I didn’t realize there would be so much interest in my garden done in the Masanobu Fukuoka style. So I’ll give an update. First of all, I was very proud of myself after I saw a sea of green bursting underneath the straw. Kind of like when I first had 100 views in one day on my blog, I thought I was some kind of gardening prodigy. My neighbor who is a 60ish year old Japanese woman was over visiting my mother-in-law and I knew she was an avid gardener. I showed her my garden and she giggled. “Those are all weeds,” she said as I showed her the thick foliage seen below.
As I was feeling a bit dejected and defeated, she did notice a few bright spots of my garden. Below is a kabocha pumpkin that popped up out of its seed ball. You can see the seed ball and pumpkin seed beside it. One thing I notice about seedlings is they wear their seed on their head like a helmet, then cast it off once they are established.
And despite my constant bothering of the garden, this beet seedling sprung out through the straw.
The clover is coming up nicely, I never recognized how beautiful of a plant clover is until I started growing it and realizing its usefulness as a nitrogen enhancer for the soil and a weed retardant. According to Fukuoka, the combination of clover and straw will eventually choke out those weeds. And since this is a “natural” garden weeds are not completely eradicated by chemicals, just put into balance in the natural order of things.
Below is an unknown seedling popping up. Is it a plant or a weed? The wonder of this garden is that you are always observing and educating yourself on seedlings. I told my wife if I can only grow one or two edible things, I would have considered this a success. I supposed I reached that milestone as the clover is edible.
Another observation about this garden is that the plants that do make it appear to be hearty and healthy. Perhaps this is a microcosm of natural selection. Out of 14 of the types of plants I sowed, I have only identified less than a handful which have made it to seedling.
This weekend, I sowed more seed balls with different types of seeds than I originally broadcast. Fukuoka said that in farming/gardening there are no mistakes, only hints. He felt that mankind has no clue in unlocking the mysteries of nature in terms of growing plants. This is evident as today’s produce is all grown with chemicals and genetic modifications, and yet lacks nutrition. With all the “hints” my garden has given me so far, I am humbly beginning to see his point.
Here is a link to the pdf of The Natural Way of Farming by Masanobu Fukuoka.