[permaculture] Organic no-till for dry-land farming?
martinwnaylor at yahoo.com.au
Sat Jun 2 18:45:36 EDT 2007
Water mellons started in the desert
Dieter Brand <diebrand at yahoo.com> wrote:
Im new to the list. I have been receiving your messages
for a while, but havent been able to participate in the
discussions since I live in a remote region of Portugal
without land line and without regular Internet access.
Inspired by the works of Masanobu Fukuoka and others,
I converted to no-till farming/gardening 3 years ago
after 7 years of organic gardening. There are plenty of
options for the winter, when we get enough rain, and also
for that part of the garden which I can irrigate during the
summer. However, since we dont get any rain at all
during the summer months there isnt enough water for
irrigating the fields.
There are models for dry-land farming in semi-arid regions
like ours; however, these models involve ploughing the soil
so as to create a powder fine dirt mulch which prevents the
humidity in the layer below from evaporating. I havent, so
far, come across any example of no-till farming for dry lands.
The key requirement for organic no-till to be successful is
continued coverage by cover crops or cash crops during the
entire growing season so as to control weeds. Any interruption
in the growing schedule means that the weeds will come back
and that one has to start from zero. Thus, if I cant find a
solution for the summer period, it looks like the whole
endeavour is bound to fail.
I would appreciate any ideas regarding methods and types
of crops for semi-arid regions that dont require ploughing.
Failing this, I at least hope to get your opinion regarding
the feasibility of my project.
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