[permaculture] deep mulch in Mediterannean climates. don't forget Jean Pain
Lawrence F. London, Jr.
venaurafarm at bellsouth.net
Thu Dec 10 04:18:18 EST 2009
Michael Pilarski wrote:
> A small gripe. would people not put "US Permaculture National
Conference" in the subject line of a post when they are talking about
something totally different.
It could be amazingly useful to preface every subject header with
keywords describing the variant on the existing thread's subject
or a new thread or one-off post.
> If you google it you will find various sources including an article
in the pc activist. Also it looks like it can be downloaded from
Could anyone give us an intro to using torrents?
how to download files
whatever else is necessary
Michael Pilarski wrote:
> On the topic of appropriateness of deep mulch in Mediterannean
climates. Some people may have had bad experience with this for one
reason or another, but the decades long work of Jean Pain in a hot
Mediterannean bioregion in France included successfully growing gardens
without irrigation with the use of deep mulch (in combination with other
> His most in-depth description is in his book "Another Kind of
Garden". > I highly recommend his work for many reasons. Including the
use of > >woody biomass, conversion of biomass into energy, hot
composting with > >biomass and fire reduction in chapparal ecosystems.
My take on mulch in food gardens is that there is never enough of it
and that living mulches are different but of equal value, especially if
they fix nitrogen and don't compete with the primary crop.
I think that the best gardening method is:
no-till except for light scarification of surface crust (not a problem
is there is high OM in the topmost soil layer, the desired condition)
or for weeding, best done to shallow depth to avoidn disturbing the
weed seed bank
raised beds with heavy, deep mulch between beds
Double dig by hand to construct these beds or carefully use
powered mechanical means to accomplish this or accomplish part
of the work. I have used a tractor with three to five different
mounted on it to do ALL the work of constructing raised beds on
five acres of my land. I used the tractor because I wanted five acres of
guaranteed production in those raised beds. Raised beds provide much
needed drainage which can channel runoff to other gardens and/or to
impoundments. Sometimes prepared flat or nearly flat beds that are not
hilled/bedded are good too and for different reasons and uses; high soil
OM is required for this type of gardening.
My intent is to do the most I can with the tractor to lay out and shape
these raised beds, once and for all in a final configuration. After this
is accomplished the beds would be worked by hand thereafter, each
seaason, each year, producing the desired biointensive, mulched, high
soil OM, permanent no till raised beds.
I will be documenting my work this winter and next spring and summer
as I work to accomplish my goal of not needing the tractor in the field
at all. Presently I have two main fields with gardens, each with deer
fencing. One is fallow, Fukuoka-style with lots of weeds and food crops
in succession. The other, my primary production area, is divided into
fallow gardens and ones dominated by cover crops (volunteer), turnip
greens and rye grass, thick with these crops. As I will probably not be
able to get the tractor into the field this winter I will be faced with
hand tilling and weeding every square foot of garden space that I plan
to plant in one crop or another in early spring and following. I will
leave the weeds to grow and reseed in well over half of this area, good
because the soil will have cover growing on it throughout we and dry
seasons. This situation will give me the chance, finally, to create the
types of notill beds I have been waiting years for.
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