The construction of farms. Chapter 3
DI: Hello Vanessa, So you've polished your questions?
VA: of course, but that's not the problem, you have to continue to describe the creation of farms. And that you do not break our feet with the collapse.
DI: It's not me that breaks the feet. It's collapsing, and it's just beginning. More exactly, we see it happen. I often think of those who, in 1931, 1932,1933, saw the coming of war and who were often mistaken for fools. I feel like I'm living the same thing, feeling the same feelings. All the signals are red, the speed of evolution of society, the industry that launches programs all more staggering than each other, the poor more and more poor and rich more and more rich. Nietzsche said that there are two things that govern the world: sex and the taste for power. Sex has become secondary, the taste for power is exacerbated. The specialists, whom some people imagine to be able to save civilization, are just as helpless as all the economists who have succeeded each other in their articles, on television and in the congresses, and who make brilliant presentations but without ever taking into account the finitude of all. the elements of the earth. And that, it's a shame, continues to extend their forecasts until 2050, until 2100. Why not until 2200.
The denial of reality is certainly one of the most serious elements of current developments.
And this denial is not the fact of the modest or a little affluent, but the fact of the elites of society.
VA: You do not start well. We must talk about the creation of the farm.
DI: Excuse me. Let's go. On the ground, things are gone. Every day, it goes a little forward. But we have to strengthen the human group, find new members, motivate them, explain to them, because there is a huge amount of work to be done.
Try to think, we need to create a civilization. Of course, at the level of each individual, things seem simple. You have to eat and drink, take care of yourself from time to time, have schools, have clothes and shoes, and lots of other things that are not so important.
But when you look closely, the simple proposal of shoes is an incredible puzzle. If you go back to the chain of needs that lead to the pair of shoes, you realize that you have dozens of trades that must all work perfectly.
That's what we need to put in place, at least in part on farms.
This is also why I do not believe in individual autonomy or even in small groups.
Either we return to the Neanderthal man, or we try to give a future to our children.
And it's not the same thing at all. We have accumulated immense knowledge in the previous civilization. Losing this knowledge is as serious a crime as ignoring the end of the physical elements we stole from the earth. Our children will be able to build their lives by drawing on this knowledge and the operators, taking into account the necessary constraints of a small space and a fragile nature, because they will be less stupid than we have been and that they will better control their deadly impulses. Finally, I hope.
OK, I'm talking about the farm.
There is still a lot to do. The program for the first year of work is as follows:
Build the mounds.
Build the water storage system
Build the water filtration system
Buy and store straw, lots of parallelepiped straw boots.
Submit building permits for workshops (kitchens, various workshops) (this will certainly be difficult to achieve)
Work to improve farm circulation.
Buy one or more horses (if possible at first draft horses then, if possible some saddle horses).
And different other things less important in volume but just as necessary.
Buttes, it's really the hunk. So why make mounds and not just do a regular garden. There are many reasons and it seems important to me to understand them well.
Man uses the earth as a mechanical support rather than a nurturing system. As long as we can compensate for the lack of food for the plants by contributions foreign to the ground and which allow to have healthy and productive plants, that does not pose much of problem. For thousands of years before, this strategy has prevailed.
Our ancestors used manure from their animals to enrich the earth. Then we used the guano, that is to say the excrement of the birds, who traveled a lot with sailboats it is true.
In our time, these are chemicals or extracts of distant mines, which like all materials in finite quantity, inexorably decline in the mines.
We can observe the incredible improvement in the productivity of the lands thus treated.
In 100 years, we have gone from less than 20 quintals per hectare of wheat to not far from 100 quintals per hectare now.
Is this possible without consequences. Certainly not.
The consequences are noiseless, and the manipulative techniques of humans hide this.
Thus, there are more and more people allergic to gluten whose structure has largely been modified in wheat grains and therefore in flours.
And supermarkets have "gluten-free" rays that fart fire.
To make a simple summary, my father who was a farmer 70 years ago, rented the land, it was his oxen and the horse that plowed, and often my mother who was holding the plow, the fertilizer that came from her stable, the seeds that were reserved from the previous year's harvest and he sold a small portion of his crop to two bakers in the area. The transformation into flour was subcontracted to the miller.
Now a farmer rents his land, uses a tractor and machines that belong to the bank, buys his fertilizer and many treatments, buys his seeds, and delivers his wheat when he was paid months ago.
I do not know why the second solution is better than the first.
Is it possible to do otherwise?
Farmers have been doing things for a long time. It is true that most are not in France, even if, in France precisely, some evolve.
Some growers tell me that the use of glyphosate allows less polluting because it avoids to go with machines to tear the grass.
This seems to me to be a very short-term reasoning. And the short term is not compatible with the nature and life of humans.
I do not attack current farmers here, many people pollute more than them and are less visible.
It's a system that makes them slave. And even if some fight to defend it, this system is that they can never change it.
Should we understand this to make mounds on a farm of one hectare.
Yes, absolutely, understanding the mistakes of not committing them is fundamental.
In fact, it is a model opposite to those described here that guided my thinking.
Every year, the forest produces a mass of plants that is out of proportion to what men produce, regardless of their techniques on farmland or vegetables.
And that, without tillage, of any kind, without pesticide, fungicide, herbicide, and other ide, without fertilizer, and sometimes for thousands of years.
What is his secret?
Oh, I did not invent the solution, all of it contained in the descriptions of agroforestry and permaculture.
So how are the solutions proposed by nature useful to us?
We have to produce a lot, as the forest does, with a minimum of work, like the forest, with the minimum input, like the forest, with a minimum of watering, no more than the forest.
For this, we must reproduce the substrate that created the forest to the tens of years of its existence, and we must keep an insulating layer above the earth, like the forest.
Under these conditions, we will allow our automated tillers to come back, the earthworms and microorganisms to thrive and manufacture whatever it takes for the plants to thrive.
Plants in better shape can grow in tighter rows and are much more resistant to diseases and predators.
What are the benefits of all this for the farm and the farmers?
It is not necessary to create a large workforce to produce vegetables.
Indeed ten ladies who have a green thumb will be largely enough to do all the cycles of sowing and planting, monitoring and maintenance, harvest.
Everyone understands that as much as possible should be minimized on the farm. We no longer have to beak, weed, weed. A claw and a dibble are the only regular tools used on the mounds.
It is no longer the brute force but the feeling that constitutes the essential force.
One very important thing is the management of water.
On the mounds, watering is only rarely necessary.
And depending on the regions, it's a crucial element. It must also be remembered that in many regions, climate change will lead us to a drought more and more significant.
This is the case of the north of France, and bordering regions to the north, Belgium, Luxembourg and southern Germany. These regions will be under water stress from 2025.
The mounds have a big flaw, they require a lot of preparation work.
It is necessary to beak and lay the ground on the side over the entire surface of the hillock.
In fact, it is necessary to clear a layer of about thirty centimeters of earth.
Fill the hole and create by pieces of wood and branches of a fairly large diameter. Add pieces of wood recover half buried in the forest floor to sow micro-organisms this layer of wood, cover it all with branches and foliage and pack well so that there is only one minimum of air pockets.
Put the soil back on this layer and cover it with an insulating layer of putrescible materials such as hay, cut grass such as nettles, comfrey, lawn, sawdust and wood chips.
Water the mound copiously and wait until the temperature rises are complete.
Basically a fortnight.
After, we can plant or sow.
If you plant salads, you will quickly see that they are great food for small slugs and snails that feast.
So before planting this, ask your chickens to do their job. They do it very well and usually, after a week, all these small critters have created a meal of kings for gallinaceous.
At the same time, they will have created a lot of work and we will have to work with the shovel and the fork to put the hill back in order.
Since we are at the creation of mounds, I appreciate that they are installed in a formwork of planks or even beams if one is rich. This has several advantages that seem futile but that over the days and seasons will be rich in comfort and emotion. Comfort, because these boards created a real seat for gardeners and gardeners who work well with more comfort. It is also possible to drill holes in the board and plant strawberries for example. See kids from three to four walk around the chests and take off with their little hands the fruits they eat with greed, it is a show for the eyes and the heart like no other.
The mounds are finished, or only one, it must be used fully. It all depends on the season. And there are several problems:
Time planning of hill operations.
The organization of the implantation of the different vegetables.
The possession of seeds and plants healthy and natural.
All these elements find answers, sometimes succinct on the Internet. It's a big job to look for these elements, to compile them, to put them in order. But it is necessary work that has no place in this document.
VA: You're sure we'll have enough vegetables to feed 500 people.
DI: Do not confuse food for 500 people with vegetables for 500 people.
But yes there is plenty of vegetables for 500 people. And even for 1000 people but that, provided that everything works perfectly well.
However, the coming times may surprise us by their evolution and their violence and we must of course set up a safety margin.
The food comes generally from vegetables, poultry and their eggs, the orchard and fruit trees that we plant and that we will plant, in thousands and less certain goats and sheep, easy to support when the new civilization will be operational , cattle that can also be raised easily. I will later describe the constraints of rearing large animals. This can only be done for fully functioning and balanced farms.
VA: Can you tell us about the fruits and the barnyard?
DI: These are exciting things. The orchard is an essential part of the farm.
As on the mounds, we have a surface, and we will multiply this surface.
Indeed, we cultivate on several floors.
Orchards must be planted with very productive trees. And that too is a research that each member must do throughout their walks in the countryside.
As soon as we discover a tree full of fruits, we must contact the owner.
At the right time, often in autumn, but also in spring or even in summer, it is possible to take one or more twigs of twenty to thirty centimeters without damaging the tree and bring them back to the people who take care of the plants.
It is obviously necessary to prevent these twigs from drying out in the sun.
Several species of trees will be favored because in general they are very productive: figs, plums, cherries and many others. It takes variety. The trees are planted relatively tight compared to traditional standards.
On the 7000 m2 of the orchard contained in a farm of one hectare, we will plant more than 1000 fruit trees. It is also necessary to play on the height of deployment of the branches.
Some trees produce 3 m above the ground and others at 6 m.
The orchard is also a garden. At the foot of the trees, we can plant potatoes that will benefit from the manure given to trees, peas and beans that will climb naturally along the trunk and small red berries such as raspberries, blackberries and blackcurrants.
Of course, after planting, it will be necessary to prevent the hens from feeding on the thumbs of our plants.
To manage the orchard, it takes at least four people. For tree-level gardening, at least four people should be provided during planting and harvesting periods.
The orchard will quickly be extended to surfaces that the ancient civilization occupied as the edge of roads and highways, the edge of forests. It is possible to replace thousands of trees that produced nothing, neither fruit nor wood, by productive trees.
It is difficult to plant the old cultivated fields now abandoned.
It is necessary to wait until the nature is cleaned the biggest part of the pollutants and that the first plants is allowed to the ground to rebuild itself.
VA: I understand a little better the importance of the orchard, but tell me, in winter, we will not eat fruit.
DI: oh if but it is in another chapter that we will treat cans by drying, by placing in jars like jam not forgetting that quickly the glass jars will no longer be available. You see, it takes us far because we have to talk about pottery, sugar production and salt transportation. You see, even for basic things today, tomorrow it will quickly solve a lot of small problems.
VA: Well, we worked well. See you soon.