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Re: [fukuoka_farming] Re: Chemical fertilizers for farming in Africa

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  • Robert Monie
    Hi Flora, Leguminous plants may fix nitrogen, but that by no means makes them the easiest plants to grow. White clover, for instance, is notoriously hard to
    Message 1 of 29 , Nov 13, 2006
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      Hi Flora,

      Leguminous plants may fix nitrogen, but that by no means makes them the "easiest" plants to grow. White clover, for instance, is notoriously hard to establish in a smooth even bed. It tends to grow spordaically in patches on all but the best (that is best for clover) soils. In nature, non-leguminous grasses, forbes, and "weeds" are more likely to volunteer and establish themselves in fields (especially worn-out fields) than leguminous plants are.

      If Fukuoka has one quality, it is a very sharp eye for what actually wants to be in the field at a given time. You need to scan your field with a Fukuokan eye, looking for signs of plant life, however small and seemingly unpromising--and take steps to augment and complement them. Your professor friend may be missing the whole point. Imagine a dialog between the Earth (or that little patch of the Earth with which you are concerned) and her:

      Earth: "Here is a 1 inch high dandelion next to a 2 inch high plantain, and a 4 inch
      chicory is growing across from them."

      Professor: "There is nothing here but bare earth and a few barely visible, useless weeds; we'll have to apply fertilizer at once."

      Earth: "If you gave me some buckwheat, I might sprout it; it might be too warm here for ryegrass, but you could try some. Sudan grass or vetiver grass might be just what the doctor ordered or sorghum, and I might surprise you by sending up some nice stalks of phacelia, if you sowed the seeds."

      Professor: "What nonsense! You obviously need a stiff dose of petrol-based nitrogen immediately."

      Earth: "Perhaps (gag!), but a nice serving of soymeal (very high in nitrogen but also containing other plant nutrients and much nicer to microorganisms in the rhyzosphere) might be more tasty. And, what's the big hurry? Don't you know it may take a few years to build up humus and topsoil?

      If you look carefully, very little soil in completely bare. Something (usually not legumes) is already growing there. You can find that something's plant relatives and sow that or you can try to use a natural fertilizer like soymeal or alfalfa meal that will build up the soil a little and not interfere too much with the microbial life around the roots.

      My own experience growing things in the past few years suggests that three main factors influencing the growth of humus in soil (or at least in the south Louisiana, USA soil where I live) are good calcium content (neither too much nor too little), the prevalance of inulin-containing roots (such as chicory, dandelion, Jerusalem artichoke, yacon, onions), and finally deep-burrowing legumous roots such as red clover and sweet yellow clover. The legimuous roots do not grow well until the calcium content is right and the grasses and forbes necessary for inulin have flourished. You may have to cultivate the green weeds, grasses and forbes for a few years before the legumes will do anything. Commercial oil-based fertilizer is unnecessary and less than optimal in even the most depleted soils. The nitrogen in soymeal is as available as the nitrogen in any commerical fertilizer. (Warning: when soymeal gets wet, for the first few days it will attract hoards of flies and other
      swarming creatures, and smell about as bad as horse manure. It usually degrades quickly enough so that the problem subsides in a week or so. But I always cover soymeal with a least an inch of soil or fully matured compost to avoid the smell and bugs.)

      The short white clover cover crops (Dutch clover, New Zealand, or Ladino) that Fukuoka made famous are not really STARTER crops in most soil. They are the END PRODUCT of a very sophisticated system of soil building that he used; they are like icing on the cake. First you have to make the cake! The old ley farmers of England thought that it took about 4 years to make that "cake." They were lucky enough to begin farming land that was probably not as wasted as your African land, but there may still be much to learn from their approach. They planted a seed mix similar to that currently offered as a "Herbal Pasture Mix" by Peaceful Valley Seeds. (See http://www.groworganic.com .) This mix included perenninal ryegrass, Akaroa orchardgrass, Italian ryegrass, Timothy grass, burnet, yarrow, lucrene, plantain, and fennel among other things). By trial and error the ley farmers tended to add more chicory, dandelion and bunchgrasses with long roots (such as orchard grass) and
      without being aware of it (so far as I know) thereby increased the inulin content of the soil. They also usually "limed" the land, to increase the calcium content (which they were very much aware of). .
      The ley farmers found that the big-rooted legumes like red clover and sweet perennial yellow clover, once they got the right nourishment, would eventually plow through the soil. Together with the grasses and forbes, these plants eventually provided the ingredients necessary for humus build-up (calcium, inulin, protein-roots, nurtients and exudates for the microorganisms that do most of the work around the root-hairs).

      Something like this working ley team is surely available on your land; by observation and trial and error you have to find your own calcium, inulin, and protein sources--as well as ways to get the nitrogen-fixers (legumes like clovers) and non-legumes (such as indigo, New Jersey tea plant, gumi shrub) to grow, and let nature build humus. I doubt that petrol-based nitrogen is the key to such progess.

      Best wishes,

      Bob Monie
      Zone 8
      After the Flood--in New Orleans

      eccentrik_idiot <ridicully@...> wrote:
      My professor said that the soil in those African villages is so
      depleted of nutrients that it is basically "dead". They can't even
      get the leguminous plants to grow on it without adding chemical
      fertilizers.
      After adding the fertilizers, there's actually a reduction in
      leaching rate because the leguminous trees can hold the soil (the
      major source of water pollution in those parts of Africa is soil
      erosion).
      I'm just wondering if Fukuoka's method has some more natural and
      less costly way.

      Flora





      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • Robert Monie
      Hi Flora, Leguminous plants may fix nitrogen, but that by no means makes them the easiest plants to grow. White clover, for instance, is notoriously hard to
      Message 2 of 29 , Nov 13, 2006
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        Hi Flora,

        Leguminous plants may fix nitrogen, but that by no means makes them the "easiest" plants to grow. White clover, for instance, is notoriously hard to establish in a smooth even bed. It tends to grow spordaically in patches on all but the best (that is best for clover) soils. In nature, non-leguminous grasses, forbes, and "weeds" are more likely to volunteer and establish themselves in fields (especially worn-out fields) than leguminous plants are.

        If Fukuoka has one quality, it is a very sharp eye for what actually wants to be in the field at a given time. You need to scan your field with a Fukuokan eye, looking for signs of plant life, however small and seemingly unpromising--and take steps to augment and complement them. Your professor friend may be missing the whole point. Imagine a dialog between the Earth (or that little patch of the Earth with which you are concerned) and her:

        Earth: "Here is a 1 inch high dandelion next to a 2 inch high plantain, and a 4 inch
        chicory is growing across from them."

        Professor: "There is nothing here but bare earth and a few barely visible, useless weeds; we'll have to apply fertilizer at once."

        Earth: "If you gave me some buckwheat, I might sprout it; it might be too warm here for ryegrass, but you could try some. Sudan grass or vetiver grass might be just what the doctor ordered or sorghum, and I might surprise you by sending up some nice stalks of phacelia, if you sowed the seeds."

        Professor: "What nonsense! You obviously need a stiff dose of petrol-based nitrogen immediately."

        Earth: "Perhaps (gag!), but a nice serving of soymeal (very high in nitrogen but also containing other plant nutrients and much nicer to microorganisms in the rhyzosphere) might be more tasty. And, what's the big hurry? Don't you know it may take a few years to build up humus and topsoil?

        If you look carefully, very little soil in completely bare. Something (usually not legumes) is already growing there. You can find that something's plant relatives and sow that or you can try to use a natural fertilizer like soymeal or alfalfa meal that will build up the soil a little and not interfere too much with the microbial life around the roots.

        My own experience growing things in the past few years suggests that three main factors influencing the growth of humus in soil (or at least in the south Louisiana, USA soil where I live) are good calcium content (neither too much nor too little), the prevalance of inulin-containing roots (such as chicory, dandelion, Jerusalem artichoke, yacon, onions), and finally deep-burrowing legumous roots such as red clover and sweet yellow clover. The legimuous roots do not grow well until the calcium content is right and the grasses and forbes necessary for inulin have flourished. You may have to cultivate the green weeds, grasses and forbes for a few years before the legumes will do anything. Commercial oil-based fertilizer is unnecessary and less than optimal in even the most depleted soils. The nitrogen in soymeal is as available as the nitrogen in any commerical fertilizer. (Warning: when soymeal gets wet, for the first few days it will attract hoards of flies and other
        swarming creatures, and smell about as bad as horse manure. It usually degrades quickly enough so that the problem subsides in a week or so. But I always cover soymeal with a least an inch of soil or fully matured compost to avoid the smell and bugs.)

        The short white clover cover crops (Dutch clover, New Zealand, or Ladino) that Fukuoka made famous are not really STARTER crops in most soil. They are the END PRODUCT of a very sophisticated system of soil building that he used; they are like icing on the cake. First you have to make the cake! The old ley farmers of England thought that it took about 4 years to make that "cake." They were lucky enough to begin farming land that was probably not as wasted as your African land, but there may still be much to learn from their approach. They planted a seed mix similar to that currently offered as a "Herbal Pasture Mix" by Peaceful Valley Seeds. (See http://www.groworganic.com .) This mix included perenninal ryegrass, Akaroa orchardgrass, Italian ryegrass, Timothy grass, burnet, yarrow, lucrene, plantain, and fennel among other things). By trial and error the ley farmers tended to add more chicory, dandelion and bunchgrasses with long roots (such as orchard grass) and
        without being aware of it (so far as I know) thereby increased the inulin content of the soil. They also usually "limed" the land, to increase the calcium content (which they were very much aware of). .
        The ley farmers found that the big-rooted legumes like red clover and sweet perennial yellow clover, once they got the right nourishment, would eventually plow through the soil. Together with the grasses and forbes, these plants eventually provided the ingredients necessary for humus build-up (calcium, inulin, protein-roots, nurtients and exudates for the microorganisms that do most of the work around the root-hairs).

        Something like this working ley team is surely available on your land; by observation and trial and error you have to find your own calcium, inulin, and protein sources--as well as ways to get the nitrogen-fixers (legumes like clovers) and non-legumes (such as indigo, New Jersey tea plant, gumi shrub) to grow, and let nature build humus. I doubt that petrol-based nitrogen is the key to such progess.

        Best wishes,

        Bob Monie
        Zone 8
        After the Flood--in New Orleans

        eccentrik_idiot <ridicully@...> wrote:
        My professor said that the soil in those African villages is so
        depleted of nutrients that it is basically "dead". They can't even
        get the leguminous plants to grow on it without adding chemical
        fertilizers.
        After adding the fertilizers, there's actually a reduction in
        leaching rate because the leguminous trees can hold the soil (the
        major source of water pollution in those parts of Africa is soil
        erosion).
        I'm just wondering if Fukuoka's method has some more natural and
        less costly way.

        Flora





        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      • Ingrid Bauer / Jean-Claude Catry
        hello John By whipping an exhausted horse , you can for sure makes it move its butt for a while and ...you will have to walk later on . Fertilisers especially
        Message 3 of 29 , Nov 13, 2006
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          hello John

          By whipping an exhausted horse , you can for sure makes it move its butt for a while and ...you will have to walk later on .
          Fertilisers especially synthetised ones are not able to mimic the "juices of the earth "in their complexity , diversity , timing and balance of nutrients . so whatever you will supply will create "holes" in time or space in supply of other nutrients ( like blocking absorptions ).
          it is true for the soil as it is true for supplementing one's deficient diet with some nutrients that could be lacking.

          there is no other shortcut than letting the plants that want to grow ( or their analogs in ecological function ) at any specific time to do their job .
          the result will be slower at first but a durable increase in fertility will occur. ( the same way that tilling favorise the growth at first because of release of nutrients by bacterias , but slow down after . naturally plants grow slow at first then explode toward maturity)
          did earth started as a desert.?
          earth knows no time as we experience it.( everything comes at its own pace in harmony with what the whole system need).
          the collapse of a system of things that rely on quick effects ( oil based ) is part of the earth processes and will only benefit life on earth.

          the quicker we fall in harmony with the rythme of nature , the happier and less fearfull we will becomes.
          i am curious of how it lands in you .
          jean-claude




          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        • Gloria C. Baikauskas
          Here in Texas where I now live my soil was dead according to soil tests. This is a common problem here after being chemically farmed for so many years. I
          Message 4 of 29 , Nov 13, 2006
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            Here in Texas where I now live my soil was dead according to soil
            tests. This is a common problem here after being chemically farmed for
            so many years. I tried to fix it organically...amending the soil with
            this and that that was recommended. It helped, but still it was
            lacking that which would have made the plants happy and unstressed.
            That is necessary so that disease and insects do not attack them.

            So...I gulped hard and let the gardens go back to nature. Then I did
            what Emilia Hazelip told me to do so often...I observed. Each year I
            noticed that the weeds changed out as they healed the land. In the
            areas where I had amended they grew more richly than where I had done
            nothing. I have 3 acres....so little of it was amended...just some
            dedicated beds.

            I also tried cover crops like hairy vetch. They did grow and thickly,
            but I didn't try to grow them the first year. So I can't say if they
            would have grown without help then as you would have to try this year.

            I honestly think the soil is better where I did nothing..did not
            interfere at all. You see it comes back on its own. At first nothing
            would grow...not even weeds. Then the Johnson grass grew and grew.
            Next dandelions arrived. Slowly wildflowers began to show themselves
            as the birds dropped the seeds....and finally hackberry trees and
            native elms showed up. I did not mow, so no interference presented
            itself to this process.

            In I think the second year in the one large dedicated bed Queen Anne's
            Lace showed up and annihilated much of the garden..all but the largest
            foundation plants...because they shade out everything that grows
            beneath them so totally. Still I waited and let Nature take its
            course. The Queen Anne's Lace grew back for a couple of years, but
            this year it grew slightly...but did not grow large. I cut it off at
            the soil level and waited. Various weeds have grown in there this
            year, but I started cutting them off at the soil level and leaving them
            on top of the soil. I also started adding some kitchen scraps now and
            then. My chickens are free ranging, but I have only 3 at the moment,
            so their manure is most likely negligible in this one bed.

            What makes it so remarkable is that the soil is so much better
            now...and I have done almost nothing. The problem as I see it is that
            people are impatient. They want crops now...not in several years.

            My land is not totally healed...but it is no longer dead either. Some
            areas are further ahead of the others. We have had drought for the
            last 2 years, too, which should have made it worse, but the weeds grew
            anyway. Different weeds. I don't know all of their names. I need I
            suppose to learn them. To me they are not unwanted. They are the
            angels this place needed much more than the more civilized plants folks
            want to see growing.

            I don't know how long this process takes. I am still watching it
            happen. I know many say the land will not heal itself. I know that is
            probably true in some areas. I also know that in many of those areas
            people mow....people will dig and plow in plant material thinking they
            are helping. They aren't, though, since they are removing the
            necessary carbon for life in that soil. What is missing in the soil is
            far more than nitrogen. Carbon must be there, too. That can come from
            amending, or it can come from decomposing materials, and fire.

            Your professor only makes the whole process more impossible by his
            interference. I don't know how to convince him otherwise. He wants
            instant results. He can't have them. It is not how Nature works.

            Gloria, Texas


            --- In fukuoka_farming@yahoogroups.com, "eccentrik_idiot"
            <ridicully@...> wrote:
            >
            > My professor said that the soil in those African villages is so
            > depleted of nutrients that it is basically "dead". They can't even
            > get the leguminous plants to grow on it without adding chemical
            > fertilizers.
            > After adding the fertilizers, there's actually a reduction in
            > leaching rate because the leguminous trees can hold the soil (the
            > major source of water pollution in those parts of Africa is soil
            > erosion).
            > I'm just wondering if Fukuoka's method has some more natural and
            > less costly way of jump-starting the plants...
            >
            > Flora
            >
          • Ingrid Bauer / Jean-Claude Catry
            gloria i am very touch by your attitude during your learning process . it sound that you are willing to loose your mind and come back to your senses. to which
            Message 5 of 29 , Nov 13, 2006
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              gloria
              i am very touch by your attitude during your learning process .
              it sound that you are willing to
              loose your mind and come back to your senses.
              to which you add your gratitude for what is .
              thank you it meet my need for respect to nature and understanding or where lie the work needed to be done .

              the only weeds there is are in our minds .

              PS queen anne's lace are very tasty and nutritious . in my former depleted meadow they have been determinant in bringing back some fertility , after 3 years of wild growth they gently surrendered to other plants while the test plot was still wanting badly, them to do their work ,10 years later this annually mowed field is still full of queen anne's lace
              jean-claude



              [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
            • eccentrik_idiot
              Thanks a lot to everyone for all this helpful and insightful input! I guess one thing I need to find out is whether there is a point after using chemical
              Message 6 of 29 , Nov 14, 2006
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                Thanks a lot to everyone for all this helpful and insightful input!

                I guess one thing I need to find out is whether there is a point
                after using chemical fertilizers to "jump-start" soil when the
                farmer can stop using fertilizers altogether and let the system be
                self-sustaining. I will ask my professor when I see him.

                It's probably not a good idea if the soil gets addicted to chemicals!
                Otherwise, if a bit of chemical fertilizers are needed to get the
                ball rolling, it may be a labor-saving idea in Africa, especially
                since so many people have fallen sick because of AIDS and have no
                energy to work their fields.

                I have got "Small Steps Toward Abundance;Crops for a More
                Sustainable Agriculture" from my library... now reading it!

                Best,
                Flora

                --- In fukuoka_farming@yahoogroups.com, "Ingrid Bauer / Jean-Claude
                Catry" <instinct@...> wrote:
                >
                >
                > gloria
                > i am very touch by your attitude during your learning process .
                > it sound that you are willing to
                > loose your mind and come back to your senses.
                > to which you add your gratitude for what is .
                > thank you it meet my need for respect to nature and
                understanding or where lie the work needed to be done .
                >
                > the only weeds there is are in our minds .
                >
                > PS queen anne's lace are very tasty and nutritious . in my
                former depleted meadow they have been determinant in bringing back
                some fertility , after 3 years of wild growth they gently
                surrendered to other plants while the test plot was still wanting
                badly, them to do their work ,10 years later this annually mowed
                field is still full of queen anne's lace
                > jean-claude
                >
                >
                >
                > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                >
              • eccentrik_idiot
                I put an article called Sanchez- Soil Fertility and Hunger in Africa in the Files Section. You can take a look if you are interested. It is only about 2
                Message 7 of 29 , Nov 14, 2006
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                  I put an article called "Sanchez- Soil Fertility and Hunger in
                  Africa" in the Files Section. You can take a look if you are
                  interested. It is only about 2 pages.
                  It basically sums up everything my professor said!

                  Best,
                  Flora


                  --- In fukuoka_farming@yahoogroups.com, "Ingrid Bauer / Jean-Claude
                  Catry" <instinct@...> wrote:
                  >
                  >
                  > gloria
                  > i am very touch by your attitude during your learning process .
                  > it sound that you are willing to
                  > loose your mind and come back to your senses.
                  > to which you add your gratitude for what is .
                  > thank you it meet my need for respect to nature and
                  understanding or where lie the work needed to be done .
                  >
                  > the only weeds there is are in our minds .
                  >
                  > PS queen anne's lace are very tasty and nutritious . in my
                  former depleted meadow they have been determinant in bringing back
                  some fertility , after 3 years of wild growth they gently
                  surrendered to other plants while the test plot was still wanting
                  badly, them to do their work ,10 years later this annually mowed
                  field is still full of queen anne's lace
                  > jean-claude
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                  >
                • Matthew Bond
                  Chemical fertilisers deplete the top soil. If you have top soil, these fertilisers work on the watery element of the plant making it bigger in size but there
                  Message 8 of 29 , Nov 14, 2006
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                    Chemical fertilisers deplete the top soil. If you have top soil,
                    these fertilisers work on the watery element of the plant making it
                    bigger in size but there is no proportional increase in the presence
                    of trace elements and the human body values food according to trace
                    elements, not according to how bulky the food is. Plants may very
                    well react the same way to chemical fertilisers as they do to
                    organic ones but the soil does not. If you want to deplete the top
                    soil, go for it! These farmers don't have acres upon acres that
                    they can just let lie fallow until nature rejuvinates them again,
                    they need a system which takes into account the fact that they need
                    a particular area every single year!

                    Now please don't anyone take this the wrong way as I value
                    everyone's input here and their experience but now I will raise the
                    spectre of the compost which is not intended as an attack on
                    Fukuoka's methods but an alternative to the accepted applicability
                    thereof. I believe there is value in all techniques of organic
                    farming and a combination of all ideas in varying degrees is
                    necessary according to the conditions of the particular area you are
                    working in. I don't think there is any particular way that is
                    applicable to every part of the world as well as urban and rural
                    areas. Composting is vital in urban areas because otherwise we
                    would just have huge breeding grounds for rats - the rate at which
                    kitchen scraps naturally decay is not fast enough for acceptable
                    hygiene standards. You can get away with not composting in rural
                    areas but not in urban areas unless you're quite happy to continue
                    being unsustainable and creating landfill. Composting is a method
                    for effective waste management.

                    I'm still new to this so I would be interested to know how Fukuoka
                    deals with kitchen scraps. Does he distribute them far from the
                    house out in the fields? Does he address urban vs rural scenarios?

                    Again, I would like to point out that I value Fukuoka's methods and
                    I would like to learn more about them even though I do not think
                    they are universally applicable to every part of the world.

                    Matthew.
                    --- In fukuoka_farming@yahoogroups.com, "eccentrik_idiot"
                    <ridicully@...> wrote:
                    >
                    > Hi all,
                    >
                    > I have been lurking around here for a while looking at all the
                    > fascinating discoveries on this forum. Currently I am taking a
                    > course on Millenium Villages Project in Africa. The project is
                    > spearheaded by the Earth Institute of Columbia University and
                    > focuses on using appropriate technologies and other means to help
                    > African villages get out of the poverty trap, as a bottom-up
                    > approach to sustainable development. One major focus area is on
                    > helping small farmers raise agricultural productivity. The
                    > scientists who are working on this project advocate use of
                    > appropriate amounts of chemical fertilizers combined with organic
                    > fertilizers and leguminous tree stands. The priority is
                    restoration
                    > of soil fertility (depleted after many cycles of crop production
                    > without any inputs). There is a lot of controversy on the
                    program's
                    > high subsidy for chemical fertilizer supply and potential
                    > environmental impacts, but my professor justified it by saying
                    that
                    > 1) leaching is not a problem when only small amounts of chemical
                    > fertilizers are added, and in fact soil erosion is a more severe
                    > problem when there is nothing to hold the soil, and 2) there is
                    > limited organic matter for use as fertilizers around, and 3)
                    > leguminous trees grow too slowly, and 4) plants respond the same
                    way
                    > to organic and chemical fertilizers.
                    >
                    > He also said that organic farming is not truly sustainable, since
                    > farmers have to spread phosphate rocks on the soil, which is not
                    > sustainable. The price of the crops is also too high to alleviate
                    > the hunger problem in Africa. Manure is said to be not a good
                    source
                    > of potassium because of the high leaching rate.
                    >
                    > I'm just wondering how Fukuoka-style natural farming might address
                    > these problems? I read about Fukuoka's ideas about reforestation
                    > in "Road back to Paradise". Does anyone know whether there's any
                    > follow-up on that and whether it is effective or not?
                    >
                  • Etem Tezcan
                    A response for whether to make compost on urban areas by Matthew Bond: In Natural Farming, p90, it says that I firmly believe that, while compost itself is
                    Message 9 of 29 , Nov 15, 2006
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                      A response for whether to make compost on urban areas by Matthew Bond:





                      In Natural Farming, p90, it says that

                      "I firmly believe that, while compost itself is not without value, the
                      composting of organic materials is fundamentally useless"

                      And on One straw, p40 there is a note which says

                      "Mr.Fukuoka makes compost of his wood ashes and other organic household
                      wastes. He applies this to his small kitchen garden"



                      I believe these two sentences advise that compost making is OK in urban
                      areas



                      Etem













                      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                    • Gloria C. Baikauskas
                      Thank you, Jean Claude. Below is kind of a followup to what I wrote. Writing it made me go walking yesterday on my land. This is what it inspired me to
                      Message 10 of 29 , Nov 15, 2006
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                        Thank you, Jean Claude. Below is kind of a followup to what I
                        wrote. Writing it made me go walking yesterday on my land. This is
                        what it inspired me to write:

                        Today I took a walkabout on the back half of my property....and onto
                        my neighbor's property behind mine. See she mows hers all of the
                        time. I wanted to see the differences. Didn't take a magnifying
                        glass.

                        I had walked up there through weeds happily growing...and weeds
                        turned brown from the drought. I walked on thatch from weeds and
                        wildflowers that grew last year. I didn't see my dirt beneath them.
                        I did see sprouts of green winter weeds peeking their heads through
                        the thatch. What I saw was life......growth.....the way it should
                        be, even if it is not perfect.

                        When I got to my neighbor's property I gasped. It has been 10 years,
                        folks. Ten years! Her land was dirt....bare dirt with a very few
                        brave tiny weeds now and then. I cringed thinking that it was desert
                        here...on her property. The winds I knew were picking up her
                        dirt/soil and blowing it to eternity. It was dry, too. The
                        differences were astounding as I walked about.

                        Which of us has done the right thing? You decide. Which one would
                        you choose after reading of my experience?

                        Gloria, Texas
                        US zone 8a




                        --- In fukuoka_farming@yahoogroups.com, "Ingrid Bauer / Jean-Claude
                        Catry" <instinct@...> wrote:
                        >
                        >
                        > gloria
                        > i am very touch by your attitude during your learning process .
                        > it sound that you are willing to
                        > loose your mind and come back to your senses.
                        > to which you add your gratitude for what is .
                        > thank you it meet my need for respect to nature and understanding
                        or where lie the work needed to be done .
                        >
                        > the only weeds there is are in our minds .
                        >
                        > PS queen anne's lace are very tasty and nutritious . in my
                        former depleted meadow they have been determinant in bringing back
                        some fertility , after 3 years of wild growth they gently surrendered
                        to other plants while the test plot was still wanting badly, them to
                        do their work ,10 years later this annually mowed field is still
                        full of queen anne's lace
                        > jean-claude
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                        >
                      • Ingrid Bauer / Jean-Claude Catry
                        Message 11 of 29 , Nov 15, 2006
                        • 0 Attachment
                          < I'm still new to this so I would be interested to know how Fukuoka
                          deals with kitchen scraps. Does he distribute them far from the
                          house out in the fields?>

                          he was probably composting them close to the kichen aera as he is not against composting , he doesn't see the advantage of working hard at making compost piles ( on a farm scale ) when better result can be obtained growing and rotting the fertiliser on the spot .with minimum effort and less waste of the energy contained in the organic matter.
                          the advantage of kitchen compost is an aestethic and convenience one , no more . in urban aera it is also a recycling issue as a lot of organic matter go wasted for good .
                          my self i don't compost because everything from the kitchen goes to the chickens who do the job for me ( composting on the surface )/
                          jean-claude

                          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                        • Ingrid Bauer / Jean-Claude Catry
                          Again, I would like to point out that I value Fukuoka s methods and I would like to learn more about them even though I do not think they are universally
                          Message 12 of 29 , Nov 15, 2006
                          • 0 Attachment
                            Again, I would like to point out that I value Fukuoka's methods and
                            I would like to learn more about them even though I do not think
                            they are universally applicable to every part of the world.
                            ther is a confusion about masanobu fukuoka' s method .
                            it is not a technic and certainly not reduced to the technics he developped himself for his land , it is an attitude and an understanding of the interdependance of all natural phenomenons. humans being only one element of this dance not the doer of the dance .
                            so his method is non only actually applicable to the world but a necessarry endeavor to heal our relationship to the earth ( note that i am not saying healing the earth )
                            " nature knows thousands of diseases and yet none "
                            jean-claude



                            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                          • Andrew E Fister
                            Excellent point, Jean-claude! Finally, the real dirt on Fukuoka s way. Andrew Fister Wandafar Sanctuary Glasgow, KY, USA On Wed, 15 Nov 2006 19:28:53 -0800
                            Message 13 of 29 , Nov 16, 2006
                            • 0 Attachment
                              Excellent point, Jean-claude! Finally, the real dirt on Fukuoka's way.

                              Andrew Fister
                              Wandafar Sanctuary
                              Glasgow, KY, USA



                              On Wed, 15 Nov 2006 19:28:53 -0800 "Ingrid Bauer / Jean-Claude Catry"
                              <instinct@...> writes:
                              Again, I would like to point out that I value Fukuoka's methods and
                              I would like to learn more about them even though I do not think
                              they are universally applicable to every part of the world.
                              ther is a confusion about masanobu fukuoka' s method .
                              it is not a technic and certainly not reduced to the technics he
                              developped himself for his land , it is an attitude and an understanding
                              of the interdependance of all natural phenomenons. humans being only one
                              element of this dance not the doer of the dance .
                              so his method is non only actually applicable to the world but a
                              necessarry endeavor to heal our relationship to the earth ( note that i
                              am not saying healing the earth )
                              " nature knows thousands of diseases and yet none "
                              jean-claude

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




                              [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                            • Matthew Bond
                              Thank-you, Jean Claude. Merci beaucoup. Now I get it - j y suis! ... and ... developped himself for his land , it is an attitude and an understanding of the
                              Message 14 of 29 , Nov 16, 2006
                              • 0 Attachment
                                Thank-you, Jean Claude. Merci beaucoup. Now I get it - j'y suis!

                                --- In fukuoka_farming@yahoogroups.com, "Ingrid Bauer / Jean-Claude
                                Catry" <instinct@...> wrote:
                                >
                                > Again, I would like to point out that I value Fukuoka's methods
                                and
                                > I would like to learn more about them even though I do not think
                                > they are universally applicable to every part of the world.
                                > ther is a confusion about masanobu fukuoka' s method .
                                > it is not a technic and certainly not reduced to the technics he
                                developped himself for his land , it is an attitude and an
                                understanding of the interdependance of all natural phenomenons.
                                humans being only one element of this dance not the doer of the
                                dance .
                                > so his method is non only actually applicable to the world but a
                                necessarry endeavor to heal our relationship to the earth ( note
                                that i am not saying healing the earth )
                                > " nature knows thousands of diseases and yet none "
                                > jean-claude
                                >
                                >
                                >
                                > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                                >
                              • linda
                                I certainly agree with you and you have stated it well. linda ... From: Ingrid Bauer / Jean-Claude Catry it is an attitude and an
                                Message 15 of 29 , Nov 16, 2006
                                • 0 Attachment
                                  I certainly agree with you and you have stated it well.
                                  linda

                                  ----- Original Message -----
                                  From: "Ingrid Bauer / Jean-Claude Catry" <instinct@...>


                                  it is an attitude and an understanding of the interdependance of all
                                  natural phenomenons. humans being only one element of this dance not the
                                  doer of the dance .
                                  > so his method is non only actually applicable to the world but a
                                  necessarry endeavor to heal our relationship to the earth ( note that i am
                                  not saying healing the earth )
                                  > " nature knows thousands of diseases and yet none "
                                • eccentrik_idiot
                                  Thanks a lot jean-claude, your explanation makes a lot of sense. I had my Millenium Villages course yesterday and asked my professor about the long-term
                                  Message 16 of 29 , Nov 18, 2006
                                  • 0 Attachment
                                    Thanks a lot jean-claude, your explanation makes a lot of sense.

                                    I had my Millenium Villages course yesterday and asked my professor
                                    about the long-term feasibility of using chemical fertilizers in
                                    Africa, and basically he does not see plans to stop using chemical
                                    fertilizers anytime in the future. What he said was that when the
                                    program withdraws its fertilizer subsidies, the villages will buy
                                    the chemical fertilizers themselves because they have gotten
                                    themselves out of the poverty trap and can afford buying stuff by
                                    that time. When I asked him what would happen if they stop using
                                    chemical fertilizers, he said "yields would go down." Also, the
                                    Millenium Villages does not dictate a certain method to villagers,
                                    but works with villagers to identify what they want most. Since the
                                    villagers want chemical fertilizers (they have a very negative
                                    opinion of food aid), the project helped them get fertilizers. And
                                    that's basically it...

                                    Yesterday I saw presentations by two agroforest experts working with
                                    Millenium Villages in Kenya and Malawi, and both of them had very
                                    positive views of chemical fertilizers (it's the greatest success of
                                    the program so far) and were convinced that the African Green
                                    Revolution is under way. In Malawi, the yield has increased hundreds
                                    of percents due to chemical fertilizer application and imported
                                    hybrid maize seeds (from Monsanto...). The hybrid maize is more
                                    suited to African climate than traditional maize in some ways. For
                                    example, it uses less water, and can deal with climate flunctuations
                                    better. Secondly, it matures faster and reduces risks. When I asked
                                    them why they don't plant indigenous drought-resistant crops like
                                    millet instead, they said it's not practical since none of the
                                    villagers want to eat things like millet and sorghum nowadays. I am
                                    not sure whether hybrid maize uses less water than traditional
                                    crops... does anyone know?

                                    Improved yields in maize may also improve biodiversity and
                                    livelihood security, since now that the villagers can feed
                                    themselves they also want to plant some cash crops like cabbages and
                                    groundnuts instead of maize monocrop. However, I do not know if all
                                    this is just short-term speculation... I also fear Africa is going
                                    down the same path everyone else is trying to backtrack nowadays,
                                    but maybe the bottom line is that sustainability is a luxury good at
                                    this stage.


                                    --- In fukuoka_farming@yahoogroups.com, "Matthew Bond"
                                    <m007j_1999@...> wrote:
                                    >
                                    > Thank-you, Jean Claude. Merci beaucoup. Now I get it - j'y suis!
                                    >
                                    > --- In fukuoka_farming@yahoogroups.com, "Ingrid Bauer / Jean-
                                    Claude
                                    > Catry" <instinct@> wrote:
                                    > >
                                    > > Again, I would like to point out that I value Fukuoka's methods
                                    > and
                                    > > I would like to learn more about them even though I do not
                                    think
                                    > > they are universally applicable to every part of the world.
                                    > > ther is a confusion about masanobu fukuoka' s method .
                                    > > it is not a technic and certainly not reduced to the technics he
                                    > developped himself for his land , it is an attitude and an
                                    > understanding of the interdependance of all natural phenomenons.
                                    > humans being only one element of this dance not the doer of the
                                    > dance .
                                    > > so his method is non only actually applicable to the world but a
                                    > necessarry endeavor to heal our relationship to the earth ( note
                                    > that i am not saying healing the earth )
                                    > > " nature knows thousands of diseases and yet none "
                                    > > jean-claude
                                    > >
                                    > >
                                    > >
                                    > > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                                    > >
                                    >
                                  • Ingrid Bauer / Jean-Claude Catry
                                    Message 17 of 29 , Nov 19, 2006
                                    • 0 Attachment
                                      < What he said was that when the
                                      program withdraws its fertilizer subsidies, the villages will buy
                                      the chemical fertilizers themselves because they have gotten
                                      themselves out of the poverty trap and can afford buying stuff by
                                      that time. When I asked him what would happen if they stop using
                                      chemical fertilizers, he said "yields would go down." >

                                      Drud dealer in the street do the same, they bait peoples into dependance then sale their crap .

                                      what happens is that people loose their hability to secrete endorphine and other natural pleasure hormones and become dependant on substances exterior to the body to experience pleasure . the end result is an unavoidable lost of quality of life and hability to feel good on their own feet.
                                      the soil life is no different , withdraw the chemicals and it experience withdrawal symptoms .
                                      the "power" of addiction can be seen in so many aspects of our culture and its commerce .
                                      More people spin off the center of nature and more this process takes its toll ...

                                      more you center yourself in harmony with the flow of nature less addiction have power over you .

                                      The reason Masanobu choose to help the poorest of the poorest , is because they have no chance to get off " the poverty trap" and so no hability to buy dreams . that makes them more receptive to the truth.

                                      Track back the money trail behind those "generous help to the poor" and see !
                                      ( i don't even say your professor is conscient of the role he play into this game, yet he is getting his reward )

                                      soon enough, the rich will beg the poorest of all, to teach them about life without crutches.

                                      jean-claude



                                      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                                    • Forest Shomer
                                      My dear regional neighbor Jean-Claude, It s not so much what you have to say, but the way you say it. The scornful tone in your certitude often causes me to
                                      Message 18 of 29 , Nov 20, 2006
                                      • 0 Attachment
                                        My dear regional neighbor Jean-Claude,

                                        It's not so much what you have to say, but the way you say it. The
                                        scornful tone in your certitude often causes me to wonder, if one
                                        meets such a tone in face-to-face communication, wouldn't one just
                                        walk away, even in mid-sentence? Or stay, and engage in argument?

                                        There are over 900 other readers on this list, and that means there
                                        are as many possible interpretations of Fukuokan teaching. None of
                                        them deserve to be insulted. Just because we don't meet face-to-face
                                        is no excuse for being so harsh.

                                        When you write, try imagining that the person(s) is right in front of
                                        you and that you care for him/her.

                                        The great irony of this list, is that Masanobu Fukuoka doesn't write
                                        in his own comments, yet there are some writers who presume to speak
                                        for him from their own limited perspective. Newbies: take this
                                        second-hand 'teaching' with a few grains of salt!

                                        Twenty years ago, Fukuoka-san visited and stayed in my home for three
                                        days. We walked around the gardens I had at that time (they don't
                                        exist now) and he commented, "This is 80% of what I do."

                                        To me that means that either I have 20% more to learn (actually one
                                        never stops learning), or he graciously grants me 20% in which to be
                                        different and develop my own locality-specific form of mastery.

                                        So most of all, he is gracious in his method. This matters at least
                                        as much as the specific techniques he offers.

                                        Personally, I enjoy very much Bob Monie's contributions to this list.
                                        He speaks from personal experience, employs Fukuokan teaching in a
                                        non-doctrinal way as befits his situation, shows consideration for
                                        all readers, and doesn't come across as self-aggrandizing. Bob, I
                                        would enjoy meeting you someday!

                                        Truly,

                                        Forest Shomer
                                        Port Townsend, WA, USA




                                        At 12:14 PM +0000 11/20/06, fukuoka_farming@yahoogroups.com wrote:
                                        >Drud dealer in the street do the same, they bait peoples into
                                        >dependance then sale their crap .
                                        >
                                        >what happens is that people loose their hability to secrete
                                        >endorphine and other natural pleasure hormones and become dependant
                                        >on substances exterior to the body to experience pleasure . the end
                                        >result is an unavoidable lost of quality of life and hability to
                                        >feel good on their own feet.
                                        >the soil life is no different , withdraw the chemicals and it
                                        >experience withdrawal symptoms .
                                        >the "power" of addiction can be seen in so many aspects of our
                                        >culture and its commerce .
                                        >More people spin off the center of nature and more this process
                                        >takes its toll ...
                                        >
                                        >more you center yourself in harmony with the flow of nature less
                                        >addiction have power over you .
                                        >
                                        >The reason Masanobu choose to help the poorest of the poorest , is
                                        >because they have no chance to get off " the poverty trap" and so no
                                        >hability to buy dreams . that makes them more receptive to the truth.
                                        >
                                        >Track back the money trail behind those "generous help to the poor" and see !
                                        >( i don't even say your professor is conscient of the role he play
                                        >into this game, yet he is getting his reward )
                                        >
                                        >soon enough, the rich will beg the poorest of all, to teach them
                                        >about life without crutches.
                                        >
                                        >jean-claude

                                        --
                                      • Matthew Bond
                                        Brilliant! I never thought of fertilisers being like drugs of dependence! That just sums it up beautifully! ... dependance then sale their crap . ...
                                        Message 19 of 29 , Nov 20, 2006
                                        • 0 Attachment
                                          Brilliant! I never thought of fertilisers being like drugs of
                                          dependence! That just sums it up beautifully!

                                          --- In fukuoka_farming@yahoogroups.com, "Ingrid Bauer / Jean-Claude
                                          Catry" <instinct@...> wrote:
                                          >
                                          > < What he said was that when the
                                          > program withdraws its fertilizer subsidies, the villages will buy
                                          > the chemical fertilizers themselves because they have gotten
                                          > themselves out of the poverty trap and can afford buying stuff by
                                          > that time. When I asked him what would happen if they stop using
                                          > chemical fertilizers, he said "yields would go down." >
                                          >
                                          > Drud dealer in the street do the same, they bait peoples into
                                          dependance then sale their crap .
                                          >
                                          > what happens is that people loose their hability to secrete
                                          endorphine and other natural pleasure hormones and become dependant
                                          on substances exterior to the body to experience pleasure . the end
                                          result is an unavoidable lost of quality of life and hability to
                                          feel good on their own feet.
                                          > the soil life is no different , withdraw the chemicals and it
                                          experience withdrawal symptoms .
                                          > the "power" of addiction can be seen in so many aspects of our
                                          culture and its commerce .
                                          > More people spin off the center of nature and more this process
                                          takes its toll ...
                                          >
                                          > more you center yourself in harmony with the flow of nature less
                                          addiction have power over you .
                                          >
                                          > The reason Masanobu choose to help the poorest of the poorest ,
                                          is because they have no chance to get off " the poverty trap" and so
                                          no hability to buy dreams . that makes them more receptive to the
                                          truth.
                                          >
                                          > Track back the money trail behind those "generous help to the
                                          poor" and see !
                                          > ( i don't even say your professor is conscient of the role he play
                                          into this game, yet he is getting his reward )
                                          >
                                          > soon enough, the rich will beg the poorest of all, to teach them
                                          about life without crutches.
                                          >
                                          > jean-claude
                                          >
                                          >
                                          >
                                          > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                                          >
                                        • Ingrid Bauer / Jean-Claude Catry
                                          hello forest Are you feeling annoyed and uneasy because you would like some consideration for other point of view? it will help me if you could give me a
                                          Message 20 of 29 , Nov 20, 2006
                                          • 0 Attachment
                                            hello forest

                                            Are you feeling annoyed and uneasy because you would like some consideration for other point of view?
                                            it will help me if you could give me a specific observation of what i am writing that trigger such feeling .

                                            I am wondering how you can to get the tone of my saying thru email .
                                            i am not in agreement with your perception of my tone , it is not my experience !
                                            i value other people's certitudes and so i value mines!

                                            if you look carefully Masanobu's writing you will see that he value this also, yet in person he is a gentle man.
                                            i will love to meet you and your garden one day ,i have friends in portownsend . you are also welcome to visit me and hear the tone of my voice .

                                            i am curious if forest concerns are shared by others it will meet my need for clarity .
                                            jean-claude
                                            ----- Original Message -----
                                            From: Forest Shomer
                                            To: fukuoka_farming@yahoogroups.com
                                            Sent: Monday, November 20, 2006 6:49 AM
                                            Subject: [fukuoka_farming] Re: Chemical fertilizers for farming in Africa


                                            My dear regional neighbor Jean-Claude,

                                            It's not so much what you have to say, but the way you say it. The
                                            scornful tone in your certitude often causes me to wonder, if one
                                            meets such a tone in face-to-face communication, wouldn't one just
                                            walk away, even in mid-sentence? Or stay, and engage in argument?

                                            There are over 900 other readers on this list, and that means there
                                            are as many possible interpretations of Fukuokan teaching. None of
                                            them deserve to be insulted. Just because we don't meet face-to-face
                                            is no excuse for being so harsh.

                                            When you write, try imagining that the person(s) is right in front of
                                            you and that you care for him/her.

                                            The great irony of this list, is that Masanobu Fukuoka doesn't write
                                            in his own comments, yet there are some writers who presume to speak
                                            for him from their own limited perspective. Newbies: take this
                                            second-hand 'teaching' with a few grains of salt!

                                            Twenty years ago, Fukuoka-san visited and stayed in my home for three
                                            days. We walked around the gardens I had at that time (they don't
                                            exist now) and he commented, "This is 80% of what I do."

                                            To me that means that either I have 20% more to learn (actually one
                                            never stops learning), or he graciously grants me 20% in which to be
                                            different and develop my own locality-specific form of mastery.

                                            So most of all, he is gracious in his method. This matters at least
                                            as much as the specific techniques he offers.

                                            Personally, I enjoy very much Bob Monie's contributions to this list.
                                            He speaks from personal experience, employs Fukuokan teaching in a
                                            non-doctrinal way as befits his situation, shows consideration for
                                            all readers, and doesn't come across as self-aggrandizing. Bob, I
                                            would enjoy meeting you someday!

                                            Truly,

                                            Forest Shomer
                                            Port Townsend, WA, USA

                                            At 12:14 PM +0000 11/20/06, fukuoka_farming@yahoogroups.com wrote:
                                            >Drud dealer in the street do the same, they bait peoples into
                                            >dependance then sale their crap .
                                            >
                                            >what happens is that people loose their hability to secrete
                                            >endorphine and other natural pleasure hormones and become dependant
                                            >on substances exterior to the body to experience pleasure . the end
                                            >result is an unavoidable lost of quality of life and hability to
                                            >feel good on their own feet.
                                            >the soil life is no different , withdraw the chemicals and it
                                            >experience withdrawal symptoms .
                                            >the "power" of addiction can be seen in so many aspects of our
                                            >culture and its commerce .
                                            >More people spin off the center of nature and more this process
                                            >takes its toll ...
                                            >
                                            >more you center yourself in harmony with the flow of nature less
                                            >addiction have power over you .
                                            >
                                            >The reason Masanobu choose to help the poorest of the poorest , is
                                            >because they have no chance to get off " the poverty trap" and so no
                                            >hability to buy dreams . that makes them more receptive to the truth.
                                            >
                                            >Track back the money trail behind those "generous help to the poor" and see !
                                            >( i don't even say your professor is conscient of the role he play
                                            >into this game, yet he is getting his reward )
                                            >
                                            >soon enough, the rich will beg the poorest of all, to teach them
                                            >about life without crutches.
                                            >
                                            >jean-claude

                                            --





                                            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                                          • michael
                                            Forest, is Duke Rhodes still knocking about in your town these days? - Michael ... [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                                            Message 21 of 29 , Jan 8, 2007
                                            • 0 Attachment
                                              Forest,
                                              is Duke Rhodes still knocking about in your town these days?
                                              - Michael

                                              On Nov 20, 2006, at 8:49 AM, Forest Shomer wrote:

                                              > My dear regional neighbor Jean-Claude,
                                              >
                                              > It's not so much what you have to say, but the way you say it. The
                                              > scornful tone in your certitude often causes me to wonder, if one
                                              > meets such a tone in face-to-face communication, wouldn't one just
                                              > walk away, even in mid-sentence? Or stay, and engage in argument?
                                              >
                                              > There are over 900 other readers on this list, and that means there
                                              > are as many possible interpretations of Fukuokan teaching. None of
                                              > them deserve to be insulted. Just because we don't meet face-to-face
                                              > is no excuse for being so harsh.
                                              >
                                              > When you write, try imagining that the person(s) is right in front of
                                              > you and that you care for him/her.
                                              >
                                              > The great irony of this list, is that Masanobu Fukuoka doesn't write
                                              > in his own comments, yet there are some writers who presume to speak
                                              > for him from their own limited perspective. Newbies: take this
                                              > second-hand 'teaching' with a few grains of salt!
                                              >
                                              > Twenty years ago, Fukuoka-san visited and stayed in my home for three
                                              > days. We walked around the gardens I had at that time (they don't
                                              > exist now) and he commented, "This is 80% of what I do."
                                              >
                                              > To me that means that either I have 20% more to learn (actually one
                                              > never stops learning), or he graciously grants me 20% in which to be
                                              > different and develop my own locality-specific form of mastery.
                                              >
                                              > So most of all, he is gracious in his method. This matters at least
                                              > as much as the specific techniques he offers.
                                              >
                                              > Personally, I enjoy very much Bob Monie's contributions to this list.
                                              > He speaks from personal experience, employs Fukuokan teaching in a
                                              > non-doctrinal way as befits his situation, shows consideration for
                                              > all readers, and doesn't come across as self-aggrandizing. Bob, I
                                              > would enjoy meeting you someday!
                                              >
                                              > Truly,
                                              >
                                              > Forest Shomer
                                              > Port Townsend, WA, USA
                                              >
                                              > At 12:14 PM +0000 11/20/06, fukuoka_farming@yahoogroups.com wrote:
                                              > >Drud dealer in the street do the same, they bait peoples into
                                              > >dependance then sale their crap .
                                              > >
                                              > >what happens is that people loose their hability to secrete
                                              > >endorphine and other natural pleasure hormones and become dependant
                                              > >on substances exterior to the body to experience pleasure . the end
                                              > >result is an unavoidable lost of quality of life and hability to
                                              > >feel good on their own feet.
                                              > >the soil life is no different , withdraw the chemicals and it
                                              > >experience withdrawal symptoms .
                                              > >the "power" of addiction can be seen in so many aspects of our
                                              > >culture and its commerce .
                                              > >More people spin off the center of nature and more this process
                                              > >takes its toll ...
                                              > >
                                              > >more you center yourself in harmony with the flow of nature less
                                              > >addiction have power over you .
                                              > >
                                              > >The reason Masanobu choose to help the poorest of the poorest , is
                                              > >because they have no chance to get off " the poverty trap" and so no
                                              > >hability to buy dreams . that makes them more receptive to the truth.
                                              > >
                                              > >Track back the money trail behind those "generous help to the
                                              > poor" and see !
                                              > >( i don't even say your professor is conscient of the role he play
                                              > >into this game, yet he is getting his reward )
                                              > >
                                              > >soon enough, the rich will beg the poorest of all, to teach them
                                              > >about life without crutches.
                                              > >
                                              > >jean-claude
                                              >
                                              > --
                                              >
                                              >
                                              >



                                              [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                                            • Jeff
                                              One of the ideas I ve run across that is truely inspiring for the tropics is terra preata. It is a system of soil improvement by the ancients in the Amazon
                                              Message 22 of 29 , May 13 12:00 PM
                                              • 0 Attachment
                                                One of the ideas I've run across that is truely inspiring for the
                                                tropics is terra preata.

                                                It is a system of soil improvement by the ancients in the Amazon Rain
                                                forest basin. Tracts of 200 acres have been found. Amazingly after 500
                                                years of cultivation they retain significant fertility.

                                                The primary ingredient in terra preata is bio-char (low to mid
                                                temperature charcoal). It sorbs nutrients very tightly and prevents
                                                leaching. The bio-char also has ideal water holding capacity.

                                                The terra preata soils have up to 30% charcoal.

                                                There are several sites on the internet available with technical
                                                information.

                                                Does anyone from the group have experience with this??
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