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no-mow mojo

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  • robin
    definitely, perennial grasses, thank you. i thought i would order lots of different seeds from this supplier right here; ernstseed.com if i can get a better
    Message 1 of 4 , Dec 4, 2007
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      definitely, perennial grasses, thank you. i thought i would order lots
      of different seeds from this supplier right here;

      ernstseed.com

      if i can get a better deal from anyone else, please let me know. what
      kinds of seeds or seed mixtures should i order first, i wonder. i live
      in the mid atlantic region, or right on the border between the
      northeast and the southeast in virginia. where i live is usually 10
      degrees colder than the nearest town, cause i live toward the bottom
      slope of a mountain. it is a gentle slope.

      wes jackson at the land institute sounds like he knows his stuff about
      grasslands. i'll have to read more.

      this is a great quote from sensei;

      The real path to natural farming requires that a person know what
      unaltered nature is, so that he or she can instinctively understand
      what needs to be done—and what must not be done—to work in harmony
      with its processes. - Masanobu Fukuoka

      this is an inspiring post from michael;

      http://groups.yahoo.com/group/fukuoka_farming/message/6396

      i've been mowing paths on my land for a while now (the mown areas get
      smaller every year) and letting the
      rest grow more and more, broadcasting seeds frequently, seedballing,
      drilling other
      seeds, and just seeing how plant communities do their thing. i just
      scored a big load of wood mulch from the power-line tree-limb cutters
      a couple of days ago. i thought i might build up the bottom
      of the slope with it and scatter the rest around some....or, if i can't
      get out there for a while, i'll leave it to form a hill over time, and
      plant into it after five years or so.

      these are very amusing, entertaining, and enlightening videos here;

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mq0u44phYjY

      http://www.news10now.com/content/top_stories/default.asp?ArID=69484
      (be sure and watch the video provided in this article. it's nice)

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KeW0EFrPO8w&feature=user

      i hope these links work out right.


      hmm.....

      The real path to natural farming requires that a person know what
      unaltered nature is, so that he or she can instinctively understand
      what needs to be done—and what must not be done—to work in harmony
      with its processes. - Masanobu Fukuoka

      i worry about the starving people too. but i'm in charge of caring for
      my poor mother-in-law who has dementia
      ( she's a falls risk, so i can barely leave her side ever), so i feel
      that i deserve to have fun on my
      farm, grow fun things, along with letting nature grow her own things;
      not interested
      in mono-cultures, or just people food. i'm not saying other people
      shouldn't worry about or try to figure out how to feed hungry people,
      if they want to or have a good mind for that. or how to feed
      themselves or sell their produce. for
      me, right now, i can't
      be too deadly serious about feeding the
      world, or i'd really be crazy...just feeding wildlife right now is
      enough for me. i need to feed my senses...beauty. funny or kooky stuff
      that makes me laugh. or like that song jsent put on here- "learn to
      swim", wasn't it?, the world is going to end, anyway, the way it's
      headed, so what can little old me do to save it? not much, so why try?
      at the risk of seeming selfish, i'll just please myself! i'll throw
      seed mixtures
      out, and see what takes in nature, and let her take her time. and i
      can always plant my
      few fussy veggies right into the beauty... i'll let my sweet husband
      worry about making the money and paying the bills, buying the stuff i
      can't grow. i have to accept that i can't get off the grid completely
      and perfectly like i want to. a person needs to just relax and let
      nature do it for herself mostly... there are unnatural things like
      store bought food, medicines, dentists, electricity, that
      is there right in front of me every day. i have to use the stuff some,
      because i have to adapt to the environment that i find myself in. i'm
      not so much of a purist that i reject these things totally, like i
      would like to. i just use it up, because i
      don't like waste....but you have to work hard in this culture just to
      reject and avoid being obese and materialistic, so it's good to reject
      that stuff as much as you can. it will use up your natural energy.
      rambling again, but does that make any
      sense? does anyone understand what i mean?***************robin************
    • Robert Monie
      Hi Robin, Michael s account of his 25 years in farming inspires many deju vu s from me, though I work on a small garden scale. He could produce
      Message 2 of 4 , Dec 7, 2007
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        Hi Robin,

        Michael's account of his 25 years in farming inspires many "deju vu's" from me, though I work on a small garden scale. He could produce "award-winning" plants by adding soil amendments but got better results when he let the brome grass grow as a ley for 5 years and planted into it. The British ley farmers of the 19th century relied on perennial grasses and forbs to develop humus (they especially liked coltsfoot or cocksfoot orchard grass, chicory, salad burnet, red clover, rye, and stinging nettle). Fukuoka and Fukokans added the idea of planting directly into this kind of cover rather than grazing and mowing it first.

        Michael noted that stinging nettle tea produced noticable improvement. Nettle, along with comfrey, chamomile, and yarrow is one of the most dependable dynamic nutrient accumulators, and his experience replicates that of generations of traditional
        farmers who preceded him. Michael has created (or occassioned) a prairie by letting the right prairie grasses grow and mostly just leaving them alone. Nature knows exactly what to do once you get it started; no need for Michael to do lots of busywork. Just as Robert Hart's Forest Farming opens the door to natural crop growing, so does Michael's Grassland Farming. One day someone may write a book (perhaps, you, Robin?) on this kind of farming that will become popular and inspire followers (as Hart has inspired David Jacke to write his lengthly books on forest farming).

        Landscapers and soil restorers like the Ernst Seed Company can tell you a lot about which
        blends might work for you in your climate, but they probably have not tried much to plant leys as a backdrop to food plants later on. The one thing to most look for in selecting grasses is that they develop large, deep roots with a healthy supply of microorganisms serving them. I have seen landcapes of "ornamental grasses" that look beautiful, but if you tug on them, they come right up with handly any root on them. I've even seen vetiver grass like this; normally it develops a root of at least 4 or 5 feet (sometime down to 10), but in some soil (not necessarily compacted soil!) the roots just don't grow though the plant looks fine above the soil.

        If you want to develop humus, you must have roots, roots, and more roots, that are microbiologically involved with their surrounding soil.
        robin <witchessocks@...> wrote:
        definitely, perennial grasses, thank you. i thought i would order lots
        of different seeds from this supplier right here;

        ernstseed.com

        if i can get a better deal from anyone else, please let me know. what
        kinds of seeds or seed mixtures should i order first, i wonder. i live
        in the mid atlantic region, or right on the border between the
        northeast and the southeast in virginia. where i live is usually 10
        degrees colder than the nearest town, cause i live toward the bottom
        slope of a mountain. it is a gentle slope.

        wes jackson at the land institute sounds like he knows his stuff about
        grasslands. i'll have to read more.

        this is a great quote from sensei;

        The real path to natural farming requires that a person know what
        unaltered nature is, so that he or she can instinctively understand
        what needs to be done—and what must not be done—to work in harmony
        with its processes. - Masanobu Fukuoka

        this is an inspiring post from michael;

        http://groups.yahoo.com/group/fukuoka_farming/message/6396

        i've been mowing paths on my land for a while now (the mown areas get
        smaller every year) and letting the
        rest grow more and more, broadcasting seeds frequently, seedballing,
        drilling other
        seeds, and just seeing how plant communities do their thing. i just
        scored a big load of wood mulch from the power-line tree-limb cutters
        a couple of days ago. i thought i might build up the bottom
        of the slope with it and scatter the rest around some....or, if i can't
        get out there for a while, i'll leave it to form a hill over time, and
        plant into it after five years or so.

        these are very amusing, entertaining, and enlightening videos here;

        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mq0u44phYjY

        http://www.news10now.com/content/top_stories/default.asp?ArID=69484
        (be sure and watch the video provided in this article. it's nice)

        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KeW0EFrPO8w&feature=user

        i hope these links work out right.

        hmm.....

        The real path to natural farming requires that a person know what
        unaltered nature is, so that he or she can instinctively understand
        what needs to be done—and what must not be done—to work in harmony
        with its processes. - Masanobu Fukuoka

        i worry about the starving people too. but i'm in charge of caring for
        my poor mother-in-law who has dementia
        ( she's a falls risk, so i can barely leave her side ever), so i feel
        that i deserve to have fun on my
        farm, grow fun things, along with letting nature grow her own things;
        not interested
        in mono-cultures, or just people food. i'm not saying other people
        shouldn't worry about or try to figure out how to feed hungry people,
        if they want to or have a good mind for that. or how to feed
        themselves or sell their produce. for
        me, right now, i can't
        be too deadly serious about feeding the
        world, or i'd really be crazy...just feeding wildlife right now is
        enough for me. i need to feed my senses...beauty. funny or kooky stuff
        that makes me laugh. or like that song jsent put on here- "learn to
        swim", wasn't it?, the world is going to end, anyway, the way it's
        headed, so what can little old me do to save it? not much, so why try?
        at the risk of seeming selfish, i'll just please myself! i'll throw
        seed mixtures
        out, and see what takes in nature, and let her take her time. and i
        can always plant my
        few fussy veggies right into the beauty... i'll let my sweet husband
        worry about making the money and paying the bills, buying the stuff i
        can't grow. i have to accept that i can't get off the grid completely
        and perfectly like i want to. a person needs to just relax and let
        nature do it for herself mostly... there are unnatural things like
        store bought food, medicines, dentists, electricity, that
        is there right in front of me every day. i have to use the stuff some,
        because i have to adapt to the environment that i find myself in. i'm
        not so much of a purist that i reject these things totally, like i
        would like to. i just use it up, because i
        don't like waste....but you have to work hard in this culture just to
        reject and avoid being obese and materialistic, so it's good to reject
        that stuff as much as you can. it will use up your natural energy.
        rambling again, but does that make any
        sense? does anyone understand what i mean?***************robin************






        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      • robin
        dear robert monie, thank you for the thoughtful discourse on grassland farming. of course, i do recognize the fact that grasses are an intermediate step to
        Message 3 of 4 , Dec 12, 2007
        • 0 Attachment
          dear robert monie, thank you for the thoughtful discourse on grassland
          farming.

          of course, i do recognize the fact that grasses are an intermediate
          step to forest natural farming, where the trees and woody shrubs
          eventually grow up through the grasses and eventually dominate,i.e.
          raju titus natural farming. especially in my region, there are a good
          mixture of different types of natural trees; legume trees, deciduous
          trees, fruit and nut trees, and evergreen trees as well as raspberry,
          blackberry etc. coming up all over if one doesn't mow and waits long
          enough.

          i realize that my climate and region favors forest development. but,
          wildlife habitat can be created as a crop field edge. so you have the
          forest, the cropfield edge where i plan to locate naturalizing
          grasses, and in the center, the crop field, where the cereal grains
          and crucifers, etc. can go. all of these can be located loosely,
          wherever they are chosen by nature, of course, after i do my part by
          scattering the seeds.

          http://www.dcr.virginia.gov/natural_heritage/grassland.shtml

          i don't plan on burning, so i will (hopefully) be succeeding into
          legume tree "cover
          crop" farming, and when these are ready, cutting the woody plants and
          planting
          more grasses and companions, or, in the case of the crop field,
          planting the crop species. i can go from one form to another in
          this way, back and forth, up and down. change happens.


          john e. weaver writes in his book "root development of field crops:

          "It is of more than passing interest that the cereal crops, viz.,
          corn, spring and winter wheat, oats, barley, sorghum, and millet, all
          of which are grasses, have their center of greatest production in that
          portion of the United States originally covered by grassland. In fact,
          some are grown almost entirely in this region, and other crops such as
          alfalfa and flax, which are similar in growth habits to wild legumes,
          wild flaxes, etc., growing among the grasses, also have their greatest
          acreage in the grassland. Likewise, the greatest areas of fruit
          production, including such tree fruits as apples, peaches, and pears,
          and such bush fruits as blackberries, currants, and raspberries, are
          in those portions of the United States formerly occupied by native
          species of similar habit, i.e., forest trees and shrubs. Since
          practically no studies have been made on the root habits of native
          species in other crop-producing regions, our discussion must be
          limited to the prairie-plains region."

          http://www.soilandhealth.org/01aglibrary/010139fieldcroproots/010139ch4.html

          where i live is forest so i guess i'm on my own! but i figure if i
          stick to mostly naturalizing grasses, the roots will be healthy
          enough and the species will move in and interact ok. especially on the
          roadside edges, or the neighbors boundary lines, i'll have to keep the
          tall trees cut, so it will be more or less permanent grass or shrubs.

          a helpful site for learning about species, etc. for native grasses is
          here;

          http://www.roadsidevegetation.org.vt.edu/

          click on the native plant review heading and you find what you need to
          do as far as choosing and planting native grasses in this region of
          virginia. i
          especially found the tables at the end of the scroll under native
          plant review very helpful. i read but then rejected the parts that
          don't comport with
          natural farming, such as the parts about herbicides, fertilizers,
          cultivation, big machines, etc.

          i will continue what i consider natural farming, and that is to gather
          a lot of different kinds of seeds,( divide them between warm and cold
          season plants) mix these together and then basically broadcast into
          the mature plant species that are on their way out of season,(slashing
          these when they are done over the new seedlings) and also identify the
          areas where my dog has scratched the crust off the earth (there are
          always a lot of these!), and then scratch into these areas seeds to
          insure good soil to seed contact. other methods of no-till can be
          used, usually the bigger the seed the deeper you can drill it, usually
          no more than twice the width of the seed., or you can use seedballs.
          sometimes you can just broadcast and then spread some straw or
          cuttings over.

          http://filebox.vt.edu/users/jodaniel/seeds.html
          this is where the writers of "roadside vegetation" got their seeds.
          i'll probably aim for 1 lb. of most of the seeds i think i need to
          balance everything out.

          http://filebox.vt.edu/users/jodaniel/Best.html
          here's a list of wildflowers and herbs to plant with my grasses.

          the only thing for me to do now is compile a master list of what i'm
          going to plant this spring, warm season seeds, and then ascertain if i
          can reduce it down to affordable! the plants you suggested, robert
          monie, along with legumes such as bird's-foot trefoil, ladino clover
          oats, soybeans, and peas, will be a priority.

          has anyone decided on their plant list for the spring? share!


          --- In fukuoka_farming@yahoogroups.com, Robert Monie <bobm20001@...>
          wrote:
          >
          > Hi Robin,
          >
          > Michael's account of his 25 years in farming inspires many "deju
          vu's" from me, though I work on a small garden scale. He could produce
          "award-winning" plants by adding soil amendments but got better
          results when he let the brome grass grow as a ley for 5 years and
          planted into it. The British ley farmers of the 19th century relied on
          perennial grasses and forbs to develop humus (they especially liked
          coltsfoot or cocksfoot orchard grass, chicory, salad burnet, red
          clover, rye, and stinging nettle). Fukuoka and Fukokans added the idea
          of planting directly into this kind of cover rather than grazing and
          mowing it first.
          >
          > Michael noted that stinging nettle tea produced noticable
          improvement. Nettle, along with comfrey, chamomile, and yarrow is one
          of the most dependable dynamic nutrient accumulators, and his
          experience replicates that of generations of traditional
          > farmers who preceded him. Michael has created (or occassioned) a
          prairie by letting the right prairie grasses grow and mostly just
          leaving them alone. Nature knows exactly what to do once you get it
          started; no need for Michael to do lots of busywork. Just as Robert
          Hart's Forest Farming opens the door to natural crop growing, so does
          Michael's Grassland Farming. One day someone may write a book
          (perhaps, you, Robin?) on this kind of farming that will become
          popular and inspire followers (as Hart has inspired David Jacke to
          write his lengthly books on forest farming).
          >
          > Landscapers and soil restorers like the Ernst Seed Company can
          tell you a lot about which
          > blends might work for you in your climate, but they probably have
          not tried much to plant leys as a backdrop to food plants later on.
          The one thing to most look for in selecting grasses is that they
          develop large, deep roots with a healthy supply of microorganisms
          serving them. I have seen landcapes of "ornamental grasses" that look
          beautiful, but if you tug on them, they come right up with handly any
          root on them. I've even seen vetiver grass like this; normally it
          develops a root of at least 4 or 5 feet (sometime down to 10), but in
          some soil (not necessarily compacted soil!) the roots just don't grow
          though the plant looks fine above the soil.
          >
          > If you want to develop humus, you must have roots, roots, and more
          roots, that are microbiologically involved with their surrounding soil.
          > robin <witchessocks@...> wrote:
          > definitely, perennial grasses, thank you. i thought i
          would order lots
          > of different seeds from this supplier right here;
          >
          > ernstseed.com
          >
          > if i can get a better deal from anyone else, please let me know. what
          > kinds of seeds or seed mixtures should i order first, i wonder. i live
          > in the mid atlantic region, or right on the border between the
          > northeast and the southeast in virginia. where i live is usually 10
          > degrees colder than the nearest town, cause i live toward the bottom
          > slope of a mountain. it is a gentle slope.
          >
          > wes jackson at the land institute sounds like he knows his stuff about
          > grasslands. i'll have to read more.
          >
          > this is a great quote from sensei;
          >
          > The real path to natural farming requires that a person know what
          > unaltered nature is, so that he or she can instinctively understand
          > what needs to be done—and what must not be done—to work in harmony
          > with its processes. - Masanobu Fukuoka
          >
          > this is an inspiring post from michael;
          >
          > http://groups.yahoo.com/group/fukuoka_farming/message/6396
          >
          > i've been mowing paths on my land for a while now (the mown areas get
          > smaller every year) and letting the
          > rest grow more and more, broadcasting seeds frequently, seedballing,
          > drilling other
          > seeds, and just seeing how plant communities do their thing. i just
          > scored a big load of wood mulch from the power-line tree-limb cutters
          > a couple of days ago. i thought i might build up the bottom
          > of the slope with it and scatter the rest around some....or, if i can't
          > get out there for a while, i'll leave it to form a hill over time, and
          > plant into it after five years or so.
          >
          > these are very amusing, entertaining, and enlightening videos here;
          >
          > http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mq0u44phYjY
          >
          > http://www.news10now.com/content/top_stories/default.asp?ArID=69484
          > (be sure and watch the video provided in this article. it's nice)
          >
          > http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KeW0EFrPO8w&feature=user
          >
          > i hope these links work out right.
          >
          > hmm.....
          >
          > The real path to natural farming requires that a person know what
          > unaltered nature is, so that he or she can instinctively understand
          > what needs to be done—and what must not be done—to work in harmony
          > with its processes. - Masanobu Fukuoka
          >
          > i worry about the starving people too. but i'm in charge of caring for
          > my poor mother-in-law who has dementia
          > ( she's a falls risk, so i can barely leave her side ever), so i feel
          > that i deserve to have fun on my
          > farm, grow fun things, along with letting nature grow her own things;
          > not interested
          > in mono-cultures, or just people food. i'm not saying other people
          > shouldn't worry about or try to figure out how to feed hungry people,
          > if they want to or have a good mind for that. or how to feed
          > themselves or sell their produce. for
          > me, right now, i can't
          > be too deadly serious about feeding the
          > world, or i'd really be crazy...just feeding wildlife right now is
          > enough for me. i need to feed my senses...beauty. funny or kooky stuff
          > that makes me laugh. or like that song jsent put on here- "learn to
          > swim", wasn't it?, the world is going to end, anyway, the way it's
          > headed, so what can little old me do to save it? not much, so why try?
          > at the risk of seeming selfish, i'll just please myself! i'll throw
          > seed mixtures
          > out, and see what takes in nature, and let her take her time. and i
          > can always plant my
          > few fussy veggies right into the beauty... i'll let my sweet husband
          > worry about making the money and paying the bills, buying the stuff i
          > can't grow. i have to accept that i can't get off the grid completely
          > and perfectly like i want to. a person needs to just relax and let
          > nature do it for herself mostly... there are unnatural things like
          > store bought food, medicines, dentists, electricity, that
          > is there right in front of me every day. i have to use the stuff some,
          > because i have to adapt to the environment that i find myself in. i'm
          > not so much of a purist that i reject these things totally, like i
          > would like to. i just use it up, because i
          > don't like waste....but you have to work hard in this culture just to
          > reject and avoid being obese and materialistic, so it's good to reject
          > that stuff as much as you can. it will use up your natural energy.
          > rambling again, but does that make any
          > sense? does anyone understand what i
          mean?***************robin************
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
          >
        • Robert Monie
          Robin, Just two weeks ago I sowed Juan Triticale, a variety bred especially for strong, extensive root development. It just happens that the weather was warm
          Message 4 of 4 , Dec 12, 2007
          • 0 Attachment
            Robin,

            Just two weeks ago I sowed Juan Triticale, a variety bred especially for strong, extensive root development. It just happens that the weather was warm enough to get the Triticale sprouting, and in just a few days I have not only 5 inches of sprout aboveground; I have some wondelfully tangly roots that are surely biologically active as they need to be for the health of the soil.

            Bottom line: Throw some Juan Triticale into the mix or plant a field separately with it.
            Peaceful Valley is one source.

            Bob Monie
            New Orleans, LA

            robin <witchessocks@...> wrote:
            dear robert monie, thank you for the thoughtful discourse on grassland
            farming.

            of course, i do recognize the fact that grasses are an intermediate
            step to forest natural farming, where the trees and woody shrubs
            eventually grow up through the grasses and eventually dominate,i.e.
            raju titus natural farming. especially in my region, there are a good
            mixture of different types of natural trees; legume trees, deciduous
            trees, fruit and nut trees, and evergreen trees as well as raspberry,
            blackberry etc. coming up all over if one doesn't mow and waits long
            enough.

            i realize that my climate and region favors forest development. but,
            wildlife habitat can be created as a crop field edge. so you have the
            forest, the cropfield edge where i plan to locate naturalizing
            grasses, and in the center, the crop field, where the cereal grains
            and crucifers, etc. can go. all of these can be located loosely,
            wherever they are chosen by nature, of course, after i do my part by
            scattering the seeds.

            http://www.dcr.virginia.gov/natural_heritage/grassland.shtml

            i don't plan on burning, so i will (hopefully) be succeeding into
            legume tree "cover
            crop" farming, and when these are ready, cutting the woody plants and
            planting
            more grasses and companions, or, in the case of the crop field,
            planting the crop species. i can go from one form to another in
            this way, back and forth, up and down. change happens.

            john e. weaver writes in his book "root development of field crops:

            "It is of more than passing interest that the cereal crops, viz.,
            corn, spring and winter wheat, oats, barley, sorghum, and millet, all
            of which are grasses, have their center of greatest production in that
            portion of the United States originally covered by grassland. In fact,
            some are grown almost entirely in this region, and other crops such as
            alfalfa and flax, which are similar in growth habits to wild legumes,
            wild flaxes, etc., growing among the grasses, also have their greatest
            acreage in the grassland. Likewise, the greatest areas of fruit
            production, including such tree fruits as apples, peaches, and pears,
            and such bush fruits as blackberries, currants, and raspberries, are
            in those portions of the United States formerly occupied by native
            species of similar habit, i.e., forest trees and shrubs. Since
            practically no studies have been made on the root habits of native
            species in other crop-producing regions, our discussion must be
            limited to the prairie-plains region."

            http://www.soilandhealth.org/01aglibrary/010139fieldcroproots/010139ch4.html

            where i live is forest so i guess i'm on my own! but i figure if i
            stick to mostly naturalizing grasses, the roots will be healthy
            enough and the species will move in and interact ok. especially on the
            roadside edges, or the neighbors boundary lines, i'll have to keep the
            tall trees cut, so it will be more or less permanent grass or shrubs.

            a helpful site for learning about species, etc. for native grasses is
            here;

            http://www.roadsidevegetation.org.vt.edu/

            click on the native plant review heading and you find what you need to
            do as far as choosing and planting native grasses in this region of
            virginia. i
            especially found the tables at the end of the scroll under native
            plant review very helpful. i read but then rejected the parts that
            don't comport with
            natural farming, such as the parts about herbicides, fertilizers,
            cultivation, big machines, etc.

            i will continue what i consider natural farming, and that is to gather
            a lot of different kinds of seeds,( divide them between warm and cold
            season plants) mix these together and then basically broadcast into
            the mature plant species that are on their way out of season,(slashing
            these when they are done over the new seedlings) and also identify the
            areas where my dog has scratched the crust off the earth (there are
            always a lot of these!), and then scratch into these areas seeds to
            insure good soil to seed contact. other methods of no-till can be
            used, usually the bigger the seed the deeper you can drill it, usually
            no more than twice the width of the seed., or you can use seedballs.
            sometimes you can just broadcast and then spread some straw or
            cuttings over.

            http://filebox.vt.edu/users/jodaniel/seeds.html
            this is where the writers of "roadside vegetation" got their seeds.
            i'll probably aim for 1 lb. of most of the seeds i think i need to
            balance everything out.

            http://filebox.vt.edu/users/jodaniel/Best.html
            here's a list of wildflowers and herbs to plant with my grasses.

            the only thing for me to do now is compile a master list of what i'm
            going to plant this spring, warm season seeds, and then ascertain if i
            can reduce it down to affordable! the plants you suggested, robert
            monie, along with legumes such as bird's-foot trefoil, ladino clover
            oats, soybeans, and peas, will be a priority.

            has anyone decided on their plant list for the spring? share!

            --- In fukuoka_farming@yahoogroups.com, Robert Monie <bobm20001@...>
            wrote:
            >
            > Hi Robin,
            >
            > Michael's account of his 25 years in farming inspires many "deju
            vu's" from me, though I work on a small garden scale. He could produce
            "award-winning" plants by adding soil amendments but got better
            results when he let the brome grass grow as a ley for 5 years and
            planted into it. The British ley farmers of the 19th century relied on
            perennial grasses and forbs to develop humus (they especially liked
            coltsfoot or cocksfoot orchard grass, chicory, salad burnet, red
            clover, rye, and stinging nettle). Fukuoka and Fukokans added the idea
            of planting directly into this kind of cover rather than grazing and
            mowing it first.
            >
            > Michael noted that stinging nettle tea produced noticable
            improvement. Nettle, along with comfrey, chamomile, and yarrow is one
            of the most dependable dynamic nutrient accumulators, and his
            experience replicates that of generations of traditional
            > farmers who preceded him. Michael has created (or occassioned) a
            prairie by letting the right prairie grasses grow and mostly just
            leaving them alone. Nature knows exactly what to do once you get it
            started; no need for Michael to do lots of busywork. Just as Robert
            Hart's Forest Farming opens the door to natural crop growing, so does
            Michael's Grassland Farming. One day someone may write a book
            (perhaps, you, Robin?) on this kind of farming that will become
            popular and inspire followers (as Hart has inspired David Jacke to
            write his lengthly books on forest farming).
            >
            > Landscapers and soil restorers like the Ernst Seed Company can
            tell you a lot about which
            > blends might work for you in your climate, but they probably have
            not tried much to plant leys as a backdrop to food plants later on.
            The one thing to most look for in selecting grasses is that they
            develop large, deep roots with a healthy supply of microorganisms
            serving them. I have seen landcapes of "ornamental grasses" that look
            beautiful, but if you tug on them, they come right up with handly any
            root on them. I've even seen vetiver grass like this; normally it
            develops a root of at least 4 or 5 feet (sometime down to 10), but in
            some soil (not necessarily compacted soil!) the roots just don't grow
            though the plant looks fine above the soil.
            >
            > If you want to develop humus, you must have roots, roots, and more
            roots, that are microbiologically involved with their surrounding soil.
            > robin <witchessocks@...> wrote:
            > definitely, perennial grasses, thank you. i thought i
            would order lots
            > of different seeds from this supplier right here;
            >
            > ernstseed.com
            >
            > if i can get a better deal from anyone else, please let me know. what
            > kinds of seeds or seed mixtures should i order first, i wonder. i live
            > in the mid atlantic region, or right on the border between the
            > northeast and the southeast in virginia. where i live is usually 10
            > degrees colder than the nearest town, cause i live toward the bottom
            > slope of a mountain. it is a gentle slope.
            >
            > wes jackson at the land institute sounds like he knows his stuff about
            > grasslands. i'll have to read more.
            >
            > this is a great quote from sensei;
            >
            > The real path to natural farming requires that a person know what
            > unaltered nature is, so that he or she can instinctively understand
            > what needs to be done—and what must not be done—to work in harmony
            > with its processes. - Masanobu Fukuoka
            >
            > this is an inspiring post from michael;
            >
            > http://groups.yahoo.com/group/fukuoka_farming/message/6396
            >
            > i've been mowing paths on my land for a while now (the mown areas get
            > smaller every year) and letting the
            > rest grow more and more, broadcasting seeds frequently, seedballing,
            > drilling other
            > seeds, and just seeing how plant communities do their thing. i just
            > scored a big load of wood mulch from the power-line tree-limb cutters
            > a couple of days ago. i thought i might build up the bottom
            > of the slope with it and scatter the rest around some....or, if i can't
            > get out there for a while, i'll leave it to form a hill over time, and
            > plant into it after five years or so.
            >
            > these are very amusing, entertaining, and enlightening videos here;
            >
            > http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mq0u44phYjY
            >
            > http://www.news10now.com/content/top_stories/default.asp?ArID=69484
            > (be sure and watch the video provided in this article. it's nice)
            >
            > http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KeW0EFrPO8w&feature=user
            >
            > i hope these links work out right.
            >
            > hmm.....
            >
            > The real path to natural farming requires that a person know what
            > unaltered nature is, so that he or she can instinctively understand
            > what needs to be done—and what must not be done—to work in harmony
            > with its processes. - Masanobu Fukuoka
            >
            > i worry about the starving people too. but i'm in charge of caring for
            > my poor mother-in-law who has dementia
            > ( she's a falls risk, so i can barely leave her side ever), so i feel
            > that i deserve to have fun on my
            > farm, grow fun things, along with letting nature grow her own things;
            > not interested
            > in mono-cultures, or just people food. i'm not saying other people
            > shouldn't worry about or try to figure out how to feed hungry people,
            > if they want to or have a good mind for that. or how to feed
            > themselves or sell their produce. for
            > me, right now, i can't
            > be too deadly serious about feeding the
            > world, or i'd really be crazy...just feeding wildlife right now is
            > enough for me. i need to feed my senses...beauty. funny or kooky stuff
            > that makes me laugh. or like that song jsent put on here- "learn to
            > swim", wasn't it?, the world is going to end, anyway, the way it's
            > headed, so what can little old me do to save it? not much, so why try?
            > at the risk of seeming selfish, i'll just please myself! i'll throw
            > seed mixtures
            > out, and see what takes in nature, and let her take her time. and i
            > can always plant my
            > few fussy veggies right into the beauty... i'll let my sweet husband
            > worry about making the money and paying the bills, buying the stuff i
            > can't grow. i have to accept that i can't get off the grid completely
            > and perfectly like i want to. a person needs to just relax and let
            > nature do it for herself mostly... there are unnatural things like
            > store bought food, medicines, dentists, electricity, that
            > is there right in front of me every day. i have to use the stuff some,
            > because i have to adapt to the environment that i find myself in. i'm
            > not so much of a purist that i reject these things totally, like i
            > would like to. i just use it up, because i
            > don't like waste....but you have to work hard in this culture just to
            > reject and avoid being obese and materialistic, so it's good to reject
            > that stuff as much as you can. it will use up your natural energy.
            > rambling again, but does that make any
            > sense? does anyone understand what i
            mean?***************robin************
            >
            >
            >
            >
            >
            >
            > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
            >






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