The month of March and type of crops planted are for example only. These will vary on every farm. But beans need to be planted after nitrogen using plants like corn. Goat grazing, composting, cover seeding with a fast germinating grass and roto-tilling are done during the two 2 month fallow periods. Remember that 1 acre is not in production at any point time.
The ideal model farm will demonstrate 2 families planting and harvesting together as a team. The farmers stagger the planting by 2 to 6 weeks. This will result in staggered harvest times and spread out market supply. The work load will be more spread out with months 5 and 6 open for field preparation and farm improvements. Each farm’s chart will be different biased on crops, planted and the results of the seasonal reports. There may be seasons when less profitable crops must be planted for the good of future harvests and the health of the soil.
The planting and harvesting concepts presented in the following sections are based on the organic five acre farm in Nevada Iowa, USA. This farm is operated by one farmer with two part time helpers with minical mechanisation. It utilizes many of the techniques that are being attempted in the Bwiko farms. The size of the farm, and the quatity and types of crops will vary depending on what the African farmer wants to do.
The planting tables demonstrate eight crops with four acres in production and one in fallow. A smaller farm may be ideal and the farmer could plant as few as two crops and rotate, such as corn and beans. A seasonal report shoud be filled for each crop grown or animal type kept, during planting and harvesting times.