Make $100,000 per Acre with Beyond Sustainable No Till Farming a Year

Alright, this is John Kohler with,
got another exciting episode here for you. And where I am today is my backyard garden!
With this, I’m just doing an intro and I’m going to come in at brief spots in this video.
This video is not about me today, but what it is about is about no till farming! So, I do a method of gardening called no till
gardening and this is actually one of my raised beds. Its about 4 feet wide and 16 feet long,
and this does not get tilled. You know, I built these beds over the existing soil, I
didn’t till the ground before I put it down, you know I put in all the soil and then basically,
I’ve never tilled this. So, of course, you know I dig up the old roots.
You know, which may not even be the best thing to do. And I top it off every season with
some new soil, but I don’t till it. I don’t get in it with a rototiller. The only kind
of tilling I do is let the microbes and earthworms do the tilling for me, and that’s what I
recommend for you guys. So, this is how I’ve incorporated no till
gardening, which is pretty easy. I don’t really think you need to till in a garden,
especially if you’re bringing in the soil, you know and have a nice soil mix. This bed,
actually, is filled with Dr. Earth Potting Soil, Organic Mixture. Its
high quality stuff. And after every season the soil always dips down just a little bit
a half inch, depending on some beds, some beds go down an inch or more if I haven’t
topped them off. So, then what I’ll do is go over to the
wheelbarrow- its all the way in the back. And I like to mix up, you know, some more
organic composts with some coconut coir, maybe some bernique collie, some rock dust, some
worm castings, and some John and Bob’s Fertilizers… And then mix all that up. Maybe some sealites,
there is a lot of things I put in there. And then mix it all up and just top this [the
bed] off with just a little bit to basically give back, and put nutrition back into this
garden, into this bed. Because, you know, after I have peppers in
here, I basically pulled all the peppers off and ate them. So all the nutrition came out
of the soil, came into the leaves of the plants, came into the peppers. I ate the peppers and
the nutrition when into me. And then all the top grow basically got composted in my composter
to turn that back into soil that’s going to end up going back in here. So, we want to constantly, you know, feed
and put nutrition back into this soil because we are constantly pulling it out. In addition,
I want to encourage and remind you guys then even, you know, even though I grew crops in
here this soil is quite fertile, because I brought it compost in the first place. I’m
not just growing in the native sand here in the desert. So this is very fertile. But, the problem is we need to unlock the
fertility locked inside the organic matter that happens from the microbial populations.
Bacteria, and fungi, and yeast, and all the different soil microbes, the earthworms, and
the creatures living in the soil, the hematoads, the arthropods, I don’t know all these things.
They create the fertility, they break the organic matter, create fertility that the
plants can absorb. So this is how I do it, in a garden, you know,
in my back yard. And that’s what I encourage all you guys who are backyard gardeners to
do. But, what I’m going to get into next is actually a talk at the 2016 Eco Farm Conference
where I heard Paul Kaiser from Singing Frog Farms. He actually makes $100,000 a year on
his organic, several acre no till farm. And I only recorded part of this episode because
I didn’t want to film this whole thing. I wanted to take notes and what not, and I
was holding the camera with one hand. I filmed part of this to let you guys know what he’s
doing, and then I’ll come back at you on the half way break to, you know, get into
more of this no till farming that Paul’s doing. So, I guess without further ado, lets
go ahead and go back to the Eco Farm 2016 and the No Till Farming 102 class. CONFERENCE Paul Kaiser: Usually our CSA and farmer’s
markets are about 50/50. And CSA is kind of going down, gladly not in terms of productivity.
Our productivity is the same or better. So CSA stays the same size, farmers markets have
increased dramatically and with increased restaurant sales on top of that. So this past
year we were doing quite a bit, over 300,000 in sales on about 2.5 acres approximately. And that’s important because one of the
driving factors for us is we are in a small county and land value is very high. Not just
the mortgage on the property, but the property taxes every year as well. And to pay that
off is a real struggle and challenge. So we had to innovate economically, but we also
had to innovate because of what mattered to us and ecologically. As I said, our background
was really in ecological aspects of rehabilitating degrading lands. So we started Singing Frog
Farms, we really, our whole first year and our first month, we were really straight in
there, putting the perennial hedgerow, putting in the tree crops, putting in all the other
aspects to make it much more holistic, healthy, ecological system. And then we also have to
make money on this too, so lets start the farming part and grow the vegetables. And as we began growing vegetables we said,
“Well, lets just use the equipment the last owner left us. Lets use a disk, lets use a
spader, lets use the plow and start getting these fields ready for brushing. And the act
of doing all that tillage on an organic regime was completely upending all our investment
in the ecology. That tillage was just counterproductive to the ecological restoration of the gridline. And that was the ecological side of why we
became no till and we didn’t really know we were becoming no till, we just knew we
want to farm in a way that really benefited all the perineal hedgerow, that benefited
the snakes, that benefited the beneficial ensipes and the pollinators who are ground
listing, that benefited the water and the soil and everything else. So that’s kind
of how we got started and what we’re doing. Um, for those who don’t know our soil organic
matter 2.4% to 8 or 11 percent, or even higher, and that’s over the past 6 to 8 years, mostly
the past 6 years of doing no till. Our water use has gone down to about a tenth
of what it used to be for crops. We’ll talk about that a little later. And we’re having
dramatically more songbirds on the property, trying to get more snakes, more beneficial
insects, more pollinators. So all the ecology is coming to life while we’re making this
very high level of productivity. And, I’m going to go through the real fast some of
the things about soil carbon and organic matter just because I feel the need to. But, I’’ll
be about three minutes and then we’ll dive right into why you’re here. I know, some
laughter, thanks Debbie. So, organic matter is roughly 5% of your soil.
What’s critical to note is that is your carbon. Carbon is half of organic matter.
So, when you talk about sequestering carbon in soils, you’re talking about bulling up
your organic matter, half that organic matter is carbon. So it is very good to make that
connection as you bull up that organic matter from 2.4 to 10%, you just upped that carbon
from 1.2 to about 5%, because half of organic matter is carbon. So, traditionally, many of our best agricultural
soils a good 6-10% organic matter according to the USDA. Today, we’re down to 1-3%.
In fact, the California average today I just heard two months ago from the CDFA ,1% organic
matter is the average in the state of California. So remember, half that is carbon. Where is
all the carbon going? In the atmosphere, right? So, we know this is due to tillage. Almost
primarily and exclusively,but from how long long? Roughly 2/3 of total soil carbon has
already been washed from our planet’s cultivated soils. Tillage is one of the major practices that
reduces the organic matter level in the soil, FAO. A quick little study that I love to show,
you have erosion, this is back in the 80s, 70s-80s. We have no till fields moldboard
top field in Tennessee. You can see it is a USDA study, and 4,750 pounds of erosion
per acre per year in the moldboard top field. In the no till field? 6 pounds of erosion
per year. 700 times more erosion in the moldboard top than the no till field. And back in those
dates, 79-82, that was half the national average of the erosion rate. The national average
was about 8,500 pounds of soil per acre per year. So, that was a good farm back then,
and just compare. To give you an idea, that 4, 750 pounds per year is about a fourteenth
of an inch. Its not really visible, but year after year after year, that’s our top soil
going away, that’s carbon in our organic matter going away… That’s part of what
tillage does. Of course there are all kinds of conservation
tillage. There are some great ways that tillage is being brought back into a more beneficial
aspect, but, I want to keep going through this. So, every pass of tillage equipment can remove
equivalent to a quarter of inch of rainfall from your soil. Tillage- I love this one-
Tilling soil is the equivalent of an earthquake, hurricane, tornado and forest fire occurring
simultaneously to the world of soil organisms. Simply stated, tillage is bad for the soil.
The USDA. That’s the USDA saying that. They know, the scientists know, what works and
what doesn’t. Its a matter of application, finding out how we can continue to restore
this planet without tillage. And that’s going to create a brand new struggle in all
the food sectors of agriculture, whether its pasture management, drainage line management,
road crops, or rain crops, and now vegetables as well. How do we begin to reduce tillage
to get back to real soil health. Finally, I’m going to take briefly about
the bottom part here. You know, 1% of tilled soil organic matter has an average of tens
of yard of fungi in it. While 6% of organic soil matter, untilled, an average of tens
of miles of fungi in it. In a single teaspoon. So just again, the factor difference miles
of fungi to yards of fungi between soils. So this is why, these are some of the many
reasons why organic matter is really important. So, here we go, managing your soil health
can be accomplished by… I Usually combine these into three different things, but every
aspect of management on the farm, I refer back to this set of ideas. And granted, I
don’t really refer back to them specifically because I have a more intuitive understanding
like many of you do, about how systems work and how the farm works . But, these are what
are the critical foundation to soil health. Disturbing the soil as little as possible. Growing as many different species of plants
as practical. Keeping living plants in soil as often as
possible, and Keeping the soil covered at all times. Pretty straight forward, I often combine these
two [2-3] and just say keep a good diversity of living plants in the soil as often as possible.
But, think through these aspects of what the best soil management practices should be,
and think through what tillage does to soil. Tillage is the complete antithesis of all
of those things, except maybe number 2 because of the diversity. So, tillages disturbs it
heavily, removes plants form soil, and leaves it bare. And that’s how we have volatilization
of nitrogen and carbon on the soil combining with oxygen to form nitrous oxide and carbon
dioxide to most greenhouse gasses. So, we really need to be thinking about how
we not disturb the soil, how do we not leave it bare, and how do we keep those plants in
that soil, because what are plants? They are the carbon pumps. They take atmospheric carbon
and sunlight and make nutrient packets of which half of that exudes to the roots to
feed the soil, and the other half they use to feed their own bodies. So, starting your no-till fields. This is
all new for me presenting on this. Its very interesting for me too, I’m much more used
to presenting on the science and the whys, because that’s really important to me and
the ecology. But, I want to go through, I have a lot of photo slides in here. There’s
probably 80 or 90 slides for pictures. I want to give you a beginning and then we’ll end
on this slide too as we go through. There’s a distinction to make between getting
your no till field up and running and maintaining it. So starting a field is very different
from maintaining it. Starting, you only do once, and then you have
it up and running. And usually the first question from people well should I sheet compost or
do tillage to get the fields clear to start? There are other solutions too, but I think
the two easiest ways are to till and and do it a whole clean slate, so you have a blank
slate to begin with, then you build your raised beds or your mounted beds or permanent beds
and then you begin farming it no till. And the other way is to do sheet composting,
which is put down cardboard over everything. So you want to weed-whack or mow down your
existing overcrop or grass and then put down clean cardboard and then build your beds on
top of the cardboard with pure compost. This is more capital intensive. You need to have
lots of clean cardboard and lots of compost to build those beds directly on top of the
compost, versus the tillage way. You say “Oh my gosh but you’re tilling.” Well,
you tilled only once and honestly if you do a really good enough till, by the end of the
very first season, your soil will be far better than it ever was before you tilled it. So
you can heal all the damage done in that first round of tillage to clear the field. And then
you put in those permanent beds and with a- we call this the magic wavelength. The wavelength would be the cycle of the beds
and pathways, so our beds and pathways. I actually have a, oh it’s all the way in the
back. So wavelength is really a space from one path to the next path to the next path.
And for us, we made our paths as narrow as we could and this was based on kind of like
a horse’s read end and railroad tracks. For us it was the wheelbarrow legs. So wheelbarrows- we got the really sturdy,
contract grade wheelbarrows that are metal. Inexpensive, but sturdy and durable and last
a long time. The legs happen to gladly be very narrow, so our pathways are just wide
enough for wheelbarrow legs to sit down just on the shoulders of beds. But no wider, because
the wider the pathways, the more space you loose to growing and the more you have to
manage the pathways with either mulch or weeding or something else. So, after we figured out the pathway width,
which happened to be about 1.5 shovels as we scooped it out, and the beds themselves
were roughly about 30 inches wide and30 inches have been a really good distance because for
most people, they can reach across that without straining back muscles. We don’t want to have
people pulling back muscles or severing disks. So, we want to have healthy farm crew. So we like 4’9″ from center-path to center-path
to center-path as our width. And then scoop those paths 1.5 shovels wide. Lay drip irrigation;
we don’t do the T-tape we do a round hose with built-in emitters, those emitters happen
to be spaced about every 12 inches. I’ll talk about irrigation later. And then bed length
is really dependent, but I want to go through a few pictures right now so you can look at
this. BACK TO JOHN So what did you guys think, man wasn’t that
an awesome talk about no till farming? Doesn’t it make you guys go and do no till farming,
I mean, to me it’s just like a no brainer, duh! No till farming is the answer. It increases
the soil, increases the organic matter in the soil, its so easy to do, and basically
Paul is doing more or less what I’m doing in raised beds and he just has beds that are
in rows, right? Its just makes so much sense, you know. It makes me sad when people still
feel they want to till and all this stuff and I know I’m going to get comments down
below saying no till is hogwash, but this is how nature works people! There are no rototillers
in nature! Anyways, if you guys want you till I don’t
really care what you guys want to do, but we’re going to go ahead and move on with this
video. What I’m going to do next is as I was taking notes in the no till talk, and I would
encourage you to check out my Eco Farm video, it’s like an hour 45 minutes, where I actually
go over, you know, a lot of the things that I learned there as well as some of the different
vents and you know, just give you a tour of Eco Farm, Which is a pretty good video in
itself. This one I think is more valuable. I was taking notes in the second half, and
then I took, you know, just pictures of some of his slides that he was presenting, so I’m
just going to next part of this video I’m going to throw up the slides, and then I’m
going to go over the slides and share with you guys some of my comments. THE SLIDES
So, now we’re going to ahead and get into some of the individual slides. So this is
the Operating and Maintaining a No-Till Field. So this is once you’ve got everything planted
out, once you’re ready to, you know, harvest, and you have harvested and you’re ready for
the next, you know, planting. This is what you do. And actually, this is quite similar to what
I do in my home raised bed garden because to me doing a no till is pretty much like
having a raised bed. So, what you would do obviously is harvest your crops, and then
of course next is to clear the bed. You’re going to cut all the crops down, pull the
weeds, and add on compost. Now, one of the things is, he cuts the crops
at the baseline and leaves a root zone, all the roots in place, and just plants around
them the next time. This increases, he finds, his organic matter. Next he’ll broadfork and
he says, you know, he rarely does that these days So in a garden at home like I do, I just
don’t even do any of that stuff. The next thing he does is lifting the pathways.
You know, as he is piling on the compost every year to the raised beds, the pathways get
lower and lower, so he basically puts down some more mulch or something like that, I
believe. Then he applies fertilizers and composts.
Generally he uses something like calcium, I believe he mentioned. A calcium source,
and the maybe he’ll use the rock dust, and then the compost and he just tops off the
beds with that. And then he transplants in his baby plants.
Most of the time he does it from transplants, and you know, not from seeds. Except certain
crops he does start from seeds. And then he waters and covers in. The next slides are actually really cool,
but I want to show you guys, he actually shows the process and how it actually took 3 people
were able to turn 3 beds in one hour. So this is the slide so that like, you know,
all the crops we grown and then basically you can see the farm workers harvesting. They
basically harvested all the usable crops on here. And then the next thing after they harvested
the crops, then they basically just pulled all the plants out. So they basically just
cut them down at the root zone, left the roots in the grown, and wheelbarrowed off the area
to put it in one of the several compost piles on the property. They moved the drip lines out of the way and
they’re just doing some additional cleaning of the beds. You can see here the beds are
getting more cleaned. You know just made clean and tidy, ready for the next planting. Next, they’re actually preparing the beds
for the next planting. Once they got the beds prepared for the planting they’re adding the
calcium and any other fertilizers that they add, which actually they don’t use a lot.
The main thing they add is they top it off with compost. They add very few things, actually. So you can see here, this is a little bit
of a process to add nutrition. And this is something actually I do after every growing
season. You know, I’ll take my raised beds that have generally sunk down an inch or two,
depending on the bed, and make a mixture of compost, and coconut coir and bernique collie.
Which I may not need, but I have it, so I’m adding it in there. And also with the rock
dust and the other things that I add in and then I top off my beds. So, I’m doing something
very similar to this in a home garden approach. After applying the fertilizers, then they
basically pile on the compost on top. They’re continuing to pile on the compost and this
can take a while. As you guys can see, they got all the compost spread out all over the
beds. The compost have been fully prepared for the next round. And you can see the drip
lines are back in place. The next step is they are bringing transplants out from the
greenhouse. These guys are probably about four weeks out, it depends on the specific
crop, and they are just planting them out. Now this takes a little bit of time, you know. But, they have 3 workers in there and with
three people it is planted out in no time. So as you guys can see they are planting three
rows of crops and they have it spaced out so that the drip lines have emitters facing
every 12″ and they are using drip tubing with built in emitters every 12″, not the P-Tape
that tends to degrade quickly and needs to be replaced. They are placing that so that
is no more than really 3″ from each plant. Now you guys can see its fully planted out. And what they are doing now is actually watering
in. AfterI replant, I water things in and I might even water for the next week or two,
depending because you know, in transplants, the roots may not be close enough to the drippers,
if I did not plant them close enough to the drippers. And the water may not actually capsulate
over there depending on how long your watering cycle is and the ability of your soil to capsulate
and hold the water. Once they have it all watered in, you can
see the workers are quite ecstatic and happy because now they can move on to another task
on the farm. And generally when I plant one of my beds in my garden, I could pretty much
complete a bed depending on if the bed is one of my long beds 4 by 16 or a 4′ circular
raised bed. I could do a couple beds a day just by myself. Mixing the soil, topping it
all off, and you know, its just a fun time working in the garden. I mean, its really
fun to be connected back to nature and I want to encourage you guys to get out. Alright, so all that process of those slides
was taken over 1 hour is what Paul Kaiser said. So, you know, really it does take that
long to, turn a bed in a no till farm. Once you have a good crew that are trained well.
You know, one of the things he does is actually pays his farm workers quite well and they
never work more than 40 or a few hours over 40 hours a week. So, they are not working
overtime and they really enjoy their jobs because they work year around, unlike many
other farms. So, lets move on and go onto some of the other
slides. The next slide that Paul put up is actually the bene fit of using transplants.
So, you know, I highly encourage you guys to use the transplants when planting in a
garden. This is especially important if you guys are a beginner. Hopefully, if you’re
farming you’re not really beginning. You know what you’re doing and you know how to make
good, healthy transplants or plant starts. But, a lot of the time I find people when
they start their seeds out, they don’t really work out that well and they get long and spindly
and they may not be healthy and then you wonder why your garden didn’t do so well that’s because
it is very important to get good healthy transplants from the get go. If you don’t know how to
make them yourself, have somebody else do that for you. You know, my guy supports a
local farmer that grows a majority of my transplants or go out and buy them somewhere. So here are some of the benefits of using
transplants. Basically, he could save time. Because he has his transplants ready to plant
out after he clears the bed, that you just saw the process. He could clear that bed and
heavy the transplants ready to go in so there is less bare soil. This is always something
growing int he soil. There is literally an hour of time when nothing is growing in the
soil on Paul’s farm, in many cases and there is a few exceptions. But, there are actually
few and rare. Because if you were to plant seeds, that would
take a long longer for them to start growing and germinating and stuff. Transplants get
a second infusion of nutrients. You know, he’s basically- when he transplants he basically
adds nutrition to the soil, so the plants get further nutrition because they already
are grown in a good mixture. He likes using like the 80% mixture of Happy Frog Potting
Soil and 20% compost to make his transplant seed starting mix, that he grows his transplants
in for several weeks, about 4 weeks in general. And the cost, he says, to basically make a
plot of transplants for him is about $2 a flat. So he says he would much rather have
extra transplants that maybe he doesn’t plant sometimes- that he gives to friends or sell
them than to not have any plants and not be able to put things back in his garden. So
transplanting and creating seedlings and plant starts is a constant job there at the Singing
Frog Farm. For me personally, since I travel probably
a little too much, I don’t have the time to manage all my plant starts, I tend to be lazy
and let nature do all my plant starts for me. So, I let seeds drop in many cases so
they come up and when they pop up and I see there’s ones I actually want to transplant
them out into pots. They’ve already been established. I let them grow in pots in a protected environment
for a little bit, and then I’ll transplant them back out or simply I’ll go out and buy
a transplant- a good, healthy transplant. Its important if you’re buying them to inspect
them and make sure you’re getting good, healthy ones. And I find- I go to a place that I get
transplants for about, I don’t know, $10-$12 per flat. And I’m willing to pay that, you
know, to get healthy plants. I could have a jump on the gardening. Another thing he uses about transplants is
that he’s assured to get 100% crop coverage. If he was to plant seeds, you don’t know if
some seeds are going to germinate, some seeds are not going to germinate. And you may not
get 100% coverage. So, I encourage you guys to get 100% coverage in you guys’ home gardens
as well. I mean, he’s growing food for money, and he has to make a living out of this. You
guys are doing it for fun and for your life. I mean, food is important, it is the #1 most
important thing you guys can be doing to change your life for the positive is grow your own
food. So why leave barren soil, you know? Lets get 100% plant coverage and grow things
close together. If you’re not familiar with how close to plant things, you want to look
up square foot gardening, plant spacing, or look up bio intensive plant spacing. They’re
very similar, little bit different, but those will give you some really good guidelines.
If you’re growing in a system that has really good organic matter and soil, you could get
away with planting thing significantly closer than what they tell you on the seed starting
pack. Less time in the field, equals more crops
per year. So, because they turn it so fast, he can actually have multiple plantings, I
think he said 7 I don’t exactly remember. 7 times, 7 harvest from 1 bed from the whole
year. Whereas, most- certified organic farmers might get 1 or 2 harvest because they leave
the land bare half the time. And the land is exposed, and when the land is exposed you’re
degrading the soil. So don’t leave you’re land exposed! Less time in the field means less availability
to pests. Now, because the transplants were started in a protected greenhouse nursery
area they have, plants are much more susceptible when they are babies and young. That’s why
we don’t kick our kids out until they’re 18. We would never just leave a baby on the street,
on a corner or something. I guess they did that in the olden days when they didn’t want
them. But, we would never do that today. A baby can’t fend for itself, and a baby plant
cannot fend for themselves. But, once the plants are more older, a month old practically,
they are a lot more resilient to external stressors. Transplants out compete weed seeds. So because
he’s not seeding and because he adds a whole new ayer of compost every time that his weeds
seed free, he has these established plant, they are already established. They grow up
quick and they shade out the other weeds that pretty much just don’t come up in his garden.
So iin my technique , yeah occasionally, some weed seeds get blown in or some weed seeds
get mixed in my compost that didn’t get the grade, they come up. But, I’ll tell you that
I barely do any weeding inside my beds at all with the methods I use, which is very
similar to what Paul’s doing there. Less water used to get established. So if
you plant from seed, you’ve got to constantly water to keep the seed at a good moisture
level or the water will evaporate off the soil. But, because he’s done all that the
plant has roots, so it can fend for itself. It can find its own water. So, you’re going
to save water. In addition, I want to mention is that with
the no till farming style Paul uses, because he is increasing the soil organic matter,
there is significantly- and I want to say that again- significantly more water holding
capability of the soil.This makes you more resilient to when we get heavy rains and flooding.
Recently, Paul’s farm, their neighbor was flooded out and they had planted a new planting
of kale or something, and the whole crop was lost because it got flooded out. But, the
way Paul does it, he was resilient to the water, because he’s build his soil and he’s
doing things according to nature. I mean, one of the things I respect about Paul is
that he has a, not a background in farming that’s cool if you have a background in farming,
but he has a background in like agroforestry and basically restoring habitats and land.
So, he’s taken this approach to farming and really, you know, in my opinion advanced the
whole no till to like a science. So always, the most vulnerable stage of plants
that he’s starting, his transplants, is actually in the protected nursery. And, does it seem
like a lot of work? You might say that’s a lot of work John, planting all those transplants
that are so easy to seed. So, he says he knocked out a 100 flats, 5,000 plants in 10 hours.
In the rain, in one day. SO, I mean, for me I would much rather- I mean, I love transplanting
my plants. Besides him, he’s just transplanting, he’s getting in the ground, covering it so
that could go a lot faster. I actually add things in the planting hole when I transplant
personally. So while Paul does transplant for most crops,
there’s a few plants that he does directly seed because it just doesn’t make sense to
transplant them. Things such as carrots, radishes, peas, and beans. And he’ll direct-seed those,
and then he’ll cove them in burlap. So this helps keep the soil covered, which is one
of his main tenet. It also lets, it holds the moisture in there, it also lets some-
a little bit of light and some heat through . And show he does that in the beginning,
and takes it off when the plants are starting to germinate probably. And then he’ll occasionally
direct seed things like arugula, cilantro, cut & come again lettuces, small Asian mustards.
And everything else is transplanted. So, now he gets in to talking about how to
grow healthy transplants in the soil is critical. And I already mentioned the mixture he uses,
he uses 80% Happy Frogs Potting Soil 20% compost that he makes. And he talked about the nutrition
in there, as the plants start to geminate and come out and wants some nutritious soil
to support it, and its definitely important not to overwater it because you could leech
the nutrients out of your transplant medium. So, its important not to overwater your transplants. He also talked about the Mycorrhizal Fungi,
which is actually in the Fox Farm soil. I actually add additional Mycorrhizal Fungi.These
fungi are so important, I basically add that to the roots on every transplant that I make
in my garden. He also talked about moisture management,
he actually said you don’t want too much rain. And he actually said that he did not believe
that worm castings were something good to add to transplant medium. Which, I’ll actually
have to look into, but hey, he says that, that’s what it is. I think it would be more
beneficial adding it in at a later point. Benefits of larger-size transplants. He has
higher survivability and less time in fields. Can be handled roughly or quickly, especially
when you have to plant out 5,000 plants in a day. And the- shades the soil. Because these
plants are larger, starting to get some leaves on them, and they will shade up more than
if you just plant it from seedlings. He talked about the duration in the nursery
. You know, on average, things are four weeks, but some things are 3, and some things may
be a bit longer. He also talked about, as I mentioned before, transplant costs at about
$2 to produce, including soils, seeds, and labor. So, when I do my transplants,I’m going
to be like, Hey Paul, can I buy some flats from you for $2. Well, he probably wouldn’t
sell them for that. So, this is a picture actually, of his green
house area where he makes his transplants. You can see basically he has a 2 by 4s and
some 4 by 4 post to make framing and what he found to use for the racks, he bought like
this- like this hog-panel kind of stuff with the grate on there. I’m not sure if he mentions
it on there. I think it’s just a cheap hog-pen because he had used pallets and the nails
stick up and it would snag the whole flat and all these kind of things But, this is
what he found works best and I would probably concur because his nursery area looks great
and he wants to make sure the plants are nice and established before planting them out in
the field. He also talked about the yellowing of nursery
plants, and I hear about this a lot. Basically he said if your plants are yellowing in your
nursery, your seedlings, its because you’re watering them too much. So that is a fine
art in itself, knowing how much to water your seedlings. People are like, oh I want to love
my plants, I want them to germinate, I want to give them water, water, water everyday.
They don’t need water every day, you will drown them. If you drink too much water you
can choke and drown, so that’s something that you just have to learn. You need to check the soil, and check to see
the transplants and how they’re looking and water appropriately. This will change, so
you can’t always have a regular schedule. At certain times of the year, when you’re
starting your transplants and it’s not as hot outside, you’re not going to have to water
as much. But, if you’re still doing transplants when its hotter outside and you’re in a greenhouse,
you’re going to have to water more often because you’re in a greenhouse, right? Because, especially
because there is not a lot of soil in those little pots, it dries out pretty quickly. Next, he went over his spacing for transplants,
as I mentioned before, I do the square foot gardening or biointensive spacing. He, Paul
probably uses something very similar. Basically, he has one system for everything.So, basically
his drip lines were 2 lines, emitters 12″ spacing I’d personally might do it 8″, it
would give you a little more flexibility. But, basically, this is what he does. All
transplants on a standardized spacing regime. He has two lines, and at every 24″ he plants
things like Romanesco, Cauliflower, and summer squash. Two lines at 18″ spacing, he has the brussels
sprouts. 3 Lines at 18″ spacing, broccolis and cauliflowers. Three lines at 12″ spacing,
he does the kale, the chard, the head lettuces. He has 3 lines and 6″ spacings for the bulb
fennel, and 4 lines at 6″ spacing for the small head lettuce and Asian greens. And other things like tomatoes, winter squash
and alliums, he has different spacings for. So another thing he talked about when spacing
your transplants is, he talked about basically maximizing the plants you’re spacing in the
garden, so even though these are his general spacings, when he plants the new baby plants,
he’ll interplant other crops with the intended crop for that field or row. For example, if
he’s growing the romanesco and cauliflower, he’s going to plant lettuce intermixed with
them, along the middle row, to basically increase his harvest from that field. Because what’s
going to happen is that the lettuce will grow so fast and by the time the lettuce is fairly
large, the cauliflower leaves are just starting to shade them out a little bit so that they
will be tender, delicious and good to eat. And they’ll harvest hose guys and then by
that time, by the time they harvest them, the cauliflower leaves are grown out and now
there is shading where the lettuce was. But, previous to that, they were not. So, he really
likes to interplant things. Romanesco and lettuce, he’ll do dill and cabbage, he’ll
do leeks and lettuce, and yeah, this talk was so, so great. Anyways lets go ahead and
continue onto the next slide. Next he talked about compost and fertilizer.
This is something critical to your garden, to his farm, and also, to your garden in my
opinion. Basically, to go over this he went over all these different areas. I took notes
on some things, but in general he talk about on compost, he’s not a big fan of animal compost
in general. He says there could be too much salt and pathogens in there. He does use-
he used to get like all plant-sourced compost,but just recently started getting some good local
compost, manure from local horses. Maybe primarily due to the Sonoma Compost shut down in his
area. So, I mean, I wasn’t sure to ask him hey where do you get good compost in your
area. And he was getting Sonoma Compost but, now since they’ve closed, basically he’s making
his own and getting more local resources. So, he didn’t really have good options where
to purchase those in Sonoma County now, which I was actually looking forward to. So yeah,
you can make it on the farm and off the farm. When he was first starting he was bringing
it in off his farm, now that he’s up and in production he’s making more and more on his
farm, so he doesn’t need it. He talked about nutrient management, calcium, feathermeal,
trace minerals like the rock dust. He talked about compost blankets and managing
moisture. The perfect compost building recipe doesn’t exist. Compost happens, and as long
as you’re making some compost, he said it’s good. And I would just say that not all compost
are created equal. He talked about how much and when, basically he adds it after every
plant harvest to retop the beds, to give back nutrition. because what is he really doing?
he’s actually mining minerals. And he’s mining those minerals, putting it in plants, exporting
them off the farm. So, now he needs to add things back to the soil to build that back
up for the next batch. he also recommends soil test, water test, and even more soil
tests. One of the really good things that he talked
about that I want to cover was compost blankets. And there’s a company called Compost Tech
in Vermont, and that’s a compost blanket to keep the temperature of the compost- to keep
it either warmer or keep it cool in the summer. So this is something that was actually very
interesting to me, that I’m going to look into. Thought it was really cool. So now we talked about making compost, and
he said he’s a big fan of aerating the compost regularly to make it faster. He also talked
about adding oyster shells to compost to take away the ammonia smell, if its starting to
smell. another thing he talked about in this slide is mulching and basically he likes to
use more of a living mulch, so he plants things sort of densely so basically the sun doesn’t
hit the earth. He did mention rice, straw, or wood chip mulches. And sometimes, because
its important to keep your soil covered at all times, sometimes he’s not able to replant
a bed right after a harvest. So, in that case, he’ll cover it. He’ll cover the bed with a
blanket and keep it covered so that it stays ready and be covered until he’s ready to plant
out. So, that happens about this time of year, where he is not quite ready to plant his warm
season stuff out and he just wants to get a jump on that, so he’s going to wait in the
cover for a little bit. Unplanted, but covered instead of replanting out. Next, he goes over some of the tool he uses,
and this is probably good if you’re a farmer. It doesn’t really help me out a whole lot,
but it’s interesting. Broadforks, shovels, rigid rakes, wheelbarrow, carts, 5 gallon
buckets and yogurt quarts, nursery flats and 6-packs, serrated harvest knives, CoolBot
Walk-in refrigerator, wash station, and pack materials. So maybe, for me personally, I’ll
have a video soon on some of my favorite tools that I like to use in the garden. But, to
me, actually some of the tools I like the most are actually bulb planters, so I can
basically just take a bulb planter and put them in the ground. Plot a blog, and then
have a little nice spot for my transplant to go in. This makes me much more efficient
when planting. and, of course, nursery flats and 6-packs definitely handy to have around.
I mean, I have a wheelbarrow to mix my compost and all this other stuff. Let’s go ahead and
move on. So now what we’re looking at is actually an
overview sight of the Singing Frog Farm. And this is kind of just the spacing and the site
map. So let’s see if I remember anything.So basically, the ones with the gray tops are
like the structures, and then I think all the ones outlined in the brown were planting
beds and then actually the ones with the little blue I think were the little ponds, and then
I think the little brown circles are compost piles. So, he has those spread out. And I
don’t really remember much else but I hope to visit him one day soon and make a video
there and show it to you guys in person, should be amazing. So one of the big things that was important
to Paul that I really want to stress and that I probably need to do more of is increase
the ecological biodiversity in crop areas. So, he grows hedgerow and is really, I think
that was in the last slide. He has so many hedgerows in between several rows of his plants
and this is one of the reasons why no till farming works. You just try to do no till
without the hedgerows, you will not be as successful from what Paul says and I believe
it. the hedgerows do so many different things. Because it is an undisturbed soil areas, that’s
where you get some of that beneficial pollinators to next and other, you know, create a habitat
for a lot of creatures. Birds and snakes and everything. And they are going to help you
take care of your garden and they’re free labor. You’re just going to attract them. So you want to mx berry, flower, and herb
crops with vegetable crops and be sure to add vertical elements to your growing space,
from subterranean clovers to fruit trees. Combine Perennial food crops with annual food
crops. And leave some leafy crops to flower for post harvest for the beneficials. So this is the slide where it actually talks
about the hedgerows. Leave areas of the farm undisturbed to provide a habitat, restore
and enhance existing natural habitat, connect on-farm habitat to nearby natural areas, plant
trees and shrubs as hedgerows, windbreaks, borders, filter strips, and wildlife corridors.
Provide sources of water, shelter, nesting materials. Plant clover in roads and paths.
Even his roads there are planted out, which is actually quite cool, because he doesn’t
want to leave any bare soil. So then that, most farmers are really good at doing. So this a really cool cartoon that he really
likes, and its One Organic Myth. Selective pesticide. Butterfly and Ladybird friendly.
Kills only ugly bugs. So, I mena, everything you spray, even if its the organic certified
pest control, there are always repercussions to that. In my opinion that are no truly selective
organic pest controls. Yeah, maybe some won’t effect some creates, but there is always repercussions.
What are the repercussions of spraying pest controls, even organic, and then have them
drop into your soil to the micro-biome in the soil, right? We just don’t really know.
That’s why he doesn’t spray basically anything, which is quite impressive. And he has a system
set up to do that. Now, I don’t necessarily recommend you guys just stop spraying everything
in your garden. Well, depending on where you live and how your system is set up and how
natural it is and how long you’e been doing it, that might be a disaster. So you know
I kind of just have stages where I escalate thing. So stage number 1 for me, I’ve seen
an put break I use my fingers to smash them or collect the pest. Go out every day, collect
snails, collect slugs, collect cabbage worms off the leaves. You can collect them yourself
so then you don’t have to spray anything, right? Another thing you can do, I was doing
it just the other day, is high pressure water blasts. So I have a really good video on the
bug blaster, I’ll actually put a link down below this video if I remember. And I actually
high pressure water plants off, so I’m just spraying water, right? And event or spraying
high pressure water on good bugs may not be best for them. But, nonetheless, where I’m spraying, basically
there’s a white fly or avid infestation, and basically this dislodges them and gets them
off my plants and they may not make it back on. So this is much more friendly than spraying
even organic pest controls, so once I’ve sprayed this high pressure water, I’ve sprayed that,
and then I’ll repeat it, every day or every other day for a couple days, a week. And then
I should get the situation under control, and if I’m not able to this, like I’m traveling,
I’ll try to do this as much as I can and if I have to, I’ll try to use the least toxic
spray. So one of the things you could do is like a Diatomaceous Earth. I have a video on that, I’ll try to post that
below too. Thats another thing thatI really like to do because that’s another thing I
really like to do because that will actually fall into the ground and add to the soil in
the end, it basically works by dehydration. And then the other thing that I’ll do is the
Neem and Dr. Bronner’s Sal Suds Soap, and I’ll put a link down below to that pest control
method. And that’s like I do only if I have to, like if I’ve got some major situation
that is going to take me out. I don’t just spray that haphazardly, I go through the other
stages first. So this is where Paul talks the economics,
because people might say, you know, you can’t do no till because it’s not profitable. So
he compares average gross revenue per crop acre. He has several acres under cultivation
at his farm. So all California vegetables $1,900 revenue per crop acre. California organic
veg farms, better, at $3,700. Small, diversified, direct market vegetable
farms. That’s mainly organic, $11,000 And you know there’s different farms, like
student farms that basically get free labor, so they are able to make more revenue. But,
then if you go to Singing Frog Farm, he makes $100,000 in gross revenue per acre.So, clearly,
this financially makes sense and it makes sense for the environment to basically restore
the land because we’re degrading it here on the planet. So, I’m really excited that this can be profitable
and at the same time do good for the creatures on the earth, whether they are the bugs, the
pollinators, whether they are the native species that are getting wiped out because we’re bulldozing
and putting in parking lots and things, right? So, this is the real- if you want to farm,
this is the way I would, this is the way I’m going to do it one day when I have acreage.
It’s pretty much the same system I’m using now, but just in a larger fashion, and it
can be profitable if that is your goal. You know, my goal is to just grow some really
great high quality food for my and my family. So this next slide is called a venn diagram,
and it basically shares relationships. And if you think about it, that’s what farming
is, that’s what gardening is, that’s what life is all about cultivating relationships
with everything. So, this venn diagram shows that no till agriculture done in the way that
Paul is showing at his farm is showing environmental stewardship at its finest, it can also provide
economic prosperity, and it is also socially responsible. The no till method for environmental
is soil, organic matter 8-11%, once again, as Paul mentioned earlier, soil organic matter
on a farm in California,a recent survey 1%. This is dismal. Provides perennial hedgerows, no spray, ultra-low
water use, because one gain if you increase your organic soil matter you significantly
increase the soil moisture holding capacity. It’s kind of like an earthquake, on the Richter
Scale an earthquake that’s like 5 is not like a little big stronger than a 4 it is significantly
stronger than a 4 on a Richter Scale. And same thing as soil organic matter goes up,
water retention goes up, and more importantly than just the water retention is the fertility
and the carbon holding capacity and also the micro-biome or the beneficial microbes in
the soil. I mean, all around this is just a good thing to do. So, yeah also the native bees and song birds
and native creatures, it enhances their lives, because farming is wiping them out. Even organic
farming done on mass scale like its done now is unsustainable in my opinion. And yes, I
buy organic food when I’m not growing my own, and I wish there was more no till farms thatI
could support, because I believe this is one of the answers for the future. How we really
need to grow food on a large scale, if you want to grow large-scale. Of course, I always
encourage everybody to take responsibility for what they grow and grow part of what they
need to grow by themselves and grow your own food. Because that’s really when, we really
need to diversify and not focus on having large farmers. We need to have a lot of many
small farmers. Also, for social responsibleness, it has job security because he provides jobs
year-around. He doesn’t have the farming season when he has to let people go in the winter
when he’s not growing anything, not seasonal. And he feeds the community year around, unlike
other CSA programs in his area that only operate certain times of the year. He is 100% year
around and fresh crops. Some CSA provide crops like potatoes and squashes that they already
grew and then stored for the winter and then they basically doll them out over the winter
they don’t have things or they sell things like sauerkraut that they preserve. But, in
my opinion, fresh food is always the best food. And also this would not be possible
if it did not make economic sense. His gross sales $100,000 gross sales per crop acre per
year. Granted, he did go over his labor costs, his labor costs are 58% of the $100,000. But,
labor costs is not something that’s like a bad thing. When you have enough gross sales
to cover it, it’s a good thing because you’re creating USS jobs, right? You’re not underpaying
the poor farm workers and treating them bad and having them put on suits, or in some cases
no suits and having them spray toxic pesticides. This only makes all those issues from growing
food. This next slide basically shows, I believe,
shows I don’t think I took any notes on this, but basically it shows microbial communities
of the microbes in his soil. Now this is something that most farmers unfortunately do not pay
attention to. They get soil tests, oh yes they test may 17 main minerals in the soil
and that’s what farming is all about to most growers, including organic growers, right?
But, the soil microbes and the soil micro-biomes in the soil is really where its at and these
are like the workhorses that break down the organic matter and make it available for the
plants, so he’s basically showing in this how after 5 years it went up significantly.
And this is what every farm needs to do because farms even organic farms are degrading the
soil micro-biome, right? That’s why there’s lower organic matter. If there’s not high
organic matter, the soil micro-biome cannot thrive in there. So this is why I encourage you guys to do
no till methods and sell that rototiller if you have one, right? I have a video on how
to rototill, you know, aerate your soil if you want to, and it’s actually by using microbes
and letting them do all the aeration and getting the earth. There’s natural ways to do these
things and everybody’s been taught wrong for many years and its just because its been taught
wrong all these years doesn’t make it right. And people need to wake up to the fact that
there are ways to successfully do no till and more farms should get on this as soon
as possible. So once again, Paul went over some of the
tenets of no till and how to manage soil for health. And these are the thing she lives
by and he tries to create a system and steps and procedures at his farm to accomplish these.
So, and I want to encourage you guys to do these in your personal gardens as well. And
if you have a farm, please do these also. It does work, there are many steps to it and
I hope that one day Paul writes a book. So, anyways, to recap one of the most important
slides in his presentation. 1. Disturbing the soil as little as possible.
This is very important. Growing as many different species of plants
as practical. 3. Keep living plants in the soil as often
as possible, and 4. Keep the soil covered all the time. And
this is a quote form the USDA, this is coming from the USDA at the same time most farmers
do not do this, although this is the USDA saying this. And the last thing that he really
touched on that he’s really passionate about is overhead irrigation. In 1980, overhead
irrigation was outlawed in Israel. Like, what was that? 35 years ago they outlawed it in
Israel. And actually there is a lot of drift emitters and components coming in from Israel
and that’s because they’ve been working on this technology and that’s because whereas
people still do overhead watering in the states, and I think that is an abomination and it
should be stopped. The problem is they need to do that is because once again, there soil
is poor. It has low organic matter, it does not hold the water very well. You just got to keep watering and it keeps
sucking it up and you got to keep watering so this causes more water loss, right? But
doing it the right way by increasing your soil organic matter and using the drip system
like Paul does. He doesn’t have to water that much. You know, I took down how much he waters,
let me see if I can find it in my notes, but he basically waters very, very infrequently.
I was actually impressed about how few times a week he waters. And I don’t remember where
he put it, I’m to going to quote incorrect information, I tried to have as much accurate
information in this, butI might have gotten some stuff wrong. So Paul, if you’re watching
this, I’m sorry if I got anything wrong, but hopefully overall I pretty much got your message
out there. And I hope to, once again, visit Paul really soon and make a video at his place,
really highlighting what he’s doing because this is seriously really important. So, what do you guys think of that entire
presentation? Did you guys like this? If you guys like this, hey please give me a thumbs
u. Let me know when I’m out in California next, I’m going to try to hook up with Paul
Kaiser, go to his farm so I can so you guys this personally and see it for myself because
I’ve been hearing Paul speak for a couple years now and every time he inspires me. And
he’s not like a speaker or anything and this is the first time he’s teaching this stuff
cause he normally just does it he doesn’t teach it, but man this stuff inspires me.
And I wish that there’s more farmers like Paul out there, and I want to encourage you
guys to be more like Paul and let him be your model because it can be profitable. You can
raise healthy food and this is probably one of the best ways to do it. But it’s not just
about not tilling, there is more things that also need to be incorporated. Like, you know,
a native habitat and having native species and you know, constantly staying on top of
the weeds and making paths and mulching and having copious amounts of compost and he has
rock dust too. So you know, its a whole entire system you can’t just be like okay I’m not
tilling, everything is going to be fine. No, there are other parts of the puzzle that you
need to get straight that that it will work and be successful. And basically Paul has
figured out all this stuff for you. So I hope Paul writes a book on this stuff
and is able to share this with others so that he can be the model for other organic farms
to follow along and even big agribusinesses to follow along with no till because I truly
believe that this is the future of not only farming, and even more important than farming,
but regenerative farming. That’s actually restoring the land instead of strip mining
it away like convention and even many organic farming practices do. So, once again, if you
liked this episode, please give me a thumbs up, let me know. If I get a lot of thumbs
up, I’m going to go out and visit Paul. Make some time to do that, visit his farm and interview
him one on one. Also please put below any questions that you
want me to ask Paul int he comments. I’ll be sure to ask him. Also be sure to subscribe
to my episodes if you guys like this video, this is the kind of episodes and knowledge
that I like to share. Stuff that you will not here on any other YouTube channel. All
aspects of home gardening, commercial farming, in an ecological way, products, and I don’t
really try to discriminate I just try to put anything out there that could help you guys.
even if it just helps one of you guys, I’ve met my mission to help make the world, the
planet, and you guys’ lives a better place. Also be sure to check out my past episodes,
I have over 1,100 episodes now. I teach you guys all aspects of how to grow food at home,
I visit farms and you know, teach you guys how to do things in my back yard and my front
yard and I just have a fun time doing that and I know that you will gain a wealth of
knowledge through my experiences and what I’m sharing on this YouTube channel. So, with
that,the sun’s going down and I’ve got to make some dinner. So once again, my name is John Kohler with
GrowingYourGreens.Com, see you next time. And remember, until then, keep on growing.

100 thoughts on “Make $100,000 per Acre with Beyond Sustainable No Till Farming a Year

  1. I'd like to grow food but some government or person moron could arrest me for growing and eating or canning food?

  2. Do you use "Azomite" when you condition you soil? Would love to know your thoughts on "Azomite" if you have any … Thanks 😎👍

  3. ask paul exactly why and how "no till" enhances his garden and how he was able to separate that from all the other good stuff he does in his garden including soil amendments etc.

  4. John I love and respect what you do, I also grow this way long time now. First keep on, never stop doing videos, and with al the respect that you deserve I want to give you some constructive criticism. Please don't cry in your videos, I know you're a sensitive guy, but we need to connect people with the joy of reconnecting with nature, and your suffering that is totally heartfelt and has a reason, makes me not want to see your videos, I connect with your suffering and drives me away from watching other videos that you make. Is good to be in touch with our sensitive side, but also reconnect with the warrior that is fearless and unshakable there is a balance there. Hope this doesn't offend you and you get from where I'm coming and my desire to see you grow in influence and prosperity.

  5. I know this is probably a silly question but if I wanted to start composting…does it matter if I use gmo products in my compost and would it somehow have an effect on the soil and/or organic vegetables that I'm growing? Thanks 🙂

  6. How much did each of those concrete blocks cost each? What did it cost you per raised bed? deff. a great long term solution, PT is toxic & pine will need replacing every 3rd year or so.. Just 2 courses of block?

  7. Thanks John that's was great. being in New Zealand alot of our farms are pure dairy but they are struggling. so to see videos like this helps you see that actually there is other and better ways to farm. keep up the great work 😊

  8. Another great vid! Wondering what his thoughts are on Back to Eden farming? Seems like BTE would require even less labor and perhaps less water after it is established.

  9. We do the no till back to Eden gardening method and it works amazingly good. I haven't found a better method yet 😊 and everything you add to the top of the Woodchips is a extra bonus for your soil

  10. This man is really passionate and admirable for doing this with such dedication,keep it up John…iIlook forward to your next episode when you actually visit Paul s farm

  11. An important distinction to make is that tilling your bed (to mix up amendments & loosen soil) prior to growing in it the first time is encouraged, but not after.

  12. I like the concept of never tilling beds but sometimes my beds get away from me and I need to dig out the old stuff and weeds etc – yes, I put all my green waste back into the beds after composting but I still do technically till my veggie beds just a little… At the same time, I do try to limit "working" the soil so I don't disturb the worms or microbes too much. Thanks for the incite! Cheers 🙂

  13. No till gardening should be a requirement worldwide. Big Agriculture farms like morons. No products are needed. Leaves and woodchips are the only input needed for gardening. The bugs animals and microbes do the rest. Amazing how dumb conventional farming is. And many conventional farmers whine about why they can't keep their farms going with high fertilizer and pesticide herbicide and water costs…none of which is needed. Farmers were brainwashed to think a certain way it seems.

  14. Gardening is free!!!!! seeds can be given, i'll even give some of mine away, covering for your garden is also free. do not waste money.

  15. I'm in my second year of having an allotment, ( I'm in the Uk, not sure if you have them in the USA. ) and I find this way of growing vegetables fascinating. It makes so much sense.

  16. 100,000 per acre gross is so misleading. It means nothing. HOW MUCH WAS PROFIT? You show 3 people working on the beds. How much do they cost. How much do the inputs cost. It's conceivable that they could even be operating at a loss.

  17. I see a pee thread in comments… I need to kill pacasandra. Does anyone know an organic way of killing it? Pee on it?!!!I can not physically dig it out.

  18. John I want to say I love how long your videos are and how you make sure to cover all the bases . Your passion goes a long way. I truly love what you do for us it means so much to me.
    Thank thank you
    Nick B. =Seattle

  19. John and GYG’ers I want to share what im doing this winter with my raised beds that goes the other way of no till. I want to know what you all think. All winter long ive been compost right in my soil. So what I do is dig a hole about 2’*2’ hole I save all the soil in a garbage bin and add/mix in 3 types of rock dust. With the empty hole I add all my food scraps, or any yard wastes and then cover with the premix soil/rock dust about 1 -2” high and then repeat until hole is filled then I go find new area for the next compost hole. To me it seems a great way to add back to the soil through all the levels. At the same time im feeding all the worms, micros etc. This spring my soil will be super changed with micros and worm poo. When I was started doing this in the end of summer any plant that was next to a compost hole went crazy for it. So I don’t have a composter thatsa money thing right now so this seemed like the next best thing or even the best way to condition your soil for spring planting. also my soil is not even a year old im thinking this will help speed up the maturity.

  20. Thanks for posting this! I am curious where or to whom Singing Frog Farms sells their produce? Is it to specific restaurants or a farmer's market or a roadside produce stand? And what sort of regulations govern selling such products? I'm sure it varies by state or even county. I know that back in the 70s and 80s in Oklahoma, a lot of small farmers with roadside produce stands had to shut down because of federal regulations taxing them out of existence.

  21. Love you John….
    you have inspired me to start our 2 raised beds and i want to thank you for the joy AND produce my family is enjoying.
    Much Much Much love.

  22. There are times when disturbing the soil is necessary, like when you have raised beds near trees that have feeder roots that extend beyond their drip lines.  A few of my raised beds are located within 25 feet of the drip lines of some very advantageous oaks, and once a year I have to clip and pull their roots from the beds, otherwise they will take over. I'm aware this isn't the same as tilling, as I grew up on a subsistence farm, but it does disturb and inter mingle different levels of the soil quite a bit when pulling significant sized roots.

  23. Hi John, just had an idea, maybe you could set up a time that that a group of people could visit the farm together with you, or maybe Paul could, have a row or rows that needed work done, that people could actually help do the work, and get hands on experience.  What do you think?

  24. Way to go John, this makes perfect sense. By tilling dirt and throw NPK on it every year you kill the soil and only grow sick plants. Greetings from the Netherlands.

  25. Great video!!! Thank you for sharing! This is very interesting subject that im sure there will be a long debate over. I hope you can take us on a tour of his garden!!! I love you tour videos!

  26. i noticed how passionate you are. I love you for that because I agree, the government is killing us through big business. we need to take control of what we can, to help ourselves live healthy lives and be better citizens by being as healthy as we can, doing our part with what we can do to improve ourselves as a people and as a nation! The stronger we are as individuals, the stronger we are as a nation, or just as a people. this is not political, this is survival!!! thank you for the love that you've shown to your viewers, including me. we all need to make changes if we are to survive the next few years. we need to learn to help ourselves. and in shows like yours, that's going to help us through some of the bad times ahead. THANK YOU VERY MUCH!! I know that your not a prepper and neither am I. however it's nice to have a (victory garden, of sorts to be prepared for a possible disaster, like earthquake, flood or drought). Being more prepared at home than the grocery store offers a measure of comfort.Thank you for all your help and advice.

  27. Does he provide year round employment because he does this in California where he can grow year round? Comparing this to more northern Curtis Stone or Jean Martin who take their winters off using the same method of growing.

  28. My brother and I are starting a market garden in SoCal. When you visit Paul please ask him these questions:

    1. During initial 1 time only tillage, does he use a rototiller, chisel plow, subsoiler, or Keyline Design Yeoman's Plow? For building beds in Southern California hardpan, are there any good subsoiler attachments for a rented 2 wheel walk-behind tractor?

    2. Can he elaborate on his drip irrigation system? What trusted brand does he use?

    3. What is his opinion on cover cropping a bed, then roller crimping and transplanting vegetables into the crimped cover crop?

    4. How often does he have to keep insect netting covering all his plants?

    5. Will he please display his emitter spacing, crop spacing, crop planning and harvest dates on his website so aspiring nature farmers can learn from his example?

    As a safety precaution, I heard you mention that he includes oyster shells in his compost, but I've read in the Grow Biointensive book that oyster shells can contain 2% lead. I don't want to be dictating to anyone but I hope he's aware of this potential hazard. Obviously I don't want anyone to be ingesting toxic metals.

    I will be subscribing to your channel. You're doing good work John

  29. My family and I listened intently to all you had to say. We need people like yourself to spread the word. Thank you! May God Bless you in your efforts to help us all live healthier lives through natural sustainable agriculture. QST and family.

  30. Thanks for doing these. as a young gardener I can't afford to go to this awesome conference. I do live in the area and perhaps when we have our garden up and running in Salinas, Ca you can stop by.

  31. If you interview Paul could you please ask about what kinds of plants he uses in the natural habit and his hedgerows?

  32. I would love to see a video on Paul's operation. Great video John You're the fucking man, keep up the good work!

  33. Hopefully some on is interested in this

  34. This effectively relocates fertility / nutrient / elements from one place and brings it in to another. This is the problem with all of our thinking. Till we close the loop by using a method that uses our own waste materials then we have solved nothing.

  35. If anyone is reading this and would like to contribute to a new business in the field of growing ones own food then please go and see my go fund me campaign and if you are in the position to help me it would be a powerful thing.

  36. quick question: if you just cut the plant and leave the roots in, then where do you plant your new crop as now you have rows and rows of roots?

  37. The straight and narrow method of high production permaculture design might be the answer to my woes. Started with deep bowls they can be amazing but exhausting to manage. Maybe should square and row 30" 16" 30" and so on, decrease my slopes, decrease bottom pond surface area but increase depth. Hate to cut into my salad bowl but am feeling better after watching this. Getrdone off.

  38. im looking to buy a few acres of land and wanting to start a micro organic farm! but im really trying to figure out how are you making over 100k! im really interested in doing this!

  39. Great info abuot growing organic! I share your emotion for growing healty, big and whitout a footprint at all
    No-Till seems similar to Permaculture ,) cheers

  40. Do we need to add rock dust in all parts of the US? And Do you grow your own Bamboo, John?

  41. Beware lab engineered soil and worm castings. This is the biodiversity and sustainability hoax. It's a new industry and is designed to take over. –

  42. You got really emotional about this at one point around 54:00 that just shows how dedicated you are to making this world a better place. P

  43. John, thanks a million for making this long detailed vid on Paul's farm. I've read learned about no-till beds from your vids and some about a french woman from the past (Maria Hazelip), as well as the One Straw Revolution by Mosanobu Fukuoka. It's great to learn the details of a profitable no-till production system. I agree, this is the way the future of farming needs to go.

  44. Leave the small roots in and still pull the large tree sized roots (big woody roots take too long to break down). The reason for this is that the microbes you already use will break down the old roots into 3 different free beneficial sources to the soil.

    First is Glucose which is sugar, it will give the microbes in your soil a major energy boost.
    The second is vitamins, which will promote a healthy root system.
    The third is micro-minerals, this is perhaps the most important one. As it is a free and labor less source of readily available nutrients.

  45. In a small garden where soil will not wash away due to mulch and ground cover the difference between till and no till is like the difference between what? nothing?

  46. Really inspired me to do no tilling when I start my farm next month. I am in Japan right now and I am volunteering on a farm , I do a lot of tractor work and I knew there was something wrong with this. I didn't feel comfortable with tilling. And now I know why.

  47. It's hard for me not to till. The land I have is 30-40% rocks and the neighbor used it as their trash dump for years. I think I can do a no-till method after I restore the land to a proper growing condition.

  48. I take it back. I really really love your long videos ! I've learned to use ear plugs and clip my phone to my body.

  49. Hey John
    On one of the last slides you reviewed the financial comparison between the different types of farms. The slide title says the word “Revenue”, which is sales before cost are accounted for. I am wondering if the speaker compared “costs” or “profits”. Profit and revenue are not the same thing. Frog farm could have an average revenue of 100k but if the costs are 99k then the business model may not be as good as one is led to believe.

  50. A much better quality presentation from Paul and Elizabeth Kaiser. Much better audio.

  51. they are planting in the soil tho and only using enough organic matter to not have too much PK locking out vital nutrients for vegans

  52. How do you pay the self employment "fica" tax.? Do you pay it as you make money or in March like a farmer? Is this income exempt because it is cash.

  53. So glad I watched this. I am organizing to transform 1 acre of agriculture land to grow vegetables and fruit for our local food bank – this is going to save use money, time and energy. Thank you

  54. 1/2 a million dollars an acre growing heirloom corn for seeds …. 2 million an acre growing heirloom tomatoes for seeds …. welcome to the revolution

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