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Re: Spring Photos and timing for spreading seed balls

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  • karoubas
    Thanks Robert I think you are right, both on the field preparation and on the American Indians. It s been 6 years since my farm was plowed - I have sown seeds
    Message 1 of 7 , Mar 18, 2007
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      Thanks Robert
      I think you are right, both on the field preparation and on the
      American Indians.
      It's been 6 years since my farm was plowed - I have sown seeds both
      with clay or just scattering seeds after the rains - the quantities
      need to be increased - and I hope to be able to do it this fall and in
      the coming years - the land I have is "poor" - but after 6 years I am
      seeing a big improvement. In some areas that I have spread more seeds
      and clay balls - in these areas the grass and the many plants I have
      sown grow strong and vigorous - the plants I have sown include some of
      those you mentioned (clover, chicory) - they are doing well.

      In the areas where I have mainly the local long blade grass, a layer
      of organic matter has been formed - the grass is not as thick/high or
      strong as the areas I mentioned above, but it is improving.

      The issue of the timing in spreading the seed balls and or cutting the
      native grasses is important - the native Indians and other natives
      that lived or live around the globe, have or had a close relationship
      and knowledge about the cycles of nature.

      I am enjoying this journey I am on, and I am in no hurry to get to the
      end of the rainbow - every season brings new experiences - I am amazed
      how the land changes from year to year - the first spring that I did
      not till, brought what I thought was a disaster - the entire 10,000
      square meter farm was covered with a thorny pant that about 60 cm high
      (about 24 inches) and round like a giant ball. I was horrified - I
      started to cut it when the summer came - I cut some of it until I got
      tired of cutting. I asked Panos about it- his response was that there
      was a reason why the plant came - and he left it at that.
      The plant has not come back again in full force - I see it here and
      there, but is almost gone. Other plants have come and gone, and they
      all have helped may the land more fertile.

      Kostas





      --- In fukuoka_farming@yahoogroups.com, Robert Monie <bobm20001@...>
      wrote:
      >
      > Hi Karoubas,
      >
      > How to start a natural farm and the precise role of the native
      grasses are matters of great importance. It is generally agreed that
      in the US some of the most fertile farming land came from centuries of
      switchgrass, forbes, and prairie legumes growing in repeated cycles of
      microbial interaction with soil minerals. That is, the prairies had
      lots of "preparation" before they were devoted to the narrow role of
      growing food for humans on a large scale. How much of this
      preparation was non-human (natural geological and biological process
      along with burrowing and nuzzling by mostly small animals) and how
      much was deliberately planned by generations of Native Americans is
      not easily determined. (See the recent book "Tending the Wild" by Uni.
      of Cal. anthropologist Kat Anderson in which she shows that much that
      non-Native Americans described as "natural" was actually the handiwork
      of Native Americans.)
      >
      > Ley farmers like Hugh Corley believed that all land had to undergo
      preparation by seeding
      > deep rooted cover and forage crops such as native bunchgrasses,
      chicory, heavy root clovers, burnet, and herbs or forbes before the
      field could reasonably be considered fertile.
      > The recommended time for such herbal-grass-legume field
      preparation was 4 years. Some of the herbal ley farmers considered
      this kind of preparation "below-ground composting." The idea was to
      let a dense network of roots develop and decay into a mineral and
      microbe rich humus that would then support nearly any kind of human
      staple food you wanted to plant into it (and that would include
      Fukuoka style polycultures). This took patience, and you had to wait
      and watch as the small animals went around creatively disturbing the
      soil for 4 years, nibbling, scratching, and nuzzling to make the
      matrix more fertile.
      >
      > I suspect that what the Natives Americans (and Nature) did to make
      the prairies was a lot like what the British ley farmers did to make
      their legendarily rich and fertile fields. As a control, it would be
      interesting to see what would happen if you planted a few square
      meters here and there of native herbal grass, forbes, and legume
      fields and left them to develop for four years. After the preparation
      period then plant seeds (or seedballs or both) in the reduced (mown,
      cut or mashed down) field and compare the results. It seems axiomatic
      to me that fields so prepared would be more fertile than unprepared
      fields scattered with seedsballs.
      >
      >
      > Bob Monie
      > New Orleans, LA
      > karoubas <karoubas@...> wrote:
      > Dear Friends -
      > I have just posted some photos from my visit to the Panos Manikis farm
      > recently - it is spring time here - I do not think that photos or
      > words can do justice or describe the beauty of a natural farm in
      > springtime - it is amazing. It is still amazing to me that farmers
      > nearby continue to till - fertilize and spray their land and trees,
      > even though right in front of them is perfect example of what nature
      > can do if left alone - Panos sends his regards to all.
      >
      > Here in Greece we had a horrible winter of almost no rain and snow -
      > it will be a difficult summer - the dams that are used to produce
      > electricity and to water the plains are almost empty (very low levels.
      > The seed balls I spread this winter with seeds from trees will not
      > have a chance to germinate due to the absence of cold-wet weather.
      >
      > I have searched the previous messages, read Fukuoka san's books and
      > spoke with Panos about the issue of the TIMING IN SPREADING THE SEED
      > BALLS and how to minimize the problem of the native grasses overtaking
      > and smothering the seeds in the seed balls.
      >
      > I would like to have your comments/experiences and from our dear
      > friend in India -Titus.
      > I look at his photos often, and I see he has succeeded in growing all
      > kinds of plants, while minimizing the local grasses - if he can recall
      > how his farm was when he first started and explain the process and his
      > thoughts - Here in Greece we have different conditions in the spring
      > time and different in the fall - how do we go about spreading the seed
      > balls and making sure they succeed.
      >
      > I am having difficulties in this area - I am sure in due time I will
      > prevail.
      > Thank you for listening -stay well.
      >
      > Kostas
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      >
    • Gloria C. Baikauskas
      Kostas.....the photos are incredibly beautiful. You are so lucky to be able to walk through all of that great scenery....and agriculture. As I went through
      Message 2 of 7 , Mar 19, 2007
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        Kostas.....the photos are incredibly beautiful. You are so lucky to be
        able to walk through all of that great scenery....and agriculture.

        As I went through the photos I found myself wondering what kind of
        trees I was seeing flowering? Can you enlighten me?

        Were those some of the ones previously seeded with seedballs?

        Gloria, Texas
      • karoubas
        Hi Gloria Most of the trees, Panos plants - he either buys or gets the seedlings from friends around the world - but he also has some from seed balls or
        Message 3 of 7 , Mar 19, 2007
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          Hi Gloria
          Most of the trees, Panos plants - he either buys or gets the seedlings
          from friends around the world - but he also has some from seed balls
          or planting the seeds directly on the ground. He has has a very large
          variety of trees, both fruit producers and evergreens. On the question
          of which ones are blooming in the photos I did not ask - he said the
          farm will be in bloom for the next 3 - 4 weeks, as each type tree
          blooms at different times. This time of the year the almond trees are
          in bloom or have completed their cycle, the prune and cherry trees follow.

          Kostas



          --- In fukuoka_farming@yahoogroups.com, "Gloria C. Baikauskas"
          <gcb49@...> wrote:
          >
          > Kostas.....the photos are incredibly beautiful. You are so lucky to be
          > able to walk through all of that great scenery....and agriculture.
          >
          > As I went through the photos I found myself wondering what kind of
          > trees I was seeing flowering? Can you enlighten me?
          >
          > Were those some of the ones previously seeded with seedballs?
          >
          > Gloria, Texas
          >
        • Gloria C. Baikauskas
          Thank you! I just know it is so beautiful in the spring when nut and fruit trees, as well as some ornamentals are in flower. I was wondering what fruits,
          Message 4 of 7 , Mar 21, 2007
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            Thank you! I just know it is so beautiful in the spring when nut and
            fruit trees, as well as some ornamentals are in flower. I was
            wondering what fruits, nuts, etc, he was growing. You just answered
            that.

            Gloria, Texas

            --- In fukuoka_farming@yahoogroups.com, "karoubas" <karoubas@...>
            wrote:
            >
            > Hi Gloria
            > Most of the trees, Panos plants - he either buys or gets the
            seedlings
            > from friends around the world - but he also has some from seed balls
            > or planting the seeds directly on the ground. He has has a very
            large
            > variety of trees, both fruit producers and evergreens. On the
            question
            > of which ones are blooming in the photos I did not ask - he said the
            > farm will be in bloom for the next 3 - 4 weeks, as each type tree
            > blooms at different times. This time of the year the almond trees
            are
            > in bloom or have completed their cycle, the prune and cherry trees
            follow.
            >
            > Kostas
            >
            >
            >
            > --- In fukuoka_farming@yahoogroups.com, "Gloria C. Baikauskas"
            > <gcb49@> wrote:
            > >
            > > Kostas.....the photos are incredibly beautiful. You are so lucky
            to be
            > > able to walk through all of that great scenery....and
            agriculture.
            > >
            > > As I went through the photos I found myself wondering what kind
            of
            > > trees I was seeing flowering? Can you enlighten me?
            > >
            > > Were those some of the ones previously seeded with seedballs?
            > >
            > > Gloria, Texas
            > >
            >
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