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Natural Farming Center of Greece

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  • Dimitris
    Attached is a word document of the text below with pictures. I am forwarding this information on behalf of Panos Manikis, a student of Masanobu Fukuoka, who
    Message 1 of 11 , Jun 3, 2010
    • 0 Attachment
      Attached is a word document of the text below with pictures. I am
      forwarding this information on behalf of Panos Manikis, a student of
      Masanobu Fukuoka, who has been practicing natural farming and has been
      involved in reforestation projects for over 20 years, using clayballs .
      Panos is the founder of the Natural Farming Center in Edessa, Greece.
      Kind regards
      Dimitris


      Natural Farming Center
      www.naturalfarming.eu
      e-mail: info@...

      For the last sixteen years, starting in 1993, we have been sowing
      clayballs � a technique developed by Fukuoka � with the intention to
      revegetate the barren mountains of Greece and the Mediterranean
      countries in general. Fukuoka�s vision was to create a green belt from
      Portugal to Iraq, Iran in order to block the expansion of the desert to
      Central Europe. We started with small seedings on a 5-10 hectares area
      with positive results and in 1998 � with the presence of Fukuoka himself
      � we organized the largest ever seeding on earth over an area of more
      than 5,000 hectares. Despite the limited success (due to various factors
      like grazing by animals, weather conditions etc.) we proved that this
      method can be applied on a large scale and has a very small cost � more
      or less 200 � 300 euros per hectare � including cost of seeds, clay,
      food for volunteers. Of course at that time we had the support of the
      local prefecture and the help of thousands of volunteers from many
      countries.



      We continued organizing seedings over hundreds of hectares areas every
      year ever since and working always on a voluntary basis, improving as
      years went by the quality of the clayballs and adding new materials so
      that we could get better results. Up to 2004 we have been sowing round
      clayballs of different sizes using a cement mixer with very good
      results, as far as the annual plants are concerned but with poor ones
      concerning the forest and fruit trees. So in 2005 we tried another type
      of clayball, forming sausages of clay and seeds and cutting them in
      slices � see relative photos � and now after five years of seedings in
      Greece, Europe and South America we can say that this type of clayballs
      really gives excellent results. We have also added to the mixture cotton
      filers (short ones), straw, turf and very recently coconut fibers.


      Cotton fibers are a good material, if we can get it easily, but since we
      had the problem of transgenic cotton and also of the cotton dust that
      can be harmful to the lungs, we gave up its use. Straw is fine but we
      have to be careful because it can develop molds. In order to avoid the
      development of molds within the clayballs and therefore the damage of
      the seeds we have to dry them under a strong sun and for that reason we
      prepare them in August and September. Coconut fibers, to our opinion,
      are an excellent material contributing to the formation of very strong
      clayballs that will not break even in the case of an aerial seeding and
      will remain almost intact even several months after the seeding � see
      relative photos.


      Another material we use is geolite, a natural mineral that can absorb
      twice its weight in moisture and offer it to the newly germinated
      plants. Synthetic resins can also be used that can absorb many times
      their volume in water; however they have site effects and up to now we
      have not experimented with them.
      Organic matter, in small quantities, that can inoculate with
      microorganisms the clay and soil of the place we organize the seeding is
      also important. The mixture we sow consists of vegetable seeds, grains,
      green manure plants, fruit trees and forest trees. The sowing season is
      September up to the end of October in Southern Greece and September in
      Northern Greece, always before the rainy season starts.
      Up to now scientists and research institutes were in general negative to
      the method, always under the excuse that we introduce exotic species �
      which is not true � and considering the clayballs as a children�s game.
      Of course the real reason was their conviction that they are the experts
      and economical interests that are threatened (plant nurseries, watering
      of the plants, scientific studies, projects etc). To give you an idea,
      the cost per hectare in Greece when we plant trees is 100,000 euros,
      which in comparison with the 200-300 euros of that of the clayballs, is
      an enormous amount of money.

      However, this year the National Forestry Research Institute in Athens
      has decided to try the method, on an experimental basis, for three
      successive years and if the results will be positive they will propose
      it as a valid method of reforestation. It is a positive step but we feel
      that it will take a long time until they will put it into practice and
      in the meantime Nature is being destroyed in a rapid rhythm.

      We believe that is us, the common people, the everyday people, who have
      to act the soonest possible and become the seeds. We are traveling
      around the world organizing clayball workshops in order to establish
      natural farms, vegetable gardens of self-sufficiency and to regreen the
      desert. We always work on a voluntary basis and we pass the information
      without money being involved because we believe that we get everything
      free from life and free we have to give it to others.

      Small groups in Greece, Italy, Spain, Argentina, Chile, Uruguay, Peru
      and other countries sow clayballs working on reforestation efforts and
      in March 2011 we intend to organize a simultaneous seeding in Argentina,
      Chile, Uruguay proving this way that is the heart that moves things not
      money.

      As Fukuoka writes: �Let us, one and all, participate in the work of God.
      Let us turn the earth into a green paradise. It will not be easy to
      bring back nature but is not impossible.�





      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • Vargan
      Hi, Dimitris! Very interesting. I saw videos about Panos Manikis s garden at youtube.com, and was looking any information about him and his work in English,
      Message 2 of 11 , Jun 6, 2010
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        Hi, Dimitris!
        Very interesting. I saw videos about Panos Manikis's garden at youtube.com, and was looking any information about him and his work in English, because I do not speak Greek.

        Was those exellent garden at the videos planted with seed balls only???

        I live at the Urals in Rusia. We have enough of rain water in the summer and all waste lands are occupied with grasses. How does the seed balls method work if you throw seed balls in the dense grass? I saw panos Will the fruit tree seed srvive in competition with the grass?

        I'll appreciate any other information about this technology and philosophy in English.

        Regards,
        Vargan,
        the Urals, Rusia

        --- In fukuoka_farming@yahoogroups.com, Dimitris <shinos@...> wrote:
        >
        > Attached is a word document of the text below with pictures. I am
        > forwarding this information on behalf of Panos Manikis, a student of
        > Masanobu Fukuoka, who has been practicing natural farming and has been
        > involved in reforestation projects for over 20 years, using clayballs .
        > Panos is the founder of the Natural Farming Center in Edessa, Greece.
        > Kind regards
        > Dimitris
        >
        >
        > Natural Farming Center
        > www.naturalfarming.eu
        > e-mail: info@...
        >
        > For the last sixteen years, starting in 1993, we have been sowing
        > clayballs – a technique developed by Fukuoka – with the intention to
        > revegetate the barren mountains of Greece and the Mediterranean
        > countries in general. Fukuoka's vision was to create a green belt from
        > Portugal to Iraq, Iran in order to block the expansion of the desert to
        > Central Europe. We started with small seedings on a 5-10 hectares area
        > with positive results and in 1998 – with the presence of Fukuoka himself
        > – we organized the largest ever seeding on earth over an area of more
        > than 5,000 hectares. Despite the limited success (due to various factors
        > like grazing by animals, weather conditions etc.) we proved that this
        > method can be applied on a large scale and has a very small cost – more
        > or less 200 – 300 euros per hectare – including cost of seeds, clay,
        > food for volunteers. Of course at that time we had the support of the
        > local prefecture and the help of thousands of volunteers from many
        > countries.
        >
        >
        >
        > We continued organizing seedings over hundreds of hectares areas every
        > year ever since and working always on a voluntary basis, improving as
        > years went by the quality of the clayballs and adding new materials so
        > that we could get better results. Up to 2004 we have been sowing round
        > clayballs of different sizes using a cement mixer with very good
        > results, as far as the annual plants are concerned but with poor ones
        > concerning the forest and fruit trees. So in 2005 we tried another type
        > of clayball, forming sausages of clay and seeds and cutting them in
        > slices – see relative photos – and now after five years of seedings in
        > Greece, Europe and South America we can say that this type of clayballs
        > really gives excellent results. We have also added to the mixture cotton
        > filers (short ones), straw, turf and very recently coconut fibers.
        >
        >
        > Cotton fibers are a good material, if we can get it easily, but since we
        > had the problem of transgenic cotton and also of the cotton dust that
        > can be harmful to the lungs, we gave up its use. Straw is fine but we
        > have to be careful because it can develop molds. In order to avoid the
        > development of molds within the clayballs and therefore the damage of
        > the seeds we have to dry them under a strong sun and for that reason we
        > prepare them in August and September. Coconut fibers, to our opinion,
        > are an excellent material contributing to the formation of very strong
        > clayballs that will not break even in the case of an aerial seeding and
        > will remain almost intact even several months after the seeding – see
        > relative photos.
        >
        >
        > Another material we use is geolite, a natural mineral that can absorb
        > twice its weight in moisture and offer it to the newly germinated
        > plants. Synthetic resins can also be used that can absorb many times
        > their volume in water; however they have site effects and up to now we
        > have not experimented with them.
        > Organic matter, in small quantities, that can inoculate with
        > microorganisms the clay and soil of the place we organize the seeding is
        > also important. The mixture we sow consists of vegetable seeds, grains,
        > green manure plants, fruit trees and forest trees. The sowing season is
        > September up to the end of October in Southern Greece and September in
        > Northern Greece, always before the rainy season starts.
        > Up to now scientists and research institutes were in general negative to
        > the method, always under the excuse that we introduce exotic species –
        > which is not true – and considering the clayballs as a children's game.
        > Of course the real reason was their conviction that they are the experts
        > and economical interests that are threatened (plant nurseries, watering
        > of the plants, scientific studies, projects etc). To give you an idea,
        > the cost per hectare in Greece when we plant trees is 100,000 euros,
        > which in comparison with the 200-300 euros of that of the clayballs, is
        > an enormous amount of money.
        >
        > However, this year the National Forestry Research Institute in Athens
        > has decided to try the method, on an experimental basis, for three
        > successive years and if the results will be positive they will propose
        > it as a valid method of reforestation. It is a positive step but we feel
        > that it will take a long time until they will put it into practice and
        > in the meantime Nature is being destroyed in a rapid rhythm.
        >
        > We believe that is us, the common people, the everyday people, who have
        > to act the soonest possible and become the seeds. We are traveling
        > around the world organizing clayball workshops in order to establish
        > natural farms, vegetable gardens of self-sufficiency and to regreen the
        > desert. We always work on a voluntary basis and we pass the information
        > without money being involved because we believe that we get everything
        > free from life and free we have to give it to others.
        >
        > Small groups in Greece, Italy, Spain, Argentina, Chile, Uruguay, Peru
        > and other countries sow clayballs working on reforestation efforts and
        > in March 2011 we intend to organize a simultaneous seeding in Argentina,
        > Chile, Uruguay proving this way that is the heart that moves things not
        > money.
        >
        > As Fukuoka writes: "Let us, one and all, participate in the work of God.
        > Let us turn the earth into a green paradise. It will not be easy to
        > bring back nature but is not impossible."
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        >
      • Dimitris
        Hi Vargan, you can find many of Fukuoka s books online in English. Our website also has an English version where you can find some info. naturalfarming.eu It
        Message 3 of 11 , Jun 7, 2010
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          Hi Vargan, you can find many of Fukuoka's books online in English. Our
          website also has an English version where you can find some info.
          naturalfarming.eu It is the web site for Panos Manikis natural farming
          center in Greece.

          Panos has planted most things on his farm with seed balls. He has also
          planted trees directly as well, but he has mainly used seedballs to
          plant what he has on his farm. The trees, will do fine growing together
          with grasses and other plants. They actually help the trees in the
          first few years, as they protect them from the sun and the cold and they
          accumulate moisture from which they get watered. When you plant with
          seed balls, you have to cut the grass in place after, so that the new
          plants can have a chance to compete with the already established plants.

          In our reforestation projects, we mix seeds from forest trees with
          grasses, bushes and other plants. We sometimes use a mixture of 30-40
          different seeds in our seed balls. That way we create diversity and we
          allow nature to choose what grows where. The trees usually take about a
          year before they spring. Meanwhile various grasses, bushes and other
          plants have already come up to stop any erosion and to cover the barren
          land. By the time the trees come out, they are surrounded by grasses
          that hide them initially from the hot sun and the cold. Trees take
          about three years to get established, so the grasses protect them from
          extreme climates until their roots grow enough to be self sufficient.

          Now I don't know what kind of grasses you have in the land you are
          talking about. Some grasses are very invasive so if you want to minimize
          them, you have to cut the grasses 2-3 times during the year before you
          sow seedballs, to weaken them. It all depends on what kind of grasses
          they are. If they are wild burley or things like that, they are not a
          problem. You can just sow the seed balls and then cut the grass in
          place and they will do fine.

          You may want to read some of Fukuoka's books if you haven't already, to
          understand the philosophy behind the idea of seedballs. There is an
          excellent e-library where you can get many of his books for a small
          donation fee. You can also get them for free if you can't afford it,
          but the guy has spent hours and hours putting this amazing library
          together and would help with the cost. Check it out, it has an amazing
          wealth of information from books that are not even in print anymore.
          Anything from farming to health. I would recommend it to anyone.
          http://www.soilandhealth.org/ (This is a free public library offering
          full-texts of books on alternative agriculture, holistic health,
          longevity, self-sufficient living, personal and spiritual development)

          Hope this helps a little.
          Regards
          Dimitris



          Vargan wrote:
          >
          >
          > Hi, Dimitris!
          > Very interesting. I saw videos about Panos Manikis's garden at
          > youtube.com, and was looking any information about him and his work in
          > English, because I do not speak Greek.
          >
          > Was those exellent garden at the videos planted with seed balls only???
          >
          > I live at the Urals in Rusia. We have enough of rain water in the
          > summer and all waste lands are occupied with grasses. How does the
          > seed balls method work if you throw seed balls in the dense grass? I
          > saw panos Will the fruit tree seed srvive in competition with the grass?
          >
          > I'll appreciate any other information about this technology and
          > philosophy in English.
          >
          > Regards,
          > Vargan,
          > the Urals, Rusia
          >
          > _,___
        • Pietro
          Dear Dimitris, All that you are writing is very interesting. My name is Pietro, and I have a bit of land (half an hectare) in Portugal, where I would like to
          Message 4 of 11 , Jun 7, 2010
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            Dear Dimitris,
            All that you are writing is very interesting.

            My name is Pietro, and I have a bit of land (half an hectare) in Portugal, where I would like to plant using fukuoka's method. I am already doing some tests with some seed balls made with a Cement mixer. I am right now in Italy, and will come to Greece this summer in July. I have a workshop in July in Crete starting from the 5th (I might need to be there from the 4th). Maybe I could come to Greece a few days before and visit the community. Would that be possible? In case what should I do to make sure I am welcome there?

            Cheers,
            Pietro

            --- In fukuoka_farming@yahoogroups.com, Dimitris <shinos@...> wrote:
            >
            > Hi Vargan, you can find many of Fukuoka's books online in English. Our
            > website also has an English version where you can find some info.
            > naturalfarming.eu It is the web site for Panos Manikis natural farming
            > center in Greece.
            >
            > Panos has planted most things on his farm with seed balls. He has also
            > planted trees directly as well, but he has mainly used seedballs to
            > plant what he has on his farm. The trees, will do fine growing together
            > with grasses and other plants. They actually help the trees in the
            > first few years, as they protect them from the sun and the cold and they
            > accumulate moisture from which they get watered. When you plant with
            > seed balls, you have to cut the grass in place after, so that the new
            > plants can have a chance to compete with the already established plants.
            >
            > In our reforestation projects, we mix seeds from forest trees with
            > grasses, bushes and other plants. We sometimes use a mixture of 30-40
            > different seeds in our seed balls. That way we create diversity and we
            > allow nature to choose what grows where. The trees usually take about a
            > year before they spring. Meanwhile various grasses, bushes and other
            > plants have already come up to stop any erosion and to cover the barren
            > land. By the time the trees come out, they are surrounded by grasses
            > that hide them initially from the hot sun and the cold. Trees take
            > about three years to get established, so the grasses protect them from
            > extreme climates until their roots grow enough to be self sufficient.
            >
            > Now I don't know what kind of grasses you have in the land you are
            > talking about. Some grasses are very invasive so if you want to minimize
            > them, you have to cut the grasses 2-3 times during the year before you
            > sow seedballs, to weaken them. It all depends on what kind of grasses
            > they are. If they are wild burley or things like that, they are not a
            > problem. You can just sow the seed balls and then cut the grass in
            > place and they will do fine.
            >
            > You may want to read some of Fukuoka's books if you haven't already, to
            > understand the philosophy behind the idea of seedballs. There is an
            > excellent e-library where you can get many of his books for a small
            > donation fee. You can also get them for free if you can't afford it,
            > but the guy has spent hours and hours putting this amazing library
            > together and would help with the cost. Check it out, it has an amazing
            > wealth of information from books that are not even in print anymore.
            > Anything from farming to health. I would recommend it to anyone.
            > http://www.soilandhealth.org/ (This is a free public library offering
            > full-texts of books on alternative agriculture, holistic health,
            > longevity, self-sufficient living, personal and spiritual development)
            >
            > Hope this helps a little.
            > Regards
            > Dimitris
            >
            >
            >
            > Vargan wrote:
            > >
            > >
            > > Hi, Dimitris!
            > > Very interesting. I saw videos about Panos Manikis's garden at
            > > youtube.com, and was looking any information about him and his work in
            > > English, because I do not speak Greek.
            > >
            > > Was those exellent garden at the videos planted with seed balls only???
            > >
            > > I live at the Urals in Rusia. We have enough of rain water in the
            > > summer and all waste lands are occupied with grasses. How does the
            > > seed balls method work if you throw seed balls in the dense grass? I
            > > saw panos Will the fruit tree seed srvive in competition with the grass?
            > >
            > > I'll appreciate any other information about this technology and
            > > philosophy in English.
            > >
            > > Regards,
            > > Vargan,
            > > the Urals, Rusia
            > >
            > > _,___
            >
          • Dimitris
            It would be great to see you Pietro and you are definitely welcome. You can visit Panos Manikis natural farming center in Northern Greece, near Edessa if you
            Message 5 of 11 , Jun 8, 2010
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              It would be great to see you Pietro and you are definitely welcome. You
              can visit Panos Manikis' natural farming center in Northern Greece, near
              Edessa if you wish and speak with him. It would give you great insight
              on how natural farming works. Panos was a student of Fukuoka and worked
              with him in many reforestation projects around the world for many
              years. If you have specific dates in mind, let me know, so I can let
              him know when you are coming, to make sure he will be there. Also you
              should know that we are holding our international meeting from 15-30th
              of August there, in the natural farming center, where people from all
              over the world meet and learn how to make clay balls for farms and for
              reforestations and have discussions.

              It may be better for you, if you come before July 4th, to come to
              Thessaloniki airport, since Edessa is very close to there. Otherwise
              you may have to take the train from Athens to Edessa which is about 6-7
              hours ride.

              Anyway, you don't need to make special arrangements. Panos is very open
              and wants to pass on the information about natural farming. He doesn't
              ever get paid for it. It is too important for him to make money out of
              it. If you have a tent and a sleeping bag that would help, but we can
              make arrangements for that as well. I am not sure what the available
              space will be at the time, since many people tend to visit the center
              and some times the only way to accommodate is putting up a tent. If
              there is space you can stay at the house, but that is not always
              available. The weather will be hot at the time so sleeping outside is
              not a problem.

              Let me know if you have any other questions of if you need anything.
              Dimitris

              Pietro wrote:
              >
              >
              >
              > Dear Dimitris,
              > All that you are writing is very interesting.
              >
              > My name is Pietro, and I have a bit of land (half an hectare) in
              > Portugal, where I would like to plant using fukuoka's method. I am
              > already doing some tests with some seed balls made with a Cement
              > mixer. I am right now in Italy, and will come to Greece this summer in
              > July. I have a workshop in July in Crete starting from the 5th (I
              > might need to be there from the 4th). Maybe I could come to Greece a
              > few days before and visit the community. Would that be possible? In
              > case what should I do to make sure I am welcome there?
              >
              > Cheers,
              > Pietro
              >
              >
              > __
            • Pietro
              Hello Dimitris, Thank you very much. Sorry if I could only answer you properly. I am travelling around, and for the most part have no internet. In think i will
              Message 6 of 11 , Jun 12, 2010
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                Hello Dimitris,
                Thank you very much.

                Sorry if I could only answer you properly. I am travelling around, and for the most part have no internet.

                In think i will try to come around the end of june. Somwhere between the 28-30 of june. I should have both a sleeping back, and probably a bivi bag as well (sort of tiny tent the size of a sleeping bag. If I can lrave the backpack in the house that might be all I need. Alternatively I could look for an hostel, or couchsurf. In short please do not worry for the accomodation, I am sure we will figure out something.
                I am more concerned with my next trip to Crete. I need to be in Crete by the 4th of July (no reference the the US holiday). it looks like Edessa is on the other side of Greece, and my experience with Greece internal transport system is that it's not the most efficient in the world. Should i go down by rail + boat? Is the a ferry that goes all the way from Thessaloniki to Crete?

                I hope you will be in Edessa too, so we can meet.

                I am not sure what the situation will be in August. I know I have a conference on the 27th of August in switzerland. So I know I cannot come for the whole period. But maybe I could come for some... I think I shall decide later, as I am already traveliing too mcuh this summer...

                Thanks, again,
                Pietro

                --- In fukuoka_farming@yahoogroups.com, Dimitris <shinos@...> wrote:
                >
                > It would be great to see you Pietro and you are definitely welcome. You
                > can visit Panos Manikis' natural farming center in Northern Greece, near
                > Edessa if you wish and speak with him. It would give you great insight
                > on how natural farming works. Panos was a student of Fukuoka and worked
                > with him in many reforestation projects around the world for many
                > years. If you have specific dates in mind, let me know, so I can let
                > him know when you are coming, to make sure he will be there. Also you
                > should know that we are holding our international meeting from 15-30th
                > of August there, in the natural farming center, where people from all
                > over the world meet and learn how to make clay balls for farms and for
                > reforestations and have discussions.
                >
                > It may be better for you, if you come before July 4th, to come to
                > Thessaloniki airport, since Edessa is very close to there. Otherwise
                > you may have to take the train from Athens to Edessa which is about 6-7
                > hours ride.
                >
                > Anyway, you don't need to make special arrangements. Panos is very open
                > and wants to pass on the information about natural farming. He doesn't
                > ever get paid for it. It is too important for him to make money out of
                > it. If you have a tent and a sleeping bag that would help, but we can
                > make arrangements for that as well. I am not sure what the available
                > space will be at the time, since many people tend to visit the center
                > and some times the only way to accommodate is putting up a tent. If
                > there is space you can stay at the house, but that is not always
                > available. The weather will be hot at the time so sleeping outside is
                > not a problem.
                >
                > Let me know if you have any other questions of if you need anything.
                > Dimitris
                >
                > Pietro wrote:
                > >
                > >
                > >
                > > Dear Dimitris,
                > > All that you are writing is very interesting.
                > >
                > > My name is Pietro, and I have a bit of land (half an hectare) in
                > > Portugal, where I would like to plant using fukuoka's method. I am
                > > already doing some tests with some seed balls made with a Cement
                > > mixer. I am right now in Italy, and will come to Greece this summer in
                > > July. I have a workshop in July in Crete starting from the 5th (I
                > > might need to be there from the 4th). Maybe I could come to Greece a
                > > few days before and visit the community. Would that be possible? In
                > > case what should I do to make sure I am welcome there?
                > >
                > > Cheers,
                > > Pietro
                > >
                > >
                > > __
                >
              • Leonora Jakovljevic
                Dear Dimitris. My name is Leonora. I come from Slovenia. My interest for NF was born last year during the workshop on Synergic Garden in Calabria which was
                Message 7 of 11 , Jun 29, 2010
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                  Dear Dimitris.

                  My name is Leonora. I come from Slovenia.
                  My interest for NF was born last year during the workshop on Synergic
                  Garden
                  in Calabria which was directed by Antonio de Falco, Emilia Hazelip
                  student.
                  On this workshop was mentioned also Panos Manikis as a Fukuoka's
                  student and his acquaintance.

                  I'm more and more in NF and Permaculture until then. I become an
                  active
                  volunteer of non profit Slovenian organization for education on
                  ecological producing food two month ago.
                  Few weeks ago I decided to contact Panos to learn more about his way
                  of NF method and what a coincidence you showed up. I'm also interested
                  to take a part
                  in Panos project (Simultaneous Seeding) or if would be possible to
                  organize a small group
                  for simultaneous seeding 2011 in Slovenia.

                  I would like to come to visit, to work, to practise,... NF on Panos
                  farm this summer.
                  I was thinking to come onset of August and to stay for international
                  meeting from 15-30 of August.
                  Do you think it would be practicable?
                  Should I call and ask Panos directly?

                  Looking forward hearing from you,
                  leonora











                  >
                  >
                  >



                  [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                • Dimitris
                  Hi Leonora. You are welcome to come and stay at the Natural Farming Center with Panos for as long as you like. We accept volunteers from April 15 until
                  Message 8 of 11 , Jul 2, 2010
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                    Hi Leonora. You are welcome to come and stay at the Natural Farming
                    Center with Panos for as long as you like. We accept volunteers from
                    April 15 until September 15 so any time between those dates are fine.
                    Just let us know when you want to come. This year we are not having an
                    official international meeting. We are going to get together and make
                    clay-balls for reforestation projects and for farms. If you are
                    interested in Natural Farming, Panos is a great person to learn from.
                    He knows a lot.

                    We have a place that holds up to 4 volunteers where you can stay.
                    Depending on how many volunteers we have at the time, there is also the
                    option on staying in a tent with a sleeping bag. You don't have to
                    worry about food.

                    I will talk to Panos about doing a simultaneous seeding in Slovenia as
                    well. I don't know how it will work out, as most of us will be in South
                    America, but if you come at the center and learn how to make clay-balls,
                    you could organize it in Slovenia. It is not very hard to make
                    clay-balls. Once you learn the technique, you will see it is very easy.

                    Panos phone number is +30 23810-27312. You can contact him from
                    7:00am-9:00am or from 7:00pm-9:00pm if you like.
                    Let me know when you know the dates you want to come. It would be best
                    if you are coming by airplane to come to Thessaloniki and from there to
                    take the train to Edessa. Panos can pick you up from Edessa. His farm
                    is just minutes from Edessa in Klisohori, a small village. You can also
                    visit our web site at www.naturalfarming.eu for more information and to
                    view pictures.

                    Thanks for your interest and hope to see you soon
                    Dimitris

                    Leonora Jakovljevic wrote:
                    >
                    >
                    > Dear Dimitris.
                    >
                    > My name is Leonora. I come from Slovenia.
                    > My interest for NF was born last year during the workshop on Synergic
                    > Garden
                    > in Calabria which was directed by Antonio de Falco, Emilia Hazelip
                    > student.
                    > On this workshop was mentioned also Panos Manikis as a Fukuoka's
                    > student and his acquaintance.
                    >
                    > I'm more and more in NF and Permaculture until then. I become an
                    > active
                    > volunteer of non profit Slovenian organization for education on
                    > ecological producing food two month ago.
                    > Few weeks ago I decided to contact Panos to learn more about his way
                    > of NF method and what a coincidence you showed up. I'm also interested
                    > to take a part
                    > in Panos project (Simultaneous Seeding) or if would be possible to
                    > organize a small group
                    > for simultaneous seeding 2011 in Slovenia.
                    >
                    > I would like to come to visit, to work, to practise,... NF on Panos
                    > farm this summer.
                    > I was thinking to come onset of August and to stay for international
                    > meeting from 15-30 of August.
                    > Do you think it would be practicable?
                    > Should I call and ask Panos directly?
                    >
                    > Looking forward hearing from you,
                    > leonora
                    >
                    > ,_._,___
                  • Pietro
                    I just left Panos farm this morning. The farm is really beautiful, and Panos looks like an old greek Taoist. The son of Lao Tzu and Hera. I could not convince
                    Message 9 of 11 , Jul 2, 2010
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                      I just left Panos' farm this morning.

                      The farm is really beautiful, and Panos looks like an old greek Taoist. The son of Lao Tzu and Hera.

                      I could not convince him to accept any offer for the time I stayed there. Ate his food and used his place. He explained me in detail how to make seed balls. Also extra informations, and how to adapt all this to my local conditions. Then when I left he gave me some seeds and asked me to sow them(, please). This simple act changed everything so now it looked like I was making him a favor. Hiding the biggest favor he has been doing for me those days.

                      Please go. He is willing to teach, and has things to teach.

                      Pietro







                      --- In fukuoka_farming@yahoogroups.com, Dimitris <shinos@...> wrote:
                      >
                      > Hi Leonora. You are welcome to come and stay at the Natural Farming
                      > Center with Panos for as long as you like. We accept volunteers from
                      > April 15 until September 15 so any time between those dates are fine.
                      > Just let us know when you want to come. This year we are not having an
                      > official international meeting. We are going to get together and make
                      > clay-balls for reforestation projects and for farms. If you are
                      > interested in Natural Farming, Panos is a great person to learn from.
                      > He knows a lot.
                      >
                      > We have a place that holds up to 4 volunteers where you can stay.
                      > Depending on how many volunteers we have at the time, there is also the
                      > option on staying in a tent with a sleeping bag. You don't have to
                      > worry about food.
                      >
                      > I will talk to Panos about doing a simultaneous seeding in Slovenia as
                      > well. I don't know how it will work out, as most of us will be in South
                      > America, but if you come at the center and learn how to make clay-balls,
                      > you could organize it in Slovenia. It is not very hard to make
                      > clay-balls. Once you learn the technique, you will see it is very easy.
                      >
                      > Panos phone number is +30 23810-27312. You can contact him from
                      > 7:00am-9:00am or from 7:00pm-9:00pm if you like.
                      > Let me know when you know the dates you want to come. It would be best
                      > if you are coming by airplane to come to Thessaloniki and from there to
                      > take the train to Edessa. Panos can pick you up from Edessa. His farm
                      > is just minutes from Edessa in Klisohori, a small village. You can also
                      > visit our web site at www.naturalfarming.eu for more information and to
                      > view pictures.
                      >
                      > Thanks for your interest and hope to see you soon
                      > Dimitris
                      >
                      > Leonora Jakovljevic wrote:
                      > >
                      > >
                      > > Dear Dimitris.
                      > >
                      > > My name is Leonora. I come from Slovenia.
                      > > My interest for NF was born last year during the workshop on Synergic
                      > > Garden
                      > > in Calabria which was directed by Antonio de Falco, Emilia Hazelip
                      > > student.
                      > > On this workshop was mentioned also Panos Manikis as a Fukuoka's
                      > > student and his acquaintance.
                      > >
                      > > I'm more and more in NF and Permaculture until then. I become an
                      > > active
                      > > volunteer of non profit Slovenian organization for education on
                      > > ecological producing food two month ago.
                      > > Few weeks ago I decided to contact Panos to learn more about his way
                      > > of NF method and what a coincidence you showed up. I'm also interested
                      > > to take a part
                      > > in Panos project (Simultaneous Seeding) or if would be possible to
                      > > organize a small group
                      > > for simultaneous seeding 2011 in Slovenia.
                      > >
                      > > I would like to come to visit, to work, to practise,... NF on Panos
                      > > farm this summer.
                      > > I was thinking to come onset of August and to stay for international
                      > > meeting from 15-30 of August.
                      > > Do you think it would be practicable?
                      > > Should I call and ask Panos directly?
                      > >
                      > > Looking forward hearing from you,
                      > > leonora
                      > >
                      > > ,_._,___
                      >
                    • Vargan
                      Friends, please do the teaching videos of your trips, meetings and teaching workshops!! Not everyone can afford to go to Panos and other teachers, but almost
                      Message 10 of 11 , Jul 6, 2010
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                        Friends,
                        please do the teaching videos of your trips, meetings and teaching workshops!! Not everyone can afford to go to Panos and other teachers, but almost everyone can download the movie through the Internet nowadays.
                        Amateur camcorders and amateur shooting can do the great job for us.

                        Providing the native language subtitles for such videos (or a simple transcript of an audio data into the simple text file) will greatly help the volunteer translators in order to translate a movie to the other languages.

                        Regards,
                        Vargan
                        Rusia

                        --- In fukuoka_farming@yahoogroups.com, "Pietro" <2009@...> wrote:
                        >
                        > I just left Panos' farm this morning.
                        >
                        > The farm is really beautiful, and Panos looks like an old greek Taoist. The son of Lao Tzu and Hera.
                        >
                        > I could not convince him to accept any offer for the time I stayed there. Ate his food and used his place. He explained me in detail how to make seed balls. Also extra informations, and how to adapt all this to my local conditions. Then when I left he gave me some seeds and asked me to sow them(, please). This simple act changed everything so now it looked like I was making him a favor. Hiding the biggest favor he has been doing for me those days.
                        >
                        > Please go. He is willing to teach, and has things to teach.
                        >
                        > Pietro
                        >
                      • Jason Stewart
                        ...Just came across this, not bad!, cute & sweet, 1 year old Greek newspaper article on this subject...: BASED OUT of Klisochori, in Edessa, Panagiotis
                        Message 11 of 11 , Apr 8, 2011
                        • 0 Attachment
                          ...Just came across this, not bad!, cute & sweet, 1 year old Greek newspaper
                          article on this subject...:
                          "
                          BASED OUT of Klisochori, in Edessa, Panagiotis Manikis currently...spreading the
                          word on “natural farming”, a method as old as the mountains and first
                          implemented by nature herself.
                          ...
                          ...
                          ...
                          "
                          See: -> http://www.athensnews.gr/issue/13385/21666
                          .
                          Searching, I don't find it posted here in our group, yet—even as the article
                          replied below interests me more.
                          .
                          Panayiotis/Panagiotis—i'm not sure which English–transliteration is better for
                          his name which certainly is correctly spelled in Greek—i had been thinking it
                          was the former English–transliteration with the y—Now I see the Greek people
                          writing here have it Panagiotis—so that's what i'll write—until advised... .
                          ...
                          .
                          Biggest best wishes to all Japanese, all cricket fans, and to all,
                          .
                          Jason Stewart
                          –busy in south eastern Oz.
                          PS. no April fools jokes in this above link.


                          ----- Original Message ----
                          From: Dimitris <shinos@...>
                          To: Fukuoka Farming <fukuoka_farming@yahoogroups.com>;
                          info@...
                          Sent: Friday, June 4, 2010 0:04:44
                          Subject: [fukuoka_farming] Natural Farming Center of Greece

                          Attached is a word document of the text below with pictures. I am
                          forwarding this information on behalf of Panos Manikis, a student of
                          Masanobu Fukuoka, who has been practicing natural farming and has been
                          involved in reforestation projects for over 20 years, using clayballs .
                          Panos is the founder of the Natural Farming Center in Edessa, Greece.
                          Kind regards
                          Dimitris


                          Natural Farming Center
                          www.naturalfarming.eu
                          e-mail: info@...

                          For the last sixteen years, starting in 1993, we have been sowing
                          clayballs – a technique developed by Fukuoka – with the intention to
                          revegetate the barren mountains of Greece and the Mediterranean
                          countries in general. Fukuoka’s vision was to create a green belt from
                          Portugal to Iraq, Iran in order to block the expansion of the desert to
                          Central Europe. We started with small seedings on a 5-10 hectares area
                          with positive results and in 1998 – with the presence of Fukuoka himself
                          – we organized the largest ever seeding on earth over an area of more
                          than 5,000 hectares. Despite the limited success (due to various factors
                          like grazing by animals, weather conditions etc.) we proved that this
                          method can be applied on a large scale and has a very small cost – more
                          or less 200 – 300 euros per hectare – including cost of seeds, clay,
                          food for volunteers. Of course at that time we had the support of the
                          local prefecture and the help of thousands of volunteers from many
                          countries.



                          We continued organizing seedings over hundreds of hectares areas every
                          year ever since and working always on a voluntary basis, improving as
                          years went by the quality of the clayballs and adding new materials so
                          that we could get better results. Up to 2004 we have been sowing round
                          clayballs of different sizes using a cement mixer with very good
                          results, as far as the annual plants are concerned but with poor ones
                          concerning the forest and fruit trees. So in 2005 we tried another type
                          of clayball, forming sausages of clay and seeds and cutting them in
                          slices – see relative photos – and now after five years of seedings in
                          Greece, Europe and South America we can say that this type of clayballs
                          really gives excellent results. We have also added to the mixture cotton
                          filers (short ones), straw, turf and very recently coconut fibers.


                          Cotton fibers are a good material, if we can get it easily, but since we
                          had the problem of transgenic cotton and also of the cotton dust that
                          can be harmful to the lungs, we gave up its use. Straw is fine but we
                          have to be careful because it can develop molds. In order to avoid the
                          development of molds within the clayballs and therefore the damage of
                          the seeds we have to dry them under a strong sun and for that reason we
                          prepare them in August and September. Coconut fibers, to our opinion,
                          are an excellent material contributing to the formation of very strong
                          clayballs that will not break even in the case of an aerial seeding and
                          will remain almost intact even several months after the seeding – see
                          relative photos.


                          Another material we use is geolite, a natural mineral that can absorb
                          twice its weight in moisture and offer it to the newly germinated
                          plants. Synthetic resins can also be used that can absorb many times
                          their volume in water; however they have site effects and up to now we
                          have not experimented with them.
                          Organic matter, in small quantities, that can inoculate with
                          microorganisms the clay and soil of the place we organize the seeding is
                          also important. The mixture we sow consists of vegetable seeds, grains,
                          green manure plants, fruit trees and forest trees. The sowing season is
                          September up to the end of October in Southern Greece and September in
                          Northern Greece, always before the rainy season starts.
                          Up to now scientists and research institutes were in general negative to
                          the method, always under the excuse that we introduce exotic species –
                          which is not true – and considering the clayballs as a children’s game.
                          Of course the real reason was their conviction that they are the experts
                          and economical interests that are threatened (plant nurseries, watering
                          of the plants, scientific studies, projects etc). To give you an idea,
                          the cost per hectare in Greece when we plant trees is 100,000 euros,
                          which in comparison with the 200-300 euros of that of the clayballs, is
                          an enormous amount of money.

                          However, this year the National Forestry Research Institute in Athens
                          has decided to try the method, on an experimental basis, for three
                          successive years and if the results will be positive they will propose
                          it as a valid method of reforestation. It is a positive step but we feel
                          that it will take a long time until they will put it into practice and
                          in the meantime Nature is being destroyed in a rapid rhythm.

                          We believe that is us, the common people, the everyday people, who have
                          to act the soonest possible and become the seeds. We are traveling
                          around the world organizing clayball workshops in order to establish
                          natural farms, vegetable gardens of self-sufficiency and to regreen the
                          desert. We always work on a voluntary basis and we pass the information
                          without money being involved because we believe that we get everything
                          free from life and free we have to give it to others.

                          Small groups in Greece, Italy, Spain, Argentina, Chile, Uruguay, Peru
                          and other countries sow clayballs working on reforestation efforts and
                          in March 2011 we intend to organize a simultaneous seeding in Argentina,
                          Chile, Uruguay proving this way that is the heart that moves things not
                          money.

                          As Fukuoka writes: “Let us, one and all, participate in the work of God.
                          Let us turn the earth into a green paradise. It will not be easy to
                          bring back nature but is not impossible.”
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