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  • emhazz
    ça alors! we are almost neighbours...are you member of the local lets system ? le sel de la terre )if so, maybe we can meet at the next market-gathering
    Message 1 of 14 , Dec 9, 2001
      ça alors! we are almost neighbours...are you member of the local lets
      system ?"le sel de la terre")if so, maybe we can meet at the next
      market-gathering taking place in limoux next sunday? i'll be having
      an stand with synergistic ag. & permaculture documentation...
      about rye & mustard:they both are tolerant to calcareous soil,
      mustard even thrives on it: sow both as fast as possible & as they
      are meant to germinate in the immediate, u dont need to rap them
      around on clay, just make sure that after mowing you roll over them
      (with whatever having a cylindrical shape & a bit heavy), so that the
      seeds will be in contact with the soil.
      so maybe seing you all next sunday? emilia
    • emhazz
      hi, if weather keeps as now i won t make it to the SEL market on sunday...(my car didn t make it today up the frozensnow hill where i live, etc etc) i ve made
      Message 2 of 14 , Dec 14, 2001
        hi, if weather keeps as now i won't make it to the SEL market on
        sunday...(my car didn't make it today up the frozensnow hill where i
        live, etc etc)
        i've made a photocopy of Jean Pain's book & i can send it to you,
        (let me know your adress, my phone is in the SEL booklist).

        Robert Monie mentions Gajin Tokuno...i've read his book & although he
        calls his agriculture "natural", & in his introduction he sounds a
        bit like what Fukuoka does... when it comes down to give practical
        advice for growing plants: he recomends the use of compost as
        fertiliser & to dig it in 20/30cm deep... keeping an agricultural
        soil self-fertile is not an easy to grasp notion, to some.
        emilia
      • Robert Monie
        REPLY: We desperately need demonstration farms, even very small ones. that we can visit to compare notes and find out pragmatically just what this natural
        Message 3 of 14 , Dec 15, 2001
          REPLY:
          We desperately need "demonstration" farms, even very small ones. that we can visit to "compare notes" and find out pragmatically just what this natural farming animal really looks like. Most organic farmers and even hydroponic growers that I know are not in any way "against" the concept of natural farming; they are just not convinced that it can be made to pan out. They expect to see some product such as seeds, nursery plants, or fresh produce for the market that natural farmers can show so we have a basis for comparison. Peggy Bradley of Corvallis, Oregan, has set up minifarms with edible produce growing in tubs in very geologically unpromising villages in Africa, and the results have been very productive. Hydroponic systems will work ry well on rooftops, highrises, asphalt jungles, and stony mountain tops, even as NASA has shown, in capsules orbiting in space. In a region starving for protein and vitamins (any region, on or above the Earth), peas and green leafy vegetables grow prolifically in hydroponic tubs. How sustainable can hydroponics be? Nobody really knows, since until recently few have attempted to prepare hydroponic solutions organically as compost tea, for instance. It is evident that produce grown by hydroponic methods using heritage and open-pollinated seeds can produce beautifully consistant crops and abundant seeds too, in remarkably large quantities.
          Organic proponents like John Jeavons can point to success in Kenya and Mexico, where villagers have improved their health from the increased calories, protein, and antioxidents provided by compost-enriched systems. These results from biointensive gardening and the newer, organically-oriented hydroponics systems can be seen fairly quickly--within 1 to 3 years. You go to Africa, Mexico, or Russia, teach the residents how to prepare the soil, and before long, they have food to eat, maybe even some nursury plants to trade or sell, and a system that promises to feed them as long they work on it. You show them how to grow large sections of their garden just to produce compost, and then you lay the compost and mulch on. If you are doing experimental organic hydroponics, you might lay out similar plots of plants to produce the compost tea or hydroponic nutrients. You give the villagers a system and a method to produce high-quality food, not a mystical experience. Probably their immune system improves, they live longer and healthier lives, thier babies have fewer birth defects, their mortality rate drops. You don't tell them that they have to wait for nature to select which foods they are going to eat if they are starving now. They don't want the theory or the faith, they want the food.
          Alternative agriculture is going to happen, just as surely as solar electricy. If you go to a solar festival like the one in Hopland, California (near Real Goods-Jade Mountain Co.), you will see every conceivable type of solar device. There are crystal silicon cells, thin film technology, epitaxy deposition systems like Astropower's, amorphous sheets like Unisolar, and in the future their will be systems on display like Australia's titania cells that mimic the dye processes of energy conversion in plant photosynthesis. Since IBM can now make a transistor at the level of the atom, yet another photovoltaic method will surely follow from this discovery. All these systems and more are, let's face it, in friendly competition, to move out out of the era of oil, coal, and atomic power dependence and into an era of sustainable resources. In truth, no one knows which form of solar power will prove most sustainable. I am sentimentally (even mystically) attached to the Titania system (Sustainable Technology Australia, Ltd), because it is based on an evolution-tested plant model.
          But the atom-based solar cell, if we can make it, might be better and more sustainable. Who knows? By analogy, does anyone really know the most sustainable way to grow food for the human population, whether each person has a home garden plot or a big, commercial farm in involved? Can we swear that we will always grow plants in "soil." Is soil intrinsically better than coconut coir or rice hulls or water or even air?
          How do we know evolution doesn't favor some form of hydroponics aeroponics? I am 100% in favor of finding out what natural farming can actually produce in macro- and micro-climates all over the world. But I want to know where the natural farming system fits with other organically-oriented food production systems (including permaculture). Mercifully, the solar cell producers are not putting one another down. Some of them even produce more than one kind of "solution" to the problem, not instisting that they have found the final answer.
          What exactly can natural farming do? At the scale of the single household, can it provide a vegetarian person or family with all or most of the food they want to eat? (Jeavons and Bradley claim their systems can.) Can it capture a significant "market share" in providing produce to green growers' shops, farmers' markets, etc? If the genetics of the produce is extremely variable, will it be able to compete in the market of affluent countries? At the other end of the scale, can it feed the starving populations of the world in Cambodia, India, Africa, etc? If it cannot do these things, some other method(s) wil be found that can. These demands will not simply disappear, and some source will be found to supply them-- unless someone brutally wants to argue that evolution favors the extinction of all groups whose needs cannot be met by natural farming! (Do I hear traces of this chilling philosophy on certain web sites devoted to natural farming?)
          It will be lovely if natural farming can meet the food production needs of the world, but if not, will it not have to live in harmony with other, competing methods? In other words, is Fukuoka's vision universal or particular, absolute or limited? An early idol of mine, the designer R. Buckminster Fuller, believed that the structure of the tetrahedron was the basis of the universe. Others scoffed at him, but not long after his death scientists discovered a remarkable class of Carbon 60 compounds that they dubbed the Buckminsterfullerine.
          Within this class, the tetrahedron structure may well reign supreme, so Bucky's theory is partially vindicated. But, alas, the universe is very very large and contains many things that are not governed by tetrahedrons. I still love and revere Bucky Fuller, but he fell short--as everyone must--of explaining the universe. Must not the same hold true for Fukuoka? Perhaps in this Universe there are other sustainable ways of growing food?
          Nevertheless, let us all continue to try our natural farming experiments and find out what it can (or cannot) do. When the demonstration farms are flourishing, let's all support them; I know I will.
          Merry Christmas, Happy New Year
          Bob Monie, a mile from the Mississipi River in Louisiana
          emhazz <emhaz@...> wrote: hi, if weather keeps as now i won't make it to the SEL market on
          sunday...(my car didn't make it today up the frozensnow hill where i
          live, etc etc)
          i've made a photocopy of Jean Pain's book & i can send it to you,
          (let me know your adress, my phone is in the SEL booklist).

          Robert Monie mentions Gajin Tokuno...i've read his book & although he
          calls his agriculture "natural", & in his introduction he sounds a
          bit like what Fukuoka does... when it comes down to give practical
          advice for growing plants: he recomends the use of compost as
          fertiliser & to dig it in 20/30cm deep... keeping an agricultural
          soil self-fertile is not an easy to grasp notion, to some.
          emilia



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        • Bargyla Rateaver
          My father in Madagascar had a thriving garden in the seaport town, a real farm type veg garden inland 3 miles, by a tiny lake , and a really excellent large
          Message 4 of 14 , Dec 15, 2001
            My father in Madagascar had a thriving garden in the seaport town, a real farm type veg garden inland 3 miles, by a tiny "lake", and a really excellent large garden beside a river in the arid inland. Never once, never once, never once did any native put out a similar effort. No, they sat in their tiny, dirt-floored,, grassy huts or roamed the "woods" for what they could cut down. They never learned anything from his excellent example.

            Of course, in such a place one could not find a place to buy tubs. Anything would have to be first made, and that takes extra effort. It would be a very rare native who would go to the forest, cut down a tree, drag it down the mountain and along the road the miles necessary to reach his "home" space, somehow make it into boards, cut the boards into pieces and make a "tub" out of it, carry the water from some stream somewhere, to fill the tub, and then WHERE would be find the nutrients to put into the tub? Dilute ocean water, maybe? and where would he get the tools??? What about nails or screws===from where?

            Easy to say plausible things, but how would you actually DO it? Yes, I know about Jeavons--knew him--good person, etc etc., but in a really remote, isolated, primitive land, you just could not get the tools he used, no not even simple things like a spade. Where? no stores that carry such, way out in the "desert" or out in the jungle.

            Mexico is close enough to US that one could cross the border to US and buy, but not in primitive, remote places where the knowhow is most needed.

            I remember, when on furlough in US, sometimes our whole family would be out in the farm country, where my father would be asked to give a "pro-misionwork" talk, and all the farmers would listen avidly to the strange tales from Madagascar missionary worker, that one time a young person asked me if we actually "wore clothes" there.

            Of course, today, with TV etc., everyone has seen tropical lands and sights and people, so the knowledge of far places is worldwide. Still, you could hardly expct a nation of people who by nature and by environement would be , by US standards, just plain indolent, to do all the things it is possible to do.

            I remember also reading in an excellent journal no longer viable, about ONE woman in Aftica who caught on to the good ideas and made an outstandingly fine farm, but on both sides and all around were others who followed the same old careless, easygoing ways. It really would take an exceptional person to buck the tide and do things differently from the old way.





            Robert Monie wrote:

            > REPLY:
            > We desperately need "demonstration" farms, even very small ones. that we can visit to "compare notes" and find out pragmatically just what this natural farming animal really looks like. Most organic farmers and even hydroponic growers that I know are not in any way "against" the concept of natural farming; they are just not convinced that it can be made to pan out. They expect to see some product such as seeds, nursery plants, or fresh produce for the market that natural farmers can show so we have a basis for comparison. Peggy Bradley of Corvallis, Oregan, has set up minifarms with edible produce growing in tubs in very geologically unpromising villages in Africa, and the results have been very productive. Hydroponic systems will work ry well on rooftops, highrises, asphalt jungles, and stony mountain tops, even as NASA has shown, in capsules orbiting in space. In a region starving for protein and vitamins (any region, on or above the Earth), peas and green leafy vegetables
            > grow prolifically in hydroponic tubs. How sustainable can hydroponics be? Nobody really knows, since until recently few have attempted to prepare hydroponic solutions organically as compost tea, for instance. It is evident that produce grown by hydroponic methods using heritage and open-pollinated seeds can produce beautifully consistant crops and abundant seeds too, in remarkably large quantities.
            > Organic proponents like John Jeavons can point to success in Kenya and Mexico, where villagers have improved their health from the increased calories, protein, and antioxidents provided by compost-enriched systems. These results from biointensive gardening and the newer, organically-oriented hydroponics systems can be seen fairly quickly--within 1 to 3 years. You go to Africa, Mexico, or Russia, teach the residents how to prepare the soil, and before long, they have food to eat, maybe even some nursury plants to trade or sell, and a system that promises to feed them as long they work on it. You show them how to grow large sections of their garden just to produce compost, and then you lay the compost and mulch on. If you are doing experimental organic hydroponics, you might lay out similar plots of plants to produce the compost tea or hydroponic nutrients. You give the villagers a system and a method to produce high-quality food, not a mystical experience. Probably their immune
            > system improves, they live longer and healthier lives, thier babies have fewer birth defects, their mortality rate drops. You don't tell them that they have to wait for nature to select which foods they are going to eat if they are starving now. They don't want the theory or the faith, they want the food.
            > Alternative agriculture is going to happen, just as surely as solar electricy. If you go to a solar festival like the one in Hopland, California (near Real Goods-Jade Mountain Co.), you will see every conceivable type of solar device. There are crystal silicon cells, thin film technology, epitaxy deposition systems like Astropower's, amorphous sheets like Unisolar, and in the future their will be systems on display like Australia's titania cells that mimic the dye processes of energy conversion in plant photosynthesis. Since IBM can now make a transistor at the level of the atom, yet another photovoltaic method will surely follow from this discovery. All these systems and more are, let's face it, in friendly competition, to move out out of the era of oil, coal, and atomic power dependence and into an era of sustainable resources. In truth, no one knows which form of solar power will prove most sustainable. I am sentimentally (even mystically) attached to the Titania system
            > (Sustainable Technology Australia, Ltd), because it is based on an evolution-tested plant model.
            > But the atom-based solar cell, if we can make it, might be better and more sustainable. Who knows? By analogy, does anyone really know the most sustainable way to grow food for the human population, whether each person has a home garden plot or a big, commercial farm in involved? Can we swear that we will always grow plants in "soil." Is soil intrinsically better than coconut coir or rice hulls or water or even air?
            > How do we know evolution doesn't favor some form of hydroponics aeroponics? I am 100% in favor of finding out what natural farming can actually produce in macro- and micro-climates all over the world. But I want to know where the natural farming system fits with other organically-oriented food production systems (including permaculture). Mercifully, the solar cell producers are not putting one another down. Some of them even produce more than one kind of "solution" to the problem, not instisting that they have found the final answer.
            > What exactly can natural farming do? At the scale of the single household, can it provide a vegetarian person or family with all or most of the food they want to eat? (Jeavons and Bradley claim their systems can.) Can it capture a significant "market share" in providing produce to green growers' shops, farmers' markets, etc? If the genetics of the produce is extremely variable, will it be able to compete in the market of affluent countries? At the other end of the scale, can it feed the starving populations of the world in Cambodia, India, Africa, etc? If it cannot do these things, some other method(s) wil be found that can. These demands will not simply disappear, and some source will be found to supply them-- unless someone brutally wants to argue that evolution favors the extinction of all groups whose needs cannot be met by natural farming! (Do I hear traces of this chilling philosophy on certain web sites devoted to natural farming?)
            > It will be lovely if natural farming can meet the food production needs of the world, but if not, will it not have to live in harmony with other, competing methods? In other words, is Fukuoka's vision universal or particular, absolute or limited? An early idol of mine, the designer R. Buckminster Fuller, believed that the structure of the tetrahedron was the basis of the universe. Others scoffed at him, but not long after his death scientists discovered a remarkable class of Carbon 60 compounds that they dubbed the Buckminsterfullerine.
            > Within this class, the tetrahedron structure may well reign supreme, so Bucky's theory is partially vindicated. But, alas, the universe is very very large and contains many things that are not governed by tetrahedrons. I still love and revere Bucky Fuller, but he fell short--as everyone must--of explaining the universe. Must not the same hold true for Fukuoka? Perhaps in this Universe there are other sustainable ways of growing food?
            > Nevertheless, let us all continue to try our natural farming experiments and find out what it can (or cannot) do. When the demonstration farms are flourishing, let's all support them; I know I will.
            > Merry Christmas, Happy New Year
            > Bob Monie, a mile from the Mississipi River in Louisiana
            > emhazz <emhaz@...> wrote: hi, if weather keeps as now i won't make it to the SEL market on
            > sunday...(my car didn't make it today up the frozensnow hill where i
            > live, etc etc)
            > i've made a photocopy of Jean Pain's book & i can send it to you,
            > (let me know your adress, my phone is in the SEL booklist).
            >
            > Robert Monie mentions Gajin Tokuno...i've read his book & although he
            > calls his agriculture "natural", & in his introduction he sounds a
            > bit like what Fukuoka does... when it comes down to give practical
            > advice for growing plants: he recomends the use of compost as
            > fertiliser & to dig it in 20/30cm deep... keeping an agricultural
            > soil self-fertile is not an easy to grasp notion, to some.
            > emilia
            >
            > Yahoo! Groups SponsorADVERTISEMENT
            >
            > To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to:
            > fukuoka_farming-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com
            >
            > Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to the Yahoo! Terms of Service.
            >
            > ---------------------------------
            > Do You Yahoo!?
            > Check out Yahoo! Shopping and Yahoo! Auctionsfor all of your holiday gifts!
            >
            > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
            >
            >
            > To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to:
            > fukuoka_farming-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com
            >
            >
            >
            > Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/

            --

            Bargyla Rateaver
            http://home.earthlink.net/~brateaver
          • Robert Monie
            REPLY: A 32-page booklet available from Ecology Action bountiful@zapcom.net called One Basic Mexican Diet by J. Magador Griffin documents the work of John
            Message 5 of 14 , Dec 15, 2001
              REPLY:
              A 32-page booklet available from Ecology Action bountiful@... called "One Basic Mexican Diet" by J. Magador Griffin documents the work of John Jeavon's follower Gary Stoner in his Menos y Mejores project in Tula, Tamaulipas, Mexio. The booklet is available in both Spanish and English. Ecology Action also can provide a booklet, "One Basic Kenyan Diet: With Diet, Income, & Compost Crop Designs in a Three-Growing-Bed Learning Model" by Patrick Wasike, a Jeavon's devotee at Manor House in Kenya. So Jeavons is not spinning out idle theory; he has seen his methods work in these and other relatively poor countries.
              Non-westerners can hardly be roundly characterized as indolent. Kenyans, for example, are some of the greatest long distance runners on Earth; many of them routinely run uphill for hours without becoming winded. In Mexico, the Tarahumara Indians have long startled western visitors with their ability to run distances from 50 to 100 miles at a stretch, carrying only a bag of prepared cornmeal for sustanance. The women and children routinely negotiate these distances along with the adult men.
              My experience with Vietnamese farmers in New Orleans East is that they are very industrious, energetic and productive, even the very old women who labor in the fields with their heads covered by conical straw hats.Early each morning at sunrise, one can see them wheeling their greens to market in shopping carts. The same is true of the Chinese and Japanese farmers; they can hardly be charactized as shiftless or lazy.
              Bargyla Rateaver <brateaver@...> wrote: My father in Madagascar had a thriving garden in the seaport town, a real farm type veg garden inland 3 miles, by a tiny "lake", and a really excellent large garden beside a river in the arid inland. Never once, never once, never once did any native put out a similar effort. No, they sat in their tiny, dirt-floored,, grassy huts or roamed the "woods" for what they could cut down. They never learned anything from his excellent example.

              Of course, in such a place one could not find a place to buy tubs. Anything would have to be first made, and that takes extra effort. It would be a very rare native who would go to the forest, cut down a tree, drag it down the mountain and along the road the miles necessary to reach his "home" space, somehow make it into boards, cut the boards into pieces and make a "tub" out of it, carry the water from some stream somewhere, to fill the tub, and then WHERE would be find the nutrients to put into the tub? Dilute ocean water, maybe? and where would he get the tools??? What about nails or screws===from where?

              Easy to say plausible things, but how would you actually DO it? Yes, I know about Jeavons--knew him--good person, etc etc., but in a really remote, isolated, primitive land, you just could not get the tools he used, no not even simple things like a spade. Where? no stores that carry such, way out in the "desert" or out in the jungle.

              Mexico is close enough to US that one could cross the border to US and buy, but not in primitive, remote places where the knowhow is most needed.

              I remember, when on furlough in US, sometimes our whole family would be out in the farm country, where my father would be asked to give a "pro-misionwork" talk, and all the farmers would listen avidly to the strange tales from Madagascar missionary worker, that one time a young person asked me if we actually "wore clothes" there.

              Of course, today, with TV etc., everyone has seen tropical lands and sights and people, so the knowledge of far places is worldwide. Still, you could hardly expct a nation of people who by nature and by environement would be , by US standards, just plain indolent, to do all the things it is possible to do.

              I remember also reading in an excellent journal no longer viable, about ONE woman in Aftica who caught on to the good ideas and made an outstandingly fine farm, but on both sides and all around were others who followed the same old careless, easygoing ways. It really would take an exceptional person to buck the tide and do things differently from the old way.





              Robert Monie wrote:

              > REPLY:
              > We desperately need "demonstration" farms, even very small ones. that we can visit to "compare notes" and find out pragmatically just what this natural farming animal really looks like. Most organic farmers and even hydroponic growers that I know are not in any way "against" the concept of natural farming; they are just not convinced that it can be made to pan out. They expect to see some product such as seeds, nursery plants, or fresh produce for the market that natural farmers can show so we have a basis for comparison. Peggy Bradley of Corvallis, Oregan, has set up minifarms with edible produce growing in tubs in very geologically unpromising villages in Africa, and the results have been very productive. Hydroponic systems will work ry well on rooftops, highrises, asphalt jungles, and stony mountain tops, even as NASA has shown, in capsules orbiting in space. In a region starving for protein and vitamins (any region, on or above the Earth), peas and green leafy vegetables
              > grow prolifically in hydroponic tubs. How sustainable can hydroponics be? Nobody really knows, since until recently few have attempted to prepare hydroponic solutions organically as compost tea, for instance. It is evident that produce grown by hydroponic methods using heritage and open-pollinated seeds can produce beautifully consistant crops and abundant seeds too, in remarkably large quantities.
              > Organic proponents like John Jeavons can point to success in Kenya and Mexico, where villagers have improved their health from the increased calories, protein, and antioxidents provided by compost-enriched systems. These results from biointensive gardening and the newer, organically-oriented hydroponics systems can be seen fairly quickly--within 1 to 3 years. You go to Africa, Mexico, or Russia, teach the residents how to prepare the soil, and before long, they have food to eat, maybe even some nursury plants to trade or sell, and a system that promises to feed them as long they work on it. You show them how to grow large sections of their garden just to produce compost, and then you lay the compost and mulch on. If you are doing experimental organic hydroponics, you might lay out similar plots of plants to produce the compost tea or hydroponic nutrients. You give the villagers a system and a method to produce high-quality food, not a mystical experience. Probably their immune
              > system improves, they live longer and healthier lives, thier babies have fewer birth defects, their mortality rate drops. You don't tell them that they have to wait for nature to select which foods they are going to eat if they are starving now. They don't want the theory or the faith, they want the food.
              > Alternative agriculture is going to happen, just as surely as solar electricy. If you go to a solar festival like the one in Hopland, California (near Real Goods-Jade Mountain Co.), you will see every conceivable type of solar device. There are crystal silicon cells, thin film technology, epitaxy deposition systems like Astropower's, amorphous sheets like Unisolar, and in the future their will be systems on display like Australia's titania cells that mimic the dye processes of energy conversion in plant photosynthesis. Since IBM can now make a transistor at the level of the atom, yet another photovoltaic method will surely follow from this discovery. All these systems and more are, let's face it, in friendly competition, to move out out of the era of oil, coal, and atomic power dependence and into an era of sustainable resources. In truth, no one knows which form of solar power will prove most sustainable. I am sentimentally (even mystically) attached to the Titania system
              > (Sustainable Technology Australia, Ltd), because it is based on an evolution-tested plant model.
              > But the atom-based solar cell, if we can make it, might be better and more sustainable. Who knows? By analogy, does anyone really know the most sustainable way to grow food for the human population, whether each person has a home garden plot or a big, commercial farm in involved? Can we swear that we will always grow plants in "soil." Is soil intrinsically better than coconut coir or rice hulls or water or even air?
              > How do we know evolution doesn't favor some form of hydroponics aeroponics? I am 100% in favor of finding out what natural farming can actually produce in macro- and micro-climates all over the world. But I want to know where the natural farming system fits with other organically-oriented food production systems (including permaculture). Mercifully, the solar cell producers are not putting one another down. Some of them even produce more than one kind of "solution" to the problem, not instisting that they have found the final answer.
              > What exactly can natural farming do? At the scale of the single household, can it provide a vegetarian person or family with all or most of the food they want to eat? (Jeavons and Bradley claim their systems can.) Can it capture a significant "market share" in providing produce to green growers' shops, farmers' markets, etc? If the genetics of the produce is extremely variable, will it be able to compete in the market of affluent countries? At the other end of the scale, can it feed the starving populations of the world in Cambodia, India, Africa, etc? If it cannot do these things, some other method(s) wil be found that can. These demands will not simply disappear, and some source will be found to supply them-- unless someone brutally wants to argue that evolution favors the extinction of all groups whose needs cannot be met by natural farming! (Do I hear traces of this chilling philosophy on certain web sites devoted to natural farming?)
              > It will be lovely if natural farming can meet the food production needs of the world, but if not, will it not have to live in harmony with other, competing methods? In other words, is Fukuoka's vision universal or particular, absolute or limited? An early idol of mine, the designer R. Buckminster Fuller, believed that the structure of the tetrahedron was the basis of the universe. Others scoffed at him, but not long after his death scientists discovered a remarkable class of Carbon 60 compounds that they dubbed the Buckminsterfullerine.
              > Within this class, the tetrahedron structure may well reign supreme, so Bucky's theory is partially vindicated. But, alas, the universe is very very large and contains many things that are not governed by tetrahedrons. I still love and revere Bucky Fuller, but he fell short--as everyone must--of explaining the universe. Must not the same hold true for Fukuoka? Perhaps in this Universe there are other sustainable ways of growing food?
              > Nevertheless, let us all continue to try our natural farming experiments and find out what it can (or cannot) do. When the demonstration farms are flourishing, let's all support them; I know I will.
              > Merry Christmas, Happy New Year
              > Bob Monie, a mile from the Mississipi River in Louisiana
              > emhazz <emhaz@...> wrote: hi, if weather keeps as now i won't make it to the SEL market on
              > sunday...(my car didn't make it today up the frozensnow hill where i
              > live, etc etc)
              > i've made a photocopy of Jean Pain's book & i can send it to you,
              > (let me know your adress, my phone is in the SEL booklist).
              >
              > Robert Monie mentions Gajin Tokuno...i've read his book & although he
              > calls his agriculture "natural", & in his introduction he sounds a
              > bit like what Fukuoka does... when it comes down to give practical
              > advice for growing plants: he recomends the use of compost as
              > fertiliser & to dig it in 20/30cm deep... keeping an agricultural
              > soil self-fertile is not an easy to grasp notion, to some.
              > emilia
              >
              > Yahoo! Groups SponsorADVERTISEMENT
              >
              > To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to:
              > fukuoka_farming-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com
              >
              > Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to the Yahoo! Terms of Service.
              >
              > ---------------------------------
              > Do You Yahoo!?
              > Check out Yahoo! Shopping and Yahoo! Auctionsfor all of your holiday gifts!
              >
              > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
              >
              >
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            • souscayrous
              Bob is clearly right that until we have working examples of natural farms, Natural Farming will be slow to catch on. I suspect that any organic farmer,
              Message 6 of 14 , Dec 16, 2001
                Bob is clearly right that until we have working examples of natural farms,
                'Natural Farming' will be slow to catch on. I suspect that any organic
                farmer, after having the basic concepts of natural farming explained, would
                wholeheartedly welcome them and then continue double digging the soil,
                adding compost etc, etc. Natural Farming is like a wraith in the air, only
                when weighted in soil does it become real. Also, because it is nature that
                grows plants and not the farmer, Natural Farming will look different in
                different places: there are no step-by-step rules that can be followed
                everywhere for every plant. In a pragmatic, rule following culture such as
                ours, Jeavons and not Fukuoka speak our culture's language. Natural farms
                will be the practical example by which to explain natural farming. And as
                Emilia points out, these farms must not just show the health of the plants
                and produce, but also show the produce has a market.

                We are a doing culture; restless, striving, looking to go further, faster
                for less. We need a booklet of instructions to know how to manipulate the
                world to extract what we require from it. We believe in the bottom line.
                Natural Farming counters this activity and questions whether it is not
                activity for activities sake. Fukuoka's answer is clear. Why hydroponics,
                double digging, composting? Why make plants grow faster, higher, stronger,
                longer? Why always 'techniques'? The most sustainable system is the system
                that has evolved since the earth began to cool. To use endless techniques
                to augment this system is to waste energy, or, to go back to Fukuoka, is the
                extraordinary hubris of humankind. What makes us believe we know better
                than nature? In a world threatened with mass animal and plant extinctions,
                global warming, the release of genetically modified organisms (GMOs), there
                is room to question. Ultimately, there can be no more suitable agriculture
                for the third world than natural farming, it is the only form of farming
                that does not need inputs of any kind. In cultures that have no surplus
                even the most basic tools, irrigation and bought seed are impossible. I
                hope no natural farming adherent is so callous as to talk the jargon of
                discredited Social Darwinism, or any form of rationalised racism that
                propounds 'natural selection'. In psychology there is a state known as
                'learned helplessness', under the political regimes that have historically
                been found in many third world countries (including western colonialism) and
                through interminable low scale conflicts, the people have had their ability
                to effect their environment removed. The answer might be as simple as
                rediscovering their personal sense of worth and letting them grow food
                instead of cash crops for foreign markets! These are pious sentiments, I
                know, but what I intend is that it is not techniques that are needed but the
                ability of a culture different from ours to rediscover their heritage and
                that includes their agri'culture'. The exportation of western oriented
                solutions neglects the culture that was already in place and the fact that
                to be a distinct culture it must have existed successfully for many hundreds
                of years nourished by local plants.

                The past week's posts on the complex interrelationships between plants and
                soil microorganisms give an insight into the evolved adaptability of
                biologically diverse environments: there must be a pressing reason to
                entirely ignore self-fertile soil for techniques that need external inputs.
                Common sense is not always the received wisdom of a culture, sometimes it
                takes another viewpoint, often naive, to allow us to see: it was not until
                the little boy called out that the emperor had no clothes on that people
                opened their eyes. Fukuoka expresses himself often with child-like
                simplicity, confused at the blind adherence of the Japanese people to
                western scientific agriculture. To him the imperial technology of the West
                is stripping the earth naked. But why, when all humankind need do is take
                the quiet trouble of attending to nature and adapting to its refinements?

                I do not think there is competition between Natural Farming and any type of
                organic farming. Whatever organic farming technique you mention will have a
                set of explicit steps by which one can achieve a good crop, Natural Farming
                suggests no techniques but to heed nature, to open ourselves so that we can
                hear. 'Do Nothing" or 'Seedballs' are techniques and, I suggest, the hooks
                upon which we, the western audience, have been drawn to Fukuoka. They do
                not, however, contribute to Fukuoka's insights into agriculture. I am no
                purist, insisting on the sanctity of nature. Much must be done to any piece
                of land that is 'in nature' before crops can be grown. Seedballs, double
                digging (I think you said you began with this Emilia), or any technique
                comes after, there must always be the careful attention first: what is the
                soil, the climate, my resources (physical and material) etc. Fukuoka's
                Natural Farming therefore stands outside organic techniques, there is no
                competition because it may be necessary somewhere to do something (to employ
                a technique) to establish the land so that it will ultimately achieve true
                sustainability (soil self-fertility with no additions from beyond the system
                itself). However, if it must be dug every year, if manure, compost or any
                additive must always be brought in from outside, if pesticides or herbicides
                are used regularly, then it is not Natural Farming.


                These are thoughts on the way to Natural Farming, I offer them not from the
                vehemence of belief but from a desire for communication with like-minded
                people. Bob suggests much in his intriguing email and I have addressed some
                of his points. We are just beginning a lifelong commitment to our land here
                and I know my ideas will change along this path we have chosen, I hope this
                forum will help keep us on track.


                Souscayrous




                -----Original Message-----
                From: Robert Monie [mailto:bobm20001@...]
                Sent: Saturday, December 15, 2001 10:03 PM
                To: fukuoka_farming@yahoogroups.com
                Subject: Re: [fukuoka_farming] to souscayrous


                REPLY:
                We desperately need "demonstration" farms, even very small ones. that we can
                visit to "compare notes" and find out pragmatically just what this natural
                farming animal really looks like. Most organic farmers and even hydroponic
                growers that I know are not in any way "against" the concept of natural
                farming; they are just not convinced that it can be made to pan out. They
                expect to see some product such as seeds, nursery plants, or fresh produce
                for the market that natural farmers can show so we have a basis for
                comparison. Peggy Bradley of Corvallis, Oregan, has set up minifarms with
                edible produce growing in tubs in very geologically unpromising villages in
                Africa, and the results have been very productive. Hydroponic systems will
                work ry well on rooftops, highrises, asphalt jungles, and stony mountain
                tops, even as NASA has shown, in capsules orbiting in space. In a region
                starving for protein and vitamins (any region, on or above the Earth), peas
                and green leafy vegetables
                grow prolifically in hydroponic tubs. How sustainable can hydroponics be?
                Nobody really knows, since until recently few have attempted to prepare
                hydroponic solutions organically as compost tea, for instance. It is evident
                that produce grown by hydroponic methods using heritage and open-pollinated
                seeds can produce beautifully consistant crops and abundant seeds too, in
                remarkably large quantities.
                Organic proponents like John Jeavons can point to success in Kenya and
                Mexico, where villagers have improved their health from the increased
                calories, protein, and antioxidents provided by compost-enriched systems.
                These results from biointensive gardening and the newer,
                organically-oriented hydroponics systems can be seen fairly quickly--within
                1 to 3 years. You go to Africa, Mexico, or Russia, teach the residents how
                to prepare the soil, and before long, they have food to eat, maybe even some
                nursury plants to trade or sell, and a system that promises to feed them as
                long they work on it. You show them how to grow large sections of their
                garden just to produce compost, and then you lay the compost and mulch on.
                If you are doing experimental organic hydroponics, you might lay out similar
                plots of plants to produce the compost tea or hydroponic nutrients. You
                give the villagers a system and a method to produce high-quality food, not a
                mystical experience. Probably their immune
                system improves, they live longer and healthier lives, thier babies have
                fewer birth defects, their mortality rate drops. You don't tell them that
                they have to wait for nature to select which foods they are going to eat if
                they are starving now. They don't want the theory or the faith, they want
                the food.
                Alternative agriculture is going to happen, just as surely as solar
                electricy. If you go to a solar festival like the one in Hopland, California
                (near Real Goods-Jade Mountain Co.), you will see every conceivable type of
                solar device. There are crystal silicon cells, thin film technology,
                epitaxy deposition systems like Astropower's, amorphous sheets like
                Unisolar, and in the future their will be systems on display like
                Australia's titania cells that mimic the dye processes of energy conversion
                in plant photosynthesis. Since IBM can now make a transistor at the level of
                the atom, yet another photovoltaic method will surely follow from this
                discovery. All these systems and more are, let's face it, in friendly
                competition, to move out out of the era of oil, coal, and atomic power
                dependence and into an era of sustainable resources. In truth, no one knows
                which form of solar power will prove most sustainable. I am sentimentally
                (even mystically) attached to the Titania system (Sustai
                nable Technology Australia, Ltd), because it is based on an evolution-tested
                plant model.
                But the atom-based solar cell, if we can make it, might be better and more
                sustainable. Who knows? By analogy, does anyone really know the most
                sustainable way to grow food for the human population, whether each person
                has a home garden plot or a big, commercial farm in involved? Can we swear
                that we will always grow plants in "soil." Is soil intrinsically better
                than coconut coir or rice hulls or water or even air?
                How do we know evolution doesn't favor some form of hydroponics aeroponics?
                I am 100% in favor of finding out what natural farming can actually produce
                in macro- and micro-climates all over the world. But I want to know where
                the natural farming system fits with other organically-oriented food
                production systems (including permaculture). Mercifully, the solar cell
                producers are not putting one another down. Some of them even produce more
                than one kind of "solution" to the problem, not instisting that they have
                found the final answer.
                What exactly can natural farming do? At the scale of the single household,
                can it provide a vegetarian person or family with all or most of the food
                they want to eat? (Jeavons and Bradley claim their systems can.) Can it
                capture a significant "market share" in providing produce to green growers'
                shops, farmers' markets, etc? If the genetics of the produce is extremely
                variable, will it be able to compete in the market of affluent countries?
                At the other end of the scale, can it feed the starving populations of the
                world in Cambodia, India, Africa, etc? If it cannot do these things, some
                other method(s) wil be found that can. These demands will not simply
                disappear, and some source will be found to supply them-- unless someone
                brutally wants to argue that evolution favors the extinction of all groups
                whose needs cannot be met by natural farming! (Do I hear traces of this
                chilling philosophy on certain web sites devoted to natural farming?)
                It will be lovely if natural farming can meet the food production needs
                of the world, but if not, will it not have to live in harmony with other,
                competing methods? In other words, is Fukuoka's vision universal or
                particular, absolute or limited? An early idol of mine, the designer R.
                Buckminster Fuller, believed that the structure of the tetrahedron was the
                basis of the universe. Others scoffed at him, but not long after his death
                scientists discovered a remarkable class of Carbon 60 compounds that they
                dubbed the Buckminsterfullerine.
                Within this class, the tetrahedron structure may well reign supreme, so
                Bucky's theory is partially vindicated. But, alas, the universe is very
                very large and contains many things that are not governed by tetrahedrons.
                I still love and revere Bucky Fuller, but he fell short--as everyone
                must--of explaining the universe. Must not the same hold true for Fukuoka?
                Perhaps in this Universe there are other sustainable ways of growing food?
                Nevertheless, let us all continue to try our natural farming experiments
                and find out what it can (or cannot) do. When the demonstration farms are
                flourishing, let's all support them; I know I will.
                Merry Christmas, Happy New Year
                Bob Monie, a mile from the Mississipi River in Louisiana
              • Bargyla Rateaver
                Yes, you are right. The same native who would be satisfied life long to live in a quickly-made hut of palm leaves [Ravenala palm] or just leafy branches of
                Message 7 of 14 , Dec 16, 2001
                  Yes, you are right. The same "native"who would be satisfied life long to live in a quickly-made hut of palm leaves [Ravenala palm] or just leafy branches of local trees, would be able to walk 60 km without any hesitation. And some would come to town, meaning having come 25 miles, say, carrying bunches of bananas, or baskets of some produce, figuring some French official or some missionary, would be glad to pay for it.
                  No missionary , British or US, could begin to even think of walking that far, for any purpose whatever. but the whilte man would not live in a smoky hut where a corner was the "stove" on which a big , heavy, thick black pot was used to cook rice., either.

                  Seems to me it is partly the standards with which one grows up, or lives as adult. The scornful phrase: "GO NATIVE" is part of the language.
                  ============

                  Robert Monie wrote:

                  > REPLY:
                  > A 32-page booklet available from Ecology Action bountiful@... called "One Basic Mexican Diet" by J. Magador Griffin documents the work of John Jeavon's follower Gary Stoner in his Menos y Mejores project in Tula, Tamaulipas, Mexio. The booklet is available in both Spanish and English. Ecology Action also can provide a booklet, "One Basic Kenyan Diet: With Diet, Income, & Compost Crop Designs in a Three-Growing-Bed Learning Model" by Patrick Wasike, a Jeavon's devotee at Manor House in Kenya. So Jeavons is not spinning out idle theory; he has seen his methods work in these and other relatively poor countries.
                  > Non-westerners can hardly be roundly characterized as indolent. Kenyans, for example, are some of the greatest long distance runners on Earth; many of them routinely run uphill for hours without becoming winded. In Mexico, the Tarahumara Indians have long startled western visitors with their ability to run distances from 50 to 100 miles at a stretch, carrying only a bag of prepared cornmeal for sustanance. The women and children routinely negotiate these distances along with the adult men.
                  > My experience with Vietnamese farmers in New Orleans East is that they are very industrious, energetic and productive, even the very old women who labor in the fields with their heads covered by conical straw hats.Early each morning at sunrise, one can see them wheeling their greens to market in shopping carts. The same is true of the Chinese and Japanese farmers; they can hardly be charactized as shiftless or lazy.
                  > Bargyla Rateaver <brateaver@...> wrote: My father in Madagascar had a thriving garden in the seaport town, a real farm type veg garden inland 3 miles, by a tiny "lake", and a really excellent large garden beside a river in the arid inland. Never once, never once, never once did any native put out a similar effort. No, they sat in their tiny, dirt-floored,, grassy huts or roamed the "woods" for what they could cut down. They never learned anything from his excellent example.
                  >
                  > Of course, in such a place one could not find a place to buy tubs. Anything would have to be first made, and that takes extra effort. It would be a very rare native who would go to the forest, cut down a tree, drag it down the mountain and along the road the miles necessary to reach his "home" space, somehow make it into boards, cut the boards into pieces and make a "tub" out of it, carry the water from some stream somewhere, to fill the tub, and then WHERE would be find the nutrients to put into the tub? Dilute ocean water, maybe? and where would he get the tools??? What about nails or screws===from where?
                  >
                  > Easy to say plausible things, but how would you actually DO it? Yes, I know about Jeavons--knew him--good person, etc etc., but in a really remote, isolated, primitive land, you just could not get the tools he used, no not even simple things like a spade. Where? no stores that carry such, way out in the "desert" or out in the jungle.
                  >
                  > Mexico is close enough to US that one could cross the border to US and buy, but not in primitive, remote places where the knowhow is most needed.
                  >
                  > I remember, when on furlough in US, sometimes our whole family would be out in the farm country, where my father would be asked to give a "pro-misionwork" talk, and all the farmers would listen avidly to the strange tales from Madagascar missionary worker, that one time a young person asked me if we actually "wore clothes" there.
                  >
                  > Of course, today, with TV etc., everyone has seen tropical lands and sights and people, so the knowledge of far places is worldwide. Still, you could hardly expct a nation of people who by nature and by environement would be , by US standards, just plain indolent, to do all the things it is possible to do.
                  >
                  > I remember also reading in an excellent journal no longer viable, about ONE woman in Aftica who caught on to the good ideas and made an outstandingly fine farm, but on both sides and all around were others who followed the same old careless, easygoing ways. It really would take an exceptional person to buck the tide and do things differently from the old way.
                  >
                  > Robert Monie wrote:
                  >
                  > > REPLY:
                  > > We desperately need "demonstration" farms, even very small ones. that we can visit to "compare notes" and find out pragmatically just what this natural farming animal really looks like. Most organic farmers and even hydroponic growers that I know are not in any way "against" the concept of natural farming; they are just not convinced that it can be made to pan out. They expect to see some product such as seeds, nursery plants, or fresh produce for the market that natural farmers can show so we have a basis for comparison. Peggy Bradley of Corvallis, Oregan, has set up minifarms with edible produce growing in tubs in very geologically unpromising villages in Africa, and the results have been very productive. Hydroponic systems will work ry well on rooftops, highrises, asphalt jungles, and stony mountain tops, even as NASA has shown, in capsules orbiting in space. In a region starving for protein and vitamins (any region, on or above the Earth), peas and green leafy
                  > vegetables
                  > > grow prolifically in hydroponic tubs. How sustainable can hydroponics be? Nobody really knows, since until recently few have attempted to prepare hydroponic solutions organically as compost tea, for instance. It is evident that produce grown by hydroponic methods using heritage and open-pollinated seeds can produce beautifully consistant crops and abundant seeds too, in remarkably large quantities.
                  > > Organic proponents like John Jeavons can point to success in Kenya and Mexico, where villagers have improved their health from the increased calories, protein, and antioxidents provided by compost-enriched systems. These results from biointensive gardening and the newer, organically-oriented hydroponics systems can be seen fairly quickly--within 1 to 3 years. You go to Africa, Mexico, or Russia, teach the residents how to prepare the soil, and before long, they have food to eat, maybe even some nursury plants to trade or sell, and a system that promises to feed them as long they work on it. You show them how to grow large sections of their garden just to produce compost, and then you lay the compost and mulch on. If you are doing experimental organic hydroponics, you might lay out similar plots of plants to produce the compost tea or hydroponic nutrients. You give the villagers a system and a method to produce high-quality food, not a mystical experience. Probably their
                  > immune
                  > > system improves, they live longer and healthier lives, thier babies have fewer birth defects, their mortality rate drops. You don't tell them that they have to wait for nature to select which foods they are going to eat if they are starving now. They don't want the theory or the faith, they want the food.
                  > > Alternative agriculture is going to happen, just as surely as solar electricy. If you go to a solar festival like the one in Hopland, California (near Real Goods-Jade Mountain Co.), you will see every conceivable type of solar device. There are crystal silicon cells, thin film technology, epitaxy deposition systems like Astropower's, amorphous sheets like Unisolar, and in the future their will be systems on display like Australia's titania cells that mimic the dye processes of energy conversion in plant photosynthesis. Since IBM can now make a transistor at the level of the atom, yet another photovoltaic method will surely follow from this discovery. All these systems and more are, let's face it, in friendly competition, to move out out of the era of oil, coal, and atomic power dependence and into an era of sustainable resources. In truth, no one knows which form of solar power will prove most sustainable. I am sentimentally (even mystically) attached to the Titania system
                  > > (Sustainable Technology Australia, Ltd), because it is based on an evolution-tested plant model.
                  > > But the atom-based solar cell, if we can make it, might be better and more sustainable. Who knows? By analogy, does anyone really know the most sustainable way to grow food for the human population, whether each person has a home garden plot or a big, commercial farm in involved? Can we swear that we will always grow plants in "soil." Is soil intrinsically better than coconut coir or rice hulls or water or even air?
                  > > How do we know evolution doesn't favor some form of hydroponics aeroponics? I am 100% in favor of finding out what natural farming can actually produce in macro- and micro-climates all over the world. But I want to know where the natural farming system fits with other organically-oriented food production systems (including permaculture). Mercifully, the solar cell producers are not putting one another down. Some of them even produce more than one kind of "solution" to the problem, not instisting that they have found the final answer.
                  > > What exactly can natural farming do? At the scale of the single household, can it provide a vegetarian person or family with all or most of the food they want to eat? (Jeavons and Bradley claim their systems can.) Can it capture a significant "market share" in providing produce to green growers' shops, farmers' markets, etc? If the genetics of the produce is extremely variable, will it be able to compete in the market of affluent countries? At the other end of the scale, can it feed the starving populations of the world in Cambodia, India, Africa, etc? If it cannot do these things, some other method(s) wil be found that can. These demands will not simply disappear, and some source will be found to supply them-- unless someone brutally wants to argue that evolution favors the extinction of all groups whose needs cannot be met by natural farming! (Do I hear traces of this chilling philosophy on certain web sites devoted to natural farming?)
                  > > It will be lovely if natural farming can meet the food production needs of the world, but if not, will it not have to live in harmony with other, competing methods? In other words, is Fukuoka's vision universal or particular, absolute or limited? An early idol of mine, the designer R. Buckminster Fuller, believed that the structure of the tetrahedron was the basis of the universe. Others scoffed at him, but not long after his death scientists discovered a remarkable class of Carbon 60 compounds that they dubbed the Buckminsterfullerine.
                  > > Within this class, the tetrahedron structure may well reign supreme, so Bucky's theory is partially vindicated. But, alas, the universe is very very large and contains many things that are not governed by tetrahedrons. I still love and revere Bucky Fuller, but he fell short--as everyone must--of explaining the universe. Must not the same hold true for Fukuoka? Perhaps in this Universe there are other sustainable ways of growing food?
                  > > Nevertheless, let us all continue to try our natural farming experiments and find out what it can (or cannot) do. When the demonstration farms are flourishing, let's all support them; I know I will.
                  > > Merry Christmas, Happy New Year
                  > > Bob Monie, a mile from the Mississipi River in Louisiana
                  > > emhazz <emhaz@...> wrote: hi, if weather keeps as now i won't make it to the SEL market on
                  > > sunday...(my car didn't make it today up the frozensnow hill where i
                  > > live, etc etc)
                  > > i've made a photocopy of Jean Pain's book & i can send it to you,
                  > > (let me know your adress, my phone is in the SEL booklist).
                  > >
                  > > Robert Monie mentions Gajin Tokuno...i've read his book & although he
                  > > calls his agriculture "natural", & in his introduction he sounds a
                  > > bit like what Fukuoka does... when it comes down to give practical
                  > > advice for growing plants: he recomends the use of compost as
                  > > fertiliser & to dig it in 20/30cm deep... keeping an agricultural
                  > > soil self-fertile is not an easy to grasp notion, to some.
                  > > emilia
                  > >
                  > > Yahoo! Groups SponsorADVERTISEMENT
                  > >
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                  > > fukuoka_farming-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com
                  > >
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                  > >
                  > > ---------------------------------
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                  > > Check out Yahoo! Shopping and Yahoo! Auctionsfor all of your holiday gifts!
                  > >
                  > > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                  > >
                  > >
                  > > To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to:
                  > > fukuoka_farming-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com
                  > >
                  > >
                  > >
                  > > Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
                  >
                  > --
                  >
                  > Bargyla Rateaver
                  > http://home.earthlink.net/~brateaver
                  >
                  > Yahoo! Groups SponsorADVERTISEMENT
                  >
                  > To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to:
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                  >
                  > ---------------------------------
                  > Do You Yahoo!?
                  > Check out Yahoo! Shopping and Yahoo! Auctionsfor all of your holiday gifts!
                  >
                  > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                  >
                  >
                  > To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to:
                  > fukuoka_farming-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com
                  >
                  >
                  >
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                  --

                  Bargyla Rateaver
                  http://home.earthlink.net/~brateaver
                • GLORIA BAIKAUSKAS
                  Isn t part of the basis of Fukuoka s teachings that no matter what seeds one puts in a seedball, nature will choose those best for where they sprout? Those
                  Message 8 of 14 , Dec 16, 2001
                    Isn't part of the basis of Fukuoka's teachings that no matter what seeds one puts in a seedball, nature will choose those best for where they sprout? Those will live and thrive in this way.

                    I was listening to an organic radio show this morning when something caught my attention. The man was saying that by saving one's own seeds and planting them year after year what happens is that eventually one develops a plant best suited for that growing place. In other words, eventually the seeds saved from a tomato, for instance, will eventually produce the best tomato for that land space which will thrive in all that nature throws at it. Disease and such won't be a problem. That in essence is what Fukuoka has said......right?

                    The problem right now is that in this world we have all these hybrid plants, genetically manipulated plants, too, that cannot survive without assistance where we plant them because of diseases, pest problems, etc. We can't seem to stop tinkering with what has survived before man discovered he could cultivate these plants to sustain himself better. Remember these plants were there before farming became a part of human life.

                    So, what I think I am getting to is that perhaps we cannot retain all of Fukuoka's ideas if we insist on growing things that are not native to where we are trying to grow them......or that have become adapted successfully. But, if we don't try to grow things that have no place where we are attempting to farm them, then we will succeed without the plastic, etc. That is where trading comes in.....commerce. Isn't that the point?

                    Gloria


                    [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                  • flylo@txcyber.com
                    Gloria,,, yes, you ve struck on something that s important! I ve noticed that the Habanero seeds I brought back from Belize in 1972 (and are the great
                    Message 9 of 14 , Dec 16, 2001
                      Gloria,,, yes, you've struck on something that's important! I've
                      noticed that the Habanero seeds I brought back from Belize in
                      1972 (and are the great grandparents of the seed I plant today)
                      have much more heat index than those of their 'grandchildren'.
                      I remember one Mexican lady who brought the '3 sisters' to Texas,
                      beans, corn and squash. She didn't have the names for these, they
                      were just crops her family had grown in the Yucatan for many
                      years.
                      The first year they performed miserably, but she saved seed
                      anyhow. She finally got a good crop after 3 years, and a bonus, the
                      plants are now more tolerant of our Texas extremes than the
                      originals.
                      I know I've sent my Texas grown lettuce seed (a Siberian type),
                      back to Canada, and it bolted in surprise!
                      For the first season, I grew Bloody Butcher corn and saved enough
                      seed to do a number of rows next year. I expect it to perform
                      completely differently next time. I don't look for it to settle down
                      and 'learn' it's habitat until at least 3 generations of saving seed
                      have passed.
                      Maybe it's our tendency to save the seed that best suits our needs
                      (first to mature, or best tolerant to drought or insect damage, etc.),
                      but several successive plantings, and you'll definitely get
                      something more adaptable to your location. That's why if you find
                      something from Seed Saver's Exchange, (or anywhere) it's
                      important to get it from someone who is closest in growing
                      conditions as yourself.

                      Oh, (an aside) We had a ripe tomato at dinner tonight. Not
                      unusual, but it was a 'chicken house' tomato. I'd tossed scraps off
                      and on this season into the henhouse. (Hens also have free range,
                      and can get picky over the produce they choose.) Apparently
                      they'd had an overabundance of tomatoes, because later I noticed
                      a tomato vine growing. I figured first frost would get it, but it survived
                      a number of light frosts. (growing amongst pigweed and some other
                      'trash' weeds.) When I brought in the tomatoes, I thought that this
                      was a good example of 'natural' gardening. I never watered the
                      area, what grew, grew. These were thick skinned, and meaty, not
                      an eating tomato, but a canner type. I couldn't put a name on it and
                      don't know if I'll save seed from the remainder or not.
                      I get a lot of volunteer lettuce in the early spring, from places I've
                      had gardens in years past. i usually will use some for the kitchen,
                      and just leave the rest to turn to 'weeds' in their particular places.
                      It's nice to be able to go out and pick this or that from somewhere
                      that's not an official 'garden' designation. I have a 'Texas Wild'
                      tomato that makes a grape-sized fruit on a big sprawly plant. but it
                      makes a bazillion of them. I don't even bother saving seed
                      anymore, I just know enough will mature and drop from the vine to
                      continue propagation for the future.
                      Maybe this is the true 'natural gardener', just start the propulsion
                      and let the plants take over and go 'feral' for you. martha
                    • Larry Haftl
                      From: ... Fukuoka claims that if you scatter seedballs in an area and leave it alone you will get a natural environment in three years.
                      Message 10 of 14 , Dec 17, 2001
                        From: <flylo@...>


                        > Gloria,,, yes, you've struck on something that's important! I've
                        > noticed that the Habanero seeds I brought back from Belize in
                        > 1972 (and are the great grandparents of the seed I plant today)
                        > have much more heat index than those of their 'grandchildren'.
                        > I remember one Mexican lady who brought the '3 sisters' to Texas,
                        > beans, corn and squash. She didn't have the names for these, they
                        > were just crops her family had grown in the Yucatan for many
                        > years.
                        > The first year they performed miserably, but she saved seed
                        > anyhow. She finally got a good crop after 3 years, and a bonus, the
                        > plants are now more tolerant of our Texas extremes than the
                        > originals.
                        > I know I've sent my Texas grown lettuce seed (a Siberian type),
                        > back to Canada, and it bolted in surprise!
                        > For the first season, I grew Bloody Butcher corn and saved enough
                        > seed to do a number of rows next year. I expect it to perform
                        > completely differently next time. I don't look for it to settle down
                        > and 'learn' it's habitat until at least 3 generations of saving seed
                        > have passed.

                        Fukuoka claims that if you scatter seedballs in an area and leave it alone
                        you will get a "natural" environment in three years. Your anecdote about the
                        Mexican lady's experience seems to support Fukuoka's claim. I've planned to
                        let my patch do it's own thing for the next three years to see what will
                        actually happen out there. Three years is a LONG time to wait and see, so
                        hearing these kinds of anecdotes helps lift my heart and make it a bit
                        easier to be patient.


                        > Maybe it's our tendency to save the seed that best suits our needs
                        > (first to mature, or best tolerant to drought or insect damage, etc.),
                        > but several successive plantings, and you'll definitely get
                        > something more adaptable to your location. That's why if you find
                        > something from Seed Saver's Exchange, (or anywhere) it's
                        > important to get it from someone who is closest in growing
                        > conditions as yourself.

                        I am very fortunate to live only a few miles from, and in the same general
                        microclimate of, a great seed company (Territorial Seed). I got all my seeds
                        (more than 200 varieties of herbs, flowers and vegetables) from them not
                        only because they're in the same microclimate, but also because I can run
                        over to their farm from time to time to see how their plants are growing.
                        This will help me identify what is actually growing on my patch and also
                        enable me to make some general comparisons of yield. Territorial uses raised
                        beds and does the tilling/composting/fertilizing thing, so the comparison
                        results should be interesting.


                        Larry Haftl
                        Journalist * Photographer * Videographer
                        www.LarryHaftl.com
                      • Bargyla Rateaver
                        miner s lettce.. Yrs ago I got some from someplace , a wild place, I suppose, or maybe I bought the seed from that young man who sold such things. Anyway, it
                        Message 11 of 14 , Dec 17, 2001
                          miner's lettce.. Yrs ago I got some from someplace , a wild place, I suppose, or maybe
                          I bought the seed from that young man who sold such things. Anyway, it now comes up by
                          itself on my place here in S Diego city.

                          burt levy wrote:

                          > -You've hit on a subject that I've been working on
                          > with seedballs. The benefits of wild edible areas on
                          > your property. We can have our irrigated and
                          > established garden areas and orchards naturally farmed
                          > and producing for us. But also if you were to throw
                          > seedballs out into wild untended areas you would get a
                          > naturalized edible wild landscape adapted completely
                          > to your area. The benefits are that you would have a
                          > fairly reliable source of food not requiring human
                          > intervention. Where I live the rainy season generally
                          > ends in late April. It doesn't really begin until Nov.
                          > So summer plants like tomatoes and beans probably
                          > would only live and produce from April to June. Thier
                          > yields would be small, however thier wild fruits are
                          > more condensed and more nutritious. The winter stuff
                          > like lettuces and broccolli etc will probably produce
                          > more because of the abundance of rain during the
                          > winter. Wild foods are important because they are
                          > reliable. On my property we get at different times of
                          > year, miners lettuce, red clover, black berries,
                          > mulberries, pine nuts and acorns. With no input from
                          > ourselves. If we add vegetables to this, I believe
                          > some of them would join that group. Also however I
                          > would say to use a little caution. For instance I
                          > won't throw the seedballs around were the miners
                          > lettuce grows, because I wouldn't want to interfere
                          > with a productive native food source.flylo@...
                          > wrote:
                          > > Gloria,,, yes, you've struck on something that's
                          > > important! I've
                          > > noticed that the Habanero seeds I brought back from
                          > > Belize in
                          > > 1972 (and are the great grandparents of the seed I
                          > > plant today)
                          > > have much more heat index than those of their
                          > > 'grandchildren'.
                          > > I remember one Mexican lady who brought the '3
                          > > sisters' to Texas,
                          > > beans, corn and squash. She didn't have the names
                          > > for these, they
                          > > were just crops her family had grown in the Yucatan
                          > > for many
                          > > years.
                          > > The first year they performed miserably, but she
                          > > saved seed
                          > > anyhow. She finally got a good crop after 3 years,
                          > > and a bonus, the
                          > > plants are now more tolerant of our Texas extremes
                          > > than the
                          > > originals.
                          > > I know I've sent my Texas grown lettuce seed (a
                          > > Siberian type),
                          > > back to Canada, and it bolted in surprise!
                          > > For the first season, I grew Bloody Butcher corn and
                          > > saved enough
                          > > seed to do a number of rows next year. I expect it
                          > > to perform
                          > > completely differently next time. I don't look for
                          > > it to settle down
                          > > and 'learn' it's habitat until at least 3
                          > > generations of saving seed
                          > > have passed.
                          > > Maybe it's our tendency to save the seed that best
                          > > suits our needs
                          > > (first to mature, or best tolerant to drought or
                          > > insect damage, etc.),
                          > > but several successive plantings, and you'll
                          > > definitely get
                          > > something more adaptable to your location. That's
                          > > why if you find
                          > > something from Seed Saver's Exchange, (or anywhere)
                          > > it's
                          > > important to get it from someone who is closest in
                          > > growing
                          > > conditions as yourself.
                          > >
                          > > Oh, (an aside) We had a ripe tomato at dinner
                          > > tonight. Not
                          > > unusual, but it was a 'chicken house' tomato. I'd
                          > > tossed scraps off
                          > > and on this season into the henhouse. (Hens also
                          > > have free range,
                          > > and can get picky over the produce they choose.)
                          > > Apparently
                          > > they'd had an overabundance of tomatoes, because
                          > > later I noticed
                          > > a tomato vine growing. I figured first frost would
                          > > get it, but it survived
                          > > a number of light frosts. (growing amongst pigweed
                          > > and some other
                          > > 'trash' weeds.) When I brought in the tomatoes, I
                          > > thought that this
                          > > was a good example of 'natural' gardening. I never
                          > > watered the
                          > > area, what grew, grew. These were thick skinned, and
                          > > meaty, not
                          > > an eating tomato, but a canner type. I couldn't put
                          > > a name on it and
                          > > don't know if I'll save seed from the remainder or
                          > > not.
                          > > I get a lot of volunteer lettuce in the early
                          > > spring, from places I've
                          > > had gardens in years past. i usually will use some
                          > > for the kitchen,
                          > > and just leave the rest to turn to 'weeds' in their
                          > > particular places.
                          > > It's nice to be able to go out and pick this or that
                          > > from somewhere
                          > > that's not an official 'garden' designation. I have
                          > > a 'Texas Wild'
                          > > tomato that makes a grape-sized fruit on a big
                          > > sprawly plant. but it
                          > > makes a bazillion of them. I don't even bother
                          > > saving seed
                          > > anymore, I just know enough will mature and drop
                          > > from the vine to
                          > > continue propagation for the future.
                          > > Maybe this is the true 'natural gardener', just
                          > > start the propulsion
                          > > and let the plants take over and go 'feral' for you.
                          > > martha
                          > >
                          > >
                          >
                          > __________________________________________________
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                          --

                          Bargyla Rateaver
                          http://home.earthlink.net/~brateaver
                        • burt levy
                          -You ve hit on a subject that I ve been working on with seedballs. The benefits of wild edible areas on your property. We can have our irrigated and
                          Message 12 of 14 , Dec 17, 2001
                            -You've hit on a subject that I've been working on
                            with seedballs. The benefits of wild edible areas on
                            your property. We can have our irrigated and
                            established garden areas and orchards naturally farmed
                            and producing for us. But also if you were to throw
                            seedballs out into wild untended areas you would get a
                            naturalized edible wild landscape adapted completely
                            to your area. The benefits are that you would have a
                            fairly reliable source of food not requiring human
                            intervention. Where I live the rainy season generally
                            ends in late April. It doesn't really begin until Nov.
                            So summer plants like tomatoes and beans probably
                            would only live and produce from April to June. Thier
                            yields would be small, however thier wild fruits are
                            more condensed and more nutritious. The winter stuff
                            like lettuces and broccolli etc will probably produce
                            more because of the abundance of rain during the
                            winter. Wild foods are important because they are
                            reliable. On my property we get at different times of
                            year, miners lettuce, red clover, black berries,
                            mulberries, pine nuts and acorns. With no input from
                            ourselves. If we add vegetables to this, I believe
                            some of them would join that group. Also however I
                            would say to use a little caution. For instance I
                            won't throw the seedballs around were the miners
                            lettuce grows, because I wouldn't want to interfere
                            with a productive native food source.flylo@...
                            wrote:
                            > Gloria,,, yes, you've struck on something that's
                            > important! I've
                            > noticed that the Habanero seeds I brought back from
                            > Belize in
                            > 1972 (and are the great grandparents of the seed I
                            > plant today)
                            > have much more heat index than those of their
                            > 'grandchildren'.
                            > I remember one Mexican lady who brought the '3
                            > sisters' to Texas,
                            > beans, corn and squash. She didn't have the names
                            > for these, they
                            > were just crops her family had grown in the Yucatan
                            > for many
                            > years.
                            > The first year they performed miserably, but she
                            > saved seed
                            > anyhow. She finally got a good crop after 3 years,
                            > and a bonus, the
                            > plants are now more tolerant of our Texas extremes
                            > than the
                            > originals.
                            > I know I've sent my Texas grown lettuce seed (a
                            > Siberian type),
                            > back to Canada, and it bolted in surprise!
                            > For the first season, I grew Bloody Butcher corn and
                            > saved enough
                            > seed to do a number of rows next year. I expect it
                            > to perform
                            > completely differently next time. I don't look for
                            > it to settle down
                            > and 'learn' it's habitat until at least 3
                            > generations of saving seed
                            > have passed.
                            > Maybe it's our tendency to save the seed that best
                            > suits our needs
                            > (first to mature, or best tolerant to drought or
                            > insect damage, etc.),
                            > but several successive plantings, and you'll
                            > definitely get
                            > something more adaptable to your location. That's
                            > why if you find
                            > something from Seed Saver's Exchange, (or anywhere)
                            > it's
                            > important to get it from someone who is closest in
                            > growing
                            > conditions as yourself.
                            >
                            > Oh, (an aside) We had a ripe tomato at dinner
                            > tonight. Not
                            > unusual, but it was a 'chicken house' tomato. I'd
                            > tossed scraps off
                            > and on this season into the henhouse. (Hens also
                            > have free range,
                            > and can get picky over the produce they choose.)
                            > Apparently
                            > they'd had an overabundance of tomatoes, because
                            > later I noticed
                            > a tomato vine growing. I figured first frost would
                            > get it, but it survived
                            > a number of light frosts. (growing amongst pigweed
                            > and some other
                            > 'trash' weeds.) When I brought in the tomatoes, I
                            > thought that this
                            > was a good example of 'natural' gardening. I never
                            > watered the
                            > area, what grew, grew. These were thick skinned, and
                            > meaty, not
                            > an eating tomato, but a canner type. I couldn't put
                            > a name on it and
                            > don't know if I'll save seed from the remainder or
                            > not.
                            > I get a lot of volunteer lettuce in the early
                            > spring, from places I've
                            > had gardens in years past. i usually will use some
                            > for the kitchen,
                            > and just leave the rest to turn to 'weeds' in their
                            > particular places.
                            > It's nice to be able to go out and pick this or that
                            > from somewhere
                            > that's not an official 'garden' designation. I have
                            > a 'Texas Wild'
                            > tomato that makes a grape-sized fruit on a big
                            > sprawly plant. but it
                            > makes a bazillion of them. I don't even bother
                            > saving seed
                            > anymore, I just know enough will mature and drop
                            > from the vine to
                            > continue propagation for the future.
                            > Maybe this is the true 'natural gardener', just
                            > start the propulsion
                            > and let the plants take over and go 'feral' for you.
                            > martha
                            >
                            >


                            __________________________________________________
                            Do You Yahoo!?
                            Check out Yahoo! Shopping and Yahoo! Auctions for all of
                            your unique holiday gifts! Buy at http://shopping.yahoo.com
                            or bid at http://auctions.yahoo.com
                          • GLORIA BAIKAUSKAS
                            Larry, that does sound like an interesting experiment. How far along are you to the three year threshold? And please let us know what kind of comparisons you
                            Message 13 of 14 , Dec 17, 2001
                              Larry, that does sound like an interesting experiment. How far along are you to the three year threshold? And please let us know what kind of comparisons you get to their seed production results.

                              I have a new question regarding this, though. If we, for instance, leave tomatoes on the ground at the end of the season to volunteer their seeds for the next season, does that bring up a problem with crop rotation? I am asking because I don't know Fukuoka's answer to crop rotation. Is it necessary?

                              Gloria


                              [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                            • GLORIA BAIKAUSKAS
                              This has brought up a new idea to me. I would imagine that with nonNatural farming methods man has insured the extinction of many plants that we probably
                              Message 14 of 14 , Dec 17, 2001
                                This has brought up a new idea to me. I would imagine that with nonNatural farming methods man has insured the extinction of many plants that we probably could be using right now to save lives and enjoy had we not meddled. Perhaps with natural farming some of these plants thought extinct will reappear. It is not beyond the realm of probability that somewhere below the soil level there are seeds of plants long ago extinct that may reappear somehow.

                                What do y'all think?
                                Gloria


                                [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
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