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3185Re: Compaction planting

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  • animaphile
    Jul 1, 2003
      --- In fukuoka_farming@yahoogroups.com, "Gloria C. Baikauskas"
      <gcb49@f...> wrote:
      > When doing some reading about knotweed.....a source of interest
      > since finding that piece I sent about the indigenous people in S.
      > Illiois whose city was found not long ago whose food staple
      > largely of pancakes made from the flour from seeds of
      > found this on a Texas A&M University website to do with soil
      > compaction on athletic fields.
      > "Goosegrass and prostrate Knotweed are the best examples of
      > compaction resistant plants and are good indicators of high soil
      > compaction."
      > Now, what I am wondering considering that plants are indicators of
      > problems....and nature's way of fixing them.....if planting
      > and goosegrass in highly compacted areas is not advisable. If
      > uses these plants when soil is compacted......should we not find
      > if it is to remedy in some way the compaction? Does anyone know?
      > I also found much information saying that planting Japanse
      > is an offense in several countries for its invasive nature. This
      > common knotweed in the above text is not included in that. I am
      > curious to know if Norie, or Michyo can give us information on any
      > uses in Japan of this Japanese knotwood.
      > Gloria

      Thanks Gloria,
      i've noticed Polygonum/Persicaria species, some of which are
      knotweeds in Oz English plant common names, growing predomininantly
      in some compacted soils or soils which are otherwise 'hard' for many
      plants to grow in.

      In biological science there is an important hypothesis, as all
      science is hypothesis, called the "Regeneration Niche", now while
      niche theories may not be too real or really important for humans or
      in nature, the theory of each plant species each having specialised
      more or less limited conditions in which it's seeds germinate is
      empirically more than just a theory.

      Knotweeds, most of which are introduced to Oz from outside Oz and
      unnecessarily so, in my experience are very effective germinators on
      hardened soil surfaces or generally compacted ground. They may then
      serve to break up more or less gradually that surface or soil
      compaction allowing plants with different seed germination
      requirements to germinate and grow by themselves.

      Compaction is a very important human-initiated degradation which has
      often been overlooked and makes a huge difference in plant quality
      and species of plant that regenerate.

      Land around my house has now after 2-3 years since cattle and
      tractors were nearly completely taken off, and in spite of being
      covered where cleared of bush by disclimax (diversity suppressing -
      eaten & regulated normally African mega fauna) African Kikuyu grass
      up to 3-4 ft high, now, there are native wattle species, valuable
      food, regenerating by themselves.

      The Black Wattle is exactly the same species that Fukuoka san uses/d
      in his orchard as an introduction from Oz, it is endemic to Oz, and
      i also have very beautiful, W.E.-valuable-wood, rich-seed-food,
      Blackwood wattle coming up in this 1 metre thick rank grass now.
      This is the opposite to what local grazier farmers initially said -
      'that nothing would grow in the Kik' if i didn't graze cattle on

      Many more plant species are or will come up in it too, and
      compaction by hard hoofed W.E.-society-derived-agriculture animals
      like cattle is one of the main reasons why the bush didn't come back
      quicker initially that they were removed - there was a lag time of 2
      or so years for the Kik' and the living soil itself to aerate itself
      enough for taller plant to be able to survive and grow through the

      Gloria did you read the article that i linked to some weeks ago
      ( http://www.nccnsw.org.au/bushland/reference/mbrw/mbrw04.html )
      It is particularly down to earth and informative as to how to and
      who to link up with to regenerate many of the different types of
      landscapes irrespective of the emphasis of their human-use from down
      to earth integrated practice and philosophy. Some other articles in
      this publication are also very to the point, and many are about or
      include urban areas.

      The article that Jean-Claude linked to recently:
      ( http://membres.lycos.fr/xbeluga/originsofagriculture.html )

      From the very partial - the most conservative parts of the Oz
      scientific community, the Commonwalth Scientific & Industrial
      Research Organisation (CSIRO), comes the following 2 wake-ups,
      admissions and actions for us in Oz:

      - Compaction is a substantial factor in these Oz-wide W.E.
      agriculture problems mentioned below.

      Making farming sustainable - Lyndal Reading
      Traditional farming is devastating the environment and causing
      extensive salinity. It's the claim, not from a hysterical greenie,
      but from CSIRO. Despite all the talk about sustainable agriculture,
      Dr John Williams from CSIRO Land and Water says what farmers
      currently do is simply not sustainable at all. He says its very hard
      to find agricultural land use at the moment that can have a water
      balance that does not leak water into the underground system, a
      potential hazard for salinity levels. He says the ones that do have
      an economic cost. He says one of the major causes to salinity of the
      Murray is the changed water balance from the Mallee. He says deep
      rooted perennials and shrubs in the agricultural landscape, breeding
      our way out of it and using more native species are part of the
      Dr John Williams : CSIRO Land and Water

      "No more leaky agriculture, says CSIRO scientist"
      Wednesday, 27 October 1999

      Pic: CSIRO

      Australia needs a complete rethink on the nation's agricultural
      resources and how we use them, warned CSIRO Land and Water Deputy
      Chief Dr John Williams, at The Regional Australia Summit being held
      in Canberra.

      According to the organisers, the summit is being held to bring
      together business and community to take a hard look at the problems
      facing the bush. Dr Williams' ideas are part of a background paper.

      "The search for farming systems and land use patterns that do not
      harm the environment is urgent. It must form a central plank in any
      strategy for regional development in Australia," he said.

      "Our European style of agriculture is mining the reservoirs of
      carbon and nutrients in our soils, as well as leaking water,
      nutrients and pesticides to groundwater, rivers and wetlands," Dr
      Williams says. "It is the very leaky nature of Australian agro-
      ecosystems that lies at the root of nearly all land and water
      degradation problems."

      Rural Australia already has begun the process of change with
      programs such as Landcare and more attention to sustainable
      practice. But Dr Williams believes there needs to be a national
      strategic research effort to design alternative land use practices
      which can support rural communities.

      "A key strategic focus is to build productive agro-ecosystems that
      leak much less water, nutrient and carbon to the landscape in which
      they are located."

      "Farm forestry, new agricultural production systems and restoration
      of native vegetation present opportunities to restructure the
      landscape with vegetation that has a similar water-use pattern to
      the original bushland. The use of native plants and animals may form
      an increasing part of rural production. Bush foods, native
      wildflowers, oils, pharmaceuticals and industrial chemicals are all
      receiving increasing attention."

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