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Thread: Four Ways Mexico's Indigenous Farmers Are Practicing the Agriculture of the Future

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    Administrator Islander's Avatar
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    Default Four Ways Mexico's Indigenous Farmers Are Practicing the Agriculture of the Future

    Leah Penniman
    Wednesday, 12 August 2015

    Affectionately called "Professor" by his neighbors, Josefino Martinez is a well-respected indigenous farmer and community organizer from the remote town of Chicahuaxtla, in the Mexican state of Oaxaca. He watched with patient attention as I showed him photographs of Soul Fire Farm, my family's organic farm in the mountains of upstate New York.

    I tried to convince Martinez that our farms had a lot in common. "Like you, we have marginal mountain soils and steep slopes, and we've worked for years to build up the fertility," I explained.

    Read more: http://www.truth-out.org/news/item/3...-of-the-future
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    Moderator Julieanne's Avatar
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    Default Re: Four Ways Mexico's Indigenous Farmers Are Practicing the Agriculture of the Futur

    I did a two week Permaculture diploma course in 1985 with the 'father of permaculture", Bill Mollison. All these points, and more, are discussed in Permaculture 1 and Permaculture 2. The books illustrate native people's food growing systems from around the world, as well as building methods, water conservation and many other practical ideas.

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    Default Re: Four Ways Mexico's Indigenous Farmers Are Practicing the Agriculture of the Futur

    Bill Mollison has been on my "to read" list for a long time.I once tried the "three sisters" unsuccessfully, because I didn't have the timing right. I mean to try again now that I know how it's done.
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    Veteran Member grulla's Avatar
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    Default Re: Four Ways Mexico's Indigenous Farmers Are Practicing the Agriculture of the Futur

    My late wife had ordered Bill Mollison's permaculture handbooks perhaps about 8-9 years ago. I have them in storage and look forward to the day I can put them into good use and practice. As I recall, the one book is the full length permaculture version, and the other book is an abbreviated version of the first book. I was fascinated by Mollison's land leveling techniques by using bunyips (clear water level hose) to dig his swales (long skinny ponds tht resemble drainage ditches) on uneven terrain. And also the use of dead limbs and rocks as gabions for land leveling and erosion damage repair. So much more interesting info in those books.


    "Julieanne", did Bill Mollison discuss anything about (home made) beer, supposedly his favorite beverage.

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    Default Re: Four Ways Mexico's Indigenous Farmers Are Practicing the Agriculture of the Futur

    Quote Originally Posted by grulla View Post
    did Bill Mollison discuss anything about (home made) beer, supposedly his favorite beverage.
    It was 1985, so I don't quite remember, but Bill has a bad habit of telling stories and going off topic, so he probably did! But I'm not sure the story is right, as he is not much of a drinker.

    He stayed with me over Christmas (the course was at Murdoch University during the summer holidays) and another classmate and I made him Christmas dinner. That was entertaining!

    Islander, I have been saving this to send to my son, who really likes his sweetcorn! I may try it myself.

    http://www.realfarmacy.com/better-po...isters-garden/
    Last edited by Julieanne; 08-18-15 at 07:25 PM.

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    Default Re: Four Ways Mexico's Indigenous Farmers Are Practicing the Agriculture of the Futur

    Thanks, Julie, that's a really useful article. I had tried the three sisters strategy in the past but didn't have the timing right so it was only a modest success. I think I'll attempt this again next year in the sprawl garden and get the timing accurate. I haven't grown sweet corn for 25-30 years, but Jim Gerritsen gave me a packet of free organic heirloom sweetcorn seed and they are just making ears as I type. Since I'm diabetic, I'll not eat many myself, but there will be ample to give away or for the pigs.

    My good friends from MI who were my houseguests for several months last fall until they found their ideal plot of land, have settled in a bermed house on a gentle southern slope where their orchard will be located and their garden was laid out this spring. They actually used lasers to lay out the gently curving swales on that southern slope. It really is a thing of beauty! I'm on the level, of course, but I have plans for weed reduction next spring. Meanwhile, I've been using horticultural vinegar on my MJ grow. It's not systemic but it does kill everything above ground very effectively.
    ➤ Happiness is the frosting on the cake of contentment.

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    Default Re: Four Ways Mexico's Indigenous Farmers Are Practicing the Agriculture of the Futur

    Quote Originally Posted by Islander View Post
    I'm on the level, of course, but I have plans for weed reduction next spring. Meanwhile, I've been using horticultural vinegar on my MJ grow.
    Geez, I didn't know vinegar and MJ weed reduction had a symbiotic relationship, but rather than reduce I'd say share or freeze the excess ;-)

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    Default Re: Four Ways Mexico's Indigenous Farmers Are Practicing the Agriculture of the Futur

    MJ grow? No idea what that might be! And what is a 'sprawl garden'? Such an interesting garden you have Islander!
    Last edited by Julieanne; 08-19-15 at 06:10 AM.

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    Default Re: Four Ways Mexico's Indigenous Farmers Are Practicing the Agriculture of the Futur

    Julie, I thought everyone knew I am a licensed medical marijuana grower. A patch of medical mj (or any other kind) is called a "grow." As for the rest, I have the 40-y-o vegetable garden which I call my "default" garden, and a more recent one I tilled up for livestock (and some for me). I've been rotating it between field corn and "sprawl" crops (squashes, pumpkins, cucumbers, melons etc.) Next year I may try the Three Sisters method throughout that garden, just for giggles.
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    Default Re: Four Ways Mexico's Indigenous Farmers Are Practicing the Agriculture of the Futur

    OK. I knew you sold inhalers (is that what they're called?), but didn't know you grew MJ. 'Sprawl' crops is a new one on me, but a good description!

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    Default Re: Four Ways Mexico's Indigenous Farmers Are Practicing the Agriculture of the Futur

    No, I no longer peddle those, that was a pyramid scheme I quickly got out of. I do grow medical mj, super organic, a small supplementary income to my SS pension.
    ➤ Happiness is the frosting on the cake of contentment.

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