Monday, August 13, 2012

Initial stages of natural farming

Masanobu Fukuoka wrote 'One Straw Revolution' is written after long years of research and hence each sentence contains lot of wisdom. In the chapter 'Farming Among Weeds' there is a sentence which says...

In making the transition to this kind of farming, some weeding,
composting or pruning may be necessary at first, but these measures
should be gradually reduced each year. Ultimately, it is not the growing
technique which is the most important factor, but rather the state of mind
of the farmer.

When I started banana cultivation, I thought after planting the suckers, just cutting and mulching with grass around will give good yield. But the plants didn't show any growth at all. Developing cover crop with cow pea didn't show any success.

Later I came to observe that, farmers apply cow dung, chicken manure etc at the base of banana while planting itself and it has real effect on the growth. I felt Fukuoka also supports this at the initial stages , weeding, composting etc are required at the beginning, but later after establishing cover crops, and also after many cycles of legume cultivation, applying manure can be avoided since by the time fertility of soil would have improved and just mulching with plant waste should be good enough. Especially in Banana, the trunk, leaves etc provides lot of mulching material.


ఆనందమే బ్రహ్మప్పా.. said...

thank you nanda is so pleasure to me to meet you...waiting for more posts...

Nandakumar said...

Thanks for encouraging words


Raisa said...

Hi Nandanji ,
As you might have known the concept in Natural farming is creating a food forest.In a forest , there are falling leaves above which when some animal's dung falls over it , it attracts lots of small creatures.They feed on it and convert it in to simple form readily intaken by the plants .Also micro organisms will bring about the faster decay and decomposition with the help of animal waste.
so amulch alone is not sufficient .If you have access to native cows. you can make use of it on a monthly basis .An important thing is you should use fresh cow dung and dissolve in the running water when you irrigate it .The quantity will depend on the size of your plot .Just to give you an idea an dnot to divert your line of natural farming , plz check this link

Nandakumar said...

Thanks Banu for the insight.

I think density of animals in the forest will be very low, ie. number of animals in a unit area or acre. So I think the effect of animal dung in the forest will be very minimal, but still forest land is fertile. In my opinion forest land can not be taken for direct comparison to our farm land, since it might have took forest 100s of years to develop without practically nobody taking anything from it.

So in the farm, I think using of cow dung, chicken manure is required. Fukuoka also suggest to use Chicken manure in the paddy field, but he didn't use it in the orchard. But mostly manure will be required only in the initial stages, later when the soil becomes fertile this can be avoided.

I had met Manoj in the video you had given and he has stopped making Jeevamritham and just mixes cow dung, cow urine of local cow with water and gives to plants.

Right now I am not in a position to maintain a local cow, but planning to use cow dung in the farm. But my coconut trees are doing good without any manure, but banana is still in bad shape.

Thanks for comments, let us all experiment and exchange notes and share and learn from others. It gives lot of happiness to communicate with like minded people.