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RE: [fukuoka_farming] exotic microbial mix

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  • jamie
    Hello Zack, this is just the point I was trying to raise the other day on the idea of planting the Mexican sunflower anywhere in the world to add phosphorus.
    Message 1 of 15 , Mar 5, 2003
      Hello Zack, this is just the point I was trying to raise the other day on
      the idea of planting the Mexican sunflower anywhere in the world to add
      phosphorus. No plant is a magic bullet: there is no single solution to a
      problem.

      You might want to look at the work of Elaine Ingham www.soilfoodweb.com for
      more information on the complex system/cycle that goes on in the soil.

      I don't know what land you're using but bear in mind the very different
      ratios of bacteria to mycorrhiza between soil's for row crops (such as
      parsnips and cereals, most veg etc) which is bacteria rich and forest
      ecosystems that is fungal rich (including tree fruits of course, but also
      coffee and raspberries).

      You might be left with choice of changing the makeup of your soil through
      huge doses of off-farm amendments or learning what of the local species can
      (or have previously) be eaten. NF should help give you the appropriate
      direction to follow.

      Jamie
      Souscayrous

      -----Original Message-----
      From: Zack Domike [mailto:arcada888@...]
      Sent: Wednesday, March 05, 2003 2:54 AM
      To: fukuoka_farming@yahoogroups.com
      Subject: [fukuoka_farming] exotic microbial mix

      We speak about the microbial mix in the soil, and
      sometimes communicate about various plants, but my
      question is "Have others noted a distinct change in
      the reaction of seeds to soil exotic to them?"

      In other words, if the seeds I buy in the USA
      (organici heritage seeds) do not do well here in the
      environmental island that is the south of chile, is
      this because their heritage is based on a different
      microbia?

      It is more than just an inconvenience to not be able
      to raise parsnips, for example.
      zzzzzzzzzzz

      __________________________________________________
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    • We Connect
      Hello group. First of all; thanks a lot for the reactions on Erigeron canadensis. I also found out that searching engines help a lot to see which flower or
      Message 2 of 15 , Mar 5, 2003
        Hello group.

        First of all; thanks a lot for the reactions on Erigeron canadensis. I also
        found out that searching engines help a lot to see which flower or weed is
        meant.

        Can anyone tell me what deep-ecologist stands for? I mean the difference
        (if any) between ecologist and DEEP ecologist.

        Love Willeke
      • Ingrid Bauer/Jean-Claude Catry
        ... can ... I am under tyhe impression that plants themselves will create the conditions for the microflora necessarry for their well being to thrive .It is 2
        Message 3 of 15 , Mar 5, 2003
          >
          > You might be left with choice of changing the makeup of your soil through
          > huge doses of off-farm amendments or learning what of the local species
          can
          > (or have previously) be eaten. NF should help give you the appropriate
          > direction to follow.

          I am under tyhe impression that plants themselves will create the
          conditions for the microflora necessarry for their well being to thrive .It
          is 2 way relationship . plants are made from soils as much as soils are
          made from plantes .
          at the most just a tiny insemination of an absent bacteria or fungi or
          whatever might be necessarry.I am not even sure of that .what do you think?
          jean-claude
        • jamie
          Hello Jean-Claude, I certainly recognise the sense in your suggestion of a two-way process between plants and soil. However, following Fukuoka and Emilia I
          Message 4 of 15 , Mar 6, 2003
            Hello Jean-Claude, I certainly recognise the sense in your suggestion of a
            two-way process between plants and soil. However, following Fukuoka and
            Emilia I would rather concentrate on soil as being plant created.

            Let me express what I mean. The natural erosion of rock produces
            non-biological residues, differing in size between sand (large) and clay
            (small) molecules. We only give the name of soil to matter that supports
            plants but it is only plants (from mosses and lichens through succession to
            climax hardwood forests or prairies) that create soil. If there were no
            plants allowed to grow in the soil, it would be quickly robbed of the
            organic matter that fills the spaces between the eroded rock particles as
            the roots of the old plants and the bacteria and mycorrhiza that were
            supported by the plant root exudates die off through famine. Their bodies
            that stored the large quantities of carbon and nitrogen, that were fed on by
            other soil life, which in turn die and give up their C/N in forms that
            become soluble and are eventually washed out of the soil and into water
            courses (the same process that is happening with inorganic fertilizers that
            are added to soil, or herbicides and pesticides, all of which kill off these
            soil microorganisms leading to the solubilising of their C and N after their
            death, and consequent loss through the passage of water through the soil-
            and of course through ploughing as well).

            In our efforts to grow crops naturally we must always remember that soil is
            created by plants and not by amendments, organic or not. The straw on
            Fukuoka's fields of rice and Emilia's raised beds is not only to feed the
            soil (though the return of the elements taken to produce the straw to the
            soil is a useful closure of a possible hole in the sustainable cycle) but to
            inhibit weed growth, retain moisture control extremes of temperature and
            mimic natural existence of the soil litter layer. It is plants that feed the
            soil through their exudates that build and maintain the array of
            microorganisms, that die and return the trace elements to the soil and whose
            roots help build the pathways for water, oxygen and nitrogen penetration.

            It is for this reason that Emilia advised using the first crops to feed the
            soil and not the gardeners table, to densely plant the raised beds and to
            keep them planted throughout the year. And, similarly, Fukuoka never allowed
            his fields to be bare earth, he seeded the following cereal crop amongst the
            previous, so that the second would already be growing when the first was
            harvested - not to mention the clover that grew year round and was reseeded
            when becoming too thin.

            Soil is plants, without plants there is only rock particles!

            And how does this effect Zack and his wish to grow parsnips? I don't know.
            Do parsnips require a particular bacteria or mycorrhiza (or both) to grow?
            But would these particular microorganisms thrive amongst the Chilean? Are
            bacteria and mycorrhiza worldwide essentially the same?, homologous?,
            heterogeneous? If Zack wants to find out he'll have to experiment with
            imported microorganisms. But to return to the point of several of my recent
            posts, wouldn't it be closer to natural farming to observe the local
            conditions and see what is already growing and then plant food crops that
            are homologues of those growing in the wild, especially when 'European' diet
            food is difficult to grow. If 'do-nothing' is the guiding principle of NF
            then this must at least be a seriously considered path.

            Jamie

            -----Original Message-----
            From: Ingrid Bauer/Jean-Claude Catry [mailto:instinct@...]
            Sent: Thursday, March 06, 2003 8:26 AM
            To: fukuoka_farming@yahoogroups.com
            Subject: Re: [fukuoka_farming] exotic microbial mix




            >
            > You might be left with choice of changing the makeup of your soil through
            > huge doses of off-farm amendments or learning what of the local species
            can
            > (or have previously) be eaten. NF should help give you the appropriate
            > direction to follow.

            I am under tyhe impression that plants themselves will create the
            conditions for the microflora necessarry for their well being to thrive .It
            is 2 way relationship . plants are made from soils as much as soils are
            made from plantes .
            at the most just a tiny insemination of an absent bacteria or fungi or
            whatever might be necessarry.I am not even sure of that .what do you think?
            jean-claude





            To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to:
            fukuoka_farming-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com



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          • William Krueger
            Deep ecology can best be understood as an attitude that accentuates the ecological perspective. Above and beyond the regular duties of an ecologist, deep
            Message 5 of 15 , Mar 6, 2003
              Deep ecology can best be understood as an attitude
              that accentuates the ecological perspective. Above and
              beyond the regular duties of an ecologist, "deep
              ecologists" tend to believe that nature, and ever
              order of life it creates, has intrisic value; and that
              humanity is not the pinnacle of creation. They
              emphasize the anthropocentric nature of our
              predominant worldview, and show how this view is key
              the destruction of the planet.

              Here are some links:

              http://www.deepecology.org/

              http://www.deep-ecology.net/

              http://www.deep-ecology.org/

              http://www.lancs.ac.uk/users/philosophy/mave/guide/deepecol.htm





              __________________________________________________
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            • Scott Devine
              Hello friends, Plants feed microbes. Microbes feed plants. Working alongside these biological entities are four other factors: parent material (the original
              Message 6 of 15 , Mar 7, 2003
                Hello friends,
                Plants feed microbes. Microbes feed plants. Working alongside these biological entities are four other factors: parent material (the original rock); physical weathering (rainfall & leaching, freeze-thaw cycles); time; and topography.

                Thus, soil comes into being. Chicken and egg argument. Unfathomable.

                Enjoy your soil,
                Scott


                > Hello Jean-Claude, I certainly recognise the sense in your suggestion of a
                > two-way process between plants and soil. However, following Fukuoka and
                > Emilia I would rather concentrate on soil as being plant created.
                >
                > Let me express what I mean. The natural erosion of rock produces
                > non-biological residues, differing in size between sand (large) and clay
                > (small) molecules. We only give the name of soil to matter that supports
                > plants but it is only plants (from mosses and lichens through succession to
                > climax hardwood forests or prairies) that create soil. If there were no
                > plants allowed to grow in the soil, it would be quickly robbed of the
                > organic matter that fills the spaces between the eroded rock particles as
                > the roots of the old plants and the bacteria and mycorrhiza that were
                > supported by the plant root exudates die off through famine. Their bodies
                > that stored the large quantities of carbon and nitrogen, that were fed on by
                > other soil life, which in turn die and give up their C/N in forms that
                > become soluble and are eventually washed out of the soil and into water
                > courses (the same process that is happening with inorganic fertilizers that
                > are added to soil, or herbicides and pesticides, all of which kill off these
                > soil microorganisms leading to the solubilising of their C and N after their
                > death, and consequent loss through the passage of water through the soil-
                > and of course through ploughing as well).
                >
                > In our efforts to grow crops naturally we must always remember that soil is
                > created by plants and not by amendments, organic or not. The straw on
                > Fukuoka's fields of rice and Emilia's raised beds is not only to feed the
                > soil (though the return of the elements taken to produce the straw to the
                > soil is a useful closure of a possible hole in the sustainable cycle) but to
                > inhibit weed growth, retain moisture control extremes of temperature and
                > mimic natural existence of the soil litter layer. It is plants that feed the
                > soil through their exudates that build and maintain the array of
                > microorganisms, that die and return the trace elements to the soil and whose
                > roots help build the pathways for water, oxygen and nitrogen penetration.
                >
                > It is for this reason that Emilia advised using the first crops to feed the
                > soil and not the gardeners table, to densely plant the raised beds and to
                > keep them planted throughout the year. And, similarly, Fukuoka never allowed
                > his fields to be bare earth, he seeded the following cereal crop amongst the
                > previous, so that the second would already be growing when the first was
                > harvested - not to mention the clover that grew year round and was reseeded
                > when becoming too thin.
                >
                > Soil is plants, without plants there is only rock particles!
                >
                > And how does this effect Zack and his wish to grow parsnips? I don't know.
                > Do parsnips require a particular bacteria or mycorrhiza (or both) to grow?
                > But would these particular microorganisms thrive amongst the Chilean? Are
                > bacteria and mycorrhiza worldwide essentially the same?, homologous?,
                > heterogeneous? If Zack wants to find out he'll have to experiment with
                > imported microorganisms. But to return to the point of several of my recent
                > posts, wouldn't it be closer to natural farming to observe the local
                > conditions and see what is already growing and then plant food crops that
                > are homologues of those growing in the wild, especially when 'European' diet
                > food is difficult to grow. If 'do-nothing' is the guiding principle of NF
                > then this must at least be a seriously considered path.
                >
                > Jamie
                >
                > -----Original Message-----
                > From: Ingrid Bauer/Jean-Claude Catry [mailto:instinct@...]
                > Sent: Thursday, March 06, 2003 8:26 AM
                > To: fukuoka_farming@yahoogroups.com
                > Subject: Re: [fukuoka_farming] exotic microbial mix
                >
                >
                >
                >
                > >
                > > You might be left with choice of changing the makeup of your soil through
                > > huge doses of off-farm amendments or learning what of the local species
                > can
                > > (or have previously) be eaten. NF should help give you the appropriate
                > > direction to follow.
                >
                > I am under tyhe impression that plants themselves will create the
                > conditions for the microflora necessarry for their well being to thrive .It
                > is 2 way relationship . plants are made from soils as much as soils are
                > made from plantes .
                > at the most just a tiny insemination of an absent bacteria or fungi or
                > whatever might be necessarry.I am not even sure of that .what do you think?
                > 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/
                >
                >
                > 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 ZACK, MICROBS MIX IN THE SOIL IS RELATIVE TO YOUR SOIL USE AND PRACTICES. MICROBS CAN BE ENHANCE, PROPAGATED AND CULTURED. IF YOUR DESIRE IS TO IMPROVE
                Message 7 of 15 , Mar 8, 2003
                  DEAR ZACK,

                  MICROBS MIX IN THE SOIL IS RELATIVE TO YOUR SOIL USE
                  AND PRACTICES.

                  MICROBS CAN BE ENHANCE, PROPAGATED AND CULTURED. IF
                  YOUR DESIRE IS TO IMPROVE YOUR SEED PERFORMANCE THEN
                  YOU MUST CONCENTRATE ON THE MICROBS THAT WILL BE
                  NEEDED IN THE SOIL TO FEED WHATEVER THE SEEDS OR
                  PLANTS PERFORMANCE YOU WISH TO GROW.

                  NATURAL FARMING OF FUKUOKA IS ONE THE WAY TO DO THIS.
                  THERE ARE OTHER WAYS OF ALSO PRODUCING SOIL MICROBS
                  FROM ORGANIC WASTE OR ORGANIC MATERIALS SUCH AS FOUND
                  IN OUR DAILY FOODS.

                  WHEN YOUR SOIL MICROBES ARE EHNANCED YOU CAN GROW MOST
                  PLANTS. ONLY TEMPERATURE AND HUMIDITY FACTOR YOU MUST
                  CONSIDER ASIDE FROM THE SOIL.

                  THANKS,
                  SERGE MONTINOLA
                  PHILIPPINES.



                  --- Zack Domike <arcada888@...> wrote:
                  > We speak about the microbial mix in the soil, and
                  > sometimes communicate about various plants, but my
                  > question is "Have others noted a distinct change in
                  > the reaction of seeds to soil exotic to them?"
                  >
                  > In other words, if the seeds I buy in the USA
                  > (organici heritage seeds) do not do well here in the
                  > environmental island that is the south of chile, is
                  > this because their heritage is based on a different
                  > microbia?
                  >
                  > It is more than just an inconvenience to not be able
                  > to raise parsnips, for example.
                  > zzzzzzzzzzz
                  >
                  > __________________________________________________
                  > Do you Yahoo!?
                  > Yahoo! Tax Center - forms, calculators, tips, more
                  > http://taxes.yahoo.com/
                  >


                  __________________________________________________
                  Do you Yahoo!?
                  Yahoo! Tax Center - forms, calculators, tips, more
                  http://taxes.yahoo.com/
                • Don Graves
                  Hi JAMIE ... & PEACE to ALL others reading this plant & soil formation matter Jamie, with respect, but ... you are just a tiny wee bit TOO STRONG ABOUT PLANTS
                  Message 8 of 15 , Mar 8, 2003
                    Hi JAMIE ... & PEACE to ALL others reading this plant & soil formation
                    matter


                    Jamie, with respect, but ... you are just a tiny wee bit TOO STRONG ABOUT
                    PLANTS in soil formation processes & widely varied biogeochemical nutrient
                    cycles
                    However, & very importantly plants are "primary producers" - sources of
                    carbon (C) derived from photosynthesis.

                    With respect again, but your writing is less well informed regarding the
                    plant partnerships (symbioses) with soil fungi (endo-mycorrhizas,
                    ecto-mycorrhizas) & symbioses with what you may mis-understand as "mostly
                    decomposer" soil micro-organisms. I refer from my recent M.Sc. in Plant
                    Biology, re mycorrhizas & soil disturbance (tillage) effects, from Massey
                    University, Palmerston North, Manawatu, New Zealand

                    a little history to start...
                    Life on earth began in aquatic environments about 3,800 million years ago
                    Plant root fossils so far discovered estimate the arrival of plants into
                    terrestrial soils (dryland) about 450 million years ago. These descendants
                    of algae had rootlike organs that contained fungi (Zygomycete group).

                    Not only do soil fungi "obligately" or "need" plants as a source of (C)
                    carbon from photosynthesis,
                    but importantly ... in a plant root-fungal partnership (eg mycorrhizal
                    symbiosis) there is a two-directional exchange of nutrirents... Mycorrhizas
                    are an important plant source of (P) phosphate, Zn (zinc) & plant drought
                    tolerance. In general nowadays, most plants growing in "poor" soils also
                    most need & depend for survival on a successful & ongoing symbiosis with
                    soil fungi (mycorrhizas).

                    Later in the evolution of terrestrial plants, trees & shrubs more woody
                    plants began root-fungal symbioses with other groups of soil fungi, the
                    Basidiomycete & Ascomycete fungal groups. Plant & soil nitrogen nutrient
                    cycling from leaf litter & soil carbon is absorbed by soil-fungal enzymes in
                    turn derived in part from plant-derived carbon & other symbiotic derived
                    inorganic soil minerals, (or else derived from decoposing soil organic
                    matter).

                    Seasonal fluxes of solar radiation can also impact on the balance of
                    benefits between plants & soil fungi symbionts ... in winter here in New
                    Zealand, indoors or outdoors light becomes a limiting resource for green
                    plants with active photosynthesis.
                    In continental temperate places you don't have as many evergreen native
                    plants. However, in the temperate & maritime South Pacific Ocean
                    "down-under" here in the islands of Aotearoa, New Zealand, we are lucky to
                    have had a long & changing history of vegetation with a predominance of
                    evergreen forests, shrublands, grasslands, as well as alpine plants.

                    Soil-fungal mycelia form branching filamental networks and extend into soil
                    zones beyond the nutrient depletion zones of a plant roots without
                    soil-fungal symbionts.
                    Plants are believed to be evolving towards "autotrophy" or "self-feeding" -
                    (C) carbon
                    Roots are also sometimes known as the "hidden half" of plants, ...
                    I personally also refer to roots & "rhizospheres" as ecologically
                    "heterotrophic" or "other-feeding"
                    (ie. there are no green bits growing under the soil)
                    Green "chloroplasts" themselves are descendants of ancient bacterial
                    endo-symbionts of so-called "higher" plant shoots. Checkout the literature
                    re "endosymbiosis" hypotheis, & the evolution of our living planet "GAIA" by
                    microbiolost & ecologist Lynn Marguilis


                    Nowadays, more than 90% of all plants so-far examined have been found to
                    contain mycrrohhizal fungi.

                    Nowadays also, many PLANTS don't don't need soil fungi as symbiont sources
                    of (P) phosphate, especially if provided by "well meaning" but
                    "consumer-driven" soluable / "available" PLANT minerals.

                    Only a few crop importatnt plants don't have mycorrhizas. They are
                    descendadnts of "early-coloniser" "weeeds" - the cabbage family (Brassica),
                    (also including Canola / rape-seed & mustard)
                    The beet family does not have mycorrhizas, so don't plant those sugar beet
                    without inter-planting with other plants that do host mycorrhizas (what
                    ever), make a choice, experiment.
                    Other important crops & green manures including Buckwheat & Lupins do not
                    need mycorrhiza soil fungi.
                    Crop rotations can be quite important modifiers of soil symbiotic organisms,
                    & thus may modify plant "nutrient dependence", eg. (P) phosphate inputs

                    Use what is already available locally, there under the soil surface:
                    Especially if topsoil hasn't been disturbed,
                    (or at least not too much soil disturbance ... or for too long)



                    What anyone needs in order to begin to see what goes on "down-under" the
                    soil, are clear glass-walled "root-tanks" (or worm tanks) / "terrarium". NB
                    cover the glass walls to prevent green soil algae effects from light.
                    A microscope is sometimes a tall order of technology, but necessary if you
                    want to visually check inside the roots for mycorrhizal fungi, but not
                    impossible & nowadays even cheaper to cross-check microscope operator errors
                    & queries using microscopes ... with digital cameras & emails etc.

                    Soil biology is a very frustrating area for humans to "know about", ...
                    because we can't see it happening, it is hidden under the surface of the
                    soil, but don't worry, it does happen, however ... we still don't really
                    know too much about how it happens...We are all still left with plenty of
                    beautiful mysteries & wonderings.

                    I believe that we mere humans can never possibly begin to know it all.
                    I recall the human humility-driven definition of an "EXPERT" =
                    "X" is a (mathemetical) symbol of an UNKNOWN QUANTiTY"
                    &
                    "SPUrt!!! is a DRIP UNDER PRESSURE

                    HA HA HA HA ha ha ha
                    (yes I can laugh about science & myself too!!!

                    However,
                    back to the plot (ha ha ... so to speak)
                    ... compared to the regular use of ploughs & other conventional tillage
                    tools, ... topsoils are less- disturbed under human mangement by "no-till",
                    "no-dig & no-weed", "raised bed" seedbeds, ... all "conservation tillage"
                    models are "MIRRORS" of what we may SEE & LEARN FROM in NATURE

                    Mycorrhizas are an important GROWER & SCIENTIFIC research area. There are
                    some really great books & websites etc....

                    I leave you to search if you wish,
                    but I will post some of these website contacts & books ... when more time
                    allows...



                    .... bye for now
                    & regards
                    Don Graves
                    BSc. Msc. (Plant Biology)




                    ----- Original Message -----
                    From: "jamie" <jamie@...>
                    To: <fukuoka_farming@yahoogroups.com>
                    Sent: Friday, March 07, 2003 1:50 AM
                    Subject: RE: [fukuoka_farming] exotic microbial mix


                    > Hello Jean-Claude, I certainly recognise the sense in your suggestion of a
                    > two-way process between plants and soil. However, following Fukuoka and
                    > Emilia I would rather concentrate on soil as being plant created.
                    >
                    > Let me express what I mean. The natural erosion of rock produces
                    > non-biological residues, differing in size between sand (large) and clay
                    > (small) molecules. We only give the name of soil to matter that supports
                    > plants but it is only plants (from mosses and lichens through succession
                    to
                    > climax hardwood forests or prairies) that create soil. If there were no
                    > plants allowed to grow in the soil, it would be quickly robbed of the
                    > organic matter that fills the spaces between the eroded rock particles as
                    > the roots of the old plants and the bacteria and mycorrhiza that were
                    > supported by the plant root exudates die off through famine. Their bodies
                    > that stored the large quantities of carbon and nitrogen, that were fed on
                    by
                    > other soil life, which in turn die and give up their C/N in forms that
                    > become soluble and are eventually washed out of the soil and into water
                    > courses (the same process that is happening with inorganic fertilizers
                    that
                    > are added to soil, or herbicides and pesticides, all of which kill off
                    these
                    > soil microorganisms leading to the solubilising of their C and N after
                    their
                    > death, and consequent loss through the passage of water through the soil-
                    > and of course through ploughing as well).
                    >
                    > In our efforts to grow crops naturally we must always remember that soil
                    is
                    > created by plants and not by amendments, organic or not. The straw on
                    > Fukuoka's fields of rice and Emilia's raised beds is not only to feed the
                    > soil (though the return of the elements taken to produce the straw to the
                    > soil is a useful closure of a possible hole in the sustainable cycle) but
                    to
                    > inhibit weed growth, retain moisture control extremes of temperature and
                    > mimic natural existence of the soil litter layer. It is plants that feed
                    the
                    > soil through their exudates that build and maintain the array of
                    > microorganisms, that die and return the trace elements to the soil and
                    whose
                    > roots help build the pathways for water, oxygen and nitrogen penetration.
                    >
                    > It is for this reason that Emilia advised using the first crops to feed
                    the
                    > soil and not the gardeners table, to densely plant the raised beds and to
                    > keep them planted throughout the year. And, similarly, Fukuoka never
                    allowed
                    > his fields to be bare earth, he seeded the following cereal crop amongst
                    the
                    > previous, so that the second would already be growing when the first was
                    > harvested - not to mention the clover that grew year round and was
                    reseeded
                    > when becoming too thin.
                    >
                    > Soil is plants, without plants there is only rock particles!
                    >
                    > And how does this effect Zack and his wish to grow parsnips? I don't know.
                    > Do parsnips require a particular bacteria or mycorrhiza (or both) to grow?
                    > But would these particular microorganisms thrive amongst the Chilean? Are
                    > bacteria and mycorrhiza worldwide essentially the same?, homologous?,
                    > heterogeneous? If Zack wants to find out he'll have to experiment with
                    > imported microorganisms. But to return to the point of several of my
                    recent
                    > posts, wouldn't it be closer to natural farming to observe the local
                    > conditions and see what is already growing and then plant food crops that
                    > are homologues of those growing in the wild, especially when 'European'
                    diet
                    > food is difficult to grow. If 'do-nothing' is the guiding principle of NF
                    > then this must at least be a seriously considered path.
                    >
                    > Jamie
                    >
                    > -----Original Message-----
                    > From: Ingrid Bauer/Jean-Claude Catry [mailto:instinct@...]
                    > Sent: Thursday, March 06, 2003 8:26 AM
                    > To: fukuoka_farming@yahoogroups.com
                    > Subject: Re: [fukuoka_farming] exotic microbial mix
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    > >
                    > > You might be left with choice of changing the makeup of your soil
                    through
                    > > huge doses of off-farm amendments or learning what of the local species
                    > can
                    > > (or have previously) be eaten. NF should help give you the appropriate
                    > > direction to follow.
                    >
                    > I am under tyhe impression that plants themselves will create the
                    > conditions for the microflora necessarry for their well being to thrive
                    .It
                    > is 2 way relationship . plants are made from soils as much as soils are
                    > made from plantes .
                    > at the most just a tiny insemination of an absent bacteria or fungi or
                    > whatever might be necessarry.I am not even sure of that .what do you
                    think?
                    > jean-claude
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    >
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                  • jamie
                    Hello Don, I agree I m a little strong on the plant aspect of soil formation (I also sent another email quoting Krasil nikov where he says Soil is created by
                    Message 9 of 15 , Mar 8, 2003
                      Hello Don, I agree I'm a little strong on the plant aspect of soil formation
                      (I also sent another email quoting Krasil'nikov where he says 'Soil is
                      created by microorganisms') but the intention was honourable: I wanted to
                      get across the importance of densely planting land, year round, to ensure
                      healthy soil.

                      You write;

                      Only a few crop importatnt plants don't have mycorrhizas. They are
                      descendadnts of "early-coloniser" "weeeds" - the cabbage family (Brassica),
                      (also including Canola / rape-seed & mustard)
                      The beet family does not have mycorrhizas, so don't plant those sugar beet
                      without inter-planting with other plants that do host mycorrhizas (what
                      ever), make a choice, experiment.


                      I'd very much like to take forward the work of Emilia (on a small scale) and
                      test different crops for their effect on succession and rotation and the
                      above quote seems to offer some illumination here. But I'm not quite sure of
                      the difference between brassicas and beets. Do you mean brassicas and beets
                      both make good crops to plant on poor soil because not needing mycorrhiza
                      they will not be impeded by their absence in poor soils? And your reference
                      to beets is not in relation to the growth of the beets themselves, but to
                      the crop you interplant with the beet, that requires mycorrhiza, but will
                      find it lacking (because beet will do nothing to increase mycorrhiza
                      populations).

                      Don, if you have access to or www references for more plant specific
                      bacteria/mycorrhiza relations I'd be very grateful. In Synergistic
                      Agriculture and obviously in Fukuoka Farming, succession and rotation of
                      crops is essential to create a diverse and healthy soil life, greater
                      knowledge of specific plants and their associated microorganisms is vital.
                      If you have access to Fukuoka's Natural Way of Farming, perhaps you could
                      comment on some of the rotations he describes in chapter 4 - or point me in
                      the right direction toward work that suggests good pioneer crops (in
                      disturbed/poor soil) and then rotations to follow to build and maintain soil
                      health.

                      Anyway, thanks for adding expert opinion to a difficult area for the farming
                      novice.

                      Jamie
                      Souscayrous



                      -----Original Message-----
                      From: Don Graves [mailto:dgraves@...]
                      Sent: Sunday, March 09, 2003 2:13 AM
                      To: fukuoka_farming@yahoogroups.com
                      Subject: Re: [fukuoka_farming] exotic microbial mix

                      Hi JAMIE ... & PEACE to ALL others reading this plant & soil formation
                      matter


                      Jamie, with respect, but ... you are just a tiny wee bit TOO STRONG ABOUT
                      PLANTS in soil formation processes & widely varied biogeochemical nutrient
                      cycles
                      However, & very importantly plants are "primary producers" - sources of
                      carbon (C) derived from photosynthesis.

                      With respect again, but your writing is less well informed regarding the
                      plant partnerships (symbioses) with soil fungi (endo-mycorrhizas,
                      ecto-mycorrhizas) & symbioses with what you may mis-understand as "mostly
                      decomposer" soil micro-organisms. I refer from my recent M.Sc. in Plant
                      Biology, re mycorrhizas & soil disturbance (tillage) effects, from Massey
                      University, Palmerston North, Manawatu, New Zealand

                      a little history to start...
                      Life on earth began in aquatic environments about 3,800 million years ago
                      Plant root fossils so far discovered estimate the arrival of plants into
                      terrestrial soils (dryland) about 450 million years ago. These descendants
                      of algae had rootlike organs that contained fungi (Zygomycete group).

                      Not only do soil fungi "obligately" or "need" plants as a source of (C)
                      carbon from photosynthesis,
                      but importantly ... in a plant root-fungal partnership (eg mycorrhizal
                      symbiosis) there is a two-directional exchange of nutrirents... Mycorrhizas
                      are an important plant source of (P) phosphate, Zn (zinc) & plant drought
                      tolerance. In general nowadays, most plants growing in "poor" soils also
                      most need & depend for survival on a successful & ongoing symbiosis with
                      soil fungi (mycorrhizas).

                      Later in the evolution of terrestrial plants, trees & shrubs more woody
                      plants began root-fungal symbioses with other groups of soil fungi, the
                      Basidiomycete & Ascomycete fungal groups. Plant & soil nitrogen nutrient
                      cycling from leaf litter & soil carbon is absorbed by soil-fungal enzymes in
                      turn derived in part from plant-derived carbon & other symbiotic derived
                      inorganic soil minerals, (or else derived from decoposing soil organic
                      matter).

                      Seasonal fluxes of solar radiation can also impact on the balance of
                      benefits between plants & soil fungi symbionts ... in winter here in New
                      Zealand, indoors or outdoors light becomes a limiting resource for green
                      plants with active photosynthesis.
                      In continental temperate places you don't have as many evergreen native
                      plants. However, in the temperate & maritime South Pacific Ocean
                      "down-under" here in the islands of Aotearoa, New Zealand, we are lucky to
                      have had a long & changing history of vegetation with a predominance of
                      evergreen forests, shrublands, grasslands, as well as alpine plants.

                      Soil-fungal mycelia form branching filamental networks and extend into soil
                      zones beyond the nutrient depletion zones of a plant roots without
                      soil-fungal symbionts.
                      Plants are believed to be evolving towards "autotrophy" or "self-feeding" -
                      (C) carbon
                      Roots are also sometimes known as the "hidden half" of plants, ...
                      I personally also refer to roots & "rhizospheres" as ecologically
                      "heterotrophic" or "other-feeding"
                      (ie. there are no green bits growing under the soil)
                      Green "chloroplasts" themselves are descendants of ancient bacterial
                      endo-symbionts of so-called "higher" plant shoots. Checkout the literature
                      re "endosymbiosis" hypotheis, & the evolution of our living planet "GAIA" by
                      microbiolost & ecologist Lynn Marguilis


                      Nowadays, more than 90% of all plants so-far examined have been found to
                      contain mycrrohhizal fungi.

                      Nowadays also, many PLANTS don't don't need soil fungi as symbiont sources
                      of (P) phosphate, especially if provided by "well meaning" but
                      "consumer-driven" soluable / "available" PLANT minerals.

                      Only a few crop importatnt plants don't have mycorrhizas. They are
                      descendadnts of "early-coloniser" "weeeds" - the cabbage family (Brassica),
                      (also including Canola / rape-seed & mustard)
                      The beet family does not have mycorrhizas, so don't plant those sugar beet
                      without inter-planting with other plants that do host mycorrhizas (what
                      ever), make a choice, experiment.
                      Other important crops & green manures including Buckwheat & Lupins do not
                      need mycorrhiza soil fungi.
                      Crop rotations can be quite important modifiers of soil symbiotic organisms,
                      & thus may modify plant "nutrient dependence", eg. (P) phosphate inputs

                      Use what is already available locally, there under the soil surface:
                      Especially if topsoil hasn't been disturbed,
                      (or at least not too much soil disturbance ... or for too long)



                      What anyone needs in order to begin to see what goes on "down-under" the
                      soil, are clear glass-walled "root-tanks" (or worm tanks) / "terrarium". NB
                      cover the glass walls to prevent green soil algae effects from light.
                      A microscope is sometimes a tall order of technology, but necessary if you
                      want to visually check inside the roots for mycorrhizal fungi, but not
                      impossible & nowadays even cheaper to cross-check microscope operator errors
                      & queries using microscopes ... with digital cameras & emails etc.

                      Soil biology is a very frustrating area for humans to "know about", ...
                      because we can't see it happening, it is hidden under the surface of the
                      soil, but don't worry, it does happen, however ... we still don't really
                      know too much about how it happens...We are all still left with plenty of
                      beautiful mysteries & wonderings.

                      I believe that we mere humans can never possibly begin to know it all.
                      I recall the human humility-driven definition of an "EXPERT" =
                      "X" is a (mathemetical) symbol of an UNKNOWN QUANTiTY"
                      &
                      "SPUrt!!! is a DRIP UNDER PRESSURE

                      HA HA HA HA ha ha ha
                      (yes I can laugh about science & myself too!!!

                      However,
                      back to the plot (ha ha ... so to speak)
                      ... compared to the regular use of ploughs & other conventional tillage
                      tools, ... topsoils are less- disturbed under human mangement by "no-till",
                      "no-dig & no-weed", "raised bed" seedbeds, ... all "conservation tillage"
                      models are "MIRRORS" of what we may SEE & LEARN FROM in NATURE

                      Mycorrhizas are an important GROWER & SCIENTIFIC research area. There are
                      some really great books & websites etc....

                      I leave you to search if you wish,
                      but I will post some of these website contacts & books ... when more time
                      allows...



                      .... bye for now
                      & regards
                      Don Graves
                      BSc. Msc. (Plant Biology)
                    • Larry Haftl
                      Hello Don, Any links related to soil microbiology you mentioned would be most helpful not only to post on the website but to me personally as I am wrestling
                      Message 10 of 15 , Mar 9, 2003
                        Hello Don,

                        Any links related to soil microbiology you mentioned would be most helpful
                        not only to post on the website but to me personally as I am wrestling with
                        trying to understand all of this. The information in your message fits with
                        a lot of what I have been reading, but was expressed more clearly and
                        eloquently than the ponderous stuff I have been wading through.

                        Larry Haftl
                        larry@...
                        http://LarryHaftl.com
                        http://FukuokaFarmingOL.net
                      • Don Graves
                        Hi again Jamie thanks for the comments & questions I m no mycorrhiza expert or X-SPURT ... however, as I understand things (so-far!!) Taxonomic, genetic &
                        Message 11 of 15 , Mar 9, 2003
                          Hi again Jamie
                          thanks for the comments & questions
                          I'm no mycorrhiza expert or X-SPURT ... however, as I understand things
                          (so-far!!)

                          Taxonomic, genetic & plant ecology theory is that flowering plants
                          (Angiosperms) are regarded as much more ecologically adaptive than conifers
                          & older flora (plant-like organisms) that pre-dated flowering plants.
                          I can't pin-point on a time line just when exactly, but very recently a few
                          plants have evolved to colonise bare soils without being "dependant" on
                          mycorrhizas, but growing rapidly in high light (lux) local sites such as
                          soil disturbance by slips & or floods.
                          Physically "disturbed" soils may sometimes have a high chance of having low
                          or nil mycorrhiza populations.

                          Most plants (>90%) can have some form of mycorrhizal symbiosis. Thus there
                          are relatively few so-called "non-mycorrhizal" plants such as brassicas,
                          beets, buckwheat & lupins which are not dependent on and do not generally
                          host soil-fungal populations (eg. endo-mycorrhizas aka arbuscular
                          mycorrhizas (AM), commonly found in many crop & weed roots).
                          So called "non-mycorrhizal" plants are believed to promote the chances of
                          such early vegetation establishment & survival in relatively lifeless & or
                          disturbed / bare soil surface areas.

                          Thus experiments to date have shown NEGATIVE effects by crop rotations of
                          brassicas (canola & mustard) & other "non-host" or "non-mycorrhizal" plant
                          crops. Under a densely planted canopy of such seed crops / cover crops /
                          green manures/ there are relatively only a few weed species which may act as
                          hosts to mycorrhizas.
                          Unfortuneately for such beneficial & ancient soil fungi, but they still
                          require to live inside healthy & living plants (ie "biotrophic")... Thus if
                          a soil contains much fewer host plant roots available to form a mycorrhizal
                          symbiosis (partnership), then populations of such beneficial fungi will be
                          reduced in soils & thus in subsequent rotations of crops.
                          In soils subsequent to crop rotations by non-mycorrhizal plants, there are
                          reduced levels of mycorrhizal symbiosis levels, & thus less plant-available
                          (P) phosphate, ...
                          (ie. but!!! coincidently quite good for promoting growers' "needs" for
                          chemical fertilser manufactures / retailers / distributors / consumerism ...
                          etc,
                          (.... but who wants / needs intensive inputs??? mostly "modern" &
                          "industrialised" farmers / growers)

                          Furthermore from this effect in conventionally bred crops, it can be
                          predicted that some aspects of GE crops may also accelerate a decrease in
                          mycorrhiza populations / & reduce potential symbiosis levels. In particular
                          "herbicide-resistant" GE brassica & beet crops (eg. "ROUNDUP READY CANOLA).
                          This is a "herbicide-dependant" common scenario in many US soils.
                          Herbicide-resistant crops (plus herbicide) is likely to remove nearly all
                          weeds growing in monoculutres of such "non-mycorrhizal" plants.
                          Have I possibly lost you yet???, (sorry)
                          or can you see the picture too??
                          Weeds can also be (beneficial) plants as they may act as living hosts of
                          beneficial soil fungi.

                          Chemical companies have vested interests in selling growers more fertilisers
                          & pesticides

                          Environmental impacts or effects of GE (or tillage) are economic &
                          ecological, & are not always seen as dualist in philosophy
                          WHERE TO FIND INFORMATION:
                          I have whole bibliographies & a few books to reccomend too

                          Many of you reading this live in Europe, Canada & USA & are physically much
                          closer to hubs of knowledge re mycorrhizas...
                          In "far-away" New Zealand mycorrhizal research has occurs mostly for
                          Masters & PhD theses, but otherwise is focussed into edible fungi including
                          "truffles", matsutake, shitake etc... I have yet to personally meet all of
                          the South Otago / Invermay research group but see more info at some of these
                          sites http://www.crop.cri.nz/psp/em-mushrooms/index.HTM
                          & fungal-related but not focussed on mycorrhizas (but beautiful & local) see
                          http://www.fungi.co.nz/

                          However, there a a few more & bigger mycorrhiza research places over there
                          "across the ditch" (Tasman Sea) in Austraila. In June 2001 I was pleased to
                          meet some wonderful staff at Adelaide University, where they hosted the
                          third international confence on mycorrhizas (ICOM3). This was one of the
                          high lights of communication in mycorrhizas, many, many chances to meet
                          about 250 people interested in & researching mycorrhizas - really awesome.
                          Read more about mycorrhiza research at South Australia / & Adelaide
                          University's Mycorrhiza Research Group at
                          http://www.waite.adelaide.edu.au/Soil_Water/mycor.html#
                          and re ICOM3 http://www.waite.adelaide.edu.au/Soil_Water/3icom.html

                          There are other regions in Austraila where mycorrhiza research occurs.
                          especially around Perth in WA / Western Australia there are more people
                          researching mycorrhizas, ... for some nearly unbeatable & practical
                          information guides see more at
                          http://www.ffp.csiro.au/research/mycorrhiza/

                          Across te moananui a kiwa (the Pacific Ocean), in USA & Canada, & on the
                          other side of the planet in Europe, there are quite a few centres of
                          mycorrhiza research & umbrella organisations, for examples
                          http://www.mycorrhizas.org/

                          Later this year, August 10-14, I am intending to attend the next
                          international conference on mycorrhizas ICOM4 in Montreal, Canada. For more
                          see http://www.congresbcu.com/icom4/ang/general.htm

                          McGill University - Montreal has a great history of research into soil
                          disturbance effects & crop rotation effects on mycorrhizas. There are other
                          study sites which I hope to visit including the University of Guelph.

                          I'm a bit short of available time again, & working hard to pay for this
                          upcoming trip...
                          However before I go again, here are a few of the best current mycorrhiza
                          books to look for... often books can cost quite a lot but are still worth it
                          , especially if you can decipher the inevitable scientific jargon ...


                          "MYCORRHIZAL SYMBIOSIS" - 2nd Edition (1997), written by SE Smith (Sally) &
                          DJ Read (David), & published by Academic Press, Harcourt, Brace & Company,
                          London, NW1 7DX, UK
                          (605 pages of mycorrhiza bliss on paper)
                          ISBN 0-12-652840-3

                          "WORKING WITH MYCORRHIZAS IN FORESTRY & AGRICULTURE", (1996) written by Mark
                          Brundrett, Neale Boucher, Berbie Dell, Tim Grove & Neale Malajczuk,
                          published by ACIAR - Australian Centre for International Agricultural
                          Research...
                          ISBN 1 86320 181 5

                          DIVERSITY & INTEGRATION IN MYCORRHIZAS (2002) : Proceedings of the 3rd
                          International Conference on Mycorrhiza (ICOM3) Adelaide Australia, 8-13 July
                          2001
                          (Reprinted from Plant & Soil, Volume 244, Nos. 1-2 (2002)
                          Kluwer Academic Publishers Dordrecht / Boiston / London
                          ISBN 1-4020-0269-6

                          ps. re jargon / esoteric stuff etc
                          Many of today's users of jargon & knowledge about science (& technology)
                          have in many ways become like esoteric church clerics of pre-science (a
                          closed-few), with certain amounts of "objectivity" bluff & bull.
                          As in many groups do, & particular a minority group, many purely
                          reductionist scientists feel that they need only to talk amongst themselves,
                          ... or do they? / we?


                          regards again Jamie,

                          pps
                          I don't know how well I answered all your questions but I can pick up again
                          later

                          ka kite ano & CU again

                          Don

                          ----- Original Message -----
                          From: "jamie" <jamie@...>
                          To: <fukuoka_farming@yahoogroups.com>
                          Sent: Sunday, March 09, 2003 7:54 PM
                          Subject: RE: [fukuoka_farming] exotic microbial mix


                          > Hello Don, I agree I'm a little strong on the plant aspect of soil
                          formation
                          > (I also sent another email quoting Krasil'nikov where he says 'Soil is
                          > created by microorganisms') but the intention was honourable: I wanted to
                          > get across the importance of densely planting land, year round, to ensure
                          > healthy soil.
                          >
                          > You write;
                          >
                          > Only a few crop importatnt plants don't have mycorrhizas. They are
                          > descendadnts of "early-coloniser" "weeeds" - the cabbage family
                          (Brassica),
                          > (also including Canola / rape-seed & mustard)
                          > The beet family does not have mycorrhizas, so don't plant those sugar beet
                          > without inter-planting with other plants that do host mycorrhizas (what
                          > ever), make a choice, experiment.
                          >
                          >
                          > I'd very much like to take forward the work of Emilia (on a small scale)
                          and
                          > test different crops for their effect on succession and rotation and the
                          > above quote seems to offer some illumination here. But I'm not quite sure
                          of
                          > the difference between brassicas and beets. Do you mean brassicas and
                          beets
                          > both make good crops to plant on poor soil because not needing mycorrhiza
                          > they will not be impeded by their absence in poor soils? And your
                          reference
                          > to beets is not in relation to the growth of the beets themselves, but to
                          > the crop you interplant with the beet, that requires mycorrhiza, but will
                          > find it lacking (because beet will do nothing to increase mycorrhiza
                          > populations).
                          >
                          > Don, if you have access to or www references for more plant specific
                          > bacteria/mycorrhiza relations I'd be very grateful. In Synergistic
                          > Agriculture and obviously in Fukuoka Farming, succession and rotation of
                          > crops is essential to create a diverse and healthy soil life, greater
                          > knowledge of specific plants and their associated microorganisms is vital.
                          > If you have access to Fukuoka's Natural Way of Farming, perhaps you could
                          > comment on some of the rotations he describes in chapter 4 - or point me
                          in
                          > the right direction toward work that suggests good pioneer crops (in
                          > disturbed/poor soil) and then rotations to follow to build and maintain
                          soil
                          > health.
                          >
                          > Anyway, thanks for adding expert opinion to a difficult area for the
                          farming
                          > novice.
                          >
                          > Jamie
                          > Souscayrous
                          >
                          >
                          >
                          > -----Original Message-----
                          > From: Don Graves [mailto:dgraves@...]
                          > Sent: Sunday, March 09, 2003 2:13 AM
                          > To: fukuoka_farming@yahoogroups.com
                          > Subject: Re: [fukuoka_farming] exotic microbial mix
                          >
                          > Hi JAMIE ... & PEACE to ALL others reading this plant & soil formation
                          > matter
                          >
                          >
                          > Jamie, with respect, but ... you are just a tiny wee bit TOO STRONG ABOUT
                          > PLANTS in soil formation processes & widely varied biogeochemical nutrient
                          > cycles
                          > However, & very importantly plants are "primary producers" - sources of
                          > carbon (C) derived from photosynthesis.
                          >
                          > With respect again, but your writing is less well informed regarding the
                          > plant partnerships (symbioses) with soil fungi (endo-mycorrhizas,
                          > ecto-mycorrhizas) & symbioses with what you may mis-understand as "mostly
                          > decomposer" soil micro-organisms. I refer from my recent M.Sc. in Plant
                          > Biology, re mycorrhizas & soil disturbance (tillage) effects, from Massey
                          > University, Palmerston North, Manawatu, New Zealand
                          >
                          > a little history to start...
                          > Life on earth began in aquatic environments about 3,800 million years ago
                          > Plant root fossils so far discovered estimate the arrival of plants into
                          > terrestrial soils (dryland) about 450 million years ago. These descendants
                          > of algae had rootlike organs that contained fungi (Zygomycete group).
                          >
                          > Not only do soil fungi "obligately" or "need" plants as a source of (C)
                          > carbon from photosynthesis,
                          > but importantly ... in a plant root-fungal partnership (eg mycorrhizal
                          > symbiosis) there is a two-directional exchange of nutrirents...
                          Mycorrhizas
                          > are an important plant source of (P) phosphate, Zn (zinc) & plant drought
                          > tolerance. In general nowadays, most plants growing in "poor" soils also
                          > most need & depend for survival on a successful & ongoing symbiosis with
                          > soil fungi (mycorrhizas).
                          >
                          > Later in the evolution of terrestrial plants, trees & shrubs more woody
                          > plants began root-fungal symbioses with other groups of soil fungi, the
                          > Basidiomycete & Ascomycete fungal groups. Plant & soil nitrogen nutrient
                          > cycling from leaf litter & soil carbon is absorbed by soil-fungal enzymes
                          in
                          > turn derived in part from plant-derived carbon & other symbiotic derived
                          > inorganic soil minerals, (or else derived from decoposing soil organic
                          > matter).
                          >
                          > Seasonal fluxes of solar radiation can also impact on the balance of
                          > benefits between plants & soil fungi symbionts ... in winter here in New
                          > Zealand, indoors or outdoors light becomes a limiting resource for green
                          > plants with active photosynthesis.
                          > In continental temperate places you don't have as many evergreen native
                          > plants. However, in the temperate & maritime South Pacific Ocean
                          > "down-under" here in the islands of Aotearoa, New Zealand, we are lucky to
                          > have had a long & changing history of vegetation with a predominance of
                          > evergreen forests, shrublands, grasslands, as well as alpine plants.
                          >
                          > Soil-fungal mycelia form branching filamental networks and extend into
                          soil
                          > zones beyond the nutrient depletion zones of a plant roots without
                          > soil-fungal symbionts.
                          > Plants are believed to be evolving towards "autotrophy" or
                          "self-feeding" -
                          > (C) carbon
                          > Roots are also sometimes known as the "hidden half" of plants, ...
                          > I personally also refer to roots & "rhizospheres" as ecologically
                          > "heterotrophic" or "other-feeding"
                          > (ie. there are no green bits growing under the soil)
                          > Green "chloroplasts" themselves are descendants of ancient bacterial
                          > endo-symbionts of so-called "higher" plant shoots. Checkout the
                          literature
                          > re "endosymbiosis" hypotheis, & the evolution of our living planet "GAIA"
                          by
                          > microbiolost & ecologist Lynn Marguilis
                          >
                          >
                          > Nowadays, more than 90% of all plants so-far examined have been found to
                          > contain mycrrohhizal fungi.
                          >
                          > Nowadays also, many PLANTS don't don't need soil fungi as symbiont sources
                          > of (P) phosphate, especially if provided by "well meaning" but
                          > "consumer-driven" soluable / "available" PLANT minerals.
                          >
                          > Only a few crop importatnt plants don't have mycorrhizas. They are
                          > descendadnts of "early-coloniser" "weeeds" - the cabbage family
                          (Brassica),
                          > (also including Canola / rape-seed & mustard)
                          > The beet family does not have mycorrhizas, so don't plant those sugar beet
                          > without inter-planting with other plants that do host mycorrhizas (what
                          > ever), make a choice, experiment.
                          > Other important crops & green manures including Buckwheat & Lupins do not
                          > need mycorrhiza soil fungi.
                          > Crop rotations can be quite important modifiers of soil symbiotic
                          organisms,
                          > & thus may modify plant "nutrient dependence", eg. (P) phosphate inputs
                          >
                          > Use what is already available locally, there under the soil surface:
                          > Especially if topsoil hasn't been disturbed,
                          > (or at least not too much soil disturbance ... or for too long)
                          >
                          >
                          >
                          > What anyone needs in order to begin to see what goes on "down-under" the
                          > soil, are clear glass-walled "root-tanks" (or worm tanks) / "terrarium".
                          NB
                          > cover the glass walls to prevent green soil algae effects from light.
                          > A microscope is sometimes a tall order of technology, but necessary if you
                          > want to visually check inside the roots for mycorrhizal fungi, but not
                          > impossible & nowadays even cheaper to cross-check microscope operator
                          errors
                          > & queries using microscopes ... with digital cameras & emails etc.
                          >
                          > Soil biology is a very frustrating area for humans to "know about", ...
                          > because we can't see it happening, it is hidden under the surface of the
                          > soil, but don't worry, it does happen, however ... we still don't really
                          > know too much about how it happens...We are all still left with plenty of
                          > beautiful mysteries & wonderings.
                          >
                          > I believe that we mere humans can never possibly begin to know it all.
                          > I recall the human humility-driven definition of an "EXPERT" =
                          > "X" is a (mathemetical) symbol of an UNKNOWN QUANTiTY"
                          > &
                          > "SPUrt!!! is a DRIP UNDER PRESSURE
                          >
                          > HA HA HA HA ha ha ha
                          > (yes I can laugh about science & myself too!!!
                          >
                          > However,
                          > back to the plot (ha ha ... so to speak)
                          > ... compared to the regular use of ploughs & other conventional tillage
                          > tools, ... topsoils are less- disturbed under human mangement by
                          "no-till",
                          > "no-dig & no-weed", "raised bed" seedbeds, ... all "conservation tillage"
                          > models are "MIRRORS" of what we may SEE & LEARN FROM in NATURE
                          >
                          > Mycorrhizas are an important GROWER & SCIENTIFIC research area. There are
                          > some really great books & websites etc....
                          >
                          > I leave you to search if you wish,
                          > but I will post some of these website contacts & books ... when more time
                          > allows...
                          >
                          >
                          >
                          > .... bye for now
                          > & regards
                          > Don Graves
                          > BSc. Msc. (Plant Biology)
                          >
                          >
                          >
                          > 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/
                          >
                          >
                          >
                          >
                        • Larry Haftl
                          Hi Don, Thanks for the links. I ll wade through them shortly. I m trying to get my mind around something you said. ... as ... if ... mycorrhizal ...
                          Message 12 of 15 , Mar 9, 2003
                            Hi Don,

                            Thanks for the links. I'll wade through them shortly.

                            I'm trying to get my mind around something you said.

                            > Thus experiments to date have shown NEGATIVE effects by crop rotations of
                            > brassicas (canola & mustard) & other "non-host" or "non-mycorrhizal" plant
                            > crops. Under a densely planted canopy of such seed crops / cover crops /
                            > green manures/ there are relatively only a few weed species which may act
                            as
                            > hosts to mycorrhizas.
                            > Unfortuneately for such beneficial & ancient soil fungi, but they still
                            > require to live inside healthy & living plants (ie "biotrophic")... Thus
                            if
                            > a soil contains much fewer host plant roots available to form a
                            mycorrhizal
                            > symbiosis (partnership), then populations of such beneficial fungi will be
                            > reduced in soils & thus in subsequent rotations of crops.
                            > In soils subsequent to crop rotations by non-mycorrhizal plants, there are
                            > reduced levels of mycorrhizal symbiosis levels, & thus less
                            plant-available
                            > (P) phosphate, ...

                            So what you are saying is that planting mycorrhiza-dependent plants in an
                            area that was just used to grow non-mycorrhiza host plants (the brassicas,
                            lupines, etc) may have reduced success because the mycorrhiza in that area
                            might be diminished due to nothing/very little to feed on?

                            Do the non-mycorrhizal-dependent plants, if grown in an area that has plenty
                            of mycorrhiza, simply ignore the mycorrhiza? Or does the presence of
                            micorrhiza reduce the productivity of the non-M dependent plants?

                            This has all sorts of interesting/confusing implications for field crop
                            rotations. I 'd be interested in hearing how you think this might apply to
                            Fukuoka's field crop rotation suggestions. You can see the charts online at:
                            http://larryhaftl.com/pnw/nmethod03.html

                            At this point I'm thinking of doing mostly intercropping rather than
                            monoculture in small or large blocks - a tomato here, a basil there, and
                            next to it maybe a cabbage or whatever, etc. over the whole bed(s). From
                            your description it sounds like this should not present large areas of
                            decimated mycorrhiza as they would have something nearby to feed/feed on. Is
                            that right?

                            I really appreciate your comments and links as they are not only very
                            relevent, but also very, very timely.

                            Larry Haftl
                            larry@...
                            http://LarryHaftl.com
                            http://FukuokaFarmingOL.net
                          • jamie
                            Hello Don, thank you for the information and the references (and to Robert too for the earlier link to David Sylvia at UFL). I think I followed the thrust of
                            Message 13 of 15 , Mar 10, 2003
                              Hello Don, thank you for the information and the references (and to Robert
                              too for the earlier link to David Sylvia at UFL).

                              I think I followed the thrust of your post - certainly to the impoverishment
                              of 'round-up ready canola' soils, whose mycorrhiza are hit by both
                              nonmycorrhizal plants and the herbicide. Also to the volunteers especially
                              designed to take advantage of disturbed land (again nonmycorrhizal symbionts
                              plants).

                              I'd like to pick up on one particular comment and then explore that area:
                              you mention lupin to be a nonmycorrhizal symbiont, yet I know this to have
                              been the green manure of choice from Roman (even pre-Roman) times here and
                              in Italy. Is it common that the nitrogen fixing plants are also
                              nomycorrhizal symbionts? In a way it might be expected as these plants help
                              enrich poor soils and poor soils are often those recently disturbed, which
                              are soils open to nonmycorrhizal symbionts because they don't need
                              mycorrhiza that might be present in richer (more evolved) soils.

                              This type of reasoning can lead to thoughts of the type of weeds found in
                              our gardens and what they say about the relative evolution (I'm using
                              evolution here to suggest an undisturbed soil that has been able to pass
                              through stages of plant succession to lead to a large and diverse microbial
                              mix) state of our soils. These indicator weeds might reveal the level of mix
                              or certain imbalances that can then be corrected by using bacterial-symbiont
                              or mycorrhizal-symbiont plants to regulate the balance for particular crops
                              (which are themselves bacterially or mycorrhizally needful).

                              In other words, I'm suggesting that simply through weeds we can determine
                              the rough makeup of our soil's microscopic life, and from this point decide
                              on future successions and rotations to maximise the benefits such soil life
                              can give to our crop plants - even something as simple as the existence of
                              nitrogen fixers might (according to my idea above) reveal the low quantities
                              of mycorrhiza and therefore the planting of a mycorrhizal symbiont cover
                              crop to either encourage mycorrhiza populations or be intercropped amongst a
                              mycorrhizally needful crop.

                              I suspect that nothing is ever as simple as this and there will be many
                              confounding factors in such an analysis. But if there're any practical
                              indicators you can give to home and commercial growers on how to maximise
                              the health of soils for different crops through encouraging healthy soil
                              life, I'm sure I and many on this list would be grateful - I'm only thinking
                              of plants to effect change and not amendments of any kind whether labelled
                              organic or not.

                              Thanks for your input Don, its opening up many new ways to visualise the
                              process of growing fruit and veg.

                              Jamie
                              Souscayrous

                              -----Original Message-----
                              From: Don Graves [mailto:dgraves@...]
                              Sent: Monday, March 10, 2003 4:28 AM
                              To: fukuoka_farming@yahoogroups.com
                              Subject: Re: [fukuoka_farming] exotic microbial mix

                              Hi again Jamie
                              thanks for the comments & questions
                              I'm no mycorrhiza expert or X-SPURT ... however, as I understand things
                              (so-far!!)

                              snip...
                            • Don Graves
                              Hi Jamie & Larry Thanks for the interest in the mycorrhiza info Not all nitrogen fixing plants are non-mycorrhizal, eg. clover is a good host plant for
                              Message 14 of 15 , Mar 11, 2003
                                Hi Jamie & Larry

                                Thanks for the interest in the mycorrhiza info

                                Not all nitrogen fixing plants are non-mycorrhizal, eg. clover is a good
                                host plant for mycorrhizas.

                                There is some literature that examines plant genes for promoting symbiosis.
                                It seems that some plant "symbiosis genes" may be shared for controlling
                                both N-fixing symbiosis & mycorrhizal symbiosis. However, there is
                                generally little specificity or compatability discrimination by most plants
                                that form mycorrhizas with arbuscular mycorrhizas (endo-mycorrhizas). This
                                is not so commonly the case with woody plants that form ecto-mycorrhizas,
                                they are more commonly specific plant-fungal symbioses (partnerships)


                                I have a friend who did his PhD in "phytoremediation" - using brassica
                                plants to grow on gold mine tailings. Brassicas seem to have an unusual
                                ability to uptake all sorts of minerals, including (P) phosphates, hence why
                                brassicas may also be popular as a green manure crop.

                                There are obviously important implications for management of plant
                                successions & crop rotations. Monocultures do sometimes occur in nature,
                                but rarely does species biodiversity remain low over time. There are lots
                                of vigorous weeds that can dominate as groundcovers, vines, shrublands
                                etc.... Here in NZ gorse is a good species to allow & promote revegetation
                                of native vegetation.

                                David Sylvia has an extra-ordinary research & extensive herbarium / fungal
                                spore production facility. Aeroponic spore production is good for
                                production & collection of fungal spores for sales / distribution /
                                inoculation / .... but be careful not to expect a silver bullet fungal
                                strain that helps all plants at all times.... There is lots of benefits in
                                having biological diversity of mycorrhizal fungal species.... different
                                species are more helpful at different times of the year, & less plant
                                beneficial at other times

                                There is oh so much to discuss re mycorrhizas...
                                eg. Soil aggregation is thought to be assisted by a so-called
                                "sticky-string-bag" effect caused by fungal mycelial filaments that enmesh
                                soil particals & at the same time emit a sticky gum / protein called
                                "glomalin". This seems to be another example of the Gaia hypothesis
                                regarding biological organisms (plants, fungi & rhizosphere bacteria)
                                modifying the environment, in turn optimising / improving soil & root
                                aeration / drainage / health

                                I am checking / reviewing CH4 of Fukuoka's "Natural Way of Farming"
                                I have very restricted time available to do all this, but I am enjoying the
                                feedback

                                regards
                                Don
                                ----- Original Message -----
                                From: "jamie" <jamie@...>
                                To: <fukuoka_farming@yahoogroups.com>
                                Sent: Tuesday, March 11, 2003 10:35 AM
                                Subject: RE: [fukuoka_farming] exotic microbial mix


                                > Hello Don, thank you for the information and the references (and to Robert
                                > too for the earlier link to David Sylvia at UFL).
                                >
                                > I think I followed the thrust of your post - certainly to the
                                impoverishment
                                > of 'round-up ready canola' soils, whose mycorrhiza are hit by both
                                > nonmycorrhizal plants and the herbicide. Also to the volunteers especially
                                > designed to take advantage of disturbed land (again nonmycorrhizal
                                symbionts
                                > plants).
                                >
                                > I'd like to pick up on one particular comment and then explore that area:
                                > you mention lupin to be a nonmycorrhizal symbiont, yet I know this to have
                                > been the green manure of choice from Roman (even pre-Roman) times here and
                                > in Italy. Is it common that the nitrogen fixing plants are also
                                > nomycorrhizal symbionts? In a way it might be expected as these plants
                                help
                                > enrich poor soils and poor soils are often those recently disturbed, which
                                > are soils open to nonmycorrhizal symbionts because they don't need
                                > mycorrhiza that might be present in richer (more evolved) soils.
                                >
                                > This type of reasoning can lead to thoughts of the type of weeds found in
                                > our gardens and what they say about the relative evolution (I'm using
                                > evolution here to suggest an undisturbed soil that has been able to pass
                                > through stages of plant succession to lead to a large and diverse
                                microbial
                                > mix) state of our soils. These indicator weeds might reveal the level of
                                mix
                                > or certain imbalances that can then be corrected by using
                                bacterial-symbiont
                                > or mycorrhizal-symbiont plants to regulate the balance for particular
                                crops
                                > (which are themselves bacterially or mycorrhizally needful).
                                >
                                > In other words, I'm suggesting that simply through weeds we can determine
                                > the rough makeup of our soil's microscopic life, and from this point
                                decide
                                > on future successions and rotations to maximise the benefits such soil
                                life
                                > can give to our crop plants - even something as simple as the existence of
                                > nitrogen fixers might (according to my idea above) reveal the low
                                quantities
                                > of mycorrhiza and therefore the planting of a mycorrhizal symbiont cover
                                > crop to either encourage mycorrhiza populations or be intercropped amongst
                                a
                                > mycorrhizally needful crop.
                                >
                                > I suspect that nothing is ever as simple as this and there will be many
                                > confounding factors in such an analysis. But if there're any practical
                                > indicators you can give to home and commercial growers on how to maximise
                                > the health of soils for different crops through encouraging healthy soil
                                > life, I'm sure I and many on this list would be grateful - I'm only
                                thinking
                                > of plants to effect change and not amendments of any kind whether labelled
                                > organic or not.
                                >
                                > Thanks for your input Don, its opening up many new ways to visualise the
                                > process of growing fruit and veg.
                                >
                                > Jamie
                                > Souscayrous
                                >
                                > -----Original Message-----
                                > From: Don Graves [mailto:dgraves@...]
                                > Sent: Monday, March 10, 2003 4:28 AM
                                > To: fukuoka_farming@yahoogroups.com
                                > Subject: Re: [fukuoka_farming] exotic microbial mix
                                >
                                > Hi again Jamie
                                > thanks for the comments & questions
                                > I'm no mycorrhiza expert or X-SPURT ... however, as I understand things
                                > (so-far!!)
                                >
                                > snip...
                                >
                                >
                                > 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/
                                >
                                >
                                >
                                >
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