Friday, June 26, 2015

Masanobu Fukuoka on timings of crops

Timing of crops is very important in natural farming since establishment of crops before weeds establish is very critical. To me road side healthy rice plant getting established because of right timings and also the pumpkins which germinate of their own establish well and fruits, again because of the right timings. Just scanned through One Straw Revolution once again to pick up the crop timings related information and here are some of Fukuoka's statements.

"At that time, passing an old rice field in Kochi Prefecture which had been left unused and uncultivated for many years, I saw healthy young rice sprouting up through a tangle of weeds and straw which had accumulated on the field’s surface".

"If seeds are sown while the preceding crop is still ripening in the field, those seeds will germinate ahead of the weeds. Winter weeds sprout only after the rice has been harvested, but by that time the winter grain already has a head start. Summer weeds sprout right after the harvest of barley and rye, but the rice is already growing
strongly. Timing the seeding in such a way that there is no interval between succeeding crops gives the grain a great advantage over the weeds."

"The important thing is knowing the right time to plant. For the spring vegetables the right time is when the winter weeds are dying back and just before the summer weeds have sprouted. For the fall sowing, seeds should be tossed out when the
summer grasses are fading away and the winter weeds have not yet appeared."

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Unfortunately much of the traditional varieties have been wiped out through introduction of "high yielding" hybrids, irradiation breeding that introduces unknown mutations and the massive push to selling these "improved" seeds through "licensed" shops. If one tries to grow second generation crop from hybrid seeds, we get distorted, or stunted plants, that flower early, and either produce shapeless fruit, or no fruit. So much for the "quality" seeds pushed by our regulators - you can't even sell seed without listing the "genetic purity" and "germination ratio".

Good crop yields may be more than timing. But I do like having something or the other growing all the time, so that you are not dependent on one crop. It is hard to employ someone else to do that, since farming has been reduced to discrete steps, at the end of which, we wipe the slate clean and start over.