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7925Re: [fukuoka_farming] Red Clay for Seed balls

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  • Dieter Brand
    Sep 1, 2008
      I think the idea of buying red clay for making seedballs was probably floated during past discussion in this group.� It is unlikely that Fukuoka would have made such a suggestion.� In subsequent discussions this idea was further embellished by speculations about nutrients in clay etc., thus departing ever further from the basic ideas of natural farming.
      As far as I know, Fukuoka only talks about using �clay in powder form�, meaning clay from your own land.� The only references to red clay I can find in his books are the �red soil� (akatsuji) of the subsoil that is left after the �black soil� (kurotsuji) of the topsoil has eroded as a consequence of ploughing.� He also talks about �kabetsuji� (literally: wall soil), which is clay suitable for rammed earth constructions.� I have soil like that, so I know what he is talking about.� However, all three terms are used in the context of improving soils that have been depleted as a result of conventional agriculture.
      Perhaps we should lay to rest, once and for all, the myth of having to buy red clay for making seedballs.� Anyways, there is no need to include nutrients or anything fancy in seedballs.� If there is enough humidity and air, seeds will germinate in a layer of mulch or even between tissue paper without any soil or soil nutrients.� The seeds send out roots to find nutrients in the soil.� The amount of nutrients that can be included in the seedballs anyway is so small as to be insignificant.
      Dieter Brand, Portugal
      PS: I hope Bob and others in the New Orleans region are save and sound.

      --- On Mon, 9/1/08, brian kennedy <brian@...> wrote:

      From: brian kennedy <brian@...>
      Subject: Re: [fukuoka_farming] Red Clay for Seed balls
      To: fukuoka_farming@yahoogroups.com
      Date: Monday, September 1, 2008, 5:49 AM

      Hank, now that you mention it, that sounds right. Thanks.

      On another topic--there were some pictures in a book, I think it was
      THE NATURAL WAY TO FARM, showing Fukuoka in Somalia, I believe. He
      was standing with a group on a hillside covered with dry grass. It
      reminded me of California's yellow hills, which excited me because
      I'm in California right now in similar terrain.. He seemed to be
      showing the people how to deal with such conditions. There was a big
      green circle where they were working. It looked like they had cut
      back the grass, and watered to get the "weed" seeds to sprout. Then
      I think maybe they were going to cut them back before they could
      develop seeds as a way of creating an opportunity for other kinds of
      plants they wanted to grow. I looked in the text t o try to find out
      in detail what was being done but did not find an explanation. Does
      anyone know?

      On Aug 31, 2008, at 5:10 PM, La Clarine Farm wrote:

      > Brian, I remember this quote too, but thought it was about using other
      > types of clovers (didn't Fukuoka strongly recommend Ladino clover?).
      > But then again, maybe I mis-remember. ..
      > -Hank
      > brian kennedy wrote:
      > >
      > > Hello All,
      > > I seem to remember Fukuoka addressing this matter in one of his
      > books
      > > explicitly in making a point about passing on his experience. I
      > don't
      > > have the book right now but I thought he said something like he had
      > > arrived at red clay after many years of experimentation and that if
      > > someone wanted to ignore his specific advice in this matter anyway,
      > > well then go ahead but...
      > > On Aug 31, 2008, at 12:18 AM, B�atrice Gilboa wrote:
      > >
      > > > Hello Benjamin,
      > > >
      > > > >> I'd like to know a little bit more about bentonite clay vs red
      > > > clay.
      > > >
      > > > - in short, Bentonite contains usualy more alumina, it has better
      > > > colloidal property, maybe absorbs more water than red clay.
      > > > As potter, we use it mainly for its colloidal property in glazes.
      > > > (You can probably easily find more data with google)
      > > >
      > > > >> I was under the impression that minerals (particularly iron)
      > > > make the red clay red.
      > > >
      > > > - Yes, your impression is exact
      > > >
      > > > >> My soil is heavy clay, but it's grey.
      > > >
      > > > - If you've clay in your garden it would be more natural to use it
      > > > to make your seedballs. To use it, take some, flatten it thin
      > on an
      > > > absorbant surface and let it dry, it will easilly become powder.
      > > > Use this powder for your seed ball.
      > > > I"ve never tried, but at least you could trie to add bentonite to
      > > > help you if you see your clay doesn't "stick" well on the seeds
      > (if
      > > > it isn't pure enough).
      > > > But I think that the sticky problem of the seedballs is not really
      > > > coming from the clay quality, but the process of making them and
      > > > the proportions.
      > > >
      > > > >> Can you elaborate on the benefits of bentonite?
      > > >
      > > > - hoping I help you a bit.You can buy all sorts of clay including
      > > > bentonite in any potter's supplier.
      > > > (or ask nice potter around your home if you don't need big
      > quantites)
      > > >
      > > > Plenty good seedballs that will explode green with the first
      > rain :-)
      > > >
      > > > Beatrice
      > > > Israel (I'm leaving for 2 months at the end of the week)
      > > >
      > > > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      > > >
      > > >
      > > >
      > >
      > > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      > >
      > >

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