[permaculture] Re: goats vs compost

Lisa in Oregon lisamaciver8 at yahoo.com
Sun May 22 15:25:35 EDT 2005

I'm not sure I understand entirely - you mean use the plants themselves

as mulch directly on these beds (or other beds), perhaps chopped/torn 
up somewhat?  

Animals turn organic matter into smaller amounts of organic matter...
of greater or less quality, i.e. nutrients?  Of course, the amount
from one spinach plant is mixed with a lot of organic matter that 
comes from pasture and hay.

Does mulching actually differ much from composting, that is, isn't 
the end result quantity of organic matter similar?  Mulch just sort 
of composts in place - been experimenting with that, I'm not fond 
of hauling wheelbarrows back and forth.  I have an unbelieveable 
amount of worms in the soil, red and gray.

I worry that letting plants flower and set seed uses up the nutrients 
that are in the roots, which should stay in the soil.  With beans, 
for green manure are you supposed to cut them just as they flower, 
before the N is sucked up from the roots into the seeds?  Although 
producing seeds, presumably high protient, would be valuable for
chicken diets.  Of course, a chard plant acts as a perfect earwig
trap, so they had quite the protien addition to their diets anyway.

Lisa in Ashland Oregon

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