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Re: [fukuoka_farming] Re: Allan Savory: How to green the world's deserts and reverse climate change

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  • Alan Sloan
    The video is not about India - it is about places like The landscapes in the Video are too poor to support arable farming directly. The cattle are there to
    Message 1 of 112 , Mar 16, 2013
      The video is not about India - it is about places like The landscapes in
      the Video are too poor to support arable farming directly. The cattle are
      there to covert inedible grass into fertile and moisture retaining humus
      and to build a poor ecosystem up into rich and diverse one - there is the
      potential from then on to develop tree growing or even localised grain and
      vegetable, but such activities will need a kickstart. The soil shown in
      the videos is sterile and subject to erosion in the infrequent rains, and
      he presents evidence that the bacterial and mechanical effects of animals
      helps remedy this. We already know in other landscapes animal are
      NOT necessary to pioneer growth, but by definition these are not marginal

      That is the argument, at least, I think .

      There an some that say in Western Europe where we
      have particularly reliable moist weather coming in from the Atlantic, we
      have no need for Mr Savoury. I agree that the video does suffer from a
      sensational "Miracle Cure" / promotional video image, but, like Fukouaka
      Natural Farming, it is very difficult for those doing something unusual (or
      counter to peoples ideas of what is usual) successfully to present it as
      anything different. You cant really say - Look - I'm doing something
      different to what everyone thinks is normal, and it works, but is quite
      ordinary really - well, he does actually say that, but everyone else still
      see it a some kind of miracle because it challenges our perception of
      normal. Every time someone posts up evidence of a successful non-tillage
      cultivation on this list it appears to me to be a miracle, because I was
      taught that Farmers must "Plough the Field and scatter" . Its even
      embodied in a Christian Hymn, ie over the centuries the Plough
      has acquired an iconic significance - nowadays ploughing is a triumph of
      Faith over Reason. Non tillage is entirely reasonable *when and if one
      can stop to think about it*. Likewise I have personal difficulty taking on
      Alan's thesis, but if the evidence is there and if it is to be believed, I
      must stop, think, and adjust my prejudices.

      There are differences between animals in the way they graze, their
      footprints and the quality of their manure. Cows take mouthfuls of long
      grass and sheep and horses nip it right down to the roots . Goats are a
      no-no if you like trees. The type of grazing will affect the eventual
      sward and even physically shape the landscape - in the cases AS was
      showing, cows weren't let loose to freely graze around, they were herded in
      tightly controlled groups and then moved on, allowing a vegetable ecology
      to flourish then the cycle repeated at an appropriate rate. This is
      similar to one aspect of standard management in areas where livestock is
      dominant - in the UK and Ireland we let grow first then graze to encourage
      a healthy root mass which will recover quickly from grazing. Areas where
      (say) sheep are allowed to wander freely do in fact tend to a desert - the
      sheep nibble everything right down and they keep it down. Whole areas of
      Scotland, Wales and Ireland have been ruined by poorly managed sheep, and
      would benefit from being fenced into smaller fields and rotated with other
      crops and trees. Under current econimjc conditions this is not always
      possible, but I argue that not doing it is the poorest investment one can

      Graze to frequently, and you go back to Desert, don't graze enough, you end
      up with Forest. Get it right and you end up with a healthy balance
      suitable for human habitation and the development of a sustainable


      On 16 March 2013 09:05, Ruthie Aquino <ruthieaquino1@...> wrote:

      > **
      > Good point Sumant.
      > Why raise cattle when you don't eat beef?
      > Why raise cattle if they can't have their fill?
      > Dung is given by other animals, too.
      > Now if you can't live without fastfood beef burgers...think again, in
      > Europe there's a big scandal about horse meat being passed off as beef.
      > Horse meat is lean and presumably healthy but it should not be labelled
      > wrongly. However that is another consumer issue, isn't it?
      > best
      > RUTHIE
      > 2013/3/16 Sumant Joshi <sumant_jo@...>
      > > **
      > >
      > >
      > > This is what I mean by looking at any "one shop stop" kinda solution for
      > > anything. Here in India, village people have a policy of ax ban and
      > cattle
      > > ban in various parts of local forests in cycles which might be from 3 to
      > 5
      > > years and it works very well. That is the time required for new saplings
      > to
      > > start off and become sturdy enough to withstand cattle attack. There is
      > off
      > > course the issue of why people have cattle in the first place. Indians
      > > don't eat beef except a very few and their cattle produce very less milk.
      > > There also the issue of spending time looking after them which can be
      > > better spent on looking after their fields. But then habit is a dangerous
      > > thing. Yes the cattle give dung which is used in many many ways.
      > >
      > > see? there are lots of issues to be considered.
      > >
      > >
      > >
      > > Sent from my BSNL landline B-fone
      > >
      > > Warm regards,
      > >
      > > Sumant Joshi
      > > Tel - 09370010424, 0253-2361161
      > >
      > > >________________________________
      > > > From: Paulo Bessa <pcbessa@...>
      > > >To: fukuoka_farming@yahoogroups.com
      > > >Sent: Friday, 15 March 2013 6:35 PM
      > > >Subject: Re: [fukuoka_farming] Re: Allan Savory: How to gree
      > >
      > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]

      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • trenthillsmike
      Not only does it retain moisture but the mulch rots down into compost and improves fertility. I think that feeding the soil is a much better idea than feeding
      Message 112 of 112 , Jun 16 6:10 AM
        Not only does it retain moisture but the mulch rots down into compost and improves fertility. I think that feeding the soil is a much better idea than feeding the plants. We've been adding plants that mine minerals (lambsquarter, pigweed, yarrow, stinging nettle, red clover, Dutch white clover, etc), attract pollinators all through the growing season, attract predatory insects, confuse pests. Our preference is for perennials or self-seeding annuals and biennials. And we've stopped mowing the orchard although I do selective scything to suppress plants that we don't want. We're very early in the process but we can see some results - https://picasaweb.google.com/PortagePerennials/HolisticOrchard#5888913239729330466


        --- In fukuoka_farming@yahoogroups.com, Nandan Palaparambil <p_k_nandanan@...> wrote:
        > Adding 6 inch mulch layer around young trees to make them survive summer is an interesting thing. Planning to try this for the mango trees. Last summer was very severe and lost some of the trees. 
        > Regards,
        > Nandan
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