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Re: [fukuoka_farming] Re: Poor soils--How to Pull Up Jones' Essay

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  • Robert Monie
    Hi Forest, Somehow the URL for Christine Jones Creating New Soil got mangled. Here are two direct ways into her essay:
    Message 1 of 12 , Oct 18, 2006
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      Hi Forest,

      Somehow the URL for Christine Jones' "Creating New Soil" got mangled.
      Here are two direct ways into her essay: http://www.creatingnewsoil.blogspot.com

      or

      go to http://www.google.com and enter "Christine Jones Creating New Soil."

      Try to pull up a version that shows the photographs, because the shot of the root system on bunchgrass is fantastic. Four years of bunchgrass, along with deep rooted red and yellow clovers, chicory, burnet, yellow and white mustards, oilseed radish, with a little vetiver, sorrel, and plantain thrown in will transform most soils. The grass and forbe roots will loosen compacted soil (virtually "double digging" it), eventually decompose (compost BELOW GROUND), leaving a layer of microbe-rich humus, and if you plant tall plants like Sudan grass that flourish above ground, you will get still more organic material near the surface.

      THEN, after 4 years of "prepping" you can try the Fukuoka short Dutch clover (or New Zealand clover) polyculture over soil that has been so beautifully prepared for it. (Of course, some soils might be so leached out that they initially also require mineral supplemental from rock powders, separately prepared compost, or other sources.)
      .
      Bob Monie


      Forest Shomer <ziraat@...> wrote:
      Hi Bob,

      Thanks for your excellent words. Fukuoka-san came upon his knowledge
      by innovating, by 'thinking outside the box', i.e., by not being
      limited to orthodoxy. In these changing times we are wise to gather
      nectar from not just one source, but emulate the honeybee, feeding
      deeply from one source, then another, and another, to nourish the
      hive (our time) and the brood (next generation) with continuity.

      Unfortunately, the link to Jones' essay is "404--not found" . Do you
      have a copy that you can send as part of a text message on this list?
      Or if it is very long, perhaps you could send as an attachment
      directly to people like me who request it. Thank you,

      Forest
      Port Townsend, WA, USA

      >Posted by: "Robert Monie" <mailto:bobm20001@...?Subject=
      >Re%3A%20Poor%20soils> bobm20001@...
      ><http://profiles.yahoo.com/bobm20001> bobm20001
      >
      >Tue Oct 17, 2006 2:38 pm (PST)
      >
      >
      >Fukuoka, Bonfils, and Pain are not the only access points to
      >nature's fecundity. The human race has discovered and forgotten over
      >and over again, age upon age, how to finesse plant growth from the
      >soil. In ley farming, the idea was to let very deep rooted grasses
      >and legumes grow undisturbed in the initially "barren" soil, for a
      >period of at least 4 years. Try it and see if it works! Mix seeds
      >from a member of the long-rooted "bunch grass" family such as
      >orchard grass with chicory and with agressive-rooted yellow mustard
      >and monster-rooted red and sweet yellow clovers. Throw in a dash of
      >vetiver grass (not too much! The roots may not decay quickly like
      >those of orchard grass). In the summer, sow Sudan grass very
      >thickly. Seed and reseed, as much as the soil can stand for at least
      >4 years. Occassionaly poke around in the ground with a sharp stick,
      >disturbing the root and stem growth as a burrowing or nibbling
      >animal might. This "punctuated" surface disturbance will
      >create more humus than just letting the cover growth alone.
      >Christine Jones, in a classic essay on soil building, "Creating New
      >Soil" explains how great soil results from the interaction of
      >animals and people (along with air, sun, water, and geology). The
      >significant part of this interplay between animal and plant does NOT
      >necessarily rest in the depositing of animal manure (a point further
      >developed by Eliot Coleman, Scott Nearing, Ian Jones, and Michael
      >Melendrez--all of whom have used essentially vegan techniques).
      >Christine Jones' essay deserves to be read and re-read at least a
      >few dozen times, and the accompanying picture of bunchgrass with its
      >stunningly massed roots is worth a thousand words. See
      ><http://www.creatingnewsoil.blogspot.com>http://www.creatingnewsoil.blogspot.com
      >Each of Jones' paragraphs could be expanded into a chapter or a
      >book. How does nature work to grow plants in the field? The roots of
      >thickly massed grasses and legumes decay, producing food for
      >microbes. The microbes produce
      >humus, which stores biologically available nutrients for the food
      >plants. The tall grasses such as Sudan grass decompose, adding
      >compost to the mix. The legume roots fix nitrogen. No need for
      >seedballs, hardwood, or the philosophical speculations of Jean Pain,
      >Marc Bonfils, or even Fukuoka.
      >

      --

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