Thursday, April 2, 2015

This "Mad Genius" Organic Farmer's Ideas Are Working. He's Grossing $100K An Acre

 It does not tell us what crops he is growing, but that is always a local choice and based on economics as well.  What is clear is that he sustains the root system above all else and that makes complete sense.  Plants like alfalfa will go that deep if they are left alone and fix nitrogen while they are at it.

Central to producing a healthy soil is just that.  A well established deep root system that also allows no till cropping as well can do this.
It does not say how many years he has been at it, but this is clear proof that the whole central valley in California can become organic, irrigation independent and profoundly productive.  I would add in the use of passive atmospheric Eden machines to harvest dew and support properly spaced crop trees that also nitrogen fix if possible.  These are ten by ten basins with several layers of monofiliment netting held up with a cone like trellis of bamboo.  The basin can hold water and a crop of water cress to feed ducks if desired.  Surplus water is then overflowed at night into either drip irrigation or the tree roots.

A single layer is reported to produce forty plus gallons of water.

This "Mad Genius" Organic Farmer's Ideas Are Working. He's Grossing $100K An Acre...

We need GMOs to feed the world like a fish needs dry land. A controversial farmer in California is proving that a veritable bumper crop can be had using new farming methods that don’t require GMO pesticides, herbicides, or even weeding, and require 10 times less water than the average farm. The best part – he earned $100K per acre last season without even harvesting all of his land.

How does he do it?

What kind of super-fertilizer allows Paul Kaiser to grow so much food on a mere 8 acres? Lot’s of rotten food scraps and rotten plants – otherwise known as compost. And he uses loads of it.

He uses farming practices both old, and cutting - edge  - new so well that agricultural specialists from University of California at Davis who have tested his top soil can drive a four-foot steel pole all the way through his fields. This, as opposed to most parts of California, where it would hit infertile hard-pan in less than 12 inches.
[ this suggests a deep root system breaking thing up - arclein ]

Last year, Kaiser’s farm located in Sonoma Valley, CA grossed more than $100,000 an acre, too. This is ten times the average for most farmers of this area, even in lucrative wine-country.

His farm is no mega-farm, either. At just under 8 acres, he is beating even other large organic farms because the soil is still so damaged in other conventional and organic farms alike.

He is certainly out-performing Big Ag methods of farming as his unique farming practices have turned the soil into a goldmine.

The 3 Rules of Soil Health

Kaiser follows what he calls the 3 main rules of soil health: Keep roots in the ground as much as possible, keep the soil covered as much as possible, and disturb the soil as little as possible.

Kaiser also doesn’t plow his fields (which means a lot less work) and he uses around 10 times less water than his peers. His neighbors still run sprinklers, but he waters for about an hour a week, using almost exclusively drip irrigation. This means that while California is still recovering from a drought, most farmers are watering the air – since most of the water is lost to evaporation. Kaiser is watering – how novel an idea – just his plants.

Many California farmers recently spent millions tanking in water to try to save their crops, while Kaiser just made a healthy annual salary for even most high-paid lawyers. Water was being sold on the black market for ridiculous prices, but you can bet Kaiser wasn’t paying them.

Kaiser uses a thick, acrylic blanket to keep both soil and compost piles covered. Most farmers, if the cover soil at all, us immense plastic sheets, which end up each year in the landfill. “These blankets last me 10 years!”

Kaiser is a bit of a mad genius, and a dreamer, too. He rattles off statistics at local talks he gives about exactly how he grows so sustainably, often including surprising facts. For example, he leaves his roots in the ground after harvest to feed the worms. He sounds a bit like a Martin Luther King for growing green:

Sustainable farming methods are just one corner,” he said. “Economic sustainability is another, and social sustainability is the third.”

During a recent Sunday farmers’ market, representatives of several different agricultural organizations approached Kaiser, each asking him for advice. Now, when billed for talks, he often packs the house.

Kaiser envisions small farms near every city around the globe, even in the most dry, arid climates, and with the proof of his own sweat, and soil, I believe his dream is possible.

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