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  • Subject: [cg] no-till
  • From: "Ken Hargesheimer" minifarms@gmail.com
  • Date: Wed, 23 Aug 2006 21:22:50 -0500

My experience in every country I have taught in, including the US, is that
when I am told no-till failed, it was the fault of the farmer or gardener,
not the method.  I did it for three years in a community garden until it
closed.  I have done it at home for several years.

Here are some websites, etc.  The principles are the same whether gardening
or farming.  Size is the only difference.

Someone said it is hard to find info on no-till.  You know why?  Nobody can
make any money off of it.  I heard an archbishop said in a meeting that when
the majority of the farmers in an area go no-till, the farm dealers leave.
They have no more business.  All the farmer needs is a small tractor and a
no-till planter.  Do not buy anything, from anybody for the garden or farm.
You can have as good yields as anyone with organic, no-till.

Fukaoka Farm, Japan, has been no-till [rice, small grains, vegetables] for
70 years.  An Indian farmer has been no-till [vegetables] for 5 years.  A
Malawi farmer has been no-till [vegetables] on permanent beds for 25 years.
A Honduras farmer has been no-till [vegetables & fruit] on permanent beds on
the contour (730 slope] for 8 years.  Ruth Stout [USA] had a no-till garden
for 30 years and 7,000 people visited her garden.

rolf-derpsch.com <http://www.rolf-derpsch.com/> [English, Espaqol,
Deutsche], http://larryhaftl.com/ffo/farchive.html  *Fukuoka natural
farming  [English, frangaise, italiana, deutsche, Portuguese, espaqol],
http://mulch.mannlib.cornell.edu/cclists.html#mulch, [English, Espaqol, F
rangaise],    newfarm.org/depts/notill/index.shtml;
cedarmeadowfarm.com<http://www.cedarmeadows.com/> has
land that has not been plowed for thirty years. [I have been there]   * Read
Ruth Stout's two little books and see the video.

Weeds can be a problem but by the end of the second crop, they go down
fast.  Remember that when you have weeds and till to kill them, you are
bringing up to the surface a new crop of weed seed to sprout.  Also, as the
soil improves, the past weeds you had will stop coming up and a few new ones
will appear until there are almost no weeds.  We had seven beds, 6 ft. x 70
feet.  By the end of the second year, I could pull every weed in the beds
and paths in 15 minutes per week.  Every garden around us and their paths
was full of  blue weed, one of the worst in the USA.  They had to hoe them
every week. Every square foot of their garden.

Ken Hargesheimer

If I could just present only one document to a gardener or farmer I would
present 2 pages written by Roland Bunch.  Here  is a little of it but if you
want the two pages, email me.

That was the day we began to realize the incredible degree to which organic
matter can restore soils. Work in a dozen countries has convinced us that
the vast majority of soils can be made highly fertile. How?  By using our
first principle*: **maximize organic matter production. *

Mulches of crop residues and fast-growing gm/cc's drastically reduce the
weed problem. We had learned a second principle:* **keep the soil covered. *

Why the zero tillage gm/cc systems of northern Honduras--and
Fukuoka's--produce so well, while many traditional zero tillage systems do
not.  Thus we added a third principle*: **use zero tillage [no-till]. *

EPAGRI's investigation and dissemination of over 60 species of gm/cc partly
to avoid diseases and insect pests, confirmed another, more widely known
fourth principle:* **maintain biological diversity. *

The fifth principle is undoubtedly the most unconventional:* **feed plants
through the mulch. *

Tests by the USDA showed that this technique [no-till & mulching] gave a 100
percent increase in production over conventional fertilizer and
tilling.   Howard
Garrett, <.dirtdoctor.com>, Dallas Morning News, 3 March 00

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