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6527Re: [fukuoka_farming] What do plants eat? (was: hay is enough!)

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  • Tradingpost
    Oct 6, 2007
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      Not saying plant cells feed directly on living organisms at all. But here's
      the position of the Food & Agriculture Organization at the U.N. This is as
      strong an argument against chemicals and for organics as can be found
      anywhere.

      paul tradingpost@...
      ------------------------------------------
      from
      http://www.fao.org/DOCREP/005/AD090E/AD090E00.HTM
      that link was good as of Jul 25, 2007 but now it's in google cache

      Organic matter, microbes, and plant health

      "Soil organisms contribute a wide range of essential services to the
      sustainable
      functioning of all ecosystems. They act as the primary driving agents of:
      nutrient cycling, regulating the dynamics of soil organic matter, soil
      carbon
      sequestration and greenhouse gas emissions; modifying soil physical
      structure
      and water regimes; enhancing the amount and efficiency of nutrient
      acquisition
      by the vegetation; and enhancing plant health. These services are not only
      critical to the functioning of natural ecosystems but constitute an
      important
      resource for sustainable agricultural systems."

      "Each type of soil organism occupies a different niche in the web of life
      and
      favours a different substrate and nutrient source. Most soil organisms rely
      on
      organic matter for food; thus a rich supply and varied source of organic
      matter
      will generally support a wider variety of organisms."

      "Building of soil fertility is the cornerstone of organic agriculture.
      Organic
      practices create suitable conditions for soil biotic and abiotic resources
      through: manipulation of crop rotations and strip-cropping; green manuring
      and
      organic fertilization (animal manure, compost, crop residues); minimum
      tillage;
      and avoidance of pesticides and herbicides use. Scientific research in
      Europe
      has demonstrated that organically-managed soils significantly increase
      biological activity and total density and diversity of soil
      micro-organisms.
      Such biodiversity enhances nutrients recycling and soil structure."

      from Organic Agriculture: The Challenge of Sustaining Food Production,
      United
      Nations Sub-Group Meeting on Wildlife, Biodiversity and Organic
      Agriculture,
      Ankara, Turkey, 15-16 April 2003
      http://www.fao.org/DOCREP/005/AD090E/AD090E00.HTM


      *********** REPLY SEPARATOR ***********

      On 10/6/2007 at 1:37 AM Dieter Brand wrote:

      >Paul,
      >
      > This is new to me. I had the impression that when people in organics
      > talk about feeding plants, they too talk mainly in terms "nutrients"
      >(dead
      > substances like NPK), even when these nutrients derive from an organic
      > source. Hence the eternal discussions about soil tests. My impression is

      > that organics is still fettered by the bounds of the old agrochemical
      >thinking,
      > which translates into an insecurity on the part of organic producers as
      > to the justification for organics. I think, as long as we try to justify
      >organics
      > by using the analytical tools (soil tests, nutrient value of vegetables
      >and
      > other chemical analysis) of the agrochemical industry, there is always
      > the risk of sliding back to the NPK-mentality. It is just so easy to
      >open
      > that bag of fertilizers.
      >
      > Even somebody like Ana Primavesi (who's work has been described in
      > English by Ronald Bunch) is still talking in terms of nutrients and not
      > of biological soil activity when she showed with her Nutrient Access
      > Concept (NAC) that plants can grow on a small part of the nutrients
      > usually recommended by the agrochemists in terms of the Nutrient
      > Quantity Concept (NQC).
      >
      > I think this question is important, because if we accept that plant
      > cells feed directly on living organisms, then the true suicidal madness
      > of using toxic substances in agriculture becomes as clear as daylight
      > and there ceases to be any need for justifying organics, because doing
      > anything else would be like playing Russian roulette with the entire
      > drum full of bullets. In fact, it would mean that the effect of a
      > poisonous substance could be transmitted by a living soil organism
      > to the plant and from there to the human body even if a chemical
      > analysis shows that the toxicity of a pesticide or herbicide has gone
      > below a dangerous level.
      >
      > Dieter Brand
      > Portugal
      >
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