Most animals would indiscriminately trample and eat everything Our plan was to use human labor with machinery to do maintenance the first three years, or until the trees can outcompete most of the herbaceous weeds via shade. When the trees are mature it will become more of a pig forage system.

Until then I don’t see how to integrate animals safely unless maybe they are geese and muscovies or ducks. But these pose unique challenges as well. The trees will have to grow out of their reach first, but even then It’s not feasible to cell graze a 500-bird flock with net fencing. The repositioning of the net fence will be impractical with so many trees in the way. (There is one tree every 3.2m over 20+acres. The net would have to be carefully rolled up After first transferring all birds to the new cell. You can’t just pick up the fencing and walk it to a new position, because it will snag on all the small trees. Additionally, the birds could get up in the branches and jump/fly over whatever fencing there is.

We could just let the birds loose, because there is not much predator pressure. But...they would escape, and people would steal them too. Plus, you wouldn’t gain the advantages of cell grazing, because they would neglect many areas in favor of others, which they would turn to mud pits.

I’ve toyed with the idea of guinea pigs, but these are just too small to be practical on a large area.

Maybe sheep? But I assume they would eat the young trees in addition to the herbs.
6 months ago

Su Ba wrote:I'm in Hawaii and use sheep to control the grass. I maintain two small flocks of 10 adults each. I rotate them round my 20 acres, plus they go next door every 3 months to knock down my neighbor's grass. They do a better job than goats, in my experience. They are far easier to handle and confine than cattle.

There are several varieties of hairless sheep that do well in the tropics. But I avoid Dorpers because they are less resistant to parasites than the others.



Do they go after small trees?
6 months ago
Hi guys!
We have a 10 hectare tropical food forest where we planted 11000 useful trees in a 3.2 Meter equilateral triangular spacing.Although we planted lots of cover crops seed, grasses and other weeds are appearing.
we are thinking about using Muscovies and geese to control the weeds until the trees are big enough to shade them out.
Obviously this would require hundreds of birds for the area (perhaps there are other animals that would be better at the maintenance without causing damage to the small trees?)
Should we use rotational grazing? If so what kind of fence material do we use and how do we move the fencing for the cells when there are hundreds of trees?
One other concern is will the birds get up into the branches jump over the fencing and escape.
Otherwise we can let them free range without rotational grazing, but I asume they would concentrate to heavily in some areas as well as completely neglect other areas.
My goal is to do all the weeding maintenance during the establishment years of the food forest simply using animals and not relaying on weed wackers, machetes or bush hogs.
6 months ago
I finally got the results from my soil test. Avg pH in the 4.8 - 5.0 range. We already planted the 11,000 tree saplings on the 10 hectares. With all the canavalia, castor, moringa and the cover crops: pigeon pea and cowpea growing densely after two weeks; it's too late to add any more amendments at this point.

For some of our major fruit tree species on the plantation Im sure this pH is below their preference. My question is what degree of pH buffering can we acheive just from our dense intercropping with green manure?

950m above sea level, and probably 2000mm+ annual rainfall. 5 degrees from the equator.
8 months ago
Last week I dug a banana circle at my uncle's house. Everyday since then it has steadily been filling with water. The dimensions are 2m wide by 1m deep. Now the water is now about 50cm deep.

My cousins have been catching frogs in the neighborhood and releasing them into this "pond"

Is this advantgeous to have a small banana circle pond? I know the pdm says to use it as a mulch pit, but this won't really work since all the mulch will just be floating in water.

I liked the idea of recycling "wastes" via a mulch pit, but Im not confident enough nutrients will be provided by simply maintaining a small pond.
11 months ago

Tivona Hager wrote:I use geese and ducks to mow my garden and lawn. The geese eat lots but so do my ducks even though they are omnivores. We had to mow maybe 3 times during the whole growing season. Not the tropics here but I can attest to their grass mowing abilities.



Do they eat your garden plants too?
1 year ago

Su Ba wrote:I'm in Hawaii and use sheep to control the grass. I maintain two small flocks of 10 adults each. I rotate them round my 20 acres, plus they go next door every 3 months to knock down my neighbor's grass. They do a better job than goats, in my experience. They are far easier to handle and confine than cattle.

There are several varieties of hairless sheep that do well in the tropics. But I avoid Dorpers because they are less resistant to parasites than the others.



Do they go after other plants, or do they strictly eat grass?
1 year ago
I’m wondering what animals I can use to control grass regrowth in the humid tropics when establishing an agroforest. I was thinking pygmy cows (small so they don’t destroy the young trees), muscovies & geese, guinea pigs (probably too small for broadacre) and tortoises (not sure if they eat grass).

What else? Are there any sheep varieties adapted to the humid tropics?
1 year ago

Tereza Okava wrote:from what a quick google tells me, it has only been translated into Russian and German. It was supposed to go into Italian (they leased rights for a year) but I never found the completed translation.

Speaking as a professional translator, a whole book in a specialty niche like this takes me tens of thousands of dollars worth of time. When I quote US16,000 for a book, the client often runs away screaming. They then have to find some kind-hearted yet capable unicorn who is willing to do it as a labor of love (and who has no bills to pay). Which is why only books that are real money-makers are translated (since they have an agency that is throwing the cash around).

There is also the fact that Bill Mollison can do whatever he likes with his books. The rights belong to him, and if I were to translate into Spanish just for fun, I need his permission (and/or I need to pay him) to use his intellectual property.

I know you are talking about a specific book but I stumbled across some biointensive materials in many languages, including Spanish, recently and the Mexican family might find some useful. http://www.growbiointensive.org/Self_Teaching.html



I think $16,000 would be low for the PDM.
1 year ago