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Rocks!!

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  • tykei2
    Hi All, I think I may have a problem. I have secured a plot of land for farming. But I recently discovered that its made up of several layers that may make it
    Message 1 of 17 , Nov 26, 2006
    • 0 Attachment
      Hi All,

      I think I may have a problem. I have secured a plot of land for
      farming. But I recently discovered that its made up of several layers
      that may make it difficult for farming, Im not sure.

      Its land that was modified to make the house that is on the property
      stable as it is in a slide zone. In this respect it was a success, but
      the way they did it might cause problems for me, Im not sure.

      On the very bottom layer there is some clay/soil type of element, its
      about 15-20 feet down I estimate.

      On top of that the contractors dumped giant boulders, to stabalize the
      ground. Id say 10 feet high tops.

      Then on top of that they put top soil, not a very thick layer, but
      grass and palm trees are growing in it just fine.

      So my question is: will this cause me problems down the line as I try
      to grow things?

      It seems that the plants would try to grow deep roots, getting through
      the top soil only to hit giant rocks with not much soil at all at that
      layer.

      Does anyone have any experience growing in these conditions?


      thanks!

      -Ty
    • Steve Gage
      Hey there Ty, Sounds exactly like typical New Hampshire conditions, only here we blame the glacier instead of contractors :-) I surely wouldn t worry about
      Message 2 of 17 , Nov 26, 2006
      • 0 Attachment
        Hey there Ty,

        Sounds exactly like typical New Hampshire conditions, only here we blame
        the glacier instead of contractors :-)

        I surely wouldn't worry about what's 15-20 feet down. 15-20 inches is
        more like it around here.

        When you say "not very thick" about the topsoil, what do you mean? And
        it would be useful to let us know where you are. I know you're not in
        New Hampshire, because of the palm trees :-)

        In any case, there's probably quite a bit of soil around those big
        rocks. And what are you intending to grow? Seems like if the grass and
        palm trees are happy, you should have something to work with.

        But here's my free all-purpose prescription: Add organic matter :-)

        All best,

        - Steve

        tykei2 wrote:
        > Hi All,
        >
        > I think I may have a problem. I have secured a plot of land for
        > farming. But I recently discovered that its made up of several layers
        > that may make it difficult for farming, Im not sure.
        >
        > Its land that was modified to make the house that is on the property
        > stable as it is in a slide zone. In this respect it was a success, but
        > the way they did it might cause problems for me, Im not sure.
        >
        > On the very bottom layer there is some clay/soil type of element, its
        > about 15-20 feet down I estimate.
        >
        > On top of that the contractors dumped giant boulders, to stabalize the
        > ground. Id say 10 feet high tops.
        >
        > Then on top of that they put top soil, not a very thick layer, but
        > grass and palm trees are growing in it just fine.
        >
        > So my question is: will this cause me problems down the line as I try
        > to grow things?
        >
        > It seems that the plants would try to grow deep roots, getting through
        > the top soil only to hit giant rocks with not much soil at all at that
        > layer.
        >
        > Does anyone have any experience growing in these conditions?
        >
        >
        > thanks!
        >
        > -Ty
        >
        >
        >
        >
        > Yahoo! Groups Links
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
      • Matthew Bond
        Does the area flood, do you get a lot of frosts settling in your area? If so, it might be best to dig that soil out and have a dam and farm fish or some other
        Message 3 of 17 , Nov 26, 2006
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          Does the area flood, do you get a lot of frosts settling in your
          area? If so, it might be best to dig that soil out and have a dam
          and farm fish or some other type of water creature. Do you have
          yabbies in your area??!

          Matthew.
          --- In fukuoka_farming@yahoogroups.com, "tykei2" <tykei2@...> wrote:
          >
          > Hi All,
          >
          > I think I may have a problem. I have secured a plot of land for
          > farming. But I recently discovered that its made up of several
          layers
          > that may make it difficult for farming, Im not sure.
          >
          > Its land that was modified to make the house that is on the
          property
          > stable as it is in a slide zone. In this respect it was a success,
          but
          > the way they did it might cause problems for me, Im not sure.
          >
          > On the very bottom layer there is some clay/soil type of element,
          its
          > about 15-20 feet down I estimate.
          >
          > On top of that the contractors dumped giant boulders, to stabalize
          the
          > ground. Id say 10 feet high tops.
          >
          > Then on top of that they put top soil, not a very thick layer, but
          > grass and palm trees are growing in it just fine.
          >
          > So my question is: will this cause me problems down the line as I
          try
          > to grow things?
          >
          > It seems that the plants would try to grow deep roots, getting
          through
          > the top soil only to hit giant rocks with not much soil at all at
          that
          > layer.
          >
          > Does anyone have any experience growing in these conditions?
          >
          >
          > thanks!
          >
          > -Ty
          >
        • Robert Monie
          Hi Ty and Steve, Everything Steve said about rocks that far down under the field is exactly right; unless you plan to specialize in growing some fantastically
          Message 4 of 17 , Nov 27, 2006
          • 0 Attachment
            Hi Ty and Steve,

            Everything Steve said about rocks that far down under the field is exactly right; unless you plan to specialize in growing some fantastically deep underground plant like the Japanese Imo mountain yam (cinnamon vine), you have plenty enough depth in your soil to grow most vegetables, legumes, and fruits. In addition to adding organic matter, you could experiment with various seasonaly rotating cover crops to see which work best for you in your microclimate.

            Some cover crops to try are spelt, ryegrass, red clover, and hairy vetch in fall/winter, buckwheat in summer, and yellow blossom clover or birdsfoot trefoil in spring. Also try agricultural chicory for as long as you can keep it going. Yellow mustard, daikon, and oilseed radish are also good bets.

            Each of these crops has its own special role in creating topsoil, both the humus and the glomular glycoprotein parts that science now tells us are essential for soil fertility. Rye and buckwheat are alleopathic and do most of your weeding for you; buckwheat also takes up and releases phosphorus. Red Clover and yellow sweet clover burrow through the hard soil (though don't expect them to do much with the boulders--at least in the next 100 years) and fix nitrogen from the air; birdsfoot trefoil also fixes nitrogen and is not nearly so finicky about getting started as the clovers are; hairy vetch is a companion plant to rye that flourishes in cool weather; buckwheat will grow in the steaming South; yellow mustard mines nutrients from low levels, sudan grass provides mass for decomposition; chicory adds inulin to the soil to build humus, and so forth. One of the old "ley" mixes might work well for you too (these usually combine chicory or burnet, a bunchgrass or two, a few
            kinds of rye, a legume and some herbs for good measure). And don't forget Fukuoka's beloved short and middle-sized white clovers, White Dutch, New Zealand or New Zealand Dutch, or Ladino. In my experience the white clovers work best after a few years of soil build up and preparation. Then, you can really sow some vegetables among the clovers and they just might come up.

            Some places where you can find these cover crops, expecially in high quantity volume: Cooper Seeds http://www.cooperseeds.com for buckwheat, ryegrass, hairy vetch and chicory and some of the clovers. Main Street Seeds ttp://www.mainstreetseedandsupply.com a good alternative.

            Pinetree Seeds http://www.superseeds.com for spelt and bird'sfoot trefoil

            Peaceful Valley Seeds http://www.groworganic.com for mixed (including yellow and white)mustard, oilseed radish (Johnny's Seeds http://www. also has these and Sudan grass as well), an herbal pasture mix (what I call a "ley mix"), and several clovers.

            Bob Monie
            Zone 8
            USA




            Steve Gage <sgage@...> wrote:
            Hey there Ty,

            Sounds exactly like typical New Hampshire conditions, only here we blame
            the glacier instead of contractors :-)

            I surely wouldn't worry about what's 15-20 feet down. 15-20 inches is
            more like it around here.

            When you say "not very thick" about the topsoil, what do you mean? And
            it would be useful to let us know where you are. I know you're not in
            New Hampshire, because of the palm trees :-)

            In any case, there's probably quite a bit of soil around those big
            rocks. And what are you intending to grow? Seems like if the grass and
            palm trees are happy, you should have something to work with.

            But here's my free all-purpose prescription: Add organic matter :-)

            All best,

            - Steve

            tykei2 wrote:
            > Hi All,
            >
            > I think I may have a problem. I have secured a plot of land for
            > farming. But I recently discovered that its made up of several layers
            > that may make it difficult for farming, Im not sure.
            >
            > Its land that was modified to make the house that is on the property
            > stable as it is in a slide zone. In this respect it was a success, but
            > the way they did it might cause problems for me, Im not sure.
            >
            > On the very bottom layer there is some clay/soil type of element, its
            > about 15-20 feet down I estimate.
            >
            > On top of that the contractors dumped giant boulders, to stabalize the
            > ground. Id say 10 feet high tops.
            >
            > Then on top of that they put top soil, not a very thick layer, but
            > grass and palm trees are growing in it just fine.
            >
            > So my question is: will this cause me problems down the line as I try
            > to grow things?
            >
            > It seems that the plants would try to grow deep roots, getting through
            > the top soil only to hit giant rocks with not much soil at all at that
            > layer.
            >
            > Does anyone have any experience growing in these conditions?
            >
            >
            > thanks!
            >
            > -Ty
            >
            >
            >
            >
            > Yahoo! Groups Links
            >
            >
            >
            >
            >






            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
          • Ty Robinson
            thanks for the replies guys, Im in Hawaii. The area the farm is planned to be in is rather wet. In fact there is a stream about 20 feet (6+ meters) away. By
            Message 5 of 17 , Nov 28, 2006
            • 0 Attachment
              thanks for the replies guys,

              Im in Hawaii. The area the farm is planned to be in is
              rather wet. In fact there is a stream about 20 feet
              (6+ meters) away.

              By top soil thickness, I really meant depth sorry for
              not being clear about that.

              The soil has been fertalized and fertalized again. I
              dont know the quality, but the environment is wet, so
              most things grow. But some things are not so good,
              like Mango. Its too wet so it splits and rots before
              you can pick it.

              Any ideas about what grows well in warm, wet tropical
              climates would be helpful.

              thanks for the advice!

              -Ty
            • torskel87
              Hi Everyone This is Miguel from Ecuador, I am very interested in the subject of cover crops because I have been building terraces and once that I build them
              Message 6 of 17 , Nov 29, 2006
              • 0 Attachment
                Hi Everyone
                This is Miguel from Ecuador, I am very interested in the subject of
                cover crops because I have been building terraces and once that I
                build them the remaining soil is really poor because the intensive
                labor and movement of the topsoil.
                Maybe is not so natural to build terraces, and I am building them like
                the Incas used to do,but I´ve seen that if you don´t build them in
                hilly lands, water absortion and soil fertility are poor, once that I
                build them the remaining soil is really poor so what I´ve trying is to
                rebuild it with cover crops, but I am wondering if the cover crops
                might be able to rebuild top soil once the it´s been completly mooved,
                somebody have an idea about this...I ve tried two ways of building
                terraces, one is by slow formation, just building a green wall of
                grass and leting the soil to be cariied year after year by the rain,
                and in this case the terraces are narrow, in this kind of terraces
                I´ve tried with natural farming, the other way is building a tall wall
                and moove all the soil with a hoe until I get a flat surface, in this
                case is when I wonder if a cover crop might be able to rebuild the
                soil????? In this case the terraces are usally broad.
                Maybe it would more natural to create green contours, but it would
                take a really long time until I get a flat surface on a slope.If
                somebody have expeience with farming on hilly lands I would thank any
                idea or advice.
                The advantages of terracing are that once builded, fertility remains
                forever and is not washed by the rain, and water absortion improves a
                lot.Also the microclamate created in the terrace prtotects the plants
                from the harsh conditions of the highlands(I am farming over 9200
                ft)specially wind and frost, I´ve tried natural farming on terraces
                and it works really good but only once the fertility is back, in some
                terraces I´´ve been trying to grow vegetables in a natural way and is
                amaizing to see daikon, lettuce, chard, turnip and clover replanting
                by themselvs with any work year after year, the only thing that I do
                in some terraces is spacing because daikon and lettuce seeds are
                scattered by birds and grow to thick, but once that the spacing is
                done the only thing that i have to do is harvesting....
                Soon i would like to post some photos about the terraces and the
                natural replanting of vegetables and andean tubers, but how do i post
                the photos in the group???
                Cheers
                Miguel


                --- In fukuoka_farming@yahoogroups.com, Robert Monie <bobm20001@...>
                wrote:
                >
                > Hi Ty and Steve,
                >
                > Everything Steve said about rocks that far down under the field is
                exactly right; unless you plan to specialize in growing some
                fantastically deep underground plant like the Japanese Imo mountain
                yam (cinnamon vine), you have plenty enough depth in your soil to grow
                most vegetables, legumes, and fruits. In addition to adding organic
                matter, you could experiment with various seasonaly rotating cover
                crops to see which work best for you in your microclimate.
                >
                > Some cover crops to try are spelt, ryegrass, red clover, and hairy
                vetch in fall/winter, buckwheat in summer, and yellow blossom clover
                or birdsfoot trefoil in spring. Also try agricultural chicory for as
                long as you can keep it going. Yellow mustard, daikon, and oilseed
                radish are also good bets.
                >
                > Each of these crops has its own special role in creating topsoil,
                both the humus and the glomular glycoprotein parts that science now
                tells us are essential for soil fertility. Rye and buckwheat are
                alleopathic and do most of your weeding for you; buckwheat also takes
                up and releases phosphorus. Red Clover and yellow sweet clover burrow
                through the hard soil (though don't expect them to do much with the
                boulders--at least in the next 100 years) and fix nitrogen from the
                air; birdsfoot trefoil also fixes nitrogen and is not nearly so
                finicky about getting started as the clovers are; hairy vetch is a
                companion plant to rye that flourishes in cool weather; buckwheat will
                grow in the steaming South; yellow mustard mines nutrients from low
                levels, sudan grass provides mass for decomposition; chicory adds
                inulin to the soil to build humus, and so forth. One of the old "ley"
                mixes might work well for you too (these usually combine chicory or
                burnet, a bunchgrass or two, a few
                > kinds of rye, a legume and some herbs for good measure). And don't
                forget Fukuoka's beloved short and middle-sized white clovers, White
                Dutch, New Zealand or New Zealand Dutch, or Ladino. In my experience
                the white clovers work best after a few years of soil build up and
                preparation. Then, you can really sow some vegetables among the
                clovers and they just might come up.
                >
                > Some places where you can find these cover crops, expecially in
                high quantity volume: Cooper Seeds http://www.cooperseeds.com for
                buckwheat, ryegrass, hairy vetch and chicory and some of the clovers.
                Main Street Seeds ttp://www.mainstreetseedandsupply.com a good
                alternative.
                >
                > Pinetree Seeds http://www.superseeds.com for spelt and bird'sfoot
                trefoil
                >
                > Peaceful Valley Seeds http://www.groworganic.com for mixed
                (including yellow and white)mustard, oilseed radish (Johnny's Seeds
                http://www. also has these and Sudan grass as well), an herbal pasture
                mix (what I call a "ley mix"), and several clovers.
                >
                > Bob Monie
                > Zone 8
                > USA
                >
                >
                >
                >
                > Steve Gage <sgage@...> wrote:
                > Hey there Ty,
                >
                > Sounds exactly like typical New Hampshire conditions, only here we
                blame
                > the glacier instead of contractors :-)
                >
                > I surely wouldn't worry about what's 15-20 feet down. 15-20 inches is
                > more like it around here.
                >
                > When you say "not very thick" about the topsoil, what do you mean? And
                > it would be useful to let us know where you are. I know you're not in
                > New Hampshire, because of the palm trees :-)
                >
                > In any case, there's probably quite a bit of soil around those big
                > rocks. And what are you intending to grow? Seems like if the grass and
                > palm trees are happy, you should have something to work with.
                >
                > But here's my free all-purpose prescription: Add organic matter :-)
                >
                > All best,
                >
                > - Steve
                >
                > tykei2 wrote:
                > > Hi All,
                > >
                > > I think I may have a problem. I have secured a plot of land for
                > > farming. But I recently discovered that its made up of several layers
                > > that may make it difficult for farming, Im not sure.
                > >
                > > Its land that was modified to make the house that is on the property
                > > stable as it is in a slide zone. In this respect it was a success, but
                > > the way they did it might cause problems for me, Im not sure.
                > >
                > > On the very bottom layer there is some clay/soil type of element, its
                > > about 15-20 feet down I estimate.
                > >
                > > On top of that the contractors dumped giant boulders, to stabalize the
                > > ground. Id say 10 feet high tops.
                > >
                > > Then on top of that they put top soil, not a very thick layer, but
                > > grass and palm trees are growing in it just fine.
                > >
                > > So my question is: will this cause me problems down the line as I try
                > > to grow things?
                > >
                > > It seems that the plants would try to grow deep roots, getting through
                > > the top soil only to hit giant rocks with not much soil at all at that
                > > layer.
                > >
                > > Does anyone have any experience growing in these conditions?
                > >
                > >
                > > thanks!
                > >
                > > -Ty
                > >
                > >
                > >
                > >
                > > Yahoo! Groups Links
                > >
                > >
                > >
                > >
                > >
                >
                >
                >
                >
                >
                >
                > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                >
              • Javier Dávila
                Hi from Nuevo León, Mexico. i´m building terraces too and find that the poor soil don´t allow leguminous as bean or trebol, then for start i include, (not a
                Message 7 of 17 , Nov 30, 2006
                • 0 Attachment
                  Hi from Nuevo León, Mexico.

                  i´m building terraces too and find that the poor
                  soil don´t allow leguminous as
                  bean or trebol, then for start i include, (not a
                  first time) manure, now i can seed
                  bean (with inoculant) and work fine if there is water after the seed.

                  now thanks at Matthew i find one site interesting
                  to improve the soil. that speak of
                  yeomans book.
                  www.keyline.com.au


                  ant thanks at Niels Corfield i find the site to include photos.

                  <http://www.flickr.com/photos/nielscorfield/>http://www.flickr.com/photos

                  Javier H. Dávila





                  At 06:04 p.m. 29/11/2006, torskel87 wrote:

                  >Hi Everyone
                  >This is Miguel from Ecuador, I am very interested in the subject of
                  >cover crops because I have been building terraces and once that I
                  >build them the remaining soil is really poor because the intensive
                  >labor and movement of the topsoil.
                  >Maybe is not so natural to build terraces, and I am building them like
                  >the Incas used to do,but I´ve seen that if you don´t build them in
                  >hilly lands, water absortion and soil fertility are poor, once that I
                  >build them the remaining soil is really poor so what I´ve trying is to
                  >rebuild it with cover crops, but I am wondering if the cover crops
                  >might be able to rebuild top soil once the it´s been completly mooved,
                  >somebody have an idea about this...I ve tried two ways of building
                  >terraces, one is by slow formation, just building a green wall of
                  >grass and leting the soil to be cariied year after year by the rain,
                  >and in this case the terraces are narrow, in this kind of terraces
                  >I´ve tried with natural farming, the other way is building a tall wall
                  >and moove all the soil with a hoe until I get a flat surface, in this
                  >case is when I wonder if a cover crop might be able to rebuild the
                  >soil????? In this case the terraces are usally broad.
                  >Maybe it would more natural to create green contours, but it would
                  >take a really long time until I get a flat surface on a slope.If
                  >somebody have expeience with farming on hilly lands I would thank any
                  >idea or advice.
                  >The advantages of terracing are that once builded, fertility remains
                  >forever and is not washed by the rain, and water absortion improves a
                  >lot.Also the microclamate created in the terrace prtotects the plants
                  >from the harsh conditions of the highlands(I am farming over 9200
                  >ft)specially wind and frost, I´ve tried natural farming on terraces
                  >and it works really good but only once the fertility is back, in some
                  >terraces I´´ve been trying to grow vegetables in a natural way and is
                  >amaizing to see daikon, lettuce, chard, turnip and clover replanting
                  >by themselvs with any work year after year, the only thing that I do
                  >in some terraces is spacing because daikon and lettuce seeds are
                  >scattered by birds and grow to thick, but once that the spacing is
                  >done the only thing that i have to do is harvesting....
                  >Soon i would like to post some photos about the terraces and the
                  >natural replanting of vegetables and andean tubers, but how do i post
                  >the photos in the group???
                  >Cheers
                  >Miguel
                  >
                  >--- In
                  ><mailto:fukuoka_farming%40yahoogroups.com>fukuoka_farming@yahoogroups.com,
                  >Robert Monie <bobm20001@...>
                  >wrote:
                  > >
                  > > Hi Ty and Steve,
                  > >
                  > > Everything Steve said about rocks that far down under the field is
                  >exactly right; unless you plan to specialize in growing some
                  >fantastically deep underground plant like the Japanese Imo mountain
                  >yam (cinnamon vine), you have plenty enough depth in your soil to grow
                  >most vegetables, legumes, and fruits. In addition to adding organic
                  >matter, you could experiment with various seasonaly rotating cover
                  >crops to see which work best for you in your microclimate.
                  > >
                  > > Some cover crops to try are spelt, ryegrass, red clover, and hairy
                  >vetch in fall/winter, buckwheat in summer, and yellow blossom clover
                  >or birdsfoot trefoil in spring. Also try agricultural chicory for as
                  >long as you can keep it going. Yellow mustard, daikon, and oilseed
                  >radish are also good bets.
                  > >
                  > > Each of these crops has its own special role in creating topsoil,
                  >both the humus and the glomular glycoprotein parts that science now
                  >tells us are essential for soil fertility. Rye and buckwheat are
                  >alleopathic and do most of your weeding for you; buckwheat also takes
                  >up and releases phosphorus. Red Clover and yellow sweet clover burrow
                  >through the hard soil (though don't expect them to do much with the
                  >boulders--at least in the next 100 years) and fix nitrogen from the
                  >air; birdsfoot trefoil also fixes nitrogen and is not nearly so
                  >finicky about getting started as the clovers are; hairy vetch is a
                  >companion plant to rye that flourishes in cool weather; buckwheat will
                  >grow in the steaming South; yellow mustard mines nutrients from low
                  >levels, sudan grass provides mass for decomposition; chicory adds
                  >inulin to the soil to build humus, and so forth. One of the old "ley"
                  >mixes might work well for you too (these usually combine chicory or
                  >burnet, a bunchgrass or two, a few
                  > > kinds of rye, a legume and some herbs for good measure). And don't
                  >forget Fukuoka's beloved short and middle-sized white clovers, White
                  >Dutch, New Zealand or New Zealand Dutch, or Ladino. In my experience
                  >the white clovers work best after a few years of soil build up and
                  >preparation. Then, you can really sow some vegetables among the
                  >clovers and they just might come up.
                  > >
                  > > Some places where you can find these cover crops, expecially in
                  >high quantity volume: Cooper Seeds
                  ><http://www.cooperseeds.com>http://www.cooperseeds.com for
                  >buckwheat, ryegrass, hairy vetch and chicory and some of the clovers.
                  >Main Street Seeds
                  ><ttp://www.mainstreetseedandsupply.com>ttp://www.mainstreetseedandsupply.com
                  >a good
                  >alternative.
                  > >
                  > > Pinetree Seeds
                  > <http://www.superseeds.com>http://www.superseeds.com for spelt and bird'sfoot
                  >trefoil
                  > >
                  > > Peaceful Valley Seeds
                  > <http://www.groworganic.com>http://www.groworganic.com for mixed
                  >(including yellow and white)mustard, oilseed radish (Johnny's Seeds
                  ><http://www.>http://www. also has these and
                  >Sudan grass as well), an herbal pasture
                  >mix (what I call a "ley mix"), and several clovers.
                  > >
                  > > Bob Monie
                  > > Zone 8
                  > > USA
                  > >
                  > >
                  > >
                  > >
                  > > Steve Gage <sgage@...> wrote:
                  > > Hey there Ty,
                  > >
                  > > Sounds exactly like typical New Hampshire conditions, only here we
                  >blame
                  > > the glacier instead of contractors :-)
                  > >
                  > > I surely wouldn't worry about what's 15-20 feet down. 15-20 inches is
                  > > more like it around here.
                  > >
                  > > When you say "not very thick" about the topsoil, what do you mean? And
                  > > it would be useful to let us know where you are. I know you're not in
                  > > New Hampshire, because of the palm trees :-)
                  > >
                  > > In any case, there's probably quite a bit of soil around those big
                  > > rocks. And what are you intending to grow? Seems like if the grass and
                  > > palm trees are happy, you should have something to work with.
                  > >
                  > > But here's my free all-purpose prescription: Add organic matter :-)
                  > >
                  > > All best,
                  > >
                  > > - Steve
                  > >
                  > > tykei2 wrote:
                  > > > Hi All,
                  > > >
                  > > > I think I may have a problem. I have secured a plot of land for
                  > > > farming. But I recently discovered that its made up of several layers
                  > > > that may make it difficult for farming, Im not sure.
                  > > >
                  > > > Its land that was modified to make the house that is on the property
                  > > > stable as it is in a slide zone. In this respect it was a success, but
                  > > > the way they did it might cause problems for me, Im not sure.
                  > > >
                  > > > On the very bottom layer there is some clay/soil type of element, its
                  > > > about 15-20 feet down I estimate.
                  > > >
                  > > > On top of that the contractors dumped giant boulders, to stabalize the
                  > > > ground. Id say 10 feet high tops.
                  > > >
                  > > > Then on top of that they put top soil, not a very thick layer, but
                  > > > grass and palm trees are growing in it just fine.
                  > > >
                  > > > So my question is: will this cause me problems down the line as I try
                  > > > to grow things?
                  > > >
                  > > > It seems that the plants would try to grow deep roots, getting through
                  > > > the top soil only to hit giant rocks with not much soil at all at that
                  > > > layer.
                  > > >
                  > > > Does anyone have any experience growing in these conditions?
                  > > >
                  > > >
                  > > > thanks!
                  > > >
                  > > > -Ty
                  > > >
                  > > >
                  > > >
                  > > >
                  > > > Yahoo! Groups Links
                  > > >
                  > > >
                  > > >
                  > > >
                  > > >
                  > >
                  > >
                  > >
                  > >
                  > >
                  > >
                  > > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                  > >
                  >
                  >
                • Javier Dávila
                  Hi from Nuevo León, Mexico. i´m building terraces too and find that the poor soil don´t allow leguminous as bean or trebol, then for start i include, (not a
                  Message 8 of 17 , Nov 30, 2006
                  • 0 Attachment
                    Hi from Nuevo León, Mexico.

                    i´m building terraces too and find that the poor
                    soil don´t allow leguminous as
                    bean or trebol, then for start i include, (not a
                    first time) manure, now i can seed
                    bean (with inoculant) and work fine if there is water after the seed.

                    now thanks at Matthew i find one site interesting
                    to improve the soil. that speak of
                    yeomans book.
                    www.keyline.com.au


                    ant thanks at Niels Corfield i find the site to include photos.

                    <http://www.flickr.com/photos/nielscorfield/>http://www.flickr.com/photos

                    Javier H. Dávila





                    At 06:04 p.m. 29/11/2006, torskel87 wrote:

                    >Hi Everyone
                    >This is Miguel from Ecuador, I am very interested in the subject of
                    >cover crops because I have been building terraces and once that I
                    >build them the remaining soil is really poor because the intensive
                    >labor and movement of the topsoil.
                    >Maybe is not so natural to build terraces, and I am building them like
                    >the Incas used to do,but I´ve seen that if you don´t build them in
                    >hilly lands, water absortion and soil fertility are poor, once that I
                    >build them the remaining soil is really poor so what I´ve trying is to
                    >rebuild it with cover crops, but I am wondering if the cover crops
                    >might be able to rebuild top soil once the it´s been completly mooved,
                    >somebody have an idea about this...I ve tried two ways of building
                    >terraces, one is by slow formation, just building a green wall of
                    >grass and leting the soil to be cariied year after year by the rain,
                    >and in this case the terraces are narrow, in this kind of terraces
                    >I´ve tried with natural farming, the other way is building a tall wall
                    >and moove all the soil with a hoe until I get a flat surface, in this
                    >case is when I wonder if a cover crop might be able to rebuild the
                    >soil????? In this case the terraces are usally broad.
                    >Maybe it would more natural to create green contours, but it would
                    >take a really long time until I get a flat surface on a slope.If
                    >somebody have expeience with farming on hilly lands I would thank any
                    >idea or advice.
                    >The advantages of terracing are that once builded, fertility remains
                    >forever and is not washed by the rain, and water absortion improves a
                    >lot.Also the microclamate created in the terrace prtotects the plants
                    >from the harsh conditions of the highlands(I am farming over 9200
                    >ft)specially wind and frost, I´ve tried natural farming on terraces
                    >and it works really good but only once the fertility is back, in some
                    >terraces I´´ve been trying to grow vegetables in a natural way and is
                    >amaizing to see daikon, lettuce, chard, turnip and clover replanting
                    >by themselvs with any work year after year, the only thing that I do
                    >in some terraces is spacing because daikon and lettuce seeds are
                    >scattered by birds and grow to thick, but once that the spacing is
                    >done the only thing that i have to do is harvesting....
                    >Soon i would like to post some photos about the terraces and the
                    >natural replanting of vegetables and andean tubers, but how do i post
                    >the photos in the group???
                    >Cheers
                    >Miguel
                    >
                    >--- In
                    ><mailto:fukuoka_farming%40yahoogroups.com>fukuoka_farming@yahoogroups.com,
                    >Robert Monie <bobm20001@...>
                    >wrote:
                    > >
                    > > Hi Ty and Steve,
                    > >
                    > > Everything Steve said about rocks that far down under the field is
                    >exactly right; unless you plan to specialize in growing some
                    >fantastically deep underground plant like the Japanese Imo mountain
                    >yam (cinnamon vine), you have plenty enough depth in your soil to grow
                    >most vegetables, legumes, and fruits. In addition to adding organic
                    >matter, you could experiment with various seasonaly rotating cover
                    >crops to see which work best for you in your microclimate.
                    > >
                    > > Some cover crops to try are spelt, ryegrass, red clover, and hairy
                    >vetch in fall/winter, buckwheat in summer, and yellow blossom clover
                    >or birdsfoot trefoil in spring. Also try agricultural chicory for as
                    >long as you can keep it going. Yellow mustard, daikon, and oilseed
                    >radish are also good bets.
                    > >
                    > > Each of these crops has its own special role in creating topsoil,
                    >both the humus and the glomular glycoprotein parts that science now
                    >tells us are essential for soil fertility. Rye and buckwheat are
                    >alleopathic and do most of your weeding for you; buckwheat also takes
                    >up and releases phosphorus. Red Clover and yellow sweet clover burrow
                    >through the hard soil (though don't expect them to do much with the
                    >boulders--at least in the next 100 years) and fix nitrogen from the
                    >air; birdsfoot trefoil also fixes nitrogen and is not nearly so
                    >finicky about getting started as the clovers are; hairy vetch is a
                    >companion plant to rye that flourishes in cool weather; buckwheat will
                    >grow in the steaming South; yellow mustard mines nutrients from low
                    >levels, sudan grass provides mass for decomposition; chicory adds
                    >inulin to the soil to build humus, and so forth. One of the old "ley"
                    >mixes might work well for you too (these usually combine chicory or
                    >burnet, a bunchgrass or two, a few
                    > > kinds of rye, a legume and some herbs for good measure). And don't
                    >forget Fukuoka's beloved short and middle-sized white clovers, White
                    >Dutch, New Zealand or New Zealand Dutch, or Ladino. In my experience
                    >the white clovers work best after a few years of soil build up and
                    >preparation. Then, you can really sow some vegetables among the
                    >clovers and they just might come up.
                    > >
                    > > Some places where you can find these cover crops, expecially in
                    >high quantity volume: Cooper Seeds
                    ><http://www.cooperseeds.com>http://www.cooperseeds.com for
                    >buckwheat, ryegrass, hairy vetch and chicory and some of the clovers.
                    >Main Street Seeds
                    ><ttp://www.mainstreetseedandsupply.com>ttp://www.mainstreetseedandsupply.com
                    >a good
                    >alternative.
                    > >
                    > > Pinetree Seeds
                    > <http://www.superseeds.com>http://www.superseeds.com for spelt and bird'sfoot
                    >trefoil
                    > >
                    > > Peaceful Valley Seeds
                    > <http://www.groworganic.com>http://www.groworganic.com for mixed
                    >(including yellow and white)mustard, oilseed radish (Johnny's Seeds
                    ><http://www.>http://www. also has these and
                    >Sudan grass as well), an herbal pasture
                    >mix (what I call a "ley mix"), and several clovers.
                    > >
                    > > Bob Monie
                    > > Zone 8
                    > > USA
                    > >
                    > >
                    > >
                    > >
                    > > Steve Gage <sgage@...> wrote:
                    > > Hey there Ty,
                    > >
                    > > Sounds exactly like typical New Hampshire conditions, only here we
                    >blame
                    > > the glacier instead of contractors :-)
                    > >
                    > > I surely wouldn't worry about what's 15-20 feet down. 15-20 inches is
                    > > more like it around here.
                    > >
                    > > When you say "not very thick" about the topsoil, what do you mean? And
                    > > it would be useful to let us know where you are. I know you're not in
                    > > New Hampshire, because of the palm trees :-)
                    > >
                    > > In any case, there's probably quite a bit of soil around those big
                    > > rocks. And what are you intending to grow? Seems like if the grass and
                    > > palm trees are happy, you should have something to work with.
                    > >
                    > > But here's my free all-purpose prescription: Add organic matter :-)
                    > >
                    > > All best,
                    > >
                    > > - Steve
                    > >
                    > > tykei2 wrote:
                    > > > Hi All,
                    > > >
                    > > > I think I may have a problem. I have secured a plot of land for
                    > > > farming. But I recently discovered that its made up of several layers
                    > > > that may make it difficult for farming, Im not sure.
                    > > >
                    > > > Its land that was modified to make the house that is on the property
                    > > > stable as it is in a slide zone. In this respect it was a success, but
                    > > > the way they did it might cause problems for me, Im not sure.
                    > > >
                    > > > On the very bottom layer there is some clay/soil type of element, its
                    > > > about 15-20 feet down I estimate.
                    > > >
                    > > > On top of that the contractors dumped giant boulders, to stabalize the
                    > > > ground. Id say 10 feet high tops.
                    > > >
                    > > > Then on top of that they put top soil, not a very thick layer, but
                    > > > grass and palm trees are growing in it just fine.
                    > > >
                    > > > So my question is: will this cause me problems down the line as I try
                    > > > to grow things?
                    > > >
                    > > > It seems that the plants would try to grow deep roots, getting through
                    > > > the top soil only to hit giant rocks with not much soil at all at that
                    > > > layer.
                    > > >
                    > > > Does anyone have any experience growing in these conditions?
                    > > >
                    > > >
                    > > > thanks!
                    > > >
                    > > > -Ty
                    > > >
                    > > >
                    > > >
                    > > >
                    > > > Yahoo! Groups Links
                    > > >
                    > > >
                    > > >
                    > > >
                    > > >
                    > >
                    > >
                    > >
                    > >
                    > >
                    > >
                    > > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                    > >
                    >
                    >
                  • Robert Monie
                    Hi Miguel, Steve Vanek at Cornell has done important work in testing cover crops for the tropical highlands. Try emailing him at siv2@cornell.edu. A quick
                    Message 9 of 17 , Dec 1, 2006
                    • 0 Attachment
                      Hi Miguel,

                      Steve Vanek at Cornell has done important work in testing cover crops for the tropical highlands. Try emailing him at siv2@.... A quick Cornell report on the subject is available at http://mulch.mannlib.cornell.edu/ccth/covcropspecies.htm

                      Frijol Chinapopo, Tarwi, Yellow and White Sweet Clovers, Garotilla (Bur-Medic), Sanfoin, Woolypod Vetch, and Phalaris Grass have all been tried with some degree of success.

                      An aggressive, deep-rooted legume like sweet clover, together with a grain like Quinoa, and a grass like Phalaris, would probably be ideal for increasing humus. Also, if you can grow Yacon, Sunchoke, and Chicory (Cichorium intybus) in the mix, the inulin in the roots should, after several rotations, add to the fertility of the soil. Generally, grains, grasses, legumes, and the high inulin plants (chicory, sunchoke, artichoke, onion, asparagus, sunflower) work together to create a "ley" that produces fertile topsoil. If any one of these categories of plants is missing in the cover crop (probably more accurately the "root crop" mix), you will may fall short of acheiving maximum benefits.


                      Bob Monie
                      New Orleans, LA
                      Zone 8


                      torskel87 <torskel87@...> wrote:
                      Hi Everyone
                      This is Miguel from Ecuador, I am very interested in the subject of
                      cover crops because I have been building terraces and once that I
                      build them the remaining soil is really poor because the intensive
                      labor and movement of the topsoil.
                      Maybe is not so natural to build terraces, and I am building them like
                      the Incas used to do,but I´ve seen that if you don´t build them in
                      hilly lands, water absortion and soil fertility are poor, once that I
                      build them the remaining soil is really poor so what I´ve trying is to
                      rebuild it with cover crops, but I am wondering if the cover crops
                      might be able to rebuild top soil once the it´s been completly mooved,
                      somebody have an idea about this...I ve tried two ways of building
                      terraces, one is by slow formation, just building a green wall of
                      grass and leting the soil to be cariied year after year by the rain,
                      and in this case the terraces are narrow, in this kind of terraces
                      I´ve tried with natural farming, the other way is building a tall wall
                      and moove all the soil with a hoe until I get a flat surface, in this
                      case is when I wonder if a cover crop might be able to rebuild the
                      soil????? In this case the terraces are usally broad.
                      Maybe it would more natural to create green contours, but it would
                      take a really long time until I get a flat surface on a slope.If
                      somebody have expeience with farming on hilly lands I would thank any
                      idea or advice.
                      The advantages of terracing are that once builded, fertility remains
                      forever and is not washed by the rain, and water absortion improves a
                      lot.Also the microclamate created in the terrace prtotects the plants
                      from the harsh conditions of the highlands(I am farming over 9200
                      ft)specially wind and frost, I´ve tried natural farming on terraces
                      and it works really good but only once the fertility is back, in some
                      terraces I´´ve been trying to grow vegetables in a natural way and is
                      amaizing to see daikon, lettuce, chard, turnip and clover replanting
                      by themselvs with any work year after year, the only thing that I do
                      in some terraces is spacing because daikon and lettuce seeds are
                      scattered by birds and grow to thick, but once that the spacing is
                      done the only thing that i have to do is harvesting....
                      Soon i would like to post some photos about the terraces and the
                      natural replanting of vegetables and andean tubers, but how do i post
                      the photos in the group???
                      Cheers
                      Miguel

                      --- In fukuoka_farming@yahoogroups.com, Robert Monie <bobm20001@...>
                      wrote:
                      >
                      > Hi Ty and Steve,
                      >
                      > Everything Steve said about rocks that far down under the field is
                      exactly right; unless you plan to specialize in growing some
                      fantastically deep underground plant like the Japanese Imo mountain
                      yam (cinnamon vine), you have plenty enough depth in your soil to grow
                      most vegetables, legumes, and fruits. In addition to adding organic
                      matter, you could experiment with various seasonaly rotating cover
                      crops to see which work best for you in your microclimate.
                      >
                      > Some cover crops to try are spelt, ryegrass, red clover, and hairy
                      vetch in fall/winter, buckwheat in summer, and yellow blossom clover
                      or birdsfoot trefoil in spring. Also try agricultural chicory for as
                      long as you can keep it going. Yellow mustard, daikon, and oilseed
                      radish are also good bets.
                      >
                      > Each of these crops has its own special role in creating topsoil,
                      both the humus and the glomular glycoprotein parts that science now
                      tells us are essential for soil fertility. Rye and buckwheat are
                      alleopathic and do most of your weeding for you; buckwheat also takes
                      up and releases phosphorus. Red Clover and yellow sweet clover burrow
                      through the hard soil (though don't expect them to do much with the
                      boulders--at least in the next 100 years) and fix nitrogen from the
                      air; birdsfoot trefoil also fixes nitrogen and is not nearly so
                      finicky about getting started as the clovers are; hairy vetch is a
                      companion plant to rye that flourishes in cool weather; buckwheat will
                      grow in the steaming South; yellow mustard mines nutrients from low
                      levels, sudan grass provides mass for decomposition; chicory adds
                      inulin to the soil to build humus, and so forth. One of the old "ley"
                      mixes might work well for you too (these usually combine chicory or
                      burnet, a bunchgrass or two, a few
                      > kinds of rye, a legume and some herbs for good measure). And don't
                      forget Fukuoka's beloved short and middle-sized white clovers, White
                      Dutch, New Zealand or New Zealand Dutch, or Ladino. In my experience
                      the white clovers work best after a few years of soil build up and
                      preparation. Then, you can really sow some vegetables among the
                      clovers and they just might come up.
                      >
                      > Some places where you can find these cover crops, expecially in
                      high quantity volume: Cooper Seeds http://www.cooperseeds.com for
                      buckwheat, ryegrass, hairy vetch and chicory and some of the clovers.
                      Main Street Seeds ttp://www.mainstreetseedandsupply.com a good
                      alternative.
                      >
                      > Pinetree Seeds http://www.superseeds.com for spelt and bird'sfoot
                      trefoil
                      >
                      > Peaceful Valley Seeds http://www.groworganic.com for mixed
                      (including yellow and white)mustard, oilseed radish (Johnny's Seeds
                      http://www. also has these and Sudan grass as well), an herbal pasture
                      mix (what I call a "ley mix"), and several clovers.
                      >
                      > Bob Monie
                      > Zone 8
                      > USA
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      > Steve Gage <sgage@...> wrote:
                      > Hey there Ty,
                      >
                      > Sounds exactly like typical New Hampshire conditions, only here we
                      blame
                      > the glacier instead of contractors :-)
                      >
                      > I surely wouldn't worry about what's 15-20 feet down. 15-20 inches is
                      > more like it around here.
                      >
                      > When you say "not very thick" about the topsoil, what do you mean? And
                      > it would be useful to let us know where you are. I know you're not in
                      > New Hampshire, because of the palm trees :-)
                      >
                      > In any case, there's probably quite a bit of soil around those big
                      > rocks. And what are you intending to grow? Seems like if the grass and
                      > palm trees are happy, you should have something to work with.
                      >
                      > But here's my free all-purpose prescription: Add organic matter :-)
                      >
                      > All best,
                      >
                      > - Steve
                      >
                      > tykei2 wrote:
                      > > Hi All,
                      > >
                      > > I think I may have a problem. I have secured a plot of land for
                      > > farming. But I recently discovered that its made up of several layers
                      > > that may make it difficult for farming, Im not sure.
                      > >
                      > > Its land that was modified to make the house that is on the property
                      > > stable as it is in a slide zone. In this respect it was a success, but
                      > > the way they did it might cause problems for me, Im not sure.
                      > >
                      > > On the very bottom layer there is some clay/soil type of element, its
                      > > about 15-20 feet down I estimate.
                      > >
                      > > On top of that the contractors dumped giant boulders, to stabalize the
                      > > ground. Id say 10 feet high tops.
                      > >
                      > > Then on top of that they put top soil, not a very thick layer, but
                      > > grass and palm trees are growing in it just fine.
                      > >
                      > > So my question is: will this cause me problems down the line as I try
                      > > to grow things?
                      > >
                      > > It seems that the plants would try to grow deep roots, getting through
                      > > the top soil only to hit giant rocks with not much soil at all at that
                      > > layer.
                      > >
                      > > Does anyone have any experience growing in these conditions?
                      > >
                      > >
                      > > thanks!
                      > >
                      > > -Ty
                      > >
                      > >
                      > >
                      > >
                      > > Yahoo! Groups Links
                      > >
                      > >
                      > >
                      > >
                      > >
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                      >






                      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                    • Ingrid Bauer / Jean-Claude Catry
                      Ideally when you want to built a terrasse with high
                      Message 10 of 17 , Dec 1, 2006
                      • 0 Attachment
                        < the other way is building a tall wall
                        and moove all the soil with a hoe until I get a flat surface>


                        Ideally when you want to built a terrasse with high retaining walls it will be important to remove the top soil , bringing down the subsoil to make it flat then recover with the top soil . it will minimize the burrying of good top soil against the wall deep down and thinning the top soil on the upper part of the terrace .
                        the way i do it in my garden ( on a rock bluff ) i fill the space behind the wall with wood and other organic matter mixed with some soil that i gather from ditches ( my terrasses are small scale )then plant all the plants that have been listed to you allready that are known great soil builders .
                        jean-claude


                        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                      • Ingrid Bauer / Jean-Claude Catry
                        peanut and perennial peanuts ( not producing fruits ) are also excellent for tropical country ( have been used by a natural farm in vietnam ) jean-claude
                        Message 11 of 17 , Dec 1, 2006
                        • 0 Attachment
                          peanut and perennial peanuts ( not producing fruits ) are also excellent for tropical country ( have been used by a natural farm in vietnam )
                          jean-claude

                          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                        • Javier Dávila
                          this is what i´m doing with the stones. http://www.flickr.com/photos/13735317@N00/sets/72157594401878480/ Javier h. ... PD. THANKS ROBERT MONIE FOR THE WEB
                          Message 12 of 17 , Dec 2, 2006
                          • 0 Attachment
                            this is what i´m doing with the stones.

                            http://www.flickr.com/photos/13735317@N00/sets/72157594401878480/

                            Javier h.
                            ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                            PD. THANKS ROBERT MONIE FOR THE WEB ADDRESS


                            At 12:17 a.m. 02/12/2006, Ingrid Bauer / Jean-Claude Catry wrote:

                            >< the other way is building a tall wall
                            >and moove all the soil with a hoe until I get a flat surface>
                            >
                            >Ideally when you want to built a terrasse with
                            >high retaining walls it will be important to
                            >remove the top soil , bringing down the subsoil
                            >to make it flat then recover with the top soil .
                            >it will minimize the burrying of good top soil
                            >against the wall deep down and thinning the top
                            >soil on the upper part of the terrace .
                            >the way i do it in my garden ( on a rock bluff )
                            >i fill the space behind the wall with wood and
                            >other organic matter mixed with some soil that i
                            >gather from ditches ( my terrasses are small
                            >scale )then plant all the plants that have been
                            >listed to you allready that are known great soil builders .
                            >jean-claude
                            >
                            >[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                            >
                            >
                          • Javier Dávila
                            this is what i´m doing with the stones. http://www.flickr.com/photos/13735317@N00/sets/72157594401878480/ Javier h. ... PD. THANKS ROBERT MONIE FOR THE WEB
                            Message 13 of 17 , Dec 2, 2006
                            • 0 Attachment
                              this is what i´m doing with the stones.

                              http://www.flickr.com/photos/13735317@N00/sets/72157594401878480/

                              Javier h.
                              ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                              PD. THANKS ROBERT MONIE FOR THE WEB ADDRESS


                              At 12:17 a.m. 02/12/2006, Ingrid Bauer / Jean-Claude Catry wrote:

                              >< the other way is building a tall wall
                              >and moove all the soil with a hoe until I get a flat surface>
                              >
                              >Ideally when you want to built a terrasse with
                              >high retaining walls it will be important to
                              >remove the top soil , bringing down the subsoil
                              >to make it flat then recover with the top soil .
                              >it will minimize the burrying of good top soil
                              >against the wall deep down and thinning the top
                              >soil on the upper part of the terrace .
                              >the way i do it in my garden ( on a rock bluff )
                              >i fill the space behind the wall with wood and
                              >other organic matter mixed with some soil that i
                              >gather from ditches ( my terrasses are small
                              >scale )then plant all the plants that have been
                              >listed to you allready that are known great soil builders .
                              >jean-claude
                              >
                              >[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                              >
                              >
                            • Jeff
                              HI all, I just finished reading a book by Jane Poynter on Biosphere 2. Really more of a physchological tale on isolation and group dynamics, but I did track
                              Message 14 of 17 , Dec 6, 2006
                              • 0 Attachment
                                HI all,

                                I just finished reading a book by Jane Poynter on Biosphere 2.
                                Really more of a physchological tale on isolation and group
                                dynamics, but I did track down an small paper about limited details
                                on the food grown there.

                                It caught me as some what of a surprise how in-adequately prepared
                                the Biospherians were for weed and pest problems.
                                It references double dig /bio-intensive method favored by John
                                Jeavons. And scientifically it compares favorably to tropical
                                production of food and NASA's hydroponic efforts> (they outproduced
                                other sources), however, the diet selection was hardly inspiring
                                (mostly rice, peanuts, lablab beans, goat milk, bananas, sweet
                                potatoes and paypays, along with various greens). Wheat and sorgum
                                also made a small dent, but the sweet potato production is what kept
                                them alive. They ate so much they turned orange from all the beta-
                                carotine.

                                What struck me as odd, is the missing of some rather important
                                tropical foods: sugar cane was mentioned as being grown, and a
                                processing unit was in the biosphere, but apparently, this source
                                never contribuated significantly to their diet. Manioc/taro was 'not
                                preferred" but not mentioned further. Also missing was Avacado, a
                                great source of nutrition on calories.
                                Corn was planted but not mentioned as significant. Barley is usually
                                a better choice then wheat for production, unless they were wanting
                                bread, which they said the didn't really eat much of (turned hard).
                                Radishes and Daikons, a staple of most organic farmers (especially
                                with its fast growth) wasn't mentioned as significant. Bananas were
                                a staple, but not included was the more starchy plantain, which
                                would stick with the biospherians longer. Other things struck me as
                                odd: their low production of fish through the rice patties.... Only
                                30 fish over two years, and average weight was under a pound. It
                                seems to me that a tilapia/azolla systems would produce more than
                                this. (6820 ft^2 in rice patties)
                                She also mentioned that 3-4 hrs/per day/per person was required to
                                maintain this system. NAsas finds 2-3 hours/per day/per person to
                                maintain their growth.
                                This to me seems excessive. My traditional home garden requires much
                                much less work than this per area. And this is where permaculture
                                and fukuoka types systems have a chance to shine in reduced work
                                load.:
                                Now taking back a step, I read the Greg Williams review and Toby
                                Hemenway's response to the Permaculture critic.
                                I'll summarize briefly:
                                G. WIlliams (show me the money) er Show my examples and yeild data.
                                T Hemenways: we don't really have good/or any data,
                                T Hemenway: even if we did your missing the point,

                                While Toby does desparately want data to be found, or created in the
                                future, he acknoewledges that permaculture seeks something beyond
                                the scientific realm, Jane and the Biospherians claim much the same
                                thing, (that science, in a sense has gotten to far along
                                micromanaging everything, and re really don't even hae a language
                                that works to comunicate between different scientific fields.)
                                Essentially ecology.
                                does anyone have numbers for fukuoka production besides the bonfils
                                wheat and the fukuoka rice/barley method?

                                It seems to me that there needs to be a reductionist study of the
                                imputs of these studies to effectively communicate the vastly
                                different energy flows in these systsems to traditional scientists.
                                Unfortunately , the science of nutrient/energy flow is just begining
                                to get a handle on largely mono-culutral simplified systtms, belying
                                the need and finances to fund such a project of the semi-functional
                                buffer areas..

                                Following up this thought, I would like to know which crops everyone
                                thinks are the most productive for the amount of labor you put into
                                them? the yield per square foot of the staples of the Biospherians
                                realy surprised me> ..
                                Egg plant topped the list,
                                vegetables that also did well, tomatoes, cucumbers, carrots, onions
                                and green beans.
                                With sweet potatoe way behind.
                                and rice being one fourth, that of sweet potatoe.
                                But of course you really shouldn't live mostly on sweet potatoes,
                                but that's another discussion entirely.
                                Fruits were measured per plant rather than per area, so not
                                comparable to this yeild.

                                Any comments?
                                Jeff
                              • Robert Monie
                                Hi Jeff, For a brighter marriage of technology and biota, see the Eden Project (http://www.edenproject.com), which brings together the world s biomes under the
                                Message 15 of 17 , Dec 7, 2006
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                                  Hi Jeff,

                                  For a brighter marriage of technology and biota, see the Eden Project (http://www.edenproject.com), which brings together the world's biomes under the shimmering transluency of "next-generation" geodesic domes and tensegrity structures engineered by Nicholas Grimshaw and Company. The Eden project respects (and openly uses) the Earth and its atmosphere and makes no attempt to transform a barren self-imposed vacuum into a quasi-Earth by terrafarming, as the Biosphere mistakenly did.

                                  The trouble with Biosphere is that it was (as the old English proverb goes) "neither fish nor fowl." James Loveck and other visionary scientists toyed with the idea of greening Mars and making an Earthly atmosphere there by seeding the planet with the right plants and other life forms, thus giving birth to a viable ecology, an atmosphere, a planetary Gaian system(see Lovelock's book, The Greening of Mars). The biospherians didn't run with this ball; they stumbled, fumbled, and ultimately fouled their way through it--a bad game all around. Instead of trying to terraform a little patch of, say the Moon, the biospherians decided to seal themselves up on the surface of their own planet, Mother Earth, to see if they could reconstruct her benefits with their own derivative (and drastically simplified) design. The plants and animals they set up to make a self-sufficient ecology didn't mesh or produce enough oxygen or food, so they just opened the portal seals to let in Earth's
                                  own air (did they also sneak in a few Pizzas and and spinach wraps?), rather like boys and girls running away from home but making sure to stuff plently of Mama's pumpkin pie in their knapsacks.

                                  The Biosphere wasn't much of a farm or much of a "space-ship earth" or much of a simulation of what would happen if you really tried to terrafarm other planets. The windows weren't transparent enough to allow full spectrum light in (compare Eden's which are better) and the overall design style was undistinguished (compare Bucky Fuller's beautiful botanical garden in St. Louis, Grimshaw's Eden, or both the old and the new greenhouses at Kew Gardens). One bright spot was nutritionist Roy Walford, who had done excellent work in planning an optimal diet that would extend human longevity by creative caloric restriction, but the poor man was stricken with a terminal illness (perhaps triggered by his confinement or perhaps not), and most of the other biospherians also experienced various degrees of unwellness during their period of confinement.

                                  Could other planets be greened? In our solar system, Earth seems to be the right size, has the right orbit and the right density to support life "naturally"; the other planets do not. Since the other planets are so different, even if we found a way to irrigate them, get plankton to grow, and seed them with microbes and plants, would they ever look anything like Earth?
                                  Would they exude an atmosphere like ours or would something radically different occur (something more "natural" for them?). Biosphere could not have answered any of these questions, nor could it tell us if an orbiting space station could somehow be terraformed into a mini-Earth. Biosphere did reveal some unexpected problems in trying to seal off a habitat on the Earth's surface from the Earth's natural atmosphere and attempting to duplicate that atmosphere within.

                                  Whether this has much practical application, I do not know. Much would I rather see Earth dwellers downsize their houses to maybe under 800 sq. feet, dig up the rest of the lot and plant on it. Mars might or might not be greenable; cities on Earth without question are.

                                  Bob Monie
                                  Zone 8
                                  Jeff <shultonus@...> wrote:
                                  HI all,

                                  I just finished reading a book by Jane Poynter on Biosphere 2.
                                  Really more of a physchological tale on isolation and group
                                  dynamics, but I did track down an small paper about limited details
                                  on the food grown there.

                                  It caught me as some what of a surprise how in-adequately prepared
                                  the Biospherians were for weed and pest problems.
                                  It references double dig /bio-intensive method favored by John
                                  Jeavons. And scientifically it compares favorably to tropical
                                  production of food and NASA's hydroponic efforts> (they outproduced
                                  other sources), however, the diet selection was hardly inspiring
                                  (mostly rice, peanuts, lablab beans, goat milk, bananas, sweet
                                  potatoes and paypays, along with various greens). Wheat and sorgum
                                  also made a small dent, but the sweet potato production is what kept
                                  them alive. They ate so much they turned orange from all the beta-
                                  carotine.

                                  What struck me as odd, is the missing of some rather important
                                  tropical foods: sugar cane was mentioned as being grown, and a
                                  processing unit was in the biosphere, but apparently, this source
                                  never contribuated significantly to their diet. Manioc/taro was 'not
                                  preferred" but not mentioned further. Also missing was Avacado, a
                                  great source of nutrition on calories.
                                  Corn was planted but not mentioned as significant. Barley is usually
                                  a better choice then wheat for production, unless they were wanting
                                  bread, which they said the didn't really eat much of (turned hard).
                                  Radishes and Daikons, a staple of most organic farmers (especially
                                  with its fast growth) wasn't mentioned as significant. Bananas were
                                  a staple, but not included was the more starchy plantain, which
                                  would stick with the biospherians longer. Other things struck me as
                                  odd: their low production of fish through the rice patties.... Only
                                  30 fish over two years, and average weight was under a pound. It
                                  seems to me that a tilapia/azolla systems would produce more than
                                  this. (6820 ft^2 in rice patties)
                                  She also mentioned that 3-4 hrs/per day/per person was required to
                                  maintain this system. NAsas finds 2-3 hours/per day/per person to
                                  maintain their growth.
                                  This to me seems excessive. My traditional home garden requires much
                                  much less work than this per area. And this is where permaculture
                                  and fukuoka types systems have a chance to shine in reduced work
                                  load.:
                                  Now taking back a step, I read the Greg Williams review and Toby
                                  Hemenway's response to the Permaculture critic.
                                  I'll summarize briefly:
                                  G. WIlliams (show me the money) er Show my examples and yeild data.
                                  T Hemenways: we don't really have good/or any data,
                                  T Hemenway: even if we did your missing the point,

                                  While Toby does desparately want data to be found, or created in the
                                  future, he acknoewledges that permaculture seeks something beyond
                                  the scientific realm, Jane and the Biospherians claim much the same
                                  thing, (that science, in a sense has gotten to far along
                                  micromanaging everything, and re really don't even hae a language
                                  that works to comunicate between different scientific fields.)
                                  Essentially ecology.
                                  does anyone have numbers for fukuoka production besides the bonfils
                                  wheat and the fukuoka rice/barley method?

                                  It seems to me that there needs to be a reductionist study of the
                                  imputs of these studies to effectively communicate the vastly
                                  different energy flows in these systsems to traditional scientists.
                                  Unfortunately , the science of nutrient/energy flow is just begining
                                  to get a handle on largely mono-culutral simplified systtms, belying
                                  the need and finances to fund such a project of the semi-functional
                                  buffer areas..

                                  Following up this thought, I would like to know which crops everyone
                                  thinks are the most productive for the amount of labor you put into
                                  them? the yield per square foot of the staples of the Biospherians
                                  realy surprised me> ..
                                  Egg plant topped the list,
                                  vegetables that also did well, tomatoes, cucumbers, carrots, onions
                                  and green beans.
                                  With sweet potatoe way behind.
                                  and rice being one fourth, that of sweet potatoe.
                                  But of course you really shouldn't live mostly on sweet potatoes,
                                  but that's another discussion entirely.
                                  Fruits were measured per plant rather than per area, so not
                                  comparable to this yeild.

                                  Any comments?
                                  Jeff






                                  [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                                • torskel87
                                  Thanks Bob Your message has been really helpfull for me, I´ve been trying to plant cover crops with tarwi and it has helped a lot to the soil, now I will try
                                  Message 16 of 17 , Dec 7, 2006
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                                    Thanks Bob
                                    Your message has been really helpfull for me, I´ve been trying to
                                    plant cover crops with tarwi and it has helped a lot to the soil, now
                                    I will try to look for the other cover crop plants like phalaris
                                    grass, woolypod vetch....
                                    Miguel
                                    Sacha Runa farm
                                    Ecuador




                                    --- In fukuoka_farming@yahoogroups.com, Robert Monie <bobm20001@...>
                                    wrote:
                                    >
                                    > Hi Miguel,
                                    >
                                    > Steve Vanek at Cornell has done important work in testing cover
                                    crops for the tropical highlands. Try emailing him at siv2@... A quick
                                    Cornell report on the subject is available at
                                    http://mulch.mannlib.cornell.edu/ccth/covcropspecies.htm
                                    >
                                    > Frijol Chinapopo, Tarwi, Yellow and White Sweet Clovers, Garotilla
                                    (Bur-Medic), Sanfoin, Woolypod Vetch, and Phalaris Grass have all been
                                    tried with some degree of success.
                                    >
                                    > An aggressive, deep-rooted legume like sweet clover, together with
                                    a grain like Quinoa, and a grass like Phalaris, would probably be
                                    ideal for increasing humus. Also, if you can grow Yacon, Sunchoke, and
                                    Chicory (Cichorium intybus) in the mix, the inulin in the roots
                                    should, after several rotations, add to the fertility of the soil.
                                    Generally, grains, grasses, legumes, and the high inulin plants
                                    (chicory, sunchoke, artichoke, onion, asparagus, sunflower) work
                                    together to create a "ley" that produces fertile topsoil. If any one
                                    of these categories of plants is missing in the cover crop (probably
                                    more accurately the "root crop" mix), you will may fall short of
                                    acheiving maximum benefits.
                                    >
                                    >
                                    > Bob Monie
                                    > New Orleans, LA
                                    > Zone 8
                                    >
                                    >
                                    > torskel87 <torskel87@...> wrote:
                                    > Hi Everyone
                                    > This is Miguel from Ecuador, I am very interested in the subject of
                                    > cover crops because I have been building terraces and once that I
                                    > build them the remaining soil is really poor because the intensive
                                    > labor and movement of the topsoil.
                                    > Maybe is not so natural to build terraces, and I am building them like
                                    > the Incas used to do,but I´ve seen that if you don´t build them in
                                    > hilly lands, water absortion and soil fertility are poor, once that I
                                    > build them the remaining soil is really poor so what I´ve trying is to
                                    > rebuild it with cover crops, but I am wondering if the cover crops
                                    > might be able to rebuild top soil once the it´s been completly mooved,
                                    > somebody have an idea about this...I ve tried two ways of building
                                    > terraces, one is by slow formation, just building a green wall of
                                    > grass and leting the soil to be cariied year after year by the rain,
                                    > and in this case the terraces are narrow, in this kind of terraces
                                    > I´ve tried with natural farming, the other way is building a tall wall
                                    > and moove all the soil with a hoe until I get a flat surface, in this
                                    > case is when I wonder if a cover crop might be able to rebuild the
                                    > soil????? In this case the terraces are usally broad.
                                    > Maybe it would more natural to create green contours, but it would
                                    > take a really long time until I get a flat surface on a slope.If
                                    > somebody have expeience with farming on hilly lands I would thank any
                                    > idea or advice.
                                    > The advantages of terracing are that once builded, fertility remains
                                    > forever and is not washed by the rain, and water absortion improves a
                                    > lot.Also the microclamate created in the terrace prtotects the plants
                                    > from the harsh conditions of the highlands(I am farming over 9200
                                    > ft)specially wind and frost, I´ve tried natural farming on terraces
                                    > and it works really good but only once the fertility is back, in some
                                    > terraces I´´ve been trying to grow vegetables in a natural way and is
                                    > amaizing to see daikon, lettuce, chard, turnip and clover replanting
                                    > by themselvs with any work year after year, the only thing that I do
                                    > in some terraces is spacing because daikon and lettuce seeds are
                                    > scattered by birds and grow to thick, but once that the spacing is
                                    > done the only thing that i have to do is harvesting....
                                    > Soon i would like to post some photos about the terraces and the
                                    > natural replanting of vegetables and andean tubers, but how do i post
                                    > the photos in the group???
                                    > Cheers
                                    > Miguel
                                    >
                                    > --- In fukuoka_farming@yahoogroups.com, Robert Monie <bobm20001@>
                                    > wrote:
                                    > >
                                    > > Hi Ty and Steve,
                                    > >
                                    > > Everything Steve said about rocks that far down under the field is
                                    > exactly right; unless you plan to specialize in growing some
                                    > fantastically deep underground plant like the Japanese Imo mountain
                                    > yam (cinnamon vine), you have plenty enough depth in your soil to grow
                                    > most vegetables, legumes, and fruits. In addition to adding organic
                                    > matter, you could experiment with various seasonaly rotating cover
                                    > crops to see which work best for you in your microclimate.
                                    > >
                                    > > Some cover crops to try are spelt, ryegrass, red clover, and hairy
                                    > vetch in fall/winter, buckwheat in summer, and yellow blossom clover
                                    > or birdsfoot trefoil in spring. Also try agricultural chicory for as
                                    > long as you can keep it going. Yellow mustard, daikon, and oilseed
                                    > radish are also good bets.
                                    > >
                                    > > Each of these crops has its own special role in creating topsoil,
                                    > both the humus and the glomular glycoprotein parts that science now
                                    > tells us are essential for soil fertility. Rye and buckwheat are
                                    > alleopathic and do most of your weeding for you; buckwheat also takes
                                    > up and releases phosphorus. Red Clover and yellow sweet clover burrow
                                    > through the hard soil (though don't expect them to do much with the
                                    > boulders--at least in the next 100 years) and fix nitrogen from the
                                    > air; birdsfoot trefoil also fixes nitrogen and is not nearly so
                                    > finicky about getting started as the clovers are; hairy vetch is a
                                    > companion plant to rye that flourishes in cool weather; buckwheat will
                                    > grow in the steaming South; yellow mustard mines nutrients from low
                                    > levels, sudan grass provides mass for decomposition; chicory adds
                                    > inulin to the soil to build humus, and so forth. One of the old "ley"
                                    > mixes might work well for you too (these usually combine chicory or
                                    > burnet, a bunchgrass or two, a few
                                    > > kinds of rye, a legume and some herbs for good measure). And don't
                                    > forget Fukuoka's beloved short and middle-sized white clovers, White
                                    > Dutch, New Zealand or New Zealand Dutch, or Ladino. In my experience
                                    > the white clovers work best after a few years of soil build up and
                                    > preparation. Then, you can really sow some vegetables among the
                                    > clovers and they just might come up.
                                    > >
                                    > > Some places where you can find these cover crops, expecially in
                                    > high quantity volume: Cooper Seeds http://www.cooperseeds.com for
                                    > buckwheat, ryegrass, hairy vetch and chicory and some of the clovers.
                                    > Main Street Seeds ttp://www.mainstreetseedandsupply.com a good
                                    > alternative.
                                    > >
                                    > > Pinetree Seeds http://www.superseeds.com for spelt and bird'sfoot
                                    > trefoil
                                    > >
                                    > > Peaceful Valley Seeds http://www.groworganic.com for mixed
                                    > (including yellow and white)mustard, oilseed radish (Johnny's Seeds
                                    > http://www. also has these and Sudan grass as well), an herbal pasture
                                    > mix (what I call a "ley mix"), and several clovers.
                                    > >
                                    > > Bob Monie
                                    > > Zone 8
                                    > > USA
                                    > >
                                    > >
                                    > >
                                    > >
                                    > > Steve Gage <sgage@> wrote:
                                    > > Hey there Ty,
                                    > >
                                    > > Sounds exactly like typical New Hampshire conditions, only here we
                                    > blame
                                    > > the glacier instead of contractors :-)
                                    > >
                                    > > I surely wouldn't worry about what's 15-20 feet down. 15-20 inches is
                                    > > more like it around here.
                                    > >
                                    > > When you say "not very thick" about the topsoil, what do you mean?
                                    And
                                    > > it would be useful to let us know where you are. I know you're not in
                                    > > New Hampshire, because of the palm trees :-)
                                    > >
                                    > > In any case, there's probably quite a bit of soil around those big
                                    > > rocks. And what are you intending to grow? Seems like if the grass
                                    and
                                    > > palm trees are happy, you should have something to work with.
                                    > >
                                    > > But here's my free all-purpose prescription: Add organic matter :-)
                                    > >
                                    > > All best,
                                    > >
                                    > > - Steve
                                    > >
                                    > > tykei2 wrote:
                                    > > > Hi All,
                                    > > >
                                    > > > I think I may have a problem. I have secured a plot of land for
                                    > > > farming. But I recently discovered that its made up of several
                                    layers
                                    > > > that may make it difficult for farming, Im not sure.
                                    > > >
                                    > > > Its land that was modified to make the house that is on the property
                                    > > > stable as it is in a slide zone. In this respect it was a
                                    success, but
                                    > > > the way they did it might cause problems for me, Im not sure.
                                    > > >
                                    > > > On the very bottom layer there is some clay/soil type of
                                    element, its
                                    > > > about 15-20 feet down I estimate.
                                    > > >
                                    > > > On top of that the contractors dumped giant boulders, to
                                    stabalize the
                                    > > > ground. Id say 10 feet high tops.
                                    > > >
                                    > > > Then on top of that they put top soil, not a very thick layer, but
                                    > > > grass and palm trees are growing in it just fine.
                                    > > >
                                    > > > So my question is: will this cause me problems down the line as
                                    I try
                                    > > > to grow things?
                                    > > >
                                    > > > It seems that the plants would try to grow deep roots, getting
                                    through
                                    > > > the top soil only to hit giant rocks with not much soil at all
                                    at that
                                    > > > layer.
                                    > > >
                                    > > > Does anyone have any experience growing in these conditions?
                                    > > >
                                    > > >
                                    > > > thanks!
                                    > > >
                                    > > > -Ty
                                    > > >
                                    > > >
                                    > > >
                                    > > >
                                    > > > Yahoo! Groups Links
                                    > > >
                                    > > >
                                    > > >
                                    > > >
                                    > > >
                                    > >
                                    > >
                                    > >
                                    > >
                                    > >
                                    > >
                                    > > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                                    > >
                                    >
                                    >
                                    >
                                    >
                                    >
                                    >
                                    > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                                    >
                                  • garden03048
                                    ... great photos. Your walls look a lot like those we have here in New England. Your views may be better than ours, though. thanks, anthony NH zone 5
                                    Message 17 of 17 , Dec 9, 2006
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                                      --- In fukuoka_farming@yahoogroups.com, Javier Dávila
                                      <j_h_davila@...> wrote:
                                      >
                                      >
                                      > this is what i´m doing with the stones.
                                      >
                                      > http://www.flickr.com/photos/13735317@N00/sets/72157594401878480/
                                      >
                                      > Javier h.

                                      > >
                                      > >
                                      >Javier,

                                      great photos. Your walls look a lot like those we have here in New
                                      England. Your views may be better than ours, though.

                                      thanks,

                                      anthony NH zone 5
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