Natural farming: No plough allowed!

Masanobu Fukuoka, in his excellent book “The one-straw revolution” ( which I strongly recommend), tells about the effect plough has in the soil.

As a summary, he says that a crop farmer should not be a vegetable grower, but a soil keeper. The farmer should care for the soil, and when the soil is in a good condition, vegetables will grow easily on their own.

He remarks that soil is a living thing. A fertile soil is packed with all shorts of worms, bugs, bacteria and fungus. The only thing that plough does, is exposing all this animals to the sun, which kills all of them.

A natural fertile soli is covered at all times: Dead leaves, branches, plants shadows, so all the animals that populate the soil are at cover from the sun.

So, avoid plough ( It may be needed for a first time in a soil that has been abandoned for too long and is to compact to recover by itself) if you want to have a fertile soil. Next time you walk trough a forest or a land not spoilt by humans, see if there is any soil exposed to sun.

Near Quemao Viejo, plough is a common practice. When I see soil  like the one in the next photo…I feel it is wrong:

quemao Viejo_Mayo 2012 216

But, I don’t know how, soil seems to recover, and a few weeks later, it looks like that:

quemao Viejo_Mayo 2012 227

So, What do I know? Probably, if you intend to grow cereals, it is better to plough the soil, kill everything on it, saw your seeds and put in loads of fertilizer…

I will bet for the non-plough farming.

There are lots of dead soil patches in Quemao Viejo:

IMG_2725

But I will try to recover it to a fertile soil by covering it better than plough. It may take longer, but I will not need fertilizers. Nature will provide them.

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About Quemao Viejo

A project to scape the Rat Race with a micro-camping site and a veterinary practice using local medicinal plants.
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