The best way to get a creative compromise about this supposed problem of 'No compost' (it isn't one really, in fact) is to watch this You Tube video:
(3 X 10-minute parts)
Emilia does her own voiceover, in English, but with a heavy -- and very charming -- Spanish accent. And there's a LOT of vital detail in what she says. So it's well worth running back and playing things over again if you don't get them exactly first time.
As she makes clear, she does make compost, from all those household kitchen scraps (I make it from humanure also, from my composting, non-flushing john; but that's another story). But all of Emilia's compost is used as potting medium for her greenhouse seedlings. It goes out to the raised beds around the roots of the young plants, when they're planted out. Other than that, no compost is spread.
But the really important point about compost on the beds is that there's lots of it anyway, but you don't have to make it in bins and then carry it and spread it. Too much unnecessary work! Too much busy interfering and "We can improve on Nature" thinking. Remember that Fukuoka-san called his method 'Do nothing farming'.
Instead, what you do is this: As well as never disturbing the soil and the topping deep mulch any more than the very localised absolute minimum when planting and harvesting, you also leave all plant roots where they grew (except for the root vegetables which you mean to harvest, of course); and, after some wilting and trampling on the walkways between the beds when necessary, you leave all the above-ground foliage on the beds where it grew.
Voila! Instant mulch, which is turned by the soil community into in-situ compost over the next few months. In a nutshell, you leave the compost to make itself automatically, in the place where it's needed, not in a separate bin. Or rather, you leave the usual soil-community suspects to make it, in situ.
Further very big sources of plant food in the soil come from the decomposing bodies of the masses of soil micro-organisms in a healthy 'wild' soil, after they die; and from the equally weighty mass of worm-casts placed just where your food plants need them, free of all charge, by the earthworms.
Furthermore, in answer to the big question: 'Well, if we're taking lots of food out of the beds, how is that removed nutrient replaced?' the answer lies in what Emilia calls The Fundamental Reality of Fukuoka Farming', thus:
"The Fundamental Reality that Underlies Fukuoka's Principles
Soil is created by living plants working with microorganisms, and by the plants' residues and the microorganisms' corpses after their death.
Soil is drained of nutrients by cultivation, NOT by plants.
Tilling and cultivation of any sort diminishes the natural fertility of the soil in three ways:
...· Mechanical grinding of the soil particles reduces their size and smooths them. This greatly reduces the size and number of micro-cavities between the particles, which are the habitats of balanced bacteria breathing out gases essential to mineral absorption and plants' health.
...· Tilling kills vital microorganisms in the soil by exposing them to excessive oxygen in the air.
...· And tilling exposes the organic matter in the rhizosphere (soil around the roots) to the atmospheric gases, precipitating the combustion of the humus, turning it into soluble mineralized nutrients . This provides a quick fertilizer for the plants, but at the cost of destroying permanently the texture and tilth of the organic, humic, rich soil, which accelerates erosion as well as contamination of the watertable with nitrates.
Minerals and trace elements, although present in soil, may not be accessible to plants due to the absence of the microorganisms (killed by tilling, pollution, or the use of herbicides or pesticides) that participate in the plant's mineral nutritional process. Just as microflora in our own digestive systems are needed so that our bodies can absorb and use the nutrients of the ingested food, microorganisms in the soil perform the same function for plants.
In crops, if the edible parts of a plant are harvested and the rest left to return to the soil, the organic mass left by the decaying plants will be superior to the volume of nutrients taken from the soil.
A plant gets up to 95% of all the nutrients it needs from the sky (gases and sunlight), NOT the soil. Of the 5% taken from the soil, half of it is the essential nutrient nitrogen, which, if the plant is grown in combination with a legume, can also come from the air.
ONLY 2 1/2% of the total nutrition of a plant IS COMING EXCLUSIVELY FROM THE SOIL in the form of soluble minerals and trace elements.
That is the fundamental reality that underlies and supports Fukuoka's principles of: No tilling, No fertilizer, No weeding, and No pesticides or herbicides. Natural agriculture refutes and disproves the foundation of current agronomical logic, and because it does it is seen as heresy by most of the agronomic community.
Fukuoka proposes, and supports with evidence, the first fundamental agronomic reform since agriculture was invented."
-- Emilia Hazelip"
As you'll see from the video, Emilia describes the Four Principles there slightly differently, like this:
* No tillage of any description, ever.
* No fertiliser of any description is needed. (Including compost and poultry manure! They do no harm, of course, if you have some to scatter on. But they AIN'T NECESSARY!)
* No chemical treatments of any kind, ever.
* No compaction of the soil.
She also points out that your beds will be an evolving system, changing over a number of seasons, as they work there way towards their own climax ecosystem. So stick with it when things seem to go haywire the first year or two. It DOES get better!