RE: [fukuoka_farming] fukuoka's agronomical reform
- Gloria, I doubt any of us are scientists on this list (lapsed, disabused, or
just plain sick of technology's machines and contrivances, perhaps - as
Fukuoka himself) and, anyway, all communication is rhetoric; yes, even
Open-pollination is a necessity for natural farming, it could hardly be
otherwise. I would buy my seed from Burpees if need be, but rather an
organic grower or non-profit seedbank. We must learn to begin with what we
have and then grow an alternative. If I could find another natural farmer
then I would know I was directly supporting this movement.
I would also like to do away with grafting trees onto rootstocks, however,
as this discussion is showing this is not necessarily as easy as scattering
apple seed (or any fruit or nut seed?). Any thoughts on how to establish a
viable and vital (economically and healthy - the fruit must be of a quality
to sell) diverse fruit and nut orchard without using F1 hybrids or
From: GLORIA BAIKAUSKAS [mailto:gcb49@...]
Sent: Monday, December 03, 2001 4:04 AM
Subject: Re: [fukuoka_farming] fukuoka's agronomical reform
Of course we (nor he) would want to order them from Burpee. My point is
that some plants like the apple have difficulties. In the old days when an
orchard was planted from seed the farmer knew that he would be lucky if he
got even one tree that would produce apples of the right sugar content and
taste for eating. The rest would be good only for cider which could then
have its taste manipulated with things like sugar added to the mash to
produce something drinkable. I don't know all the plant genetics involved
in getting the "right" apple. My point is that in providing seeds in this
fashion one could not depend perhaps on a quantity of edible plant
production in some vegetable and fruit types. In this way agronomy would
become a bit of an iffy proposition at least in the beginning. Perhaps in
time we would see better vegetable and fruit production in these types of
plants with a better fruit to boot. But if people were depending on us for
their daily bread (sic), then they wou
ld possibly be sorely in need indeed. It would have to be factored in with
hybrid plants and grafted trees for at least a time.
I honestly believe that Nature would take over in time. I think we would
regain strains we had possibly nearly lost with present agronomy methods in
use. Think of what we have lost because man played with Nature to his own
fancy! Remember carrots were not always orange. Man made them orange. Yet
find a child today who would eat a white or yellow carrot. Maybe in doing
all of this we would also regain the nutrition not present in today's food
I am not a scientist, so this is all rhetoric. I think we are all in charge
of the research, though. Call us what you may.
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On 3 Dec 01, souscayrous wrote:
> I would also like to do away with grafting trees onto rootstocks,
> however, as this discussion is showing this is not necessarily as
> easy as scattering apple seed (or any fruit or nut seed?). Any
> thoughts on how to establish a viable and vital (economically and
> healthy - the fruit must be of a quality to sell) diverse fruit and
> nut orchard without using F1 hybrids or rootstocks?
Some clues at http://members.tripod.co.uk/orft. There was a
discussion of potential difficulties on the <alt.permaculture>
newsgroup... do a Google hunt, I can't remember the details. Phil
Corbett of the above website participates there and is an obliging
chap... contact him. 8<)
- I have no idea re apples. From what I have read you get what you get by planting seeds.....or you go with grafting the varieties you wish on rootstocks. I suppose one alternative would be as is done by Seeds of Change in New Mexico in trying to bring back old apples from even the 1700s......maybe one is from the 1600s in Europe. They sell out fast, and I have not been able to obtain one as of yet. I will keep trying. By bringing back the older varieties to larger numbers perhaps the genetic strains available for natural pollination would bring about more variety in the product trees of the seeds? I am guessing here. I wish I were more highly educated in apple genetics. I had only begun investigating this when all of this came up.
Growing apples in Texas is not an easy task. I try to stick to native varieties in most of my selections even hoping for volunteers to sprout on my 3 acres. It is I suppose why I used the apple as an example here.
When I compost I sheet compost directly from my kitchen. In this way I often (luckily) get volunteer plants of unknown genetics. Fukuoka says the best will survive.
I also go about different areas plucking seeds from the trees, etc., to use with seedballs on my land to see what I will get from it all. I am new at all of this. I joined this list to learn. I found out that what I was attempting on my own was similar to Mr. Fukuoka's principles. I had reported success with my experimental way of not arranging my newly reclaimed beds. By reclaimed I mean soil that I had to reclaim as it was basically dead. I had spent some years (about 4), allowing the soil to naturally come back after gross overchemicalization by farming for nearly 100 years, as well as composting, adding compost and natural amendments to a certain extent. Then I began planting things all together. As time went on the things in the wrong place, etc, died out, and the things that were happy were they were made amazing healthy spurts of growth. Native grasses are coming back in the back acre which is a slight hill now, as well as native plants that I did not plant. Probably birds, etc. did the deed. I had not planned anything for back there as yet. The land there has come back on its own totally. It is so exciting for me to watch it.
I will most likely try seedballs up there eventually. I am not sure right now. I kind of like the way it is progressing on its own......and with the birds' or other critters help.
My efforts at soil rebuilding have involved small areas at a time. Yet the land and Nature seem to have their own ideas, too. Mr. Fukuoka's ideas made sense to me immediately. I am learning now, but I know it will take time. I do not till. I just plant into what is there and see what happens as if it were all a great experiment.
So, I am not one to comment in any large way anymore than I already have re how to obtain viable marketable crops naturally other than to say that because plant genetics differ it will be necessary to amend the processes in some categories. I do believe that having more genetic stock that has had less tampering will benefit it all, though.
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