[permaculture] Organic no-till for dry-land farming?

Dieter Brand diebrand at yahoo.com
Sat Jun 2 18:37:28 EDT 2007

  I’m new to the list. I have been receiving your messages
  for a while, but haven’t 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 don’t get any rain at all 
  during the summer months there isn’t 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 haven’t, 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 can’t 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 don’t require ploughing.
  Failing this, I at least hope to get your opinion regarding 
  the feasibility of my project.
  Dieter Brand

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