Natural Farmers in Oz and final responses to previous posts
- One again thank you Michiyo for this message 3911, i appreciate the
clear straight communication and the effort you have gone to to make
it so. The Internet is helpful to & allowing of poor communication
and interpretation, it does not include facial expressions, body
expressions, hand gestures for emphasising our words, our hormones,
our unique, all of us, beautiful physical appearances, it comes
between each of our vibes or spirits as a medium of electrons which
may possibly partially transmit our spirits to each according to
some physicists theories of non-locality in sub-atomic partical
interactions. But this apparently is only partial, and i think this
is for me a conclusive description of the value and limits of the
internet - It is partial and dis-embodied, it takes extra-human
communication effort to rise above these shortcomings, finally *i*
(just my opinion of course) think Bob did this in his reply message
3912 to Michiyo's, I can cope with and even enjoy, whoopy-doo! so
what, reading Bob's message 3912.
Moving on, as i now can after releasing my above posts meanings from
occupying my mind, below is some outstanding stories selected from
early Oz European 'explorers' rather pre-judiced and distinctly
harmful colonising 'exploration' (re-explore actually), for you all
the human worlds appreciation of Oz and its release from racism and
lies about Australia's history. It is compilation of written
research i have recently done on Natural Farming of cereals by
various Indigenous people's of this Oz continent. (sustainable so
called aboriginal farmers doing everything cereal farmers do but not
plowing which is often stupidly harmful, especially in Oz's ancient
soils, no-till European-Oz farmers of course have belatedly learnt
no plowing) It makes me joyous to the point of tears sometimes to
extract the natural history from these re-explorers partial
commentaries and amazes me how much magnificence Europeans-
Australians and non-indigenous Australians have ignored &
marginalised in our recounting indigenous peoples and lands history
and how much land has been destroyed and how much indigenous peoples
have been suppressed in the past by 'whitefullas'. Thanks to them
all for still being here in Oz and still strong and recovering from
us whitefulla's suppressions. I don't know who i be without
my 'blackfulla' Oz friends. Also see www.sydneydreaming.com.au, i
attended again this last december, it wonderfully mind-blowing.
Thanks mates, Jason Stewart
Cooly or Tindil Shizen Nouhou/food-ecosystem management/natural
farming (Western NSW Oz Indij people(s) and Cloncurry River Nth QLD,
respectively, names for Euro-science's Panicum decompositum
Australian Native Millet.)
From Tim Low (1988) "Wild Food Plants of Australia" Angus and
Robertson Publishers 1988, NSW, Australia.
pages 28 - 29
`Small seeds are a less obvious food, because hundreds are needed to
make a meal. They weren't important foods for Aborigines in coastal
areas, except perhaps for wild rice (Oruyza [sic] meridionalis),
native flax (Linum marginale) and wattle seeds. But in the outback,
where grains grow in vast fields, sophisticated seed-grinding
cultures arose. Grass seeds were harvested in the outback at least
15,000 years ago. The explorer A. C. Gregory described a more recent
harvest along Coopers Creek:
"Fields of 1,000 acres are there met with growing this cereal. The
natives cut it down by means of stone knives, cutting down the stalk
halfway, beat out the seed, leaving the straw which is often met
with in large heaps; they winnow by tossing seed and husk into the
air, the wind carrying away the husks. The grinding into meal is
done by means of two stones, a large irregular slab and a small
Australian millet (Panicum decompositum) was the most important
native grain, but many other grasses were also used, including
species of Brachiara, Dactyloctenium, Eragrostis, Panicum,
Paspalidium, and in the tropics, wild rice (Oryza).
Like the grasses, the tiny seeds of pigweed and spores of nardoo
were ground on stones and baked as cakes. Seed-grinding was
practised throughout much of arid Australia, but did not extend far
into forested areas. The limits are indicated by the finds of old
grinding stones [archaeology]. Many kinds of wattle seeds were also
ground to flour, or eaten green like steamed peas. Kurrajong seeds
were often eaten whole. ...`
From J.W. Maiden (1889) "The Useful Native Plants of Australia"
Facsimile edition published 1975 by Compendium Pty Ltd, Melb.,
'Joseph Henry Maiden
Joseph Henry Maiden, botanist, was born in London in 1859 and
educated at London University. On account of his health, he was
ordered on a sea voyage and came to Australia in 1880.
Greatly interested in native plants, he began a lifelong study of
systematic botany and forestry in Australia, corresponding and
working with von Mueller and others in the field.
Among the various positions that he held were those of Curator of
the Technological Museum of New South Wales (1881-1896), and
Government Botanist and Director of the Botanic Gardens, Sydney
[beware reader of the worse than todays Australian colonial
mentality in reading this, it is evident in the language of
referring to 'aboriginal' peoples subtly as object, foreign beings,
ie. as 'the other', and this incredible ignoring blind-spot towards
their farming perhaps colonisers-self-serving willful pretense of
ignorance or self-serving-denial-by-disbelief or disbelief-by-self-
sense-of-superiority in not understanding what "the natives" purpose
was in cutting vast landscapes of grains.]
160. Panicum decompositum, R.Br. (Syn. P. laevinode, Lindl.; P.
proliferum, F.v.M.;P.amabile, Balansa), N.O, Gramineae, B.Fl., vii.,
"Native Millet," "Umbrella Grass." The seed used to be
called "Cooly" by Western New South Wales aboriginals, and "Tindil"
by the aboriginals of the Cloncurry River (North Queensland).
The grains pounded yield excellent food, although the grains are
rather small. This plant is not endemic to Australia. All the
colonies [sic - states of Oz today] except Tasmania.`
pages 96 - 98
103. Panicum colonum, Linn. (Syn. Oplismenus colonum, Kunth); B.Fl.,
"Shama Millet" of India; called also, in parts of India, "Wild Rice"
or "Jungle Rice."
Has erect stems from two to eight feet high, and very succulent. The
panicles are used by aboriginals as an article of food. The seeds
are pounded between stones, mixed with water, and formed into a kind
of bread. It is not endemic in Australia.
Composition of Shama (husked)-
In 100 parts. In 1 lb.
Water ... 12.0 ... 1 oz. 403 grs.
Albuminoids 9.6 ... 1 '' 234 ''
Starch ... 74.3 ... 11'' 388 ''
Oil ... .6 ... 42 ''
Fibre ... 1.5 ... 105 ''
Ash ... 2.0 ... 140 ''
Food-grains of India. (Church).
North Queensland.[distribution in Oz]
105. Panicum decompositum, R.Br., (Syn. P. proliferum, F.v.M.; P.
amabile, Balansa; P. laevinode, Lindl.); B.Fl., vii, 489.
"Australian Millet," "Umbrella Grass," "Tindil" of the aboriginals
of the Cloncurry River, North Queensland.
One of the most valuable of the Darling Downs (Queensland) grasses.
Under cultivation it has yielded in one season over three tons of
hay per acre. It is a semi-aquatic species, tall, coarse, and
succulent, producing an abundance of feed, and greatly relished by
stock. It seeds in December and January. It is short-lived, but is
one of the most spacious of Australian nutritious species. The
aborigines convert the small millet-like grains into cakes.
Alluding to this grass, Sir Thomas Mitchell ("Three Expeditions")
pp. 237 and 290, says :- "In the neighbourhood of our camp the grass
had been pulled to a very great extent, and piled in hay-ricks [old
word for hay-stack], so that the aspect of the desert was softened
into the agreeable semblance of a hay-field. The grass had evidently
been thus laid up by the natives, but for what purpose we could not
imagine. [huh!?] At first I thought the heaps were only the remains
of encampments, as the aborigines sometimes sleep on a little dry
grass, but when we found the ricks [stacks], or hay-cocks, extending
for miles, we were quite at a loss to understand why they had been
made. All the grass was of one kind, and not a spike of it was left
in the soil, over the whole of the ground ... We were still at a
loss to know for what purpose the heaps of one particular kind of
grass had been pulled, and so laid up hereabouts. Whether it was
accumulated by the natives to allure birds [huh!?], or by rats, as
their holes were seen beneath, we were puzzled to determine. The
grass was beautifully green beneath the heaps, and full of seeds,
and our cattle were very fond of this hay."
This plant is not endemic in Australia.
All colonies except Tasmania.
121. Panicum prolutum, F.v.M., B.Fl., vii., 490.
In former years, the seeds of this grass were gathered in large
quantities by the natives as an article of food, and being ground
between two stones, was converted into a kind of meal.
From A.B. & J.W. Cribb (1987) "Wild Food in Australia" 2nd Ed.
`Panicum decompositum Australian Millet, Native Millet, Umbrella
This common grass of the interior has a branching inflorescence
which breaks of at maturity and is widely distributed by wind. It
was one of the most important native food plants, the seeds being
ground between stones, made into a paste and baked in the ashes.
Major Sir Thomas Mitchell in his "Journal of an Expedition into the
interior of Tropical Australia" made an interesting entry concerning
this grass, and disclosed his uneasiness at being partly responsible
for the eventual displacement of the black man. This entry, made as
he journeyed along the Narran River, read as follows: "The Panicum
laevinode of Dr. Lindley seemed to predominate, a grass whereof the
seed ("Cooly") is made by the natives into a kind of paste or bread.
Dry heaps of this grass that has been pulled expressly for the
purpose of gathering the seed, lay along our path for many miles. I
counted nine miles along the river, in which we rode through this
grass only, reaching our saddle-girths, and the same grass seemed to
grow back from the river, at least as far as the eye could reach
through a very open forest. I had never seen such a rich natural
pasturage in any other part of New South Wales. Still it was what
supplied the bread of the natives; and these children of the soil
were doing everything in their power to assist me, whose wheel
tracks would probably bring white man's cattle into it." [Here i
suspect is the reason for the what seems the denial of the obvious
above in the other quote from this same 'explorer' Mitchell - his
guilt, sometimes admitting it sometimes hidding it by denial of in
his writing of what he sees, interestingly i don't know but would
like to find out the dates of these two, above, of Mitchell's
Distribution: All mainland states
- Hi Jamie,
Thanks for the compilation on the aboriginal use of grass seeds.
However doesn't this constitute gathering rather than natural farming?
To me, gathering is the ideal and natural farming is a substitute that
we have been reduced to using due to the destructiveness of our
- Actually it is Jason from Maap country S.E. Oz, nevermind.
Thanks for the reply, yes i'd agree that the history is different to
natural farming but the philosophy and practice integrated together
are the same nowadays in terms of Fukuoka as the example of Natural
Farming to compare with so called hunter gatherers in Oz. Better
described equably in modern or scientific-informed english english
as ecosystem managers or in aboriginal english as people caring for
for an in english fairly fair treatment of Oz Indigenous people's
philosophy and the past history of establishment and anthropologist
whitefulla's self-lies and projection in trying to understand Indij
Oz 'blackfulla's'. it has taken 200 years or so (until recently) for
whitefulla's officially (exceptions of course are whitefulla's who
shared their lives with 'blackfulla's) to start to fairly or equably
understand Indij Oz 'blackfulla's civilisations, many of them and
their languages, cultures, religions, variety of land management
practices, foods, highly advanced social systems - more advanced
than any european social systems, and so on.
On subject that is important to me in the comparison we are
discussing is the big lie about agriculture: first this words'
history and etymology is from tilling the soil (agrarian and farming
are not words that come from meanings of tilling soil, they mean to
be out in the field...), culture and cultivated when used in english
as an exclusive, elitist or prejudiced term is based on the
pretension that people who till the soil are superior and more
civilised than people who don't - a very big lie and a super-
simplification also. (What have english farmers who practice no-till
farming done toady - have they suddenly within their lifetimes
become inferior humans and less civilised, i hope this point bemuses
you the reader, furthermore have their societies as a whole become
less civilised because of this, it is/was alot of self-serving
racist or prejudiced and uninformed rot when people for example
english have said this type of thing). In healing the earth today
outcomes are equally as important as purposes and the philosophy.
More later, gotta move
see ya - jyaa-ne
--- In email@example.com, Adam Carter <accarter@i...>
> Hi Jamie,farming?
> Thanks for the compilation on the aboriginal use of grass seeds.
> However doesn't this constitute gathering rather than natural
> To me, gathering is the ideal and natural farming is a substitutethat
> we have been reduced to using due to the destructiveness of our