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  • Thanu Mekawut
    Hi Bob,     Thank you for you advice. I just ordered 3 books ; The Natural Way of Farming, The One Straw Revolution: An Introduction to Natural Farming
    Message 1 of 17 , Sep 20, 2008
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      Hi Bob,
          Thank you for you advice. I just ordered 3 books ;
      The Natural Way of Farming,
      The One Straw Revolution: An Introduction to Natural Farming and
      The Natural Way of Farming
      from  www.vedicbooks.net/ 
       
      It's my first time with vedicbooks too
      It's cost 26.95 $ for 3 books plus 17.85 $ for shipping cost to Thailand.
       
      Actually, I works on offshroe now just want to quit and just want to go back and work at home and lives with my family. What are you doing there?
       
       
      Thanu M.
       
      Kanchanaburi, River kwai bridge, WWII
      Thailand.
      ahoogroups.com
      --- On Fri, 9/19/08, fukuoka_farming@yahoogroups.com <fukuoka_farming@yahoogroups.com> wrote:

      From: fukuoka_farming@yahoogroups.com <fukuoka_farming@yahoogroups.com>
      Subject: [fukuoka_farming] Digest Number 1770
      To: fukuoka_farming@yahoogroups.com
      Date: Friday, September 19, 2008, 11:26 PM
















      Fukuoka Farming

      Messages In This Digest (3 Messages)


      1a.
      The road back to nature From: mekawut
      1b.
      Re: The road back to nature From: Robert Monie

      2.
      Save On Energy Bills this Winter with Simple Passive Solar Upgrades From: Richard Blake
      View All Topics | Create New Topic
      Messages


      1a.

      The road back to nature
      Posted by: "mekawut" mekawut@...   mekawut
      Thu Sep 18, 2008 1:03 pm (PDT)
      Hi. I'm Thanu M. from Thailand
      I'm new here and for Fukuoka farming.

      I'm looking for Fukuoka book: The road back to nature.

      I bought one The one straw revolution and just finished 2 days ago.

      Have anyone have "The road back to nature"

      Please share with my maybe by mail or just tell me weblink or post in data
      base here.

      Havev a good day for all krab.

      Thanu M.
      Happy farmer...... ...



      Back to top Reply to sender | Reply to group | Reply via web post
      Messages in this topic (2)
      1b.

      Re: The road back to nature
      Posted by: "Robert Monie" bobm20001@...   bobm20001
      Thu Sep 18, 2008 1:25 pm (PDT)
      Hi Thanu,
       
      At this moment, http://www.abebooks .com has 3 copies in English of The Road Back to Nature for sale for under $15.00. The range of booksellers on Abebooks.com usually insures that several of them will be selling used copies of Fukuoka's three best-known books throughout the year. It is to be hoped that some of these sellers do ship to Thailand.
       
      Bob Monie
      New Orleans, LA
      USA
      Zone 8

      --- On Thu, 9/18/08, mekawut <mekawut@yahoo. com> wrote:

      From: mekawut <mekawut@yahoo. com>
      Subject: [fukuoka_farming] The road back to nature
      To: fukuoka_farming@ yahoogroups. com
      Date: Thursday, September 18, 2008, 2:04 PM

      Hi. I'm Thanu M. from Thailand
      I'm new here and for Fukuoka farming.

      I'm looking for Fukuoka book: The road back to nature.

      I bought one The one straw revolution and just finished 2 days ago.

      Have anyone have "The road back to nature"

      Please share with my maybe by mail or just tell me weblink or post in data
      base here.

      Havev a good day for all krab.

      Thanu M.
      Happy farmer...... ...

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



      Back to top Reply to sender | Reply to group | Reply via web post
      Messages in this topic (2)

      2.

      Save On Energy Bills this Winter with Simple Passive Solar Upgrades
      Posted by: "Richard Blake" richrblake@...   richrblake
      Thu Sep 18, 2008 6:45 pm (PDT)
      With heating bills poised to reach record highs this winter why not ask
      the sun to help out with simple passive solar upgrades that are
      inexpensive and easy to implement. See:
      http://www.associat edcontent. com/article/ 1014550/save_ on_heating_ bills_w
      ith_doityourself. html



      Back to top Reply to sender | Reply to group | Reply via web post
      Messages in this topic (1)



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    • Robert Monie
      Hi Thanu,   You ask what I am doing in New Orleans.  In addition to running from increasingly frequent hurricanes and flood threats, I am trying to grow both
      Message 2 of 17 , Sep 22, 2008
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        Hi Thanu,
         
        You ask what I am doing in New Orleans.  In addition to running from increasingly frequent hurricanes and flood threats, I am trying to grow both edible landscapes (aesthetic endeavors with some food and herbs to pick, here and there) as well as a little patch of urban farming yielding "serious" amounts of food per square foot.
         
        My approach is vegan, along the lines of Jenny Hall and Ian Tolhurst, recounted in their book "Green Growing" and somewhat in the tradition of such vegan growers as Danziel O'Brien in England and Scott Nearing in the US. So forget farm animals, their body parts, and their droppings.  I am a city guy growing in my heavily zoned backyard under the watchful eye of neighbors who will not tolerate pigs, chickens, ducks, cows, horses, llamas oxen, goats, blood, urine, animal manure, or anything that remotely resembles these on or near their property.
         
        Fully understanding my neighbors' values, I am a true-blue vegan, urban gardener. I look for the soil, the roots, and the small living creatures in the soil to provide fertility.  After years of experimentation I am nearer to having a mix of ground covers that increase soil humus, glomalin content, and general fertility in our soil and climate. For a nice living cover of plants that intertwine both vertical and horizonal roots (rhizomes), mixing tap roots with hairy ones, I plant Vietnamese vap ca, Vietnamese rau ram,  yarrow, pennyroyal, chicory and stinging nettle.  After a few seasons (with the rau ram disappearing completely each year, only to return the next) I have a solid mass of  cover that persists from year to year.
         
        I call my garden "Rambling Roots Garden," to emphasize the importance of the work done by the roots. To further condition the soil, I have planted a series of grasses known for producing deep fibrous roots. These include Vetiver and switchgrass (which generally like New Orleans soil), orchard grass (which lasts only for a year or two down here), Indian grass (which likes more sand than my soil naturally provides) and redtop (my latest experiment).  I periodically clip these grasses at the top and either mulch the cuttings or throw them into the open chicken-wire leaf composter.  I depart from the usual Fukuokan line of regarding compost as worthless.  I have seen too many luxurient and productive organic farms, orchards, and vineyards based on compost to believe that. Each time you mow a low cover crop or clip a high one, either a whole root or a part of a root is going to die and decompose.  The British farmer Robert Elliot called this root
        composting or composting in place beneath the ground. This is a profoundly natural process (in nature little animals are always nibbling on plants, really a type of mowing or cutting that converts root mass into humus mass.) We veganic farmers can easily mimic the action of the animals in their absence to get this same kind of root involvement in the creation of new soil and fertility.
         
        Nature produces food for us in many different ways. Bone, blood, fur, feathers, urine and manure from animals will produce food, but so will root and microbe culture of the veganic sort. Seedballs and acacia trees work for some; root massing and decay along with on-site composting works for others.
         
        My main "discoveries" have come from association withVietnamese market had home  farmers in New Orleans East and New Orleans West Bank.  They showed me that rau ram and vap ca would give a more enduring cover crop than clover, but I added my two cents' worth by eventually including yarrow, pennyroyal, and stinging nettle in the mix. Unlike Fukuoka, I do not try to plant vegetable seeds directly into the cover.  Instead I cut back the cover, let the roots die, and plant in the much enriched soil.  This method may work best for me either because I am hopelessly "linear" in my life (first prepare the soil, then plant your food crop) rather than "multi-tasking," or it may be that the soil and climate I am working in require this sort of two-step procedure.
         
        Another approach that has worked for me was suggested by Alan Kapuler, ace plant breeder form Oregon: Plant high-inulin plants like yacon and chicory, he advised. Their roots will condition the soil.  I'd say they do, but the science of this remains to be worked. out.
         
        My main orientation is not following Fukuoka, O'Brien, Kapuler, Nearing, Eliot, the local Vietnamese or anybody else. It is just growing edible landscapes (which I can now do with no trouble) and mini-urban farms (which I am still working hard to achieve).
         
        Best wishes,
         
        Bob Monie
        New Orleans, LA
        Zone 8
         
        --- On Sat, 9/20/08, Thanu Mekawut <mekawut@...> wrote:

        From: Thanu Mekawut <mekawut@...>
        Subject: [fukuoka_farming] Re: Fukuoka book.........
        To: bobm20001@...
        Cc: fukuoka_farming@yahoogroups.com
        Date: Saturday, September 20, 2008, 2:22 AM






        Hi Bob,
            Thank you for you advice. I just ordered 3 books ;
        The Natural Way of Farming,
        The One Straw Revolution: An Introduction to Natural Farming and
        The Natural Way of Farming
        from  www.vedicbooks. net/ 
         
        It's my first time with vedicbooks too
        It's cost 26.95 $ for 3 books plus 17.85 $ for shipping cost to Thailand.
         
        Actually, I works on offshroe now just want to quit and just want to go back and work at home and lives with my family. What are you doing there?
         
         
        Thanu M.
         
        Kanchanaburi, River kwai bridge, WWII
        Thailand.
        ahoogroups.com
        --- On Fri, 9/19/08, fukuoka_farming@ yahoogroups. com <fukuoka_farming@ yahoogroups. com> wrote:

        From: fukuoka_farming@ yahoogroups. com <fukuoka_farming@ yahoogroups. com>
        Subject: [fukuoka_farming] Digest Number 1770
        To: fukuoka_farming@ yahoogroups. com
        Date: Friday, September 19, 2008, 11:26 PM

        Fukuoka Farming

        Messages In This Digest (3 Messages)

        1a.
        The road back to nature From: mekawut
        1b.
        Re: The road back to nature From: Robert Monie

        2.
        Save On Energy Bills this Winter with Simple Passive Solar Upgrades From: Richard Blake
        View All Topics | Create New Topic
        Messages

        1a.

        The road back to nature
        Posted by: "mekawut" mekawut@yahoo. com   mekawut
        Thu Sep 18, 2008 1:03 pm (PDT)
        Hi. I'm Thanu M. from Thailand
        I'm new here and for Fukuoka farming.

        I'm looking for Fukuoka book: The road back to nature.

        I bought one The one straw revolution and just finished 2 days ago.

        Have anyone have "The road back to nature"

        Please share with my maybe by mail or just tell me weblink or post in data
        base here.

        Havev a good day for all krab.

        Thanu M.
        Happy farmer...... ...

        Back to top Reply to sender | Reply to group | Reply via web post
        Messages in this topic (2)
        1b.

        Re: The road back to nature
        Posted by: "Robert Monie" bobm20001@yahoo. com   bobm20001
        Thu Sep 18, 2008 1:25 pm (PDT)
        Hi Thanu,
         
        At this moment, http://www.abebooks .com has 3 copies in English of The Road Back to Nature for sale for under $15.00. The range of booksellers on Abebooks.com usually insures that several of them will be selling used copies of Fukuoka's three best-known books throughout the year. It is to be hoped that some of these sellers do ship to Thailand.
         
        Bob Monie
        New Orleans, LA
        USA
        Zone 8

        --- On Thu, 9/18/08, mekawut <mekawut@yahoo. com> wrote:

        From: mekawut <mekawut@yahoo. com>
        Subject: [fukuoka_farming] The road back to nature
        To: fukuoka_farming@ yahoogroups. com
        Date: Thursday, September 18, 2008, 2:04 PM

        Hi. I'm Thanu M. from Thailand
        I'm new here and for Fukuoka farming.

        I'm looking for Fukuoka book: The road back to nature.

        I bought one The one straw revolution and just finished 2 days ago.

        Have anyone have "The road back to nature"

        Please share with my maybe by mail or just tell me weblink or post in data
        base here.

        Havev a good day for all krab.

        Thanu M.
        Happy farmer...... ...

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

        Back to top Reply to sender | Reply to group | Reply via web post
        Messages in this topic (2)

        2.

        Save On Energy Bills this Winter with Simple Passive Solar Upgrades
        Posted by: "Richard Blake" richrblake@yahoo. com   richrblake
        Thu Sep 18, 2008 6:45 pm (PDT)
        With heating bills poised to reach record highs this winter why not ask
        the sun to help out with simple passive solar upgrades that are
        inexpensive and easy to implement. See:
        http://www.associat edcontent. com/article/ 1014550/save_ on_heating_ bills_w
        ith_doityourself. html

        Back to top Reply to sender | Reply to group | Reply via web post
        Messages in this topic (1)

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        New Members

         1
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      • Jeff
        Hey Bob- I have some questions about your methods, and other plants worth considering... I m very much interested in improving soils through proper planting of
        Message 3 of 17 , Sep 25, 2008
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          Hey Bob-

          I have some questions about your methods, and other plants worth
          considering...

          I'm very much interested in improving soils through proper planting of
          regenerating roots....

          The problem is I'm not familiar with some of the ones you use, and
          others I'm not sure will survive my climate... (North Dakota, USDA
          zone 3/4, mostly 4 these days)

          If you have some resources on or insights on how to choose the crops,
          also if you have answers about some of the other crops included in
          Eliot's Clifton Park..

          --- After years of experimentation I am nearer to having a mix of
          ground covers that increase soil humus, glomalin content, and general
          fertility in our soil and climate. For a nice living cover of plants
          that intertwine both vertical and horizonal roots (rhizomes), mixing
          tap roots with hairy ones, I plant Vietnamese vap ca, Vietnamese rau
          ram,  yarrow, pennyroyal, chicory and stinging nettle.  After a few
          seasons (with the rau ram disappearing completely each year, only to
          return the next) I have a solid mass of  cover that persists from year
          to year.

          Why Pennyroyal?- I haven't heard of this one in reference to roots
          Could you tell me more about Vap Ca and Rau Ram.. and are the
          perrenial, re-seeding annuals?.. and where we could find some seed.

          I noticed that you don't include Burnet or (sour) dock or sheep's
          parsley (what ever that is)... have you tried these and they didn't
          work.. or??

          ---These include Vetiver and switchgrass (which generally like New
          Orleans soil), orchard grass (which lasts only for a year or two down
          here), Indian grass (which likes more sand than my soil naturally
          provides) and redtop (my latest experiment). 

          Does anyone know how cold Vetiver can survive?
          .... I'm surprised Redtop has the roots you would choose.... normally
          (around here) its found on the edge of wetlands, and has shallow roots...

          Do you have experience with any other warm season naitives???
          cup plant/rosin weed
          big bluestem/ little bluestem/ drop seed/


          or others... mullien, burdock ??

          also- I noticed you don't have any legumes....
          wondering why--- I sould think a reseeding annual like crimson clover
          would work....

          probably doesn't work for your climate or situation...
          but if you could point to the various differences between
          alfalfa (lucern) and Sainfoin.... .. the
          modern proponents of ley farming highly recommend Sainfoin even above
          and beyond alfalfa... but it is hardly used at all here in the
          states....\\


          > Another approach that has worked for me was suggested by Alan
          Kapuler, ace plant breeder form Oregon: Plant high-inulin plants like
          yacon and chicory, he advised. Their roots will condition the soil. 
          I'd say they do, but the science of this remains to be worked. out.
          >  

          Jerusalm Artichoke- is also high inulin... I have a super productive
          variety that is wild around here but the tubers are really small..
          I'm not noticing any soil improvement with it..
          but I know that when I was growing Egyptian Walking Onions....
          the soil was beautiful underneath.. but it rapidly went sour after
          removing them..... (I have since given up on those as they were too
          pugent for my tastes, and more fibrous when chewed)

          Finally.. how do you cut the chicory to stimulate it..
          the chicory I've seen around here is short...

          Thanks..
        • Robert Monie
          Hi Jeff,   Insects and other pests decide what will grow in New Orleans gardens; they, hurricanes, and floodwater rule the roost down here. Freshly planted
          Message 4 of 17 , Sep 26, 2008
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            Hi Jeff,
             
            Insects and other pests decide what will grow in New Orleans gardens; they, hurricanes, and floodwater rule the roost down here. Freshly planted marigolds are devoured by snails, slugs, and unmentionable crawling things within days after planting. Mullien, salad burnet, and all docks (including yellow dock and sorrel) will be sliced and diced by insect jaws long before it is time to turn the wall calendar to the next page.  Giant green hornworms saw off the tops of tomato plants in a single night. The garden is mean street USA and cinema noir in one. The only things you can grow here without deploying arsenals of pesticides are plants the insect marauders do not especially like.
             
            I look for the plants that don't have holes or big pieces chewed out of them.  If they go through the season or from season to season unchewed, then they belong in the garden.  I must emphasize that these unchewed plants are in no way "repellant."  The worst garden predators travel at will over their stems and leaves, not in the least deterred by their presense. The New Orleans bugs just don't eat them. Some plants in this category are lemon grass, Trio triticale, orchard grass, French tarragon, artesemia, germander, Vetiver grass, and switchgrass.
             
            In the low-to-ground cover crop category I haven't found anything this "bullet-proof" but yarrow is only occassionally nibbled, whereas salad burnet would be devoured quickly.
            Vap ca, a fishy-tasting, heart-shaped green, Houttuynia cordata, is on many people's invasive list, but it makes a great cover crop with a dense network of persistent
            rhizome roots. The Vietnamese don't consider it invasive because they like the way it looks and the way the roots over time enrich the soil. Rau Ram, polygonum odoratum, also known as Vietnamese coriander, is a naturally speading plant related to knotweed and smartweed (both of which have been used successfully for centuries to condition soil).    
            The best sources for these are local Vittnamese gardeners. You can also get both from Richters nursery in Canada or Companion plants in the USA (Ohio). 
             
            I had samples of vap ca and rau ram in my River Ridge, Lousiana garden before Katrina hit in 2005. I moved from this property to Mid-City New Orleans, and only recently went back to look at the untended garden. A dense mat of Rau Ram and Vap Ca greeted me.  There was no insect damage whatsoever, and though both "invasives" covered about a quarter of the garden, they did not over-run the rest of the garden.  A Vietnamese friend said "I told you so," about how the Vap Ca and Rau Ram would take care of themselves, not be troubled by bugs, and generally do what a good cover crop should.  The Dutch clover I painstakingly cultivated and tricked into flourishing was nowhere to be seen.
             
            Vap ca and rau ram are tropical and semi-tropical plants that may well die if unprotected during winter. Mine survived because we have had very mild winters in New Orleans since Katrina. Jeff, if you can find any North Vietnamese farmers up in your region, they would know more about cold weather cover crops from their country. North Vietnam does get cold; my farming friends are from South Vietnam, which is a lot like New Orleans weather and climate.
             
            In my current Mid-City garden I have added yarrow and stinging nettle to the vap ca and rau ram, and also have lots of high-inulin chicory and yacon growing together. The bugs try hard to eat the stinging nettle but it seems to defy them and return.  Caterpillers munch on the yacon, but not enough to worry about. A lot of the yacons grown in the US are started
            by Alan Kapuler and I think most of mine were.  Pennyroal I added to the mix when local organic gardening gurus like Dan Gill and Ann Baker suggested they might make good ground cover. Thier roots are superficial, like those of mint, and I use them mostly as filler.
             
            Like you, I am not exactly sure of what "sheep's parsley" is, though it appears in the writing of all the ley masters from Elliot through Newman Turner, Hugh Corley, and Friend Sykes. I do scatter regular Italian and curly parsley seeds throughout the garden; the bugs generally ignore it, but as a persistant cover crop in my climate, it doesn't begin to match vap ca, rau ram, yarrow, and stinging nettle together. Newman Turner thought parsley had good vibes and wanted to be around it.  Maybe he learned that from his cattle (for whom he had great empathy).
             
            I just recently decided to add some redtop grass seed (Agrostis alba or A. gigantea) when I
            saw it advertized as a erosion control plant with minimum 20 inch roots in the Ernst Conservation Seeds catalog. Botanists tell me that redtop grows spontaneouly in south Louisiana, but I've not paid much attention to it till now. Perhaps it will not produce much of a root; we'll wait and see.  By the way, the current issue of National Geographic has a spectacular 2-page photo of Indian Grass with about a 6 to 10 foot fibrous root that should make even the most skeptical wonder how much biology and texture a large patch of roots that size could add to the soil.
             
            My experience with Egyptian walking onion and Jerusalem artichoke is about the same as yours.  Onion and garlic, like burdock, chicory, and yacon, are high-inulin plants. Yet, I noticed no soil improvement when I grew the (Jerusalem) sunchokes but some improvement with the walking onions (which I let die back into the soil). Chicory and yacon
            have proven to be good soil conditioners in my garden. One Vietnamese farmer I know chops up chicory roots and adds powdered stinging nettle (which he considers a naturally-balanced fertilizer) both his soil and compost heap.
             
            I cut the Vetiver grass and switchgrass periodically with a pair of garden shears and do the same with the lower cover crops. (My Mid-City garden is less that 600 sq. feet) Chicory makes a floral pattern low to the ground and eventually sends up a central stalk with purplish-blue flowers. These stalks can grow to 6 feet or more. I cut back the stalks.
             
            Neither alfalfa nor sainfoin is likely to do well in New Orleans soil. Sainfoin is a legume often used intead of alfalfa to avoid bloat in livestock, resist drought, resist pest damage and disease. It also reportedly grows well without added fertilizer or pesticide. But even the seed salespeople I have talked to have had little confidence that it would adapt to Louisiana Gulf Coast soil.
             
            Burdock is an inulin-rich plant but has never thrived in my garden. Perhaps I haven't planted enough of it at one time.  Often there is strength in numbers.  When I first planted one or two vap ca, they shrivelled up and died. When I got dozens of seedlings started they were like a minature forest. The social side of plants needs to be considered.  I am distructful of any plant with a "cup" as part of its name, as for instance, buttercups and have never tried rosin weed or drop seed (insn't that one for sandy, dry soils?)
             
            Big bluestem and little bluestem are likely candidates for my garden, and I will get around to trying them soon.
             
            If I can get some photos of the Va ca/rau ram, the vetiver, and some other things perhpas I can send them to you.
             
            Best wishes,
             
             
            Bob Monie
             

            --- On Thu, 9/25/08, Jeff <shultonus@...> wrote:

            From: Jeff <shultonus@...>
            Subject: [fukuoka_farming] Re: Root compost....
            To: fukuoka_farming@yahoogroups.com
            Date: Thursday, September 25, 2008, 3:40 PM






            Hey Bob-

            I have some questions about your methods, and other plants worth
            considering. ..

            I'm very much interested in improving soils through proper planting of
            regenerating roots....

            The problem is I'm not familiar with some of the ones you use, and
            others I'm not sure will survive my climate... (North Dakota, USDA
            zone 3/4, mostly 4 these days)

            If you have some resources on or insights on how to choose the crops,
            also if you have answers about some of the other crops included in
            Eliot's Clifton Park..

            --- After years of experimentation I am nearer to having a mix of
            ground covers that increase soil humus, glomalin content, and general
            fertility in our soil and climate. For a nice living cover of plants
            that intertwine both vertical and horizonal roots (rhizomes), mixing
            tap roots with hairy ones, I plant Vietnamese vap ca, Vietnamese rau
            ram,  yarrow, pennyroyal, chicory and stinging nettle.  After a few
            seasons (with the rau ram disappearing completely each year, only to
            return the next) I have a solid mass of  cover that persists from year
            to year.

            Why Pennyroyal?- I haven't heard of this one in reference to roots
            Could you tell me more about Vap Ca and Rau Ram.. and are the
            perrenial, re-seeding annuals?.. and where we could find some seed.

            I noticed that you don't include Burnet or (sour) dock or sheep's
            parsley (what ever that is)... have you tried these and they didn't
            work.. or??

            ---These include Vetiver and switchgrass (which generally like New
            Orleans soil), orchard grass (which lasts only for a year or two down
            here), Indian grass (which likes more sand than my soil naturally
            provides) and redtop (my latest experiment). 

            Does anyone know how cold Vetiver can survive?
            .... I'm surprised Redtop has the roots you would choose.... normally
            (around here) its found on the edge of wetlands, and has shallow roots...

            Do you have experience with any other warm season naitives???
            cup plant/rosin weed
            big bluestem/ little bluestem/ drop seed/

            or others... mullien, burdock ??

            also- I noticed you don't have any legumes....
            wondering why--- I sould think a reseeding annual like crimson clover
            would work....

            probably doesn't work for your climate or situation...
            but if you could point to the various differences between
            alfalfa (lucern) and Sainfoin.... .. the
            modern proponents of ley farming highly recommend Sainfoin even above
            and beyond alfalfa... but it is hardly used at all here in the
            states....\\

            > Another approach that has worked for me was suggested by Alan
            Kapuler, ace plant breeder form Oregon: Plant high-inulin plants like
            yacon and chicory, he advised. Their roots will condition the soil. 
            I'd say they do, but the science of this remains to be worked. out.
            >  

            Jerusalm Artichoke- is also high inulin... I have a super productive
            variety that is wild around here but the tubers are really small..
            I'm not noticing any soil improvement with it..
            but I know that when I was growing Egyptian Walking Onions....
            the soil was beautiful underneath.. but it rapidly went sour after
            removing them..... (I have since given up on those as they were too
            pugent for my tastes, and more fibrous when chewed)

            Finally.. how do you cut the chicory to stimulate it..
            the chicory I've seen around here is short...

            Thanks..















            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
          • Jeff
            ... Perhaps I haven t planted enough of it at one time.  Often there is strength in numbers.  When I first planted one or two vap ca, they shrivelled up and
            Message 5 of 17 , Sep 26, 2008
            • 0 Attachment
              --- In fukuoka_farming@yahoogroups.com, Robert Monie <bobm20001@...> w
              > Burdock is an inulin-rich plant but has never thrived in my garden.
              Perhaps I haven't planted enough of it at one time.  Often there is
              strength in numbers.  When I first planted one or two vap ca, they
              shrivelled up and died. When I got dozens of seedlings started they
              were like a minature forest. The social side of plants needs to be
              considered.  I am distructful of any plant with a "cup" as part of its
              name, as for instance, buttercups and have never tried rosin weed or
              drop seed (insn't that one for sandy, dry soils?)
              >  
              I would be surprised if burdock didn't survive..
              up here its invasive, and not eaten by anything....

              cup plant (silphium spp) is a large sunflower type plant it is named
              for the clasping leaves that catch water at the base

              rosin weed (silphium interifolium) is similar to cup plant but lacks
              the clasping leaves... the Land Institute is working with it for an
              oil crop.
              It is in the same family as the interesting compass plant


              yeah drop seed is generally for sandier soils.

              Pictures would be greatif you can...
              thanks


              > Big bluestem and little bluestem are likely candidates for my
              garden, and I will get around to trying them soon.
              >  
              > If I can get some photos of the Va ca/rau ram, the vetiver, and some
              other things perhpas I can send them to you.
              >  
              > Best wishes,
              >  
              >  
              > Bob Monie
              >  
              >
              > --- On Thu, 9/25/08, Jeff <shultonus@...> wrote:
              >
              > From: Jeff <shultonus@...>
              > Subject: [fukuoka_farming] Re: Root compost....
              > To: fukuoka_farming@yahoogroups.com
              > Date: Thursday, September 25, 2008, 3:40 PM
              >
              >
              >
              >
              >
              >
              > Hey Bob-
              >
              > I have some questions about your methods, and other plants worth
              > considering. ..
              >
              > I'm very much interested in improving soils through proper planting of
              > regenerating roots....
              >
              > The problem is I'm not familiar with some of the ones you use, and
              > others I'm not sure will survive my climate... (North Dakota, USDA
              > zone 3/4, mostly 4 these days)
              >
              > If you have some resources on or insights on how to choose the crops,
              > also if you have answers about some of the other crops included in
              > Eliot's Clifton Park..
              >
              > --- After years of experimentation I am nearer to having a mix of
              > ground covers that increase soil humus, glomalin content, and general
              > fertility in our soil and climate. For a nice living cover of plants
              > that intertwine both vertical and horizonal roots (rhizomes), mixing
              > tap roots with hairy ones, I plant Vietnamese vap ca, Vietnamese rau
              > ram,  yarrow, pennyroyal, chicory and stinging nettle.  After a few
              > seasons (with the rau ram disappearing completely each year, only to
              > return the next) I have a solid mass of  cover that persists from year
              > to year.
              >
              > Why Pennyroyal?- I haven't heard of this one in reference to roots
              > Could you tell me more about Vap Ca and Rau Ram.. and are the
              > perrenial, re-seeding annuals?.. and where we could find some seed.
              >
              > I noticed that you don't include Burnet or (sour) dock or sheep's
              > parsley (what ever that is)... have you tried these and they didn't
              > work.. or??
              >
              > ---These include Vetiver and switchgrass (which generally like New
              > Orleans soil), orchard grass (which lasts only for a year or two down
              > here), Indian grass (which likes more sand than my soil naturally
              > provides) and redtop (my latest experiment). 
              >
              > Does anyone know how cold Vetiver can survive?
              > .... I'm surprised Redtop has the roots you would choose.... normally
              > (around here) its found on the edge of wetlands, and has shallow
              roots...
              >
              > Do you have experience with any other warm season naitives???
              > cup plant/rosin weed
              > big bluestem/ little bluestem/ drop seed/
              >
              > or others... mullien, burdock ??
              >
              > also- I noticed you don't have any legumes....
              > wondering why--- I sould think a reseeding annual like crimson clover
              > would work....
              >
              > probably doesn't work for your climate or situation...
              > but if you could point to the various differences between
              > alfalfa (lucern) and Sainfoin.... .. the
              > modern proponents of ley farming highly recommend Sainfoin even above
              > and beyond alfalfa... but it is hardly used at all here in the
              > states....\\
              >
              > > Another approach that has worked for me was suggested by Alan
              > Kapuler, ace plant breeder form Oregon: Plant high-inulin plants like
              > yacon and chicory, he advised. Their roots will condition the soil. 
              > I'd say they do, but the science of this remains to be worked. out.
              > >  
              >
              > Jerusalm Artichoke- is also high inulin... I have a super productive
              > variety that is wild around here but the tubers are really small..
              > I'm not noticing any soil improvement with it..
              > but I know that when I was growing Egyptian Walking Onions....
              > the soil was beautiful underneath.. but it rapidly went sour after
              > removing them..... (I have since given up on those as they were too
              > pugent for my tastes, and more fibrous when chewed)
              >
              > Finally.. how do you cut the chicory to stimulate it..
              > the chicory I've seen around here is short...
              >
              > Thanks..
              >
              >
              >
              >
              >
              >
              >
              >
              >
              >
              >
              >
              >
              >
              >
              > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
              >
            • Thomas Younger
              Hi I have not posted for a long time so if there is better way fill me in. With regard to Jeff s comments about plants that make root compost, I have found
              Message 6 of 17 , Sep 27, 2008
              • 0 Attachment
                Hi I have not posted for a long time so if there is better way fill me in.

                With regard to Jeff's comments about plants that make root compost, I have found that in zone 5 wild asters mixed with twitch grass make a fantastic soil in which to grow regular garden plants. The wild aster makes the soil have good tilth and a crumbly texture. Ants seem to make the soil which was usually clay based have a better texture also. I was given a batch of tall chicory seed with the last load of lane gravel and it is tenacious stuff. Sow Thistle with yellow flowers is fairly palatable throughout its growing season and improves the soil as well. Regards Tom
              • Jeff
                .. most of the summer my soil was soft and crumbly... a couple of weeks ago I cut my beans and lettuce down for the season... for their biomass, and to end the
                Message 7 of 17 , Sep 27, 2008
                • 0 Attachment
                  .. most of the summer my soil was soft and crumbly...
                  a couple of weeks ago I cut my beans and lettuce down for the
                  season... for their biomass, and to end the growing disease problems
                  that had reduced my harvest to just about nil (rust on the beans,
                  powdery mildew on the lettuce).. I'm sure alot of it has to diwth my
                  incredibly sick and unhealthy soil...

                  but anyways, a week after chopping them down.. tthe soil is hard as a
                  rock... ..

                  does anyone have experience with disease carry over.. or leaving the
                  crops standing through the winter? I'm trying to avoid re-occurance of
                  tillage, and rock like soil...

                  I know it has 0 organic mater other than the straw and wood I tilled
                  in this last spring, and the fertility and soil microbes are still
                  more poor then conventional soils...

                  what about short (short) season cover crops (worth while less than one
                  month)





                  --- In fukuoka_farming@yahoogroups.com, Thomas Younger
                  <frogmirefarm@...> wrote:
                  >
                  > Hi I have not posted for a long time so if there is better way fill
                  me in.
                  >
                  > With regard to Jeff's comments about plants that make root compost,
                  I have found that in zone 5 wild asters mixed with twitch grass make a
                  fantastic soil in which to grow regular garden plants. The wild aster
                  makes the soil have good tilth and a crumbly texture. Ants seem to
                  make the soil which was usually clay based have a better texture also.
                  I was given a batch of tall chicory seed with the last load of lane
                  gravel and it is tenacious stuff. Sow Thistle with yellow flowers is
                  fairly palatable throughout its growing season and improves the soil
                  as well. Regards Tom
                  >
                • Robert Monie
                  Hi Thomas,   Thank you for the great post. Knowing which plants will support natural and sustainable gardening/farming in different bioregions is the hardest
                  Message 8 of 17 , Sep 29, 2008
                  • 0 Attachment
                    Hi Thomas,
                     
                    Thank you for the great post. Knowing which plants will support natural and sustainable gardening/farming in different bioregions is the hardest practical information to come by.  You can read dissertation after dissertation and tome after tome on natural grasses and horticulture in the USA, for example, and never see any such insights. The scientists usually ignore the plant's root system for the stem and leaf anatomy and seldom have anything to say about the connection between inedible plants and edible ones. It is as if farming were conceived in a vacuum, separate from grassses, forbs, and herbs.  In such a blinkered world view, asters and twitch grass would, at best, be seen as interfering weeds that have to be cut back with herbicide to make room for the "crops."  This is killing the
                    (vegal) hands that feed us and create the soil.
                     
                    Hardly anyone has even tried to answer the simple question "what combination of plants will make a particular field fertile in a particular growing zone?" (though the British ley farmers made a good start for their region of the world). This goes way beyond doing a standard soil analysis of minerals and soil texture.  To me, the way to approach Fukuoka's general vision of natural growing is not necessarily making seedballs from randomly chosen plant varieties but experimentally tabulating which plants actually produce fertility under given geographical and climatalogical conditions, and then practicing cover crop rotation practice based on this data (which can also, of course, include trees, shrubs, and seedballs).

                     
                    Please keep observing and reporting what you find.

                    Bob Monie
                    New Orleans, La
                    Zone 8
                     
                    .com> wrote:

                    From: Thomas Younger <frogmirefarm@...>
                    Subject: [fukuoka_farming] Re: Root compost....
                    To: fukuoka_farming@yahoogroups.com
                    Date: Saturday, September 27, 2008, 4:27 PM






                    Hi I have not posted for a long time so if there is better way fill me in.

                    With regard to Jeff's comments about plants that make root compost, I have found that in zone 5 wild asters mixed with twitch grass make a fantastic soil in which to grow regular garden plants. The wild aster makes the soil have good tilth and a crumbly texture. Ants seem to make the soil which was usually clay based have a better texture also. I was given a batch of tall chicory seed with the last load of lane gravel and it is tenacious stuff. Sow Thistle with yellow flowers is fairly palatable throughout its growing season and improves the soil as well. Regards Tom















                    [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                  • Robert Monie
                    Hi Thomas,   I m interested in which variety of wild aster you have observed to improve soil in your area  conjointly with twitch grass. A site from Maryland
                    Message 9 of 17 , Sep 29, 2008
                    • 0 Attachment
                      Hi Thomas,
                       
                      I'm interested in which variety of wild aster you have observed to improve soil in your area  conjointly with twitch grass. A site from Maryland displays 6 different wild asters, and I wonder if your is close to any of these:  Aster puniceus, aster movae-angliae, aster prenathoides, aster cordiflius, aster macrophyllus, aster novi-belgii. It might be useful to have a botanical classification made

                      See photos and descriptions at http://dnr.maryland.gov/wildlife/habichat14.pdf.
                       
                      Bob Monie
                      New Orleans, LA

                      --- On Sat, 9/27/08, Thomas Younger <frogmirefarm@...> wrote:

                      From: Thomas Younger <frogmirefarm@...>
                      Subject: [fukuoka_farming] Re: Root compost....
                      To: fukuoka_farming@yahoogroups.com
                      Date: Saturday, September 27, 2008, 4:27 PM






                      Hi I have not posted for a long time so if there is better way fill me in.

                      With regard to Jeff's comments about plants that make root compost, I have found that in zone 5 wild asters mixed with twitch grass make a fantastic soil in which to grow regular garden plants. The wild aster makes the soil have good tilth and a crumbly texture. Ants seem to make the soil which was usually clay based have a better texture also. I was given a batch of tall chicory seed with the last load of lane gravel and it is tenacious stuff. Sow Thistle with yellow flowers is fairly palatable throughout its growing season and improves the soil as well. Regards Tom















                      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                    • Jeff
                      I recently finished a book, (The End of Food by Paul Roberts)- Against the Grain by Manning is much better. But I did manage to learn a thing or two (two to be
                      Message 10 of 17 , Sep 29, 2008
                      • 0 Attachment
                        I recently finished a book,
                        (The End of Food by Paul Roberts)- Against the Grain by Manning is
                        much better.

                        But I did manage to learn a thing or two (two to be exact, lol)

                        One of the paragraphs mentioned a reasearcher at my alma mater, Iowa
                        State. Matt Liebman

                        Anyways, he's an endowed chair (meaning his research isn't funded by
                        agribusiness)...

                        He has some interesting theories (he's got a book out),
                        but anyway

                        he's working on developming Low External Imput (LEI) agriculture, the
                        ideas is to use minimum (although some is allowed) artificials...

                        He found that
                        Red Clover mulched while still green (still green is important)
                        reeduced weeds for 3-4 weeks
                        Sorguhm and rye (also mulched green) also had effects (though he warns
                        rye tends to suck up too much nitrogen)
                        this is called alleopathy

                        anyways, this is one of three solutions he uses to decrease weed
                        competition (I get the feeling that we would like to achieve no
                        outside herbicide, and doesn't mind the occasional weed)

                        the other two are crop rotation and incouraging weed predators..
                        aka mice, beetles crickets and birds..
                        apparently the right mice (deer mice and white footed) can consume the
                        majorit of the weed seeds....
                        they harvest 10 times the amount insects do.. the bird thing wasn't
                        elaborated on...

                        crop rotation.. being in Iowa.. Liebman modified a corn-soybean
                        rotation...
                        he tested adding tritacale or wheat,(with red clover winter cover)
                        or two years alfalfa

                        and indicated where you start your rotation when taking on a new
                        management affects the long term consequences of weed seed bank...

                        specifically, soybeans are the weakest link (hence the popularity of
                        round-up ready soy)... and then just starting with corn, vs soy can
                        reduce long term weeks by 20%+

                        Anyways, I thought this might be something people on this board might
                        appreciate.

                        Well non related to the book,
                        I stumbled across something I consider even more dramatic...

                        its a cold-climate adaption of the three sister's concept...
                        http://www.umanitoba.ca/afs/fiw/030703.html
                        it uses wheat, canola (rape), and field peas

                        a staple, oil seed, and legume..
                        Which seems to compare favorable to a two species system like the
                        Bonfil's method for wheat...

                        I'm going to try and track down a scientific article on this for more
                        details...

                        but if this concept holds true it would open the door to all kinds of
                        possibilities...

                        The low growing oilseeds
                        mustards, rape (canola), crambe, sesbania, radish, flax(?), seasame (?)...
                        not sure about the last two, they might be too close to staple growth
                        forms, also a consideration would be sunflower, but that might be too big

                        other staples..... sorhgum (with sunflower!!), millet, buckwheat (with
                        flax/seasame), ....amaranth (with flax/sesame) Quinoa (with
                        flax/seasame), Potatoes (with sunflowers?)

                        other legumes ... cowpeas, red clover, field peas, (SOYBEANS?), edible
                        beans, lablab, faba, winged bean, adzuki bean, crimson clover, peanuts
                        (groundnut), ....

                        what about a vegetable version
                        brocoli (oil seed?), string beans (legume), and staked (indeterminate)
                        tomatoes

                        dry-land rice, brocoli, soybeans

                        what about cucumber sunflower and soy or string beans, or yard long

                        (getting away from the oil-staple-legume)
                        the legume seems necessary.. but I think the other two are changable
                        based on growth form....

                        the staple (or substitue) would be tall and later, or any and early
                        the oilseed (or substute) would by short and early, or shade tolorant late

                        the problem is they haven't figured out how to mechanize this
                        harvesting....


                        btw.. anyone have experience with three sisters...
                        how far apart do you plant...
                        I'm never seen a working model...
                      • Steven Smith
                        Jeff, Thanks for this. We ve tried three sisters here, and are experimenting with permanent cover crops. And I can attest to the usefulness of asters. We
                        Message 11 of 17 , Sep 29, 2008
                        • 0 Attachment
                          Jeff,

                          Thanks for this. We've tried three sisters here, and are experimenting with permanent cover crops. And I can attest to the usefulness of asters. We reconstructed some tallgrass prairie as part of our rehabilitation of the farm and they are moving across the farm. Their root structure seems to do a good job on compaction. The goats like them too for late season browse.

                          Steve Smith
                          Two Friends Farm
                          2934 250th St.
                          Marshalltown, IA 50158
                          twofreindsfarm@...
                          641-751-2851



                          ----- Original Message ----
                          From: Jeff <shultonus@...>
                          To: fukuoka_farming@yahoogroups.com
                          Sent: Monday, September 29, 2008 4:52:29 PM
                          Subject: [fukuoka_farming] New Polyculture, rotations, and weed control....



                          I recently finished a book,
                          (The End of Food by Paul Roberts)- Against the Grain by Manning is
                          much better.

                          But I did manage to learn a thing or two (two to be exact, lol)

                          One of the paragraphs mentioned a reasearcher at my alma mater, Iowa
                          State. Matt Liebman

                          Anyways, he's an endowed chair (meaning his research isn't funded by
                          agribusiness) ...

                          He has some interesting theories (he's got a book out),
                          but anyway

                          he's working on developming Low External Imput (LEI) agriculture, the
                          ideas is to use minimum (although some is allowed) artificials. ..

                          He found that
                          Red Clover mulched while still green (still green is important)
                          reeduced weeds for 3-4 weeks
                          Sorguhm and rye (also mulched green) also had effects (though he warns
                          rye tends to suck up too much nitrogen)
                          this is called alleopathy

                          anyways, this is one of three solutions he uses to decrease weed
                          competition (I get the feeling that we would like to achieve no
                          outside herbicide, and doesn't mind the occasional weed)

                          the other two are crop rotation and incouraging weed predators..
                          aka mice, beetles crickets and birds..
                          apparently the right mice (deer mice and white footed) can consume the
                          majorit of the weed seeds....
                          they harvest 10 times the amount insects do.. the bird thing wasn't
                          elaborated on...

                          crop rotation.. being in Iowa.. Liebman modified a corn-soybean
                          rotation...
                          he tested adding tritacale or wheat,(with red clover winter cover)
                          or two years alfalfa

                          and indicated where you start your rotation when taking on a new
                          management affects the long term consequences of weed seed bank...

                          specifically, soybeans are the weakest link (hence the popularity of
                          round-up ready soy)... and then just starting with corn, vs soy can
                          reduce long term weeks by 20%+

                          Anyways, I thought this might be something people on this board might
                          appreciate.

                          Well non related to the book,
                          I stumbled across something I consider even more dramatic...

                          its a cold-climate adaption of the three sister's concept...
                          http://www.umanitob a.ca/afs/ fiw/030703. html
                          it uses wheat, canola (rape), and field peas

                          a staple, oil seed, and legume..
                          Which seems to compare favorable to a two species system like the
                          Bonfil's method for wheat...

                          I'm going to try and track down a scientific article on this for more
                          details...

                          but if this concept holds true it would open the door to all kinds of
                          possibilities. ..

                          The low growing oilseeds
                          mustards, rape (canola), crambe, sesbania, radish, flax(?), seasame (?)...
                          not sure about the last two, they might be too close to staple growth
                          forms, also a consideration would be sunflower, but that might be too big

                          other staples..... sorhgum (with sunflower!!) , millet, buckwheat (with
                          flax/seasame) , ....amaranth (with flax/sesame) Quinoa (with
                          flax/seasame) , Potatoes (with sunflowers?)

                          other legumes ... cowpeas, red clover, field peas, (SOYBEANS?), edible
                          beans, lablab, faba, winged bean, adzuki bean, crimson clover, peanuts
                          (groundnut), ....

                          what about a vegetable version
                          brocoli (oil seed?), string beans (legume), and staked (indeterminate)
                          tomatoes

                          dry-land rice, brocoli, soybeans

                          what about cucumber sunflower and soy or string beans, or yard long

                          (getting away from the oil-staple-legume)
                          the legume seems necessary.. but I think the other two are changable
                          based on growth form....

                          the staple (or substitue) would be tall and later, or any and early
                          the oilseed (or substute) would by short and early, or shade tolorant late

                          the problem is they haven't figured out how to mechanize this
                          harvesting.. ..

                          btw.. anyone have experience with three sisters...
                          how far apart do you plant...
                          I'm never seen a working model...



                          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                        • Jeff
                          So. after one day of searching... the only other polyculture being investigated (besides wheat, canola peas) is... flax/chickpeas... for bi-di-cultures the
                          Message 12 of 17 , Sep 30, 2008
                          • 0 Attachment
                            So. after one day of searching...
                            the only other polyculture being investigated (besides wheat, canola
                            peas) is... flax/chickpeas...
                            for bi-di-cultures the planting regime seems to be 2/3 the recommended
                            amount.. and the legumes.g should use older cultivars...
                            the older ones are less efficient in nitrogen aquition.. therefor....
                            more nitrogen for the other (staple) crop... .. ie the old varieties
                            are more natural and fix more nitrogen.. .. ie the new varieities need
                            constant additions..
                            this seems to hold true for organic vs conventional...
                            washington state university is conduc.ting experiments crossing old
                            varieties with conventional (wheat) varieties.. citing loss of
                            characteristics significant for non-industrial imputs....

                            but it seeems they are limited and not nearly enough... perhaps
                            everone available shoudl start seed saving?
                            hrm




                            Steve,.. could you provide details on your planting regime
                            for the three sisters.. aka what is your planting density etc/


                            > Jeff,
                            >
                            > Thanks for this. We've tried three sisters here, and are
                            experimenting with permanent cover crops. And I can attest to the
                            usefulness of asters. We reconstructed some tallgrass prairie as part
                            of our rehabilitation of the farm and they are moving across the farm.
                            Their root structure seems to do a good job on compaction. The goats
                            like them too for late season browse.
                            >
                            > Steve Smith
                            > Two Friends Farm
                            > 2934 250th St.
                            > Marshalltown, IA 50158
                            > twofreindsfarm@...
                            > 641-751-2851
                            >
                            >
                            >
                            > ----- Original Message ----
                            > From: Jeff <shultonus@...>
                            > To: fukuoka_farming@yahoogroups.com
                            > Sent: Monday, September 29, 2008 4:52:29 PM
                            > Subject: [fukuoka_farming] New Polyculture, rotations, and weed
                            control....
                            >
                            >
                            >
                            > I recently finished a book,
                            > (The End of Food by Paul Roberts)- Against the Grain by Manning is
                            > much better.
                            >
                            > But I did manage to learn a thing or two (two to be exact, lol)
                            >
                            > One of the paragraphs mentioned a reasearcher at my alma mater, Iowa
                            > State. Matt Liebman
                            >
                            > Anyways, he's an endowed chair (meaning his research isn't funded by
                            > agribusiness) ...
                            >
                            > He has some interesting theories (he's got a book out),
                            > but anyway
                            >
                            > he's working on developming Low External Imput (LEI) agriculture, the
                            > ideas is to use minimum (although some is allowed) artificials. ..
                            >
                            > He found that
                            > Red Clover mulched while still green (still green is important)
                            > reeduced weeds for 3-4 weeks
                            > Sorguhm and rye (also mulched green) also had effects (though he warns
                            > rye tends to suck up too much nitrogen)
                            > this is called alleopathy
                            >
                            > anyways, this is one of three solutions he uses to decrease weed
                            > competition (I get the feeling that we would like to achieve no
                            > outside herbicide, and doesn't mind the occasional weed)
                            >
                            > the other two are crop rotation and incouraging weed predators..
                            > aka mice, beetles crickets and birds..
                            > apparently the right mice (deer mice and white footed) can consume the
                            > majorit of the weed seeds....
                            > they harvest 10 times the amount insects do.. the bird thing wasn't
                            > elaborated on...
                            >
                            > crop rotation.. being in Iowa.. Liebman modified a corn-soybean
                            > rotation...
                            > he tested adding tritacale or wheat,(with red clover winter cover)
                            > or two years alfalfa
                            >
                            > and indicated where you start your rotation when taking on a new
                            > management affects the long term consequences of weed seed bank...
                            >
                            > specifically, soybeans are the weakest link (hence the popularity of
                            > round-up ready soy)... and then just starting with corn, vs soy can
                            > reduce long term weeks by 20%+
                            >
                            > Anyways, I thought this might be something people on this board might
                            > appreciate.
                            >
                            > Well non related to the book,
                            > I stumbled across something I consider even more dramatic...
                            >
                            > its a cold-climate adaption of the three sister's concept...
                            > http://www.umanitob a.ca/afs/ fiw/030703. html
                            > it uses wheat, canola (rape), and field peas
                            >
                            > a staple, oil seed, and legume..
                            > Which seems to compare favorable to a two species system like the
                            > Bonfil's method for wheat...
                            >
                            > I'm going to try and track down a scientific article on this for more
                            > details...
                            >
                            > but if this concept holds true it would open the door to all kinds of
                            > possibilities. ..
                            >
                            > The low growing oilseeds
                            > mustards, rape (canola), crambe, sesbania, radish, flax(?), seasame
                            (?)...
                            > not sure about the last two, they might be too close to staple growth
                            > forms, also a consideration would be sunflower, but that might be
                            too big
                            >
                            > other staples..... sorhgum (with sunflower!!) , millet, buckwheat (with
                            > flax/seasame) , ....amaranth (with flax/sesame) Quinoa (with
                            > flax/seasame) , Potatoes (with sunflowers?)
                            >
                            > other legumes ... cowpeas, red clover, field peas, (SOYBEANS?), edible
                            > beans, lablab, faba, winged bean, adzuki bean, crimson clover, peanuts
                            > (groundnut), ....
                            >
                            > what about a vegetable version
                            > brocoli (oil seed?), string beans (legume), and staked (indeterminate)
                            > tomatoes
                            >
                            > dry-land rice, brocoli, soybeans
                            >
                            > what about cucumber sunflower and soy or string beans, or yard long
                            >
                            > (getting away from the oil-staple-legume)
                            > the legume seems necessary.. but I think the other two are changable
                            > based on growth form....
                            >
                            > the staple (or substitue) would be tall and later, or any and early
                            > the oilseed (or substute) would by short and early, or shade
                            tolorant late
                            >
                            > the problem is they haven't figured out how to mechanize this
                            > harvesting.. ..
                            >
                            > btw.. anyone have experience with three sisters...
                            > how far apart do you plant...
                            > I'm never seen a working model...
                            >
                            >
                            >
                            > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                            >
                          • Anders Skarlind
                            Jeff et al In Sweden it was common until recently to grow peas and oats together (for grain harvest). Also barley and oats. Also combinations with vetch. Not
                            Message 13 of 17 , Sep 30, 2008
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                              Jeff et al

                              In Sweden it was common until recently to grow peas and oats together
                              (for grain harvest). Also barley and oats. Also combinations with
                              vetch. Not so common nowadays. Monocultures are taking over. Similar
                              combinations are also used as green fodder, for silage and hay.

                              About the three sisters: what is the principle underlying useful
                              combinations? Is it the usage of the plants? Your staple/oil
                              seed/legume seem to indicate that line of thinking -but I am not
                              sure. Perhaps this can give an indication, but I assume their
                              interaction in the field, plus considerations for sowing and
                              harvesting are more important.

                              Perhaps "everyone available should" start seed saving, but what is
                              also needed is more dedicated specialist work, may it be done by
                              amateurs, farmers or professionals. I think of rather low-tech plant
                              breeding and variety maintenance, plus small-scale seed production,
                              plus developing necessary resources for this. E.g. I think we need
                              cheap small scale threshers, both construction plans for
                              do-it-yourself work, and manufacture of those. I think of machines
                              suitable for harvesats from 10-1000 m2 plots approximately. I think
                              they may be found in parts of the world, but in Sweden (perhaps
                              Europe) the only kind I know of are research threshers that are by
                              far too expensive. The smallest machine from a leading manufacturer
                              (I think it was Wintersteiger in Austria) costed 9000 euros a few
                              years ago. (There is one construction plan from Rodale that I hope to
                              be able to borrow from a friend. I doubt Rodale is still selling it
                              but I haven't checked.)

                              Anders

                              At 09:04 2008-09-30, you wrote:
                              >So. after one day of searching...
                              >the only other polyculture being investigated (besides wheat, canola
                              >peas) is... flax/chickpeas...
                              >for bi-di-cultures the planting regime seems to be 2/3 the recommended
                              >amount.. and the legumes.g should use older cultivars...
                              >the older ones are less efficient in nitrogen aquition.. therefor....
                              >more nitrogen for the other (staple) crop... .. ie the old varieties
                              >are more natural and fix more nitrogen.. .. ie the new varieities need
                              >constant additions..
                              >this seems to hold true for organic vs conventional...
                              >washington state university is conduc.ting experiments crossing old
                              >varieties with conventional (wheat) varieties.. citing loss of
                              >characteristics significant for non-industrial imputs....
                              >
                              >but it seeems they are limited and not nearly enough... perhaps
                              >everone available shoudl start seed saving?
                              >hrm
                              >
                              >
                              >
                              >
                              >Steve,.. could you provide details on your planting regime
                              >for the three sisters.. aka what is your planting density etc/
                              >
                              >
                              > > Jeff,
                              > >
                              > > Thanks for this. We've tried three sisters here, and are
                              >experimenting with permanent cover crops. And I can attest to the
                              >usefulness of asters. We reconstructed some tallgrass prairie as part
                              >of our rehabilitation of the farm and they are moving across the farm.
                              > Their root structure seems to do a good job on compaction. The goats
                              >like them too for late season browse.
                              > >
                              > > Steve Smith
                              > > Two Friends Farm
                              > > 2934 250th St.
                              > > Marshalltown, IA 50158
                              > > twofreindsfarm@...
                              > > 641-751-2851
                              > >
                              > >
                              > >
                              > > ----- Original Message ----
                              > > From: Jeff <shultonus@...>
                              > > To: fukuoka_farming@yahoogroups.com
                              > > Sent: Monday, September 29, 2008 4:52:29 PM
                              > > Subject: [fukuoka_farming] New Polyculture, rotations, and weed
                              >control....
                              > >
                              > >
                              > >
                              > > I recently finished a book,
                              > > (The End of Food by Paul Roberts)- Against the Grain by Manning is
                              > > much better.
                              > >
                              > > But I did manage to learn a thing or two (two to be exact, lol)
                              > >
                              > > One of the paragraphs mentioned a reasearcher at my alma mater, Iowa
                              > > State. Matt Liebman
                              > >
                              > > Anyways, he's an endowed chair (meaning his research isn't funded by
                              > > agribusiness) ...
                              > >
                              > > He has some interesting theories (he's got a book out),
                              > > but anyway
                              > >
                              > > he's working on developming Low External Imput (LEI) agriculture, the
                              > > ideas is to use minimum (although some is allowed) artificials. ..
                              > >
                              > > He found that
                              > > Red Clover mulched while still green (still green is important)
                              > > reeduced weeds for 3-4 weeks
                              > > Sorguhm and rye (also mulched green) also had effects (though he warns
                              > > rye tends to suck up too much nitrogen)
                              > > this is called alleopathy
                              > >
                              > > anyways, this is one of three solutions he uses to decrease weed
                              > > competition (I get the feeling that we would like to achieve no
                              > > outside herbicide, and doesn't mind the occasional weed)
                              > >
                              > > the other two are crop rotation and incouraging weed predators..
                              > > aka mice, beetles crickets and birds..
                              > > apparently the right mice (deer mice and white footed) can consume the
                              > > majorit of the weed seeds....
                              > > they harvest 10 times the amount insects do.. the bird thing wasn't
                              > > elaborated on...
                              > >
                              > > crop rotation.. being in Iowa.. Liebman modified a corn-soybean
                              > > rotation...
                              > > he tested adding tritacale or wheat,(with red clover winter cover)
                              > > or two years alfalfa
                              > >
                              > > and indicated where you start your rotation when taking on a new
                              > > management affects the long term consequences of weed seed bank...
                              > >
                              > > specifically, soybeans are the weakest link (hence the popularity of
                              > > round-up ready soy)... and then just starting with corn, vs soy can
                              > > reduce long term weeks by 20%+
                              > >
                              > > Anyways, I thought this might be something people on this board might
                              > > appreciate.
                              > >
                              > > Well non related to the book,
                              > > I stumbled across something I consider even more dramatic...
                              > >
                              > > its a cold-climate adaption of the three sister's concept...
                              > > http://www.umanitob a.ca/afs/ fiw/030703. html
                              > > it uses wheat, canola (rape), and field peas
                              > >
                              > > a staple, oil seed, and legume..
                              > > Which seems to compare favorable to a two species system like the
                              > > Bonfil's method for wheat...
                              > >
                              > > I'm going to try and track down a scientific article on this for more
                              > > details...
                              > >
                              > > but if this concept holds true it would open the door to all kinds of
                              > > possibilities. ..
                              > >
                              > > The low growing oilseeds
                              > > mustards, rape (canola), crambe, sesbania, radish, flax(?), seasame
                              >(?)...
                              > > not sure about the last two, they might be too close to staple growth
                              > > forms, also a consideration would be sunflower, but that might be
                              >too big
                              > >
                              > > other staples..... sorhgum (with sunflower!!) , millet, buckwheat (with
                              > > flax/seasame) , ....amaranth (with flax/sesame) Quinoa (with
                              > > flax/seasame) , Potatoes (with sunflowers?)
                              > >
                              > > other legumes ... cowpeas, red clover, field peas, (SOYBEANS?), edible
                              > > beans, lablab, faba, winged bean, adzuki bean, crimson clover, peanuts
                              > > (groundnut), ....
                              > >
                              > > what about a vegetable version
                              > > brocoli (oil seed?), string beans (legume), and staked (indeterminate)
                              > > tomatoes
                              > >
                              > > dry-land rice, brocoli, soybeans
                              > >
                              > > what about cucumber sunflower and soy or string beans, or yard long
                              > >
                              > > (getting away from the oil-staple-legume)
                              > > the legume seems necessary.. but I think the other two are changable
                              > > based on growth form....
                              > >
                              > > the staple (or substitue) would be tall and later, or any and early
                              > > the oilseed (or substute) would by short and early, or shade
                              >tolorant late
                              > >
                              > > the problem is they haven't figured out how to mechanize this
                              > > harvesting.. ..
                              > >
                              > > btw.. anyone have experience with three sisters...
                              > > how far apart do you plant...
                              > > I'm never seen a working model...
                              > >
                            • Jeff
                              My bad Anders, my american ego-centrism kicked in briefly three sisters, is the native americans (indians) contribution to agriculture. maize (corn), beans
                              Message 14 of 17 , Sep 30, 2008
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                                My bad Anders,

                                my american ego-centrism kicked in briefly

                                three sisters, is the native americans (indians) contribution to
                                agriculture.

                                maize (corn), beans (climing the corn stock) and squash vines running
                                inbetween the corn

                                its called the three sisters from certain myths of the naitive peoples
                                refering to these crops as 'sisters' to the human race in the creation
                                mythos

                                anywhoo... the article I cited was a recent attempt at adapting this
                                concept for colder climates
                                with wheat instead of corn, peas instead of beans, and canola instead
                                of squash...

                                more research last night... indicated that some legumes may not fix
                                enough nitrogen for ideal ideals...
                                especially noted deficincy was common bean and edible beans..

                                the also noted that there was a strong correlation between biomass
                                yeild and amount of nitrogen fixed...

                                this leeds me back in a circle to my previous point...
                                the second half of the green revolution concentrated on dwarf
                                vareities... (wheat and soy especially)
                                the idea is that smaller plants put more energy into grain than
                                growing tall,ld and also harder to blow over (lodge)...

                                anywhoo.. this would seem to indicate that modern soy vareities are
                                also poor choices for polycultures based on reduced biomass
                                (therefor??----) raises the possibily and reduced nitrogen fixation..

                                hrm.. this is indeed a deep rabbit hole...
                                perhaps its not a rabbit hole at all...
                                it might be a cranky badger... ha
                                caveat emptor allways
                                (buyer beware)
                              • Jeremy
                                I wonder where Apios Americana would fall on that N-fixing scale. I ve been wanting to try setting up a mixed stand of sunchokes & apios as a perennial
                                Message 15 of 17 , Sep 30, 2008
                                • 0 Attachment
                                  I wonder where Apios Americana would fall on that N-fixing scale.

                                  I've been wanting to try setting up a mixed stand of sunchokes & apios as a
                                  perennial biculture.
                                  And I'd really like to interplant them with some mixed oaks.

                                  Any one have any experience with something like that?

                                  Regards,
                                  Jeremy
                                  On Tue, Sep 30, 2008 at 12:23 PM, Jeff <shultonus@...> wrote:

                                  > My bad Anders,
                                  >
                                  > my american ego-centrism kicked in briefly
                                  >
                                  > three sisters, is the native americans (indians) contribution to
                                  > agriculture.
                                  >
                                  > maize (corn), beans (climing the corn stock) and squash vines running
                                  > inbetween the corn
                                  >
                                  > its called the three sisters from certain myths of the naitive peoples
                                  > refering to these crops as 'sisters' to the human race in the creation
                                  > mythos
                                  >
                                  > anywhoo... the article I cited was a recent attempt at adapting this
                                  > concept for colder climates
                                  > with wheat instead of corn, peas instead of beans, and canola instead
                                  > of squash...
                                  >
                                  > more research last night... indicated that some legumes may not fix
                                  > enough nitrogen for ideal ideals...
                                  > especially noted deficincy was common bean and edible beans..
                                  >
                                  > the also noted that there was a strong correlation between biomass
                                  > yeild and amount of nitrogen fixed...
                                  >
                                  > this leeds me back in a circle to my previous point...
                                  > the second half of the green revolution concentrated on dwarf
                                  > vareities... (wheat and soy especially)
                                  > the idea is that smaller plants put more energy into grain than
                                  > growing tall,ld and also harder to blow over (lodge)...
                                  >
                                  > anywhoo.. this would seem to indicate that modern soy vareities are
                                  > also poor choices for polycultures based on reduced biomass
                                  > (therefor??----) raises the possibily and reduced nitrogen fixation..
                                  >
                                  > hrm.. this is indeed a deep rabbit hole...
                                  > perhaps its not a rabbit hole at all...
                                  > it might be a cranky badger... ha
                                  > caveat emptor allways
                                  > (buyer beware)
                                  >
                                  >
                                  >



                                  --
                                  Thanks!
                                  Jeremy Kleier

                                  My kids are starting to notice I'm a little different from the other dads.
                                  "Why don't you have a straight job like everyone else?" they asked me the
                                  other day. I told them this story: In the forest, there was a crooked tree
                                  and a straight tree. Every day, the straight tree would say to the crooked
                                  tree, "Look at me...I'm tall, and I'm straight, and I'm handsome. Look at
                                  you...you're all crooked and bent over. No one wants to look at you." And
                                  they grew up in that forest together. And then one day the loggers came, and
                                  they saw the crooked tree and the straight tree, and they said, "Just cut
                                  the straight trees and leave the rest." So the loggers turned all the
                                  straight trees into lumber and toothpicks and paper. And the crooked tree is
                                  still there, growing stronger and stranger every day.
                                  -- Tom Waits


                                  [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                                • della99999
                                  I wonder what you mean by red clover mulched while still green . I plant clover in the aisles of my gardens and mow them high when they get very big. It does
                                  Message 16 of 17 , Oct 2, 2008
                                  • 0 Attachment
                                    I wonder what you mean by "red clover mulched while still green".
                                    I plant clover in the aisles of my gardens and mow them high when
                                    they get very big. It does work well for me for weed control in the
                                    aisles although it drives my husband nuts. He's rateher conventional.

                                    Also I have done the 3 sister planting. Unfortunately my site was too
                                    wet this year and nothing grew as big as it should have.


                                    --- In fukuoka_farming@yahoogroups.com, "Jeff" <shultonus@...> wrote:
                                    >
                                    >
                                    > I recently finished a book,
                                    > (The End of Food by Paul Roberts)- Against the Grain by Manning is
                                    > much better.
                                    >
                                    > But I did manage to learn a thing or two (two to be exact, lol)
                                    >
                                    > One of the paragraphs mentioned a reasearcher at my alma mater, Iowa
                                    > State. Matt Liebman
                                    >
                                    > Anyways, he's an endowed chair (meaning his research isn't funded by
                                    > agribusiness)...
                                    >
                                    > He has some interesting theories (he's got a book out),
                                    > but anyway
                                    >
                                    > he's working on developming Low External Imput (LEI) agriculture,
                                    the
                                    > ideas is to use minimum (although some is allowed) artificials...
                                    >
                                    > He found that
                                    > Red Clover mulched while still green (still green is important)
                                    > reeduced weeds for 3-4 weeks
                                    > Sorguhm and rye (also mulched green) also had effects (though he
                                    warns
                                    > rye tends to suck up too much nitrogen)
                                    > this is called alleopathy
                                    >
                                    > anyways, this is one of three solutions he uses to decrease weed
                                    > competition (I get the feeling that we would like to achieve no
                                    > outside herbicide, and doesn't mind the occasional weed)
                                    >
                                    > the other two are crop rotation and incouraging weed predators..
                                    > aka mice, beetles crickets and birds..
                                    > apparently the right mice (deer mice and white footed) can consume
                                    the
                                    > majorit of the weed seeds....
                                    > they harvest 10 times the amount insects do.. the bird thing wasn't
                                    > elaborated on...
                                    >
                                    > crop rotation.. being in Iowa.. Liebman modified a corn-soybean
                                    > rotation...
                                    > he tested adding tritacale or wheat,(with red clover winter cover)
                                    > or two years alfalfa
                                    >
                                    > and indicated where you start your rotation when taking on a new
                                    > management affects the long term consequences of weed seed bank...
                                    >
                                    > specifically, soybeans are the weakest link (hence the popularity of
                                    > round-up ready soy)... and then just starting with corn, vs soy can
                                    > reduce long term weeks by 20%+
                                    >
                                    > Anyways, I thought this might be something people on this board
                                    might
                                    > appreciate.
                                    >
                                    > Well non related to the book,
                                    > I stumbled across something I consider even more dramatic...
                                    >
                                    > its a cold-climate adaption of the three sister's concept...
                                    > http://www.umanitoba.ca/afs/fiw/030703.html
                                    > it uses wheat, canola (rape), and field peas
                                    >
                                    > a staple, oil seed, and legume..
                                    > Which seems to compare favorable to a two species system like the
                                    > Bonfil's method for wheat...
                                    >
                                    > I'm going to try and track down a scientific article on this for
                                    more
                                    > details...
                                    >
                                    > but if this concept holds true it would open the door to all kinds
                                    of
                                    > possibilities...
                                    >
                                    > The low growing oilseeds
                                    > mustards, rape (canola), crambe, sesbania, radish, flax(?), seasame
                                    (?)...
                                    > not sure about the last two, they might be too close to staple
                                    growth
                                    > forms, also a consideration would be sunflower, but that might be
                                    too big
                                    >
                                    > other staples..... sorhgum (with sunflower!!), millet, buckwheat
                                    (with
                                    > flax/seasame), ....amaranth (with flax/sesame) Quinoa (with
                                    > flax/seasame), Potatoes (with sunflowers?)
                                    >
                                    > other legumes ... cowpeas, red clover, field peas, (SOYBEANS?),
                                    edible
                                    > beans, lablab, faba, winged bean, adzuki bean, crimson clover,
                                    peanuts
                                    > (groundnut), ....
                                    >
                                    > what about a vegetable version
                                    > brocoli (oil seed?), string beans (legume), and staked
                                    (indeterminate)
                                    > tomatoes
                                    >
                                    > dry-land rice, brocoli, soybeans
                                    >
                                    > what about cucumber sunflower and soy or string beans, or yard long
                                    >
                                    > (getting away from the oil-staple-legume)
                                    > the legume seems necessary.. but I think the other two are changable
                                    > based on growth form....
                                    >
                                    > the staple (or substitue) would be tall and later, or any and early
                                    > the oilseed (or substute) would by short and early, or shade
                                    tolorant late
                                    >
                                    > the problem is they haven't figured out how to mechanize this
                                    > harvesting....
                                    >
                                    >
                                    > btw.. anyone have experience with three sisters...
                                    > how far apart do you plant...
                                    > I'm never seen a working model...
                                    >
                                  • Jeff
                                    ... ok so the red clover when still green- this effect is lost if the clover is harrowed (cut) and left to dry, before baling and transport to the garden/field
                                    Message 17 of 17 , Oct 2, 2008
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                                      --- In fukuoka_farming@yahoogroups.com, "della99999" <della99999@...>
                                      wrote:
                                      >
                                      >
                                      > I wonder what you mean by "red clover mulched while still green".
                                      > I plant clover in the aisles of my gardens and mow them high when
                                      > they get very big. It does work well for me for weed control in the
                                      > aisles although it drives my husband nuts. He's rateher conventional.
                                      >
                                      ok so the red clover when still green-

                                      this effect is lost if the clover is harrowed (cut) and left to dry,
                                      before baling and transport to the garden/field (if the clover is
                                      produced off site)

                                      it also refers to the effect being lost if you decide to compost it...
                                      ie you don't want to use it as sheet compost with other mulches if you
                                      want the est weed control
                                      so.. if you want the extra mulch for moisture control or extended weed
                                      control, and soil enrichment.
                                      you should wait 3-4 weeks until the clover effect is used up
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