I have just finished planting a food forest of 400 trees (200 more will follow) on a 7 000 square meter stretch of land where vetch was planted last year before we started our permaculture food forest plan. The vetch will be ready in July, like it was last year.
My father in law usually would harvest the vetch with agriculture machines and make bales with them, sell them off at 10 bucks a piece. Then he would leave the ground bare until October when he would add more vetch beans, plow the ground and flatten it out.
Now, I intend to use the permaculture method. I plan to harvest the vetch old style, cutting it with a hand tool. I would like to learn how you guys proceed in doing this exactly.
- Do you harvest it all or leave some behind?
- What will cover the ground after it is harvested.
- How do you sow the seeds? Dont birds just eat them all up?
- Is there an option to leave the vetch in place and not harvest it at all? is that better for the earth to rehabilitate itself? Will it then sprout naturally in october?
- Is there a second ground cover crop I can use until october (I would love to have another crop of vetch or other nitrogen fixer. Vetch really thrives and seems to attract thousands of ladybugs to my land).
- Whatever I plant in July, I will have a 60 or so honeydew melon seedlings ready to plant amongst the whole crop. I will also have an amaranth patch, carrots...
My plan now, apart from the ground cover, is create a path that cuts the land in half and add drip irrigation on its side. Then I'll put my lupin seedling and flowers along that path, to give my ladybugs a humid place to go to and establish permanent colonies.