The function of a fetching area lies in the fact that somewhere the material, the dry matter, must be given to the earth in the form of carbon, which bacteria need as an energy form to be able to live on. Bacteria also need minerals for their build-up. When bacteria die, those minerals are released for the build-up of the plants. Because a garden does not belong to nature, a garden requires many times more organic matter than would happen with normal plant growth in nature. As an example; grass grows up to the moment it shoots into seed, from green to bloom, to seed and then die in the form of hay on a stem. Only then does the grass return to the ground and provide the soil with organic matter again. All this happens because the sun gives light, and the plant absorbs CO2 from the air, as well as nitrogen, which is also in the air. What gives them back especially at night is oxygen. Since a garden is not the same as nature, we have to remove organic matter from another place in order to provide the garden with enough organic matter to promote bacterial growth, because garden plants demand more from the soil than plants in the wild. (Garden plants are improved natural plants. That means that they mainly need more minerals to produce a food product). It is then not about more N.P.K. for that only confuses the plant and the result is one-sided growth, with a lot of plant and little taste. The minerals give the plant flavor, and nitrate, phosphate and potash give a plant more growth but less flavor. There are about 47 minerals, and the number keeps shifting as the measurements, due to the technique, also become more refined.
Get field yield.
Last year I harvested less hay than the years before. Immediately 5 years ago I was sitting on 11 to 12 m3 of hay, of 600 m2. 2 years ago I was at 11 m3, last year 2020, 4 m3, and after heating 2 m3. Perhaps it is because less rain fell, but the yield decreased. Is it because of the less rainfall, or is it because the organic matter does decline. Because the organic matter content of the soil can also decrease, because no plowing (reversal) of the soil takes place, so that there is no soil activity. (Lack of oxygen). And, because there is also no supply of organic matter (it is a fetch area), the total yield became remarkably little. If I first assumed that the sun provided the amount of light that is necessary to guarantee the yield (it has not changed here in the Alentejo), I still get the idea that I should look for it in the soil activity. I found the following on the internet: Initially, farmers used the two-stroke system in the Middle Ages. This method of tilling involved a farmer splitting his land in two. In turn, half of the land lay fallow and the other half was used mainly for the cultivation of grain. Every year the land use circulated: the following year the fallow land was sown. This mainly concerns agricultural land, so not horticulture, so that food products such as grain and tubers in particular were seen as the crop.
Transition to the three-stroke system In the early Middle Ages, around 750, a new tillage method emerged in agriculture: the three-stroke system. In the 9th century, the custom arose to periodically leave soil fallow: grain sowing did not take place in the last year of a three-year cycle. Lying fallow took on a more passive meaning, and the term expanded from breaking itself to "leaving it broken." The present, somewhat broader meaning of fallow has arisen from this: Charlemagne in particular propagated this new processing system, which was subsequently applied mainly in present-day (North) Western Europe, in parts of France, Flanders, the Netherlands, and German areas. and England.
Then the four-stroke system came into use, so turnips, clover, root crops and grasses ..., The term fallow comes from agricultural practice. Leaving land fallow was originally understood to mean that the soil was left unsown for some time, but was actively tilled. During this fallow period of usually one year, the arable land was plowed ('broken') and tilled a number of times. Such treatment was considered necessary because soil processes and the root growth of the vegetation had compacted the soil too much. The breaking of the top layer, this 'fallow', was a heavy and intensive job, the aim of which was to loosen the soil. In this way mineralization was stimulated and thus the fertility of the soil increased. They also hoped to combat the weeds in this way.
To get back to my piece of fetching area, the yield decreased and I wondered whether that was due to a lack of organic matter, rain, fertilizer I did not want to use, because in nature that does not take place, or I had taking action, by converting the soil, plowing or digging, or was there some other way to solve the problem. to cultivate it, lying fallow as a moment in the total, and to use the soil as a fetch area. Farmers realized this early on, and if you don't want to use manure, because you don't want to keep animals and eat meat, then the only solution is to have the soil recover from the load that a crop carries. The soil is converted, and therefore receives more oxygen, because of the processes that have to take place in the soil, if it is to remain fertile, but no large harvests are expected. The hay that is then extracted from it is used for compost for the garden. This is only possible if several crops are grown and a village is dependent on them, given the labor, so it is also a matter of labor and time to get there. It is also possible to choose a different piece of land each time, to see the fetching area as part of a total. This means that you have to make good agreements with the pastor (shepherd) who will use the sheep to keep the area bare, and to change terrain every three to four years. It would be optimal to use the four-stroke system, so Peas and beans-grain-grass-fallow, and then again. The vegetables then come from the garden, the grass is composted - before the garden. And the beans and peas with the vegetables, and grain as porridge or bread.
Then we have the '' no digging '', which means that the soil is not converted at all, and there is only a litter layer of organic material on the bottom is being laid. This is possible in a garden, but not in agriculture, and then I still have my doubts whether there will be enough oxygen in the soil, if you do not convert the soil at all. That would have to be converted by worms, but here in Portugal worms do not go from top to bottom, but remain horizontally at the same depth. Those worms mainly eat soil containing bacteria. In my experience they make the soil slimy and sticky in pots. But let's assume that, by eating soil and bacteria, they enrich the soil, then in principle you should see the worm earth as fertilization (that's animal, right?). Another option is to compost the peas and bean straw, along with the straw of grain, and people's feces, plus the waste from the garden (which can be disease-carrying). The book by F.H. King, Four Thousand Years of Circular Agriculture, goes into this in depth. He observed agriculture there in China, in his time, and at that time. Everything was used to increase the yields of small plots of land. From ditch waste to faeces (that is, faeces). And China was able to provide itself with food at the time. That is also the premise of this story. Providing yourself with food, and not being dependent on industrial food, so I have the choice to dig in the autumn, just before winter comes, so the rain and the cold, the fetching area (600 m2) to dig, the sod with the roots underneath, in a Dutch way. Or leave the place and sing it out. I'm going to consider!