[Market-farming] humus-intensive, soil building contacts

Russ and Rosie russandrosie at comcast.net
Wed Nov 30 19:22:36 EST 2005


I agree with the rest.  This would be of intense interest to me.
In case anyone is interested, here is my method (I call it the "Lazy 
Gardener" method):
I don't weed or water.  (In the Pacific NW we get enough rain)  I 
admittedly have a small garden, but I think my method would work on a 
larger scale.
I put down organic matter in the fall/early winter, mostly hay.  Then, in 
the spring, I move aside any residual matter and plant.  I get a lot of 
weeds, but they don't seem to affect the plant growth.  They can be 
smothered with hay or knocked over out of the way or left where there are. 
 (This is similiar to the Lasagna Method.)  Apparently the weeds actually 
help out by keeping the soil loose, encouraging diverse insect life, and 
drawing moisture (and minerals) up from deeper in the ground.  Then they 
provide organic material and important minerals when they decompose under a 
layer of hay.  (Grass is an entirely different matter.  Grass is not our 
friend.)
For more information on weeds as friends see the publication "Weeds -- 
Guardians of the Soil" by J.A. Cocannouer.
http://journeytoforever.org/farm_library/weeds/WeedsToC.html
Last year I had 15 tomato plants in my greenhouse.  They were the sweetest 
most delicious tomatoes I've grown yet.  I put food scraps in a big hole, 
set in the plant, buried most it with dirt, surrounded them with a thick 
layer of straw, erected the cage, watered them once and walked away.  I 
returned only to harvest.  (My greenhouse is in a small valley, so its 
water table is higher than usual.)
I have never had any pest or disease problems in the greenhouse or in the 
fields.  I think due to the more natural way of managing the soil.  Perhaps 
we try too hard as farmers.  Maybe less is more.

Rosie
Tanglewood Farm




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