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Re: [fukuoka_farming] Do nothing

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  • Jamie Nicol
    Dear John, good to see you back here again! There s much I could respond to in your email, so many significant directions from someone who obviously cares
    Message 1 of 11 , May 14, 2007
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      Dear John, good to see you back here again!

      There's much I could respond to in your email, so many significant
      directions from someone who obviously cares deeply about anything and
      everything. But as this is Fukuoka_Farming it is probably better to stick to
      the practice.

      But how can there be 'practice' in do-nothing?

      But then again I believe we both have raised beds, seed and transplant
      annually and seasonally, irrigate, weed, and I'm sure 10,000 other things
      too! Practice, practice, practice...

      What is do-nothing then?

      When I concentrate on my breath I find that I can control it, perhaps if I
      worked at it I could control it for long periods. But, then, these periods
      are only the tiniest fraction of my life and by far the greatest control
      over my breath takes place without me even being aware of it. It seems to me
      that NF is like breathing, we can spend much time on the practice of
      farming, but nature far outweighs anything we can do. do-nothing for me is
      the recognition that my attempts at control will never yield the harvests I
      intend and that, therefore, I must relinquish control to nature.

      So I now try not to dig beds at all, seed but not transplant, seed
      everything I can get my hands on, especially those that will reseed
      themselves annually, irrigate only when forced to by drought, leave no earth
      bare (both above ground and below), harvest a fraction of the plants
      growing, never weed by pulling (just cut the volunteer at the moment it
      flowers), return volunteer or unused crop to beds, use anything growing
      nearby as mulch for the beds, always leave volunteer leguminous plants
      (nitrogen fixing), leave some native leguminous trees or fruit trees or
      shrubs (trees are the prerequisite for a mediterranean natural
      agriculture)...

      do-nothing seems to me to be about giving up any control and beginning to
      play with nature. Not caring what grows (for if there are enough seeds,
      irrespective of the weather, the soil will be covered by growth), just
      casting seeds and watching what happens.

      Is this a business? No.
      Can it become a business? Yes - there really are enough edible (and
      marketable) veg for a mediterranean climate (rain in spring and autumn -
      600mm/year). The limiting factor right now is the time it takes to clear the
      land for seeding.

      But, then, we already knew all of this because it is just what Fukuoka has
      already done.

      Here are a few of the veg that reseed themselves or are natives already
      growing: asparagus, artichoke, Jerusalem artichoke, cardoon, swiss chard and
      other leaf beets, beetroot, borage (it is too dry for comfrey, but borage is
      from the same family and grows prolifically), chicory, mache (miner's
      lettuce?), lettuce (there is much cross pollination but the new varieties
      while being smaller are very tasty), coriander (cilantro), rocket, mint,
      sage, lavender, thyme, rosemary, most radishes (there are many good, long
      radishes to seed if you can't get daikon), tomato, aubergine, peppers (these
      are borderline as they require more water than the two previous), marigold
      (calendular), tagetes, it is too dry for nasturtiums, water melon (they are
      small but they do grow well), cucumber, and some other cucurbits (see what
      works for you), parsnips, celery (small but have very strong flavour) and
      then there are the cereal crops like winter and summer wheat and barley,
      millet, amaranth and in good years maize.

      These are only a few, please add to the list if you can. I'll try and make a
      more detailed list when I'm in the garden next time.

      Jamie
      Souscayrous





      On 5/13/07, John Warner <daddyoat@...> wrote:
      >
      > Hello Jamie and Fukuoka List Members,
      >
      > Thanks, Jamie for the very significant question--a question to which I'm
      > very pleased to respond.
      >
      > First, I might say that "do nothing" is an overstatement. Overstatement is
      > deeply rooted in Eastern philosophy as seen particularly in the Tao Te Ching
      > with respect to leadership, the emphasis of non-action over taking action
      > and not meddling with the natural flow of things. It was Dante, perhaps,
      > that gave Christianity the Mortal Sins [the first being pride], for a Sufi
      > the greatest sin may be to forget God but a philosophical Taoist might make
      > a good case for saying that the worst human being of all is a "cunning
      > meddler". Taoism, as I understand it, had a very strong influence on some of
      > the branches of Buddhism that reached Japan and I suspect that this is
      > background to Mr. Fukuoka's philosophy. Overstatement is a literary
      > technique and one I'm personally inclined to use myself--after all what good
      > would writing be that, however technically correct, was uninspiring?
      >
      > It's in modern systems theory [and the disciplines sometimes referred to
      > as the "new sciences"] where the scientist meets the Taoist philosopher and
      > says "hello". This is reflected in books such as "The Tao of Physics" and
      > "The Dancing Wu Lu Masters" and a number of others that have been published
      > over the past 50 years of so. A book that particularly influenced me was
      > Fritjof Capra's "The Turning Point" published in the 80s.
      >
      > Whole Systems Agriculture is a reflection of this union. Please visit our
      > website where reference is made to this particularly, as I recall, in the
      > section on species complexity. Also on the website is a paper by Dr. Joe
      > Lewis and others, titled "A Total Systems Approach to Sustainable Pest
      > Management" which gives a lot of theoretical information on how, with
      > sufficient complexity, pest management can take care of itself--at least to
      > a large extent. Examples from our farm follow.
      >
      > Last year we had record breaking heat--three days of 113F and a number of
      > others well over 100F. Shortly afterward aphids hit all our beans like a
      > whammy. We were experimenting with a number of old varieties like "Christmas
      > Lima", "Willow-Leaf Lima", and some from Native Seed Search with long names
      > I can't recall at the moment. But they all got it--absolutely dripping with
      > honeydew. The infestation was so bad I had to compromise with my philosophy
      > of non-intervention and I sprayed a solution of dish detergent.but it was
      > to little avail. But Lo! In a couple of weeks lady bird beetle larvae, and
      > later of course adults, began to appear.and eventually got thick enough to
      > clean up most of the plants. But by that time the beans had been critically
      > set back and a good part of the crop was lost.
      >
      > So I've woven a little theory on this. During the heat wave it got so hot
      > and dry that the lady bird beetle population took a big hit. [I recall my
      > old entomology professor asking rhetorically "what's the most common disease
      > of insects?". Answer: "lack of water". Well, the heat wave might have set
      > back all the insect life but, as we know, plant eaters, and aphids in
      > particular, are real champs at reproduction. In fact, in the early stages of
      > the aphid population cycle, they don't even have to bother with having sex.
      > Only females hatch who reproduce parthogenically [that is, they clone
      > themselves]. This resulted in an explosion the beetles couldn't keep up
      > with.
      >
      > The above, although it resulted in a loss [still, some beans got
      > harvested] it illustrates the do-nothing principles I'm talking about.
      >
      > We're looking at nature's self-organizing principle at work. For this to
      > work there needs to be a lot of complexity Next week, the Agricultural
      > Inspector will be coming for her annual visit to see if we are actually
      > growing all the things we sell at the farmers market. On the forms required,
      > I listed nearly 200 species--lumping, for the most part, varieties and
      > colors together. This does not include the plants we don't sell but have set
      > out and about for esthetic reasons and also as habitat for beneficials. Lots
      > of shrubs here--brooms, acacias, privet and the champ of fast growth:
      > butterfly bush. We have perhaps 30 oaks. [Jamie, a couple of these came from
      > acorns you sent from France--thanks again.]. Mostly we have holly and cork
      > oaks.
      >
      > I now have 2 sons that support themselves completely from their work on
      > our little farm. I hold this up in support of the efficacy of our theory and
      > our practice. One harvests and sells at the markets while the other works
      > with me on production. How do they find their places, their niches, in the
      > work on the farm? In the same way skunks find chicken pens and hollow
      > logs--that is by the principles of self-organization. Or perhaps you could
      > think of it as do-nothing management on my part.
      >
      > Sorry about a rather poor job of editing this. There's lots to do outside.
      > But please visit our website for more about our work and read, if you're
      > inclined, Dr. Lewis' important paper. Dr. Lewis and Mr. Fukukoka may not
      > know of each other but if they met I suspect they'd find some common ground.
      >
      > Good wishes all,
      >
      > John Warner, Madera Whole Systems Agriculture near Fresno, California
      > No-tractor, no tillage, permanent mulch market growers since 1996
      > http://www.wholesystemsag.org
      >
      > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      >
      >
      >


      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • Dieter Brand
      Jamie, You live in a very favourable climate. Where I live there are no edible annuals that will reseed without irrigation. Even with irrigation, reseeding
      Message 2 of 11 , May 14, 2007
      • 0 Attachment
        Jamie,

        You live in a very favourable climate. Where I live there are no edible annuals
        that will reseed without irrigation. Even with irrigation, reseeding doesn’t
        work very well, since without a selection of seeds, the variety will usually
        deteriorate, that is, supposing the seeds aren’t eaten by some animal
        before the next growing season, which is usually the case. And to waste
        precious irrigation water and time in the vague hope that something will
        come up is hardly sensible.

        Dieter Brand
        Portugal

        Jamie Nicol <souscayrous@...> wrote:
        ...
        Here are a few of the veg that reseed themselves or are natives already
        growing: asparagus, artichoke, Jerusalem artichoke, cardoon, swiss chard and
        other leaf beets, beetroot, borage (it is too dry for comfrey, but borage is
        from the same family and grows prolifically), chicory, mache (miner's
        lettuce?), lettuce (there is much cross pollination but the new varieties
        while being smaller are very tasty), coriander (cilantro), rocket, mint,
        sage, lavender, thyme, rosemary, most radishes (there are many good, long
        radishes to seed if you can't get daikon), tomato, aubergine, peppers (these
        are borderline as they require more water than the two previous), marigold
        (calendular), tagetes, it is too dry for nasturtiums, water melon (they are
        small but they do grow well), cucumber, and some other cucurbits (see what
        works for you), parsnips, celery (small but have very strong flavour) and
        then there are the cereal crops like winter and summer wheat and barley,
        millet, amaranth and in good years maize.

        These are only a few, please add to the list if you can. I'll try and make a
        more detailed list when I'm in the garden next time.

        Jamie
        Souscayrous

        On 5/13/07, John Warner <daddyoat@...> wrote:
        >
        > Hello Jamie and Fukuoka List Members,
        >
        > Thanks, Jamie for the very significant question--a question to which I'm
        > very pleased to respond.
        >
        > First, I might say that "do nothing" is an overstatement. Overstatement is
        > deeply rooted in Eastern philosophy as seen particularly in the Tao Te Ching
        > with respect to leadership, the emphasis of non-action over taking action
        > and not meddling with the natural flow of things. It was Dante, perhaps,
        > that gave Christianity the Mortal Sins [the first being pride], for a Sufi
        > the greatest sin may be to forget God but a philosophical Taoist might make
        > a good case for saying that the worst human being of all is a "cunning
        > meddler". Taoism, as I understand it, had a very strong influence on some of
        > the branches of Buddhism that reached Japan and I suspect that this is
        > background to Mr. Fukuoka's philosophy. Overstatement is a literary
        > technique and one I'm personally inclined to use myself--after all what good
        > would writing be that, however technically correct, was uninspiring?
        >
        > It's in modern systems theory [and the disciplines sometimes referred to
        > as the "new sciences"] where the scientist meets the Taoist philosopher and
        > says "hello". This is reflected in books such as "The Tao of Physics" and
        > "The Dancing Wu Lu Masters" and a number of others that have been published
        > over the past 50 years of so. A book that particularly influenced me was
        > Fritjof Capra's "The Turning Point" published in the 80s.
        >
        > Whole Systems Agriculture is a reflection of this union. Please visit our
        > website where reference is made to this particularly, as I recall, in the
        > section on species complexity. Also on the website is a paper by Dr. Joe
        > Lewis and others, titled "A Total Systems Approach to Sustainable Pest
        > Management" which gives a lot of theoretical information on how, with
        > sufficient complexity, pest management can take care of itself--at least to
        > a large extent. Examples from our farm follow.
        >
        > Last year we had record breaking heat--three days of 113F and a number of
        > others well over 100F. Shortly afterward aphids hit all our beans like a
        > whammy. We were experimenting with a number of old varieties like "Christmas
        > Lima", "Willow-Leaf Lima", and some from Native Seed Search with long names
        > I can't recall at the moment. But they all got it--absolutely dripping with
        > honeydew. The infestation was so bad I had to compromise with my philosophy
        > of non-intervention and I sprayed a solution of dish detergent.but it was
        > to little avail. But Lo! In a couple of weeks lady bird beetle larvae, and
        > later of course adults, began to appear.and eventually got thick enough to
        > clean up most of the plants. But by that time the beans had been critically
        > set back and a good part of the crop was lost.
        >
        > So I've woven a little theory on this. During the heat wave it got so hot
        > and dry that the lady bird beetle population took a big hit. [I recall my
        > old entomology professor asking rhetorically "what's the most common disease
        > of insects?". Answer: "lack of water". Well, the heat wave might have set
        > back all the insect life but, as we know, plant eaters, and aphids in
        > particular, are real champs at reproduction. In fact, in the early stages of
        > the aphid population cycle, they don't even have to bother with having sex.
        > Only females hatch who reproduce parthogenically [that is, they clone
        > themselves]. This resulted in an explosion the beetles couldn't keep up
        > with.
        >
        > The above, although it resulted in a loss [still, some beans got
        > harvested] it illustrates the do-nothing principles I'm talking about.
        >
        > We're looking at nature's self-organizing principle at work. For this to
        > work there needs to be a lot of complexity Next week, the Agricultural
        > Inspector will be coming for her annual visit to see if we are actually
        > growing all the things we sell at the farmers market. On the forms required,
        > I listed nearly 200 species--lumping, for the most part, varieties and
        > colors together. This does not include the plants we don't sell but have set
        > out and about for esthetic reasons and also as habitat for beneficials. Lots
        > of shrubs here--brooms, acacias, privet and the champ of fast growth:
        > butterfly bush. We have perhaps 30 oaks. [Jamie, a couple of these came from
        > acorns you sent from France--thanks again.]. Mostly we have holly and cork
        > oaks.
        >
        > I now have 2 sons that support themselves completely from their work on
        > our little farm. I hold this up in support of the efficacy of our theory and
        > our practice. One harvests and sells at the markets while the other works
        > with me on production. How do they find their places, their niches, in the
        > work on the farm? In the same way skunks find chicken pens and hollow
        > logs--that is by the principles of self-organization. Or perhaps you could
        > think of it as do-nothing management on my part.
        >
        > Sorry about a rather poor job of editing this. There's lots to do outside.
        > But please visit our website for more about our work and read, if you're
        > inclined, Dr. Lewis' important paper. Dr. Lewis and Mr. Fukukoka may not
        > know of each other but if they met I suspect they'd find some common ground.
        >
        > Good wishes all,
        >
        > John Warner, Madera Whole Systems Agriculture near Fresno, California
        > No-tractor, no tillage, permanent mulch market growers since 1996
        > http://www.wholesystemsag.org
        >
        > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        >
        >
        >

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






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      • Robert Monie
        HI Dieter, The olla or ancient clay pot system of watering can still work well in many locations and gardens. A ceramicist in Australia has designed an
        Message 3 of 11 , May 18, 2007
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          HI Dieter,

          The olla or ancient clay pot system of watering can still work well in many locations and gardens. A ceramicist in Australia has designed an "upscale" version of these that I have seen used in the Orinda/Berkeley area of California, but much cheaper and probably equally effective models can be built. See http://www.wateringsystems.net

          Some modern engineers have been especially attracted to the hows and whys of ancient watering systems. One notable engineer is Kenneth R. Wright; among his many investigations of ancient water-sparing irrigation systems are the following:

          Water for the Anasazi: How the Ancients of Mesa Verde Engineered Public Works

          Burried Clay Pot Irrigation

          Water Masters of Mesa Verde

          Tipon: Water Engineering Masterpieces of the Inca Empire

          Machu Picchu: A Civil Engineering Marvel

          Bob Monie
          New Orleans, LA


          brand@...> wrote:
          Jamie,

          You live in a very favourable climate. Where I live there are no edible annuals
          that will reseed without irrigation. Even with irrigation, reseeding doesn’t
          work very well, since without a selection of seeds, the variety will usually
          deteriorate, that is, supposing the seeds aren’t eaten by some animal
          before the next growing season, which is usually the case. And to waste
          precious irrigation water and time in the vague hope that something will
          come up is hardly sensible.

          Dieter Brand
          Portugal

          Jamie Nicol <souscayrous@...> wrote:
          ...
          Here are a few of the veg that reseed themselves or are natives already
          growing: asparagus, artichoke, Jerusalem artichoke, cardoon, swiss chard and
          other leaf beets, beetroot, borage (it is too dry for comfrey, but borage is
          from the same family and grows prolifically), chicory, mache (miner's
          lettuce?), lettuce (there is much cross pollination but the new varieties
          while being smaller are very tasty), coriander (cilantro), rocket, mint,
          sage, lavender, thyme, rosemary, most radishes (there are many good, long
          radishes to seed if you can't get daikon), tomato, aubergine, peppers (these
          are borderline as they require more water than the two previous), marigold
          (calendular), tagetes, it is too dry for nasturtiums, water melon (they are
          small but they do grow well), cucumber, and some other cucurbits (see what
          works for you), parsnips, celery (small but have very strong flavour) and
          then there are the cereal crops like winter and summer wheat and barley,
          millet, amaranth and in good years maize.

          These are only a few, please add to the list if you can. I'll try and make a
          more detailed list when I'm in the garden next time.

          Jamie
          Souscayrous

          On 5/13/07, John Warner <daddyoat@...> wrote:
          >
          > Hello Jamie and Fukuoka List Members,
          >
          > Thanks, Jamie for the very significant question--a question to which I'm
          > very pleased to respond.
          >
          > First, I might say that "do nothing" is an overstatement. Overstatement is
          > deeply rooted in Eastern philosophy as seen particularly in the Tao Te Ching
          > with respect to leadership, the emphasis of non-action over taking action
          > and not meddling with the natural flow of things. It was Dante, perhaps,
          > that gave Christianity the Mortal Sins [the first being pride], for a Sufi
          > the greatest sin may be to forget God but a philosophical Taoist might make
          > a good case for saying that the worst human being of all is a "cunning
          > meddler". Taoism, as I understand it, had a very strong influence on some of
          > the branches of Buddhism that reached Japan and I suspect that this is
          > background to Mr. Fukuoka's philosophy. Overstatement is a literary
          > technique and one I'm personally inclined to use myself--after all what good
          > would writing be that, however technically correct, was uninspiring?
          >
          > It's in modern systems theory [and the disciplines sometimes referred to
          > as the "new sciences"] where the scientist meets the Taoist philosopher and
          > says "hello". This is reflected in books such as "The Tao of Physics" and
          > "The Dancing Wu Lu Masters" and a number of others that have been published
          > over the past 50 years of so. A book that particularly influenced me was
          > Fritjof Capra's "The Turning Point" published in the 80s.
          >
          > Whole Systems Agriculture is a reflection of this union. Please visit our
          > website where reference is made to this particularly, as I recall, in the
          > section on species complexity. Also on the website is a paper by Dr. Joe
          > Lewis and others, titled "A Total Systems Approach to Sustainable Pest
          > Management" which gives a lot of theoretical information on how, with
          > sufficient complexity, pest management can take care of itself--at least to
          > a large extent. Examples from our farm follow.
          >
          > Last year we had record breaking heat--three days of 113F and a number of
          > others well over 100F. Shortly afterward aphids hit all our beans like a
          > whammy. We were experimenting with a number of old varieties like "Christmas
          > Lima", "Willow-Leaf Lima", and some from Native Seed Search with long names
          > I can't recall at the moment. But they all got it--absolutely dripping with
          > honeydew. The infestation was so bad I had to compromise with my philosophy
          > of non-intervention and I sprayed a solution of dish detergent.but it was
          > to little avail. But Lo! In a couple of weeks lady bird beetle larvae, and
          > later of course adults, began to appear.and eventually got thick enough to
          > clean up most of the plants. But by that time the beans had been critically
          > set back and a good part of the crop was lost.
          >
          > So I've woven a little theory on this. During the heat wave it got so hot
          > and dry that the lady bird beetle population took a big hit. [I recall my
          > old entomology professor asking rhetorically "what's the most common disease
          > of insects?". Answer: "lack of water". Well, the heat wave might have set
          > back all the insect life but, as we know, plant eaters, and aphids in
          > particular, are real champs at reproduction. In fact, in the early stages of
          > the aphid population cycle, they don't even have to bother with having sex.
          > Only females hatch who reproduce parthogenically [that is, they clone
          > themselves]. This resulted in an explosion the beetles couldn't keep up
          > with.
          >
          > The above, although it resulted in a loss [still, some beans got
          > harvested] it illustrates the do-nothing principles I'm talking about.
          >
          > We're looking at nature's self-organizing principle at work. For this to
          > work there needs to be a lot of complexity Next week, the Agricultural
          > Inspector will be coming for her annual visit to see if we are actually
          > growing all the things we sell at the farmers market. On the forms required,
          > I listed nearly 200 species--lumping, for the most part, varieties and
          > colors together. This does not include the plants we don't sell but have set
          > out and about for esthetic reasons and also as habitat for beneficials. Lots
          > of shrubs here--brooms, acacias, privet and the champ of fast growth:
          > butterfly bush. We have perhaps 30 oaks. [Jamie, a couple of these came from
          > acorns you sent from France--thanks again.]. Mostly we have holly and cork
          > oaks.
          >
          > I now have 2 sons that support themselves completely from their work on
          > our little farm. I hold this up in support of the efficacy of our theory and
          > our practice. One harvests and sells at the markets while the other works
          > with me on production. How do they find their places, their niches, in the
          > work on the farm? In the same way skunks find chicken pens and hollow
          > logs--that is by the principles of self-organization. Or perhaps you could
          > think of it as do-nothing management on my part.
          >
          > Sorry about a rather poor job of editing this. There's lots to do outside.
          > But please visit our website for more about our work and read, if you're
          > inclined, Dr. Lewis' important paper. Dr. Lewis and Mr. Fukukoka may not
          > know of each other but if they met I suspect they'd find some common ground.
          >
          > Good wishes all,
          >
          > John Warner, Madera Whole Systems Agriculture near Fresno, California
          > No-tractor, no tillage, permanent mulch market growers since 1996
          > http://www.wholesystemsag.org
          >
          > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
          >
          >
          >

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

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        • Dieter Brand
          Bob, Thanks for the clay pot idea. Hadn’t heard of that one before. It may, however, be a little difficult to get porous clay pots releasing just the right
          Message 4 of 11 , May 19, 2007
          • 0 Attachment
            Bob,

            Thanks for the clay pot idea. Hadn’t heard of that one before. It may,
            however, be a little difficult to get porous clay pots releasing just the
            right amount of water.

            I live in a semi-arid zone - not a drop of rain from May through September with
            temperatures of up to 40 deg C in the July/August period. Therefore, water
            is the limiting factor in everything I do. In the last few years I have been able
            to reduce irrigation by about 80% mainly by converting to no-till and adding
            compost and mulch to the top. I also chucked out all that fancy irrigation
            equipment including sprinklers, mini-sprinklers, drip systems, etc. Now
            I’m only using an open watering hose modulating the water jet with my
            thumb into a film softly landing on the heavily mulched soil. Perhaps old
            man Fukuoka was right after all when he admonished us to "think about
            what you can do less".

            Dieter Brand
            Portugal

            Robert Monie <bobm20001@...> wrote:
            HI Dieter,

            The olla or ancient clay pot system of watering can still work well in many locations and gardens. A ceramicist in Australia has designed an "upscale" version of these that I have seen used in the Orinda/Berkeley area of California, but much cheaper and probably equally effective models can be built. See http://www.wateringsystems.net

            Some modern engineers have been especially attracted to the hows and whys of ancient watering systems. One notable engineer is Kenneth R. Wright; among his many investigations of ancient water-sparing irrigation systems are the following:

            Water for the Anasazi: How the Ancients of Mesa Verde Engineered Public Works

            Burried Clay Pot Irrigation

            Water Masters of Mesa Verde

            Tipon: Water Engineering Masterpieces of the Inca Empire

            Machu Picchu: A Civil Engineering Marvel

            Bob Monie
            New Orleans, LA


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          • Gloria C. Baikauskas
            Dieter, Have you read Albrecht s, The Myth of Drought? It can be read at http://www.soilandhealth.org The more organic material you have in and on the soil
            Message 5 of 11 , May 19, 2007
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              Dieter, Have you read Albrecht's, The Myth of Drought? It can be
              read at http://www.soilandhealth.org

              The more organic material you have in and on the soil the more
              moisture the soil will hold.
              Gloria, Texas

              --- In fukuoka_farming@yahoogroups.com, Dieter Brand <diebrand@...>
              wrote:
              >
              > Jamie,
              >
              > You live in a very favourable climate. Where I live there are no
              edible annuals
              > that will reseed without irrigation. Even with irrigation,
              reseeding doesn't
              > work very well, since without a selection of seeds, the variety
              will usually
              > deteriorate, that is, supposing the seeds aren't eaten by some
              animal
              > before the next growing season, which is usually the case. And
              to waste
              > precious irrigation water and time in the vague hope that
              something will
              > come up is hardly sensible.
              >
              > Dieter Brand
              > Portugal
              >
              > Jamie Nicol <souscayrous@...> wrote:
              > ...
              > Here are a few of the veg that reseed themselves or are natives
              already
              > growing: asparagus, artichoke, Jerusalem artichoke, cardoon, swiss
              chard and
              > other leaf beets, beetroot, borage (it is too dry for comfrey, but
              borage is
              > from the same family and grows prolifically), chicory, mache
              (miner's
              > lettuce?), lettuce (there is much cross pollination but the new
              varieties
              > while being smaller are very tasty), coriander (cilantro), rocket,
              mint,
              > sage, lavender, thyme, rosemary, most radishes (there are many
              good, long
              > radishes to seed if you can't get daikon), tomato, aubergine,
              peppers (these
              > are borderline as they require more water than the two previous),
              marigold
              > (calendular), tagetes, it is too dry for nasturtiums, water melon
              (they are
              > small but they do grow well), cucumber, and some other cucurbits
              (see what
              > works for you), parsnips, celery (small but have very strong
              flavour) and
              > then there are the cereal crops like winter and summer wheat and
              barley,
              > millet, amaranth and in good years maize.
              >
              > These are only a few, please add to the list if you can. I'll try
              and make a
              > more detailed list when I'm in the garden next time.
              >
              > Jamie
              > Souscayrous
              >
              > On 5/13/07, John Warner <daddyoat@...> wrote:
              > >
              > > Hello Jamie and Fukuoka List Members,
              > >
              > > Thanks, Jamie for the very significant question--a question to
              which I'm
              > > very pleased to respond.
              > >
              > > First, I might say that "do nothing" is an overstatement.
              Overstatement is
              > > deeply rooted in Eastern philosophy as seen particularly in the
              Tao Te Ching
              > > with respect to leadership, the emphasis of non-action over
              taking action
              > > and not meddling with the natural flow of things. It was Dante,
              perhaps,
              > > that gave Christianity the Mortal Sins [the first being pride],
              for a Sufi
              > > the greatest sin may be to forget God but a philosophical Taoist
              might make
              > > a good case for saying that the worst human being of all is
              a "cunning
              > > meddler". Taoism, as I understand it, had a very strong influence
              on some of
              > > the branches of Buddhism that reached Japan and I suspect that
              this is
              > > background to Mr. Fukuoka's philosophy. Overstatement is a
              literary
              > > technique and one I'm personally inclined to use myself--after
              all what good
              > > would writing be that, however technically correct, was
              uninspiring?
              > >
              > > It's in modern systems theory [and the disciplines sometimes
              referred to
              > > as the "new sciences"] where the scientist meets the Taoist
              philosopher and
              > > says "hello". This is reflected in books such as "The Tao of
              Physics" and
              > > "The Dancing Wu Lu Masters" and a number of others that have been
              published
              > > over the past 50 years of so. A book that particularly influenced
              me was
              > > Fritjof Capra's "The Turning Point" published in the 80s.
              > >
              > > Whole Systems Agriculture is a reflection of this union. Please
              visit our
              > > website where reference is made to this particularly, as I
              recall, in the
              > > section on species complexity. Also on the website is a paper by
              Dr. Joe
              > > Lewis and others, titled "A Total Systems Approach to Sustainable
              Pest
              > > Management" which gives a lot of theoretical information on how,
              with
              > > sufficient complexity, pest management can take care of itself--
              at least to
              > > a large extent. Examples from our farm follow.
              > >
              > > Last year we had record breaking heat--three days of 113F and a
              number of
              > > others well over 100F. Shortly afterward aphids hit all our beans
              like a
              > > whammy. We were experimenting with a number of old varieties
              like "Christmas
              > > Lima", "Willow-Leaf Lima", and some from Native Seed Search with
              long names
              > > I can't recall at the moment. But they all got it--absolutely
              dripping with
              > > honeydew. The infestation was so bad I had to compromise with my
              philosophy
              > > of non-intervention and I sprayed a solution of dish
              detergent.but it was
              > > to little avail. But Lo! In a couple of weeks lady bird beetle
              larvae, and
              > > later of course adults, began to appear.and eventually got thick
              enough to
              > > clean up most of the plants. But by that time the beans had been
              critically
              > > set back and a good part of the crop was lost.
              > >
              > > So I've woven a little theory on this. During the heat wave it
              got so hot
              > > and dry that the lady bird beetle population took a big hit. [I
              recall my
              > > old entomology professor asking rhetorically "what's the most
              common disease
              > > of insects?". Answer: "lack of water". Well, the heat wave might
              have set
              > > back all the insect life but, as we know, plant eaters, and
              aphids in
              > > particular, are real champs at reproduction. In fact, in the
              early stages of
              > > the aphid population cycle, they don't even have to bother with
              having sex.
              > > Only females hatch who reproduce parthogenically [that is, they
              clone
              > > themselves]. This resulted in an explosion the beetles couldn't
              keep up
              > > with.
              > >
              > > The above, although it resulted in a loss [still, some beans got
              > > harvested] it illustrates the do-nothing principles I'm talking
              about.
              > >
              > > We're looking at nature's self-organizing principle at work. For
              this to
              > > work there needs to be a lot of complexity Next week, the
              Agricultural
              > > Inspector will be coming for her annual visit to see if we are
              actually
              > > growing all the things we sell at the farmers market. On the
              forms required,
              > > I listed nearly 200 species--lumping, for the most part,
              varieties and
              > > colors together. This does not include the plants we don't sell
              but have set
              > > out and about for esthetic reasons and also as habitat for
              beneficials. Lots
              > > of shrubs here--brooms, acacias, privet and the champ of fast
              growth:
              > > butterfly bush. We have perhaps 30 oaks. [Jamie, a couple of
              these came from
              > > acorns you sent from France--thanks again.]. Mostly we have holly
              and cork
              > > oaks.
              > >
              > > I now have 2 sons that support themselves completely from their
              work on
              > > our little farm. I hold this up in support of the efficacy of our
              theory and
              > > our practice. One harvests and sells at the markets while the
              other works
              > > with me on production. How do they find their places, their
              niches, in the
              > > work on the farm? In the same way skunks find chicken pens and
              hollow
              > > logs--that is by the principles of self-organization. Or perhaps
              you could
              > > think of it as do-nothing management on my part.
              > >
              > > Sorry about a rather poor job of editing this. There's lots to do
              outside.
              > > But please visit our website for more about our work and read, if
              you're
              > > inclined, Dr. Lewis' important paper. Dr. Lewis and Mr. Fukukoka
              may not
              > > know of each other but if they met I suspect they'd find some
              common ground.
              > >
              > > Good wishes all,
              > >
              > > John Warner, Madera Whole Systems Agriculture near Fresno,
              California
              > > No-tractor, no tillage, permanent mulch market growers since 1996
              > > http://www.wholesystemsag.org
              > >
              > > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
              > >
              > >
              > >
              >
              > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
              >
              >
              >
              >
              >
              >
              > ---------------------------------
              > TV dinner still cooling?
              > Check out "Tonight's Picks" on Yahoo! TV.
              >
              > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
              >
            • Dieter Brand
              Gloria, Thanks for the Soil and Health Library Link. There seem to be a lot of interesting titles. I will download the Albrecht as soon as I can get to a
              Message 6 of 11 , May 19, 2007
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                Gloria,

                Thanks for the Soil and Health Library Link. There seem to be
                a lot of interesting titles. I will download the Albrecht as soon
                as I can get to a place with a faster Internet access.

                I absolutely agree about the importance of soil organic matter,
                especially if you combine it with a no-till system so as to keep
                the organic web intact.

                Dieter Brand
                Portugal

                "Gloria C. Baikauskas" <gcb49@...> wrote:
                Dieter, Have you read Albrecht's, The Myth of Drought? It can be
                read at http://www.soilandhealth.org

                The more organic material you have in and on the soil the more
                moisture the soil will hold.
                Gloria, Texas



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              • michael
                Same here. We eat more and more the things which have self seeded around from our original plantings of years/decades ago, mostly Asian and European species of
                Message 7 of 11 , Jun 12, 2007
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                  Same here. We eat more and more the things which have self seeded
                  around from our original plantings of years/decades ago, mostly Asian
                  and European species of origin, not the hybrids of millennia, and
                  also many so-called weed plants. The daikon have reverted to their
                  wild form and need only thinning, by eating green of course. Some go
                  to seed and the young seed pods are eaten. The arugula is all over
                  the place, as is the shungiku and wild broccoli. I can't keep them or
                  the purslane out of the gravel driveway; not that i want to. Things
                  have spread to the orchard and for some reason the European alien
                  (sorry EU, that what the books call them) grasses are in decline as
                  the edible things increase. Who knows where this will all go but
                  after 25 years, OSR is looking more obvious. It takes a long time to
                  figure out how to do nothing.

                  On May 14, 2007, at 7:34 AM, Jamie Nicol wrote:

                  > So I now try not to dig beds at all, seed but not transplant, seed
                  > everything I can get my hands on, especially those that will reseed
                  > themselves annually, irrigate only when forced to by drought, leave
                  > no earth
                  > bare (both above ground and below), harvest a fraction of the plants
                  > growing, never weed by pulling (just cut the volunteer at the
                  > moment it
                  > flowers), return volunteer or unused crop to beds, use anything
                  > growing
                  > nearby as mulch for the beds, always leave volunteer leguminous plants
                  > (nitrogen fixing), leave some native leguminous trees or fruit
                  > trees or
                  > shrubs (trees are the prerequisite for a mediterranean natural
                  > agriculture)...
                  >
                  > do-nothing seems to me to be about giving up any control and
                  > beginning to
                  > play with nature. Not caring what grows (for if there are enough
                  > seeds,
                  > irrespective of the weather, the soil will be covered by growth), just
                  > casting seeds and watching what happens.



                  [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                • Jamie Nicol
                  Dear michael, it s good to hear your thoughts after practicising so many years of doing nothing and that you find that One-Straw becomes more obvious as
                  Message 8 of 11 , Jun 13, 2007
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                    Dear michael, it's good to hear your thoughts after practicising so many
                    years of 'doing nothing' and that you find that 'One-Straw' becomes more
                    obvious as time passes. You mention purslane, which I forgot to mention in
                    my list, but is just about my favourite veg to eat and doesn't take any
                    space in the garden as, like you, it grows on the gravel track beside the
                    garden and requires (thrives) no intervention from me.
                    I have a video of Fukuoka speaking in India (thanks to Michiyo) where he
                    insists that there be no soil disturbance at all and that NF is nothing
                    other than casting seedballs. But, given enough seeds, I suspect that one
                    can do without the clay entirely (and letting plants go to seed and then
                    seed themselves is an excellent way of ensuring enough seed). All we need do
                    is return seeds to the land left bare of plants (and thus bare of seeds) and
                    the green will return.

                    And yes, this also means in droughty areas! Rain doesn't fall from the sky
                    but grows up from the ground.

                    Jamie
                    Souscayrous

                    On 6/12/07, michael <mdearing@...> wrote:
                    >
                    > Same here. We eat more and more the things which have self seeded
                    > around from our original plantings of years/decades ago, mostly Asian
                    > and European species of origin, not the hybrids of millennia, and
                    > also many so-called weed plants. The daikon have reverted to their
                    > wild form and need only thinning, by eating green of course. Some go
                    > to seed and the young seed pods are eaten. The arugula is all over
                    > the place, as is the shungiku and wild broccoli. I can't keep them or
                    > the purslane out of the gravel driveway; not that i want to. Things
                    > have spread to the orchard and for some reason the European alien
                    > (sorry EU, that what the books call them) grasses are in decline as
                    > the edible things increase. Who knows where this will all go but
                    > after 25 years, OSR is looking more obvious. It takes a long time to
                    > figure out how to do nothing.
                    >
                    > On May 14, 2007, at 7:34 AM, Jamie Nicol wrote:
                    >
                    > > So I now try not to dig beds at all, seed but not transplant, seed
                    > > everything I can get my hands on, especially those that will reseed
                    > > themselves annually, irrigate only when forced to by drought, leave
                    > > no earth
                    > > bare (both above ground and below), harvest a fraction of the plants
                    > > growing, never weed by pulling (just cut the volunteer at the
                    > > moment it
                    > > flowers), return volunteer or unused crop to beds, use anything
                    > > growing
                    > > nearby as mulch for the beds, always leave volunteer leguminous plants
                    > > (nitrogen fixing), leave some native leguminous trees or fruit
                    > > trees or
                    > > shrubs (trees are the prerequisite for a mediterranean natural
                    > > agriculture)...
                    > >
                    > > do-nothing seems to me to be about giving up any control and
                    > > beginning to
                    > > play with nature. Not caring what grows (for if there are enough
                    > > seeds,
                    > > irrespective of the weather, the soil will be covered by growth), just
                    > > casting seeds and watching what happens.
                    >
                    > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                    >
                    >
                    >


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