EVON's Bio-intensive Methods
How to prepare beds, plant trees, & prepare bio-pesticides
Here is a list of useful handouts and other information we have prepared over the past three years based on our research results.
IMPROVING SOIL FERTILITY
Our best yields are with Nepali Biointensive practices, easy ways to prepare a rich bed for vegetables. Our research shows that biointensive beds produce 1.1 to 1.5 times MORE than chemical fertilizer.
Gitimal -- Liquid nutrients for plants and soil. Soil benefits from adding fermented plant juice. Healthy soil requires health microbes and fungus. This mixture will increase activity.
How to make a 2 foot deep vegetable bed (similar to double digging). Making a 2 ft deep bed is labor intensive, but is good for deep root crops like tomatoes and asparagus. For most vegetable crops we recommend a 4 inch deep bed (sheet composting above).
Strong roots produce a strong plant if they have healthy soil to grow. Notice that tomato roots go much deeper than others. This is a reason to prepare a 2 foot deep bed for tomatoes.
Urine as Fertilizer. Cow and human urine are good fertilizers.
- Dynamic Accumulators -- we can manipulate the content of certain nutrients in finished compost by adding larger quantities of local plants that are known to be high in those nutrients. For example, to make a compost high in phosphorous, we may focus on additions of mustards, buckwheat, alfalfa, walnut husk, corn, sunflowers, marigolds. We discuss this process in our Advanced training. See below for some resources.
- The importance of compost-making and preparation.
FRUIT AND NUT TREE CULTIVATION
How to plant and manage fruit and nut trees: VERY IMPORTANT! Good planting means good production. Planting a tree is an investment for future income. If you follow instructions, you will get good results.
INSECT AND DISEASE MANAGEMENT
Daniel Formulation -- a treatment for several insect pests, including aphids, made with local materials.
Kumre Kira (White Grub) are very difficult to control. Hand picking is effective. Light trapping stops theadult beetles from reproducing. A small CFL (or other) bulb is suspended over a basin of water with a small amount of vegetable oil. Beetles are attracted to the light, fall in the water and die. It also catches some moths. In one night we sometimes catch more than 100 beetles in one basin. We have tried Metarhizium Anisoplaea with uncertain results, and nematodes are also inconclusive. Other treatments like ketuke (agave) and neem products were not effective.
- Gobar Goop -- a formulation of local resources to help prevent & heal tree wounds and infections.
***Also see "EVON's Insect & Disease Inventory and Treatments" below for additional pest treatment strategies.
COMPLETED RESEARCH PROJECTS
- SRI Rice (System of Rice Intensification) -- SRI Rice differs from the traditional Nepali method of growing rice, which usually transplants 4-5 seedlings in one hole, and keeps the terrace flooded. SRI Rice is grown with only one seedling per hole with 8-14 day old seedlings, and irrigated ____, with seedlings transplanted slightly farther, about 25-30cm apart.
- EVON's Insect & Disease Inventory and Treatments -- The resulting report of a 3-year research project at EVON in partnership with ____.
- EVON's Soil & Materials Nutrient Analysis -- See the lab analysis data for pina, wood ash, bonemeal, and compost samples taken at EVON, as well as our general soil characteristics from samples taken ___.
Nutrient contents of local materials
Nutrient contents of local plants (scan)
EVON's soil analysis (scan)
- EVON's 3-year Yield Comparison Study -- Compared between five treatments of 1) sheet-composting; 2) 1-ft double-digging; 3) 2-ft double-digging; 4) Nepali traditional; and 5) chemical fertilizer. Funded by the Dzi Foundation through the ZORO project. Overall yields were highest in the biointensive sheet-composted beds, and lowest in the traditional Nepali-style beds.