- PLOWB0Y: Are you telling us to abandon all logical reasoning?
PLOWBOY: But Mr. Fukuoka, you did a lot of experimenting and research
yourself in the process of developing the concept of natural farming. You
used reason... and now you are telling us to discard it all?
FUKUOKA: Exactly! Throw away your own ideas for a moment and let the results
of my experiments be the Seed of some new ideas and ways of thinking. Many
people might be tempted to think, "Hmmm... my climate is totally unlike his,
so rather than use white clover, I'll try this other ground cover." That
line of reasoning could well take you off the track and lead you down a lot
of blind alleys! Clover is necessary to keep the weeds back and replenish
PLOWBOY: But there are many kinds of clover that could be used, aren't
FUKUOKA: Ah, you see? That's exactly what I mean. That's your reason
speaking! Don't question so much. If I suggest white clover, use white
clover. If I suggest red clover, then use red clover. Over the years I've
tried vetch, alfalfa, lupine, trefoil, and many kinds of clover... and I
reached the conclusion that for natural no-till rotation of grains and
vegetables, and as a ground cover in the orchard, white clover is best.
My findings have been verified by others, too. When I visited Rodale's
Organic Farming Research Center in Pennsylvania recently, the people there
showed me the experiments they've been doing for several years in
interplanting grains and row crops with clover and other ground covers. And
you know, the plots where they were having the greatest success were the
ones in which they were using white clover!
PLOWBOY: In the Pacific Northwest, there's a network of organic farmers and
gardeners called Tilth. They've started a "clover project" in which members
in Oregon, Washington, Idaho, and British Columbia plant various types of
clover in barley and corn fields, apple orchards, and vegetable gardens...
all to gain experience with that cover crop. Don't you think that sort of
experimentation is worthwhile?
FUKUOKA: Well, yes, it's fine... but the results are already here and
available right in front of us! I did those kinds of experiments 25 years
ago, and now others could benefit from my experience if only they'd look at
the results. They could save themselves a lot of time and effort by just
taking the shortcut of believing.
Americans, I think, find it difficult to believe. They have to experiment
and see for themselves. But believing is the most direct approach.
I just bought some white clover!
However, be careful with this section. On re-reading this is not a
Mollisonesque attempt to have permaculturalists follow his exact teachings
as laid down in the Design Manual. In fact, the passage turns on these
Throw away your own ideas for a moment and let the results of my experiments
be the Seed of some new ideas and ways of thinking.
Fukuoka is inviting discovery and offering his lifetime's work as our
launching pad. The best permaculturalism invites this same openness to
discovery through harkening to nature. The worst of Permaculture is an
interventionist, rule based, technology inspired bastard newly whelped from
the bitch of conventional agriculture.
I like Heidegger's desire to "Let beings be". In similar vein, it might be
worth recalling a line of Wittgenstein (not 'Philosophy is not a theory but
an activity', though this is something always worth keeping alive, but,);
"My propositions are elucidatory in this way: he who understands me finally
recognizes them as senseless, when he has climbed out through them, on them,
over them. (He must so to speak throw away the ladder, after he has climbed
up on it."
- Good Spring,
Having a big time finding the white clover seed, for about 3
acres. Have looked into some of the seed sources from the
Fukuoka site, not yet all. Some, such as WildSeed Farms, have
other clovers, but not the white. Our local Southern States Farm
Cooperative said that everything out there is hybrid GMO. It was
vexing to hear the resignation in the farm profession, but is it
true? Has anyone already found which of the seed companies does
carry the white clover? What might be the next best choice for
the park meadow? Whatever we use must remain low-ish in its
growth habit, or the park service will come & roar that mower at
us. We will happily co-exist with the honey bees, if we are
lucky enough to have any honey bees still out there.
Green times ahead,
- Hello Napi,
White clover (+ other varieties) carried by (but currently not available):
Peaceful Valley Farm Supply http://www.groworganic.com/a/item_SCL316.html
Hope they can help you,
----- Oorspronkelijk bericht -----
Van: "Robin, Maya, or Napi" <seafloorgarden@...>
Verzonden: Monday, April 07, 2003 7:01 AM
Onderwerp: [fukuoka_farming] white clover
> Good Spring,
> Having a big time finding the white clover seed, for about 3
> acres. Have looked into some of the seed sources from the
> Fukuoka site, not yet all. Some, such as WildSeed Farms, have
> other clovers, but not the white. Our local Southern States Farm
> Cooperative said that everything out there is hybrid GMO. It was
> vexing to hear the resignation in the farm profession, but is it
> true? Has anyone already found which of the seed companies does
> carry the white clover? What might be the next best choice for
> the park meadow? Whatever we use must remain low-ish in its
> growth habit, or the park service will come & roar that mower at
> us. We will happily co-exist with the honey bees, if we are
> lucky enough to have any honey bees still out there.
> Green times ahead,
> To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to:
> Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
- Hi Napi,
> Having a big time finding the white clover seed, for about 3Territorial Seed sells New Zealand White Clover. Recommends 6-10lbs/acre.
Cost is $46.75/10 lbs, $97.75/25 lbs, and $170.25/50 lbs. Plus shipping from
Oregon. Website is
They recommend it usually for fall rather than spring sowing, but can be
used for a spring cover crop. I've got a lot of it growing here. Never gets
more than about 8" high, usually more like 4-6". Supposed to tolerate
drought and wider range of soils than Dutch White Clover. Really neat stuff,
but best sown on bare ground as it takes time for it to displace other
grasses and weeds. This clover is perennial. If you want an annual then
Medic Mix Clover or Subterranean Clover might work. Both are relatively low
growing and drought-tolerant, do well in poor soild. Costs about the same
per pound as the White Clover, but you need more per acre - 15 lbs/acre for
the Medic Mix and 20-30 lbs/acre for the subterranean. Territorial carries
all three and usually have all of them in stock. Medic Mix is supposed to be
a real weed snuffer, but I don't know for sure.
- Hi Everybody,
New Zealand White Clover is the kind Fukuoka prefers, and Territorial, Peaceful Valley, and Johnny's all sell it, just as our members have said. But John Jeavons goes even further; in his Bountiful Gardens/Ecology Action catalog he explicitly advertises that his New Zealand White Clover is the kind used and recommended by Fukuoka. Under "Trifolium repens" he says "a medium-high growing clover. Fukuoka's favorite cover crop in One-Straw Revolution. Likes moist soil."
Bob Monie--knee-deep in wild onions--Southeast Louisiana
sethwai <sethwai@...> wrote: Napi,
You can try Johnny's selected seeds
and Fedco Seeds
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