[permaculture] Re: goats vs compost

Kevin Topek ktopek at houston.rr.com
Sun May 22 21:04:23 EDT 2005

I would take advantage of the valuable nutrients gathered by food crops and
feed them to livestock first. In my opinion, every new animal introduced to
a biological system increases the biological productivity of that system by
an order of magnitude through the actions of bacteria in their feces. Why
not maximize the productivity of the crops that were planted? Sheet mulching
of crops can be equally functional. Alex Hitt of North Carolina just planted
peppers directly into rolled cover crops. It should work fine. Kathryn
Santoyo's suggestion of letting crops go to seed is definitely necessary to
propogate next year's crop and all the benefits thereof! Each crop has
several diffrent productive stages: food, mulch, seed, etc...


----- Original Message -----
From: "Lisa in Oregon" <lisamaciver8 at yahoo.com>
To: "permaculture" <permaculture at lists.ibiblio.org>
Sent: Sunday, May 22, 2005 2:25 PM
Subject: Re: [permaculture] Re: goats vs compost

> 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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