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Organic Zero-till Farming


These are ecologically sustainable, environmentally responsible, socially just, economically viable, humanely managed. On mini-farms the following will double the yields and reduce the labor by half compared to traditional methods. Nothing to buy except seed. Conserves health of soil.

Why: Workshops in organic, no-till, permanent bed gardening, mini-farming and mini-ranching worldwide in English & Spanish Workshop networks currently in: USA: TX, MS, FL, CA, AR, NM; Mexico, Rep. Dominicana, Côté d’Ivoire, Nigeria, Nicaragua, Honduras email: Proven Practices for Family Food Production TW EXAMPLES: Fukaoka Farm, Japan, has been no-till [rice, small grains, vegetables] for 70 years. Dripping Springs Gardens, AR, has been no-till [vegetables, flowers] for 8 years. An Indian farmer has been no-till [vegetables] for 5 years. A Malawi farmer has been no-till [vegetables] on permanent beds for 25 years. A Honduras farmer has been no-till [vegetables & fruit] on permanent beds on the contour (73° slope] for 8 years. Ruth Stout [USA] had a no-till garden for 30 years and 7,000 people visited her garden. "No technique yet devised by man has been anywhere near as effective at halting soil erosion and making food production truly sustainable as 0-tillage" (Baker, 1966) Based on time-proven historic biblical techniques.

ALL YOU NEED IS: 1. Open mind. 2. Willing to make changes [first, in the mind and then, in the garden and farm] 3. Restore the soil to its natural health. [Contamination: inorganic pesticides, insecticides & fertilizers,] 4. Maintain the healthy soil: Healthy soil produces healthy crops, with high yields, to have healthy animals and to have healthy families and prevents most of the diseases, pests and weeds. 5. Feed the soil; not the plants. 6. Increase the soil’s organic matter every year 7. Maintain plant diversity [with crops and/or green manure/cover crops] 8. Little or no external inputs [It is not necessary to buy anything, from anybody. Certain things are recommended] 9. Plant every hectare every year [no fallow land] 10. Leave crop residue on top of soil [no burning] 11. 0-tillage: no digging, no plowing, no cultivating [No hard physical labor is needed so children and the elderly can garden this way ] 12. Permanent beds [crops & green manure/cover crops] 13. Permanent paths [walking] 14. Sloped-land [beds on the contour; no trees, grasses, no alley cropping, no terraces, no SALT] 15. Hand tools and power-hand tools 16. 12-months production [economical in nearly all climates.] 17. Organic fertilizers [Probably not needed with healthy soil] 18. Organic disease control. [Probably not needed] 19. Organic herbicides. [Probably not needed] 20. Organic pesticides. [Probably not needed] 21. Biological pest control. 22. Attract beneficials [bats, birds, insects, toads, spiders, non-poison snakes, lizards, grasshopper mice] 23. Protect pollinators [honey bees, native bees, wasps, yellow jackets, dirt daubers, butterflies] 24. Protect soil organisms [worms, micros, dung beetles] 25. Soil always covered 26. Use mulch/green manures/cover crops 27. Feed the soil through the mulch. 28. Organic matter [Use as mulch] 29. Composting: Not necessary. Too much work. Use organic matter for mulch in beds. Pile up excess to use later. 30. Vermicomposting: Not necessary. Too much work. Worms in the beds will compost everything. 31. Bucket drip irrigation [Imported bucket drip kit, US$15 or drip system using local tubing made by farmer, $3]. A drip kit will irrigate a row of vegetables, 33 meters long, with only 20 liters of water per day. 32. Seed [open-pollinated] 33. Cassava–[plant & harvest; no hilling 34. Crop rotation. 35. Inter-cropping 36. Rice [SRI-System of Rice Intensification] 37. SRI practices [applied to sugar cane, finger millet, cotton] 38. Coffee [shaded] 39. Muscovy ducks & guineas [should be on every farm] 40. Grass-fed livestock 41. Legume and grass forages 42. Rotational grazing on pastures 43. Small livestock in moveable pens over beds 44. Micro-livestock 45. Confined livestock [not tied in stalls] using cut and carry 46. Holistic animal health care 47. Bicycle with trailer [units for cargo, passengers, small livestock, etc] 48. Imitate nature. Most farmers fight nature. Nature always wins! Ken Hargesheimer

Climate: Cold, Dry/Arid, Temperate, Tropical

Emphasis: Communities, Education

Effort to Implement: Simple

Maximum Cost: $ 0

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