[NAFEX] NAFEX Meeting Topic suggestion

Donna &/or Kieran holycow at cookeville.com
Wed Aug 6 23:35:46 EDT 2008

Geoffrey Stone wrote:  "I am new to these concepts and wish to avoid re-inventing the wheel."  He listed these notions:

....we should consider 
A) clearing our steep slopes for perennial crops by:
    1) felling trees and making use of logs for lumber and firewood (do not destump)
    2) leave the limbs in place and add available organic matter and available char
    3) inoculate this prepared (terraced) area w/ "fungally dominated" AACT (see "Teaming With Microbes).
    4) plant fruit trees, nut trees, food producing shrubs on these terraces.
    5) manage the area w/ as little disturbance of the "soil foof web" as possible
B) clearing our flat land for annual crops by:
    1) clearing and destumping the area
    2) tilling in mulch
    3) inoculate w/ "bacterially dominated" AACT
    4) plant annual crops with as little disturbance of the "soil web" that is being established.

I was at a garden meeting where a local guy named Jim Joyner said that gardeners spend so much time worrying about the top six inches of our soil, but that he'd seen instances where organic matter much deeper had had dramatic results.  He gave two examples.  One was a tropical island where a hurricane had knocked down all the coconut palms.  Someone had laid the palms down in a single layer and piled dirt on them before planting a commercial avocado grove.  He said that the trees in the part of the grove with palms under them did much better than those without.  He said that in the Ozarks an expt station had been trying without success to produce grapes, and finally resorted to making 4 ft deep trenches in the clay soil and filling them with sawdust.  The grapes grew fine after that.  I have been fantasizing about taking a ditch witch across our slopes for a decade now.  Because of these stories, I have let wild trees, esp pines, grow where they shouldn't be so we can cut them down later after their roots have punched holes down into the subsoil for my own trees to follow.  Branches of the trees we remove wind up piled on the ground near the fruit trees.  So I've done a lot of what Geoffrey suggests for his slopes and permanent plantings.    Donna 

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