Dear Reader. In this continuing series of seed to soul blog posts, we’re taking you through the entire 20 month process of organic soil preparation, natural teasel seed harvest, teasel planting and growing, harvest methods, and eventually the actual tincture preparation and bottling of the final Fresh Plant Teasel Tincture. (FPTT)
In Blog Post #6 you saw me chopping up the mustard for this next step of roto-tilling. Please understand this is a small 2,000 square foot experimental demonstration plot. In itself, it will produce about 300 to 350 liters of finished FPTT with 1600-1800 plants on 14 inch row spacing. If in fact, I put up a larger sector for Teasel production next year, say 20,000 square feet, about a half an acre, I would typically call up the neighbor farmer to come by with his 115 horsepower four wheel drive diesel tractor and his 8 foot wide flail mower to do the chopping.
It would take him longer to hitch up his flail mower and drive down here than it would take him to do a half acre of grinding everything to bits.
Small organic farmers like us don’t need big machinery. We just need great fresh veggies to barter with those who have all the big expensive tractors. In my case, I have 20 tons of prime spring hay every year for local barter credits. That’s how rural farm life works in old France. Same idea with incorporating the green manure into the soil. This Honda tiller is most excellent for small plots up to a about half an acre. Beyond that, I’d call in a tractor to make very short work of certain steps in this 20 month program of teasel production.
Here again, notice the brown soil on the right fully conditioned. This ground also had mustard turned into the soil but about two weeks previous.
Once this soils sits for a few weeks, I’ll begin replanting with a mix of phacelia and Sarrasin (Buckwheat) Both of these cover crops have plenty of time in our fall season to sprout and grow a nice thick cover to overwinter and protect the soil. https://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sarrasin_(plante)
Once this cover mix is up and growing by mid-September, I’ll sew in the teasel seed that will be demonstrated in Blog #9 coming up. In that blog, I’ll explain the overall germination experiment I’m attempting with this fall teasel planting. If it works out, this will be a huge time, money and back ache saver for anybody who wants to grow some organic teasel on a significant commercial scale . (Production above three to ten thousand plants per year.)