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Re: [fukuoka_farming] Re: Natural Farming Center of Greece

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  • 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 1 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 2 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 3 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 4 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 5 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 6 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 7 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 8 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 9 of 11 , Apr 8, 2011
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                      ...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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