This helpful book has been provided free of charge by the Aloha House to the wider network. ECHO Asia believes that these resources are well researched and useful to the majority of ECHO Asia network members. For more information, please contact Keith Mikkelson, the author.

===========================================================

This book is an important work for tropical agriculture. There are very few resources that are truly “organic” and practical for the everyday farmer in the tropical setting. This book covers material that is extremely useful for the day-to-day operation of a farm or garden. It contains planning material that takes into account logistics as well as timetables.

This is not a guide for the agronomy student. I have identified several species that work well for us, but I do not have a planting guide for rice or corn or vegetables. These guides are readily obtained from seed suppliers and general horticultural works. If the reader looks carefully, he will find that I have given a system for natural fertilization in place of the chemical recommendations by traditional methods. Some creative adaptation will be required if your conditions and climate vary. We have a high acid clay soil that was rainforest at one time. Over the years a cogan grass has established itself. That is our starting point and our formulas can be changed for particular challenges that the reader may be facing.

This is not a How-to-do-it manual. Rather, this is a HOW-WEDO-IT book based on my “Sustainable Agriculture in the Tropics” manual. It has been used to train and equip hundreds of small-scale farmers and gardeners in the natural farming adventure. It is an adventure worth taking, as few things in life will improve general health and well being as much as quality food products grown to their full potential.

Keith O. Mikkelson – Fall 2005

29 Issues in this Publication (Showing issues 7 - 0)

Sustainable Agriculture Book - Chapter 7 Crop Rotation - 2005-01-20

Proper crop rotation is Fundamental #1. It will beat the disease and pest cycle while promoting nutrient cycling. This is a forgotten age-old method to assure the health of future crops. It is of the utmost importance to minimize nutrient loss for long-range success.

When the same plant is continually grown in the same place, then the same nutrients are required. This will exhaust certain nutrients, depending on the crop. When different crops are grown in rotation, the nutrients, such as trace elements, will not be as  quickly depleted. Deep-rooted plants will bring up more elements from deeper layers of sub-soil. When used as green fertilizer or compost they will return trace minerals and nutrients to the topsoil for future plantings of shallower feeders.

Sustainable Agriculture Book - Chapter 6 The_Ten_Fundamentals - 2005-01-20

We gardeners, farmers and food growers are always looking for new technology, but a large body of information is already available to us. When I scan resources from A to Z, I find many interesting titles that are widely published and now available from Amazon books, Acres USA, ATTRA and various world wide web internet sites. I see a consensus forming. The material promotes certain ideas and concepts.

Sustainable Agriculture Book - Chapter 5 Basic_Inoculation - 2005-01-20

EM Extended is now ready to use as a diluted solution. It’s part of the Big Solution. If you feed the soil and manage it according to the 10 Fundamentals you will see tangible results. We will discuss these fundamentals in the following chapters. Let’s go over the basic application procedure for EM Extended first. Then I will tell you how we do it at Aloha House. Once you have the hang of it, there are more advanced applications.

Sustainable Agriculture Book - Chapter 4 Hands_On_EM_Extended - 2005-01-20

It’s time for some hands on farming. This step makes inoculation affordable to the masses. We will grow some microbes. We call this EM Extended. We will make a concoction that used to take me 27 man-hours to make and weeks to watch and monitor while propagating. I had to grow each organism individually. It was labor intensive, as well as expensive. Let me explain.

Sustainable Agriculture Book - Chapter 3 Co-infect_The_Art_of_Inoculation - 2005-01-20

There are billions of microbes in a handful of soil. 90% of these microbes are neutral; they don’t affect the soil toward disease or health when left on their own. However, according to Dr. Higa, in abused or diseased-chemical based soils, 5 to 10% of the overall colony is pathogenic made up of disease causing organisms. They steer the neutral microbes and create low productivity. Some soils are so bad that less than 1% of the organisms are beneficial.

Sustainable Agriculture Book - Chapter 2 The Soil is the Foundation - 2005-01-20

In our seminars we teach the fundamentals of Sustainable Agriculture. Some call it Organic Farming, some Nature Farming, others Natural Farming. There are subtleties that can make them a little different, but the commitment is to safe, quality food production without chemical inputs. If we feed the soil organic matter, then the microbes will feed the plant. Pest and disease management can be obtained naturally. Building up the soil and managing the organic matter as it is converted into humus is an ageold method

Sustainable Agriculture Book - Chapter 1 Modern Agriculture vs Natural Agriculture - 2005-01-20

The Current Model for agriculture started out with the best of intentions. Produce more food for a growing population while shifting the work force to more valuable sectors like industry, manufacturing and high-tech jobs. Attempts were made to help the developing nations tool up to produce more food with less effort.

However, things aren’t improving. Throughout the world food production is becoming less and less reliable, more fragile, and increasingly toxic. Agriculture has been used to mortgage our future. With the modern banking system’s need for expansion, small farms have gone through waves of mergers and acquisitions only Wall Street would understand. Developing countries have sold their birthright to high-tech, high-debt, mono-crop systems that have a built in expiration date. The chemical industry has ridden piggyback on the beast and taken its profits, but the farmlands are spent.

Sustainable Agriculture Book - Introduction - 2005-01-20

When you live in the developing world, you start to see things differently. I started visiting this country on short-term visits with Christian groups in 1995. I surveyed the rural areas and worked with people who were trying to make a difference with the knowledge they had. It’s hard to ignore
some of the problems that are emerging on our near horizon, but of course a local community is painfully aware of its own problems. It was sobering to see first hand, the struggle people endure to survive within the rural farming system.

It was sobering. Entire food growing communities are nominalized due to the high cost of production. Chemical fertilizers have increased four-fold since I moved here in 1998. The lowland farmers have no heritage to pass on to their children. The old system of slash and burn, shifting cultivation is no longer sustainable due to encroaching development and outside pressures. The tribal groups practicing this technique have little to show for their efforts.

Sustainable Agriculture Book - Preface - 2005-01-20

This helpful book has been provided free of charge by the Aloha House to the wider network. ECHO Asia believes that these resources are well researched and useful to the majority of ECHO Asia network members. For more information, please contact Keith Mikkelson, the author.

===========================================================

This book is an important work for tropical agriculture. There are very few resources that are truly “organic” and practical for the everyday farmer in the tropical setting. This book covers material that is extremely useful for the day-to-day operation of a farm or garden. It contains planning material that takes into account logistics as well as timetables.

This is not a guide for the agronomy student. I have identified several species that work well for us, but I do not have a planting guide for rice or corn or vegetables. These guides are readily obtained from seed suppliers and general horticultural works. If the reader looks carefully, he will find that I have given a system for natural fertilization in place of the chemical recommendations by traditional methods. Some creative adaptation will be required if your conditions and climate vary. We have a high acid clay soil that was rainforest at one time. Over the years a cogan grass has established itself. That is our starting point and our formulas can be changed for particular challenges that the reader may be facing.

This is not a How-to-do-it manual. Rather, this is a HOW-WEDO-IT book based on my “Sustainable Agriculture in the Tropics” manual. It has been used to train and equip hundreds of small-scale farmers and gardeners in the natural farming adventure. It is an adventure worth taking, as few things in life will improve general health and well being as much as quality food products grown to their full potential.

Keith O. Mikkelson – Fall 2005