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COVER CROP

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  • rajutitus lal
    Dear friends, Cover crop Keeping cover crop has so many advantages. 1-It controls weeds. 2-It provides moisture, water vapours comes up condenced due to cold
    Message 1 of 15 , Apr 29, 2006
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      Dear friends,

      Cover crop Keeping cover crop has so many advantages.
      1-It controls weeds.

      2-It provides moisture, water vapours comes up condenced due to cold green cover.

      3-It provides shade for earth worms.

      4-Roots provides use ful nutrients with the help of soil building microbes.

      5- This stops soil erosion.

      6It provides shelter for many frogs.lizards which control harmful insects,catterpillars etc.

      7-Green cover keeps ground cold and warm as per requirement of the biodiversity.

      8- Green cover protects ground from rain,air and sun.

      9-When we scatter seeds in the green ground cover they are protected by birds.

      10-We cut back cover crop to allow our main crop to grow, mulch of this also ptotects seedlings and provides manure.

      Any ground cover crop is helpful.Beens/pulses grow well in the ground cover of grass.Non-grass ground coves are good for grains such as rice , wheat,sorgum,maiz etc.
      In no-till agricultuer use of herbicide,cardboard,stones,sand all are for killing. This is not
      eco-friendly.
      RajuTitus



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    • Gloria C. Baikauskas
      Exactly! I have experimented using both ways. With the cardboard I found it took longer to decompose than I was told it would. First problem. I had no
      Message 2 of 15 , Apr 29, 2006
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        Exactly! I have experimented using both ways. With the cardboard I
        found it took longer to decompose than I was told it would. First
        problem. I had no problems using the cover crop at all...which was
        hairy vetch at the time.

        My experiments told me using the cardboard was against Nature...not
        helping it at all.

        Gloria, Texas

        --- In fukuoka_farming@yahoogroups.com, rajutitus lal
        <rajuktitus@...> wrote:
        >
        > Dear friends,
        >
        > Cover crop Keeping cover crop has so many advantages.
        > 1-It controls weeds.
        >
        > 2-It provides moisture, water vapours comes up condenced due to
        cold green cover.
        >
        > 3-It provides shade for earth worms.
        >
        > 4-Roots provides use ful nutrients with the help of soil building
        microbes.
        >
        > 5- This stops soil erosion.
        >
        > 6It provides shelter for many frogs.lizards which control
        harmful insects,catterpillars etc.
        >
        > 7-Green cover keeps ground cold and warm as per requirement of
        the biodiversity.
        >
        > 8- Green cover protects ground from rain,air and sun.
        >
        > 9-When we scatter seeds in the green ground cover they are
        protected by birds.
        >
        > 10-We cut back cover crop to allow our main crop to grow, mulch
        of this also ptotects seedlings and provides manure.
        >
        > Any ground cover crop is helpful.Beens/pulses grow well in the
        ground cover of grass.Non-grass ground coves are good for grains such
        as rice , wheat,sorgum,maiz etc.
        > In no-till agricultuer use of herbicide,cardboard,stones,sand
        all are for killing. This is not
        > eco-friendly.
        > RajuTitus
        >
        >
        >
        > ---------------------------------
        > Love cheap thrills? Enjoy PC-to-Phone calls to 30+ countries for
        just 2¢/min with Yahoo! Messenger with Voice.
        >
        > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        >
      • d pfalzer
        As a Floridian and a newcomer to all of this, I would very much like to hear about the cover crops you use. I am uncertain which ones will be happy where I am.
        Message 3 of 15 , Apr 30, 2006
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          As a Floridian and a newcomer to all of this, I would
          very much like to hear about the cover crops you use.
          I am uncertain which ones will be happy where I am.

          --- "Gloria C. Baikauskas" <gcb49@...> wrote:

          > Exactly! I have experimented using both ways. With
          > the cardboard I
          > found it took longer to decompose than I was told it
          > would. First
          > problem. I had no problems using the cover crop at
          > all...which was
          > hairy vetch at the time.
          >
          > My experiments told me using the cardboard was
          > against Nature...not
          > helping it at all.
          >
          > Gloria, Texas
          >
          > --- In fukuoka_farming@yahoogroups.com, rajutitus
          > lal
          > <rajuktitus@...> wrote:
          > >
          > > Dear friends,
          > >
          > > Cover crop Keeping cover crop has so many
          > advantages.
          > > 1-It controls weeds.
          > >
          > > 2-It provides moisture, water vapours comes up
          > condenced due to
          > cold green cover.
          > >
          > > 3-It provides shade for earth worms.
          > >
          > > 4-Roots provides use ful nutrients with the help
          > of soil building
          > microbes.
          > >
          > > 5- This stops soil erosion.
          > >
          > > 6It provides shelter for many frogs.lizards
          > which control
          > harmful insects,catterpillars etc.
          > >
          > > 7-Green cover keeps ground cold and warm as per
          > requirement of
          > the biodiversity.
          > >
          > > 8- Green cover protects ground from rain,air and
          > sun.
          > >
          > > 9-When we scatter seeds in the green ground
          > cover they are
          > protected by birds.
          > >
          > > 10-We cut back cover crop to allow our main crop
          > to grow, mulch
          > of this also ptotects seedlings and provides manure.
          > >
          > > Any ground cover crop is helpful.Beens/pulses
          > grow well in the
          > ground cover of grass.Non-grass ground coves are
          > good for grains such
          > as rice , wheat,sorgum,maiz etc.
          > > In no-till agricultuer use of
          > herbicide,cardboard,stones,sand
          > all are for killing. This is not
          > > eco-friendly.
          > > RajuTitus
          > >
          > >
          > >
          > > ---------------------------------
          > > Love cheap thrills? Enjoy PC-to-Phone calls to
          > 30+ countries for
          > just 2¢/min with Yahoo! Messenger with Voice.
          > >
          > > [Non-text portions of this message have been
          > removed]
          > >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          > Yahoo! Groups Links
          >
          >
          > fukuoka_farming-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >


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        • poojyum
          Dear Rajuji, I whole heartedly agree. I was also thinking of just sowing seed among the weeds too in addition to keeping clover. Will this be ok? Will the
          Message 4 of 15 , Apr 30, 2006
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            Dear Rajuji,

            I whole heartedly agree. I was also thinking of just sowing seed among
            the 'weeds' too in addition to keeping clover. Will this be ok? Will
            the weeds compete and prevent growth of my crop?

            Thank you.
            Jagan.
          • Gloria C. Baikauskas
            You will need to check locally I think. Clover is maybe the best..but not all clovers grow well in the South. If you check out some websites you will find
            Message 5 of 15 , Apr 30, 2006
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              You will need to check locally I think. Clover is maybe the
              best..but not all clovers grow well in the South. If you check out
              some websites you will find there are some clovers just for the
              warmer temperatures.

              In the fall you can plant hairy vetch. Here in my part of Texas it
              is September, as I recall. I let mine reseed itself wherever
              possible for a while. I lost it last year and have to resow it. It
              has to grow in the winter/early spring in the Southern US.

              I am not sure if you can plant buckwheat, or not, in Florida. Do a
              search of your local university ag site.

              Gloria, Texas

              --- In fukuoka_farming@yahoogroups.com, d pfalzer <d_pfalzer@...>
              wrote:
              >
              > As a Floridian and a newcomer to all of this, I would
              > very much like to hear about the cover crops you use.
              > I am uncertain which ones will be happy where I am.
              >
              > --- "Gloria C. Baikauskas" <gcb49@...> wrote:
              >
              > > Exactly! I have experimented using both ways. With
              > > the cardboard I
              > > found it took longer to decompose than I was told it
              > > would. First
              > > problem. I had no problems using the cover crop at
              > > all...which was
              > > hairy vetch at the time.
              > >
              > > My experiments told me using the cardboard was
              > > against Nature...not
              > > helping it at all.
              > >
              > > Gloria, Texas
              > >
              > > --- In fukuoka_farming@yahoogroups.com, rajutitus
              > > lal
              > > <rajuktitus@> wrote:
              > > >
              > > > Dear friends,
              > > >
              > > > Cover crop Keeping cover crop has so many
              > > advantages.
              > > > 1-It controls weeds.
              > > >
              > > > 2-It provides moisture, water vapours comes up
              > > condenced due to
              > > cold green cover.
              > > >
              > > > 3-It provides shade for earth worms.
              > > >
              > > > 4-Roots provides use ful nutrients with the help
              > > of soil building
              > > microbes.
              > > >
              > > > 5- This stops soil erosion.
              > > >
              > > > 6It provides shelter for many frogs.lizards
              > > which control
              > > harmful insects,catterpillars etc.
              > > >
              > > > 7-Green cover keeps ground cold and warm as per
              > > requirement of
              > > the biodiversity.
              > > >
              > > > 8- Green cover protects ground from rain,air and
              > > sun.
              > > >
              > > > 9-When we scatter seeds in the green ground
              > > cover they are
              > > protected by birds.
              > > >
              > > > 10-We cut back cover crop to allow our main crop
              > > to grow, mulch
              > > of this also ptotects seedlings and provides manure.
              > > >
              > > > Any ground cover crop is helpful.Beens/pulses
              > > grow well in the
              > > ground cover of grass.Non-grass ground coves are
              > > good for grains such
              > > as rice , wheat,sorgum,maiz etc.
              > > > In no-till agricultuer use of
              > > herbicide,cardboard,stones,sand
              > > all are for killing. This is not
              > > > eco-friendly.
              > > > RajuTitus
              > > >
              > > >
              > > >
              > > > ---------------------------------
              > > > Love cheap thrills? Enjoy PC-to-Phone calls to
              > > 30+ countries for
              > > just 2¢/min with Yahoo! Messenger with Voice.
              > > >
              > > > [Non-text portions of this message have been
              > > removed]
              > > >
              > >
              > >
              > >
              > >
              > >
              > >
              > >
              > > Yahoo! Groups Links
              > >
              > >
              > > fukuoka_farming-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com
              > >
              > >
              > >
              > >
              > >
              >
              >
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            • rajutitus lal
              Dear friend, Actually nothing like weeds in natural way of farming. Nature always covers land with vegetation .We can take advantage of natural ground cover
              Message 6 of 15 , Apr 30, 2006
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                Dear friend,
                Actually nothing like weeds in natural way of farming. Nature always covers land with vegetation .We can take advantage of natural ground cover for growing
                crops. If we don’t have suitable naturally grown ground cover then scattering of seeds
                of ground cover crop is necessary. In our field we tried so many but Acasia(subabul)
                generally known as Australian acasia did well. This is a deep rooted leguminous plant ones hold land started scatter thousands of seeds.We are growing Rice and Wheat in its seedlings ground cover, we put seed balls of Rice in rainy season and in winter after harvesting rice we directly scatter wheat in the mulch of Rice straw.

                There is advantage of keeping shade on ground, what we want to grow will come up so many seeds of unwanted vegetation will remain dorment in shade.In our land acasia remain dorment in the shade of crops.

                Therefore I suggest first take advantage of locally avilable ground cover then introduce
                leguminous.One should always remember that leguminous crops grow well in grass and serials of grass variety grow well in non-leguminous ground cover.

                In India Gajar grass is spreadig every where.People say this is very bad, it creates alergy,
                this is introduced delibrately by Americans with the wheat supplied by americans during
                femine with the agreement of P.L.480.Doctors given name of disease and medical companies are making medicine.These are all false stories.

                Gajar grass is a very good ground cover . It is spreading because farmers tilling and killing weeds. Nature is providing clothes to Mother earth.

                Raju Titus


                poojyum <poojyum@...> wrote: Dear Rajuji,

                I whole heartedly agree. I was also thinking of just sowing seed among
                the 'weeds' too in addition to keeping clover. Will this be ok? Will
                the weeds compete and prevent growth of my crop?

                Thank you.
                Jagan.









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              • poojyum
                Dear Rajuji (and other list members), Normally I cut back the grass, weed a bit & sow my seed. However when the rains come the grass and weeds seem to grow
                Message 7 of 15 , May 9, 2006
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                  Dear Rajuji (and other list members),

                  Normally I cut back the grass, weed a bit & sow my seed. However when
                  the rains come the grass and weeds seem to grow fast and my seed
                  doesnt seem to germinate. If I leave it like that wont the grass/weeds
                  shade my seeds? What should I do? Be patient? Or keep cutting back the
                  weeds/grass? Thats too much work :(

                  The other problem is many seedlings get attacked by snails, slugs,
                  pigeons or mice. Just as it is happy to see a seedling sprout, its
                  equally sad to see it taken away. My neighbours put netting around the
                  seedling to prevent these 'pests'. And its working. They have a row of
                  healthy looking runner bean seedlings. While mine is devoured. But it
                  is like growing crops in a jail! I dont want to do that. But it is
                  hard to hope that nature will balance all this. How to deal with this
                  disappointment? Do you have any suggestions. My way of coping with
                  this is to sow another seed.

                  Thanks.
                  SJ
                • Steven McCollough
                  SJ, If you put your seedlings in a row, they are prone to all suffering from the same fate. If you put your seedlings in an area with no other growing
                  Message 8 of 15 , May 9, 2006
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                    SJ,

                    If you put your seedlings in a row, they are prone to all suffering
                    from the same fate. If you put your seedlings in an area with no other
                    growing plants, they will be targeted by pests. If you plant just what
                    you need, that's not sharing with nature.

                    If you put your seedlings in a mixed growing environment with other
                    plants they are partially hidden. If you grow many more than you need
                    there will be some left for you. If you plant from seedballs they will
                    be protected until they get started. If you plant into a standing crop
                    and cut the crop after yours gets started they will take off from the
                    increase in light and space. If you put the litter from that cut crop
                    back over your plants as mulch they will be additionally protected.

                    The trick is to plant the right plants at the right time following the
                    right crop and cutting the overgrowth at the right time. Don't expect
                    success every time and be prepared to have little success at first and
                    more as you figure out what works for you. OK, this is hard when you
                    have to wait a year between experiments and you are hoping to eat your
                    plants after all that work.

                    Fukuoka had a kitchen garden as well as the farming fields. I suspect
                    he had the same problems.

                    Steve

                    poojyum wrote:

                    >Dear Rajuji (and other list members),
                    >
                    >Normally I cut back the grass, weed a bit & sow my seed. However when
                    >the rains come the grass and weeds seem to grow fast and my seed
                    >doesnt seem to germinate. If I leave it like that wont the grass/weeds
                    >shade my seeds? What should I do? Be patient? Or keep cutting back the
                    >weeds/grass? Thats too much work :(
                    >
                    >The other problem is many seedlings get attacked by snails, slugs,
                    >pigeons or mice. Just as it is happy to see a seedling sprout, its
                    >equally sad to see it taken away. My neighbours put netting around the
                    >seedling to prevent these 'pests'. And its working. They have a row of
                    >healthy looking runner bean seedlings. While mine is devoured. But it
                    >is like growing crops in a jail! I dont want to do that. But it is
                    >hard to hope that nature will balance all this. How to deal with this
                    >disappointment? Do you have any suggestions. My way of coping with
                    >this is to sow another seed.
                    >
                    >Thanks.
                    >SJ
                    >
                  • poojyum
                    Hello Steve, Thank you for suggestions. ... I dont put seedlings in a row. I sow seed at random - here and there. ... My plot is full of so called weeds .
                    Message 9 of 15 , May 10, 2006
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                      Hello Steve,

                      Thank you for suggestions.

                      > If you put your seedlings in a row, they are prone to all suffering
                      > from the same fate.

                      I dont put seedlings in a row. I sow seed at random - here and there.

                      >If you put your seedlings in an area with no other
                      > growing plants, they will be targeted by pests. If you plant just
                      >what
                      > you need, that's not sharing with nature.

                      >
                      > If you put your seedlings in a mixed growing environment with other
                      > plants they are partially hidden. If you grow many more than you
                      >need there will be some left for you.

                      My plot is full of so called 'weeds'. There was 1 area where I had dug
                      due to pressure from a fellow plot holder. I regret doing that. And
                      that area doesnt have too many plants. Unfortunately in that area my
                      seedlings are thriving!

                      I'm not planting only what I need. I dont even count how many seeds I
                      sow. I sow a lot. For example I sowed probably 50 broadbeans seeds
                      here and there. Of them about 10 have come up and 3 are standing
                      today. The 3 are eaten up here and there. I am happy for the 3 yes but
                      it seems they are there only because they have not been found by the
                      'pests' yet!

                      >If you plant from seedballs they will
                      > be protected until they get started.

                      With seedballs I have had very poor result. Probably its not the right
                      clay I dont know. I picked up clay from a molehill along the tracks I
                      cycle thru. It seemed soft, natural & local. I had 1 spinach, a couple
                      lettuce from seedballs.

                      >If you plant into a standing crop
                      > and cut the crop after yours gets started they will take off from the
                      > increase in light and space. If you put the litter from that cut crop
                      > back over your plants as mulch they will be additionally protected.

                      When I sow a seed, I cut back on the grasses/'weeds' a bit & sow. If I
                      was transplanting a seedling, I cut back and as you suggest put it
                      back as mulch to hide them and to save some moisture.

                      >
                      > The trick is to plant the right plants at the right time following the
                      > right crop and cutting the overgrowth at the right time. Don't expect
                      > success every time and be prepared to have little success at first and
                      > more as you figure out what works for you. OK, this is hard when you
                      > have to wait a year between experiments and you are hoping to eat your
                      > plants after all that work.
                      >
                      > Fukuoka had a kitchen garden as well as the farming fields. I suspect
                      > he had the same problems.
                      >
                      > Steve

                      Thank you for writing. I will keep experimenting.
                    • torskel87
                      Hello everyone This is Miguel from Ecuador,I am very interested in letting my plants to reseed by themselfs, and now my doughts are how to let this occur
                      Message 10 of 15 , May 10, 2006
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                        Hello everyone
                        This is Miguel from Ecuador,I am very interested in letting my
                        plants to reseed by themselfs, and now my doughts are how to let
                        this occur naturally, because here there are not harsh winters
                        (there is not snow) and when the plants go to seed most of it will
                        be eaten by birds,so might it be better to make seedballs.??
                        Other question is how to do to obtain daikon seeds, I sow lots of
                        Daikon in the winter, in some places I put a clover crop, in others
                        not but I had the same results, I had a really good harvest, some
                        daikons weighted more than 2 kl, I let some daikon and they went to
                        seed, but close to them there were lots of mustard, wild radish, and
                        other wild brassicas, most of the in flower and with lots bees,
                        ladybugs,, pollinating them,so I thought that it was something
                        completly natural, in this way new species will born, but I want to
                        eat daikon not a mix of everything,how would be a way to get not
                        mixed seed in a natural way .???
                        Other thing that I´ve been wondering about is how to cultivate in
                        hilly land in a natural way, I am starting my natural farm in a
                        really hilly land, so I was thinking in making terraces, but to do
                        them I will need to move a lot of soil,to make earthen banks,
                        walls,and level the ground, might it be naturally to do this ???
                        allthough I don´t see other way to controll erosion, and retain
                        humidity, somebody has experience with this.???
                        Any advice will be helpfull
                        Thanks
                        --- In fukuoka_farming@yahoogroups.com, "poojyum" <poojyum@...>
                        wrote:
                        >
                        > Hello Steve,
                        >
                        > Thank you for suggestions.
                        >
                        > > If you put your seedlings in a row, they are prone to all
                        suffering
                        > > from the same fate.
                        >
                        > I dont put seedlings in a row. I sow seed at random - here and
                        there.
                        >
                        > >If you put your seedlings in an area with no other
                        > > growing plants, they will be targeted by pests. If you plant
                        just
                        > >what
                        > > you need, that's not sharing with nature.
                        >
                        > >
                        > > If you put your seedlings in a mixed growing environment with
                        other
                        > > plants they are partially hidden. If you grow many more than you
                        > >need there will be some left for you.
                        >
                        > My plot is full of so called 'weeds'. There was 1 area where I had
                        dug
                        > due to pressure from a fellow plot holder. I regret doing that. And
                        > that area doesnt have too many plants. Unfortunately in that area
                        my
                        > seedlings are thriving!
                        >
                        > I'm not planting only what I need. I dont even count how many
                        seeds I
                        > sow. I sow a lot. For example I sowed probably 50 broadbeans seeds
                        > here and there. Of them about 10 have come up and 3 are standing
                        > today. The 3 are eaten up here and there. I am happy for the 3 yes
                        but
                        > it seems they are there only because they have not been found by
                        the
                        > 'pests' yet!
                        >
                        > >If you plant from seedballs they will
                        > > be protected until they get started.
                        >
                        > With seedballs I have had very poor result. Probably its not the
                        right
                        > clay I dont know. I picked up clay from a molehill along the
                        tracks I
                        > cycle thru. It seemed soft, natural & local. I had 1 spinach, a
                        couple
                        > lettuce from seedballs.
                        >
                        > >If you plant into a standing crop
                        > > and cut the crop after yours gets started they will take off
                        from the
                        > > increase in light and space. If you put the litter from that
                        cut crop
                        > > back over your plants as mulch they will be additionally
                        protected.
                        >
                        > When I sow a seed, I cut back on the grasses/'weeds' a bit & sow.
                        If I
                        > was transplanting a seedling, I cut back and as you suggest put it
                        > back as mulch to hide them and to save some moisture.
                        >
                        > >
                        > > The trick is to plant the right plants at the right time
                        following the
                        > > right crop and cutting the overgrowth at the right time. Don't
                        expect
                        > > success every time and be prepared to have little success at
                        first and
                        > > more as you figure out what works for you. OK, this is hard
                        when you
                        > > have to wait a year between experiments and you are hoping to
                        eat your
                        > > plants after all that work.
                        > >
                        > > Fukuoka had a kitchen garden as well as the farming fields. I
                        suspect
                        > > he had the same problems.
                        > >
                        > > Steve
                        >
                        > Thank you for writing. I will keep experimenting.
                        >
                      • Niels Corfield
                        ... * Seed Saving and varietal purity* A method for saving pure seeds from the Daikon is probably to grow a few of them in one place, doesn t matter where but
                        Message 11 of 15 , Jun 9, 2006
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                          torskel87 wrote:

                          > Hello everyone
                          > This is Miguel from Ecuador,I am very interested in letting my
                          > plants to reseed by themselfs, and now my doughts are how to let
                          > this occur naturally, because here there are not harsh winters
                          > (there is not snow) and when the plants go to seed most of it will
                          > be eaten by birds,so might it be better to make seedballs.??
                          > Other question is how to do to obtain daikon seeds, I sow lots of
                          > Daikon in the winter, in some places I put a clover crop, in others
                          > not but I had the same results, I had a really good harvest, some
                          > daikons weighted more than 2 kl, I let some daikon and they went to
                          > seed, but close to them there were lots of mustard, wild radish, and
                          > other wild brassicas, most of the in flower and with lots bees,
                          > ladybugs,, pollinating them,so I thought that it was something
                          > completly natural, in this way new species will born, but I want to
                          > eat daikon not a mix of everything,how would be a way to get not
                          > mixed seed in a natural way .???

                          *"Seed Saving" and varietal purity*
                          A method for saving pure seeds from the Daikon is probably to grow a few
                          of them in one place, doesn't matter where but a few plants together
                          with no other brassicas around them. Then you will need to net off these
                          plants, and now the tricky bit. I will say at this point that I have not
                          done this my self but have seen examples at The Heritage Seeds Library
                          (HSL), UK and in a book from Kokkopelli.
                          At the HSL they use dedicated pollinating insects which spend their
                          whole lives inside small plastic tunnels, _all other insects are
                          excluded_. This last point is key.
                          This example however they buy insect eggs. So maybe not suitable for our
                          needs.
                          _HSL website:_
                          http://www.gardenorganic.org.uk/hsl/whos_who.php


                          Another method is to hand-pollinate.
                          Again you will need to net-off the radish from other brassica, though
                          other plants are fine. Then at a time when the plants are in flower you
                          can use a small paint brush to transfer pollen from one plant to another.
                          At this point I will ask a question of the group.
                          Are monoescious? By this I mean are there male and female flowers on the
                          same plant? If this is the case then you can get away with transfering
                          pollen from male to female flowers on _the same plant._ However I think
                          it would probably better to do it from another plant. Not essential.
                          Do remember _no insects can enter your net when you are hand-pollinating
                          _or at any time during flowering. Net must remain _until seed is set.

                          __
                          _

                          > Other thing that I´ve been wondering about is how to cultivate in
                          > hilly land in a natural way, I am starting my natural farm in a
                          > really hilly land, so I was thinking in making terraces, but to do
                          > them I will need to move a lot of soil,to make earthen banks,
                          > walls,and level the ground, might it be naturally to do this ???
                          > allthough I don´t see other way to controll erosion, and retain
                          > humidity, somebody has experience with this.???

                          *Upland cultivation and Soil Erosion
                          *First of all, I think that you should _not _make terraces. Again, I
                          have no experience personally but it is clear they are extremely
                          labour-intensive to build and will always need your attention.
                          Secondly if you are sticking with Fukuoka's advice and not digging
                          (tilling, cultivating or removing vegitative cover) you will not have a
                          major soil "retention" issue. I use this term so that we can stay, in
                          language, in the positive. We are "keeping soil"/"retaining soil" rather
                          than preventing /soil erosion/.
                          "doing" options include:
                          -Swales: ditches laid, or dug "along
                          contour" (across the slope). i.e. the opposite of down slope.
                          -Contour hedges: dense vegetation planted at regular
                          intervals along contour. e.g. Vetiver grass (non-invasive, infertile,
                          lots of biomass) or Sweet clover.
                          -Contour planting: trees or shrubs planted as above. Can
                          be called "alley cropping".
                          -Mulching/Cover crops: the use of vigorous cover crops to produce
                          mulch (e.g. _Maize-mucuna_) or be a companion to your crops.

                          _
                          Links_
                          Vetiver
                          http://www.vetiver.com/TVN_greenEng.pdf (500KB download) Vetiver Hedge
                          www.vetiver.com

                          Alleycropping
                          http://images.google.co.uk/images?svnum=10&hl=en&lr=&safe=off&client=firefox-a&rls=org.mozilla%3Aen-GB%3Aofficial_s&q=alleycropping&btnG=Search
                          http://del.icio.us/entrailer/Alley-Cropping

                          Maize-Mucuna
                          http://del.icio.us/entrailer/Maize-Mucuna
                          http://www.tropag-fieldtrip.cornell.edu/Thurston_TA/pslashmulch.html

                          Agroforestry (Agrofloresta)
                          http://www.fazendasaoluiz.com/agrofloresta.htm (Portuguese)
                          *Contours: MArking and Measurement*
                          It is very important to accurately survey the field to find out where
                          the contours are.
                          For this a number of simple tools can be constructed. They are standard
                          permaculture tools: an "a-frame" is perhaps the simplest.
                          It is not important where exactly your contours are measured from and
                          to. Only that they _are the same height all the way along_.
                          You can decide on the spacing for yourself, probably narrower than you
                          might build a terrace.

                          Anyone know any other good resrouces for swales and surveying?
                          Particularly from the permaculture list.

                          *Strips, Contours, Plants and Combining Them*
                          Once you have marked your contours then you can decide what to do on
                          them: swales, hedges, tree etc or combination of all of these at
                          different intervals.
                          It is no problem to have trees and hedge plants in the same contour
                          "strip" and plant them into a swale.
                          _Greening the Desert
                          http://www.permaculture.org.au/_ (click on the image in the right hand
                          side with the above title)
                          _
                          _You might have trees planted every other contour strip, so they shade
                          the slope and the in-between swale/hedge.
                          Like tree-hedge-tree-hedge. With each one having a swale in it as well.
                          Or combinations there of.
                          Perhaps put in a _small pond _every few swales, at different places
                          along the length.

                          There are so many variables. This is where it gets really exciting.
                          But starting small, you could dig just one or two swales and plant them
                          with fast growing cover crops like vetiver or sweet clover and just a
                          few trees, or tree seeds, along the length. Then next winter take
                          cuttings from the trees and start to spread them out along the contour.

                          *Uses, Outputs and Produce and _Questions_*
                          It would be useful to talk about what plants and seeds you have
                          available and what is native in your local area.
                          Upland production of trees will be for: fuel, fodder and food etc.
                          And hedges will provide: mulch, fodder.
                          _CLimate
                          _What is your regional climate?
                          Average rainfall? Do you have heavy rains? Then periods of drought? How
                          frequent is rainfall?
                          _Vegetation_
                          What is the vegetation like on these slopes?
                          Are there many trees already? What kind of cover exists? Seasonally and
                          perrenially.
                          _Condition of Land and Previous Uses_
                          Is the land degraded? Has it been used for agriculture before?
                          Has there been grazing? Will you wish to graze it? If yes: then will it
                          be Seasonally, in rotation or permanent? And with what animals?
                          _Trees and Fertility_
                          What are your native nitrogen-fixing trees and shrubs? Is there seeds
                          freely available? To buy or gather?
                          These trees will provide the back-bone of any long-term productivity,
                          especially in an upland situation.
                          Some examples are: Inga, Leucana, Wattles. But natives or local species
                          are better. And hopefully more available
                          _Resources_
                          How many people can you count on to work on your project?
                          What is the usual minimum people you work with day-to-day? What tasks
                          can you do that will contribute to the "upland project" when your large
                          labour-force is not available, or needed?
                          For example, it will be perfectly possible to do the contour marking
                          with just 2 people.
                          How much seeds can you get your hands on? How long will it take to
                          gather/buy? How much space do I have for storage? Do you, or a
                          neighbour, have experience with handling tree seeds or cuttings?



                          *Some things to Remember*

                          _Mulch = (fertile) soil_
                          So you can never have enough of it. But remember you have to grow it in
                          the field.

                          _Marking Swales/Contours_
                          Remember to mark your contours well. If you are not going to dig your
                          swale/plant contour hedges on the same day.
                          If the markers get blown away or eaten it is some time wasted.
                          I will ask Geoff Lawton the question of how many and what spacing and
                          placement is appropriate in the first phase.
                          Though I should have thought one complete and planted-up swale half up
                          the slope would be better than none.

                          When you reply This mail will be passed on to other internation networks
                          for further advice.

                          All the best,
                          Niels
                          http://del.icio.us/entrailer
                          http://nocompost.blogspot.com/
                          http://www.flickr.com/photos/65387153@N00/



                          > Any advice will be helpfull
                          > Thanks
                          > --- In fukuoka_farming@yahoogroups.com, "poojyum" <poojyum@...>
                          > wrote:
                          > >
                          > > Hello Steve,
                          > >
                          > > Thank you for suggestions.
                          > >
                          > > > If you put your seedlings in a row, they are prone to all
                          > suffering
                          > > > from the same fate.
                          > >
                          > > I dont put seedlings in a row. I sow seed at random - here and
                          > there.
                          > >
                          > > >If you put your seedlings in an area with no other
                          > > > growing plants, they will be targeted by pests. If you plant
                          > just
                          > > >what
                          > > > you need, that's not sharing with nature.
                          > >
                          > > >
                          > > > If you put your seedlings in a mixed growing environment with
                          > other
                          > > > plants they are partially hidden. If you grow many more than you
                          > > >need there will be some left for you.
                          > >
                          > > My plot is full of so called 'weeds'. There was 1 area where I had
                          > dug
                          > > due to pressure from a fellow plot holder. I regret doing that. And
                          > > that area doesnt have too many plants. Unfortunately in that area
                          > my
                          > > seedlings are thriving!
                          > >
                          > > I'm not planting only what I need. I dont even count how many
                          > seeds I
                          > > sow. I sow a lot. For example I sowed probably 50 broadbeans seeds
                          > > here and there. Of them about 10 have come up and 3 are standing
                          > > today. The 3 are eaten up here and there. I am happy for the 3 yes
                          > but
                          > > it seems they are there only because they have not been found by
                          > the
                          > > 'pests' yet!
                          > >
                          > > >If you plant from seedballs they will
                          > > > be protected until they get started.
                          > >
                          > > With seedballs I have had very poor result. Probably its not the
                          > right
                          > > clay I dont know. I picked up clay from a molehill along the
                          > tracks I
                          > > cycle thru. It seemed soft, natural & local. I had 1 spinach, a
                          > couple
                          > > lettuce from seedballs.
                          > >
                          > > >If you plant into a standing crop
                          > > > and cut the crop after yours gets started they will take off
                          > from the
                          > > > increase in light and space. If you put the litter from that
                          > cut crop
                          > > > back over your plants as mulch they will be additionally
                          > protected.
                          > >
                          > > When I sow a seed, I cut back on the grasses/'weeds' a bit & sow.
                          > If I
                          > > was transplanting a seedling, I cut back and as you suggest put it
                          > > back as mulch to hide them and to save some moisture.
                          > >
                          > > >
                          > > > The trick is to plant the right plants at the right time
                          > following the
                          > > > right crop and cutting the overgrowth at the right time. Don't
                          > expect
                          > > > success every time and be prepared to have little success at
                          > first and
                          > > > more as you figure out what works for you. OK, this is hard
                          > when you
                          > > > have to wait a year between experiments and you are hoping to
                          > eat your
                          > > > plants after all that work.
                          > > >
                          > > > Fukuoka had a kitchen garden as well as the farming fields. I
                          > suspect
                          > > > he had the same problems.
                          > > >
                          > > > Steve
                          > >
                          > > Thank you for writing. I will keep experimenting.
                          > >
                          >
                          >
                          >
                          >
                          >
                          >
                          >
                          >
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                        • Niels Corfield
                          Hi Torskel, See if any of this info helps. All the best, Niels http://del.icio.us/entrailer http://nocompost.blogspot.com/
                          Message 12 of 15 , Jun 13, 2006
                          • 0 Attachment
                            Hi Torskel,

                            See if any of this info helps.

                            All the best,
                            Niels
                            http://del.icio.us/entrailer
                            http://nocompost.blogspot.com/
                            http://www.flickr.com/photos/65387153@N00/



                            torskel87 wrote:

                            > Hello everyone
                            > This is Miguel from Ecuador,I am very interested in letting my
                            > plants to reseed by themselfs, and now my doughts are how to let
                            > this occur naturally, because here there are not harsh winters
                            > (there is not snow) and when the plants go to seed most of it will
                            > be eaten by birds,so might it be better to make seedballs.??
                            > Other question is how to do to obtain daikon seeds, I sow lots of
                            > Daikon in the winter, in some places I put a clover crop, in others
                            > not but I had the same results, I had a really good harvest, some
                            > daikons weighted more than 2 kl, I let some daikon and they went to
                            > seed, but close to them there were lots of mustard, wild radish, and
                            > other wild brassicas, most of the in flower and with lots bees,
                            > ladybugs,, pollinating them,so I thought that it was something
                            > completly natural, in this way new species will born, but I want to
                            > eat daikon not a mix of everything,how would be a way to get not
                            > mixed seed in a natural way .???

                            *"Seed Saving" and varietal purity*
                            A method for saving pure seeds from the Daikon is probably to grow a few
                            of them in one place, doesn't matter where but a few plants together
                            with no other brassicas around them. Then you will need to net off these
                            plants, and now the tricky bit. I will say at this point that I have not
                            done this my self but have seen examples at The Heritage Seeds Library
                            (HSL), UK and in a book from Kokkopelli.
                            At the HSL they use dedicated pollinating insects which spend their
                            whole lives inside small plastic tunnels, _all other insects are
                            excluded_. This last point is key.
                            This example however they buy insect eggs. So maybe not suitable for our
                            needs.
                            _HSL website:_
                            http://www.gardenorganic.org.uk/hsl/whos_who.php
                            Another method is to hand-pollinate.
                            Again you will need to net-off the radish from other brassica, though
                            other plants are fine. Then at a time when the plants are in flower you
                            can use a small paint brush to transfer pollen from one plant to another.
                            At this point I will ask a question of the group.
                            Are monoescious? By this I mean are there male and female flowers on the
                            same plant? If this is the case then you can get away with transferring
                            pollen from male to female flowers on _the same plant._ However I think
                            it would probably better to do it from another plant. Not essential.
                            Do remember _no insects can enter your net when you are hand-pollinating
                            _or at any time during flowering. Net must remain _until seed is set.


                            _Or you could just have a garden bed near the house specifically for
                            seed saving, then just add these seeds to seed balls for next season.
                            _
                            _

                            > Other thing that I´ve been wondering about is how to cultivate in
                            > hilly land in a natural way, I am starting my natural farm in a
                            > really hilly land, so I was thinking in making terraces, but to do
                            > them I will need to move a lot of soil,to make earthen banks,
                            > walls,and level the ground, might it be naturally to do this ???
                            > allthough I don´t see other way to controll erosion, and retain
                            > humidity, somebody has experience with this.???

                            *Upland cultivation and Soil Erosion
                            *First of all, I think that you should _not _make terraces. Again, I
                            have no experience personally but it is clear they are extremely
                            labour-intensive to build and will always need your attention.
                            Secondly if you are sticking with Fukuoka's advice and not digging
                            (tilling, cultivating or removing vegetative cover) you will not have a
                            major soil "retention" issue. I use this term so that we can stay, in
                            language, in the positive. We are "keeping soil"/"retaining soil" rather
                            than preventing /soil erosion/.
                            "doing" options include:
                            -Swales: ditches laid, or dug "along
                            contour" (across the slope). i.e. the opposite of down slope.
                            -Contour hedges: dense vegetation planted at regular
                            intervals along contour. e.g. Vetiver grass (non-invasive, infertile,
                            lots of biomass) or Sweet clover.
                            -Contour planting: trees or shrubs planted as above. Can
                            be called "alley cropping".
                            -Mulching/Cover crops: the use of vigorous cover crops to produce
                            mulch (e.g. _Maize-mucuna_) or be a companion to your crops.

                            _
                            Links_
                            Vetiver
                            http://www.vetiver.com/TVN_greenEng.pdf (500KB download) Vetiver Hedge
                            www.vetiver.com

                            Alleycropping
                            http://images.google.co.uk/images?svnum=10&hl=en&lr=&safe=off&client=firefox-a&rls=org.mozilla%3Aen-GB%3Aofficial_s&q=alleycropping&btnG=Search
                            http://del.icio.us/entrailer/Alley-Cropping

                            Maize-Mucuna
                            http://del.icio.us/entrailer/Maize-Mucuna
                            http://www.tropag-fieldtrip.cornell.edu/Thurston_TA/pslashmulch.html

                            Agroforestry (Agrofloresta)
                            http://www.fazendasaoluiz.com/agrofloresta.htm (Portuguese)
                            *Contours: MArking and Measurement*
                            It is very important to accurately survey the field to find out where
                            the contours are.
                            For this a number of simple tools can be constructed. They are standard
                            permaculture tools: an "a-frame" is perhaps the simplest.
                            It is not important where exactly your contours are measured from and
                            to. Only that they _are the same height all the way along_.
                            You can decide on the spacing for yourself, probably narrower than you
                            might build a terrace.

                            Anyone know any other good resources for swales and surveying?
                            Particularly from the permaculture list.

                            *Strips, Contours, Plants and Combining Them*
                            Once you have marked your contours then you can decide what to do on
                            them: swales, hedges, tree etc or combination of all of these at
                            different intervals.
                            It is no problem to have trees and hedge plants in the same contour
                            "strip" and plant them into a swale.
                            _Greening the Desert
                            http://www.permaculture.org.au/_ (click on the image in the right hand
                            side with the above title)
                            _
                            _You might have trees planted every other contour strip, so they shade
                            the slope and the in-between swale/hedge.
                            Like tree-hedge-tree-hedge. With each one having a swale in it as well.
                            Or combinations there of.
                            Perhaps put in a _small pond _every few swales, at different places
                            along the length.

                            There are so many variables. This is where it gets really exciting.
                            But starting small, you could dig just one or two swales and plant them
                            with fast growing cover crops like vetiver or sweet clover and just a
                            few trees, or tree seeds, along the length. Then next winter take
                            cuttings from the trees and start to spread them out along the contour.

                            *Uses, Outputs and Produce and _Questions_*
                            It would be useful to talk about what plants and seeds you have
                            available and what is native in your local area.
                            Upland production of trees will be for: fuel, fodder and food etc.
                            And hedges will provide: mulch, fodder.
                            _Climate
                            _What is your regional climate?
                            Average rainfall? Do you have heavy rains? Then periods of drought? How
                            frequent is rainfall?
                            _Vegetation_
                            What is the vegetation like on these slopes?
                            Are there many trees already? What kind of cover exists? Seasonally and
                            perrenially.
                            _Condition of Land and Previous Uses_
                            Is the land degraded? Has it been used for agriculture before?
                            Has there been grazing? Will you wish to graze it? If yes: then will it
                            be Seasonally, in rotation or permanent? And with what animals?
                            _Trees and Fertility_
                            What are your native nitrogen-fixing trees and shrubs? Is there seeds
                            freely available? To buy or gather?
                            These trees will provide the back-bone of any long-term productivity,
                            especially in an upland situation.
                            Some examples are: Inga, Leucana, Wattles. But natives or local species
                            are better. And hopefully more available
                            _Resources_
                            How many people can you count on to work on your project?
                            What is the usual minimum people you work with day-to-day? What tasks
                            can you do that will contribute to the "upland project" when your large
                            labour-force is not available, or needed?
                            For example, it will be perfectly possible to do the contour marking
                            with just 2 people.
                            How much seeds can you get your hands on? How long will it take to
                            gather/buy? How much space do I have for storage? Do you, or a
                            neighbour, have experience with handling tree seeds or cuttings?



                            *Some things to Remember*

                            _Mulch = (fertile) soil_
                            So you can never have enough of it. But remember you have to grow it in
                            the field.

                            _Marking Swales/Contours_
                            Remember to mark your contours well. If you are not going to dig your
                            swale/plant contour hedges on the same day.
                            If the markers get blown away or eaten it is some time wasted.
                            I will ask Geoff Lawton the question of how many and what spacing and
                            placement is appropriate in the first phase.
                            Though I should have thought one complete and planted-up swale half up
                            the slope would be better than none.

                            When you reply This mail will be passed on to other internation networks
                            for further advice.

                            All the best,
                            Niels
                            http://del.icio.us/entrailer
                            http://nocompost.blogspot.com/
                            http://www.flickr.com/photos/65387153@N00/



                            > Any advice will be helpfull
                            > Thanks
                            > --- In fukuoka_farming@yahoogroups.com, "poojyum" <poojyum@...>
                            > wrote:
                            > >
                            > > Hello Steve,
                            > >
                            > > Thank you for suggestions.
                            > >
                            > > > If you put your seedlings in a row, they are prone to all
                            > suffering
                            > > > from the same fate.
                            > >
                            > > I dont put seedlings in a row. I sow seed at random - here and
                            > there.
                            > >
                            > > >If you put your seedlings in an area with no other
                            > > > growing plants, they will be targeted by pests. If you plant
                            > just
                            > > >what
                            > > > you need, that's not sharing with nature.
                            > >
                            > > >
                            > > > If you put your seedlings in a mixed growing environment with
                            > other
                            > > > plants they are partially hidden. If you grow many more than you
                            > > >need there will be some left for you.
                            > >
                            > > My plot is full of so called 'weeds'. There was 1 area where I had
                            > dug
                            > > due to pressure from a fellow plot holder. I regret doing that. And
                            > > that area doesnt have too many plants. Unfortunately in that area
                            > my
                            > > seedlings are thriving!
                            > >
                            > > I'm not planting only what I need. I dont even count how many
                            > seeds I
                            > > sow. I sow a lot. For example I sowed probably 50 broadbeans seeds
                            > > here and there. Of them about 10 have come up and 3 are standing
                            > > today. The 3 are eaten up here and there. I am happy for the 3 yes
                            > but
                            > > it seems they are there only because they have not been found by
                            > the
                            > > 'pests' yet!
                            > >
                            > > >If you plant from seedballs they will
                            > > > be protected until they get started.
                            > >
                            > > With seedballs I have had very poor result. Probably its not the
                            > right
                            > > clay I dont know. I picked up clay from a molehill along the
                            > tracks I
                            > > cycle thru. It seemed soft, natural & local. I had 1 spinach, a
                            > couple
                            > > lettuce from seedballs.
                            > >
                            > > >If you plant into a standing crop
                            > > > and cut the crop after yours gets started they will take off
                            > from the
                            > > > increase in light and space. If you put the litter from that
                            > cut crop
                            > > > back over your plants as mulch they will be additionally
                            > protected.
                            > >
                            > > When I sow a seed, I cut back on the grasses/'weeds' a bit & sow.
                            > If I
                            > > was transplanting a seedling, I cut back and as you suggest put it
                            > > back as mulch to hide them and to save some moisture.
                            > >
                            > > >
                            > > > The trick is to plant the right plants at the right time
                            > following the
                            > > > right crop and cutting the overgrowth at the right time. Don't
                            > expect
                            > > > success every time and be prepared to have little success at
                            > first and
                            > > > more as you figure out what works for you. OK, this is hard
                            > when you
                            > > > have to wait a year between experiments and you are hoping to
                            > eat your
                            > > > plants after all that work.
                            > > >
                            > > > Fukuoka had a kitchen garden as well as the farming fields. I
                            > suspect
                            > > > he had the same problems.
                            > > >
                            > > > Steve
                            > >
                            > > Thank you for writing. I will keep experimenting.
                            > >
                            >
                            >
                            >
                            >
                            >
                            >
                            >
                            >
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                          • torskel87
                            Hi Niels thanks for your advice. A simple method that I´ve find to get pure daikon seed, it´s sowing daikon after the blooming of the wild radishes and
                            Message 13 of 15 , Jul 3, 2006
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                              Hi Niels
                              thanks for your advice.
                              A simple method that I´ve find to get pure daikon seed, it´s sowing
                              daikon after the blooming of the wild radishes and brassicas.So when
                              daikon blooms it will be pollinated only by other daikon .

                              In relation to the terraces I think that as you said, it´s to much
                              labor, and the first years the soil of the place where the terraces
                              were builded gets very poor and won´t produce a good harvest because
                              the intensive movement of soil from one place to other.
                              So the option might be build terraces of slow formation with
                              vegetation at the contours, the problem with this is that until you
                              get a terrace, is very difficult to have crops in that place because
                              the inclination of the land and the poor absortion of water unables
                              good yields.The advantage of making a terrace with an earthen wall is
                              the possibility of sowing that place inmediatly, but I will have to
                              use compost to improve soil, what represents to much labor.

                              So I will try both ways and see wich works better.
                              The conditions of the place are:
                              Very high in altitude 9200 ft, very humid and cloudy, the surruondings
                              are cloud forest and highlands. The land has never been used for
                              agriculture, just for grazing, it used to be forest, but was cleared
                              40 years ago, the soil is really good, 180 cm of top soil.There are
                              periods of heavy rain fall, and periods of drought(6 months of rain, 6
                              months of drought)

                              The seed is not difficult to find, there are lots of seed in the
                              surrounding forest.The forest in this slopes is very dense, humid, and
                              by the afternoons it gets full of fog.

                              There are many native species that are nitrogen fixing, and other
                              species that help to water retention.

                              What I Would like to know is how to make contours, do you make them
                              following the level curves, using a level.With what spacing do you
                              plant in the contours???? Do you plant trees also? Don´t the trees
                              create to much shade for the plants???What spacing do you use between
                              contours???

                              In ralation to the grazing I think that I will have some llamas
                              because they don´t damage the land as cattle, sheep and goats.As I am
                              in the middle of the Andes, llamas also are the only efficient animals
                              at this altitude, they can provide wool, excellent manure, and they
                              help to regenarate dgradeted lands.

                              All your advice will be helpfull
                              Thanks
                              Miguel

                              > torskel87 wrote:
                              >
                              > > Hello everyone
                              > > This is Miguel from Ecuador,I am very interested in letting my
                              > > plants to reseed by themselfs, and now my doughts are how to let
                              > > this occur naturally, because here there are not harsh winters
                              > > (there is not snow) and when the plants go to seed most of it will
                              > > be eaten by birds,so might it be better to make seedballs.??
                              > > Other question is how to do to obtain daikon seeds, I sow lots of
                              > > Daikon in the winter, in some places I put a clover crop, in others
                              > > not but I had the same results, I had a really good harvest, some
                              > > daikons weighted more than 2 kl, I let some daikon and they went to
                              > > seed, but close to them there were lots of mustard, wild radish, and
                              > > other wild brassicas, most of the in flower and with lots bees,
                              > > ladybugs,, pollinating them,so I thought that it was something
                              > > completly natural, in this way new species will born, but I want to
                              > > eat daikon not a mix of everything,how would be a way to get not
                              > > mixed seed in a natural way .???
                              >
                              > *"Seed Saving" and varietal purity*
                              > A method for saving pure seeds from the Daikon is probably to grow a
                              few
                              > of them in one place, doesn't matter where but a few plants together
                              > with no other brassicas around them. Then you will need to net off
                              these
                              > plants, and now the tricky bit. I will say at this point that I have
                              not
                              > done this my self but have seen examples at The Heritage Seeds Library
                              > (HSL), UK and in a book from Kokkopelli.
                              > At the HSL they use dedicated pollinating insects which spend their
                              > whole lives inside small plastic tunnels, _all other insects are
                              > excluded_. This last point is key.
                              > This example however they buy insect eggs. So maybe not suitable for
                              our
                              > needs.
                              > _HSL website:_
                              > http://www.gardenorganic.org.uk/hsl/whos_who.php
                              >
                              >
                              > Another method is to hand-pollinate.
                              > Again you will need to net-off the radish from other brassica, though
                              > other plants are fine. Then at a time when the plants are in flower you
                              > can use a small paint brush to transfer pollen from one plant to
                              another.
                              > At this point I will ask a question of the group.
                              > Are monoescious? By this I mean are there male and female flowers on
                              the
                              > same plant? If this is the case then you can get away with transfering
                              > pollen from male to female flowers on _the same plant._ However I think
                              > it would probably better to do it from another plant. Not essential.
                              > Do remember _no insects can enter your net when you are
                              hand-pollinating
                              > _or at any time during flowering. Net must remain _until seed is set.
                              >
                              > __
                              > _
                              >
                              > > Other thing that I´ve been wondering about is how to cultivate in
                              > > hilly land in a natural way, I am starting my natural farm in a
                              > > really hilly land, so I was thinking in making terraces, but to do
                              > > them I will need to move a lot of soil,to make earthen banks,
                              > > walls,and level the ground, might it be naturally to do this ???
                              > > allthough I don´t see other way to controll erosion, and retain
                              > > humidity, somebody has experience with this.???
                              >
                              > *Upland cultivation and Soil Erosion
                              > *First of all, I think that you should _not _make terraces. Again, I
                              > have no experience personally but it is clear they are extremely
                              > labour-intensive to build and will always need your attention.
                              > Secondly if you are sticking with Fukuoka's advice and not digging
                              > (tilling, cultivating or removing vegitative cover) you will not have a
                              > major soil "retention" issue. I use this term so that we can stay, in
                              > language, in the positive. We are "keeping soil"/"retaining soil"
                              rather
                              > than preventing /soil erosion/.
                              > "doing" options include:
                              > -Swales: ditches laid, or dug "along
                              > contour" (across the slope). i.e. the opposite of down slope.
                              > -Contour hedges: dense vegetation planted at regular
                              > intervals along contour. e.g. Vetiver grass (non-invasive, infertile,
                              > lots of biomass) or Sweet clover.
                              > -Contour planting: trees or shrubs planted as above. Can
                              > be called "alley cropping".
                              > -Mulching/Cover crops: the use of vigorous cover crops to produce
                              > mulch (e.g. _Maize-mucuna_) or be a companion to your crops.
                              >
                              > _
                              > Links_
                              > Vetiver
                              > http://www.vetiver.com/TVN_greenEng.pdf (500KB download) Vetiver Hedge
                              > www.vetiver.com
                              >
                              > Alleycropping
                              >
                              http://images.google.co.uk/images?svnum=10&hl=en&lr=&safe=off&client=firefox-a&rls=org.mozilla%3Aen-GB%3Aofficial_s&q=alleycropping&btnG=Search
                              > http://del.icio.us/entrailer/Alley-Cropping
                              >
                              > Maize-Mucuna
                              > http://del.icio.us/entrailer/Maize-Mucuna
                              > http://www.tropag-fieldtrip.cornell.edu/Thurston_TA/pslashmulch.html
                              >
                              > Agroforestry (Agrofloresta)
                              > http://www.fazendasaoluiz.com/agrofloresta.htm (Portuguese)
                              > *Contours: MArking and Measurement*
                              > It is very important to accurately survey the field to find out where
                              > the contours are.
                              > For this a number of simple tools can be constructed. They are standard
                              > permaculture tools: an "a-frame" is perhaps the simplest.
                              > It is not important where exactly your contours are measured from and
                              > to. Only that they _are the same height all the way along_.
                              > You can decide on the spacing for yourself, probably narrower than you
                              > might build a terrace.
                              >
                              > Anyone know any other good resrouces for swales and surveying?
                              > Particularly from the permaculture list.
                              >
                              > *Strips, Contours, Plants and Combining Them*
                              > Once you have marked your contours then you can decide what to do on
                              > them: swales, hedges, tree etc or combination of all of these at
                              > different intervals.
                              > It is no problem to have trees and hedge plants in the same contour
                              > "strip" and plant them into a swale.
                              > _Greening the Desert
                              > http://www.permaculture.org.au/_ (click on the image in the right hand
                              > side with the above title)
                              > _
                              > _You might have trees planted every other contour strip, so they shade
                              > the slope and the in-between swale/hedge.
                              > Like tree-hedge-tree-hedge. With each one having a swale in it as well.
                              > Or combinations there of.
                              > Perhaps put in a _small pond _every few swales, at different places
                              > along the length.
                              >
                              > There are so many variables. This is where it gets really exciting.
                              > But starting small, you could dig just one or two swales and plant them
                              > with fast growing cover crops like vetiver or sweet clover and just a
                              > few trees, or tree seeds, along the length. Then next winter take
                              > cuttings from the trees and start to spread them out along the contour.
                              >
                              > *Uses, Outputs and Produce and _Questions_*
                              > It would be useful to talk about what plants and seeds you have
                              > available and what is native in your local area.
                              > Upland production of trees will be for: fuel, fodder and food etc.
                              > And hedges will provide: mulch, fodder.
                              > _CLimate
                              > _What is your regional climate?
                              > Average rainfall? Do you have heavy rains? Then periods of drought? How
                              > frequent is rainfall?
                              > _Vegetation_
                              > What is the vegetation like on these slopes?
                              > Are there many trees already? What kind of cover exists? Seasonally and
                              > perrenially.
                              > _Condition of Land and Previous Uses_
                              > Is the land degraded? Has it been used for agriculture before?
                              > Has there been grazing? Will you wish to graze it? If yes: then will it
                              > be Seasonally, in rotation or permanent? And with what animals?
                              > _Trees and Fertility_
                              > What are your native nitrogen-fixing trees and shrubs? Is there seeds
                              > freely available? To buy or gather?
                              > These trees will provide the back-bone of any long-term productivity,
                              > especially in an upland situation.
                              > Some examples are: Inga, Leucana, Wattles. But natives or local species
                              > are better. And hopefully more available
                              > _Resources_
                              > How many people can you count on to work on your project?
                              > What is the usual minimum people you work with day-to-day? What tasks
                              > can you do that will contribute to the "upland project" when your large
                              > labour-force is not available, or needed?
                              > For example, it will be perfectly possible to do the contour marking
                              > with just 2 people.
                              > How much seeds can you get your hands on? How long will it take to
                              > gather/buy? How much space do I have for storage? Do you, or a
                              > neighbour, have experience with handling tree seeds or cuttings?
                              >
                              >
                              >
                              > *Some things to Remember*
                              >
                              > _Mulch = (fertile) soil_
                              > So you can never have enough of it. But remember you have to grow it in
                              > the field.
                              >
                              > _Marking Swales/Contours_
                              > Remember to mark your contours well. If you are not going to dig your
                              > swale/plant contour hedges on the same day.
                              > If the markers get blown away or eaten it is some time wasted.
                              > I will ask Geoff Lawton the question of how many and what spacing and
                              > placement is appropriate in the first phase.
                              > Though I should have thought one complete and planted-up swale half up
                              > the slope would be better than none.
                              >
                              > When you reply This mail will be passed on to other internation
                              networks
                              > for further advice.
                              >
                              > All the best,
                              > Niels
                              > http://del.icio.us/entrailer
                              > http://nocompost.blogspot.com/
                              > http://www.flickr.com/photos/65387153@N00/
                              >
                              >
                              >
                              > > Any advice will be helpfull
                              > > Thanks
                              > > --- In fukuoka_farming@yahoogroups.com, "poojyum" <poojyum@>
                              > > wrote:
                              > > >
                              > > > Hello Steve,
                              > > >
                              > > > Thank you for suggestions.
                              > > >
                              > > > > If you put your seedlings in a row, they are prone to all
                              > > suffering
                              > > > > from the same fate.
                              > > >
                              > > > I dont put seedlings in a row. I sow seed at random - here and
                              > > there.
                              > > >
                              > > > >If you put your seedlings in an area with no other
                              > > > > growing plants, they will be targeted by pests. If you plant
                              > > just
                              > > > >what
                              > > > > you need, that's not sharing with nature.
                              > > >
                              > > > >
                              > > > > If you put your seedlings in a mixed growing environment with
                              > > other
                              > > > > plants they are partially hidden. If you grow many more than you
                              > > > >need there will be some left for you.
                              > > >
                              > > > My plot is full of so called 'weeds'. There was 1 area where I had
                              > > dug
                              > > > due to pressure from a fellow plot holder. I regret doing that. And
                              > > > that area doesnt have too many plants. Unfortunately in that area
                              > > my
                              > > > seedlings are thriving!
                              > > >
                              > > > I'm not planting only what I need. I dont even count how many
                              > > seeds I
                              > > > sow. I sow a lot. For example I sowed probably 50 broadbeans seeds
                              > > > here and there. Of them about 10 have come up and 3 are standing
                              > > > today. The 3 are eaten up here and there. I am happy for the 3 yes
                              > > but
                              > > > it seems they are there only because they have not been found by
                              > > the
                              > > > 'pests' yet!
                              > > >
                              > > > >If you plant from seedballs they will
                              > > > > be protected until they get started.
                              > > >
                              > > > With seedballs I have had very poor result. Probably its not the
                              > > right
                              > > > clay I dont know. I picked up clay from a molehill along the
                              > > tracks I
                              > > > cycle thru. It seemed soft, natural & local. I had 1 spinach, a
                              > > couple
                              > > > lettuce from seedballs.
                              > > >
                              > > > >If you plant into a standing crop
                              > > > > and cut the crop after yours gets started they will take off
                              > > from the
                              > > > > increase in light and space. If you put the litter from that
                              > > cut crop
                              > > > > back over your plants as mulch they will be additionally
                              > > protected.
                              > > >
                              > > > When I sow a seed, I cut back on the grasses/'weeds' a bit & sow.
                              > > If I
                              > > > was transplanting a seedling, I cut back and as you suggest put it
                              > > > back as mulch to hide them and to save some moisture.
                              > > >
                              > > > >
                              > > > > The trick is to plant the right plants at the right time
                              > > following the
                              > > > > right crop and cutting the overgrowth at the right time. Don't
                              > > expect
                              > > > > success every time and be prepared to have little success at
                              > > first and
                              > > > > more as you figure out what works for you. OK, this is hard
                              > > when you
                              > > > > have to wait a year between experiments and you are hoping to
                              > > eat your
                              > > > > plants after all that work.
                              > > > >
                              > > > > Fukuoka had a kitchen garden as well as the farming fields. I
                              > > suspect
                              > > > > he had the same problems.
                              > > > >
                              > > > > Steve
                              > > >
                              > > > Thank you for writing. I will keep experimenting.
                              > > >
                              > >
                              > >
                              > >
                              > >
                              > >
                              > >
                              > >
                              > >
                              > > SPONSORED LINKS
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                              > >
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                              > >
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                              > > Masanobu fukuoka
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                            • Niels Corfield
                              Miguel, Please see below for replies to specific questions. Cheers, Niels Hi Niels thanks for your advice. A simple method that I´ve find to get pure daikon
                              Message 14 of 15 , Jul 10, 2006
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                                Miguel,

                                Please see below for replies to specific questions.

                                Cheers,
                                Niels

                                Hi Niels
                                thanks for your advice.
                                A simple method that I´ve find to get pure daikon seed, it´s sowing
                                daikon after the blooming of the wild radishes and brassicas.So when
                                daikon blooms it will be pollinated only by other daikon .

                                In relation to the terraces I think that as you said, it´s to much
                                labor, and the first years the soil of the place where the terraces
                                were builded gets very poor and won´t produce a good harvest because
                                the intensive movement of soil from one place to other.
                                So the option might be build terraces of slow formation with
                                vegetation at the contours, the problem with this is that until you
                                get a terrace, is very difficult to have crops in that place because
                                the inclination of the land and the poor absortion of water unables
                                good yields.The advantage of making a terrace with an earthen wall is
                                the possibility of sowing that place inmediatly, but I will have to
                                use compost to improve soil, what represents to much labor.

                                Perhaps it is worth accepting lower yields and longer time-frames along
                                with reduced labour-issues.
                                Cover crops, seeds, mulching.
                                What state are the fields in now? Weeds etc.
                                Mucuna handles most weeds pretty well.
                                No probs with erosion with mucuna mulch.

                                So I will try both ways and see wich works better.
                                The conditions of the place are:
                                Very high in altitude 9200 ft, very humid and cloudy, the surruondings
                                are cloud forest and highlands. The land has never been used for
                                agriculture, just for grazing, it used to be forest, but was cleared
                                40 years ago, the soil is really good, 180 cm of top soil.There are
                                periods of heavy rain fall, and periods of drought(6 months of rain, 6
                                months of drought)

                                How about mucuna or lupin as cover crops?
                                Lupin is good for your altitude and mucnua-maize production is done on
                                mega-slopes.
                                Link: http://del.icio.us/entrailer/Maize-Mucuna
                                http://www.tropag-fieldtrip.cornell.edu/Thurston_TA/pslashmulch.html

                                The seed is not difficult to find, there are lots of seed in the
                                surrounding forest.The forest in this slopes is very dense, humid, and
                                by the afternoons it gets full of fog.

                                Not all seed is equal, try to select seed from trees growing in a
                                similar space to the one you will using, and look for the healthiest
                                specimens. Probably worth getting someone into trees to come with you.
                                Some seed will need preparing before it will germinate.
                                If in doubt ask about this one.
                                Scarifying, stratifying etc.

                                There are many native species that are nitrogen fixing, and other
                                species that help to water retention.

                                Get them all. Check out Ernst Gotsch's seed collections. We are looking
                                for big plastic coke bottles full of one variety of seed.
                                And clay to make seedballs.
                                http://del.icio.us/entrailer/Seed-Balls

                                What I Would like to know is how to make contours, do you make them
                                following the level curves, using a level.
                                Surveying can be done with either an a-frame or the liquid filled-level
                                device, I forget what it's called.
                                Link:
                                http://images.google.co.uk/images?svnum=10&hs=QsJ&hl=en&lr=&safe=off&client=firefox-a&rls=org.mozilla%3Aen-GB%3Aofficial_s&q=a-frame+permaculture&btnG=Search

                                With what spacing do you plant in the contours????
                                ---Not sure why not email Geoff Lawton?
                                http://permaculture-swicki.eurekster.com/Geoff+Lawton/ or
                                http://www.permaculture.org.au/

                                Though I think it not nearly as critical as getting a good level.
                                Am chatting with him on this topic, though he busy, so will be a while.
                                Watch his video "Greening the Desert", very informative.

                                Do you plant trees also?
                                Yes, see Ernst Gotsch's model.
                                http://del.icio.us/entrailer/Ernst-G%C3%B6tsch
                                Pics English Translate
                                http://www.google.com/translate?u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.agrofloresta.net%2Ffotos%2Findex.htm&langpair=pt%7Cen&hl=en&ie=UTF8
                                Portuguese
                                http://www.agrofloresta.net/fotos/index.htm

                                Related Project -Same Methods
                                http://del.icio.us/entrailer/agrofloresta

                                Don´t the trees create to much shade for the plants???
                                Yes they do but not for a few years, this is a resource to work with,
                                that you can use shape the landscape.
                                Also there are many shade-tolerant plants. The system can grow, develop.
                                Trees can be pruned, for mulch and firewood or forage.
                                Trees give fruits also.

                                What spacing do you use between contours???
                                Not sure. Think depends on resources.
                                I would go for vegetation as the main regen tool.
                                Is rain catchment a big issue?
                                How long is dry season?

                                In ralation to the grazing I think that I will have some llamas
                                because they don´t damage the land as cattle, sheep and goats.As I am
                                in the middle of the Andes, llamas also are the only efficient animals
                                at this altitude, they can provide wool, excellent manure, and they
                                help to regenarate dgradeted lands.

                                All your advice will be helpfull
                                Thanks
                                Miguel


                                Agroforestry Links:
                                http://www.google.co.uk/search?hs=uAz&hl=en&safe=off&client=firefox-a&rls=org.mozilla%3Aen-GB%3Aofficial_s&q=regenerative+analog+forestry+in+brazil&btnG=Search&meta=
                                http://www.agroforestry.net/pubs/seeing_forest.html
                              • Raju Titus
                                Cover crops in no-till hedge against drought Grant Tribune Sentinel Not only can cover crops planted in no-till fields fix nitrogen in the short term, they can
                                Message 15 of 15 , Aug 13, 2009
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                                  Cover crops in no-till hedge against drought
                                  Grant Tribune Sentinel
                                  Not only can cover crops planted in no-till fields fix nitrogen in the
                                  short term, they can also reduce soil erosion and mitigate the effects of
                                  drought in ...
                                  <http://www.granttribune.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=1392:cover-crops-in-no-till-hedge-against-drought&catid=35:ag-news&Itemid=55>
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