Do nothing farming.
A long time ago I received a book from my dear friend Tim Soete. "The one straw revolution". Sounded good to me. Some japanese dude, Manasuko Fukuoka, you know the type: wise, calm, (Grasshopper in the corner), white beard, probably 129 years old, spry, twinkle in his eye. (I would totally respect him if he'd split a bottle of wine with me). Anyway, he likes the lazy gardening method, where nature just reseeds iself, you just take your share and let the rest go back. Of course it helps that he had like twenty interns that were roaming around his farm as well, but he became quite famous for his scheme.
I try that do nothing gardening a lot too, I do weed some, mow some, hoe some but then I think about the theoretical implications of the One straw revolution, the "do nothing farming" method, and I am in awe, so hoppa, lets get in the car and road trip, with a wheat straw ala Mark Twain between my lips.
But kidding aside, there is some merit to this lazyness! This spring I had some arugula, mustard green (actually it should be called mustard red, because it is not green, until you cook it to snot), mizuna and lettuces in the greenhouse. Didn't harvest much of it and it all went to seed. Bout a month ago we transplanted about half the tunnel into strawberry runners stolen from the field strawberries. And now, lo and behold I have to weed the strawberries in the tunnel, not from weeds, no from those greens, they reseeded and they are thick, thick thick. Better crop the second time when i didn't do nuttin'.
The chickens are doing their thing, put them on a patch of field, and as soon as they have every cleaned off I moved them. And lo and behold a week later there is developing a beautiful patch of hairy vetch (dutch: zwikke) an excellent legume, nitrogenfixing and great weed controller. The seed has been there for years, and all of a sudden I have a fine stand, and i didn't do nuttin.
I had a field of wheat and milo that I mowed down one year, as a green manure and for weed control, and it comes back, and it is thick, doing nothing.
Yesterday it was the pinnacle of fall here, bad ass burning trees in flaming yellow, explosive salmon, burning bourgondie, almost amazing, but I like the word GLORIOUS better. The weather was sunny, warm, wind, Watina music blasting, and I was planting some garlic, I tried the do nothing method, but it didn't work, ended up planting about 1000 cloves or so.
Pablo was out the other week, and he said that my operation looked almost "legit", made me proud. So really it is looking better and better. Maybe it was the weather, but it did actually look decentish.
The strawberry beds are still producing a pound here and there and are looking good, the new plantings all took, another 1200 plants I think, the wheat that I did plant ( 25 bucks worth of gas, the noise of the tractor, the dust, (I can complain but you know I love to sit on my green throne)) is up and about. Some of the garlic is coming up. The chickens are doing their thing, starting to lay, and I need to follow up on a few leads yet. A pasta maker in St. Louwie may take a pile. Oh, had the carburator for the boat (it holds water when it rains, so I assume it is water proof from the other side as well) cleaned out by Small engine Jim, and he was mighty happy to be paid in strawberries, it being October. Hauled 4 truckloads of wood from the Stave Mill, nice and soppy wet white oak, and two loads of dry seasones oak from my colleague at work, so winter, bring it on. Because wintertime is the ultimate do nothing farming.
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Pieter Los, born in Scotland, raised in the Netherlands, lost in the USA. .