Loading ...
Sorry, an error occurred while loading the content.
 

Did any of you see this?

Expand Messages
  • Gloria Baikauskas
    This comes from another of my list groups. I found it appropriate to the topic here and wondered if any of you were aware of it. Gloria Wild Sunflowers Enrich
    Message 1 of 12 , Feb 20, 2003
      This comes from another of my list groups. I found it appropriate to the topic here and wondered if any of you were aware of it.

      Gloria

      Wild Sunflowers Enrich Fertility of African Farms

      By Jennifer Wanjiru

      NAIROBI, Kenya, February 18, 2003 (ENS) - As African countries grapple with dwindling crop yields and famine, some farmers in east Africa have discovered a new way to replenish soil fertility and increase farm yields.

      Eunice Gichiku Kinyua, a 40 year old Kenya farmer, is among hundreds of farmers in rural Kenya who have discovered that the wild sunflower (Tithonia diversifolia) replenishes soil fertility and helps increase crop yields. The use of tithonia, also known as Mexican sunflower, to replenish soil fertility and as a substitute for fertilizers in this east African nation has been the focus of regional research institutions and is the latest challenge for extension officers.

      "It is a new discovery," smiles Kinyua on her six acre farm.

      Soil fertility depletion on smallholder farms has for long been cited as the root cause of declining per capita food production in Africa. Although many of the farming regions have adequate rainfall, impoverished soils with low levels of phosphorous, nitrogen and to a lesser extent potassium has been a major constraint to agricultural development.



      Wild sunflower (Tithonia diversifolia) (Photo courtesy UCLA's Mildred E. Mathias Botannical Garden)
      "The tithonia shrub is changing lives of farmers in the region as it replenishes soil fertility," says Richard Maina, an extension officer with Kenya's National Agriculture and Livestock Extension Programme (NALEP), which is spearheading the introduction of tithonia to rural farmers. "The overall goal is to improve food security in the rural areas."
      Years ago, say agricultural extension officers in eastern Kenya where tithonia naturally grows, the plant was perceived an enemy to the farmer for its ability to outgrow and choke young plants. "Farmers in the area had been seeing the plant as a menace and would clear it from their farms before planting season," says Maina.

      Researchers now say that the possibility of using locally available plants with high biomass transfer is a blessing for many African farmers whose lands had become depleted due to continuous cropping and erosion. Continuous cropping leads to declining soil fertility and nutrient losses through harvest, soil erosion and leaching.

      "Tithonia grows naturally, and if its potential is tapped, soil infertility problem would be halfway solved," says Maina.

      Over the years some rural communities in Kenya used tithonia as a remedy for stomach ailments. But its potential to replenish soil fertility was unknown.

      Officers of NALEP, an extension program within Kenya's ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, funded by the Swedish International Development Agency, are now touring the countryside organizing farmers' groups in areas where tithonia is found to handle the implementation of the project.

      Also collaborating on the project are the Kenya Agricultural Research Institute, the Kenya Forestry Research Institute and the International Centre for Research in Agroforestry.

      Research scientists say the tithonia plant contains 80 percent more phosphorus than legumes. They say it contains enough nitrogen and potassium to promote crop growth, and they are asking stakeholders in the agricultural sector to help promote the use of tithonia as an alternative to chemical fertilizers.



      Sorghum farm in drought prone eastern Kenya (Photo courtesy ICRISAT)
      Research recently carried in western Kenya indicates that improved fallows, especially in conjunction with high doses of phosphorous, are not only effective in increasing maize yields, but are also financially attractive. The researchers demonstrated that an increase in farm income of US$457 per hectare can be achieved when tithonia is used.
      Although experiments with tithonia started in 1999, it is only recently that the encouraging results permitted the researchers to introduce the plant's benefits to farmers.

      "Tithonia produces a lot of biomass and contains high amounts of nitrogen and considerable amounts of other nutrients," says Maina.

      The use of tithonia was introduced to farmers in the eastern Kenya district of Embu following a farmers' consultative meeting in June 2000. "We are still getting more farmers eager to tap this knowledge," says Mary Nduru, the Embu District Agricultural Officer. "It is a unique experiment and we hope that in a few years we will see drastic changes in the local farms."

      Nduru says one factor important to the success of these experiments is the capacity of communities and farmers groups to organize themselves and provide necessary support to facilitate the entry of government and other development agencies.

      Patrick Mugo, a 47 year old local farmer, is experimenting with the use of tithonia on sweet potatoes, and he has set aside a portion of his two acre farm for that purpose. "I want to see how it works compared to cow dung manure," he says.



      Tithonia diversifolia growing as a tall shrub (Photo courtesy NDSU Extension)
      Initially in areas where tithonia is found, farmers used it on fences or on ridges to check surface runoffs, but they were unaware of its potential to enhance soil fertility.
      "Research in this area has shown that depletion of soil fertility is the root cause of poverty and reduced food production, " says Njuguna, an extension officer with NALEP. "If tithonia proves to be a success, then food production in this area will stabilize."

      The change to tithonia had its own doubting Thomases. "I was one of the first farmers here to use Tithonia as a biomass, but my fellow farmers were reluctant because they still saw it as a weed. But with increased yields in my farm they are now turning to it," says Mugo, a father of two.

      Besides being used as a substitute for fertilizer, the tithonia plant is still used as firewood or as animal feed. "We chop the soft tissue and mix it with other animal feeds", says Mugo.

      Researchers in the region say the ability of tithonia to decompose quickly makes it the best way to replenish soil fertility. According to a recent research by Kenya Agricultural Research Institute the concentration of nutrients in tithonia is highest in young plants and before the plant flowers.

      In western Kenya, the Kenya Agricultural Research Institute experiments with tithonia have shown a dramatic improvement in crop yield on 46 farms where the yields of green beans increased when the biomass was applied.

      "Farmers actually need to be taught that some solutions to their problems can actually be found within the farms themselves," says the Embu district livestock and agriculture officer Nduru.

      The use of tithonia is a new initiative that promotes sustainable development in Africa, and the Kenya experiment will certainly be replicated in other rural areas of the continent.




      Yahoo! Groups SponsorADVERTISEMENT



      ~~~ORGANIC AND GREEN, for a healthy future.~~~
      http://groups.yahoo.com/group/GardeningOrganically

      Subscribe: GardeningOrganically-subscribe@yahoogroups.com
      Unsubscribe: GardeningOrganically-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com
      List owner: GardeningOrganically-owner@yahoogroups.com


      Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to the Yahoo! Terms of Service.



      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • Sergio Montinola
      Dear Gloria, Where can we get hold of seeds of this wild sunflower? We in the Philippines would like to get some and improve our lands. Thanks, Sergio J.
      Message 2 of 12 , Feb 22, 2003
        Dear Gloria,

        Where can we get hold of seeds of this wild sunflower?


        We in the Philippines would like to get some and
        improve our lands.

        Thanks,
        Sergio J. Montinola






        --- Gloria Baikauskas <gcb49@...> wrote:
        >
        >
        > This comes from another of my list groups. I found
        > it appropriate to the topic here and wondered if any
        > of you were aware of it.
        >
        > Gloria
        >
        > Wild Sunflowers Enrich Fertility of African Farms
        >
        > By Jennifer Wanjiru
        >
        > NAIROBI, Kenya, February 18, 2003 (ENS) - As African
        > countries grapple with dwindling crop yields and
        > famine, some farmers in east Africa have discovered
        > a new way to replenish soil fertility and increase
        > farm yields.
        >
        > Eunice Gichiku Kinyua, a 40 year old Kenya farmer,
        > is among hundreds of farmers in rural Kenya who have
        > discovered that the wild sunflower (Tithonia
        > diversifolia) replenishes soil fertility and helps
        > increase crop yields. The use of tithonia, also
        > known as Mexican sunflower, to replenish soil
        > fertility and as a substitute for fertilizers in
        > this east African nation has been the focus of
        > regional research institutions and is the latest
        > challenge for extension officers.
        >
        > "It is a new discovery," smiles Kinyua on her six
        > acre farm.
        >
        > Soil fertility depletion on smallholder farms has
        > for long been cited as the root cause of declining
        > per capita food production in Africa. Although many
        > of the farming regions have adequate rainfall,
        > impoverished soils with low levels of phosphorous,
        > nitrogen and to a lesser extent potassium has been a
        > major constraint to agricultural development.
        >
        >
        >
        > Wild sunflower (Tithonia diversifolia) (Photo
        > courtesy UCLA's Mildred E. Mathias Botannical
        > Garden)
        > "The tithonia shrub is changing lives of farmers in
        > the region as it replenishes soil fertility," says
        > Richard Maina, an extension officer with Kenya's
        > National Agriculture and Livestock Extension
        > Programme (NALEP), which is spearheading the
        > introduction of tithonia to rural farmers. "The
        > overall goal is to improve food security in the
        > rural areas."
        > Years ago, say agricultural extension officers in
        > eastern Kenya where tithonia naturally grows, the
        > plant was perceived an enemy to the farmer for its
        > ability to outgrow and choke young plants. "Farmers
        > in the area had been seeing the plant as a menace
        > and would clear it from their farms before planting
        > season," says Maina.
        >
        > Researchers now say that the possibility of using
        > locally available plants with high biomass transfer
        > is a blessing for many African farmers whose lands
        > had become depleted due to continuous cropping and
        > erosion. Continuous cropping leads to declining soil
        > fertility and nutrient losses through harvest, soil
        > erosion and leaching.
        >
        > "Tithonia grows naturally, and if its potential is
        > tapped, soil infertility problem would be halfway
        > solved," says Maina.
        >
        > Over the years some rural communities in Kenya used
        > tithonia as a remedy for stomach ailments. But its
        > potential to replenish soil fertility was unknown.
        >
        > Officers of NALEP, an extension program within
        > Kenya's ministry of Agriculture and Rural
        > Development, funded by the Swedish International
        > Development Agency, are now touring the countryside
        > organizing farmers' groups in areas where tithonia
        > is found to handle the implementation of the
        > project.
        >
        > Also collaborating on the project are the Kenya
        > Agricultural Research Institute, the Kenya Forestry
        > Research Institute and the International Centre for
        > Research in Agroforestry.
        >
        > Research scientists say the tithonia plant contains
        > 80 percent more phosphorus than legumes. They say it
        > contains enough nitrogen and potassium to promote
        > crop growth, and they are asking stakeholders in the
        > agricultural sector to help promote the use of
        > tithonia as an alternative to chemical fertilizers.
        >
        >
        >
        > Sorghum farm in drought prone eastern Kenya (Photo
        > courtesy ICRISAT)
        > Research recently carried in western Kenya indicates
        > that improved fallows, especially in conjunction
        > with high doses of phosphorous, are not only
        > effective in increasing maize yields, but are also
        > financially attractive. The researchers demonstrated
        > that an increase in farm income of US$457 per
        > hectare can be achieved when tithonia is used.
        > Although experiments with tithonia started in 1999,
        > it is only recently that the encouraging results
        > permitted the researchers to introduce the plant's
        > benefits to farmers.
        >
        > "Tithonia produces a lot of biomass and contains
        > high amounts of nitrogen and considerable amounts of
        > other nutrients," says Maina.
        >
        > The use of tithonia was introduced to farmers in the
        > eastern Kenya district of Embu following a farmers'
        > consultative meeting in June 2000. "We are still
        > getting more farmers eager to tap this knowledge,"
        > says Mary Nduru, the Embu District Agricultural
        > Officer. "It is a unique experiment and we hope that
        > in a few years we will see drastic changes in the
        > local farms."
        >
        > Nduru says one factor important to the success of
        > these experiments is the capacity of communities and
        > farmers groups to organize themselves and provide
        > necessary support to facilitate the entry of
        > government and other development agencies.
        >
        > Patrick Mugo, a 47 year old local farmer, is
        > experimenting with the use of tithonia on sweet
        > potatoes, and he has set aside a portion of his two
        > acre farm for that purpose. "I want to see how it
        > works compared to cow dung manure," he says.
        >
        >
        >
        > Tithonia diversifolia growing as a tall shrub (Photo
        > courtesy NDSU Extension)
        > Initially in areas where tithonia is found, farmers
        > used it on fences or on ridges to check surface
        > runoffs, but they were unaware of its potential to
        > enhance soil fertility.
        > "Research in this area has shown that depletion of
        > soil fertility is the root cause of poverty and
        > reduced food production, " says Njuguna, an
        > extension officer with NALEP. "If tithonia proves to
        > be a success, then food production in this area will
        > stabilize."
        >
        > The change to tithonia had its own doubting
        > Thomases. "I was one of the first farmers here to
        > use Tithonia as a biomass, but my fellow farmers
        > were reluctant because they still saw it as a weed.
        > But with increased yields in my farm they are now
        > turning to it," says Mugo, a father of two.
        >
        > Besides being used as a substitute for fertilizer,
        > the tithonia plant is still used as firewood or as
        > animal feed. "We chop the soft tissue and mix it
        > with other animal feeds", says Mugo.
        >
        > Researchers in the region say the ability of
        > tithonia to decompose quickly makes it the best way
        > to replenish soil fertility. According to a recent
        > research by Kenya Agricultural Research Institute
        > the concentration of nutrients in tithonia is
        > highest in young plants and before the plant
        > flowers.
        >
        > In western Kenya, the Kenya Agricultural Research
        > Institute experiments with tithonia have shown a
        > dramatic improvement in crop yield on 46 farms where
        > the yields of green beans increased when the biomass
        > was applied.
        >
        > "Farmers actually need to be taught that some
        > solutions to their problems can actually be found
        > within the farms themselves," says the Embu district
        > livestock and agriculture officer Nduru.
        >
        > The use of tithonia is a new initiative that
        > promotes sustainable development in Africa, and the
        > Kenya experiment will certainly be replicated in
        > other rural areas of the continent.
        >
        >
        >
        >
        > Yahoo! Groups SponsorADVERTISEMENT
        >
        >
        >
        > ~~~ORGANIC AND GREEN, for a healthy future.~~~
        > http://groups.yahoo.com/group/GardeningOrganically
        >
        > Subscribe:
        > GardeningOrganically-subscribe@yahoogroups.com
        >
        === message truncated ===


        __________________________________________________
        Do you Yahoo!?
        Yahoo! Tax Center - forms, calculators, tips, more
        http://taxes.yahoo.com/
      • John or Maggie Gingras
        ... Try this website: http://www.b-and-t-world-seeds.com/ Tithonia diversifolia is specifically at
        Message 3 of 12 , Feb 22, 2003
          At 03:24 PM 2/22/03 -0800, you wrote:

          >Dear Gloria,
          >
          >Where can we get hold of seeds of this wild sunflower?

          Try this website:


          http://www.b-and-t-world-seeds.com/

          Tithonia diversifolia is specifically
          at http://www.b-and-t-world-seeds.com/a1.asp?title=Asteraceae&list=246





          Maggie Gingras
          Compass Mountain Farm
          Compass Fencing & Grazing Systems
          Suttons Bay, MI

          ----------


          ---
          Outgoing mail is certified Virus Free.
          Checked by AVG anti-virus system (http://www.grisoft.com).
          Version: 6.0.410 / Virus Database: 231 - Release Date: 10/31/02


          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        • Sean Phelan
          ... I d recommend a different approach. The reason that plant works well in Africa for enriching their soil was because it is natively adapted to their climate
          Message 4 of 12 , Feb 26, 2003
            > Where can we get hold of seeds of this wild sunflower?
            >
            > We in the Philippines would like to get some and
            > improve our lands.

            I'd recommend a different approach.

            The reason that plant works well in Africa for enriching their soil was
            because it is natively adapted to their climate and soil, so cultivating it
            as green manure is very easy.

            Rather than look to a plant that works somewhere else, maybe you should look
            around your own "back yard" for a plant with similar properties:
            - Grows easily w/out external inputs (irrigation, fertilizers)
            - Is pest-resistant without help
            - Produces a high volume of organic matter in a short period of time.
            - Doesn't re-seed too aggressively (you don't want it competing with your
            food crops when you grow them)
            - Can endure the local weather patterns

            Philosophically speaking, I'd recommend an approach like this, the
            plants/seed would be cheap to obtain, and you'd help preserve some of the
            native vegetation.

            Sp

            -------------------------------------------
            Sean Phelan
            Sequoia Consulting - Internet solutions that make sense... Solutions that
            work.
            http://www.sqcn.com
            mailto:SPhelan@...
            http://www.TheSCIA.Org - Proud Member of the Space Coast Internet Alliance
            (321) 984-0211
          • Gloria Baikauskas
            Sean.....I am wondering, though, if this sunflower is not native now to many places. It is, after all, called the Mexican Sunflower as its nickname. Is it
            Message 5 of 12 , Feb 26, 2003
              Sean.....I am wondering, though, if this sunflower is not native now to many places. It is, after all, called the Mexican Sunflower as its nickname. Is it possible that Sergio may know it with another name? I recognized it as Tithonia rather than Mexican Sunflower as I have planted this sunflower myself. I love its color.

              Isn't the importance of this plant as shown in the article that it has the highest known natural source of phosphorus? The article said that even chemical phosphorus would not stay in the soil as this plant's phosphorus will. That is why they are so excited about it there where their soil is so depleted. Any plant can be used as a green manure, but this one stands out because it adds so much. These people have needed a ray of hope in their agriculture for so very long now.

              It would be interesting if anyone could find out if any trials are going on using this plant elsewhere in the world.....and what they are finding regarding it wherever that is.

              Gloria in Texas


              [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
            • jamie
              Hello Sean, I couldn t agree more with your analysis. Each environment has its own particular species, especially those that move in on disturbed ground and
              Message 6 of 12 , Feb 27, 2003
                Hello Sean, I couldn't agree more with your analysis. Each environment has
                its own particular species, especially those that move in on disturbed
                ground and help stabilise the soil for further succession. The trick is to
                observe your surrounds and spot those plants that thrive on disturbed
                ground, if you look closely some of these should have pea-like flowers and
                will then very possibly offer you the extra benefit of being a nitrogen
                fixer (legume).

                Here, and across much of Europe, gorse is an excellent volunteer for
                disturbed and marginal ground that as a farmer you might wish to utilise. It
                is also a good firewood (kindling), forage, pesticide (the seeds), dye, etc.
                If gorse, a usually overlooked and unloved plant, can offer so many
                benefits, then I suspect there are many other equally or more beneficial
                plants here that I am still to discover and utilise.

                Natural farming is not about one answer fits all: indeed, it is *exactly*
                not that. NF is about attunement to place, without that it will not be
                possible to practice NF.

                Jamie
                Souscayrous



                -----Original Message-----
                From: Sean Phelan [mailto:yahoo@...]
                Sent: Wednesday, February 26, 2003 11:20 PM
                To: fukuoka_farming@yahoogroups.com
                Subject: Re: [fukuoka_farming] Did any of you see this?

                > Where can we get hold of seeds of this wild sunflower?
                >
                > We in the Philippines would like to get some and
                > improve our lands.

                I'd recommend a different approach.

                The reason that plant works well in Africa for enriching their soil was
                because it is natively adapted to their climate and soil, so cultivating it
                as green manure is very easy.

                Rather than look to a plant that works somewhere else, maybe you should look
                around your own "back yard" for a plant with similar properties:
                - Grows easily w/out external inputs (irrigation, fertilizers)
                - Is pest-resistant without help
                - Produces a high volume of organic matter in a short period of time.
                - Doesn't re-seed too aggressively (you don't want it competing with your
                food crops when you grow them)
                - Can endure the local weather patterns

                Philosophically speaking, I'd recommend an approach like this, the
                plants/seed would be cheap to obtain, and you'd help preserve some of the
                native vegetation.

                Sp

                -------------------------------------------
                Sean Phelan
                Sequoia Consulting - Internet solutions that make sense... Solutions that
                work.
                http://www.sqcn.com
                mailto:SPhelan@...
                http://www.TheSCIA.Org - Proud Member of the Space Coast Internet Alliance
                (321) 984-0211



                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/
              • Sergio Montinola
                DEAR SEAN, YOUR APPROACH IS FINE UP TO A CERTAIN POINT. IF THERE ARE PLANTS IN THE WORLD THAT DO SPECIFIC PROPERTIES BETTER, THEN IT SHOULD BE PROPAGATED AND
                Message 7 of 12 , Feb 27, 2003
                  DEAR SEAN,

                  YOUR APPROACH IS FINE UP TO A CERTAIN POINT. IF THERE
                  ARE PLANTS IN THE WORLD THAT DO SPECIFIC PROPERTIES
                  BETTER, THEN IT SHOULD BE PROPAGATED AND AVAILABLE TO
                  ALL.

                  IT IS LIKE KNOWLEDGE AND TECHNOLOGY, IF ITS GOOD ALL
                  MUST PROFIT AND NOT WAIT TO DEVELOP YOUR OWN. BUILD ON
                  IT AND NOT "REINVENT THE WHEEL" SO TO SPEAK.

                  THANKS,
                  SERGIO J. MONTINOLA



                  --- Sean Phelan <yahoo@...> wrote:
                  > > Where can we get hold of seeds of this wild
                  > sunflower?
                  > >
                  > > We in the Philippines would like to get some and
                  > > improve our lands.
                  >
                  > I'd recommend a different approach.
                  >
                  > The reason that plant works well in Africa for
                  > enriching their soil was
                  > because it is natively adapted to their climate and
                  > soil, so cultivating it
                  > as green manure is very easy.
                  >
                  > Rather than look to a plant that works somewhere
                  > else, maybe you should look
                  > around your own "back yard" for a plant with similar
                  > properties:
                  > - Grows easily w/out external inputs (irrigation,
                  > fertilizers)
                  > - Is pest-resistant without help
                  > - Produces a high volume of organic matter in a
                  > short period of time.
                  > - Doesn't re-seed too aggressively (you don't want
                  > it competing with your
                  > food crops when you grow them)
                  > - Can endure the local weather patterns
                  >
                  > Philosophically speaking, I'd recommend an approach
                  > like this, the
                  > plants/seed would be cheap to obtain, and you'd help
                  > preserve some of the
                  > native vegetation.
                  >
                  > Sp
                  >
                  > -------------------------------------------
                  > Sean Phelan
                  > Sequoia Consulting - Internet solutions that make
                  > sense... Solutions that
                  > work.
                  > http://www.sqcn.com
                  > mailto:SPhelan@...
                  > http://www.TheSCIA.Org - Proud Member of the Space
                  > Coast Internet Alliance
                  > (321) 984-0211
                  >
                  >
                  >


                  __________________________________________________
                  Do you Yahoo!?
                  Yahoo! Tax Center - forms, calculators, tips, more
                  http://taxes.yahoo.com/
                • jamie
                  Hello Sergio, while your reasoning sounds entirely plausible I wonder if it doesn t elide the fundamental point in this argument. I would question that there
                  Message 8 of 12 , Feb 28, 2003
                    Hello Sergio, while your reasoning sounds entirely plausible I wonder if it
                    doesn't elide the fundamental point in this argument.

                    I would question that there is a plant that will reveal the same aspects in
                    all circumstances. Whilst the sunflower might work in Africa, or the
                    tropical areas of Africa, or the tropical areas of Africa that share the
                    same soils, or the tropical areas of Africa that share the same soils
                    and...etc there is no reason to assume that it will also provide the same
                    effects (phosphorus) to every soil alike.

                    To know about the work is important but blind replication without recourse
                    to local observation of environment and farming purpose, is to follow
                    conventional modern practices and not NF attuned to place.

                    If you import sunflowers to the Philippines from Africa to add phosphates to
                    the soil it is you who will be 'reinventing the wheel' because there are
                    obviously many other plants that do exactly that as otherwise the
                    Philippines would have had a chronic phosphate shortage long since.

                    All can profit from the knowledge, even if it is just to know this type of
                    sunflower is beneficial to phosphate levels in some conditions, but
                    knowledge is simply a shell without the 'heart' that gives it its use. NF is
                    about 'heart', or empathy, or care, or attitude, or attunement, or
                    compassion or any of the many words that suggest a reciprocal process of
                    understanding and therefore knowledge, that arises not from the farmer but
                    the farmer in tune with his/her or 'the' (non-possessive) land.

                    Jamie
                    Souscayrous

                    -----Original Message-----
                    From: Sergio Montinola [mailto:sjmosprey2001@...]
                    Sent: Thursday, February 27, 2003 9:49 PM
                    To: fukuoka_farming@yahoogroups.com
                    Subject: Re: [fukuoka_farming] Did any of you see this?

                    DEAR SEAN,

                    YOUR APPROACH IS FINE UP TO A CERTAIN POINT. IF THERE
                    ARE PLANTS IN THE WORLD THAT DO SPECIFIC PROPERTIES
                    BETTER, THEN IT SHOULD BE PROPAGATED AND AVAILABLE TO
                    ALL.

                    IT IS LIKE KNOWLEDGE AND TECHNOLOGY, IF ITS GOOD ALL
                    MUST PROFIT AND NOT WAIT TO DEVELOP YOUR OWN. BUILD ON
                    IT AND NOT "REINVENT THE WHEEL" SO TO SPEAK.

                    THANKS,
                    SERGIO J. MONTINOLA



                    --- Sean Phelan <yahoo@...> wrote:
                    > > Where can we get hold of seeds of this wild
                    > sunflower?
                    > >
                    > > We in the Philippines would like to get some and
                    > > improve our lands.
                    >
                    > I'd recommend a different approach.
                    >
                    > The reason that plant works well in Africa for
                    > enriching their soil was
                    > because it is natively adapted to their climate and
                    > soil, so cultivating it
                    > as green manure is very easy.
                    >
                    > Rather than look to a plant that works somewhere
                    > else, maybe you should look
                    > around your own "back yard" for a plant with similar
                    > properties:
                    > - Grows easily w/out external inputs (irrigation,
                    > fertilizers)
                    > - Is pest-resistant without help
                    > - Produces a high volume of organic matter in a
                    > short period of time.
                    > - Doesn't re-seed too aggressively (you don't want
                    > it competing with your
                    > food crops when you grow them)
                    > - Can endure the local weather patterns
                    >
                    > Philosophically speaking, I'd recommend an approach
                    > like this, the
                    > plants/seed would be cheap to obtain, and you'd help
                    > preserve some of the
                    > native vegetation.
                    >
                    > Sp
                    >
                    > -------------------------------------------
                    > Sean Phelan
                    > Sequoia Consulting - Internet solutions that make
                    > sense... Solutions that
                    > work.
                    > http://www.sqcn.com
                    > mailto:SPhelan@...
                    > http://www.TheSCIA.Org - Proud Member of the Space
                    > Coast Internet Alliance
                    > (321) 984-0211
                    >
                    >
                    >


                    __________________________________________________
                    Do you Yahoo!?
                    Yahoo! Tax Center - forms, calculators, tips, more
                    http://taxes.yahoo.com/

                    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/
                  • Ingrid Bauer/Jean-Claude Catry
                    ... It ... etc. are you talking about this plant that looked like a scotch broom from far but is very prickly .forage for what animals ? pesticide aginst what
                    Message 9 of 12 , Feb 28, 2003
                      > Here, and across much of Europe, gorse is an excellent volunteer for
                      > disturbed and marginal ground that as a farmer you might wish to utilise.
                      It
                      > is also a good firewood (kindling), forage, pesticide (the seeds), dye,
                      etc.

                      are you talking about this plant that looked like a scotch broom from far
                      but is very prickly .forage for what animals ?
                      pesticide aginst what ?
                      jean-claude
                    • jamie
                      Hello Jean-Claude, I m enjoying your succession of posts, you make available an insight not only into Fukuoka s work but the grass roots work going on in India
                      Message 10 of 12 , Feb 28, 2003
                        Hello Jean-Claude, I'm enjoying your succession of posts, you make available
                        an insight not only into Fukuoka's work but the grass roots work going on in
                        India that can make a very real difference to abused landscape and people
                        (the native peoples).

                        To answer your questions: I'm referring to Ulex europeaus, known in Britain
                        as gorse. Yes, it is immensely prickly, but the troupeau of sheep and goats
                        (I suspect only the goats with their dextrous mouths) that pass through do
                        browse the flowers and fresh growth. I have also heard of it being used as
                        an emergency food for animals, but only after being crushed. I have a
                        reference to this somewhere but cannot find it for the moment, but will post
                        it when I can.

                        The ever-useful Plants for a Future database I have gives the pesticide use
                        contra fleas, made up from the seeds soaked in water. I have not tried this
                        myself so cannot vouch for its efficacy, though I've no reason to doubt the
                        reference either.

                        I like gorse mostly for its nitrogen fixing properties and that it provides
                        a very effective barrier to the marauding troupeau (they have killed the
                        swiss chard (blette) after repeated eating and 40 cabbages, leeks, kale and
                        Brussel sprouts - they are currently my biggest problem) that pass by my
                        land almost daily. But I'll try the pesticide effect on some of my raised
                        beds this year and see if it affects any attacks, especially of cabbage
                        white butterfly caterpillars. I'm leaving it on the land I'm going to plant
                        for an orchard because once the trees begin to shade out the sun the gorse
                        should die off having fulfilled its role in succession toward climax
                        hardwood forests.

                        Jamie
                        Souscayrous



                        -----Original Message-----
                        From: Ingrid Bauer/Jean-Claude Catry [mailto:instinct@...]
                        Sent: Friday, February 28, 2003 3:58 PM
                        To: fukuoka_farming@yahoogroups.com
                        Subject: Re: [fukuoka_farming] Did any of you see this?




                        > Here, and across much of Europe, gorse is an excellent volunteer for
                        > disturbed and marginal ground that as a farmer you might wish to utilise.
                        It
                        > is also a good firewood (kindling), forage, pesticide (the seeds), dye,
                        etc.

                        are you talking about this plant that looked like a scotch broom from far
                        but is very prickly .forage for what animals ?
                        pesticide aginst what ?
                        jean-claude




                        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/
                      • We Connect
                        Hello group, Since the translation program doesn t help me at all, maybe it s possible to mention the latin name of the flowers end/or vegetables. I for
                        Message 11 of 12 , Mar 1, 2003
                          Hello group,

                          Since the translation program doesn't help me at all, maybe it's possible
                          to mention the latin name of the flowers end/or vegetables. I for instance
                          don't know what "gorse" is, jamie is talking about, and I really like to
                          know the healing capacities of the flowers (for the ground), especially the
                          ones we often overlook.

                          In our garden, when we returned in june last year the Erigeron Canadensis
                          was standing 5 FT (1,5 meters) long, all through the vineyard. Even though
                          we agrre about the helaing capacities, we pulled them out and returned them
                          to the ground. On other parts, however, we let them stand. It is a
                          flower/herb that originates form Canada and loves to live on disturbed,
                          sandy ground. It helps agains diarrhea and internal bleedings and gout. But
                          what does it for the ground? Anyone?

                          Love Willeke (from Holland)
                        • Robert Monie
                          Hi Willeke, I don t know much about Erigeron canadensis except that it is also called fleabane and horseweed and contains volatile oils that some old
                          Message 12 of 12 , Mar 1, 2003
                            Hi Willeke,
                            I don't know much about Erigeron canadensis except that it is also called "fleabane" and "horseweed" and contains volatile oils that some old herbals say help remove intestinal parasites. I would never try such a remedy unless I confirmed it with a reliable modern herbalist.
                            Ulex europaeus, also called "gorse," "furse," and "whin" in English, is another matter. This plant has nitrogen fixing bacteria in the nodules of its roots. Gorse fixes nitrogen best in dry climates and decreases nitrogen fixing as the moisture level of the soil increases. Gorse is so flammable and has such a high oil content that it has been used by bakers in England for many years to fuel their furnaces. Gorse is a good "biomass" material for burning. Its great disadvantage is that a wide field of gorse can become a serious fire hazard. In 1936, the town of Bandon, Oregon was burned to the ground because gorse had infested much of the open field space there. Many traditional farmers have deliberately set fire to gorse fields to return the mineral-rich ashes to the ground. But even this practice can be questioned because of the following property: Gorse naturally increases the acid content of the soil by removing bases. If the gorse is returned to the soil either as "raw" organic matter or burnt ashes, I would suppose that the bases would be returned and the soil's acid content would again decrease, but I don't know of any studies to confirm this. At any rate, gorse certainly regulates the pH levels of the soil.
                            All legumes fix nitrogen, and most do not consititue the fire hazard that gorse does, because they do not contain enough oil to sustain combustion. Fukuoka actually worked hard to establish short New Zealand white clover as a primary nitrogen fixer on his farm. He did not find it growing wild there. He describes how this legume is hard to establish, tends to grow in dissapointing patches at first, but is worth the effort. (This is something of a departure from his usual "no effort" approach.) He also used cowpeas, which are widely adaptable but may require some persistence before they are established. I'm not sure how enthusiastic he would be about a wild-fire breeder like gorse as a nitrogen-fixer.
                            It might be well to consult local fire departments before encouraging large plots of super-combustible plants like gorse to cover your fields. Erigeron canadensis should also be checked out with forest service and fire people to see how flammable it might be, owing to the volatile oils it contains.
                            A great deal of information about Ulex europaeus or gorse is available from the University of California, Davis, by going to the www.google.com search engine and typing in "Elements of Stewardship Abstract for Ulex europaeus." Two other sources are A Modern Herbal at www.botanical.com and the google entry "King County--Gourse--Noxious Weed Identification."
                            All oily and high-calorie plants would add carbon to the soil. The wild sunflower that Gloria asked about would provide both phosphorus and carbon. Despite their high oil content, sunflowers (and pseudo-sunflowers) do not seem to be implicated in serious field fires the way that gorse has been. But more research is needed on that too. The most attractive characteristic of the wild sunflower is that it decomposes quickly and thoroughly without a need for animal manure to push the process along. (This is a very compelling attribute that vegan gardeners like me consider of primary importance.)
                            Bob Monie, watching the Mardi Gras parades in wet South Louisiana

                            We Connect <we.connect@...> wrote: Hello group,

                            Since the translation program doesn't help me at all, maybe it's possible
                            to mention the latin name of the flowers end/or vegetables. I for instance
                            don't know what "gorse" is, jamie is talking about, and I really like to
                            know the healing capacities of the flowers (for the ground), especially the
                            ones we often overlook.

                            In our garden, when we returned in june last year the Erigeron Canadensis
                            was standing 5 FT (1,5 meters) long, all through the vineyard. Even though
                            we agrre about the helaing capacities, we pulled them out and returned them
                            to the ground. On other parts, however, we let them stand. It is a
                            flower/herb that originates form Canada and loves to live on disturbed,
                            sandy ground. It helps agains diarrhea and internal bleedings and gout. But
                            what does it for the ground? Anyone?

                            Love Willeke (from Holland)



                            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!?
                            Yahoo! Tax Center - forms, calculators, tips, and more

                            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                          Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.