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

Natural Farming in a Mediterranean climate

Expand Messages
  • Dieter Brand
    Hi, I’m in the process of clearing an overgrown piece of land in the Alentejo region in the South of Portugal. I have been using composting, mulching, green
    Message 1 of 25 , Nov 16, 2005
    • 0 Attachment
      Hi,
      I’m in the process of clearing an overgrown piece of land in the Alentejo
      region in the South of Portugal. I have been using composting, mulching,
      green manure under-sowing etc. for a number of years to grow vegetables
      on the lower reaches of the property while leaving the surrounding hill
      sides largely untouched. However, the devastating wild fires in recent
      years have convinced me of the importance of clearing more land of the
      thicket and undergrowth.
      While composting is OK for the vegetable garden it is hardly feasible for
      cultivating several hectares of land. Also, the sloping terrain makes digging
      and ploughing a definite no, no! I discovered a little device that permits
      me to cut and shred the scrubs at the same time; however, even shredded
      the woody parts will take years to disintegrate into the soil, and thus pose
      an, albeit reduced, fire hazard. My idea was to sow clover and other seeds
      into the mulch layer of shredded scrubs to accelerate the building of top soil. Unfortunately, none of these germinated since we have just come through
      the severest drought in 60 years with hardly any rain at all during the whole
      year. When the rain finally came last October I rushed out with bags full
      of clover and lupine seeds as well wheat, barley, oats, etc. Some of it
      already started to germinate when after 3 days the sun came out and with
      it the ants, which collected well over half of the almost 50 kg of seeds I
      had sown.
      Next, I started making seed balls by the various methods described by
      Fukuoka (tray, mesh). I put it down to my inexperience, but I found this
      to be a rather messy and cumbersome affair. Also, none of the seed balls
      show any sign of wanting to germinate yet, there is probably still not enough
      humidity. Before investing in any more equipment (drums etc.) I want to
      be sure that the thing can actually be made to work.
      I’m still eager to give natural farming a try, but I would like to hear from
      everybody who can share his/her experience of similar climatic conditions.
      The climat in the South of Portugal is considered to be Mediterranean,
      but there is definitely a lot less humidity during the summer than for example
      in the South of France or in Italy. In a normal year, we get enough rain
      for growing crops without irrigation from October to May. The winters
      are mild with only occasional light frost at night, especially in the lower
      reaches. During the June to September period we usually don’t get a
      single drop of rain; during this period the sun, with temperature of up to
      40 degrees C, will back the heavy clay soil to the consistency of concrete
      right down to the solid rock.
      Apart from the seed ball problem I have so many questions that I don’t
      want to abuse your patients in this post. Most of it is related to the
      question of what to sow and when, how to improve the humidity-retention
      properties of the soil, and the dilemma of how to reduce the fire hazard
      during the summer while leaving tons of dry organic matter laying around
      to keep the soil nice and covered. People around here use enormous big
      bulldozers to rip up the ground every year in order to put a few
      hundred meters of bare earth between themselves and any combustible
      material.
      Regards, Dieter



      ---------------------------------
      Yahoo! FareChase - Search multiple travel sites in one click.

      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • Elsa Santos
      Hi Dieter, It s so good to hear from someone from around here... I can so totally relate to your problem!!! as I am in the Alentejo myself and trying to make a
      Message 2 of 25 , Nov 16, 2005
      • 0 Attachment
        Hi Dieter,

        It's so good to hear from someone from around here... I can so totally relate to your problem!!! as I am in the Alentejo myself and trying to make a living off the ground as well as naturally as possible - but so far having to deal with all the difficulties that mention in your mail, myself. The weather is changing so unbelievably fast, isn't it? Scary.
        Whereabouts in the Alentejo are you? The coast and the inland areas are so very different over here. I am on the coast, bordering the Algarve and have got sandy soil and milder temperatures than, say Beja, + no frost, but strong winds, less moisture, than inland (and most) of the region. I have found a few solutions for both my situation and some for my friends who have land in clayie, mountainous, frosty places in the mountains here in Saboia (Odemira) - the solutions for their problems seem to slowly be working to. So, I'd be glad to share some ideas...
        I wish there were more of us natural/organic/biodynamic farmers around here - maybe if there were, this place wouldn't be turning into a desert so fast. Let's hope we can turn this around!
        Kindest for now
        Elsa

        Dieter Brand <diebrand@...> wrote:
        Hi,
        I’m in the process of clearing an overgrown piece of land in the Alentejo
        region in the South of Portugal. I have been using composting, mulching,
        green manure under-sowing etc. for a number of years to grow vegetables
        on the lower reaches of the property while leaving the surrounding hill
        sides largely untouched. However, the devastating wild fires in recent
        years have convinced me of the importance of clearing more land of the
        thicket and undergrowth.
        While composting is OK for the vegetable garden it is hardly feasible for
        cultivating several hectares of land. Also, the sloping terrain makes digging
        and ploughing a definite no, no! I discovered a little device that permits
        me to cut and shred the scrubs at the same time; however, even shredded
        the woody parts will take years to disintegrate into the soil, and thus pose
        an, albeit reduced, fire hazard. My idea was to sow clover and other seeds
        into the mulch layer of shredded scrubs to accelerate the building of top soil. Unfortunately, none of these germinated since we have just come through
        the severest drought in 60 years with hardly any rain at all during the whole
        year. When the rain finally came last October I rushed out with bags full
        of clover and lupine seeds as well wheat, barley, oats, etc. Some of it
        already started to germinate when after 3 days the sun came out and with
        it the ants, which collected well over half of the almost 50 kg of seeds I
        had sown.
        Next, I started making seed balls by the various methods described by
        Fukuoka (tray, mesh). I put it down to my inexperience, but I found this
        to be a rather messy and cumbersome affair. Also, none of the seed balls
        show any sign of wanting to germinate yet, there is probably still not enough
        humidity. Before investing in any more equipment (drums etc.) I want to
        be sure that the thing can actually be made to work.
        I’m still eager to give natural farming a try, but I would like to hear from
        everybody who can share his/her experience of similar climatic conditions.
        The climat in the South of Portugal is considered to be Mediterranean,
        but there is definitely a lot less humidity during the summer than for example
        in the South of France or in Italy. In a normal year, we get enough rain
        for growing crops without irrigation from October to May. The winters
        are mild with only occasional light frost at night, especially in the lower
        reaches. During the June to September period we usually don’t get a
        single drop of rain; during this period the sun, with temperature of up to
        40 degrees C, will back the heavy clay soil to the consistency of concrete
        right down to the solid rock.
        Apart from the seed ball problem I have so many questions that I don’t
        want to abuse your patients in this post. Most of it is related to the
        question of what to sow and when, how to improve the humidity-retention
        properties of the soil, and the dilemma of how to reduce the fire hazard
        during the summer while leaving tons of dry organic matter laying around
        to keep the soil nice and covered. People around here use enormous big
        bulldozers to rip up the ground every year in order to put a few
        hundred meters of bare earth between themselves and any combustible
        material.
        Regards, Dieter



        ---------------------------------
        Yahoo! FareChase - Search multiple travel sites in one click.

        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]





        SPONSORED LINKS
        Organic gardening Organic farming Farming organic Organic gardening magazine Organic gardening supply Organic vegetable gardening

        ---------------------------------
        YAHOO! GROUPS LINKS


        Visit your group "fukuoka_farming" on the web.

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

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


        ---------------------------------






        Elsa Santos
        www.montesamoqueiro.com

        ---------------------------------
        Yahoo! FareChase - Search multiple travel sites in one click.

        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      • lh@larryhaftl.com
        Hi Dieter, ... Two thoughts about mitigating the fire hazard. The first is that goats are used in some parts of southern California to reduce the dense
        Message 3 of 25 , Nov 16, 2005
        • 0 Attachment
          Hi Dieter,

          > Apart from the seed ball problem I have so many questions that I don't
          > want to abuse your patients in this post. Most of it is related to the
          > question of what to sow and when, how to improve the humidity-retention
          > properties of the soil, and the dilemma of how to reduce the fire hazard
          > during the summer while leaving tons of dry organic matter laying around
          > to keep the soil nice and covered. People around here use enormous big
          > bulldozers to rip up the ground every year in order to put a few
          > hundred meters of bare earth between themselves and any combustible
          > material.


          Two thoughts about mitigating the fire hazard. The first is that goats are
          used in some parts of southern California to reduce the dense chapparal
          shrubbery. Small herds of them are put in movable pens and allowed to graze
          thorugh the areas that need shrub reduction. The second is that the
          shredded groundcover does not present a significant fire hazard. Yes, it can
          burn, but it would be, at most, an easily controllable creeping ground fire.
          Such fires rarely, if ever, are of serious concern to the wildland
          firefighters in that area (climate very similar to yours). If you want more
          detailed info you can check out some of the articles I've written/posted in
          the Wildland Fire section of my website - http://larryhaftl.com

          Larry Haftl
        • Ingrid Bauer/Jean-Claude Catry
          Message 4 of 25 , Nov 16, 2005
          • 0 Attachment
            < Hi,
            I'm in the process of clearing an overgrown piece of land in the Alentejo
            region in the South of Portugal. I have been using composting, mulching,
            green manure under-sowing etc. for a number of years to grow vegetables
            on the lower reaches of the property while leaving the surrounding hill
            sides largely untouched. However, the devastating wild fires in recent
            years have convinced me of the importance of clearing more land of the
            thicket and undergrowth.>

            if your only reason to intervene is to prevent fire it doesn't makes sense
            to destroy the vegetal cover to prevent a possible fire .it is like making
            war as a preventing measure against war .

            what this aera of the globe need the most , in front of the extention of the
            sahara desert , is increased biomass ,the bushes allready prepar the ground
            for trees to come . it is not matter to takes lightly .

            makes a forest garden instead of a conventional garden .
            so yes you can shred the bushes in small amount just enough to makes small
            pockets to plant a tree and sow some greenery around it and leave the
            interspace with shrubs . as the trees grow, the shrub can be kept in check
            by diversifying the species of bushes present .
            the best fire retardant is to diversify the landscape by pockets with chunk
            of tree here and there open space here and there thicket of shrub here and
            there rather that a monotonous diversity of species all over the land .
            so diversifying in space in species and also in time by doing successions of
            diverse vegetations, is what you are looking for to create .( in your
            succession at a mature stage you might consider control fire to open little
            pocket to invite pionner species )

            < even shredded
            the woody parts will take years to disintegrate into the soil, >

            if you can manage to cover the ground with more diversity ,you will by the
            same way increase the spectrum of the decomposers organism , while you makes
            clay pellet, add forest humus rich in spores of fern, fungi and with many
            microorganisms .

            the presence of living roots in the soil is a prerequisite to maintain a
            healthy microlife , able to decompose the mulch layer . in that climate
            mulching without living plants is not a good idea , the mulch dry out .
            if you have lot of stones, by covering the mulch with stone you will speed
            up the process . rock powder mixed with mulch also favorise the microlife .
            there is no point for the mulch to decompose if there is no plants to enjoy
            the nutrients .

            <the severest drought in 60 years with hardly any rain at all during the
            whole
            year. When the rain finally came last October I rushed out with bags full
            of clover and lupine seeds as well wheat, barley, oats, etc. Some of it
            already started to germinate when after 3 days the sun came out and with
            it the ants, which collected well over half of the almost 50 kg of seeds I
            had sown. >

            the proliferation of ants might come as a result of the drastic change in
            landscape , destroying the vegetation that probably sheltered predators of
            ants also.

            when we will get the interdependance of all the forms life take , we will
            start to be prudent in our interventions . it is my belief that every move
            have effects beyond imagination ,making ripples over spaces and time .

            if the situation is very bad , water wise, i will not spend too much energy
            bringing in exotic plants but will rely on native plants of similar
            ecosystems just to increase biomass


            < during this period the sun, with temperature of up to
            40 degrees C, will back the heavy clay soil to the consistency of concrete
            right down to the solid rock. >

            one more reason to leave the brushes living , so the sun doesn't bake the
            mulch and soil .( compromising the decomposition by the micro life )

            <. Most of it is related to the
            question of what to sow and when, how to improve the humidity-retention
            properties of the soil, >

            increase root mass and decaying organic matter in the soil . also low
            growing green plants are great condenser of night dew .


            <and the dilemma of how to reduce the fire hazard
            during the summer while leaving tons of dry organic matter laying around
            to keep the soil nice and covered>

            deep rooted plants with fleshy leaves are the best to 1 bring the
            underground water up 2 and makes it hard for the fire to destroy .

            . <People around here use enormous big
            bulldozers to rip up the ground every year in order to put a few
            hundred meters of bare earth between themselves and any combustible
            material.>

            i understand that the exemples of your neighbour makes you unsure of what to
            do .
            the great cause of wrong actions in this world is fear . the natural farming
            process is the growing of ourselves out of fear .
            Up to you to break the cycle and inspire your neighbour the other way around

            let me know how do you take it in .

            jean-claude
          • Gloria C. Baikauskas
            I suspect you are trying to do this on a larger scale than what I am talking about, but....are there trees on this property? You mention that you are
            Message 5 of 25 , Nov 16, 2005
            • 0 Attachment
              I suspect you are trying to do this on a larger scale than what I am
              talking about, but....are there trees on this property? You mention
              that you are shredding shrubs I guess you have moved out of your
              way?

              I am wondering if you might not instead garden/farm under the
              driplines of trees. In this way you will not have such intense
              sun/heat on your plants resulting in less evaporation of any water
              that is available. I ask this because this is what I do.

              Here in Texas we have not had rain for 6 months...except for perhaps,
              in some areas, an inch or so once, or twice. This challenged even
              experienced gardeners/farmers.

              I do not till. I also don't have any way to compost enough of
              anything to make a difference in my gardens. I do sheet compost what
              I have from the kitchen, as well as plants cut off at the soil level
              (leaving no stubs), any leaves, etc., that are usable for this
              purpose. I do use some purchased mulch where it is necessary.

              Over time I have found less reason to water. I know it sounds
              strange, but my gardens by the trees still flourish.

              Gloria, Texas

              --- In fukuoka_farming@yahoogroups.com, Elsa Santos <elsamagosa@y...>
              wrote:
              >
              > Hi Dieter,
              >
              > It's so good to hear from someone from around here... I can so
              totally relate to your problem!!! as I am in the Alentejo myself and
              trying to make a living off the ground as well as naturally as
              possible - but so far having to deal with all the difficulties that
              mention in your mail, myself. The weather is changing so unbelievably
              fast, isn't it? Scary.
              > Whereabouts in the Alentejo are you? The coast and the inland
              areas are so very different over here. I am on the coast, bordering
              the Algarve and have got sandy soil and milder temperatures than, say
              Beja, + no frost, but strong winds, less moisture, than inland (and
              most) of the region. I have found a few solutions for both my
              situation and some for my friends who have land in clayie,
              mountainous, frosty places in the mountains here in Saboia (Odemira) -
              the solutions for their problems seem to slowly be working to. So,
              I'd be glad to share some ideas...
              > I wish there were more of us natural/organic/biodynamic farmers
              around here - maybe if there were, this place wouldn't be turning
              into a desert so fast. Let's hope we can turn this around!
              > Kindest for now
              > Elsa
              >
              > Dieter Brand <diebrand@y...> wrote:
              > Hi,
              > I'm in the process of clearing an overgrown piece of land in the
              Alentejo
              > region in the South of Portugal. I have been using composting,
              mulching,
              > green manure under-sowing etc. for a number of years to grow
              vegetables
              > on the lower reaches of the property while leaving the
              surrounding hill
              > sides largely untouched. However, the devastating wild fires in
              recent
              > years have convinced me of the importance of clearing more land
              of the
              > thicket and undergrowth.
              > While composting is OK for the vegetable garden it is hardly
              feasible for
              > cultivating several hectares of land. Also, the sloping terrain
              makes digging
              > and ploughing a definite no, no! I discovered a little device
              that permits
              > me to cut and shred the scrubs at the same time; however, even
              shredded
              > the woody parts will take years to disintegrate into the soil,
              and thus pose
              > an, albeit reduced, fire hazard. My idea was to sow clover and
              other seeds
              > into the mulch layer of shredded scrubs to accelerate the
              building of top soil. Unfortunately, none of these germinated since
              we have just come through
              > the severest drought in 60 years with hardly any rain at all
              during the whole
              > year. When the rain finally came last October I rushed out with
              bags full
              > of clover and lupine seeds as well wheat, barley, oats, etc. Some
              of it
              > already started to germinate when after 3 days the sun came out
              and with
              > it the ants, which collected well over half of the almost 50 kg
              of seeds I
              > had sown.
              > Next, I started making seed balls by the various methods
              described by
              > Fukuoka (tray, mesh). I put it down to my inexperience, but I
              found this
              > to be a rather messy and cumbersome affair. Also, none of the
              seed balls
              > show any sign of wanting to germinate yet, there is probably
              still not enough
              > humidity. Before investing in any more equipment (drums etc.) I
              want to
              > be sure that the thing can actually be made to work.
              > I'm still eager to give natural farming a try, but I would like
              to hear from
              > everybody who can share his/her experience of similar climatic
              conditions.
              > The climat in the South of Portugal is considered to be
              Mediterranean,
              > but there is definitely a lot less humidity during the summer
              than for example
              > in the South of France or in Italy. In a normal year, we get
              enough rain
              > for growing crops without irrigation from October to May. The
              winters
              > are mild with only occasional light frost at night, especially in
              the lower
              > reaches. During the June to September period we usually don't get
              a
              > single drop of rain; during this period the sun, with temperature
              of up to
              > 40 degrees C, will back the heavy clay soil to the consistency of
              concrete
              > right down to the solid rock.
              > Apart from the seed ball problem I have so many questions that I
              don't
              > want to abuse your patients in this post. Most of it is related
              to the
              > question of what to sow and when, how to improve the humidity-
              retention
              > properties of the soil, and the dilemma of how to reduce the fire
              hazard
              > during the summer while leaving tons of dry organic matter laying
              around
              > to keep the soil nice and covered. People around here use
              enormous big
              > bulldozers to rip up the ground every year in order to put a few
              > hundred meters of bare earth between themselves and any
              combustible
              > material.
              > Regards, Dieter
              >
              >
              >
              > ---------------------------------
              > Yahoo! FareChase - Search multiple travel sites in one click.
              >
              > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
              >
              >
              >
              >
              >
              > SPONSORED LINKS
              > Organic gardening Organic farming Farming organic
              Organic gardening magazine Organic gardening supply Organic
              vegetable gardening
              >
              > ---------------------------------
              > YAHOO! GROUPS LINKS
              >
              >
              > Visit your group "fukuoka_farming" on the web.
              >
              > To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to:
              > fukuoka_farming-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com
              >
              > Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to the Yahoo! Terms of
              Service.
              >
              >
              > ---------------------------------
              >
              >
              >
              >
              >
              >
              > Elsa Santos
              > www.montesamoqueiro.com
              >
              > ---------------------------------
              > Yahoo! FareChase - Search multiple travel sites in one click.
              >
              > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
              >
            • Gloria C. Baikauskas
              I am wondering, too, if digging some swales there might also help so the ground water builds up in the season that it does rain. I know it has helped me here
              Message 6 of 25 , Nov 16, 2005
              • 0 Attachment
                I am wondering, too, if digging some swales there might also help so
                the ground water builds up in the season that it does rain. I know
                it has helped me here in the Texas drought.

                Gloria, Texas


                --- In fukuoka_farming@yahoogroups.com, "Ingrid Bauer/Jean-Claude
                Catry" <instinct@s...> wrote:
                >
                >
                >
                > < Hi,
                > I'm in the process of clearing an overgrown piece of land in the
                Alentejo
                > region in the South of Portugal. I have been using composting,
                mulching,
                > green manure under-sowing etc. for a number of years to grow
                vegetables
                > on the lower reaches of the property while leaving the
                surrounding hill
                > sides largely untouched. However, the devastating wild fires in
                recent
                > years have convinced me of the importance of clearing more land
                of the
                > thicket and undergrowth.>
                >
                > if your only reason to intervene is to prevent fire it doesn't
                makes sense
                > to destroy the vegetal cover to prevent a possible fire .it is
                like making
                > war as a preventing measure against war .
                >
                > what this aera of the globe need the most , in front of the
                extention of the
                > sahara desert , is increased biomass ,the bushes allready prepar
                the ground
                > for trees to come . it is not matter to takes lightly .
                >
                > makes a forest garden instead of a conventional garden .
                > so yes you can shred the bushes in small amount just enough to
                makes small
                > pockets to plant a tree and sow some greenery around it and leave
                the
                > interspace with shrubs . as the trees grow, the shrub can be kept
                in check
                > by diversifying the species of bushes present .
                > the best fire retardant is to diversify the landscape by pockets
                with chunk
                > of tree here and there open space here and there thicket of shrub
                here and
                > there rather that a monotonous diversity of species all over the
                land .
                > so diversifying in space in species and also in time by doing
                successions of
                > diverse vegetations, is what you are looking for to create .( in
                your
                > succession at a mature stage you might consider control fire to
                open little
                > pocket to invite pionner species )
                >
                > < even shredded
                > the woody parts will take years to disintegrate into the soil, >
                >
                > if you can manage to cover the ground with more diversity ,you will
                by the
                > same way increase the spectrum of the decomposers organism , while
                you makes
                > clay pellet, add forest humus rich in spores of fern, fungi and
                with many
                > microorganisms .
                >
                > the presence of living roots in the soil is a prerequisite to
                maintain a
                > healthy microlife , able to decompose the mulch layer . in that
                climate
                > mulching without living plants is not a good idea , the mulch dry
                out .
                > if you have lot of stones, by covering the mulch with stone you
                will speed
                > up the process . rock powder mixed with mulch also favorise the
                microlife .
                > there is no point for the mulch to decompose if there is no plants
                to enjoy
                > the nutrients .
                >
                > <the severest drought in 60 years with hardly any rain at all
                during the
                > whole
                > year. When the rain finally came last October I rushed out with
                bags full
                > of clover and lupine seeds as well wheat, barley, oats, etc. Some
                of it
                > already started to germinate when after 3 days the sun came out
                and with
                > it the ants, which collected well over half of the almost 50 kg
                of seeds I
                > had sown. >
                >
                > the proliferation of ants might come as a result of the drastic
                change in
                > landscape , destroying the vegetation that probably sheltered
                predators of
                > ants also.
                >
                > when we will get the interdependance of all the forms life take ,
                we will
                > start to be prudent in our interventions . it is my belief that
                every move
                > have effects beyond imagination ,making ripples over spaces and
                time .
                >
                > if the situation is very bad , water wise, i will not spend too
                much energy
                > bringing in exotic plants but will rely on native plants of
                similar
                > ecosystems just to increase biomass
                >
                >
                > < during this period the sun, with temperature of up to
                > 40 degrees C, will back the heavy clay soil to the consistency of
                concrete
                > right down to the solid rock. >
                >
                > one more reason to leave the brushes living , so the sun doesn't
                bake the
                > mulch and soil .( compromising the decomposition by the micro life )
                >
                > <. Most of it is related to the
                > question of what to sow and when, how to improve the humidity-
                retention
                > properties of the soil, >
                >
                > increase root mass and decaying organic matter in the soil . also
                low
                > growing green plants are great condenser of night dew .
                >
                >
                > <and the dilemma of how to reduce the fire hazard
                > during the summer while leaving tons of dry organic matter laying
                around
                > to keep the soil nice and covered>
                >
                > deep rooted plants with fleshy leaves are the best to 1 bring the
                > underground water up 2 and makes it hard for the fire to destroy .
                >
                > . <People around here use enormous big
                > bulldozers to rip up the ground every year in order to put a few
                > hundred meters of bare earth between themselves and any
                combustible
                > material.>
                >
                > i understand that the exemples of your neighbour makes you unsure
                of what to
                > do .
                > the great cause of wrong actions in this world is fear . the
                natural farming
                > process is the growing of ourselves out of fear .
                > Up to you to break the cycle and inspire your neighbour the other
                way around
                >
                > let me know how do you take it in .
                >
                > jean-claude
                >
              • BT Benjaminson
                Dieter, shalom from the mountains of Israel. We have a climate and perhaps also terrain that is almost exactly like yours. I am a trained permaculturist but
                Message 7 of 25 , Nov 17, 2005
                • 0 Attachment
                  Dieter, shalom from the mountains of Israel. We have a climate and perhaps
                  also terrain that is almost exactly like yours.
                  I am a trained permaculturist but not very well versed in natural farming,
                  nor can i implement it fully even if i wanted to because mixing plant
                  species close together in one growing area is against Jewish law.
                  i have found that it is really impossible to grow anything edible (except
                  tree/vine crops, and a few herbs) here in the summer without irrigation.
                  I think Mr. Fukuoka was against irrigation. (can anyone tell me if he
                  was?)--if so, how did he propose people in mediterranean climates should
                  grow in the summer?
                  So far I've also found that there is also no alternative to bringing a lot
                  of organic matter to lay on the ground for the summer. Some neighbors of
                  mine sometimes attempt to make a mulch of stones, but I rarely see that with
                  vegetables, just trees.
                  If I had more time and money I would try to set up a dew-harvesting system
                  to harvest the water from the humid night air and direct it onto the mulch
                  in order to avoid irrigating with piped in water.
                  For larger areas of sloping land the time-honored approach here is to
                  terrace the land (at enormous time and labor costs, but people have been
                  doing it for millenia, so much of the worthwhile land is already
                  terraced--but when I myself build terraces (I'm female and almost 50 years
                  old, I can do only a few stones at a time)), then plant trees or vines on
                  the terraces, and let herds of goats/sheep graze the weeds and grass that
                  grows between the trees or vines in the springtime, thus harvesting
                  something else useful from the land via meat and milk. A high stone terrace
                  provides some amount of protection against fire.
                  We also have problems with ants taking seeds laid on the ground. It's far
                  safer to sow and cover seeds. If you want to encourage ants to go elsewhere
                  you can take a shovelful of ants from one ant colony, a shovelful from
                  another ant colony, then trade shovelsful and the ants will take care of the
                  rest. I never did this because I am a little fond of the ants and their
                  enormous abilities.
                  I am using animals (ducks, chickens, a pony) to help digest the organic
                  matter that I bring onto the land here. My neighbors and I have concluded
                  that animal help is pretty essential for making a sustainable system on this
                  land. Perhaps donkeys, sheep, and goats are actually better but I chose
                  these because they are more appealing to children and my purpose here is (in
                  part) to educate children to love the land.
                  If you wish to make a dialog with me off list, i'm also interested, but i
                  can't really tell you from the perspective of fukuoka exactly, just my own
                  experience.
                  I would also like to know about your cutter/shredder because I've thought I
                  would need such a thing to tackle larger areas of land.
                  Bat-Tzion Benjaminson


                  ----- Original Message -----
                  From: "Dieter Brand" <diebrand@...>
                  To: <fukuoka_farming@yahoogroups.com>
                  Sent: Wednesday, November 16, 2005 10:01 PM
                  Subject: [fukuoka_farming] Natural Farming in a Mediterranean climate


                  > Hi,
                  > I'm in the process of clearing an overgrown piece of land in the Alentejo
                  > region in the South of Portugal. I have been using composting, mulching,
                  > green manure under-sowing etc. for a number of years to grow vegetables
                  > on the lower reaches of the property while leaving the surrounding hill
                  > sides largely untouched. However, the devastating wild fires in recent
                  > years have convinced me of the importance of clearing more land of the
                  > thicket and undergrowth.
                  > While composting is OK for the vegetable garden it is hardly feasible for
                  > cultivating several hectares of land. Also, the sloping terrain makes
                  > digging
                  > and ploughing a definite no, no! I discovered a little device that
                  > permits
                  > me to cut and shred the scrubs at the same time; however, even shredded
                  > the woody parts will take years to disintegrate into the soil, and thus
                  > pose
                  > an, albeit reduced, fire hazard. My idea was to sow clover and other
                  > seeds
                  > into the mulch layer of shredded scrubs to accelerate the building of top
                  > soil. Unfortunately, none of these germinated since we have just come
                  > through
                  > the severest drought in 60 years with hardly any rain at all during the
                  > whole
                  > year. When the rain finally came last October I rushed out with bags full
                  > of clover and lupine seeds as well wheat, barley, oats, etc. Some of it
                  > already started to germinate when after 3 days the sun came out and with
                  > it the ants, which collected well over half of the almost 50 kg of seeds
                  > I
                  > had sown.
                  > Next, I started making seed balls by the various methods described by
                  > Fukuoka (tray, mesh). I put it down to my inexperience, but I found this
                  > to be a rather messy and cumbersome affair. Also, none of the seed balls
                  > show any sign of wanting to germinate yet, there is probably still not
                  > enough
                  > humidity. Before investing in any more equipment (drums etc.) I want to
                  > be sure that the thing can actually be made to work.
                  > I'm still eager to give natural farming a try, but I would like to hear
                  > from
                  > everybody who can share his/her experience of similar climatic
                  > conditions.
                  > The climat in the South of Portugal is considered to be Mediterranean,
                  > but there is definitely a lot less humidity during the summer than for
                  > example
                  > in the South of France or in Italy. In a normal year, we get enough rain
                  > for growing crops without irrigation from October to May. The winters
                  > are mild with only occasional light frost at night, especially in the
                  > lower
                  > reaches. During the June to September period we usually don't get a
                  > single drop of rain; during this period the sun, with temperature of up
                  > to
                  > 40 degrees C, will back the heavy clay soil to the consistency of
                  > concrete
                  > right down to the solid rock.
                  > Apart from the seed ball problem I have so many questions that I don't
                  > want to abuse your patients in this post. Most of it is related to the
                  > question of what to sow and when, how to improve the humidity-retention
                  > properties of the soil, and the dilemma of how to reduce the fire hazard
                  > during the summer while leaving tons of dry organic matter laying around
                  > to keep the soil nice and covered. People around here use enormous big
                  > bulldozers to rip up the ground every year in order to put a few
                  > hundred meters of bare earth between themselves and any combustible
                  > material.
                  > Regards, Dieter
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  > ---------------------------------
                  > Yahoo! FareChase - Search multiple travel sites in one click.
                  >
                  > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  > Yahoo! Groups Links
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                • diebrand
                  Many thanks to Gloria, Elsa, Jean-Claude, Bat-Tzion and Larry for replying to my query. Here are my comments: ... the dense chapparal shrubbery … Same here.
                  Message 8 of 25 , Nov 17, 2005
                  • 0 Attachment
                    Many thanks to Gloria, Elsa, Jean-Claude, Bat-Tzion and Larry for
                    replying to my query. Here are my comments:

                    Larry wrote:
                    > … goats are used in some parts of southern California to reduce
                    the dense chapparal
                    shrubbery …

                    Same here. I`m still hesitating about getting animals, we are not
                    great meet eaters. There are also thousands of young trees which it
                    would be difficult to protect from the goats. This is traditional
                    cork oak/medronho country, and overgrazing by goats under previous
                    owners has wiped out a few generations of oak trees, with the result
                    that we now only have very old trees which are about to die, and
                    young trees which have grown since we bought the place.

                    > … shredded groundcover does not present a significant fire hazard.
                    Yes, it can
                    burn, but it would be, at most, an easily controllable creeping
                    ground fire.
                    Such fires rarely, if ever, are of serious concern to the wildland …

                    That is what I'm hoping for too, but with wild fires you just never
                    know. It always depends on were it comes from and at what speed.
                    We are completely surrounded by enormous Eucalyptus plantations
                    which provide a lot of combustible material.

                    > … check out some of the articles I've written/posted in
                    the Wildland Fire section of my website - http://larryhaftl.com/

                    Will do.

                    Bat-Tzion wrote:
                    > I think Mr. Fukuoka was against irrigation. (can anyone tell me if
                    he was?)--if so, how did he propose people in mediterranean climates
                    should grow in the summer?

                    My question exactly!

                    > If I had more time and money I would try to set up a dew-
                    harvesting system to harvest the water from the humid night air and
                    direct it onto the mulch in order to avoid irrigating with piped in
                    water.

                    How does that work and how much water can one expect to get this
                    way? This is a new idea to me, do you know were I can get the
                    details of such a system? The night air here too is very humid.

                    > If you want to encourage ants to go elsewhere you can take a
                    shovelful of ants from one ant colony, a shovelful from another ant
                    colony, then trade shovelsful and the ants will take care of the
                    rest.

                    That's an interesting idea, I wonder if it works.

                    > If you wish to make a dialog with me off list, i'm also
                    interested, but I can't really tell you from the perspective of
                    fukuoka exactly, just my own experience.

                    Experience is what counts. I will send you my email address.

                    > I would also like to know about your cutter/shredder because I've
                    thought I would need such a thing to tackle larger areas of land.

                    This is a disk of about 40 to 50 cm with two bent blades attached to
                    it by bolts and nuts so that the blades can rotate and recoil when
                    you hit a stone. The disk is mounted to a brushcutter instead of
                    the normal trimmer with the 3 fixed blades. The bent blades enable
                    you to shred rather than just cut once. You can see a picture of it
                    under the title of `Hackscheibe mit gebogenen Messern' at the site
                    http://www.dolmar.ch/sensenzubehoer/SENSENZUBEHOER_2.HTML

                    When I cut shrubs of about 2 meter heights at their base with the
                    normal trimmer with fixed blades they will lay on the ground to a
                    height of about 1.50 m and take 5 to 10 years to disintegrate. With
                    the disk and the bent blades I can cut the shrubs into small peaces
                    forming a layer of less than 10 cm. The smaller peaces will also
                    disintegrate sooner than the shrub as a whole. The disk works best
                    with fine and very dense shrubs. The thicker the branches the
                    tougher it gets.

                    Gloria wrote:

                    > I am wondering if you might not instead garden/farm under the
                    driplines of trees. In this way you will not have such intense
                    sun/heat on your plants resulting in less evaporation of any water
                    that is available.

                    My `summer garden' is down by the river in the shade of big alder
                    trees and some fruit trees I planted. With all the other measures
                    (improving soil structure, mulching, cover crops etc.) I use a lot
                    less water than my neighbours, but the available water resources
                    still don't allow me to irrigate much more than 2,000 square meters
                    or so.

                    >Over time I have found less reason to water. I know it sounds
                    strange, but my gardens by the trees still flourish.

                    Well, I wonder how you do it.

                    > digging some swales there might also help so the ground water
                    builds up in the season that it does rain. I know it has helped me
                    here in the Texas drought

                    I imagine I would have to dig a lot of swales for this to have any
                    effect.

                    Elsa wrote:
                    > Whereabouts in the Alentejo are you? …

                    A remote location near Relva Grande, about 10 km inland from Sao
                    Teotonio between Odemira and Odeceixe.

                    > solutions for their problems seem to slowly be working to. So, I'd
                    be glad to share some ideas...

                    How about meeting? I will send you my details to your Yahoo
                    account. Don't use mine, I haven't managed to activate it yet.

                    Jean-Claude wrote:

                    > if your only reason to intervene is to prevent fire it doesn't
                    makes sense
                    to destroy the vegetal cover to prevent a possible fire …

                    It is the dry vegetation that provides the combustible materials
                    during wild fires in the summer. Most of the abandoned properties
                    in this region are covered by an impenetrable mass of shrubs of up
                    to three meters tall. A single spark of one stone hitting another
                    can ignite this to produce an intense fire with flames shooting10 or
                    20 meters into the air. Last year about 10 % of the national
                    territory went up in flames. During days, the smoke was everywhere
                    and so dense that it wasn't even possible to see where it came
                    from. We had difficulty breathing.

                    >what this aera of the globe need the most , in front of the
                    extention of the
                    sahara desert , is increased biomass ,the bushes allready prepar the
                    ground
                    for trees to come

                    This is theory. Things are different here. Part of our land is
                    covered with a thick growth of medronho (arbusto unedo??). The
                    bushes form a thick cover of foliage more than 6 meters above the
                    ground. The ancient oak trees in-between have about reached the end
                    of their live span and start to fall down. New trees which would
                    normally have grown from the oaks have not been able to grow since
                    no sun light reaches the ground. If I want to save the oak forest I
                    will have to cut the medronho, which will grow again faster than I
                    can cut it down.

                    Theories about advancing deserts have no relevance around here. The
                    wet season normally provides for so much growth that the only
                    problem is what you do with all that biomass. To let it go up in
                    flames during the summer is certainly not going to improve our
                    climate.

                    Jean-Claude, the general drift of your comments seems to be against
                    intervention in nature. This may be fine for other place, it isn't
                    here. This land needs the hand of the labourer. Traditionally, the
                    region was populated by a large number of small farmsteads operating
                    just a little above the level of subsistence farming. Agriculture,
                    goats and other domestic animals kept the land clear and in good
                    condition so that droughts and wild fires, which have occurred since
                    time immemorial, had no great impact. Economic and political
                    factors are driving these people into the city. And those who want
                    to live here are now hampered by laws and regulations thought up by
                    nature conservationists, city dwellers in the North of Europe, whose
                    romantic view of nature would like to create a picture book
                    landscape without any people in it. The result has been
                    disastrous. If you followed the news during the summer you may have
                    noticed that it was in particular the natural parks that went up in
                    flames.

                    PS: Fire prevention is of course not my only concern. The reason I
                    posted my message to this group was to get some input about what to
                    grow once I have cleared the thicket. At present I'm thinking about
                    green manure: clover, lupines, etc. and grains like wheat, barley
                    etc. But I still lack information about the conditions required by
                    the various crops (is there a comprehensive list available on the
                    Internet?). Ideally I would like to grow rice and soja (Fukuoka
                    mentioned something about growing rice without water, but I suppose
                    this means less water and not no water at all). I also like to use
                    native plants that will grow locally without irrigation or
                    cultivation. However, I still haven't been able to get much
                    information on native plants. Most documents on gardening and
                    agriculture seem to be for the North of Europe or for the US.

                    Regards, Dieter
                  • BT Benjaminson
                    Berin The Jewish law of kelayim, or not mixing two species in one field, is one of a number of laws that have no rational basis, and we are asked to obey
                    Message 9 of 25 , Nov 17, 2005
                    • 0 Attachment
                      Berin
                      The Jewish law of "kelayim," or not mixing two species in one field, is one
                      of a number of laws that have no rational basis, and we are asked to obey
                      them without understanding them.
                      The other two similar laws that I (as a fairly uneducated lay person) know
                      is not to mix linen and wool in one garment and not to mix two species (i.e.
                      ox and horse) to pull a single vehicle.
                      That said, our local rabbi, Rav Daniel Kohn, gave a lecture on the issue of
                      kelayim at my place--the Judean Permaculture Center--and he said that one
                      aspect of the law of kelayim is that from this law we can learn to respect
                      the totally unique and individual nature of each species of plant, and to
                      give it its own space and boundaries within which it can be totally itself.
                      (I hope I am quoting him accurately).
                      As a permaculturist I am experimenting with crop rotation instead of mixing.
                      Also, species planted for their scent or beauty, and woody-stemmed species
                      are not subject to this law, so there is ample leeway for suitable companion
                      planting.
                      hope this explains it at least a little.
                      Bat-Tzion

                      ----- Original Message -----
                      From: "Berin Erturk" <berinerturk@...>
                      To: <fukuoka_farming@yahoogroups.com>
                      Sent: Friday, November 18, 2005 4:49 AM
                      Subject: Re: [fukuoka_farming] Natural Farming in a Mediterranean climate


                      > Yes please tell us why "mixing plant species" is forbidden. And please
                      > keep the conversation going in the group. We all learn something from
                      > others experiences. ( BTW I don't think Fukuoka says anything about
                      > irrigation. He just claimed -and proved- that you don't have to keep the
                      > field flooded to grow rice.Further he does water the rice, but only during
                      > a short period.)
                      > I am in a very humid area and the only fire danger here is neighbors
                      > doing some "cleaning" by burning bushes! But for my farmer friends at
                      > Aegean or Mediterranien Coast forest fires are a real problem.
                      > Berin Erturk
                      > Jade Farm
                      > Turkey
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      > Forest Shomer <ziraat@...> wrote:
                      > >
                      >> Date: Thu, 17 Nov 2005 12:06:56 +0200
                      >> From: BT Benjaminson <btbenj@...>
                      >>Subject: Re: Natural Farming in a Mediterranean climate
                      >>
                      >>I am a trained permaculturist but not very well versed in natural farming,
                      >>nor can i implement it fully even if i wanted to because mixing plant
                      >>species close together in one growing area is against Jewish law.
                      >
                      > Shalom Bat-Tzion,
                      >
                      > Incredible! Not mix plant species? What I don't quite understand in
                      > your message is: Jewish law as in an ancient Midrash; or Israeli law,
                      > contemporary?
                      >
                      > I'm guessing it is the latter--could you discuss? Is this
                      > government-imposed monoculture, and why?
                      >
                      > Blessings,
                      >
                      > Forest
                      > --
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      > SPONSORED LINKS
                      > Organic gardening Organic farming Farming organic Organic
                      > gardening magazine Organic gardening supply Organic vegetable
                      > gardening
                      >
                      > ---------------------------------
                      > YAHOO! GROUPS LINKS
                      >
                      >
                      > Visit your group "fukuoka_farming" on the web.
                      >
                      > To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to:
                      > fukuoka_farming-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com
                      >
                      > Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to the Yahoo! Terms of Service.
                      >
                      >
                      > ---------------------------------
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      > ---------------------------------
                      > Yahoo! FareChase - Search multiple travel sites in one click.
                      >
                      > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      > Yahoo! Groups Links
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      >
                    • Paola Lucchesi
                      Dieter, perhaps you could try to contact Richard Wade, who has a permaculture centre in Spain. wade@coac.net He s often in Italy, though, he s mentoring most
                      Message 10 of 25 , Nov 17, 2005
                      • 0 Attachment
                        Dieter, perhaps you could try to contact Richard Wade, who has a
                        permaculture centre in Spain.

                        wade@...

                        He's often in Italy, though, he's mentoring most of our Italian
                        permaculturalists and teaching courses there, so insist if he doesn't answer
                        at once. I might have his cellphone number too, somewhere, or I can ask
                        common friends. There are also some web pages for their place (Permacultura
                        Montsant) at http://www.permacultura-montsant.org/

                        Richard and Ines should be able to give you specific advice on arid climates
                        situations.

                        And I've just remembered that Fortunato and Anna, who are among Emilia
                        Hazelip's disciples, have worked in several projects in Spain. You can reach
                        them at the address:

                        kanbio@...


                        I know what you mean about the difference between theory and practice, I am
                        not getting very far with my tomato blight enquiries ;-) Also, specific
                        local conditions are veeeery important. Originally, I am from a
                        water-problematic region, not only for its Mediterrenean climate but also
                        because of the carsic structure of the soil and underground, so I was
                        sensitive to the water-conservation, e.g. keeping the soil moist, part of
                        the story. But it backfired having moved to a very humid place. We are
                        blessed by abundance of water here, a major river, plenty of streams and
                        sources, frequent rains, overnight humudity... And a completely opposite set
                        of problems: fungal disease above all. So I did mistakes like planting
                        tomatoes too close, and found out too late that I didn't need to worry about
                        dry soil, rather about infection spreading. I'm currently researching the
                        question of spores surviving the winter and I'm desperate about all the
                        biomass laying around (falling leaves), which is infected by all sorts of
                        fungi and moulds. Some I can identify, of others I'm not sure, and I doubt I
                        can be good enough at making very hot compost to be sure I get rid of the
                        risks of carrying the disease into the next season (I'm a beginner anyway).

                        Now, very probably something is out of balance here, in the sense that there
                        should not be so much of this type of disease. I observe the difference
                        between the wild and the "domesticated" plants, the wild being usually
                        healthy close to the infected domesticated. But now, the wild plants have
                        taken it up too, and this is quite worrying. I mentioned the broadleaf dock
                        and dandelion, but even some stinging nettle has been involved! It's sort of
                        scary. To say nothing of all the trees around. There are some beautiful
                        apples and peer trees around the garden here (planted by my landlords years
                        ago), and they are all sick, and scattering around masses of sick leaves.
                        Hmmm, even if I wanted to do something about it, there's no question of
                        spraying any helping preparations (we have planty of horsetail around, which
                        could help) on those giants, too tall, too many branches... And we are in a
                        context of small houses with gardens, all around, so spores can easily
                        travel from one patch to the other, it's really a community issue.

                        Phytophthora is the potato blight, originally, the one which caused the
                        Irish famine. And potato, like tomato, is NOT original from Europe. So I
                        guess the true root of the problem is that we are dealing with imported
                        species which were never really meant for this climate, nor is the
                        environment here "programmed" to deal with their pathologies and reestablish
                        a balance by itself, so the original imbalance is many centuries old, but it
                        becomes apparent now, when these cultures have spread to wide extensions.

                        I guess that if we take the natural philosophy too strictly, we have to come
                        to the conclusion of letting the fungal diseases wipe out the vegetables
                        they feed on, and themselves as a consequence, after many years the
                        environment here will be clean of both, and then better we go on with local
                        species and forget about tomato and potato.

                        OR we stay aware that we are forcing Mother Nature's hand a little bit and
                        try to find some acceptable and workable compromise.

                        We are in the process of getting a national park established here, and I
                        understand Dieter's point perfectly and have similar worries for a series of
                        areas which are actually inhabited (or were before the war - we are in
                        Bosnia), so there has been agriculture and cattle breeding there for
                        centuries. The guys who did the feasibility study seem to have been very
                        superficial on that, didn't really explore the area thoroughly, which is a
                        returnee's area with people slowly going back to their villages. There are
                        ideas of a "zero area" (total protection, everything forbidden) to be
                        established were it really shouldn't be, since it's not total wilderness but
                        a mixed ecosystem, of which humans have been a part for a long time.

                        So please, Dieter, if you have texts (you quoted press articles) pointing
                        out to these situations, send them to me, because I'm in the phase of giving
                        feedback to the federal government here on the proposed law, and overall
                        project.

                        paola
                      • Ingrid Bauer/Jean-Claude Catry
                        . It is the dry vegetation that provides the combustible materials during wild fires in the summer. Most of the abandoned properties in this region are
                        Message 11 of 25 , Nov 18, 2005
                        • 0 Attachment
                          .

                          It is the dry vegetation that provides the combustible materials
                          during wild fires in the summer. Most of the abandoned properties
                          in this region are covered by an impenetrable mass of shrubs of up
                          to three meters tall. A single spark of one stone hitting another
                          can ignite this to produce an intense fire with flames shooting10 or
                          20 meters into the air. Last year about 10 % of the national
                          territory went up in flames.

                          so you have lot means of learning about how nature does to revegetate the
                          land after the fire bruned the bushes . from this learning once the brush is
                          shreded ( if you choose that way ) you can design a succession of plants
                          using edible plants if you wish .



                          <This is theory. Things are different here. Part of our land is
                          covered with a thick growth of medronho (arbusto unedo??). The
                          bushes form a thick cover of foliage more than 6 meters above the
                          ground. The ancient oak trees in-between have about reached the end
                          of their live span and start to fall down. New trees which would
                          normally have grown from the oaks have not been able to grow since
                          no sun light reaches the ground. If I want to save the oak forest I
                          will have to cut the medronho, which will grow again faster than I
                          can cut it down.>

                          what is the life cycle of the arbutus ? how old are they?

                          you don't have to go all or nothing , between the arbutus and the oak there
                          is possibly something else in the succession that will take over the
                          arbutus and prepare the ground for the oak.
                          here after a clear cut you will have alders , native berries or scotch broom
                          and many other trees and bushes in smaller number as a necessary precursors
                          for the climax tree ( fir, cedar ) to establish again .
                          on a smaller vegetation scale i had a field who have been hayed for many
                          years without any return of fertility to the land , infested with wild
                          carrots . without me destroying the carrots in 2 or 3 years of bringing new
                          species , the carrot vanished from the field .
                          i would like you to understand that arbutus have a function you might not be
                          able to understand ( you don't need to ever ,just that it is there)

                          <Theories about advancing deserts have no relevance around here. The
                          wet season normally provides for so much growth that the only
                          problem is what you do with all that biomass. To let it go up in
                          flames during the summer is certainly not going to improve our
                          climate.

                          you din't seem to notice the practical ideas in my last post .
                          what do you mean it is not relevant ? do you mean your aera is not
                          desertifying because it rain in winter and biomass is not decreasing . think
                          about Masanobu 's aproach that rain comes from the leaves ... biomass
                          increase, means more leaves available to attract water .one of the big
                          signs of desertification is when a species takes over the previous diversity
                          .
                          to really action the pumping of water between the underground and the sky
                          by plants , you need all layers of the soil to be occupied by roots , for
                          so, you need diverse physical structure of the biomass.

                          again with the complex diversity in species ,physical structure and
                          functions come resistance to fire .



                          <Jean-Claude, the general drift of your comments seems to be against
                          intervention in nature. >


                          you missed my point ! that is : intervention , what for ? what effects could
                          follow?
                          any intervention from your part ever in alignment or not with nature's
                          intention ( especially when not) , will require response ability from your
                          part later on . how much do you want to be involved ? and for what? Do you
                          want to have to fight the brushes to come back .do you want to takes the
                          risk of having to deal with more difficult species acting as functional
                          replacement of arbutus ( by the way the fruit are very tasty and would like
                          to know if they can reproduce by cutting, they grow here as an ornemental )

                          step back from what you think is the problem and observe the situation from
                          the perspective of a small point (in time and space ) in a big scheme.



                          < This land needs the hand of the labourer. Traditionally, the
                          region was populated by a large number of small farmsteads operating
                          just a little above the level of subsistence farming. Agriculture,
                          goats and other domestic animals kept the land clear and in good
                          condition so that droughts and wild fires, which have occurred since
                          time immemorial, had no great impact. Economic and political
                          factors are driving these people into the city. And those who want
                          to live here are now hampered by laws and regulations thought up by
                          nature conservationists, city dwellers in the North of Europe, whose
                          romantic view of nature would like to create a picture book
                          landscape without any people in it. The result has been
                          disastrous. If you followed the news during the summer you may have
                          noticed that it was in particular the natural parks that went up in
                          flames.>

                          masanobu 's experience with his father's fruit trees left unpruned, should
                          help us to learn more reasonbly than "laisser faire". In any way i am
                          advocating irresponsability toward past mistakes .
                          fire don't create desert ever, the causes are deeper than simply removing of
                          plants .

                          < (Fukuoka
                          mentioned something about growing rice without water, but I suppose
                          this means less water and not no water at all). >

                          they get a lot of rain in japan and also he inundated his field for few
                          days
                          what about pomegrenate, figs and other mediteranean edible plants ( i bet
                          figs thicket don't burn easelly .)
                          jean-claude
                        • Elsa Santos
                          Hi Dieter, We re practically neighbours! (some seven miles appart). Would be great to meet up and talk about our complicated situation...that we will overcome
                          Message 12 of 25 , Nov 18, 2005
                          • 0 Attachment
                            Hi Dieter,

                            We're practically neighbours! (some seven miles appart).
                            Would be great to meet up and talk about our complicated situation...that we will overcome - thanks to groups like this and all other info we can gather + intuition & connection to the land. In the meantime below are my details. I'm in Brejão, please see www.montesamoqueiro.com.
                            Looking forward to meeting you & sharing some ideas (and seeds as well - the local endemic drought resistent legume variety "Xixaro" has done miracles... consociated with sarracen wheat and another local: "zorrinho" corn, which can survive on practically no water and has water retentive roots, like a cactus (weird, I know...) - more about these when we meet :))

                            Good luck to all in a dry climate facing similar problems... whish I new the name of the varieties I mentioned in latin, although I'm sure you'll have the equivalent edndemics in your own region. Maybe part of the solution, and something Fukuoka-san might have advocated (I'm speculating), is to use the autoctone/endemic varieties that are naturally adapted to that environment and make seed balls with those...

                            Best for now
                            Elsa

                            diebrand <diebrand@...> wrote:
                            Many thanks to Gloria, Elsa, Jean-Claude, Bat-Tzion and Larry for
                            replying to my query. Here are my comments:

                            Larry wrote:
                            > … goats are used in some parts of southern California to reduce
                            the dense chapparal
                            shrubbery …

                            Same here. I`m still hesitating about getting animals, we are not
                            great meet eaters. There are also thousands of young trees which it
                            would be difficult to protect from the goats. This is traditional
                            cork oak/medronho country, and overgrazing by goats under previous
                            owners has wiped out a few generations of oak trees, with the result
                            that we now only have very old trees which are about to die, and
                            young trees which have grown since we bought the place.

                            > … shredded groundcover does not present a significant fire hazard.
                            Yes, it can
                            burn, but it would be, at most, an easily controllable creeping
                            ground fire.
                            Such fires rarely, if ever, are of serious concern to the wildland …

                            That is what I'm hoping for too, but with wild fires you just never
                            know. It always depends on were it comes from and at what speed.
                            We are completely surrounded by enormous Eucalyptus plantations
                            which provide a lot of combustible material.

                            > … check out some of the articles I've written/posted in
                            the Wildland Fire section of my website - http://larryhaftl.com/

                            Will do.

                            Bat-Tzion wrote:
                            > I think Mr. Fukuoka was against irrigation. (can anyone tell me if
                            he was?)--if so, how did he propose people in mediterranean climates
                            should grow in the summer?

                            My question exactly!

                            > If I had more time and money I would try to set up a dew-
                            harvesting system to harvest the water from the humid night air and
                            direct it onto the mulch in order to avoid irrigating with piped in
                            water.

                            How does that work and how much water can one expect to get this
                            way? This is a new idea to me, do you know were I can get the
                            details of such a system? The night air here too is very humid.

                            > If you want to encourage ants to go elsewhere you can take a
                            shovelful of ants from one ant colony, a shovelful from another ant
                            colony, then trade shovelsful and the ants will take care of the
                            rest.

                            That's an interesting idea, I wonder if it works.

                            > If you wish to make a dialog with me off list, i'm also
                            interested, but I can't really tell you from the perspective of
                            fukuoka exactly, just my own experience.

                            Experience is what counts. I will send you my email address.

                            > I would also like to know about your cutter/shredder because I've
                            thought I would need such a thing to tackle larger areas of land.

                            This is a disk of about 40 to 50 cm with two bent blades attached to
                            it by bolts and nuts so that the blades can rotate and recoil when
                            you hit a stone. The disk is mounted to a brushcutter instead of
                            the normal trimmer with the 3 fixed blades. The bent blades enable
                            you to shred rather than just cut once. You can see a picture of it
                            under the title of `Hackscheibe mit gebogenen Messern' at the site
                            http://www.dolmar.ch/sensenzubehoer/SENSENZUBEHOER_2.HTML

                            When I cut shrubs of about 2 meter heights at their base with the
                            normal trimmer with fixed blades they will lay on the ground to a
                            height of about 1.50 m and take 5 to 10 years to disintegrate. With
                            the disk and the bent blades I can cut the shrubs into small peaces
                            forming a layer of less than 10 cm. The smaller peaces will also
                            disintegrate sooner than the shrub as a whole. The disk works best
                            with fine and very dense shrubs. The thicker the branches the
                            tougher it gets.

                            Gloria wrote:

                            > I am wondering if you might not instead garden/farm under the
                            driplines of trees. In this way you will not have such intense
                            sun/heat on your plants resulting in less evaporation of any water
                            that is available.

                            My `summer garden' is down by the river in the shade of big alder
                            trees and some fruit trees I planted. With all the other measures
                            (improving soil structure, mulching, cover crops etc.) I use a lot
                            less water than my neighbours, but the available water resources
                            still don't allow me to irrigate much more than 2,000 square meters
                            or so.

                            >Over time I have found less reason to water. I know it sounds
                            strange, but my gardens by the trees still flourish.

                            Well, I wonder how you do it.

                            > digging some swales there might also help so the ground water
                            builds up in the season that it does rain. I know it has helped me
                            here in the Texas drought

                            I imagine I would have to dig a lot of swales for this to have any
                            effect.

                            Elsa wrote:
                            > Whereabouts in the Alentejo are you? …

                            A remote location near Relva Grande, about 10 km inland from Sao
                            Teotonio between Odemira and Odeceixe.

                            > solutions for their problems seem to slowly be working to. So, I'd
                            be glad to share some ideas...

                            How about meeting? I will send you my details to your Yahoo
                            account. Don't use mine, I haven't managed to activate it yet.

                            Jean-Claude wrote:

                            > if your only reason to intervene is to prevent fire it doesn't
                            makes sense
                            to destroy the vegetal cover to prevent a possible fire …

                            It is the dry vegetation that provides the combustible materials
                            during wild fires in the summer. Most of the abandoned properties
                            in this region are covered by an impenetrable mass of shrubs of up
                            to three meters tall. A single spark of one stone hitting another
                            can ignite this to produce an intense fire with flames shooting10 or
                            20 meters into the air. Last year about 10 % of the national
                            territory went up in flames. During days, the smoke was everywhere
                            and so dense that it wasn't even possible to see where it came
                            from. We had difficulty breathing.

                            >what this aera of the globe need the most , in front of the
                            extention of the
                            sahara desert , is increased biomass ,the bushes allready prepar the
                            ground
                            for trees to come

                            This is theory. Things are different here. Part of our land is
                            covered with a thick growth of medronho (arbusto unedo??). The
                            bushes form a thick cover of foliage more than 6 meters above the
                            ground. The ancient oak trees in-between have about reached the end
                            of their live span and start to fall down. New trees which would
                            normally have grown from the oaks have not been able to grow since
                            no sun light reaches the ground. If I want to save the oak forest I
                            will have to cut the medronho, which will grow again faster than I
                            can cut it down.

                            Theories about advancing deserts have no relevance around here. The
                            wet season normally provides for so much growth that the only
                            problem is what you do with all that biomass. To let it go up in
                            flames during the summer is certainly not going to improve our
                            climate.

                            Jean-Claude, the general drift of your comments seems to be against
                            intervention in nature. This may be fine for other place, it isn't
                            here. This land needs the hand of the labourer. Traditionally, the
                            region was populated by a large number of small farmsteads operating
                            just a little above the level of subsistence farming. Agriculture,
                            goats and other domestic animals kept the land clear and in good
                            condition so that droughts and wild fires, which have occurred since
                            time immemorial, had no great impact. Economic and political
                            factors are driving these people into the city. And those who want
                            to live here are now hampered by laws and regulations thought up by
                            nature conservationists, city dwellers in the North of Europe, whose
                            romantic view of nature would like to create a picture book
                            landscape without any people in it. The result has been
                            disastrous. If you followed the news during the summer you may have
                            noticed that it was in particular the natural parks that went up in
                            flames.

                            PS: Fire prevention is of course not my only concern. The reason I
                            posted my message to this group was to get some input about what to
                            grow once I have cleared the thicket. At present I'm thinking about
                            green manure: clover, lupines, etc. and grains like wheat, barley
                            etc. But I still lack information about the conditions required by
                            the various crops (is there a comprehensive list available on the
                            Internet?). Ideally I would like to grow rice and soja (Fukuoka
                            mentioned something about growing rice without water, but I suppose
                            this means less water and not no water at all). I also like to use
                            native plants that will grow locally without irrigation or
                            cultivation. However, I still haven't been able to get much
                            information on native plants. Most documents on gardening and
                            agriculture seem to be for the North of Europe or for the US.

                            Regards, Dieter









                            SPONSORED LINKS
                            Organic gardening Organic farming Farming organic Organic gardening magazine Organic gardening supply Organic vegetable gardening

                            ---------------------------------
                            YAHOO! GROUPS LINKS


                            Visit your group "fukuoka_farming" on the web.

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

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


                            ---------------------------------







                            Elsa Santos
                            www.montesamoqueiro.com

                            ---------------------------------
                            Yahoo! FareChase - Search multiple travel sites in one click.

                            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                          • Elsa Santos
                            Hi Dieter, We re practically neighbours! (some seven miles appart). Would be great to meet up and talk about our complicated situation...that we will overcome
                            Message 13 of 25 , Nov 18, 2005
                            • 0 Attachment
                              Hi Dieter,

                              We're practically neighbours! (some seven miles appart).
                              Would be great to meet up and talk about our complicated situation...that we will overcome - thanks to groups like this and all other info we can gather + intuition & connection to the land. In the meantime below are my details. I'm in Brejão, please see www.montesamoqueiro.com.
                              Looking forward to meeting you & sharing some ideas (and seeds as well - the local endemic drought resistent legume variety "Xixaro" has done miracles... consociated with sarracen wheat and another local: "zorrinho" corn, which can survive on practically no water and has water retentive roots, like a cactus (weird, I know...) - more about these when we meet :))

                              Good luck to all in a dry climate facing similar problems... whish I new the name of the varieties I mentioned in latin, although I'm sure you'll have the equivalent edndemics in your own region. Maybe part of the solution, and something Fukuoka-san might have advocated (I'm speculating), is to use the autoctone/endemic varieties that are naturally adapted to that environment and make seed balls with those...

                              Best for now
                              Elsa


                              Elsa Santos <elsamagosa@...> wrote:

                              Hi Dieter,

                              It's so good to hear from someone from around here... I can so totally relate to your problem!!! as I am in the Alentejo myself and trying to make a living off the ground as well as naturally as possible - but so far having to deal with all the difficulties that mention in your mail, myself. The weather is changing so unbelievably fast, isn't it? Scary.
                              Whereabouts in the Alentejo are you? The coast and the inland areas are so very different over here. I am on the coast, bordering the Algarve and have got sandy soil and milder temperatures than, say Beja, + no frost, but strong winds, less moisture, than inland (and most) of the region. I have found a few solutions for both my situation and some for my friends who have land in clayie, mountainous, frosty places in the mountains here in Saboia (Odemira) - the solutions for their problems seem to slowly be working to. So, I'd be glad to share some ideas...
                              I wish there were more of us natural/organic/biodynamic farmers around here - maybe if there were, this place wouldn't be turning into a desert so fast. Let's hope we can turn this around!
                              Kindest for now
                              Elsa

                              Dieter Brand <diebrand@...> wrote:
                              Hi,
                              I’m in the process of clearing an overgrown piece of land in the Alentejo
                              region in the South of Portugal. I have been using composting, mulching,
                              green manure under-sowing etc. for a number of years to grow vegetables
                              on the lower reaches of the property while leaving the surrounding hill
                              sides largely untouched. However, the devastating wild fires in recent
                              years have convinced me of the importance of clearing more land of the
                              thicket and undergrowth.
                              While composting is OK for the vegetable garden it is hardly feasible for
                              cultivating several hectares of land. Also, the sloping terrain makes digging
                              and ploughing a definite no, no! I discovered a little device that permits
                              me to cut and shred the scrubs at the same time; however, even shredded
                              the woody parts will take years to disintegrate into the soil, and thus pose
                              an, albeit reduced, fire hazard. My idea was to sow clover and other seeds
                              into the mulch layer of shredded scrubs to accelerate the building of top soil. Unfortunately, none of these germinated since we have just come through
                              the severest drought in 60 years with hardly any rain at all during the whole
                              year. When the rain finally came last October I rushed out with bags full
                              of clover and lupine seeds as well wheat, barley, oats, etc. Some of it
                              already started to germinate when after 3 days the sun came out and with
                              it the ants, which collected well over half of the almost 50 kg of seeds I
                              had sown.
                              Next, I started making seed balls by the various methods described by
                              Fukuoka (tray, mesh). I put it down to my inexperience, but I found this
                              to be a rather messy and cumbersome affair. Also, none of the seed balls
                              show any sign of wanting to germinate yet, there is probably still not enough
                              humidity. Before investing in any more equipment (drums etc.) I want to
                              be sure that the thing can actually be made to work.
                              I’m still eager to give natural farming a try, but I would like to hear from
                              everybody who can share his/her experience of similar climatic conditions.
                              The climat in the South of Portugal is considered to be Mediterranean,
                              but there is definitely a lot less humidity during the summer than for example
                              in the South of France or in Italy. In a normal year, we get enough rain
                              for growing crops without irrigation from October to May. The winters
                              are mild with only occasional light frost at night, especially in the lower
                              reaches. During the June to September period we usually don’t get a
                              single drop of rain; during this period the sun, with temperature of up to
                              40 degrees C, will back the heavy clay soil to the consistency of concrete
                              right down to the solid rock.
                              Apart from the seed ball problem I have so many questions that I don’t
                              want to abuse your patients in this post. Most of it is related to the
                              question of what to sow and when, how to improve the humidity-retention
                              properties of the soil, and the dilemma of how to reduce the fire hazard
                              during the summer while leaving tons of dry organic matter laying around
                              to keep the soil nice and covered. People around here use enormous big
                              bulldozers to rip up the ground every year in order to put a few
                              hundred meters of bare earth between themselves and any combustible
                              material.
                              Regards, Dieter



                              ---------------------------------
                              Yahoo! FareChase - Search multiple travel sites in one click.

                              [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]





                              SPONSORED LINKS
                              Organic gardening Organic farming Farming organic Organic gardening magazine Organic gardening supply Organic vegetable gardening

                              ---------------------------------
                              YAHOO! GROUPS LINKS


                              Visit your group "fukuoka_farming" on the web.

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

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


                              ---------------------------------






                              Elsa Santos
                              www.montesamoqueiro.com

                              ---------------------------------
                              Yahoo! FareChase - Search multiple travel sites in one click.

                              [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]





                              SPONSORED LINKS
                              Organic gardening Organic farming Farming organic Organic gardening magazine Organic gardening supply Organic vegetable gardening

                              ---------------------------------
                              YAHOO! GROUPS LINKS


                              Visit your group "fukuoka_farming" on the web.

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

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


                              ---------------------------------








                              Elsa Santos
                              www.montesamoqueiro.com

                              ---------------------------------
                              Yahoo! FareChase - Search multiple travel sites in one click.

                              [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                            • Berin Erturk
                              Paola Lucchesi wrote: Dear Paola, Thank you for describing my area so well! ...We are blessed by abundance of water here, a
                              Message 14 of 25 , Nov 18, 2005
                              • 0 Attachment
                                Paola Lucchesi <paola.lucchesi@...> wrote: Dear Paola,
                                Thank you for describing my area so well!
                                ...We are
                                blessed by abundance of water here, a major river, plenty of streams and
                                sources, frequent rains, overnight humudity... And a completely opposite set
                                of problems: fungal disease above all. So I did mistakes like planting
                                tomatoes too close, and found out too late that I didn't need to worry about
                                dry soil, rather about infection spreading. I'm currently researching the
                                question of spores surviving the winter and I'm desperate about all the
                                biomass laying around (falling leaves), which is infected by all sorts of
                                fungi and moulds. Some I can identify, of others I'm not sure, and I doubt I
                                can be good enough at making very hot compost to be sure I get rid of the
                                risks of carrying the disease into the next season (I'm a beginner anyway).

                                This year I tried Franck's method of planting vegetables in rows, with good companions next to each other and at least two meters of distance between the rows of the same plant. It was my first trial and I made some planning mistakes, but fungal diseases (and insects) were much less compared to previous years and to vegetable gardens of my neighbors.
                                My problem was with the vegetable seeds I spread. Almost nothing came up. They were overgrown by weeds.

                                Now, very probably something is out of balance here, in the sense that there
                                should not be so much of this type of disease. I observe the difference
                                between the wild and the "domesticated" plants, the wild being usually
                                healthy close to the infected domesticated. But now, the wild plants have
                                taken it up too, and this is quite worrying. I mentioned the broadleaf dock
                                and dandelion, but even some stinging nettle has been involved! It's sort of
                                scary. To say nothing of all the trees around. There are some beautiful
                                apples and peer trees around the garden here (planted by my landlords years
                                ago), and they are all sick, and scattering around masses of sick leaves.
                                Hmmm, even if I wanted to do something about it, there's no question of
                                spraying any helping preparations (we have planty of horsetail around, which
                                could help) on those giants, too tall, too many branches... And we are in a
                                context of small houses with gardens, all around, so spores can easily
                                travel from one patch to the other, it's really a community issue.

                                I am told that most of the fruit fungal diseases overwinter on fallen leaves. In other words diseased leaves are the main sorce of infection. For us, it is impractical -if not impossible- to remove those infected leaves from the orchard. (The orchard is the "commercial" side of the farm, conventionally planted and managed for years. Though it is now "organic" I cannot dare to venture into Fukuoka's "no pruning.") So instead of removing infected leaves we will try to let them rot where they are. We will cut them into small pieces with a shredder and encourage decay with a solution of thymian oil.

                                Phytophthora is the potato blight, originally, the one which caused the
                                Irish famine. And potato, like tomato, is NOT original from Europe. So I
                                guess the true root of the problem is that we are dealing with imported
                                species which were never really meant for this climate, nor is the
                                environment here "programmed" to deal with their pathologies and reestablish
                                a balance by itself, so the original imbalance is many centuries old, but it
                                becomes apparent now, when these cultures have spread to wide extensions.

                                Yes tomato and potato have been imported to Europe years ago. But I think they had adopted to local conditions. We did not have such problems with local breeds. It is only after spreading of more "commercial" breeds (better yield, larger fruit, sturdier, and no taste) that problems started.

                                I guess that if we take the natural philosophy too strictly, we have to come
                                to the conclusion of letting the fungal diseases wipe out the vegetables
                                they feed on, and themselves as a consequence, after many years the
                                environment here will be clean of both, and then better we go on with local
                                species and forget about tomato and potato.

                                OR we stay aware that we are forcing Mother Nature's hand a little bit and
                                try to find some acceptable and workable compromise.

                                We are in the process of getting a national park established here, and I
                                understand Dieter's point perfectly and have similar worries for a series of
                                areas which are actually inhabited (or were before the war - we are in
                                Bosnia), so there has been agriculture and cattle breeding there for
                                centuries. The guys who did the feasibility study seem to have been very
                                superficial on that, didn't really explore the area thoroughly, which is a
                                returnee's area with people slowly going back to their villages. There are
                                ideas of a "zero area" (total protection, everything forbidden) to be
                                established were it really shouldn't be, since it's not total wilderness but
                                a mixed ecosystem, of which humans have been a part for a long time.

                                So please, Dieter, if you have texts (you quoted press articles) pointing
                                out to these situations, send them to me, because I'm in the phase of giving
                                feedback to the federal government here on the proposed law, and overall
                                project.

                                paola

                                Good luck Paola,
                                Berin Erturk
                                Jade Farm, Turkey


                                SPONSORED LINKS
                                Organic gardening Organic farming Farming organic Organic gardening magazine Organic gardening supply Organic vegetable gardening

                                ---------------------------------
                                YAHOO! GROUPS LINKS


                                Visit your group "fukuoka_farming" on the web.

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

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


                                ---------------------------------






                                ---------------------------------
                                Yahoo! FareChase - Search multiple travel sites in one click.

                                [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                              • lh@larryhaftl.com
                                ... There was a lot more to that message that contained what may be useful information, but this statement is dangerously false. To a wildfire, vegetation is
                                Message 15 of 25 , Nov 18, 2005
                                • 0 Attachment
                                  jean-claude wrote:

                                  > again with the complex diversity in species ,physical structure and
                                  > functions come resistance to fire .

                                  There was a lot more to that message that contained what may be useful
                                  information, but this statement is dangerously false.

                                  To a wildfire, vegetation is fuel. The type of vegetation matters, but much,
                                  much less than the quantity, height, and moisture content. A multi-storied
                                  woodland may be biologically very diverse, but it contains "ladder fuels",
                                  plants that allow ground fires to reach up into the foliage of mature trees.
                                  This is NOT a good thing when it comes to suppressing or controlling a
                                  wildfire. A ground fire can burn through a woodland without seriously
                                  damaging the mature trees (and the ecosystem in general) if there are not
                                  ladder fuels that lead it into the canopy of the trees. Tens of thousands of
                                  acres are deliberately burned each year in the U.S. using this tendency
                                  (called "prescribed burning") in order to prevent fuel buildup that would
                                  eventually become dangerous to the forest and everything in it.

                                  Encouraging biodiversity in the understory is obviously a good thing, but
                                  not if it provides ladder fuels or heavy "fuel loads" in an area prone to
                                  wildfires.

                                  This is not a theoretical comment. It is based on several years of getting
                                  up close and personal with wildfires from Florida to Alaska. If any of you
                                  want more information on this there are more than thirty published articles
                                  posted on my website: http://larryhaftl.com in the wildland fire section.

                                  Larry Haftl
                                • Ingrid Bauer/Jean-Claude Catry
                                  ... we can agree about that . species of vegetation have different abilities to burn or to resist burn by their water content . Most of the fire fighting
                                  Message 16 of 25 , Nov 21, 2005
                                  • 0 Attachment
                                    > jean-claude wrote:
                                    >
                                    >> again with the complex diversity in species ,physical structure and
                                    >> functions come resistance to fire .
                                    >
                                    > There was a lot more to that message that contained what may be useful
                                    > information, but this statement is dangerously false.
                                    >
                                    > To a wildfire, vegetation is fuel. The type of vegetation matters, but
                                    > much,
                                    > much less than the quantity, height, and moisture content.

                                    we can agree about that . species of vegetation have different abilities to
                                    burn or to resist burn by their water content .
                                    Most of the fire fighting experience comes from planted second growth or
                                    third growth forests that present a uniformity of age that help to spread
                                    fires , either thru decaying matter on the ground , bushes or canopy .anyone
                                    of those layers present too much of the same, making available a lot of
                                    fuel .
                                    i still maintain that when the forest is diverse in ages, species and
                                    spatially present patches structurally diverses ,fires can leave lot of
                                    pockets of unburned areas.
                                    to the situation of the arbutus bushes that triggered my reflexions , my
                                    recomendation of diversifying is especially true

                                    i have an old friend of 87 years of age ecoforester for decades. he manage
                                    his forests promoting green undergrowth . he think about fire all the time
                                    but he is way more scare by his neighbours practices of clearcutting and
                                    replanting mono cultures of trees making also, uniformed undergrowth of same
                                    age .
                                    when i makes a fire in my stove , to grow the fire i need a certain amount
                                    of sticks for every different thickness , i need a certain relationship
                                    between the layers of different sizes sticks ( each one with sufficient
                                    fuel) for the fire to spread from one layer to an other easelly .

                                    A multi-storied
                                    > woodland may be biologically very diverse, but it contains "ladder fuels",
                                    > plants that allow ground fires to reach up into the foliage of mature
                                    > trees.

                                    what you say is true in the context of uniform second or third growth where
                                    the canopy is of the same eight and full . in that context any possibility
                                    of ladder fuel is agravating the situation helping propagate from ground to
                                    canopy
                                    mature trees in a first growth diverse forest present a canopy of variable
                                    height with important holes when big old trees fall. for the fire to spread
                                    it have to keep going up and down .


                                    > This is NOT a good thing when it comes to suppressing or controlling a
                                    > wildfire. A ground fire can burn through a woodland without seriously
                                    > damaging the mature trees (and the ecosystem in general) if there are not
                                    > ladder fuels that lead it into the canopy of the trees. Tens of thousands
                                    > of
                                    > acres are deliberately burned each year in the U.S. using this tendency
                                    > (called "prescribed burning") in order to prevent fuel buildup that would
                                    > eventually become dangerous to the forest and everything in it.

                                    i bet those measures are also implemented to help the harvesting of trees
                                    without bother from the messy undergrowth. they do that also because they
                                    don't care loosing the next generations of trees as their idea of an ideal
                                    forest is a planted monoculture .cut and replant .
                                    i think this practice is absolutelly insane ,if needed because the bad
                                    managements of forest into monocultures , i will prefer see harvesting and
                                    composting the undergrowth as jean pain in France demonstrated .

                                    it comes back to this idea that you can prevent wars by creating wars .I
                                    know, it is in fashion in the states , you can see that attitude at every
                                    level in every direction from the fight against viral diseases to full blown
                                    attack against foreign countries via the stories in movies and medias .i
                                    wish this madness will be enlightened ( with wild fires :-) ) by this other
                                    attitude .<in my defenselessness ,my safety lie .>

                                    > This is not a theoretical comment. It is based on several years of getting
                                    > up close and personal with wildfires from Florida to Alaska. If any of you
                                    > want more information on this there are more than thirty published
                                    > articles
                                    > posted on my website: http://larryhaftl.com in the wildland fire section.

                                    did you wrote those articles ? have you been following fires as journalist ?
                                    jean-claude
                                  • lh@larryhaftl.com
                                    ... It s not just water content. Some species, palmetto palm for example, emit a volitile oil when heated by oncoming fire. The oil is as explosive as
                                    Message 17 of 25 , Nov 21, 2005
                                    • 0 Attachment
                                      > jean-claude wrote:
                                      > we can agree about that . species of vegetation have different abilities
                                      > to
                                      > burn or to resist burn by their water content .

                                      It's not just water content. Some species, palmetto palm for example, emit a
                                      volitile oil when heated by oncoming fire. The oil is as explosive as
                                      gasoline. Other species are fire-dependent, needing fire to propagate, like
                                      the black birch of the arctic tundras and just about 100% of Florida's
                                      native vegetation.. And other species simply grow so dense naturally that
                                      any fire going through that area becomes an inferno. lodgepole pine for
                                      example.

                                      > Most of the fire fighting experience comes from planted second growth or
                                      > third growth forests that present a uniformity of age that help to spread
                                      > fires , either thru decaying matter on the ground , bushes or canopy
                                      > .anyone
                                      > of those layers present too much of the same, making available a lot of
                                      > fuel .
                                      > i still maintain that when the forest is diverse in ages, species and
                                      > spatially present patches structurally diverses ,fires can leave lot of
                                      > pockets of unburned areas.
                                      > to the situation of the arbutus bushes that triggered my reflexions , my
                                      > recomendation of diversifying is especially true

                                      Wildfires do indeed sometimes leave untouched pockets in an otherwise
                                      totally nuked area. They are called refugia. But they are spared the
                                      devastation, according to those who study them intensely for a living, by
                                      flukes of wind and terrain, not because of their vegetation. Any forest,
                                      regardless of age, that has substantial ladder fuels present is a forest
                                      waiting to develop a devastating crown fire.


                                      >> A multi-storied
                                      >> woodland may be biologically very diverse, but it contains "ladder
                                      >> fuels",
                                      >> plants that allow ground fires to reach up into the foliage of mature
                                      >> trees.
                                      >
                                      > what you say is true in the context of uniform second or third growth
                                      > where
                                      > the canopy is of the same eight and full . in that context any possibility
                                      > of ladder fuel is agravating the situation helping propagate from ground
                                      > to
                                      > canopy
                                      > mature trees in a first growth diverse forest present a canopy of variable
                                      > height with important holes when big old trees fall. for the fire to
                                      > spread
                                      > it have to keep going up and down .

                                      What I said is true regardless of the age and biodiversity of the forest.
                                      Any forest with heavy fuel loads and/or substantial ladder fuels is a forest
                                      waiting for a catastrophic fire to turn it into a lunar landscape. Once a
                                      fire gets into the crowns of a forest (where a lot of the vegetation is) it
                                      can jump over large gaps in the vegetation. I saw one wildfire jump more
                                      than one hundred yards over a four-lane interstate, with very wide median
                                      and sides, without even slowing down. That is not unusual, especially if the
                                      fire is also wind-driven.


                                      > i bet those measures are also implemented to help the harvesting of trees
                                      > without bother from the messy undergrowth. they do that also because they
                                      > don't care loosing the next generations of trees as their idea of an ideal
                                      > forest is a planted monoculture .cut and replant .
                                      > i think this practice is absolutelly insane ,if needed because the bad
                                      > managements of forest into monocultures , i will prefer see harvesting
                                      > and
                                      > composting the undergrowth as jean pain in France demonstrated .

                                      You would lose that bet. They are done almost without exception to help
                                      prevent catastrophic wildfires that result when vegetation/fuel loads are
                                      allowed to grow too heavy. They are done in forests that have never been
                                      logged, forests that don't have any marketable timber on it, and urban
                                      forests in addition to forests that have marketable timber. Native Americans
                                      also have a long history of burning off the undergrowth to improve wildlife
                                      habitat, and therefore hunting.

                                      >> This is not a theoretical comment. It is based on several years of
                                      >> getting
                                      >> up close and personal with wildfires from Florida to Alaska. If any of
                                      >> you
                                      >> want more information on this there are more than thirty published
                                      >> articles
                                      >> posted on my website: http://larryhaftl.com in the wildland fire
                                      >> section.
                                      >
                                      > did you wrote those articles ? have you been following fires as journalist
                                      > ?

                                      Yes. I was a certified wildland firefighter with a specialty of
                                      pyrovideographer/journalist and worked for Wildland Firefighter magazine for
                                      several years. It enabled me to get up close and personal with wildland
                                      fires in may different ecosystems and to talk to many of the top wildland
                                      firefighters in the U.S. and Canada.

                                      Larry Haftl
                                    • Ingrid Bauer/Jean-Claude Catry
                                      ... a friend of mine who used to live in Malibu told me today his personal struggle to keep his house burning from a forest fire . he saw the fire jumping the
                                      Message 18 of 25 , Nov 21, 2005
                                      • 0 Attachment
                                        > It's not just water content. Some species, palmetto palm for example, emit
                                        > a
                                        > volitile oil when heated by oncoming fire. The oil is as explosive as
                                        > gasoline. Other species are fire-dependent, needing fire to propagate,
                                        > like
                                        > the black birch of the arctic tundras and just about 100% of Florida's
                                        > native vegetation.. And other species simply grow so dense naturally that
                                        > any fire going through that area becomes an inferno. lodgepole pine for
                                        > example.
                                        >
                                        >> Most of the fire fighting experience comes from planted second growth or
                                        >> third growth forests that present a uniformity of age that help to spread
                                        >> fires , either thru decaying matter on the ground , bushes or canopy
                                        >> .anyone
                                        >> of those layers present too much of the same, making available a lot of
                                        >> fuel .
                                        >> i still maintain that when the forest is diverse in ages, species and
                                        >> spatially present patches structurally diverses ,fires can leave lot of
                                        >> pockets of unburned areas.
                                        >> to the situation of the arbutus bushes that triggered my reflexions , my
                                        >> recomendation of diversifying is especially true
                                        >
                                        > Wildfires do indeed sometimes leave untouched pockets in an otherwise
                                        > totally nuked area. They are called refugia. But they are spared the
                                        > devastation, according to those who study them intensely for a living, by
                                        > flukes of wind and terrain, not because of their vegetation. Any forest,
                                        > regardless of age, that has substantial ladder fuels present is a forest
                                        > waiting to develop a devastating crown fire.
                                        >
                                        >
                                        >>> A multi-storied
                                        >>> woodland may be biologically very diverse, but it contains "ladder
                                        >>> fuels",
                                        >>> plants that allow ground fires to reach up into the foliage of mature
                                        >>> trees.
                                        >>
                                        >> what you say is true in the context of uniform second or third growth
                                        >> where
                                        >> the canopy is of the same eight and full . in that context any
                                        >> possibility
                                        >> of ladder fuel is agravating the situation helping propagate from ground
                                        >> to
                                        >> canopy
                                        >> mature trees in a first growth diverse forest present a canopy of
                                        >> variable
                                        >> height with important holes when big old trees fall. for the fire to
                                        >> spread
                                        >> it have to keep going up and down .
                                        >
                                        > What I said is true regardless of the age and biodiversity of the forest.
                                        > Any forest with heavy fuel loads and/or substantial ladder fuels is a
                                        > forest
                                        > waiting for a catastrophic fire to turn it into a lunar landscape. Once a
                                        > fire gets into the crowns of a forest (where a lot of the vegetation is)
                                        > it
                                        > can jump over large gaps in the vegetation. I saw one wildfire jump more
                                        > than one hundred yards over a four-lane interstate, with very wide median
                                        > and sides, without even slowing down. That is not unusual, especially if
                                        > the
                                        > fire is also wind-driven.

                                        a friend of mine who used to live in Malibu told me today his personal
                                        struggle to keep his house burning from a forest fire . he saw the fire
                                        jumping the whole canon from top to top . so my question is unless
                                        EVERYTHING is allready burned preventivelly how a fire of that force can
                                        spare any forest even when ladder fuels are burned in advance ? he still
                                        saved his house by keeping a small clearing around the house and a garden
                                        hose .

                                        > You would lose that bet. They are done almost without exception to help
                                        > prevent catastrophic wildfires that result when vegetation/fuel loads are
                                        > allowed to grow too heavy. They are done in forests that have never been
                                        > logged, forests that don't have any marketable timber on it, and urban
                                        > forests in addition to forests that have marketable timber.

                                        when it is done around buildings i understand that it is the motivation ,
                                        but when not , who care if the forest burn if it is not the ones who don't
                                        want to loose the harvest of valuable wood .



                                        Native Americans
                                        > also have a long history of burning off the undergrowth to improve
                                        > wildlife
                                        > habitat, and therefore hunting.

                                        see my comments in response to forest .to wich i want to add that primitive
                                        peoples could also have contribuated to the deserts . fire is a powerfull
                                        tool that require very wise hands . i am trusting more the natives wisdom
                                        than the scientific or specialist expertises.They probably learned from
                                        their own excesses thru traditions passed on generations after generations
                                        to the whole community , contrary to shortly aquired academic knowledge of
                                        few specialists.

                                        jean-claude
                                      • Shane Morkin
                                        On the topic of forest fires and homes: I would like to point out that solar, underground homes are, generally speaking, fireproof. (check out books by
                                        Message 19 of 25 , Nov 23, 2005
                                        • 0 Attachment
                                          On the topic of forest fires and homes: I would like to point out that
                                          solar, underground homes are, generally speaking, fireproof. (check out
                                          books by Malcolm Wells or see John Hait¹s work,
                                          http://www.axwoodfarm.com/PAHS/UmbrellaHouse.html)

                                          For renovations, I would imagine berming the walls of a home with earth or
                                          installing a living roof --if you are not using the roof for rainwater
                                          catchment‹would also help to make a home fireproof. Such renovations should
                                          also help reduce heating and cooling requirements as well.

                                          Shane

                                          On 22/11/05 8:31, "Ingrid Bauer/Jean-Claude Catry" <instinct@...>
                                          wrote:

                                          >
                                          >> > It's not just water content. Some species, palmetto palm for example, emit
                                          >> > a
                                          >> > volitile oil when heated by oncoming fire. The oil is as explosive as
                                          >> > gasoline. Other species are fire-dependent, needing fire to propagate,
                                          >> > like
                                          >> > the black birch of the arctic tundras and just about 100% of Florida's
                                          >> > native vegetation.. And other species simply grow so dense naturally that
                                          >> > any fire going through that area becomes an inferno. lodgepole pine for
                                          >> > example.
                                          >> >
                                          >>> >> Most of the fire fighting experience comes from planted second growth or
                                          >>> >> third growth forests that present a uniformity of age that help to spread
                                          >>> >> fires , either thru decaying matter on the ground , bushes or canopy
                                          >>> >> .anyone
                                          >>> >> of those layers present too much of the same, making available a lot of
                                          >>> >> fuel .
                                          >>> >> i still maintain that when the forest is diverse in ages, species and
                                          >>> >> spatially present patches structurally diverses ,fires can leave lot of
                                          >>> >> pockets of unburned areas.
                                          >>> >> to the situation of the arbutus bushes that triggered my reflexions , my
                                          >>> >> recomendation of diversifying is especially true
                                          >> >
                                          >> > Wildfires do indeed sometimes leave untouched pockets in an otherwise
                                          >> > totally nuked area. They are called refugia. But they are spared the
                                          >> > devastation, according to those who study them intensely for a living, by
                                          >> > flukes of wind and terrain, not because of their vegetation. Any forest,
                                          >> > regardless of age, that has substantial ladder fuels present is a forest
                                          >> > waiting to develop a devastating crown fire.
                                          >> >
                                          >> >
                                          >>>> >>> A multi-storied
                                          >>>> >>> woodland may be biologically very diverse, but it contains "ladder
                                          >>>> >>> fuels",
                                          >>>> >>> plants that allow ground fires to reach up into the foliage of mature
                                          >>>> >>> trees.
                                          >>> >>
                                          >>> >> what you say is true in the context of uniform second or third growth
                                          >>> >> where
                                          >>> >> the canopy is of the same eight and full . in that context any
                                          >>> >> possibility
                                          >>> >> of ladder fuel is agravating the situation helping propagate from ground
                                          >>> >> to
                                          >>> >> canopy
                                          >>> >> mature trees in a first growth diverse forest present a canopy of
                                          >>> >> variable
                                          >>> >> height with important holes when big old trees fall. for the fire to
                                          >>> >> spread
                                          >>> >> it have to keep going up and down .
                                          >> >
                                          >> > What I said is true regardless of the age and biodiversity of the forest.
                                          >> > Any forest with heavy fuel loads and/or substantial ladder fuels is a
                                          >> > forest
                                          >> > waiting for a catastrophic fire to turn it into a lunar landscape. Once a
                                          >> > fire gets into the crowns of a forest (where a lot of the vegetation is)
                                          >> > it
                                          >> > can jump over large gaps in the vegetation. I saw one wildfire jump more
                                          >> > than one hundred yards over a four-lane interstate, with very wide median
                                          >> > and sides, without even slowing down. That is not unusual, especially if
                                          >> > the
                                          >> > fire is also wind-driven.
                                          >
                                          > a friend of mine who used to live in Malibu told me today his personal
                                          > struggle to keep his house burning from a forest fire . he saw the fire
                                          > jumping the whole canon from top to top . so my question is unless
                                          > EVERYTHING is allready burned preventivelly how a fire of that force can
                                          > spare any forest even when ladder fuels are burned in advance ? he still
                                          > saved his house by keeping a small clearing around the house and a garden
                                          > hose .
                                          >
                                          >> > You would lose that bet. They are done almost without exception to help
                                          >> > prevent catastrophic wildfires that result when vegetation/fuel loads are
                                          >> > allowed to grow too heavy. They are done in forests that have never been
                                          >> > logged, forests that don't have any marketable timber on it, and urban
                                          >> > forests in addition to forests that have marketable timber.
                                          >
                                          > when it is done around buildings i understand that it is the motivation ,
                                          > but when not , who care if the forest burn if it is not the ones who don't
                                          > want to loose the harvest of valuable wood .
                                          >
                                          >
                                          >
                                          > Native Americans
                                          >> > also have a long history of burning off the undergrowth to improve
                                          >> > wildlife
                                          >> > habitat, and therefore hunting.
                                          >
                                          > see my comments in response to forest .to wich i want to add that primitive
                                          > peoples could also have contribuated to the deserts . fire is a powerfull
                                          > tool that require very wise hands . i am trusting more the natives wisdom
                                          > than the scientific or specialist expertises.They probably learned from
                                          > their own excesses thru traditions passed on generations after generations
                                          > to the whole community , contrary to shortly aquired academic knowledge of
                                          > few specialists.
                                          >
                                          > jean-claude
                                          >
                                          >
                                          >
                                          >
                                          >
                                          > SPONSORED LINKS
                                          >
                                          > Organic gardening
                                          > <http://groups.yahoo.com/gads?t=ms&k=Organic+gardening&w1=Organic+gardening&w2
                                          > =Organic+farming&w3=Farming+organic&w4=Organic+gardening+magazine&w5=Organic+g
                                          > ardening+supply&w6=Organic+vegetable+gardening&c=6&s=160&.sig=owtJthOIVoli-5SH
                                          > 05M9eQ> Organic farming
                                          > <http://groups.yahoo.com/gads?t=ms&k=Organic+farming&w1=Organic+gardening&w2=O
                                          > rganic+farming&w3=Farming+organic&w4=Organic+gardening+magazine&w5=Organic+gar
                                          > dening+supply&w6=Organic+vegetable+gardening&c=6&s=160&.sig=VZAXnmjm4dw7z1twBb
                                          > SL5w> Farming organic
                                          > <http://groups.yahoo.com/gads?t=ms&k=Farming+organic&w1=Organic+gardening&w2=O
                                          > rganic+farming&w3=Farming+organic&w4=Organic+gardening+magazine&w5=Organic+gar
                                          > dening+supply&w6=Organic+vegetable+gardening&c=6&s=160&.sig=QtWJKqSNUvoIhRx0wI
                                          > PvXQ>
                                          > Organic gardening magazine
                                          > <http://groups.yahoo.com/gads?t=ms&k=Organic+gardening+magazine&w1=Organic+gar
                                          > dening&w2=Organic+farming&w3=Farming+organic&w4=Organic+gardening+magazine&w5=
                                          > Organic+gardening+supply&w6=Organic+vegetable+gardening&c=6&s=160&.sig=DUl2Ype
                                          > HxS8nfzrjYnoHxA> Organic gardening supply
                                          > <http://groups.yahoo.com/gads?t=ms&k=Organic+gardening+supply&w1=Organic+garde
                                          > ning&w2=Organic+farming&w3=Farming+organic&w4=Organic+gardening+magazine&w5=Or
                                          > ganic+gardening+supply&w6=Organic+vegetable+gardening&c=6&s=160&.sig=pifcDlOFE
                                          > 1n7mJyCsJGUgA> Organic vegetable gardening
                                          > <http://groups.yahoo.com/gads?t=ms&k=Organic+vegetable+gardening&w1=Organic+ga
                                          > rdening&w2=Organic+farming&w3=Farming+organic&w4=Organic+gardening+magazine&w5
                                          > =Organic+gardening+supply&w6=Organic+vegetable+gardening&c=6&s=160&.sig=b5_BUU
                                          > EAMpBvm9oqGxhg5w>
                                          >
                                          >
                                          >
                                          > YAHOO! GROUPS LINKS
                                          >
                                          > * Visit your group "fukuoka_farming
                                          > <http://groups.yahoo.com/group/fukuoka_farming> " on the web.
                                          > *
                                          > * To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to:
                                          > * fukuoka_farming-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com
                                          > <mailto:fukuoka_farming-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com?subject=Unsubscribe>
                                          > *
                                          > * Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to the Yahoo! Terms of Service
                                          > <http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/> .
                                          >
                                          >
                                          >
                                          >




                                          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                                        • diebrand
                                          Paola, Sorry about my late reply. I live in a remote location without phone line and only access the Internet once a week. Many thanks for your advice. I
                                          Message 20 of 25 , Nov 30, 2005
                                          • 0 Attachment
                                            Paola,

                                            Sorry about my late reply. I live in a remote location without
                                            phone line and only access the Internet once a week.

                                            Many thanks for your advice. I will try to contact the people you
                                            mentioned.

                                            > … I doubt I can be good enough at making very hot compost to be
                                            sure I get rid of the risks of carrying the disease into the next
                                            season (I'm a beginner anyway). …

                                            Most germs are killed off at about 55 deg. C. I usually get there
                                            in less than a week. It's not that difficult to do, all you need is
                                            a thermometer. I build rows 1.50 m wide by 1.50 m tall and as long
                                            as I like. If you have old compost to use with the new material you
                                            can usually get usable material within 3 to 6 months. And if you
                                            mix dry material with green stuff you don't need to worry about the
                                            exact C/N ratio. At first I worried about using infected materials,
                                            but now I use everything organic except crab grass, which I soak in
                                            water for a while. Right now I'm trying to find a way between `heap
                                            composting' and the `surface composting' used in Natural Farming,
                                            since I'm not sure the latter is suitable for local climatic
                                            conditions.

                                            > … I guess that if we take the natural philosophy too strictly, we
                                            have to come to the conclusion of letting the fungal diseases wipe
                                            out the vegetables they feed on, and themselves as a consequence,
                                            after many years the environment here will be clean of both, and
                                            then better we go on with local species and forget about tomato and
                                            potato. …

                                            Most of the problems (fungus, pests, etc.) on our property are
                                            because the land has been abandoned for many years. I think we
                                            should not let ourselves be made paranoid by the idea that 'all that
                                            goes wrong in the garden' is our own fault. It is more a matter of
                                            learning by and by how to take care of the problems in an
                                            intelligent way.

                                            > … We are in the process of getting a national park established
                                            here, … if you have texts (you quoted press articles) pointing out
                                            to these situations, send them to me, because I'm in the phase of
                                            giving feedback to the federal government here on the proposed law,
                                            and overall project. …

                                            We don't get too many newspapers in our nook of the woods. I was
                                            referring to reports on the radio. If I can find something on the
                                            net I will let you know. Off the cuff, I remember that wildfires in
                                            the Serra da Arrabida (one of Portugal's more prestigious national
                                            parks) stayed in the headlines during much of the Summer. I believe
                                            the Serra da Estrela was also affected. Last year the Monchique,
                                            much of which is under protection, was destroyed by wildfires.

                                            Regards, Dieter
                                          • diebrand
                                            Larry, I couldn t agree more with what you said about wildfires. Especially the concept of `ladder fuels is very relevant to the fires we experience in
                                            Message 21 of 25 , Nov 30, 2005
                                            • 0 Attachment
                                              Larry,

                                              I couldn't agree more with what you said about wildfires. Especially
                                              the concept of `ladder fuels' is very relevant to the fires we
                                              experience in Portugal. Many properties, abandoned for decades, are
                                              covered with an impenetrable mass of vegetation.

                                              You mentioned palmetto palm and other plants that burn easily. Is
                                              there a comprehensive list of plants that burn easily and those that
                                              don't?

                                              Regards, Dieter
                                            • diebrand
                                              Jean-Claude, Sorry, if I misunderstood your previous message or if I did not comment on each and every one of your remarks. Right now I m more concerned with
                                              Message 22 of 25 , Nov 30, 2005
                                              • 0 Attachment
                                                Jean-Claude,

                                                Sorry, if I misunderstood your previous message or if I did not
                                                comment on each and every one of your remarks. Right now I'm more
                                                concerned with finding practical solutions rather than with the
                                                general idea of it.

                                                > … so you have lot means of learning about how nature does to
                                                revegetate the land after the fire bruned the bushes …

                                                What can be learned here is that the ashes from the fire favoured
                                                the growth of shrubs (genista, ulex europaeus, cistus, etc.), which
                                                prevented the trees (oaks, etc.) to grow again and which will
                                                invariably prepare the ground for the next wildfire in a few years
                                                time by providing plenty of combustible material.

                                                > … what is the life cycle of the arbutus ? how old are they? …

                                                I have no idea. Some are as wide as 10 to 15 meters and must be
                                                very old.

                                                > … you don't have to go all or nothing , between the arbutus and
                                                the oak there is possibly something else in the succession that will
                                                take over the arbutus and prepare the ground for the oak. …

                                                We have a mixed culture of arbutus and oaks. Both are ideal for
                                                this climate since they survive the drought in the summer and grow
                                                during the wet season. The problem starts when the arbutus isn't
                                                cut back for a long time because a property has been abandoned.
                                                Then it will take over and suppress all other vegetation. And I
                                                don't believe it will prepare the ground for anything but more
                                                arbutus.

                                                > … replacement of arbutus ( by the way the fruit are very tasty and
                                                would like to know if they can reproduce by cutting, …

                                                Sorry never tried to reproduce them. I have got too many as it is.
                                                Local farmers use the berries to make a bootlegged brandy, which
                                                isn't exactly my taste. We make preserves out of it (try
                                                quince/medronho preserve, one of my very own creations). The wood
                                                is very dense and ideal for heating.

                                                > … what about pomegrenate, figs and other mediteranean edible
                                                plants ( i bet figs thicket don't burn easelly .) …

                                                Oh, but they do. Except that it is far to dry for figs to
                                                flourish. Unlike the South of France were I have seen big fig trees
                                                with a lot of fruits even without irrigation, here they will only
                                                grow in the most favoured locations were they can get enough water.
                                                This climate really is very hard to understand for anyone who hasn't
                                                experience it at first hand.

                                                Dieter
                                              • partha biswas,9830511359
                                                dear dieter, May I know that,which place you are doing natural farming? Regards Partha biswas from India.. ... Partha Biswas, National Park, PO-Naihati,
                                                Message 23 of 25 , Nov 30, 2005
                                                • 0 Attachment
                                                  dear dieter,

                                                  May I know that,which place you are doing natural
                                                  farming?

                                                  Regards
                                                  Partha biswas from India..

                                                  --- diebrand <diebrand@...> wrote:

                                                  > Paola,
                                                  >
                                                  > Sorry about my late reply. I live in a remote
                                                  > location without
                                                  > phone line and only access the Internet once a week.
                                                  >
                                                  > Many thanks for your advice. I will try to contact
                                                  > the people you
                                                  > mentioned.
                                                  >
                                                  > > … I doubt I can be good enough at making very hot
                                                  > compost to be
                                                  > sure I get rid of the risks of carrying the disease
                                                  > into the next
                                                  > season (I'm a beginner anyway). …
                                                  >
                                                  > Most germs are killed off at about 55 deg. C. I
                                                  > usually get there
                                                  > in less than a week. It's not that difficult to do,
                                                  > all you need is
                                                  > a thermometer. I build rows 1.50 m wide by 1.50 m
                                                  > tall and as long
                                                  > as I like. If you have old compost to use with the
                                                  > new material you
                                                  > can usually get usable material within 3 to 6
                                                  > months. And if you
                                                  > mix dry material with green stuff you don't need to
                                                  > worry about the
                                                  > exact C/N ratio. At first I worried about using
                                                  > infected materials,
                                                  > but now I use everything organic except crab grass,
                                                  > which I soak in
                                                  > water for a while. Right now I'm trying to find a
                                                  > way between `heap
                                                  > composting' and the `surface composting' used in
                                                  > Natural Farming,
                                                  > since I'm not sure the latter is suitable for local
                                                  > climatic
                                                  > conditions.
                                                  >
                                                  > > … I guess that if we take the natural philosophy
                                                  > too strictly, we
                                                  > have to come to the conclusion of letting the fungal
                                                  > diseases wipe
                                                  > out the vegetables they feed on, and themselves as a
                                                  > consequence,
                                                  > after many years the environment here will be clean
                                                  > of both, and
                                                  > then better we go on with local species and forget
                                                  > about tomato and
                                                  > potato. …
                                                  >
                                                  > Most of the problems (fungus, pests, etc.) on our
                                                  > property are
                                                  > because the land has been abandoned for many years.
                                                  > I think we
                                                  > should not let ourselves be made paranoid by the
                                                  > idea that 'all that
                                                  > goes wrong in the garden' is our own fault. It is
                                                  > more a matter of
                                                  > learning by and by how to take care of the problems
                                                  > in an
                                                  > intelligent way.
                                                  >
                                                  > > … We are in the process of getting a national park
                                                  > established
                                                  > here, … if you have texts (you quoted press
                                                  > articles) pointing out
                                                  > to these situations, send them to me, because I'm in
                                                  > the phase of
                                                  > giving feedback to the federal government here on
                                                  > the proposed law,
                                                  > and overall project. …
                                                  >
                                                  > We don't get too many newspapers in our nook of the
                                                  > woods. I was
                                                  > referring to reports on the radio. If I can find
                                                  > something on the
                                                  > net I will let you know. Off the cuff, I remember
                                                  > that wildfires in
                                                  > the Serra da Arrabida (one of Portugal's more
                                                  > prestigious national
                                                  > parks) stayed in the headlines during much of the
                                                  > Summer. I believe
                                                  > the Serra da Estrela was also affected. Last year
                                                  > the Monchique,
                                                  > much of which is under protection, was destroyed by
                                                  > wildfires.
                                                  >
                                                  > Regards, Dieter
                                                  >
                                                  >
                                                  >
                                                  >
                                                  >
                                                  >
                                                  >


                                                  Partha Biswas, National Park, PO-Naihati, Dt.-N.24 Pargs,743165,Ph.-9830511359





                                                  __________________________________
                                                  Yahoo! Music Unlimited
                                                  Access over 1 million songs. Try it free.
                                                  http://music.yahoo.com/unlimited/
                                                • diebrand
                                                  Partha, I live in the Alentejo region in the South of Portugal. It would be more correct to say that I m still trying to do Natural Farming, but haven t found
                                                  Message 24 of 25 , Dec 2, 2005
                                                  • 0 Attachment
                                                    Partha,

                                                    I live in the Alentejo region in the South of Portugal. It would be
                                                    more correct to say that I'm still trying to do Natural Farming, but
                                                    haven't found a way of adapting Fukuoka's method to the local
                                                    climate yet.

                                                    Dieter

                                                    --- In fukuoka_farming@yahoogroups.com, "partha biswas,9830511359"
                                                    <kothae@y...> wrote:
                                                    >
                                                    > dear dieter,
                                                    >
                                                    > May I know that,which place you are doing natural
                                                    > farming?
                                                    >
                                                    > Regards
                                                    > Partha biswas from India..
                                                  • My Boy
                                                    hi, Just wanted to make a quick point about a post you made last month. Phytophthora is the potato blight, originally, the one which caused the Irish famine.
                                                    Message 25 of 25 , Dec 18, 2005
                                                    • 0 Attachment
                                                      hi,

                                                      Just wanted to make a quick point about a post you
                                                      made last month.

                                                      Phytophthora is the potato blight, originally, the one
                                                      which caused the
                                                      Irish famine. And potato, like tomato, is NOT original
                                                      from Europe.

                                                      that is to say that the potato blight was not possible
                                                      for the Irish famine.

                                                      that's all.
                                                      very interesting information and I agree with the
                                                      points that you're making.
                                                      I guess the only thing I might add to that is that, I
                                                      think, it is almost impossible to treat diseases
                                                      individually nothing all you can do is work are on
                                                      developing your soil.
                                                      Which basically means green manuring and mulching till
                                                      you're blue in the face.

                                                      All the best,
                                                      Niels

                                                      --- Paola Lucchesi <paola.lucchesi@...>
                                                      wrote:


                                                      ---------------------------------
                                                      Dieter, perhaps you could try to contact Richard Wade,
                                                      who has a
                                                      permaculture centre in Spain.

                                                      wade@...

                                                      He's often in Italy, though, he's mentoring most of
                                                      our Italian
                                                      permaculturalists and teaching courses there, so
                                                      insist if he doesn't answer
                                                      at once. I might have his cellphone number too,
                                                      somewhere, or I can ask
                                                      common friends. There are also some web pages for
                                                      their place (Permacultura
                                                      Montsant) at http://www.permacultura-montsant.org/

                                                      Richard and Ines should be able to give you specific
                                                      advice on arid climates
                                                      situations.

                                                      And I've just remembered that Fortunato and Anna, who
                                                      are among Emilia
                                                      Hazelip's disciples, have worked in several projects
                                                      in Spain. You can reach
                                                      them at the address:

                                                      kanbio@...


                                                      I know what you mean about the difference between
                                                      theory and practice, I am
                                                      not getting very far with my tomato blight enquiries
                                                      ;-) Also, specific
                                                      local conditions are veeeery important. Originally, I
                                                      am from a
                                                      water-problematic region, not only for its
                                                      Mediterrenean climate but also
                                                      because of the carsic structure of the soil and
                                                      underground, so I was
                                                      sensitive to the water-conservation, e.g. keeping the
                                                      soil moist, part of
                                                      the story. But it backfired having moved to a very
                                                      humid place. We are
                                                      blessed by abundance of water here, a major river,
                                                      plenty of streams and
                                                      sources, frequent rains, overnight humudity... And a
                                                      completely opposite set
                                                      of problems: fungal disease above all. So I did
                                                      mistakes like planting
                                                      tomatoes too close, and found out too late that I
                                                      didn't need to worry about
                                                      dry soil, rather about infection spreading. I'm
                                                      currently researching the
                                                      question of spores surviving the winter and I'm
                                                      desperate about all the
                                                      biomass laying around (falling leaves), which is
                                                      infected by all sorts of
                                                      fungi and moulds. Some I can identify, of others I'm
                                                      not sure, and I doubt I
                                                      can be good enough at making very hot compost to be
                                                      sure I get rid of the
                                                      risks of carrying the disease into the next season
                                                      (I'm a beginner anyway).

                                                      Now, very probably something is out of balance here,
                                                      in the sense that there
                                                      should not be so much of this type of disease. I
                                                      observe the difference
                                                      between the wild and the "domesticated" plants, the
                                                      wild being usually
                                                      healthy close to the infected domesticated. But now,
                                                      the wild plants have
                                                      taken it up too, and this is quite worrying. I
                                                      mentioned the broadleaf dock
                                                      and dandelion, but even some stinging nettle has been
                                                      involved! It's sort of
                                                      scary. To say nothing of all the trees around. There
                                                      are some beautiful
                                                      apples and peer trees around the garden here (planted
                                                      by my landlords years
                                                      ago), and they are all sick, and scattering around
                                                      masses of sick leaves.
                                                      Hmmm, even if I wanted to do something about it,
                                                      there's no question of
                                                      spraying any helping preparations (we have planty of
                                                      horsetail around, which
                                                      could help) on those giants, too tall, too many
                                                      branches... And we are in a
                                                      context of small houses with gardens, all around, so
                                                      spores can easily
                                                      travel from one patch to the other, it's really a
                                                      community issue.

                                                      Phytophthora is the potato blight, originally, the one
                                                      which caused the
                                                      Irish famine. And potato, like tomato, is NOT original
                                                      from Europe. So I
                                                      guess the true root of the problem is that we are
                                                      dealing with imported
                                                      species which were never really meant for this
                                                      climate, nor is the
                                                      environment here "programmed" to deal with their
                                                      pathologies and reestablish
                                                      a balance by itself, so the original imbalance is many
                                                      centuries old, but it
                                                      becomes apparent now, when these cultures have spread
                                                      to wide extensions.

                                                      I guess that if we take the natural philosophy too
                                                      strictly, we have to come
                                                      to the conclusion of letting the fungal diseases wipe
                                                      out the vegetables
                                                      they feed on, and themselves as a consequence, after
                                                      many years the
                                                      environment here will be clean of both, and then
                                                      better we go on with local
                                                      species and forget about tomato and potato.

                                                      OR we stay aware that we are forcing Mother Nature's
                                                      hand a little bit and
                                                      try to find some acceptable and workable compromise.

                                                      We are in the process of getting a national park
                                                      established here, and I
                                                      understand Dieter's point perfectly and have similar
                                                      worries for a series of
                                                      areas which are actually inhabited (or were before the
                                                      war - we are in
                                                      Bosnia), so there has been agriculture and cattle
                                                      breeding there for
                                                      centuries. The guys who did the feasibility study seem
                                                      to have been very
                                                      superficial on that, didn't really explore the area
                                                      thoroughly, which is a
                                                      returnee's area with people slowly going back to their
                                                      villages. There are
                                                      ideas of a "zero area" (total protection, everything
                                                      forbidden) to be
                                                      established were it really shouldn't be, since it's
                                                      not total wilderness but
                                                      a mixed ecosystem, of which humans have been a part
                                                      for a long time.

                                                      So please, Dieter, if you have texts (you quoted press
                                                      articles) pointing
                                                      out to these situations, send them to me, because I'm
                                                      in the phase of giving
                                                      feedback to the federal government here on the
                                                      proposed law, and overall
                                                      project.

                                                      paola



                                                      SPONSORED LINKS

                                                      Organic gardening
                                                      Organic farming
                                                      Farming organic
                                                      Organic gardening magazine
                                                      Organic gardening
                                                      supply Organic
                                                      vegetable gardening


                                                      ---------------------------------
                                                      YAHOO! GROUPS LINKS


                                                      Visit your group "fukuoka_farming" on the web.

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

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


                                                      ---------------------------------






                                                      ___________________________________________________________
                                                      To help you stay safe and secure online, we've developed the all new Yahoo! Security Centre. http://uk.security.yahoo.com
                                                    Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.