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Windmills of Uncertainty--Fukuoka's Seedballs

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  • Robert Monie
    Hi Everybody, Several list members have asked me to continue with the Ultimatum commentary and only two nays have been registered, so I shall carry on with
    Message 1 of 5 , Dec 22, 2003
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      Hi Everybody,

      Several list members have asked me to continue with the "Ultimatum" commentary and only two nays have been registered, so I shall carry on with my petit bourgeois, Kliffie notes summary.

      At one point in the text, Fukuoka asserts that Kant erred in taking time and space to be "a priori" concepts (page 105). But at another point, he uses Kant to prove his own contention about the unreliablity of human knowledge (page 20). This is not surprising since all the great philosphers are mish-mashers of truth, error, and uncertainty--which is to say, subject to the human condition. When Fukuoka perceives that Kant is wrong, he points out the error; when he sees that Kant has had a powerful insight about the unknowablness of nature, Fukuoka cites him as a authority.

      Fukuoka's receipes for seedballs (pages 83 to 103) turn out in this book to be more elaborately and complexly crafted than those described in any Internet website I have seen. I cannot quote from the book but I can describe the multiple approach he uses. He chooses seeds from a huge number of different species to pelletize. He does not simply wet the seeds, put in a little soil and then roll them in clay. He prepares a fungal culture to help the seeds grow, selects certain plants known to repel pests, and has a multilayered shell around the seeds, fungal culture and pest-repellants. One layer consists of saline material to render the pellet unappetizing, another is prepared calcium carbonate to add available nutrients. Finally, he even considers the use, where appropriate, of artificial seed coatings.

      He uses a culture medium derived from both fungal and bacterial sources that he prepares from the parts of plants from several different families (he lists them on page 85) .On pages 86 and 87 he describes how to prepare this concoction, which takes about a month to grow properly. Once prepared, it can be applied directly to the soil to promote the growth of certain trees.

      This addition of a saline layer, fungal culture medium, and several other shell layers is not the simple model we have usually seen for seedballs. The seedball is an evolving concept. This version may have been from the late 80s ? and is always subject to further ammendation but it does raise many questions. When I tried seedballs, I did not include naturally-derived pest repellents, processed calcium carbonate, saline elements, fungal culture, or multi-layered shells. Is that why my seedball experiments have failed? Or do simpler seedball (seeds, water, and single shell) work in some environments? Certainly all who have tried seedballs unsuccessfully will want these questions answered.

      On page 101, Fukuoka give his approval of synthetic shells as well. I had never considered that he would want to use them, but I find it wonderfully pragmatic of him and would not try to be more Fukuokian than Fukuoka!

      To bad the diagrams anatomizing this complex seedball model have been omitted in the English edition (Michiyo, were they pictured in the Japanese original?) Fukuoka's description of how to pelletize seeds is very rich and detailed, but I am not allowed to quote.

      More to come, if there are not too many screams and howls. Comments, as usual, are welcome.



      Bob Monie


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    • Ingrid Bauer/Jean-Claude Catry
      At one point in the text, Fukuoka asserts that Kant erred in taking time and space to be a priori concepts (page 105). But at another point, he uses Kant to
      Message 2 of 5 , Dec 22, 2003
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        At one point in the text, Fukuoka asserts that Kant erred in taking time and space to be "a priori" concepts (page 105). But at another point, he uses Kant to prove his own contention about the unreliablity of human knowledge (page 20). This is not surprising since all the great philosphers are mish-mashers of truth, error, and uncertainty--which is to say, subject to the human condition. When Fukuoka perceives that Kant is wrong, he points out the error; when he sees that Kant has had a powerful insight about the unknowablness of nature, Fukuoka cites him as a authority.
        that is the power of fukuoka 's philosophy it goes beyond truths in time and space . it embrace kant and others limited views.


        <Fukuoka's receipes for seedballs (pages 83 to 103) turn out in this book to be more elaborately and complexly crafted than those described in any Internet website I have seen. I cannot quote from the book but I can describe the multiple approach he uses. He chooses seeds from a huge number of different species to pelletize. He does not simply wet the seeds, put in a little soil and then roll them in clay. He prepares a fungal culture to help the seeds grow, selects certain plants known to repel pests, and has a multilayered shell around the seeds, fungal culture and pest-repellants. One layer consists of saline material to render the pellet unappetizing, another is prepared calcium carbonate to add available nutrients. Finally, he even considers the use, where appropriate, of artificial seed coatings. >

        .

        He uses a culture medium derived from both fungal and bacterial sources that he prepares from the parts of plants from several different families (he lists them on page 85) .On pages 86 and 87 he describes how to prepare this concoction, which takes about a month to grow properly. Once prepared, it can be applied directly to the soil to promote the growth of certain trees.

        This addition of a saline layer, fungal culture medium, and several other shell layers is not the simple model we have usually seen for seedballs. The seedball is an evolving concept. This version may have been from the late 80s ? and is always subject to further ammendation but it does raise many questions. When I tried seedballs, I did not include naturally-derived pest repellents, processed calcium carbonate, saline elements, fungal culture, or multi-layered shells. Is that why my seedball experiments have failed? Or do simpler seedball (seeds, water, and single shell) work in some environments? Certainly all who have tried seedballs unsuccessfully will want these questions answered. >

        thoses seeds balls are specially geared toward greenings deserts , a very difficult situataion to have seeds sprouting

        <On page 101, Fukuoka give his approval of synthetic shells as well. I had never considered that he would want to use them, but I find it wonderfully pragmatic of him and would not try to be more Fukuokian than Fukuoka!

        it is because it takes the desertification problem very seriouslly and see the urgency ( i heard him )

        jean-claude


        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      • Michiyo Shibuya
        Making seedballs in layers is a natural process if you use a concrete mixer, and a mixer can only make balls in such a way. I cannot really talk about it
        Message 3 of 5 , Dec 23, 2003
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          Making seedballs in layers is a natural process if you use a concrete mixer,
          and a mixer can only make balls in such a way. I cannot really talk about
          it because
          I have no experience of using a cocrete mixer, but I think it is a very
          important tool
          for seeding in the desert.
          I guess there are variations in the recipes, he modifies it after seeing
          what materials
          are available locally, for example, the idea of using cotton in Greece came
          to his mind
          when he saw stack of cotton thrown away, it produced a good result
          after many failures.
          Of course you can make layered seedballs from simple ingredients; clay,
          water, seeds.
          (you can call it a single layer but the process is the same; you keep adding
          the ingredients into the mixture.)
          But in general, I hear that you need much experience in order to make
          seedballs successfully
          with a concrete mixer.

          Making seedballs by hand is much simpler and easier. You never need layers.
          If you can just make seedballs
          that don't crack after days, I think that you have passed the first
          obstacle.
          The only seeds that I wet (when making by hand) before wrapping in clay are
          legume because they absorp so much water
          and if a legume seed absorp all the water from the clay around it, the ball
          will have a crack.

          I just wish that we could show you how we make it. I think that the main
          reason for why there is no written text available
          is because we don't think that the "how to" part is most important, and
          rather we are afraid of it spreading out without the philosophy.

          Jamie, I didn't really mean to hurt your feeling. I hope that we can all
          communicate caring about other members in different situations.
          Jason, as for the permission for quating, it is impossible for me to ask at
          this point. Please remember that it has been asked many times
          before by other people and he has had more bad experiences than good
          experience concerning the internet media.

          I am thinking about reducing my time on the internet and thinking about
          temporarily signing off from the list. Anyone can continue to contact me
          directly
          and please update me with special events and more of your exciting garden
          news.

          Michiyo Shibuya
        • Robert Monie
          Hi Michiyo, I am also reducing Internet time and leaving the list to work in my own garden. You are a delightful person and will be happy to follow the Way as
          Message 4 of 5 , Dec 23, 2003
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            Hi Michiyo,

            I am also reducing Internet time and leaving the list to work in my own garden. You are a delightful person and will be happy to follow the Way as you see it. Many blessings to you and other group members.

            Bob Monie--south Louisiana

            Michiyo Shibuya <michiyos@...> wrote:
            Making seedballs in layers is a natural process if you use a concrete mixer,
            and a mixer can only make balls in such a way. I cannot really talk about
            it because
            I have no experience of using a cocrete mixer, but I think it is a very
            important tool
            for seeding in the desert.
            I guess there are variations in the recipes, he modifies it after seeing
            what materials
            are available locally, for example, the idea of using cotton in Greece came
            to his mind
            when he saw stack of cotton thrown away, it produced a good result
            after many failures.
            Of course you can make layered seedballs from simple ingredients; clay,
            water, seeds.
            (you can call it a single layer but the process is the same; you keep adding
            the ingredients into the mixture.)
            But in general, I hear that you need much experience in order to make
            seedballs successfully
            with a concrete mixer.

            Making seedballs by hand is much simpler and easier. You never need layers.
            If you can just make seedballs
            that don't crack after days, I think that you have passed the first
            obstacle.
            The only seeds that I wet (when making by hand) before wrapping in clay are
            legume because they absorp so much water
            and if a legume seed absorp all the water from the clay around it, the ball
            will have a crack.

            I just wish that we could show you how we make it. I think that the main
            reason for why there is no written text available
            is because we don't think that the "how to" part is most important, and
            rather we are afraid of it spreading out without the philosophy.

            Jamie, I didn't really mean to hurt your feeling. I hope that we can all
            communicate caring about other members in different situations.
            Jason, as for the permission for quating, it is impossible for me to ask at
            this point. Please remember that it has been asked many times
            before by other people and he has had more bad experiences than good
            experience concerning the internet media.

            I am thinking about reducing my time on the internet and thinking about
            temporarily signing off from the list. Anyone can continue to contact me
            directly
            and please update me with special events and more of your exciting garden
            news.

            Michiyo Shibuya






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          • animaphile
            ... concrete mixer, and a mixer can only make balls in such a way. I cannot really talk about it because I have no experience of using a cocrete mixer, but I
            Message 5 of 5 , Jan 5, 2004
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              --- In fukuoka_farming@yahoogroups.com, "Michiyo Shibuya"
              <michiyos@m...> wrote:
              > Making seedballs in layers is a natural process if you use a
              concrete mixer, and a mixer can only make balls in such a way. I
              cannot really talk about it because I have no experience of using a
              cocrete mixer, but I think it is a very important tool for seeding
              in the desert.
              > I guess there are variations in the recipes, he modifies it after
              seeing
              > what materials are available locally, for example, the idea of
              using cotton in Greece came to his mind when he saw stack of cotton
              thrown away, it produced a good result after many failures.
              > Of course you can make layered seedballs from simple ingredients;
              clay, water, seeds. (you can call it a single layer but the process
              is the same; you keep adding the ingredients into the mixture.)
              > But in general, I hear that you need much experience in order to
              make seedballs successfully with a concrete mixer.
              >
              > Making seedballs by hand is much simpler and easier. You never
              need layers.
              > If you can just make seedballs that don't crack after days, I
              think that you have passed the first
              obstacle.
              > The only seeds that I wet (when making by hand) before wrapping in
              clay are legume because they absorp so much water and if a legume
              seed absorp all the water from the clay around it, the ball will
              have a crack.
              >
              > I just wish that we could show you how we make it. I think that
              the main reason for why there is no written text available is
              because we don't think that the "how to" part is most important, and
              rather we are afraid of it spreading out without the philosophy.
              >
              > Jamie, I didn't really mean to hurt your feeling. I hope that we
              can all communicate caring about other members in different
              situations.
              > Jason, as for the permission for quoting, it is impossible for me
              to ask at this point. Please remember that it has been asked many
              times before by other people and he has had more bad experiences
              than good experience concerning the internet media.
              >
              > I am thinking about reducing my time on the internet and thinking
              about temporarily signing off from the list. Anyone can continue to
              contact me directly and please update me with special events and
              more of your exciting garden news.
              >
              > Michiyo Shibuya

              Dear Michiyo,
              Thank you for your absolutlely clear reply to me about the subject
              of quoting Fukuoka, i suspected this to be the true case - "... he
              has had more bad experiences than good experience concerning the
              internet media. " always because the starting point for the creation
              of the internet is exactly in the human problems that made the
              internet useful, for one of many scores of instances, i would
              suggest people who have insuficient quantity of quality
              relationships with many humans and many creatures of nature such
              that the internet 'dis-embodied' communication no long seems
              superficial or too limited or useless to them, such that it fills a
              gap in their life. In other words if the pre-conditions which made
              the internet popular for people didn't ever start then people would
              not like the internet - sounds circular but please find the truth of
              this. Anyway, now the internet may have a role to undo the pre-
              conditions that led to the popularity of the internet, and undo the
              need for the internet in the long term of hundreds of years. In
              Australia our copyright laws allow us to quote up to a maximum of
              10% of published literature for research purposes. But with Fukuoka
              i will no longer publish quotes of his writing unless i get
              permission because i respect his purpose above the letter of the
              Australian law.
              Thanks Michiyo for your good faith (my words for your contributions)
              How do you think can i benefit the Kami-Shizen-Hito-Shizen-Nouhou
              (Everything-God-Nature-human-natural-farming) further than my
              current contributions may be?
              Jason Stewart.
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