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Re: [fukuoka_farming] Natural Farming in a Mediterranean climate

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  • 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 1 of 25 , Dec 18, 2005

      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,

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

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


      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

      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:


      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



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