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711natives/non-natives

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  • J. P.
    Jul 1, 2002
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      >>>This brings up the whole discussion of natives and the import of other
      non-native species. I assumed that the Fukoka techniques support the
      establisment of native species and avoiding introduction of
      non-native. However I do realize that in my little home garden which
      is the only place I get to try out Fukoka's ideas I am using
      non-native vegetables and fruits.

      Hi, I've been lurking for a while here. I'm reading Natural Way of Farming
      and asked so many Fukuoka questions on another email list that a member here
      pointed out this list.

      in fact, your question is one of the ones I ponder. I live in Southern
      California, where "natives" is an entirely different category than
      "vegetables", most of our vegetable varieties having their origins in far
      wetter climates. I got interested in Calif native edibles and have been
      doing a lot of research on this. Fukuoka's seedball technique sounded so
      cool, yet so many Calif native edibles would not tolerate this treatment.
      for one thing, many of the calif native edibles that the native americans
      foraged here require fire to germinate or to refresh the edible growth. I
      can just see burning my yard annually, here in the middle of Los Angeles!
      ha! I am wading thru his book, "converting" his plant recommendations to
      more appropriate ones for our climate (for instance the black wattle he
      keeps bringing up!) and I have learned a lot about nitrogen-fixing natives.
      only thing is, so far my list is not edible nitrogen-fixing natives, they're
      ornamentals. so pieces of this don't really come together in my mind, for
      my climate.

      I read an article online about Fukuoka wanting to scatter seedballs in the
      deserts of Africa etc, and I sure wonder what he would put in those
      seedballs. again, I think he mentioned only the black wattle, didn't
      mention anything else. but then isn't that a non-native tree in those
      climates, so aren't you facing either (1) watering or (2) invasion of
      non-natives. I recently watched Bill Moyers' program Earth on Edge which
      had a segment about non-native trees in South Africa soaking up all the
      water. when they began chainsawing the non-native forests, the streams ran
      again. so I think the idea of widescale scattering of non-native seedballs
      is really off the mark, environmentally. I think you'd *have* to research
      local plant cycles and harmonies as I have begun to do for our climate, to
      find the nitro fixers, to find the native edibles, to find the shade trees,
      and the understory shrubs, etc.

      I'll have to research the exact source of the quote, but I read (either
      online or in Natural Way of Farming) that Fukuoka said something to the
      effect of "what's a native", as in, it's a bunch of humbug, we could mix it
      all up. let nature take care of it. I would almost begin to go along with
      that idea, for instance if a plant will survive in my xeriscape, then let it
      stay here, regardless of whether it's from South Africa, Australia,
      wherever. but then I turn to the abovementioned Bill Moyers/South African
      trees example and I see that is so wrong on a large scale. these nonnatives
      are doing things to the ecosystems that we can't see right away. also I've
      been doing a lot of research about native wildlife, from birds, to
      pollinators,etc , and some are so specialized in what few plant species they
      eat, that the "mix em all up, and see what survives" concept is contrary to
      maintenance of that aspect of ecosystem as well.

      enough tirade for my first post

      Joanne
      Los Angeles, Calif
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