Sunny Gardens®

General Discussion => Introductions => : Anthropositor June 26, 2009, 09:08:40 PM

: No Till Gardener Introduction -- Anthropositor
: Anthropositor June 26, 2009, 09:08:40 PM
Hello folks,
I have been experimenting with No Till Gardening for about five years in earnest.
My real field is ideas.  Those who want to Google around can find a few thousand posts in other areas.  I am not a trained horticulturist.  However, I have come up with some interesting things, in spite of, or perhaps because of my lack of formal training.  Up until today, while I have written some about my various planting experiences in other places, I had not looked at the field by search engine.  Search engines are not the first thing I do.  They are the last.  Nor are you likely to see me post many links.  People can find me if they wish.  Comparatively speaking, I am ancient, and not particularly computer conversant.  I just finished up a few years of relative blindness, and about five years ago, had a stroke which made me pretty stupid for quite a while,  Though I continued to give chess lessons.  My stupidity was more apparent to me than it was to those around me.

I think of No Till as low tech, low energy consumption, low damage to the ground.  I think of it purely in terms of growing food of some sort.  In my looking around today for people of like mind, this was the closest approximation.  But then, I really haven't read the posts yet.  To do so would make me a lurker, in my estimation.  So allow me to say a bit about what I have done to date on this subject.

Okay, as I said at the outset, for about a half a decade, I have been engaging in small scale No Till Gardening Experiments.  Most of the earlier years were taken up with the normal learning curve.  That is to say, nothing really of a breakthrough nature occurred.  I had found that Tarot Root tended to re-establish itself without my intervening efforts each year; no weeding, no replanting no fertilizing or anything of that sort.  But the patch was not growing explosively.  And since I don’t particularly like poi, I never even harvested it.  I enjoyed the huge elephant ear shaped leaves.  That was sufficient.

But my real emphasis was the production of food, minimizing labor, fuel waste, and plowing damage to the soil.  My next crop showing some success was a variety of edible berry sometimes called “Indian Strawberries.”  They spread quite nicely entirely on their own, fighting all weeds pretty effectively, and are now covering twenty times the initial area I planted by throwing down some berries and stepping on them.

But most recently, a couple of years ago, I planted some seeds which are used in the nutraceutical industry to see how they would do.  Right from the beginning, I did what I could to simulate natural conditions or make those conditions even more challenging for the plants.  In particular, I intensely overcrowded them, scattering the seeds thickly and stepping on them.  So they grew far more densely than they would in nature.

I wasn’t particularly interested in harvesting the seeds themselves.  Some folks were doing that.  There was nothing new to the art.  No, what I wanted to do was find out more about the plant, which was currently being simply plowed back into the soil.  I found it to be quite delicious raw and fresh from the garden.  Then I cooked with it.  I added it to soups.  I mixed it heavily in marinades.  I dried it and used it in combination with every spice that I enjoyed.  I even brewed it with my coffee.  It complemented everything I added it to.  I mixed it with cat food and dog food for the animals.  They ate it with relish in substantial amounts.  Hmmm, come to think of it, I haven’t yet mixed it with relish.

So, after eating reasonable amounts for a while with no ill-effects, it was time for me to start using unreasonable amounts, using my chief guinea pig, me.  I began eating in excess of a half pound a day. 

I am a pretty carnivorous person.  That is another way of saying, I don’t eat enough vegetables.  Never have.  But, to my surprise, I did not need to force myself to eat this delightful leafy vegetable.  As a matter of fact, the opposite was true.  Perhaps once or twice a week, I eat at a Chinese Buffet, or a Steak House Buffet.  I quickly discovered that if I did not abstain from this vegetable earlier in the day, I was only able to consume half of the usual amount at the Buffet.  Well, that would never do.

Considering each of the characteristics I have mentioned, I decided to name it after a fictitious character in a comic strip of my childhood, called Shmoo.  This character, shaped rather like a fat bowling pin, liked to be kicked.  And if you were hungry, it would prepare to taste like whatever food you happened to be in the mood for.  And that is exactly what this food was doing!  It went with anything.  Of course, I didn’t want to violate anyone’s copyright, so I added an extra “o” and called it Shmooo.

But the biggest surprise of all, was that, even in amounts of only an ounce or two, it strongly inhibited my appetite.

Now, I am not really what you would call a fat guy.  I think, at my heaviest, I was maybe 205 to 210 pounds, and that was many years ago.  When I began the loading experiments, I was about in the 165 to 170 range.  By the end of that season, I was in the 150’s, without dieting in any way.  I was just eating a lot of Shmooo.  During winter, after the freeze killed my crop, I was reduced to using dried Shmooo all winter.  I gained a few pounds back, but not much.

Now I have fresh Shmooo to eat every day, and I have some other experiments lined up to try, if an extreme heat wave or drought do not interfere with my plans by killing off the crop.  But I am really curious how this food would work for people who had a serious problem with obesity, who might even be morbidly obese.  At my current weight, I couldn’t really afford to lose even twenty more pounds.

So, if anyone out there has a serious weight problem, and has been unsuccessful so far in coping with it, give me a holler.  We will get better acquainted, and I will determine if I can be of help.

Now, just a few words about creativity and imagination.  Too much preparation often has a stultifying effect on these traits.  I know it is not conventional to think this way.  But I do.  I mentor quite a few college students while I'm teaching them chess.  It quite amazes me how much of the "knowledge" they believe they have absorbed, really is more akin to indoctrination.  Now that I have introduced myself, I think I will go read some of the posts. 

: Re: No Till Gardener Introduction -- Anthropositor
: Sunny Gardens® June 28, 2009, 03:42:52 PM