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Re: Compaction planting

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  • animaphile
    ... ever ... consisted ... knotweed.....I ... knotweed ... Nature ... out ... knotweed ... Thanks Gloria, i ve noticed Polygonum/Persicaria species, some of
    Message 1 of 9 , Jul 1, 2003
      --- In fukuoka_farming@yahoogroups.com, "Gloria C. Baikauskas"
      <gcb49@f...> wrote:
      > When doing some reading about knotweed.....a source of interest
      ever
      > since finding that piece I sent about the indigenous people in S.
      > Illiois whose city was found not long ago whose food staple
      consisted
      > largely of pancakes made from the flour from seeds of
      knotweed.....I
      > found this on a Texas A&M University website to do with soil
      > compaction on athletic fields.
      > "Goosegrass and prostrate Knotweed are the best examples of
      > compaction resistant plants and are good indicators of high soil
      > compaction."
      >
      > Now, what I am wondering considering that plants are indicators of
      > problems....and nature's way of fixing them.....if planting
      knotweed
      > and goosegrass in highly compacted areas is not advisable. If
      Nature
      > uses these plants when soil is compacted......should we not find
      out
      > if it is to remedy in some way the compaction? Does anyone know?
      >
      > I also found much information saying that planting Japanse
      knotweed
      > is an offense in several countries for its invasive nature. This
      > common knotweed in the above text is not included in that. I am
      > curious to know if Norie, or Michyo can give us information on any
      > uses in Japan of this Japanese knotwood.
      > Gloria

      Thanks Gloria,
      i've noticed Polygonum/Persicaria species, some of which are
      knotweeds in Oz English plant common names, growing predomininantly
      in some compacted soils or soils which are otherwise 'hard' for many
      plants to grow in.

      In biological science there is an important hypothesis, as all
      science is hypothesis, called the "Regeneration Niche", now while
      niche theories may not be too real or really important for humans or
      in nature, the theory of each plant species each having specialised
      more or less limited conditions in which it's seeds germinate is
      empirically more than just a theory.

      Knotweeds, most of which are introduced to Oz from outside Oz and
      unnecessarily so, in my experience are very effective germinators on
      hardened soil surfaces or generally compacted ground. They may then
      serve to break up more or less gradually that surface or soil
      compaction allowing plants with different seed germination
      requirements to germinate and grow by themselves.

      Compaction is a very important human-initiated degradation which has
      often been overlooked and makes a huge difference in plant quality
      and species of plant that regenerate.

      Land around my house has now after 2-3 years since cattle and
      tractors were nearly completely taken off, and in spite of being
      covered where cleared of bush by disclimax (diversity suppressing -
      eaten & regulated normally African mega fauna) African Kikuyu grass
      up to 3-4 ft high, now, there are native wattle species, valuable
      food, regenerating by themselves.

      The Black Wattle is exactly the same species that Fukuoka san uses/d
      in his orchard as an introduction from Oz, it is endemic to Oz, and
      i also have very beautiful, W.E.-valuable-wood, rich-seed-food,
      Blackwood wattle coming up in this 1 metre thick rank grass now.
      This is the opposite to what local grazier farmers initially said -
      'that nothing would grow in the Kik' if i didn't graze cattle on
      it!!!'

      Many more plant species are or will come up in it too, and
      compaction by hard hoofed W.E.-society-derived-agriculture animals
      like cattle is one of the main reasons why the bush didn't come back
      quicker initially that they were removed - there was a lag time of 2
      or so years for the Kik' and the living soil itself to aerate itself
      enough for taller plant to be able to survive and grow through the
      Kik'

      Gloria did you read the article that i linked to some weeks ago
      ( http://www.nccnsw.org.au/bushland/reference/mbrw/mbrw04.html )
      It is particularly down to earth and informative as to how to and
      who to link up with to regenerate many of the different types of
      landscapes irrespective of the emphasis of their human-use from down
      to earth integrated practice and philosophy. Some other articles in
      this publication are also very to the point, and many are about or
      include urban areas.

      The article that Jean-Claude linked to recently:
      ( http://membres.lycos.fr/xbeluga/originsofagriculture.html )

      From the very partial - the most conservative parts of the Oz
      scientific community, the Commonwalth Scientific & Industrial
      Research Organisation (CSIRO), comes the following 2 wake-ups,
      admissions and actions for us in Oz:

      - Compaction is a substantial factor in these Oz-wide W.E.
      agriculture problems mentioned below.

      http://www.abc.net.au/rural/vic/stories/s776282.htm
      "
      Making farming sustainable - Lyndal Reading
      Traditional farming is devastating the environment and causing
      extensive salinity. It's the claim, not from a hysterical greenie,
      but from CSIRO. Despite all the talk about sustainable agriculture,
      Dr John Williams from CSIRO Land and Water says what farmers
      currently do is simply not sustainable at all. He says its very hard
      to find agricultural land use at the moment that can have a water
      balance that does not leak water into the underground system, a
      potential hazard for salinity levels. He says the ones that do have
      an economic cost. He says one of the major causes to salinity of the
      Murray is the changed water balance from the Mallee. He says deep
      rooted perennials and shrubs in the agricultural landscape, breeding
      our way out of it and using more native species are part of the
      answer.
      Dr John Williams : CSIRO Land and Water
      "

      http://www.abc.net.au/science/news/stories/s62530.htm
      "No more leaky agriculture, says CSIRO scientist"
      Wednesday, 27 October 1999

      Pic: CSIRO

      Australia needs a complete rethink on the nation's agricultural
      resources and how we use them, warned CSIRO Land and Water Deputy
      Chief Dr John Williams, at The Regional Australia Summit being held
      in Canberra.

      According to the organisers, the summit is being held to bring
      together business and community to take a hard look at the problems
      facing the bush. Dr Williams' ideas are part of a background paper.

      "The search for farming systems and land use patterns that do not
      harm the environment is urgent. It must form a central plank in any
      strategy for regional development in Australia," he said.

      "Our European style of agriculture is mining the reservoirs of
      carbon and nutrients in our soils, as well as leaking water,
      nutrients and pesticides to groundwater, rivers and wetlands," Dr
      Williams says. "It is the very leaky nature of Australian agro-
      ecosystems that lies at the root of nearly all land and water
      degradation problems."

      Rural Australia already has begun the process of change with
      programs such as Landcare and more attention to sustainable
      practice. But Dr Williams believes there needs to be a national
      strategic research effort to design alternative land use practices
      which can support rural communities.

      "A key strategic focus is to build productive agro-ecosystems that
      leak much less water, nutrient and carbon to the landscape in which
      they are located."

      "Farm forestry, new agricultural production systems and restoration
      of native vegetation present opportunities to restructure the
      landscape with vegetation that has a similar water-use pattern to
      the original bushland. The use of native plants and animals may form
      an increasing part of rural production. Bush foods, native
      wildflowers, oils, pharmaceuticals and industrial chemicals are all
      receiving increasing attention."


      Beauty,
      Jason
      Animaphile
    • norie
      Hello Gloria and all, ... I wasn t aware of it s existence, but after looking it up, noticed a lot of it growing up to waist level in the unattended borders of
      Message 2 of 9 , Jul 5, 2003
        Hello Gloria and all,

        > common knotweed in the above text is not included in that. I am
        > curious to know if Norie, or Michyo can give us information on any
        > uses in Japan of this Japanese knotwood.

        I wasn't aware of it's existence, but after looking it up, noticed a lot of
        it growing up to waist level in the unattended borders of parking
        lots/abandoned plots of land, with blooming white tiny flowers in Tokyo.
        (I'm now contemplating cutting some to prepare for a mock-rhubarb pie, as
        some sources I found say it's even better tasting than rhubarb!)

        I'm sorry I don't have the information you were looking for, but I found it
        interesting that it's found on hillsides and is used to stabilize soil and
        therefore, I suppose it could be useful information for landscaping to help
        prevent erosion..

        Here is the site where I found some information.

        University of Wisconsin : Weed Science Website
        http://ipcm.wisc.edu/uw_weeds/extension/articles/japknotweed.htm

        Uses
        Japanese knotweed is not seen as an undesirable weed by all. It is a popular
        ornamental across the world. When used as an ornamental it is often called
        fleece flower and is often given a glowing recommendation by magazines and
        catalogs. People have no idea that soon after it is planted in their flower
        gardens, the issue becomes more of how to eradicate than propagate the
        plant.

        In Japan it is used extensively to hide garbage dumps, pigpens, waste areas,
        etc. (Jennings and Fawcett 1980). In sandy seashore areas Japanese knotweed
        is often used to stabilize soil as it can easily withstand the spray and
        wind and low soil nutrients as few plants can (Locandro 1978). The plant is
        edible; when the newly emerged shoots are picked they can be prepared like
        rhubarb. It is said to have a unique almond flavor. Bee keepers have planted
        it for its abundant nectar secretion (Locandro 1978). The plant has some
        medicinal purposes and has been used as a fodder crop, but rhizomes are
        reported to be toxic to some species of livestock (Beerling et al. 1994).
        During World War II, Japanese knotweed leaves were used as a substitute for
        tobacco.

        Warm regards,

        Norie, on a leisurely Saturday trying to catch up with this active list!
      • Gloria C. Baikauskas
        Thank you, Norie! I found the information most interesting myself. What I had wondered most was whether it was a good plant to combat soil compaction as it is
        Message 3 of 9 , Jul 5, 2003
          Thank you, Norie! I found the information most interesting myself.
          What I had wondered most was whether it was a good plant to combat
          soil compaction as it is what Nature seems to plant on its own in
          such places that are compacted. Now that I know it has edible uses
          as well it has become an even more attractive idea to use it.
          Gloria
        • norie
          Hi Gloria, http://brickfieldspark.org/data/japanese_knot_weed.htm Here is some other information you might like to know before adopting it for various uses on
          Message 4 of 9 , Jul 5, 2003
            Hi Gloria,

            http://brickfieldspark.org/data/japanese_knot_weed.htm

            Here is some other information you might like to know before adopting it for
            various uses on your land as it does sound like quite an evasive creature.
            But sources also mentioned that it needs a lot of sunlight to thrive. I'll
            keep a lookout and see what I can observe about it in my environs. I'm
            assuming it might be helpful to know the condition of the soil where it
            grows and also whether it allows for other varieties of plant growth....

            As for the benefits of it as food, I'll also let you know if I succeed with
            my knotweed pie filling. :-) Other sources I subsequently found advise
            against eating it, but I'll peel and boil it well and hope for a tasty
            product!

            Norie
          • Gloria C. Baikauskas
            As with all things in Nature I will look first to see if I find it growing anywhere hereabout and pay close attention to it. I don t have much compacted soil
            Message 5 of 9 , Jul 5, 2003
              As with all things in Nature I will look first to see if I find it
              growing anywhere hereabout and pay close attention to it. I don't
              have much compacted soil on my property anymore I am glad to say, but
              that doesn't mean that knotweed for all its invasive properties would
              not do a mighty fine job of turning around soil that is. We seem to
              get these notions into our head that things are so invasive and begin
              thinking eradication is the only solution. Yet you have already told
              us how valuable it can be there in Japan against things like
              erosion. We truly need to turn our thinking around on so many things.

              Thank you once again, Norie.
              Gloria
            • Michiyo Shibuya
              Hello Gloria, I missed your question, sorry for my late reply. ... It is a very strong plant especially against the temperature and acidity. But you are
              Message 6 of 9 , Jul 5, 2003
                Hello Gloria,
                I missed your question, sorry for my late reply.

                >....should we not find out
                > if it is to remedy in some way the compaction? Does anyone know?

                It is a very strong plant especially against the temperature and acidity.
                But you are probably right. I find that Japanese knotweed is one of the
                first plant that grows after
                a volcanic eruption and an indication of the vegetational restoration.
                Knotweed is symbiotic with
                mycorrhizal fungus and nitrogen fixing microorganism, so will it help to
                grow other plants as well?

                Did I simplify the matter too much?

                But of course, if it is seen in our garden, as with other common plants,
                knotweed will be treated
                as weeds and farmers will have a hard time weeding. Especially, knotweed
                will help kuzu to climb
                higher to tree trunks, and that will probably horrify many farmers.

                Also knotweed substituted Tabasco leaves during the world war II,
                and still now among common edible wild plants.
                You can eat in the spring time and also pickle in salt and eat all winter
                long.

                As for a medical use, according to the encyclopedia of medicinal herbs that
                I have,
                you rub on to a cut(when bleeding) to relieve the pain,
                and it is where the Japanese name "ita dori"痛取(pain reliever) comes from.

                The kampo name of the knotweed is "kojou" or "kojoukon" 虎杖 or 虎杖根.
                It is the dried root harvested in the late autumn, and used to restore
                constipation and urtication.


                Michiyo Shibuya
              • Gloria C. Baikauskas
                ... restoration. ... help to ... Michiyo.........this plant sounds more and more like a plant that, despite its invasiveness, is worthy of more consideration
                Message 7 of 9 , Jul 5, 2003
                  --- In fukuoka_farming@yahoogroups.com, "Michiyo Shibuya"
                  <michiyos@m...> wrote:
                  > I find that Japanese knotweed is one of the
                  > first plant that grows after
                  > a volcanic eruption and an indication of the vegetational
                  restoration.
                  > Knotweed is symbiotic with
                  > mycorrhizal fungus and nitrogen fixing microorganism, so will it
                  help to
                  > grow other plants as well?

                  Michiyo.........this plant sounds more and more like a plant that,
                  despite its invasiveness, is worthy of more consideration in dealing
                  with soils compacted and/or damaged. Perhaps it would speed up the
                  process of opening up the soil far more than daikon radishes. I do
                  realize that the process of using the daikon radishes and leaving
                  them in the soil accomplishes more than opening the compacted soil.
                  However, when you mentioned the symbiotic qualities of knotweed with
                  mycorrhizal fungi and nitrogen fixing microorganisms you caught my
                  attention immediately. Perhaps it should be a project for research
                  by a university research team, for instance. I qualified that to
                  such a team knowing that the average person might not be able to
                  control it.

                  I am also wondering if, when its job is done, the knotweed might not
                  die off on its own as some other plants do in that situation. Our
                  soil has been in such a poor state on this Earth for such a long time
                  now with so much of it unusable in its present state that the much
                  maligned knotweed might hold an answer.

                  I have much respect for it, too, now knowing its edible and curative
                  aspects. Just as my own journey with what are considered insect
                  pests has been morphing along in the last year, the way I am
                  beginning to look at different plants is also changing. I honestly
                  believe we need to understand them better before eradication and/or
                  banning of them is called for. Every plant has a purpose....we just
                  need to realize it and cooperate with it instead of fighting against
                  what Nature knows to be correct. It is our need to control what
                  grows where and how that is the problem. One day we just might make
                  extinct a plant that might save us all.

                  Thank you for the information, Michiyo.
                  Gloria
                • Jon Wood
                  ... wrote: this plant sounds more and more like a plant that, despite its invasiveness, is worthy of more consideration in dealing with soils
                  Message 8 of 9 , Jul 5, 2003
                    --- In fukuoka_farming@yahoogroups.com, "Gloria C. Baikauskas"
                    <gcb49@f...> wrote:
                    this plant sounds more and more like a plant that,
                    despite its invasiveness, is worthy of more consideration in dealing
                    with soils compacted and/or damaged. Perhaps it would speed up the
                    process of opening up the soil
                    Gloria
                    ***************
                    Gloria, in Kentucky, Poke, wild blackberry and lambs quarter act much
                    this same way. These can also be used for food and for medicines.
                    Jon
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