Re: Spring Photos and timing for spreading seed balls
- Thanks Robert
I think you are right, both on the field preparation and on the
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.
--- In email@example.com, Robert Monie <bobm20001@...>
>grasses are matters of great importance. It is generally agreed that
> Hi Karoubas,
> How to start a natural farm and the precise role of the native
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.)
>preparation by seeding
> Ley farmers like Hugh Corley believed that all land had to undergo
> 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 fieldpreparation 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.
>the prairies was a lot like what the British ley farmers did to make
> I suspect that what the Natives Americans (and Nature) 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
> Thank you for listening -stay well.
> [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
- 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?
- 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.
--- In firstname.lastname@example.org, "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 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
- 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
--- In email@example.com, "karoubas" <karoubas@...>
> Hi Gloria
> Most of the trees, Panos plants - he either buys or gets the
> from friends around the world - but he also has some from seed ballslarge
> or planting the seeds directly on the ground. He has has a very
> variety of trees, both fruit producers and evergreens. On thequestion
> of which ones are blooming in the photos I did not ask - he said theare
> 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
> in bloom or have completed their cycle, the prune and cherry treesfollow.
> --- In firstname.lastname@example.org, "Gloria C. Baikauskas"
> <gcb49@> wrote:
> > Kostas.....the photos are incredibly beautiful. You are so lucky
> > able to walk through all of that great scenery....andagriculture.
> > As I went through the photos I found myself wondering what kind
> > trees I was seeing flowering? Can you enlighten me?
> > Were those some of the ones previously seeded with seedballs?
> > Gloria, Texas