corn is a massive crop in Taiwan, i see it everywhere north and south. around my farm there is 4 farms finishing up right now. this with most smaller type farms is they use crop rotation (as they should) and corn isnt often repeatedly planted. some places still get issues after a 7 year crop rotation with corn (not taiwan). most of th farms i see here rotate tehse: peanuts, corn, bean, tomatoes, rice. there are others but those are the dominant ones around me. and many farmers can pull out 5 crops a year when they get things rollign really good (not rice), simply amazing.
yes and no. they are pretty good at growing multiple crops under the betel nut, but at least what i see they are not any more knowledgeable than any other farmer...maybe less. look how fucked the mountains in taiwan are from betel nut farming. maybe they know better, but are not smart enough to change it. betel nut is in my opinion the easiest farming for the money, hands down. little effort, few pests and trees cant be pruned take no care. fertilize once in a while, spray even less and just wait to you clip the nuts and make a bung of money.
betel nut farmers are commonly the ones with more money. but organic is talking hold in Taiwan. i know a lot of farmings are going organic now, mostly younger ones, and they are making a killing once they get their system down and a market. i know there are organic grocers always looking for organic fresh veg/fruit. I was asked a few times, but the biggest issue is being able to supply consistently, not as easy as it sounds. for me i dont want the stress that comes with. but to those willing, it is very good money, relative to standard monoculture chemical dependent farming.
Not quite. The gov here doenst want sand sitting unused. So they give you money annually (they wont give YOU, they will give the owner, which in my case is my wifes dad so we get it ). Economic type something. i dont know what they call it. But if your farming it you can apply for money. its not a lot, and i think its based on land size...i dont know the details. he would not give it to us because he thought we were not growing enough and there were too many weeds...he saw weeds and didnt bother looking and seeing we have about 150 species we are cultivating....
ya that was year one in winter, dry season. garbage dirt, 100%. but now, even after this last dry period where we had about 4 days of rain during october-june it is lush (with weeds). plowing causes it. kills all protection from the sun and scorches the surface, then nothing grows well. keep the soil covered, even with plastic, and it stays moist...not much evaporation. your land sounds much nicer, cause its kind of forest. but it will get bad if let go. sounds like you got it going on though.
do you know the species you see? i dont know what mine is, but if its the same as yours, dont underestimate it. it doesnt need seeds. it roots from anyway on the stem, not just the node. it covers and roots. even a neighboring plot can cover next door in weeks if left unchecked. im not sure if disturbed is its only habitat, but it needs sun. it doesnt do shade well. it covers trees in the mountains here where there is ample sunlight. literally covers, like a blanket. the leaves are like uneven arrows. i need to get a pic.
just keep your weeds in check and its all good. I tried using dead weeds (i let them back on the black plastic for a few days.....but be careful, when it rains all you're doing is making cuttings) as a mulch. putting up to 2 feet of weeds on top of the dirt...it didnt stop the weeds from under growing at all. thats why i started usiong the plastic. as long as its kept fairly clear on top, nothing grows on it. but with that, keep it crackless. see here how hte weeds sneek up on you when the plastic separates.
1 week of seperation, thankfully that time only grass.
even without vines, grass can be pretty heavy too. this is after 4 weeks vacation in our greenhouse. 5 feet tall, it was bare dirt when we left.... :fume:
here is my process now.
first lay done the plastic over top of all the weeds. really woody things like Solanum torvum i chop at ground level. i put bricks down along the edges. they dont all stay in place as there is a lot of air underneath until the plants die, so it needs to be snugged up after all the weeds have died underneath.
once all the weeds (well, most) have died down, i bring all the edges together and brick them.
once trees are in, the plastic stays in place far better. Like here, even in a flood and typhoon the plastic doesn't move at all. in this spot all i need to do is whack em down around the edges and the odd few that grow out around the tree bases. when i weed i always just cram the weeds under the plastic. they die and add lots of organic matter to the soil.
here are some of the common weeds we see here. that arrow shape one is in this pic, though in this spot it is more under control.