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Re: [fukuoka_farming] Fukuoka rice: far north? seeds from where? no flooding?

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  • Dieter Brand
    Peter, You have more questions than anybody can answer ;-) Some of my own: where about are you located and on what scale do you intend to work? What are soil
    Message 1 of 28 , Nov 3, 2007
    • 0 Attachment
      Peter,

      You have more questions than anybody can answer ;-)
      Some of my own: where about are you located and on what
      scale do you intend to work? What are soil and climate like?

      I live in a semi-arid climate and don't have enough water to grow
      rice during the summer. During the winter (Nov.-June), I can
      grow most small grains (rye, barley, wheat, oats, etc.) and
      winter-annual crops such as lupines, clover, faba beans,
      vetch, peas, alfa alfa, etc. The challenge here is to find an
      annual (or perennial) suitable to continue the crop rotation during
      the summer. Any interruption of the crop coverage will allow the
      weeds to grow back and you have to start from zero. I found
      that I can grow sunflowers, a corn for dry land (zorrinho) during
      the summer without irrigation, however these crops don't
      suppress the weeds very well.

      In the North, you probably have an interruption in the growing
      schedule during the winter, but that may be easier to handle,
      especially if weeds and grasses are also suppressed by snow
      or cold weather. I don't really know, but my guess is that in a
      cold climate the key to success would be to find a crop that will
      start growing before anything else early in the Spring (a crop with
      a very low germination temperature).

      Alternately, you may want to try a technique like the "winter
      wheat" method Marc Bonfils used in the North of France. You
      sow in August or September, the above-ground part is frost-killed
      during the winter while the roots in the ground go into hibernation.
      When temperatures rise the following spring, the roots start to
      grow again. Having the advantage of the grown root system,
      the wheat will exhibit strong growth. However, Bonfils used a
      wide spacing of 60 cm in order to obtain high yields. I imagine
      that it may to difficult to obtain sufficient weed-suppression in
      a no-till system with such a wide spacing. You could of course
      try clover or something in-between the wheat, but will it be winter-
      killed and grow again in the Spring?

      They grow rice in the Camargue region in the South of
      France. I know nothing about rice cultivation, but there are
      basically two methods: 1) direct broadcasting into a field
      2) transplant seedlings into a flooded paddy field.
      According to his books, Fukuoka used the first method to
      grow what he calls "mountain rice" or "Happy Hill Rice", the
      latter being a direct translation of his name (fuku: happy,
      oka: hill). I don't know if anybody has any of these seeds
      (me too, I like to have some!). Anyway, for a cold climate
      it's best to go with round-grain rice rather than long-grain rice
      which is grown in hot climates. I simply went to buy some
      organic rice at the local health food store to do some small-
      scale tests in the garden (to be repeated).

      There are tens of different types of clover. Fukuoka talks
      about a white clover called Ladino. I tried it, but it doesn't
      work very well here. I had more success with Huia, also a
      white clover, or with subterranean clover. Crimson is
      supposed to be best for fixing N. Some clovers are annual,
      some reseed and some, depending on climate, can be
      perennial. I tried violet clover, never again! In my climate
      it's practically perennial and worse than a weed.
      As I said, I have no experience with rice cultivation, but
      most grains have no trouble growing through white clover.
      Best to find a clover that reseeds itself in your climate
      because seeds are rather expensive (Ladino costs me more
      than 5 Euros the kilo). Harvesting clover seeds is rather
      troublesome because the seeds are so small.

      I don't believe there is any universally valid answer as to
      how many acacia trees you can plant per acre. Do you
      really want acacias? What for? Fixing N? Producing
      biomass? As landscaping trees? As sacrificial trees?
      In a dry climate acacias have the advantage that they
      grow rapidly even without irrigation. In a temperate
      climate you have plenty of other options, why not try
      fruit or nut trees to give you something to eat? If you
      feel your fields needs more N, you can always grow
      an N-fixing annual crop.

      I don't know which method Fukuoka used for threshing.
      At present, I still grow most grains as cover crops for soil
      building. For the small amounts I use for personal
      consumption I can easily use a flail or some other manual
      method. If ever I produce larger amounts of grain, I will
      cross this bridge when I come to it. But an Internet search
      should turn up a number of devices for small-scale threshing.

      Dieter Brand
      Portugal

      Peter the <soil_n_health_fan@...> wrote:
      Hello:

      I am trying to set up a Fukuoka rice/wheat/clover rotation system, but I
      was worrying about growing rice in the north.

      How far north have people successfully grown rice? The site I am thinking
      about has a moderate continental climate, roughly the latitude of Southern
      France.

      Also, where does on get seeds? Fukuoka mentioned that he has some nice
      seeds that are suitable for his method. Does anybody use his seeds? What
      seeds do you use? What seeds are used in the "northern" regions?

      Does anybody practice Fukuoka grain rotations in Europe?

      How do we grow rice without flooding? Fukuoka says flooding is not
      necessary for growth, just to weaken the clover so that the rice shoots
      can outcompete. Can we do without floodind? How do we make sure that the
      rice gets through the clover?

      A question about clover. Do we need to reseed clover each year? Isn't
      clover a perennial? If we need to reseed, where do we get the seed from?
      For rice and wheat it is clear -- from the harvest. But for clover?

      A question about Acacia mearnsii. Somebody said 5-6 trees per quarter
      acre for the orchard. How about for the grain field?

      A question about threshing. How did Fukuoka thresh? How do you guys
      thresh? How do you cut the grain before that?

      A question about another rotations. Has anybody tried other summer crops
      instead of rice. Corn? Sunflower?

      Your help will be greatly appreciated,

      --Peter.




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    • Forest Shomer
      Peter, Historically, rice was grown in northernmost Japan: Hokkaido. This is even further north than southern France, but the climate is more maritime than
      Message 2 of 28 , Nov 3, 2007
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        Peter,

        Historically, rice was grown in northernmost Japan: Hokkaido. This is
        even further north than southern France, but the climate is more
        maritime than your "moderate continental" one. This is, or was, a
        "dryland" rice, i.e., grown with a culture other than flooded-paddy.
        I don't know what may remain of such seed in this era of
        commodity-traded grains.

        The earliest Japanese settlers to my area, northwest-most Washington
        State, USA (circa 1900 AD) brought this grain with them, and raised
        it in diked estuaries just above sea level. Once they were
        well-settled and had reliable supply lines back to the old country,
        they abandoned this practice in favor of more valuable crops. I'm
        sure no seed still exists of these century-old lines.

        Truly,

        Forest



        At 10:04 AM +0000 11/3/07, fukuoka_farming@yahoogroups.com wrote:
        >Peter the
        ><<mailto:soil_n_health_fan%40letterboxes.org>soil_n_health_fan@...>
        >wrote:
        >Hello:
        >
        >I am trying to set up a Fukuoka rice/wheat/clover rotation system, but I
        >was worrying about growing rice in the north.
        >
        >How far north have people successfully grown rice? The site I am thinking
        >about has a moderate continental climate, roughly the latitude of Southern
        >France.
        >
        >Also, where does on get seeds? Fukuoka mentioned that he has some nice
        >seeds that are suitable for his method. Does anybody use his seeds? What
        >seeds do you use? What seeds are used in the "northern" regions?
        >
        >Does anybody practice Fukuoka grain rotations in Europe?
        >
        >How do we grow rice without flooding? Fukuoka says flooding is not
        >necessary for growth, just to weaken the clover so that the rice shoots
        >can outcompete. Can we do without floodind? How do we make sure that the
        >rice gets through the clover?
        >
        >A question about clover. Do we need to reseed clover each year? Isn't
        >clover a perennial? If we need to reseed, where do we get the seed from?
        >For rice and wheat it is clear -- from the harvest. But for clover?
        >
        >A question about Acacia mearnsii. Somebody said 5-6 trees per quarter
        >acre for the orchard. How about for the grain field?
        >
        >A question about threshing. How did Fukuoka thresh? How do you guys
        >thresh? How do you cut the grain before that?
        >
        >A question about another rotations. Has anybody tried other summer crops
        >instead of rice. Corn? Sunflower?
        >
        >Your help will be greatly appreciated,
        >
        >--Peter.

        --


        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      • Barbié olivier
        Hi Stop rotations Stop irrigation Don t speak about N. Our farming is the roadback to nature. Dieter Brand a écrit : Peter, You have more
        Message 3 of 28 , Nov 3, 2007
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          Hi

          Stop rotations
          Stop irrigation
          Don't speak about N.

          Our farming is the roadback to nature.




          Dieter Brand <diebrand@...> a écrit :
          Peter,

          You have more questions than anybody can answer ;-)
          Some of my own: where about are you located and on what
          scale do you intend to work? What are soil and climate like?

          I live in a semi-arid climate and don't have enough water to grow
          rice during the summer. During the winter (Nov.-June), I can
          grow most small grains (rye, barley, wheat, oats, etc.) and
          winter-annual crops such as lupines, clover, faba beans,
          vetch, peas, alfa alfa, etc. The challenge here is to find an
          annual (or perennial) suitable to continue the crop rotation during
          the summer. Any interruption of the crop coverage will allow the
          weeds to grow back and you have to start from zero. I found
          that I can grow sunflowers, a corn for dry land (zorrinho) during
          the summer without irrigation, however these crops don't
          suppress the weeds very well.

          In the North, you probably have an interruption in the growing
          schedule during the winter, but that may be easier to handle,
          especially if weeds and grasses are also suppressed by snow
          or cold weather. I don't really know, but my guess is that in a
          cold climate the key to success would be to find a crop that will
          start growing before anything else early in the Spring (a crop with
          a very low germination temperature).

          Alternately, you may want to try a technique like the "winter
          wheat" method Marc Bonfils used in the North of France. You
          sow in August or September, the above-ground part is frost-killed
          during the winter while the roots in the ground go into hibernation.
          When temperatures rise the following spring, the roots start to
          grow again. Having the advantage of the grown root system,
          the wheat will exhibit strong growth. However, Bonfils used a
          wide spacing of 60 cm in order to obtain high yields. I imagine
          that it may to difficult to obtain sufficient weed-suppression in
          a no-till system with such a wide spacing. You could of course
          try clover or something in-between the wheat, but will it be winter-
          killed and grow again in the Spring?

          They grow rice in the Camargue region in the South of
          France. I know nothing about rice cultivation, but there are
          basically two methods: 1) direct broadcasting into a field
          2) transplant seedlings into a flooded paddy field.
          According to his books, Fukuoka used the first method to
          grow what he calls "mountain rice" or "Happy Hill Rice", the
          latter being a direct translation of his name (fuku: happy,
          oka: hill). I don't know if anybody has any of these seeds
          (me too, I like to have some!). Anyway, for a cold climate
          it's best to go with round-grain rice rather than long-grain rice
          which is grown in hot climates. I simply went to buy some
          organic rice at the local health food store to do some small-
          scale tests in the garden (to be repeated).

          There are tens of different types of clover. Fukuoka talks
          about a white clover called Ladino. I tried it, but it doesn't
          work very well here. I had more success with Huia, also a
          white clover, or with subterranean clover. Crimson is
          supposed to be best for fixing N. Some clovers are annual,
          some reseed and some, depending on climate, can be
          perennial. I tried violet clover, never again! In my climate
          it's practically perennial and worse than a weed.
          As I said, I have no experience with rice cultivation, but
          most grains have no trouble growing through white clover.
          Best to find a clover that reseeds itself in your climate
          because seeds are rather expensive (Ladino costs me more
          than 5 Euros the kilo). Harvesting clover seeds is rather
          troublesome because the seeds are so small.

          I don't believe there is any universally valid answer as to
          how many acacia trees you can plant per acre. Do you
          really want acacias? What for? Fixing N? Producing
          biomass? As landscaping trees? As sacrificial trees?
          In a dry climate acacias have the advantage that they
          grow rapidly even without irrigation. In a temperate
          climate you have plenty of other options, why not try
          fruit or nut trees to give you something to eat? If you
          feel your fields needs more N, you can always grow
          an N-fixing annual crop.

          I don't know which method Fukuoka used for threshing.
          At present, I still grow most grains as cover crops for soil
          building. For the small amounts I use for personal
          consumption I can easily use a flail or some other manual
          method. If ever I produce larger amounts of grain, I will
          cross this bridge when I come to it. But an Internet search
          should turn up a number of devices for small-scale threshing.

          Dieter Brand
          Portugal

          Peter the <soil_n_health_fan@...> wrote:
          Hello:

          I am trying to set up a Fukuoka rice/wheat/clover rotation system, but I
          was worrying about growing rice in the north.

          How far north have people successfully grown rice? The site I am thinking
          about has a moderate continental climate, roughly the latitude of Southern
          France.

          Also, where does on get seeds? Fukuoka mentioned that he has some nice
          seeds that are suitable for his method. Does anybody use his seeds? What
          seeds do you use? What seeds are used in the "northern" regions?

          Does anybody practice Fukuoka grain rotations in Europe?

          How do we grow rice without flooding? Fukuoka says flooding is not
          necessary for growth, just to weaken the clover so that the rice shoots
          can outcompete. Can we do without floodind? How do we make sure that the
          rice gets through the clover?

          A question about clover. Do we need to reseed clover each year? Isn't
          clover a perennial? If we need to reseed, where do we get the seed from?
          For rice and wheat it is clear -- from the harvest. But for clover?

          A question about Acacia mearnsii. Somebody said 5-6 trees per quarter
          acre for the orchard. How about for the grain field?

          A question about threshing. How did Fukuoka thresh? How do you guys
          thresh? How do you cut the grain before that?

          A question about another rotations. Has anybody tried other summer crops
          instead of rice. Corn? Sunflower?

          Your help will be greatly appreciated,

          --Peter.

          __________________________________________________
          Do You Yahoo!?
          Tired of spam? Yahoo! Mail has the best spam protection around
          http://mail.yahoo.com

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






          Olivier Barbié


          http://perso.orange.fr/Olivier.Barbie/
          Tel. : 06 18 76 67 27


          Professeur agrégé
          IUT de Cachan, Paris XI
          Département GEii1
          9 Av de la division Leclerc
          94234 CACHAN

          Laboratoire PHARE
          Université de Paris I Panthéon Sorbonne
          Maison des Sciences Economiques
          106-112 bd de L'Hôpital
          75647 Paris Cedex 13



          ---------------------------------
          Ne gardez plus qu'une seule adresse mail ! Copiez vos mails vers Yahoo! Mail

          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        • Jamie Nicol
          Dear Peter, coming across the work of Fukuoka can be very inspiring and creates the desire in us to live the way he so eloquently writes about, however, from
          Message 4 of 28 , Nov 4, 2007
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            Dear Peter, coming across the work of Fukuoka can be very inspiring and
            creates the desire in us to live the way he so eloquently writes about,
            however, from my understanding, Fukuoka would think you just a little mad to
            be trying to grow rice and Black Wattle in your climate.

            Is the summer season warm enough, sunny enough or long enough to mature
            rice?
            How do you control the clover (or other volunteers in the field) if you
            don't have water to knock them back?
            Acacia Mearnsii will be killed at winter temperatures below minus 10
            celsius.

            Fukuoka Farming is not about copying Fukuoka but adopting his approach to
            our own particular context - to find out how to do nothing. Whenever we grow
            the wrong plant in the wrong place at the wrong time we end up working very,
            very hard.

            I would recommend the work of Marc Bonfils for a moderate continental type
            climate and his work can be found permanently located at
            http://www.ibiblio.org/ecolandtech/souscayrous/MarcBonfils-AgriculturalResearch/
            or
            by joining Mediterranean Natural Farming at Google Groups. His work is the
            first step in establishing a natural agriculture for a temperate climate.

            Good Luck

            Jamie
            Souscayrous


            On 11/2/07, Peter the <soil_n_health_fan@...> wrote:
            >
            > Hello:
            >
            > I am trying to set up a Fukuoka rice/wheat/clover rotation system, but I
            > was worrying about growing rice in the north.
            >
            > How far north have people successfully grown rice? The site I am thinking
            > about has a moderate continental climate, roughly the latitude of Southern
            > France.
            >
            > Also, where does on get seeds? Fukuoka mentioned that he has some nice
            > seeds that are suitable for his method. Does anybody use his seeds? What
            > seeds do you use? What seeds are used in the "northern" regions?
            >
            > Does anybody practice Fukuoka grain rotations in Europe?
            >
            > How do we grow rice without flooding? Fukuoka says flooding is not
            > necessary for growth, just to weaken the clover so that the rice shoots
            > can outcompete. Can we do without floodind? How do we make sure that the
            > rice gets through the clover?
            >
            > A question about clover. Do we need to reseed clover each year? Isn't
            > clover a perennial? If we need to reseed, where do we get the seed from?
            > For rice and wheat it is clear -- from the harvest. But for clover?
            >
            > A question about Acacia mearnsii. Somebody said 5-6 trees per quarter
            > acre for the orchard. How about for the grain field?
            >
            > A question about threshing. How did Fukuoka thresh? How do you guys
            > thresh? How do you cut the grain before that?
            >
            > A question about another rotations. Has anybody tried other summer crops
            > instead of rice. Corn? Sunflower?
            >
            > Your help will be greatly appreciated,
            >
            > --Peter.
            >
            >


            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
          • Dieter Brand
            Would you care to elaborate? Peter asked how to adopt Fukuoka s farming methods to a temperate climate and requested details about examples in which this has
            Message 5 of 28 , Nov 5, 2007
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              Would you care to elaborate? Peter asked how to adopt
              Fukuoka's farming methods to a temperate climate and
              requested details about examples in which this has
              successfully been achieved.

              Barbié olivier <olivierbarbie@...> wrote:
              Hi

              Stop rotations
              Stop irrigation
              Don't speak about N.

              Our farming is the roadback to nature.




              Dieter Brand <diebrand@...> a écrit :
              Peter,

              You have more questions than anybody can answer ;-)
              Some of my own: where about are you located and on what
              scale do you intend to work? What are soil and climate like?

              I live in a semi-arid climate and don't have enough water to grow
              rice during the summer. During the winter (Nov.-June), I can
              grow most small grains (rye, barley, wheat, oats, etc.) and
              winter-annual crops such as lupines, clover, faba beans,
              vetch, peas, alfa alfa, etc. The challenge here is to find an
              annual (or perennial) suitable to continue the crop rotation during
              the summer. Any interruption of the crop coverage will allow the
              weeds to grow back and you have to start from zero. I found
              that I can grow sunflowers, a corn for dry land (zorrinho) during
              the summer without irrigation, however these crops don't
              suppress the weeds very well.

              In the North, you probably have an interruption in the growing
              schedule during the winter, but that may be easier to handle,
              especially if weeds and grasses are also suppressed by snow
              or cold weather. I don't really know, but my guess is that in a
              cold climate the key to success would be to find a crop that will
              start growing before anything else early in the Spring (a crop with
              a very low germination temperature).

              Alternately, you may want to try a technique like the "winter
              wheat" method Marc Bonfils used in the North of France. You
              sow in August or September, the above-ground part is frost-killed
              during the winter while the roots in the ground go into hibernation.
              When temperatures rise the following spring, the roots start to
              grow again. Having the advantage of the grown root system,
              the wheat will exhibit strong growth. However, Bonfils used a
              wide spacing of 60 cm in order to obtain high yields. I imagine
              that it may to difficult to obtain sufficient weed-suppression in
              a no-till system with such a wide spacing. You could of course
              try clover or something in-between the wheat, but will it be winter-
              killed and grow again in the Spring?

              They grow rice in the Camargue region in the South of
              France. I know nothing about rice cultivation, but there are
              basically two methods: 1) direct broadcasting into a field
              2) transplant seedlings into a flooded paddy field.
              According to his books, Fukuoka used the first method to
              grow what he calls "mountain rice" or "Happy Hill Rice", the
              latter being a direct translation of his name (fuku: happy,
              oka: hill). I don't know if anybody has any of these seeds
              (me too, I like to have some!). Anyway, for a cold climate
              it's best to go with round-grain rice rather than long-grain rice
              which is grown in hot climates. I simply went to buy some
              organic rice at the local health food store to do some small-
              scale tests in the garden (to be repeated).

              There are tens of different types of clover. Fukuoka talks
              about a white clover called Ladino. I tried it, but it doesn't
              work very well here. I had more success with Huia, also a
              white clover, or with subterranean clover. Crimson is
              supposed to be best for fixing N. Some clovers are annual,
              some reseed and some, depending on climate, can be
              perennial. I tried violet clover, never again! In my climate
              it's practically perennial and worse than a weed.
              As I said, I have no experience with rice cultivation, but
              most grains have no trouble growing through white clover.
              Best to find a clover that reseeds itself in your climate
              because seeds are rather expensive (Ladino costs me more
              than 5 Euros the kilo). Harvesting clover seeds is rather
              troublesome because the seeds are so small.

              I don't believe there is any universally valid answer as to
              how many acacia trees you can plant per acre. Do you
              really want acacias? What for? Fixing N? Producing
              biomass? As landscaping trees? As sacrificial trees?
              In a dry climate acacias have the advantage that they
              grow rapidly even without irrigation. In a temperate
              climate you have plenty of other options, why not try
              fruit or nut trees to give you something to eat? If you
              feel your fields needs more N, you can always grow
              an N-fixing annual crop.

              I don't know which method Fukuoka used for threshing.
              At present, I still grow most grains as cover crops for soil
              building. For the small amounts I use for personal
              consumption I can easily use a flail or some other manual
              method. If ever I produce larger amounts of grain, I will
              cross this bridge when I come to it. But an Internet search
              should turn up a number of devices for small-scale threshing.

              Dieter Brand
              Portugal

              Peter the <soil_n_health_fan@...> wrote:
              Hello:

              I am trying to set up a Fukuoka rice/wheat/clover rotation system, but I
              was worrying about growing rice in the north.

              How far north have people successfully grown rice? The site I am thinking
              about has a moderate continental climate, roughly the latitude of Southern
              France.

              Also, where does on get seeds? Fukuoka mentioned that he has some nice
              seeds that are suitable for his method. Does anybody use his seeds? What
              seeds do you use? What seeds are used in the "northern" regions?

              Does anybody practice Fukuoka grain rotations in Europe?

              How do we grow rice without flooding? Fukuoka says flooding is not
              necessary for growth, just to weaken the clover so that the rice shoots
              can outcompete. Can we do without floodind? How do we make sure that the
              rice gets through the clover?

              A question about clover. Do we need to reseed clover each year? Isn't
              clover a perennial? If we need to reseed, where do we get the seed from?
              For rice and wheat it is clear -- from the harvest. But for clover?

              A question about Acacia mearnsii. Somebody said 5-6 trees per quarter
              acre for the orchard. How about for the grain field?

              A question about threshing. How did Fukuoka thresh? How do you guys
              thresh? How do you cut the grain before that?

              A question about another rotations. Has anybody tried other summer crops
              instead of rice. Corn? Sunflower?

              Your help will be greatly appreciated,

              --Peter.

              __________________________________________________
              Do You Yahoo!?
              Tired of spam? Yahoo! Mail has the best spam protection around
              http://mail.yahoo.com

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

              Olivier Barbié


              http://perso.orange.fr/Olivier.Barbie/
              Tel. : 06 18 76 67 27

              Professeur agrégé
              IUT de Cachan, Paris XI
              Département GEii1
              9 Av de la division Leclerc
              94234 CACHAN

              Laboratoire PHARE
              Université de Paris I Panthéon Sorbonne
              Maison des Sciences Economiques
              106-112 bd de L'Hôpital
              75647 Paris Cedex 13

              ---------------------------------
              Ne gardez plus qu'une seule adresse mail ! Copiez vos mails vers Yahoo! Mail

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





              __________________________________________________
              Do You Yahoo!?
              Tired of spam? Yahoo! Mail has the best spam protection around
              http://mail.yahoo.com

              [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
            • Nandan Palaparambil
              There is a system called System of Rice Intensification (SRI) which is also called Madagaskar method. Please see the link
              Message 6 of 28 , Nov 5, 2007
              • 0 Attachment
                There is a system called System of Rice
                Intensification (SRI) which is also called Madagaskar
                method. Please see the link

                http://www.ikisan.com/links/ap_ricesri.shtml.

                The basic principle used is not to flood the field
                since as per this theory flooding reduces the aeration
                and is harmful for the microbes. Flooding is mainly
                used to control the weeds but in NF this is achieved
                using mulching.

                Conclusion - SRI method can be taken as a proof that
                conventional flooding is not required in paddy fields.



                --- Peter the <soil_n_health_fan@...>
                wrote:

                > Hello:
                >
                > I am trying to set up a Fukuoka rice/wheat/clover
                > rotation system, but I
                > was worrying about growing rice in the north.
                >
                > How far north have people successfully grown rice?
                > The site I am thinking
                > about has a moderate continental climate, roughly
                > the latitude of Southern
                > France.
                >
                > Also, where does on get seeds? Fukuoka mentioned
                > that he has some nice
                > seeds that are suitable for his method. Does
                > anybody use his seeds? What
                > seeds do you use? What seeds are used in the
                > "northern" regions?
                >
                >
                > Does anybody practice Fukuoka grain rotations in
                > Europe?
                >
                >
                > How do we grow rice without flooding? Fukuoka says
                > flooding is not
                > necessary for growth, just to weaken the clover so
                > that the rice shoots
                > can outcompete. Can we do without floodind? How do
                > we make sure that the
                > rice gets through the clover?
                >
                >
                > A question about clover. Do we need to reseed
                > clover each year? Isn't
                > clover a perennial? If we need to reseed, where do
                > we get the seed from?
                > For rice and wheat it is clear -- from the harvest.
                > But for clover?
                >
                >
                > A question about Acacia mearnsii. Somebody said 5-6
                > trees per quarter
                > acre for the orchard. How about for the grain
                > field?
                >
                >
                > A question about threshing. How did Fukuoka thresh?
                > How do you guys
                > thresh? How do you cut the grain before that?
                >
                >
                > A question about another rotations. Has anybody
                > tried other summer crops
                > instead of rice. Corn? Sunflower?
                >
                >
                > Your help will be greatly appreciated,
                >
                > --Peter.
                >


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              • Calin A. Radulescu
                rice will definitely ripen in a mediterranean kind of climate and even northern than that; actually it is grown commercially in northern california. the main
                Message 7 of 28 , Nov 5, 2007
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                  rice will definitely ripen in a mediterranean kind of
                  climate and even northern than that; actually it is
                  grown commercially in northern california. the main
                  limiting factor is humidity in the soil, and you'll
                  have to provide that somehow.
                  it is easier if the land location is close to a river,
                  or marsh, etc. and the soil is mostly clay, otherwise
                  you'll be fighting an uphill battle with evaporation.
                  there are rice varieties that will grow better than
                  others in a dry soil, also more natural methods of
                  getting water to the soil other than flooding it,
                  you'll just have to experiment with them.

                  here are some links that will cover the basics of rice
                  growing:

                  http://www.amberwaves.org/mediaPages/growingRice/updates.html
                  http://www.fao.org/SD/ERP/toolkit/Books/BFplants2/21wetpaddy_files/INDEX.HTM
                  http://www.fao.org/SD/ERP/toolkit/Books/BFplants2/20uplandrice_files/INDEX.HTM
                  http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/satoyama/hillside.html

                  for what i know fukuoka used a pedal drum thresher, it
                  won't be too hard to build one from recycled bicycle
                  parts and a small, wooden spool used in construction.

                  good luck!



                  --- Nandan Palaparambil <p_k_nandanan@...>
                  wrote:

                  > There is a system called System of Rice
                  > Intensification (SRI) which is also called
                  > Madagaskar
                  > method. Please see the link
                  >
                  > http://www.ikisan.com/links/ap_ricesri.shtml.
                  >
                  > The basic principle used is not to flood the field
                  > since as per this theory flooding reduces the
                  > aeration
                  > and is harmful for the microbes. Flooding is mainly
                  > used to control the weeds but in NF this is achieved
                  > using mulching.
                  >
                  > Conclusion - SRI method can be taken as a proof that
                  > conventional flooding is not required in paddy
                  > fields.
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  > --- Peter the <soil_n_health_fan@...>
                  > wrote:
                  >
                  > > Hello:
                  > >
                  > > I am trying to set up a Fukuoka rice/wheat/clover
                  > > rotation system, but I
                  > > was worrying about growing rice in the north.
                  > >
                  > > How far north have people successfully grown rice?
                  >
                  > > The site I am thinking
                  > > about has a moderate continental climate, roughly
                  > > the latitude of Southern
                  > > France.
                  > >
                  > > Also, where does on get seeds? Fukuoka mentioned
                  > > that he has some nice
                  > > seeds that are suitable for his method. Does
                  > > anybody use his seeds? What
                  > > seeds do you use? What seeds are used in the
                  > > "northern" regions?
                  > >
                  > >
                  > > Does anybody practice Fukuoka grain rotations in
                  > > Europe?
                  > >
                  > >
                  > > How do we grow rice without flooding? Fukuoka
                  > says
                  > > flooding is not
                  > > necessary for growth, just to weaken the clover so
                  > > that the rice shoots
                  > > can outcompete. Can we do without floodind? How
                  > do
                  > > we make sure that the
                  > > rice gets through the clover?
                  > >
                  > >
                  > > A question about clover. Do we need to reseed
                  > > clover each year? Isn't
                  > > clover a perennial? If we need to reseed, where
                  > do
                  > > we get the seed from?
                  > > For rice and wheat it is clear -- from the
                  > harvest.
                  > > But for clover?
                  > >
                  > >
                  > > A question about Acacia mearnsii. Somebody said
                  > 5-6
                  > > trees per quarter
                  > > acre for the orchard. How about for the grain
                  > > field?
                  > >
                  > >
                  > > A question about threshing. How did Fukuoka
                  > thresh?
                  > > How do you guys
                  > > thresh? How do you cut the grain before that?
                  > >
                  > >
                  > > A question about another rotations. Has anybody
                  > > tried other summer crops
                  > > instead of rice. Corn? Sunflower?
                  > >
                  > >
                  > > Your help will be greatly appreciated,
                  > >
                  > > --Peter.
                  > >
                  >
                  >
                  > __________________________________________________
                  > Do You Yahoo!?
                  > Tired of spam? Yahoo! Mail has the best spam
                  > protection around
                  > http://mail.yahoo.com
                  >


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                • Peter the
                  Dear Calin, Thank you for the information on rice, I am still studying it. ... This was useful! Anybody know how to build one, or where to get one? In a FAO
                  Message 8 of 28 , Nov 5, 2007
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                    Dear Calin,

                    Thank you for the information on rice, I am still studying it.

                    On Mon, 5 Nov 2007, Calin A. Radulescu wrote:

                    | [...]
                    |
                    | for what i know fukuoka used a pedal drum thresher, it
                    | won't be too hard to build one from recycled bicycle
                    | parts and a small, wooden spool used in construction.
                    |

                    This was useful! Anybody know how to build one, or where to get one?

                    In a FAO manual [http://www.fao.org/docrep/T0522E/T0522E07.htm%5d I found
                    the multipurpose BAMBA motorized thresher (Bourgoin-France), which seems
                    quite useful.

                    The Bourgoin page
                    [http://www.bourgoin.fr/FR/bourgoin-materiels_neufs-8-13.html%5d did not
                    turn up very much information beyond that. Anybody has info on /
                    experience with those?

                    Are these machines sold in Romania or the neighborhood?


                    With any other thresher that does not require heavy machinery to go in the
                    field?


                    I know that in our region (the Danubian Delta in Eastern Europe) in the
                    past people have used [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Threshing-board%5d.
                    Seems like quite an inefficient process to me.

                    At some point variants were introduced of the
                    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Threshing_machine -- these can be powered by
                    animals, and the process seems quite much more efficient than the
                    boards/sledges. It would not be too difficult and expensive to rent a
                    couple of horses or oxen for a day or two thresh the output of a small
                    farm. Anybody still selling those nowadays?


                    --Peter.
                  • Peter the
                    Friends: I did a brief search for Marc Bonfils, but most of the stuff I found was in French. Have these things been translated? May be I need to try some
                    Message 9 of 28 , Nov 5, 2007
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                      Friends:

                      I did a brief search for Marc Bonfils, but most of the stuff I found was
                      in French. Have these things been translated? May be I need to try some
                      automatic web-based translation, but some of the stuff was image scans
                      from paper.


                      Dieter:

                      Thanks for the very useful comments below!


                      To recap. Open issues: which clover, which winter grain, which summer
                      crop (if any), how to beat the clover upon grain germination, which acacia
                      (if any), threshing, drought-resistance; Marc Bonfils in English.



                      On Sat, 3 Nov 2007, Dieter Brand wrote:

                      | Peter,
                      |
                      | You have more questions than anybody can answer ;-)

                      Don't we all :-)


                      | Some of my own: where about are you located and on what
                      | scale do you intend to work? What are soil and climate like?

                      To be determined. I am making the plan right now.

                      The target area is close the Delta of the river Danube, in Easter Europe.
                      The latitude is roughly that of Toulouse in Southern France (43N-44N).
                      The other European regions in the same latitude are either on the sea, or
                      are mountainous, so I guess the Toulouse area would be the best
                      approximation of the climate.

                      Scale? TBD. Right now I have a commitment of around 8 hectares (20
                      acres), but if the method works, we will be looking into adding more.
                      Land is really inexpensive right now, but so are the rents. The reason is
                      the high inputs of industrial agriculture that is practiced right now.
                      Easily the cost of inputs per year is comparable to the cost of the land
                      itself right now.

                      Also, we will need to solve the threshing problem if we are to grow
                      substantially.


                      Soil? Probably fantastic. To the extent it can still be, after being
                      ruined from half a century of industrial agriculture, that is. But
                      nowhere near as ruined as in the US, and probably mostly elsewhere in
                      Europe.

                      |
                      | I live in a semi-arid climate and don't have enough water to grow
                      | rice during the summer.
                      |

                      Rice has never been commercially grown in our region, mainly because the
                      summer is relatively dry (but probably not "arid"). I am still studying
                      rice more closes, as per the links another kind soul provided. I saw the
                      minimum requirements being 800 mm rainfall, and for wheat 560, which is
                      not quite different. Wheat is definitely grown successfully there.

                      | During the winter (Nov.-June), I can
                      | grow most small grains (rye, barley, wheat, oats, etc.) and
                      | winter-annual crops such as lupines, clover, faba beans,
                      | vetch, peas, alfa alfa, etc. The challenge here is to find an
                      | annual (or perennial) suitable to continue the crop rotation during
                      | the summer. Any interruption of the crop coverage will allow the
                      | weeds to grow back and you have to start from zero. I found
                      | that I can grow sunflowers, a corn for dry land (zorrinho) during
                      | the summer without irrigation, however these crops don't
                      | suppress the weeds very well.

                      Sunflowers and corn definitely grow in our region. What would happen if
                      they grow through a stand of clover? A constant stand of self-sowing
                      clover is also what Marc Bonfils uses.

                      |
                      | In the North, you probably have an interruption in the growing
                      | schedule during the winter, but that may be easier to handle,
                      |

                      We do have an interruption, but winter wheat definitely works in our
                      region. Alfalfa/lucerne is grown also, and it is perennial under our
                      conditions. Is my hope unreasonable that we sow some kind of clover and
                      it will maintain itself forever under and over the grain crops?

                      | As I said, I have no experience with rice cultivation, but
                      | most grains have no trouble growing through white clover.

                      What makes wheat seeds outcompete an established stand of clover? Fukuoka
                      uses flooding to tip the scales towards the rice. Flooding will probably
                      be impractical for us. My theory is that may be the fertility provided to
                      the grain seed in the seed balls is enough to let the grain shoot above
                      the clover. Is that true?

                      I have no experience with clover, but lucerne can grow quite high. Does
                      one mow the stand at some judiciously chosen point? How does one decide
                      when?


                      | Best to find a clover that reseeds itself in your climate
                      | because seeds are rather expensive (Ladino costs me more
                      | than 5 Euros the kilo). Harvesting clover seeds is rather
                      | troublesome because the seeds are so small.

                      Where does one find what kind of clover seeds are sold in Europe? Are
                      there mail-order catalogs?


                      | Alternately, you may want to try a technique like the "winter
                      | wheat" method Marc Bonfils used in the North of France. You
                      | sow in August or September, the above-ground part is frost-killed
                      | during the winter while the roots in the ground go into hibernation.
                      | When temperatures rise the following spring, the roots start to
                      | grow again. Having the advantage of the grown root system,
                      | the wheat will exhibit strong growth. However, Bonfils used a
                      | wide spacing of 60 cm in order to obtain high yields. I imagine
                      | that it may to difficult to obtain sufficient weed-suppression in
                      | a no-till system with such a wide spacing. You could of course
                      | try clover or something in-between the wheat, but will it be winter-
                      | killed and grow again in the Spring?

                      I know for lucerne -- it is a perennial there.


                      Another question. Marc Bonfils grows only one harvest per year -- winter
                      grains. Granted, he does get impressive yields, I've red 15 MT/ha. The
                      standard for our region under industrial agriculture is may be 5 MT/ha tops.

                      On the other hand, may be our growing season is slightly longer than that
                      of Northern France. May be growing only one crop will be inefficient?
                      Also, with global warming the growing season will be longer; may be we
                      need a two-crop system?

                      Also, it seems that global warming will bring more extreme weather -- more
                      annual rainfall, but concentrated in floods and droughts. I guess some
                      diversification will be paramount to guard from crop failures. Dunno
                      whether just wheat will cut it.



                      | They grow rice in the Camargue region in the South of France.

                      Camargue is roughly our latitude, although its climate is probably
                      milder, due to the close sea shore. I'll have to look more into rice.
                      Will report back.



                      To recap. Open issues: which clover, which winter grain, which summer
                      crop (if any), how to beat the clover upon grain germination, which acacia
                      (if any), threshing, drought-resistance; Marc Bonfils in English.

                      --Peter.
                    • Dieter Brand
                      Peter, Soil in the Danube delta is bound to be a lot better than mine. Climate isn t only determined by latitude. Continental versus maritime has a lot to do
                      Message 10 of 28 , Nov 5, 2007
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                        Peter,

                        Soil in the Danube delta is bound to be a lot better than mine.
                        Climate isn't only determined by latitude. Continental versus
                        maritime has a lot to do with it. For 8 or more hectares you
                        will need some machines. Look for examples of "organic no-till"
                        in the US. The NewFarm website of the Rodale Institute has
                        a lot of good information. There is a guy called Steve Groff
                        whose site you may want to look at. There is a cover crop
                        database at:
                        http://www.sarep.ucdavis.edu/cgi-bin/ccrop.EXE
                        which has a lot of detailed information. For seeds, its best
                        to find a local source. Anyway, always best to look at what
                        the local farmers use. It is hard to get clover established
                        here. In the field, I mainly use lupines, field peas etc. From
                        what I have seen in the garden though, many things will
                        just grow through clover. You have to study the different
                        types of clover. In the garden I sow clover in fall, then cut
                        in spring for transplanting the summer vegetables, or for
                        sowing and covering with a bit of compost and mulch.
                        That is all I need to do for fertility.
                        Wouldn't count on global warming for that extra growing
                        time, things will most likely turn out different from what
                        we expect. What do you want to do with 8 hectares of
                        rice? Too much to eat and not enough to commercialize
                        if there are no other growers in the region. Why don't
                        you look at growing organic market vegetables and fruits
                        for the expanding organic market in central Europe?
                        Sorry, my writing isn't very structured at this time of
                        the night and I have a lot to do at present. Do let us
                        know how your plans are coming along.

                        Dieter Brand
                        Portugal

                        Peter the <soil_n_health_fan@...> wrote:
                        Friends:

                        I did a brief search for Marc Bonfils, but most of the stuff I found was
                        in French. Have these things been translated? May be I need to try some
                        automatic web-based translation, but some of the stuff was image scans
                        from paper.

                        Dieter:

                        Thanks for the very useful comments below!

                        To recap. Open issues: which clover, which winter grain, which summer
                        crop (if any), how to beat the clover upon grain germination, which acacia
                        (if any), threshing, drought-resistance; Marc Bonfils in English.

                        On Sat, 3 Nov 2007, Dieter Brand wrote:

                        | Peter,
                        |
                        | You have more questions than anybody can answer ;-)

                        Don't we all :-)

                        | Some of my own: where about are you located and on what
                        | scale do you intend to work? What are soil and climate like?

                        To be determined. I am making the plan right now.

                        The target area is close the Delta of the river Danube, in Easter Europe.
                        The latitude is roughly that of Toulouse in Southern France (43N-44N).
                        The other European regions in the same latitude are either on the sea, or
                        are mountainous, so I guess the Toulouse area would be the best
                        approximation of the climate.

                        Scale? TBD. Right now I have a commitment of around 8 hectares (20
                        acres), but if the method works, we will be looking into adding more.
                        Land is really inexpensive right now, but so are the rents. The reason is
                        the high inputs of industrial agriculture that is practiced right now.
                        Easily the cost of inputs per year is comparable to the cost of the land
                        itself right now.

                        Also, we will need to solve the threshing problem if we are to grow
                        substantially.

                        Soil? Probably fantastic. To the extent it can still be, after being
                        ruined from half a century of industrial agriculture, that is. But
                        nowhere near as ruined as in the US, and probably mostly elsewhere in
                        Europe.

                        |
                        | I live in a semi-arid climate and don't have enough water to grow
                        | rice during the summer.
                        |

                        Rice has never been commercially grown in our region, mainly because the
                        summer is relatively dry (but probably not "arid"). I am still studying
                        rice more closes, as per the links another kind soul provided. I saw the
                        minimum requirements being 800 mm rainfall, and for wheat 560, which is
                        not quite different. Wheat is definitely grown successfully there.

                        | During the winter (Nov.-June), I can
                        | grow most small grains (rye, barley, wheat, oats, etc.) and
                        | winter-annual crops such as lupines, clover, faba beans,
                        | vetch, peas, alfa alfa, etc. The challenge here is to find an
                        | annual (or perennial) suitable to continue the crop rotation during
                        | the summer. Any interruption of the crop coverage will allow the
                        | weeds to grow back and you have to start from zero. I found
                        | that I can grow sunflowers, a corn for dry land (zorrinho) during
                        | the summer without irrigation, however these crops don't
                        | suppress the weeds very well.

                        Sunflowers and corn definitely grow in our region. What would happen if
                        they grow through a stand of clover? A constant stand of self-sowing
                        clover is also what Marc Bonfils uses.

                        |
                        | In the North, you probably have an interruption in the growing
                        | schedule during the winter, but that may be easier to handle,
                        |

                        We do have an interruption, but winter wheat definitely works in our
                        region. Alfalfa/lucerne is grown also, and it is perennial under our
                        conditions. Is my hope unreasonable that we sow some kind of clover and
                        it will maintain itself forever under and over the grain crops?

                        | As I said, I have no experience with rice cultivation, but
                        | most grains have no trouble growing through white clover.

                        What makes wheat seeds outcompete an established stand of clover? Fukuoka
                        uses flooding to tip the scales towards the rice. Flooding will probably
                        be impractical for us. My theory is that may be the fertility provided to
                        the grain seed in the seed balls is enough to let the grain shoot above
                        the clover. Is that true?

                        I have no experience with clover, but lucerne can grow quite high. Does
                        one mow the stand at some judiciously chosen point? How does one decide
                        when?

                        | Best to find a clover that reseeds itself in your climate
                        | because seeds are rather expensive (Ladino costs me more
                        | than 5 Euros the kilo). Harvesting clover seeds is rather
                        | troublesome because the seeds are so small.

                        Where does one find what kind of clover seeds are sold in Europe? Are
                        there mail-order catalogs?

                        | Alternately, you may want to try a technique like the "winter
                        | wheat" method Marc Bonfils used in the North of France. You
                        | sow in August or September, the above-ground part is frost-killed
                        | during the winter while the roots in the ground go into hibernation.
                        | When temperatures rise the following spring, the roots start to
                        | grow again. Having the advantage of the grown root system,
                        | the wheat will exhibit strong growth. However, Bonfils used a
                        | wide spacing of 60 cm in order to obtain high yields. I imagine
                        | that it may to difficult to obtain sufficient weed-suppression in
                        | a no-till system with such a wide spacing. You could of course
                        | try clover or something in-between the wheat, but will it be winter-
                        | killed and grow again in the Spring?

                        I know for lucerne -- it is a perennial there.

                        Another question. Marc Bonfils grows only one harvest per year -- winter
                        grains. Granted, he does get impressive yields, I've red 15 MT/ha. The
                        standard for our region under industrial agriculture is may be 5 MT/ha tops.

                        On the other hand, may be our growing season is slightly longer than that
                        of Northern France. May be growing only one crop will be inefficient?
                        Also, with global warming the growing season will be longer; may be we
                        need a two-crop system?

                        Also, it seems that global warming will bring more extreme weather -- more
                        annual rainfall, but concentrated in floods and droughts. I guess some
                        diversification will be paramount to guard from crop failures. Dunno
                        whether just wheat will cut it.

                        | They grow rice in the Camargue region in the South of France.

                        Camargue is roughly our latitude, although its climate is probably
                        milder, due to the close sea shore. I'll have to look more into rice.
                        Will report back.

                        To recap. Open issues: which clover, which winter grain, which summer
                        crop (if any), how to beat the clover upon grain germination, which acacia
                        (if any), threshing, drought-resistance; Marc Bonfils in English.

                        --Peter.




                        __________________________________________________
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                        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                      • Calin A. Radulescu
                        Peter, information on how to build a small threshing device is very scarce for some reason. i am going to scan the pictures that i got and i will post them in
                        Message 11 of 28 , Nov 5, 2007
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                          Peter,
                          information on how to build a small threshing device
                          is very scarce for some reason. i am going to scan the
                          pictures that i got and i will post them in the files
                          section of the group. i am from romania initially but
                          have been living in usa for quite some time. there has
                          been rice grown commercially in romania in the 70's,
                          mostly in the south but also in the danube delta; i
                          read that now there are some italian companies doing
                          that. i think the potential of this crop is huge over
                          there, even more so if grown naturally.

                          good luck with your plan, i loved it!


                          --- Peter the <soil_n_health_fan@...>
                          wrote:



                          __________________________________________________
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                        • Calin A. Radulescu
                          Peter, Look at the file section for a file called Thresher, you may use some of that information. Not taking into account the Global Warming, Eastern Romania
                          Message 12 of 28 , Nov 5, 2007
                          • 0 Attachment
                            Peter,
                            Look at the file section for a file called Thresher,
                            you may use some of that information.
                            Not taking into account the Global Warming, Eastern
                            Romania is in USDA zone 7, maybe 7b, so you won't be
                            able to grow Fukuoka's favorite Acacia Molissima there
                            because of the cold continental winter. There may be
                            some true acacias that will grow in zone 7 though, if
                            not the black wattle (Robinia Pseudoacacia) could be a
                            fair choice, and it already grows well in the area.
                            Talking about winter, another issue that you'll notice
                            over there is the pretty steady winter breeze that
                            could be used for pumping water or alternative energy.

                            __________________________________________________
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                            Tired of spam? Yahoo! Mail has the best spam protection around
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                          • Niels Corfield
                            I think black wattle is an acacia. Robinia pseudoacacia is the black locust tree. Anyone any thoughts? My Bookmarks: http://del.icio.us/entrailer My Pics and
                            Message 13 of 28 , Nov 6, 2007
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                              I think black wattle is an acacia.
                              Robinia pseudoacacia is the black locust tree.
                              Anyone any thoughts?

                              My Bookmarks:
                              http://del.icio.us/entrailer

                              My Pics and Projects:
                              http://www.flickr.com/photos/nielscorfield/
                              http://picasaweb.google.com/mudguard

                              Groups I Contribute to:
                              http://tech.groups.yahoo.com/group/polyculturepeople/
                              http://uk.groups.yahoo.com/group/leeds_permaculture_network/?yguid=243022692
                              http://lists.ibiblio.org/mailman/listinfo/scythe




                              Calin A. Radulescu wrote:
                              >
                              > Peter,
                              > Look at the file section for a file called Thresher,
                              > you may use some of that information.
                              > Not taking into account the Global Warming, Eastern
                              > Romania is in USDA zone 7, maybe 7b, so you won't be
                              > able to grow Fukuoka's favorite Acacia Molissima there
                              > because of the cold continental winter. There may be
                              > some true acacias that will grow in zone 7 though, if
                              > not the black wattle (Robinia Pseudoacacia) could be a
                              > fair choice, and it already grows well in the area.
                              > Talking about winter, another issue that you'll notice
                              > over there is the pretty steady winter breeze that
                              > could be used for pumping water or alternative energy.
                              >
                              > __________________________________________________
                              > Do You Yahoo!?
                              > Tired of spam? Yahoo! Mail has the best spam protection around
                              > http://mail.yahoo.com <http://mail.yahoo.com>
                              >
                              >


                              [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                            • onestrawresolution
                              Dear Peter, I forgot to mention the files section of this group for more information on the Bonfils Winter Wheat Method - see Marc Bonfils Agricultural
                              Message 14 of 28 , Nov 6, 2007
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                                Dear Peter, I forgot to mention the files section of this group for
                                more information on the Bonfils Winter Wheat Method - see Marc
                                Bonfils Agricultural research.

                                Be careful about diminishing the productivity of one wheat harvest a
                                year - it was the move to a wheat/beet succession in Northern France,
                                which rapidly depletes and damages the soil that led Bonfils to
                                change the way of growing.

                                We need to find a way to grow our crops while annually improving the
                                fertility of our soil. A temperate natural agriculture can do this
                                and match the productivity of commercial agriculture.

                                The use of black locust (Robinia pseudoacacia) can help, but it can
                                be invasive in soils with good moisture levels - perhaps there is a
                                local nitrogen fixing alternative alder perhaps (Alnus spp)?

                                Jamie
                                Souscayrous



                                --- In fukuoka_farming@yahoogroups.com, Peter the
                                <soil_n_health_fan@...> wrote:
                                >
                                > Friends:
                                >
                                > I did a brief search for Marc Bonfils, but most of the stuff I
                                found was
                                > in French. Have these things been translated? May be I need to
                                try some
                                > automatic web-based translation, but some of the stuff was image
                                scans
                                > from paper.
                                >
                                >
                                > Dieter:
                                >
                                > Thanks for the very useful comments below!
                                >
                                >
                                > To recap. Open issues: which clover, which winter grain, which
                                summer
                                > crop (if any), how to beat the clover upon grain germination, which
                                acacia
                                > (if any), threshing, drought-resistance; Marc Bonfils in English.
                                >
                                >
                                >
                                > On Sat, 3 Nov 2007, Dieter Brand wrote:
                                >
                                > | Peter,
                                > |
                                > | You have more questions than anybody can answer ;-)
                                >
                                > Don't we all :-)
                                >
                                >
                                > | Some of my own: where about are you located and on what
                                > | scale do you intend to work? What are soil and climate like?
                                >
                                > To be determined. I am making the plan right now.
                                >
                                > The target area is close the Delta of the river Danube, in Easter
                                Europe.
                                > The latitude is roughly that of Toulouse in Southern France (43N-
                                44N).
                                > The other European regions in the same latitude are either on the
                                sea, or
                                > are mountainous, so I guess the Toulouse area would be the best
                                > approximation of the climate.
                                >
                                > Scale? TBD. Right now I have a commitment of around 8 hectares (20
                                > acres), but if the method works, we will be looking into adding
                                more.
                                > Land is really inexpensive right now, but so are the rents. The
                                reason is
                                > the high inputs of industrial agriculture that is practiced right
                                now.
                                > Easily the cost of inputs per year is comparable to the cost of the
                                land
                                > itself right now.
                                >
                                > Also, we will need to solve the threshing problem if we are to grow
                                > substantially.
                                >
                                >
                                > Soil? Probably fantastic. To the extent it can still be, after
                                being
                                > ruined from half a century of industrial agriculture, that is. But
                                > nowhere near as ruined as in the US, and probably mostly elsewhere
                                in
                                > Europe.
                                >
                                > |
                                > | I live in a semi-arid climate and don't have enough water to
                                grow
                                > | rice during the summer.
                                > |
                                >
                                > Rice has never been commercially grown in our region, mainly
                                because the
                                > summer is relatively dry (but probably not "arid"). I am still
                                studying
                                > rice more closes, as per the links another kind soul provided. I
                                saw the
                                > minimum requirements being 800 mm rainfall, and for wheat 560,
                                which is
                                > not quite different. Wheat is definitely grown successfully there.
                                >
                                > | During the winter (Nov.-June), I can
                                > | grow most small grains (rye, barley, wheat, oats, etc.) and
                                > | winter-annual crops such as lupines, clover, faba beans,
                                > | vetch, peas, alfa alfa, etc. The challenge here is to find an
                                > | annual (or perennial) suitable to continue the crop rotation
                                during
                                > | the summer. Any interruption of the crop coverage will allow the
                                > | weeds to grow back and you have to start from zero. I found
                                > | that I can grow sunflowers, a corn for dry land (zorrinho)
                                during
                                > | the summer without irrigation, however these crops don't
                                > | suppress the weeds very well.
                                >
                                > Sunflowers and corn definitely grow in our region. What would
                                happen if
                                > they grow through a stand of clover? A constant stand of self-
                                sowing
                                > clover is also what Marc Bonfils uses.
                                >
                                > |
                                > | In the North, you probably have an interruption in the growing
                                > | schedule during the winter, but that may be easier to handle,
                                > |
                                >
                                > We do have an interruption, but winter wheat definitely works in our
                                > region. Alfalfa/lucerne is grown also, and it is perennial under
                                our
                                > conditions. Is my hope unreasonable that we sow some kind of
                                clover and
                                > it will maintain itself forever under and over the grain crops?
                                >
                                > | As I said, I have no experience with rice cultivation, but
                                > | most grains have no trouble growing through white clover.
                                >
                                > What makes wheat seeds outcompete an established stand of clover?
                                Fukuoka
                                > uses flooding to tip the scales towards the rice. Flooding will
                                probably
                                > be impractical for us. My theory is that may be the fertility
                                provided to
                                > the grain seed in the seed balls is enough to let the grain shoot
                                above
                                > the clover. Is that true?
                                >
                                > I have no experience with clover, but lucerne can grow quite high.
                                Does
                                > one mow the stand at some judiciously chosen point? How does one
                                decide
                                > when?
                                >
                                >
                                > | Best to find a clover that reseeds itself in your climate
                                > | because seeds are rather expensive (Ladino costs me more
                                > | than 5 Euros the kilo). Harvesting clover seeds is rather
                                > | troublesome because the seeds are so small.
                                >
                                > Where does one find what kind of clover seeds are sold in Europe?
                                Are
                                > there mail-order catalogs?
                                >
                                >
                                > | Alternately, you may want to try a technique like the "winter
                                > | wheat" method Marc Bonfils used in the North of France. You
                                > | sow in August or September, the above-ground part is frost-
                                killed
                                > | during the winter while the roots in the ground go into
                                hibernation.
                                > | When temperatures rise the following spring, the roots start to
                                > | grow again. Having the advantage of the grown root system,
                                > | the wheat will exhibit strong growth. However, Bonfils used a
                                > | wide spacing of 60 cm in order to obtain high yields. I imagine
                                > | that it may to difficult to obtain sufficient weed-suppression
                                in
                                > | a no-till system with such a wide spacing. You could of course
                                > | try clover or something in-between the wheat, but will it be
                                winter-
                                > | killed and grow again in the Spring?
                                >
                                > I know for lucerne -- it is a perennial there.
                                >
                                >
                                > Another question. Marc Bonfils grows only one harvest per year --
                                winter
                                > grains. Granted, he does get impressive yields, I've red 15
                                MT/ha. The
                                > standard for our region under industrial agriculture is may be 5
                                MT/ha tops.
                                >
                                > On the other hand, may be our growing season is slightly longer
                                than that
                                > of Northern France. May be growing only one crop will be
                                inefficient?
                                > Also, with global warming the growing season will be longer; may be
                                we
                                > need a two-crop system?
                                >
                                > Also, it seems that global warming will bring more extreme weather -
                                - more
                                > annual rainfall, but concentrated in floods and droughts. I guess
                                some
                                > diversification will be paramount to guard from crop failures.
                                Dunno
                                > whether just wheat will cut it.
                                >
                                >
                                >
                                > | They grow rice in the Camargue region in the South of France.
                                >
                                > Camargue is roughly our latitude, although its climate is probably
                                > milder, due to the close sea shore. I'll have to look more into
                                rice.
                                > Will report back.
                                >
                                >
                                >
                                > To recap. Open issues: which clover, which winter grain, which
                                summer
                                > crop (if any), how to beat the clover upon grain germination, which
                                acacia
                                > (if any), threshing, drought-resistance; Marc Bonfils in English.
                                >
                                > --Peter.
                                >
                              • Peter the
                                ... Thanks Calin -- I got it! Most of the pages seem to be from http://www.amazon.com/Small-Scale-Grain-Raising-Gene-Logsdon/dp/0878571345 Amazon has hard
                                Message 15 of 28 , Nov 6, 2007
                                • 0 Attachment
                                  On Mon, 5 Nov 2007, Calin A. Radulescu wrote:

                                  | Peter,
                                  | Look at the file section for a file called Thresher,
                                  | you may use some of that information.


                                  Thanks Calin -- I got it!


                                  Most of the pages seem to be from

                                  http://www.amazon.com/Small-Scale-Grain-Raising-Gene-Logsdon/dp/0878571345

                                  Amazon has hard copies for $50-$80 !!!


                                  Since the book is out of print, it is available for free (well scanned)

                                  http://www.soilandhealth.org/copyform.aspx?bookcode=030210

                                  from Steve Solomon's Homesteading Library Catalogue

                                  http://www.soilandhealth.org/03sov/0302hsted/0302homested.html


                                  Which book is the first page in Thresher.zip coming from?

                                  --Peter.
                                • Peter the
                                  ... Looking at http://www.uk.gardenweb.com/forums/zones/hze7.html I see we are probably zone 6 -- we are not exactly in the delta, but a bit west. May be 6b.
                                  Message 16 of 28 , Nov 6, 2007
                                  • 0 Attachment
                                    On Mon, 5 Nov 2007, Calin A. Radulescu wrote:

                                    | Peter,

                                    | Not taking into account the Global Warming, Eastern
                                    | Romania is in USDA zone 7, maybe 7b,

                                    Looking at http://www.uk.gardenweb.com/forums/zones/hze7.html I see we are
                                    probably zone 6 -- we are not exactly in the delta, but a bit west. May
                                    be 6b.

                                    I said we are the same latitude with Toulouse, but it seems Toulouse is
                                    zone 8 -- two zones milder. There is a zone 7 area somewhere between
                                    Toulouse and Lyons. Northern France seems to be zone 8. That is, or
                                    climate will have more sun during the year, but with a colder winter. I
                                    would probably say also a drier summer -- we are far away from oceans.

                                    In the US 6b would be like the warmer parts of Tennessee and Missouri.


                                    The above data for the US is for the 1990 zones. There are global-warming
                                    related changes http://www.arborday.org/media/map_change.cfm -- half of
                                    the US is a zone up. I'd say 1/2 zone almost everywhere.

                                    If the Europe info above is old, you might be right that nowadays Eastern
                                    Romania is in USDA zone 7, maybe 7b. Which would be about right for us
                                    too -- may be 7a.


                                    | so you won't be able to grow Fukuoka's favorite Acacia Molissima there
                                    | because of the cold continental winter. There may be some true acacias
                                    | that will grow in zone 7 though, if not the black wattle (Robinia
                                    | Pseudoacacia) could be a fair choice, and it already grows well in the
                                    | area.

                                    I'll look into the Robinia Pseudoacacia (salcam). It grows natively in
                                    our area, so that might be it.

                                    --Peter.
                                  • Shawn Turner
                                    WEEDS, WEEDS, WEEDS, onestrawresolution wrote: Dear Peter, I forgot to mention the files section of this group for more
                                    Message 17 of 28 , Nov 6, 2007
                                    • 0 Attachment
                                      WEEDS, WEEDS, WEEDS,
                                      onestrawresolution <souscayrous@...> wrote: Dear Peter, I forgot to mention the files section of this group for
                                      more information on the Bonfils Winter Wheat Method - see Marc
                                      Bonfils Agricultural research.

                                      Be careful about diminishing the productivity of one wheat harvest a
                                      year - it was the move to a wheat/beet succession in Northern France,
                                      which rapidly depletes and damages the soil that led Bonfils to
                                      change the way of growing.

                                      We need to find a way to grow our crops while annually improving the
                                      fertility of our soil. A temperate natural agriculture can do this
                                      and match the productivity of commercial agriculture.

                                      The use of black locust (Robinia pseudoacacia) can help, but it can
                                      be invasive in soils with good moisture levels - perhaps there is a
                                      local nitrogen fixing alternative alder perhaps (Alnus spp)?

                                      Jamie
                                      Souscayrous

                                      --- In fukuoka_farming@yahoogroups.com, Peter the
                                      <soil_n_health_fan@...> wrote:
                                      >
                                      > Friends:
                                      >
                                      > I did a brief search for Marc Bonfils, but most of the stuff I
                                      found was
                                      > in French. Have these things been translated? May be I need to
                                      try some
                                      > automatic web-based translation, but some of the stuff was image
                                      scans
                                      > from paper.
                                      >
                                      >
                                      > Dieter:
                                      >
                                      > Thanks for the very useful comments below!
                                      >
                                      >
                                      > To recap. Open issues: which clover, which winter grain, which
                                      summer
                                      > crop (if any), how to beat the clover upon grain germination, which
                                      acacia
                                      > (if any), threshing, drought-resistance; Marc Bonfils in English.
                                      >
                                      >
                                      >
                                      > On Sat, 3 Nov 2007, Dieter Brand wrote:
                                      >
                                      > | Peter,
                                      > |
                                      > | You have more questions than anybody can answer ;-)
                                      >
                                      > Don't we all :-)
                                      >
                                      >
                                      > | Some of my own: where about are you located and on what
                                      > | scale do you intend to work? What are soil and climate like?
                                      >
                                      > To be determined. I am making the plan right now.
                                      >
                                      > The target area is close the Delta of the river Danube, in Easter
                                      Europe.
                                      > The latitude is roughly that of Toulouse in Southern France (43N-
                                      44N).
                                      > The other European regions in the same latitude are either on the
                                      sea, or
                                      > are mountainous, so I guess the Toulouse area would be the best
                                      > approximation of the climate.
                                      >
                                      > Scale? TBD. Right now I have a commitment of around 8 hectares (20
                                      > acres), but if the method works, we will be looking into adding
                                      more.
                                      > Land is really inexpensive right now, but so are the rents. The
                                      reason is
                                      > the high inputs of industrial agriculture that is practiced right
                                      now.
                                      > Easily the cost of inputs per year is comparable to the cost of the
                                      land
                                      > itself right now.
                                      >
                                      > Also, we will need to solve the threshing problem if we are to grow
                                      > substantially.
                                      >
                                      >
                                      > Soil? Probably fantastic. To the extent it can still be, after
                                      being
                                      > ruined from half a century of industrial agriculture, that is. But
                                      > nowhere near as ruined as in the US, and probably mostly elsewhere
                                      in
                                      > Europe.
                                      >
                                      > |
                                      > | I live in a semi-arid climate and don't have enough water to
                                      grow
                                      > | rice during the summer.
                                      > |
                                      >
                                      > Rice has never been commercially grown in our region, mainly
                                      because the
                                      > summer is relatively dry (but probably not "arid"). I am still
                                      studying
                                      > rice more closes, as per the links another kind soul provided. I
                                      saw the
                                      > minimum requirements being 800 mm rainfall, and for wheat 560,
                                      which is
                                      > not quite different. Wheat is definitely grown successfully there.
                                      >
                                      > | During the winter (Nov.-June), I can
                                      > | grow most small grains (rye, barley, wheat, oats, etc.) and
                                      > | winter-annual crops such as lupines, clover, faba beans,
                                      > | vetch, peas, alfa alfa, etc. The challenge here is to find an
                                      > | annual (or perennial) suitable to continue the crop rotation
                                      during
                                      > | the summer. Any interruption of the crop coverage will allow the
                                      > | weeds to grow back and you have to start from zero. I found
                                      > | that I can grow sunflowers, a corn for dry land (zorrinho)
                                      during
                                      > | the summer without irrigation, however these crops don't
                                      > | suppress the weeds very well.
                                      >
                                      > Sunflowers and corn definitely grow in our region. What would
                                      happen if
                                      > they grow through a stand of clover? A constant stand of self-
                                      sowing
                                      > clover is also what Marc Bonfils uses.
                                      >
                                      > |
                                      > | In the North, you probably have an interruption in the growing
                                      > | schedule during the winter, but that may be easier to handle,
                                      > |
                                      >
                                      > We do have an interruption, but winter wheat definitely works in our
                                      > region. Alfalfa/lucerne is grown also, and it is perennial under
                                      our
                                      > conditions. Is my hope unreasonable that we sow some kind of
                                      clover and
                                      > it will maintain itself forever under and over the grain crops?
                                      >
                                      > | As I said, I have no experience with rice cultivation, but
                                      > | most grains have no trouble growing through white clover.
                                      >
                                      > What makes wheat seeds outcompete an established stand of clover?
                                      Fukuoka
                                      > uses flooding to tip the scales towards the rice. Flooding will
                                      probably
                                      > be impractical for us. My theory is that may be the fertility
                                      provided to
                                      > the grain seed in the seed balls is enough to let the grain shoot
                                      above
                                      > the clover. Is that true?
                                      >
                                      > I have no experience with clover, but lucerne can grow quite high.
                                      Does
                                      > one mow the stand at some judiciously chosen point? How does one
                                      decide
                                      > when?
                                      >
                                      >
                                      > | Best to find a clover that reseeds itself in your climate
                                      > | because seeds are rather expensive (Ladino costs me more
                                      > | than 5 Euros the kilo). Harvesting clover seeds is rather
                                      > | troublesome because the seeds are so small.
                                      >
                                      > Where does one find what kind of clover seeds are sold in Europe?
                                      Are
                                      > there mail-order catalogs?
                                      >
                                      >
                                      > | Alternately, you may want to try a technique like the "winter
                                      > | wheat" method Marc Bonfils used in the North of France. You
                                      > | sow in August or September, the above-ground part is frost-
                                      killed
                                      > | during the winter while the roots in the ground go into
                                      hibernation.
                                      > | When temperatures rise the following spring, the roots start to
                                      > | grow again. Having the advantage of the grown root system,
                                      > | the wheat will exhibit strong growth. However, Bonfils used a
                                      > | wide spacing of 60 cm in order to obtain high yields. I imagine
                                      > | that it may to difficult to obtain sufficient weed-suppression
                                      in
                                      > | a no-till system with such a wide spacing. You could of course
                                      > | try clover or something in-between the wheat, but will it be
                                      winter-
                                      > | killed and grow again in the Spring?
                                      >
                                      > I know for lucerne -- it is a perennial there.
                                      >
                                      >
                                      > Another question. Marc Bonfils grows only one harvest per year --
                                      winter
                                      > grains. Granted, he does get impressive yields, I've red 15
                                      MT/ha. The
                                      > standard for our region under industrial agriculture is may be 5
                                      MT/ha tops.
                                      >
                                      > On the other hand, may be our growing season is slightly longer
                                      than that
                                      > of Northern France. May be growing only one crop will be
                                      inefficient?
                                      > Also, with global warming the growing season will be longer; may be
                                      we
                                      > need a two-crop system?
                                      >
                                      > Also, it seems that global warming will bring more extreme weather -
                                      - more
                                      > annual rainfall, but concentrated in floods and droughts. I guess
                                      some
                                      > diversification will be paramount to guard from crop failures.
                                      Dunno
                                      > whether just wheat will cut it.
                                      >
                                      >
                                      >
                                      > | They grow rice in the Camargue region in the South of France.
                                      >
                                      > Camargue is roughly our latitude, although its climate is probably
                                      > milder, due to the close sea shore. I'll have to look more into
                                      rice.
                                      > Will report back.
                                      >
                                      >
                                      >
                                      > To recap. Open issues: which clover, which winter grain, which
                                      summer
                                      > crop (if any), how to beat the clover upon grain germination, which
                                      acacia
                                      > (if any), threshing, drought-resistance; Marc Bonfils in English.
                                      >
                                      > --Peter.
                                      >





                                      __________________________________________________
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                                      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                                    • Calin A. Radulescu
                                      we have talked about this topic quite a few times here, and it seems that there is more than one right way of doing it. so flooding, mowing it low, maybe
                                      Message 18 of 28 , Nov 6, 2007
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                                        we have talked about this topic quite a few times
                                        here, and it seems that there is more than one right
                                        way of doing it. so flooding, mowing it low, maybe
                                        grazing it with some small animal, all seem to
                                        accomplish pretty much the same thing - weakening the
                                        clover without killing it. then you would add the
                                        straw, spreading it over the field loosely,(the straw
                                        must be from winter grain for rice, and from rice for
                                        the winter grain to minimize spreading of disease)then
                                        you would spread the seed balls. they should make good
                                        contact with the earth in order to germinate, that's
                                        important.


                                        --- Peter the <soil_n_health_fan@...>
                                        wrote:



                                        __________________________________________________
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                                        Tired of spam? Yahoo! Mail has the best spam protection around
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                                      • Peter the
                                        ... Thanks Calin, Fukuoka adds the seed balls way before the old harvest is cut. It only makes sense -- the balls need time to settle to make contact with the
                                        Message 19 of 28 , Nov 6, 2007
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                                          On Tue, 6 Nov 2007, Calin A. Radulescu wrote:

                                          | we have talked about this topic quite a few times here, and it seems
                                          | that there is more than one right way of doing it. so flooding, mowing
                                          | it low, maybe grazing it with some small animal, all seem to accomplish
                                          | pretty much the same thing - weakening the clover without killing it.
                                          | then you would add the straw, spreading it over the field loosely, [and
                                          | then you add the seed balls]

                                          Thanks Calin,

                                          Fukuoka adds the seed balls way before the old harvest is cut. It only
                                          makes sense -- the balls need time to settle to make contact with the
                                          soil. Fukuoka puts straw on top of the seed balls. Also makes sense --
                                          the straw protects the seeds, and also all straw decomposition takes place
                                          above the roots.

                                          From http://www.soilandhealth.org/03sov/0302hsted/030202/03010200.html ,
                                          It is important for the roots to grow in soil that does _not_ deal with
                                          decomposition. Decomposition builds humus, however humus needs to be
                                          degraded for the nutrients to be released to the plants; the soil cannot
                                          do both at the same time. Decomposition and root extension have to be in
                                          two different layers of the soil. That's why gardeners make compost away
                                          from the beds.


                                          Also, I don't understand one aspect of mowing or grazing the clover.
                                          Fukuoka floods when the rice shoots are already in place, and cuts the
                                          rice straw when the barley shoots are growing. He talks about trampling
                                          of the shoots, which is OK. When cutting rice, he can cut above the top
                                          of the shoots.

                                          When we have a clover stand, we usually mow it low. That would damage any
                                          shooting grain that might be there. Ditto for grazing.

                                          Dieter Brand <diebrand@...> said that grain can just grow through
                                          clover, without any other intervention.

                                          My theory (untested) is that may be the fertility provided to the grain
                                          seed in the seed balls is enough to let the grain shoot above the clover.


                                          Imagine we decide to mow the clover for hay. The weather has to be dry
                                          after that so that the hay is dried in the filed. On the other hand, if
                                          mowing is to be used to facilitating grain shooting through the clover,
                                          there has to be rain to sprout the grain. Tricky. Anybody done it?


                                          May be we should not mow/graze at all? But this lays to "waste" a
                                          high-protein resource. Can the wheat utilize all the nitrogen fixed by
                                          the clover?


                                          | (the straw must be from winter grain for rice, and from rice for the
                                          | winter grain to minimize spreading of disease)then you would spread the
                                          | seed balls.

                                          Well, if we try to practice Bonfils, then we have only one crop -- winter
                                          wheat. How does he solve the propagation-of-disease issue?

                                          --Peter.
                                        • Dieter Brand
                                          Peter, There is no way around it, you have to learn how each different cover crop you intend to use will perform under the local conditions of the place you
                                          Message 20 of 28 , Nov 6, 2007
                                          • 0 Attachment
                                            Peter,

                                            There is no way around it, you have to learn how each different
                                            cover crop you intend to use will perform under the local
                                            conditions of the place you will use it. The data base I
                                            mentioned provides a lot of info, but there will invariably also
                                            be a lot of trial and error when you start to put the theory
                                            into praxis. That is why "organic no-till" is much more "place
                                            specific" than conventional farming. Most no-till farmers use
                                            herbicides to kill their cover crop, which is a lot simpler.
                                            A herbicide will kill the cover crop no matter where or when
                                            you apply it. You don't even need to know much about the
                                            live cycle of your cover crop.

                                            The idea with organic no-till is that you know exactly when
                                            you can mechanically kill which cover crop for transplanting
                                            or sowing your cash crop into. For example, if I sow lupines
                                            in the fall, I know that I can cut them next March or April
                                            for growing my summer vegetables. If on the other hand I
                                            sow rye as cover crop, I probably have to wait until May for
                                            cutting, and then select a crop that can be planted or sown
                                            in May. If I cut the rye earlier, it will grow again, if I cut it
                                            later it will form seeds and reseed itself to interfere with my
                                            cash crop. If I want to grow wheat together with clover,
                                            I have to select a clover that won't interfere with the wheat ...

                                            You quote from Steve Solomon's "Organic Gardener's Composting"
                                            >It is important for the roots to grow in soil that does _not_ deal with
                                            >decomposition. Decomposition builds humus, however humus needs to be
                                            >degraded for the nutrients to be released to the plants; _the soil cannot
                                            >do both at the same time_. Decomposition and root extension have to be in
                                            >two different layers of the soil. That's why gardeners make compost away
                                            >from the beds.

                                            The soil DOES do both at the same time, and has done so for
                                            millions of years, but in different soil layers.

                                            In his classic on "bio-organic" farming (Bodenfruchtbarkeit),
                                            P.H. Rusch describes the "soil anatomy" as follows: "the ground
                                            cover of organic residues such as dead leaves, straw, etc., is
                                            decomposed by fungi, microbes and numerous small creatures in
                                            the aerobic uppermost one or two inches of soil in the so-called
                                            "cell tilth" (a phase dominated by the cells of microbes). The
                                            "decomposition phase" is followed by a "build-up" phase in which
                                            the decomposition products (the various constituents of the cell
                                            plasma) of the first phase form the "plasma tilth" in which strong
                                            colloidal bonds of humus-clay complexes, that can last up to a 1000
                                            years, form a stable humus mostly under anaerobic conditions at a
                                            depth of about 2 to 8 inches." In an undisturbed soil, these two
                                            phases will continuously go on in parallel, the one supplying the
                                            other, but roots will form mainly in the lower layer represented by
                                            the 2nd phase." Rusch considers soil disturbance such as the
                                            ploughing under of green manure to be a "sin against live".

                                            Sorry, don't have time to answer your questions in more detail.
                                            >My theory (untested) is that may be the fertility provided to the grain
                                            >seed in the seed balls is enough to let the grain shoot above the clover.

                                            No, nothing to do with the seedballs, all to do with the right timing
                                            and the right choice of crop and clover.

                                            >Imagine we decide to mow the clover for hay.
                                            You don't use clover for making hay. If you have to cut it, you let
                                            it decompose in the field.

                                            >Can the wheat utilize all the nitrogen fixed by the clover?
                                            The N in the greens can be used by other plants after cutting and
                                            decomposition. The N fixed by the soil bacteria is made available
                                            after the clover is killed. (But Olivier is right, there is much more to
                                            soil biology than N).

                                            Dieter Brand
                                            Portugal

                                            Peter the <soil_n_health_fan@...> wrote:

                                            On Tue, 6 Nov 2007, Calin A. Radulescu wrote:

                                            | we have talked about this topic quite a few times here, and it seems
                                            | that there is more than one right way of doing it. so flooding, mowing
                                            | it low, maybe grazing it with some small animal, all seem to accomplish
                                            | pretty much the same thing - weakening the clover without killing it.
                                            | then you would add the straw, spreading it over the field loosely, [and
                                            | then you add the seed balls]

                                            Thanks Calin,

                                            Fukuoka adds the seed balls way before the old harvest is cut. It only
                                            makes sense -- the balls need time to settle to make contact with the
                                            soil. Fukuoka puts straw on top of the seed balls. Also makes sense --
                                            the straw protects the seeds, and also all straw decomposition takes place
                                            above the roots.

                                            From http://www.soilandhealth.org/03sov/0302hsted/030202/03010200.html ,
                                            It is important for the roots to grow in soil that does _not_ deal with
                                            decomposition. Decomposition builds humus, however humus needs to be
                                            degraded for the nutrients to be released to the plants; the soil cannot
                                            do both at the same time. Decomposition and root extension have to be in
                                            two different layers of the soil. That's why gardeners make compost away
                                            from the beds.

                                            Also, I don't understand one aspect of mowing or grazing the clover.
                                            Fukuoka floods when the rice shoots are already in place, and cuts the
                                            rice straw when the barley shoots are growing. He talks about trampling
                                            of the shoots, which is OK. When cutting rice, he can cut above the top
                                            of the shoots.

                                            When we have a clover stand, we usually mow it low. That would damage any
                                            shooting grain that might be there. Ditto for grazing.

                                            Dieter Brand <diebrand@...> said that grain can just grow through
                                            clover, without any other intervention.

                                            My theory (untested) is that may be the fertility provided to the grain
                                            seed in the seed balls is enough to let the grain shoot above the clover.

                                            Imagine we decide to mow the clover for hay. The weather has to be dry
                                            after that so that the hay is dried in the filed. On the other hand, if
                                            mowing is to be used to facilitating grain shooting through the clover,
                                            there has to be rain to sprout the grain. Tricky. Anybody done it?

                                            May be we should not mow/graze at all? But this lays to "waste" a
                                            high-protein resource. Can the wheat utilize all the nitrogen fixed by
                                            the clover?

                                            | (the straw must be from winter grain for rice, and from rice for the
                                            | winter grain to minimize spreading of disease)then you would spread the
                                            | seed balls.

                                            Well, if we try to practice Bonfils, then we have only one crop -- winter
                                            wheat. How does he solve the propagation-of-disease issue?

                                            --Peter.




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                                            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                                          • Calin A. Radulescu
                                            Pete, Growing domesticated food grain in a few inches thick, tangled mat of clovers, weeds and whatever may be in there has a lot to do with the timing, or
                                            Message 21 of 28 , Nov 7, 2007
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                                              Pete,
                                              Growing domesticated food grain in a few inches thick,
                                              tangled mat of clovers, weeds and whatever may be in
                                              there has a lot to do with the timing, or better say
                                              delaying the vigor in clover, tipping the balance a
                                              little bit in favor of the food crop. When done right,
                                              the rice or winter grain has had a chance to get a
                                              root
                                              system in place and access to light, whereas the
                                              clover
                                              and the weeds are quite stressed but recovering. After
                                              that, the nature will basically take care of them.
                                              I think that you should just experiment with some
                                              grain seed on a small parcel , either now or at the
                                              end of the winter and see what you get.

                                              --- Peter the <soil_n_health_fan@...>
                                              wrote:


                                              > It is important for the roots to grow in soil that
                                              > does _not_ deal with
                                              > decomposition. Decomposition builds humus, however
                                              > humus needs to be
                                              > degraded for the nutrients to be released to the
                                              > plants; the soil cannot
                                              > do both at the same time. Decomposition and root
                                              > extension have to be in
                                              > two different layers of the soil. That's why
                                              > gardeners make compost away
                                              > from the beds.

                                              Gardeners are usually rational beings, whereas NF just
                                              happens. Fukuoka said and some people here in the
                                              forum hinted at the fact that one should leave aside
                                              worries such those about nutrients, and that's right
                                              to the point, although it may seem discouraging for
                                              someone new to NF or to the eastern way of thinking


                                              > Also, I don't understand one aspect of mowing or
                                              > grazing the clover.
                                              > Fukuoka floods when the rice shoots are already in
                                              > place, and cuts the
                                              > rice straw when the barley shoots are growing. He
                                              > talks about trampling
                                              > of the shoots, which is OK. When cutting rice, he
                                              > can cut above the top
                                              > of the shoots.
                                              > When we have a clover stand, we usually mow it low.
                                              > That would damage any
                                              > shooting grain that might be there. Ditto for
                                              > grazing.

                                              it makes sense, rice will tolerate anaerobic
                                              conditions whereas clover won't. both would recover
                                              after mowing and neither of them would mind the
                                              occasional trampling.


                                              > Dieter Brand <diebrand@...> said that grain
                                              > can just grow through
                                              > clover, without any other intervention.


                                              that's right how it is. if someone were looking at it,
                                              he or she would see just taller grain growing in a
                                              ground cover of clover. human intervention is minimal
                                              very gentle, and difficult to tell apart from the
                                              natural order.


                                              > My theory (untested) is that may be the fertility
                                              > provided to the grain
                                              > seed in the seed balls is enough to let the grain
                                              > shoot above the clover.

                                              Not enough by itself. If the clover isn't week enough,
                                              and the environmental conditions aren't right for that

                                              particular grain to take over, the results could be
                                              pretty disappointing.


                                              > Imagine we decide to mow the clover for hay. The
                                              > weather has to be dry
                                              > after that so that the hay is dried in the filed.
                                              > On the other hand, if
                                              > mowing is to be used to facilitating grain shooting
                                              > through the clover,
                                              > there has to be rain to sprout the grain. Tricky.


                                              It looks tricky but actually is one of those
                                              activities
                                              that are quite simple to do but harder to explain with
                                              words how is done. The more inclined to observing the
                                              nature with an open mind one is, the easier it will
                                              get.


                                              > Anybody done it?


                                              You bet, by many people in many different conditions
                                              around the world. If an old man like Fukuoka could do
                                              it, anybody can. Personally i just experimented a few
                                              times in the backyard; many of those times it went all
                                              wrong before i could see any grain at all.


                                              > May be we should not mow/graze at all? But this
                                              > lays to "waste" a
                                              > high-protein resource. Can the wheat utilize all
                                              > the nitrogen fixed by
                                              > the clover?


                                              nutrients should get recycled in place as mulch or
                                              animal poop if the fertility of the soil is supposed
                                              to increase. otherwise it is not natural farming, and
                                              it may required managerial or some other kind of
                                              decision making to make it work.



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                                            • Ingrid Bauer
                                              The use of black locust (Robinia pseudoacacia) can help, but it can be invasive in soils with good moisture levels - perhaps there is a local nitrogen fixing
                                              Message 22 of 28 , Nov 21, 2007
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                                                The use of black locust (Robinia pseudoacacia) can help, but it can
                                                be invasive in soils with good moisture levels - perhaps there is a
                                                local nitrogen fixing alternative alder perhaps (Alnus spp)?

                                                here what i am have to say about alders who grow spontanouslly after clear cutting of old growth forest in our aera ( coastal fir forest British colombia Canada) they are pionner trees regenerating the soil before coniferous can come back .

                                                I have been interplanting fruit and nut trees, berry bushes , vines and other plants ( mashua, kale jerusalem artichoke etc ...) in a young red alder forest for 8 years now .
                                                i have over the years killed some of the alders ( when they reach over 20 cm diameter especially) by girdling them and inseminating them with shitake mushroom , i let them standing for the woodpeckers to deal with.

                                                the soil is wonderfull under alders, they produce abondant mulch layer everyfall . they grow tall and spindly serving the role of intermediate canopy ( they are dwarfted by very tall ancient and sparse fir who dominate the upper story) the wood on the ground rot very quickly .

                                                draw back: their shade is important more than leguminous trees. they fall and break easelly in the winter storms damaging young planted trees .

                                                they can be coppiced for a while if you leave enough branches , they will eventually succomb to rot . once dead, pileated woodpecker and downy woodpeckers can digg a nest in the biggest, that will be eventually ,the following years, used by other species like screech owls or wood ducks.
                                                jean-claude



                                                [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                                              • karoubas
                                                Hello Robin, Dieter, jean-claude and all, Thank you for your replies - it will take me sometime for me to read,- re read and really absorb what you are telling
                                                Message 23 of 28 , Nov 25, 2007
                                                • 0 Attachment
                                                  Hello Robin, Dieter, jean-claude and all,

                                                  Thank you for your replies - it will take me sometime for me to read,-
                                                  re read and really absorb what you are telling me/us - then I will
                                                  figure out how I will incorporate this in my farm - again thank you
                                                  for sharing your experiences.

                                                  Its important from time to time to state the goals of natural farming.

                                                  1. To be able to reforest large areas with minimum of labor, time and
                                                  cost ( and minimum thinking)

                                                  2. To be be able to regenerate the soil in a farm and hope it produces
                                                  plenty of fruits and vegetables - again with all the above minimums

                                                  I think that digging trenches and chasing after acacias in the farm
                                                  may interfere with the above "minimum" requirements.

                                                  I think that Fukuoka - San changed and evolved from the time he wrote
                                                  the "One straw Revolution" to his last book "The Road Back to Nature"
                                                  - we should be referring to his last book more often.

                                                  These wonderful trees that Raju mentions - sababul acacia and the
                                                  other nitrogen fixing trees on the invasive species list, may be the
                                                  best hope we have to revegetate barren lands and deserts. I find it
                                                  ironic that the trees that society/science has labeled as undesirables
                                                  - will propably end up saving this much abused planet.

                                                  Today I visited some of my wife's relatives about an hour away -they
                                                  are an elderly couple in their 80's. The land around them is a flat
                                                  plain without any large trees around - its plowed and bare. They told
                                                  me that when their parents came into the area - the whole area was
                                                  covered with large oak trees - over the years they removed all the oak
                                                  trees and have been plowing the land ever since. The have used the
                                                  chemical agriculture techniques to farm the land the results and
                                                  familiar to us - nothing will grow on this once fertile land without
                                                  fertilizers and pesticides. Their local water supply has been
                                                  contaminated and they can longer drink the water from their area ( I
                                                  do not know the exact cause of the contamination).


                                                  For the reforestation project I used about 10 different types of tree
                                                  seeds, which I collected from the trees around the city - most of them
                                                  I think are different types of acacias - but in truth I do not know
                                                  their names - I also added clover vetch wheat rocket and other
                                                  vegetable seeds - in all there probably were about 30 types of seeds.
                                                  As I said I am pleased with the results - I am waiting to see how
                                                  the small trees will survive the winter frost and then how they will
                                                  survive the August summer heat (I will add photos on the website soon).

                                                  No matter what, I plan to make at least another 10,000 seed
                                                  balls/disks this summer - we really have no other choice (other than
                                                  seed balls) - if we want to revegetate large areas - planting large
                                                  number of trees and watering them by hand is costly and time
                                                  prohibitive - beside the failure rate is very large.

                                                  Thank You
                                                  Kostas






                                                  --- In fukuoka_farming@yahoogroups.com, "Ingrid Bauer" <instinct@...>
                                                  wrote:
                                                  >
                                                  >
                                                  > The use of black locust (Robinia pseudoacacia) can help, but it can
                                                  > be invasive in soils with good moisture levels - perhaps there is a
                                                  > local nitrogen fixing alternative alder perhaps (Alnus spp)?
                                                  >
                                                  > here what i am have to say about alders who grow spontanouslly
                                                  after clear cutting of old growth forest in our aera ( coastal fir
                                                  forest British colombia Canada) they are pionner trees regenerating
                                                  the soil before coniferous can come back .
                                                  >
                                                  > I have been interplanting fruit and nut trees, berry bushes ,
                                                  vines and other plants ( mashua, kale jerusalem artichoke etc ...) in
                                                  a young red alder forest for 8 years now .
                                                  > i have over the years killed some of the alders ( when they reach
                                                  over 20 cm diameter especially) by girdling them and inseminating them
                                                  with shitake mushroom , i let them standing for the woodpeckers to
                                                  deal with.
                                                  >
                                                  > the soil is wonderfull under alders, they produce abondant mulch
                                                  layer everyfall . they grow tall and spindly serving the role of
                                                  intermediate canopy ( they are dwarfted by very tall ancient and
                                                  sparse fir who dominate the upper story) the wood on the ground rot
                                                  very quickly .
                                                  >
                                                  > draw back: their shade is important more than leguminous trees.
                                                  they fall and break easelly in the winter storms damaging young
                                                  planted trees .
                                                  >
                                                  > they can be coppiced for a while if you leave enough branches ,
                                                  they will eventually succomb to rot . once dead, pileated woodpecker
                                                  and downy woodpeckers can digg a nest in the biggest, that will be
                                                  eventually ,the following years, used by other species like screech
                                                  owls or wood ducks.
                                                  > jean-claude
                                                  >
                                                  >
                                                  >
                                                  > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                                                  >
                                                • karoubas
                                                  Hello everyone I just updated the site http://www.naturalfarming.us/ with photos from the 2007 seeding project Kostas
                                                  Message 24 of 28 , Nov 25, 2007
                                                  • 0 Attachment
                                                    Hello everyone
                                                    I just updated the site http://www.naturalfarming.us/
                                                    with photos from the 2007 seeding project

                                                    Kostas







                                                    --- In fukuoka_farming@yahoogroups.com, "karoubas" <karoubas@...> wrote:
                                                    >
                                                    > Hello Robin, Dieter, jean-claude and all,
                                                    >
                                                    > Thank you for your replies - it will take me sometime for me to read,-
                                                    > re read and really absorb what you are telling me/us - then I will
                                                    > figure out how I will incorporate this in my farm - again thank you
                                                    > for sharing your experiences.
                                                    >
                                                    > Its important from time to time to state the goals of natural farming.
                                                    >
                                                    > 1. To be able to reforest large areas with minimum of labor, time and
                                                    > cost ( and minimum thinking)
                                                    >
                                                    > 2. To be be able to regenerate the soil in a farm and hope it produces
                                                    > plenty of fruits and vegetables - again with all the above minimums
                                                    >
                                                    > I think that digging trenches and chasing after acacias in the farm
                                                    > may interfere with the above "minimum" requirements.
                                                    >
                                                    > I think that Fukuoka - San changed and evolved from the time he wrote
                                                    > the "One straw Revolution" to his last book "The Road Back to Nature"
                                                    > - we should be referring to his last book more often.
                                                    >
                                                    > These wonderful trees that Raju mentions - sababul acacia and the
                                                    > other nitrogen fixing trees on the invasive species list, may be the
                                                    > best hope we have to revegetate barren lands and deserts. I find it
                                                    > ironic that the trees that society/science has labeled as undesirables
                                                    > - will propably end up saving this much abused planet.
                                                    >
                                                    > Today I visited some of my wife's relatives about an hour away -they
                                                    > are an elderly couple in their 80's. The land around them is a flat
                                                    > plain without any large trees around - its plowed and bare. They told
                                                    > me that when their parents came into the area - the whole area was
                                                    > covered with large oak trees - over the years they removed all the oak
                                                    > trees and have been plowing the land ever since. The have used the
                                                    > chemical agriculture techniques to farm the land the results and
                                                    > familiar to us - nothing will grow on this once fertile land without
                                                    > fertilizers and pesticides. Their local water supply has been
                                                    > contaminated and they can longer drink the water from their area ( I
                                                    > do not know the exact cause of the contamination).
                                                    >
                                                    >
                                                    > For the reforestation project I used about 10 different types of tree
                                                    > seeds, which I collected from the trees around the city - most of them
                                                    > I think are different types of acacias - but in truth I do not know
                                                    > their names - I also added clover vetch wheat rocket and other
                                                    > vegetable seeds - in all there probably were about 30 types of seeds.
                                                    > As I said I am pleased with the results - I am waiting to see how
                                                    > the small trees will survive the winter frost and then how they will
                                                    > survive the August summer heat (I will add photos on the website soon).
                                                    >
                                                    > No matter what, I plan to make at least another 10,000 seed
                                                    > balls/disks this summer - we really have no other choice (other than
                                                    > seed balls) - if we want to revegetate large areas - planting large
                                                    > number of trees and watering them by hand is costly and time
                                                    > prohibitive - beside the failure rate is very large.
                                                    >
                                                    > Thank You
                                                    > Kostas
                                                    >
                                                    >
                                                    >
                                                    >
                                                    >
                                                    >
                                                    > --- In fukuoka_farming@yahoogroups.com, "Ingrid Bauer" <instinct@>
                                                    > wrote:
                                                    > >
                                                    > >
                                                    > > The use of black locust (Robinia pseudoacacia) can help, but it can
                                                    > > be invasive in soils with good moisture levels - perhaps there is a
                                                    > > local nitrogen fixing alternative alder perhaps (Alnus spp)?
                                                    > >
                                                    > > here what i am have to say about alders who grow spontanouslly
                                                    > after clear cutting of old growth forest in our aera ( coastal fir
                                                    > forest British colombia Canada) they are pionner trees regenerating
                                                    > the soil before coniferous can come back .
                                                    > >
                                                    > > I have been interplanting fruit and nut trees, berry bushes ,
                                                    > vines and other plants ( mashua, kale jerusalem artichoke etc ...) in
                                                    > a young red alder forest for 8 years now .
                                                    > > i have over the years killed some of the alders ( when they reach
                                                    > over 20 cm diameter especially) by girdling them and inseminating them
                                                    > with shitake mushroom , i let them standing for the woodpeckers to
                                                    > deal with.
                                                    > >
                                                    > > the soil is wonderfull under alders, they produce abondant mulch
                                                    > layer everyfall . they grow tall and spindly serving the role of
                                                    > intermediate canopy ( they are dwarfted by very tall ancient and
                                                    > sparse fir who dominate the upper story) the wood on the ground rot
                                                    > very quickly .
                                                    > >
                                                    > > draw back: their shade is important more than leguminous trees.
                                                    > they fall and break easelly in the winter storms damaging young
                                                    > planted trees .
                                                    > >
                                                    > > they can be coppiced for a while if you leave enough branches ,
                                                    > they will eventually succomb to rot . once dead, pileated woodpecker
                                                    > and downy woodpeckers can digg a nest in the biggest, that will be
                                                    > eventually ,the following years, used by other species like screech
                                                    > owls or wood ducks.
                                                    > > jean-claude
                                                    > >
                                                    > >
                                                    > >
                                                    > > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                                                    > >
                                                    >
                                                  • pattyloof
                                                    ... Great pictures! What kind of trees are those? Patty
                                                    Message 25 of 28 , Nov 26, 2007
                                                    • 0 Attachment
                                                      --- In fukuoka_farming@yahoogroups.com, "karoubas" <karoubas@...> wrote:
                                                      >
                                                      > Hello everyone
                                                      > I just updated the site http://www.naturalfarming.us/
                                                      > with photos from the 2007 seeding project
                                                      >
                                                      > Kostas


                                                      Great pictures! What kind of trees are those?

                                                      Patty
                                                    • karoubas
                                                      Hello Patty, As I mentioned in the previous message I really don t know their names - some acacias. I collected seeds from the trees around the streets of
                                                      Message 26 of 28 , Nov 26, 2007
                                                      • 0 Attachment
                                                        Hello Patty,
                                                        As I mentioned in the previous message I really don't know their names
                                                        - some acacias. I collected seeds from the trees around the streets of
                                                        Thessaloniki.

                                                        Kostas



                                                        --- In fukuoka_farming@yahoogroups.com, "pattyloof" <pattyloof@...> wrote:
                                                        >
                                                        > --- In fukuoka_farming@yahoogroups.com, "karoubas" <karoubas@> wrote:
                                                        > >
                                                        > > Hello everyone
                                                        > > I just updated the site http://www.naturalfarming.us/
                                                        > > with photos from the 2007 seeding project
                                                        > >
                                                        > > Kostas
                                                        >
                                                        >
                                                        > Great pictures! What kind of trees are those?
                                                        >
                                                        > Patty
                                                        >
                                                      • Peter the
                                                        Thanks again, Jamie! Does anybody know where to get seeds for the Bonfils Winter Wheat Method? I am assuming that these are non-hybrid, and the grain can be
                                                        Message 27 of 28 , Nov 27, 2007
                                                        • 0 Attachment
                                                          Thanks again, Jamie!

                                                          Does anybody know where to get seeds for the Bonfils Winter Wheat Method?
                                                          I am assuming that these are non-hybrid, and the grain can be reused as
                                                          seed the next year.

                                                          What cultivars are there? Any discussion of their relative merits?

                                                          Also, are there different cultivars of white clover that grow in Europe?

                                                          --Peter.


                                                          On Tue, 6 Nov 2007, onestrawresolution wrote:

                                                          | Dear Peter, I forgot to mention the files section of this group for
                                                          | more information on the Bonfils Winter Wheat Method - see Marc
                                                          | Bonfils Agricultural research.
                                                          |
                                                          | Be careful about diminishing the productivity of one wheat harvest a
                                                          | year - it was the move to a wheat/beet succession in Northern France,
                                                          | which rapidly depletes and damages the soil that led Bonfils to
                                                          | change the way of growing.
                                                          |
                                                          | We need to find a way to grow our crops while annually improving the
                                                          | fertility of our soil. A temperate natural agriculture can do this
                                                          | and match the productivity of commercial agriculture.
                                                          |
                                                          | The use of black locust (Robinia pseudoacacia) can help, but it can
                                                          | be invasive in soils with good moisture levels - perhaps there is a
                                                          | local nitrogen fixing alternative alder perhaps (Alnus spp)?
                                                          |
                                                          | Jamie
                                                          | Souscayrous
                                                          |
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