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12187RE: [fukuoka_farming] Ants

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  • Linda Shewan
    May 29, 2011
      In dry areas ants play the part of earthworms creating tunnels throughout
      the soil that moisture can trickle into. So definitely beneficial!



      See this article re: dryland farming
      http://www.ausfoodnews.com.au/2011/04/05/csiro-ants-and-termites-boost-wheat
      -crops.html



      Cheers, Linda







      From: fukuoka_farming@yahoogroups.com
      [mailto:fukuoka_farming@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Harish Amur
      Sent: Saturday, 28 May 2011 12:22 AM
      To: fukuoka_farming@yahoogroups.com
      Subject: [fukuoka_farming] Jowar mulching & a few questions





      Please see some pictures of our experiment with Jowar mulching
      https://picasaweb.google.com/102576450887783733401/JowarMulching?authkey=Gv1
      sRgCMGlpMTW1ICeXw
      <https://picasaweb.google.com/102576450887783733401/JowarMulching?authkey=Gv
      1sRgCMGlpMTW1ICeXw&feat=directlink> &feat=directlink

      A few questions:
      1. What do we do with the weed? It has to be manually cut. Personally, I
      would not even cut it, let it be. The corn crop will be harvested
      soon(?)(May be we grew corn in a wrong season (Feb - June)) Once the corn
      crop is harvested, the corn stems will be cut and provide for mulching.

      2. Can we use a stone roller on the weeds, so that they serve as mulching.
      If we leave them to grow, they may outgrow the sugar cane crop :) These
      weeds also have thorns, so I am advised by local farmers to treat them when
      they are tender.

      3. What do you do for seeds? I have been having a tough time finding local
      seeds. Of course, Annadana - Auroville is a great help, but they provide
      mostly vegetable seeds. Green foundation in Karnataka is another option, I
      have approached them. However I am yet to get the seeds.

      4. Are ants a good thing for the farm? We have a lots of big black ants and
      they seem to be doing something to the soil. From what I have seen, they
      seem to be cultivating the soil. The processed soil is almost like fine
      dust, with larger granules, slightly bigger than sand granules. Of course,
      this is in the drier parts of the farm(not enough mulch to cover all the
      area yet). I did not want to disturb the mulch to check ants' activity.

      Your thoughts will definitely help me!

      Regards,
      Harish

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