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Re: [fukuoka_farming] seedmeal for seedballs

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  • Raju Titus
    Dear Dieter, Yes in 1999 i was with Fukuoka in Gandhi Cortege in Maharashtra India with so many cow supporter were asking same question. What harm if we mix
    Message 1 of 7 , Nov 30, 2008
      Dear Dieter,
      Yes in 1999 i was with Fukuoka in Gandhi Cortege in Maharashtra India with
      so many cow supporter were asking same question. What harm if we mix cow
      dung and cow urine? Fukuoka has replied the same as you mention.
      Thank you very much
      Raju Titus



      On 11/30/08, Dieter Brand <brand.dieter@...> wrote:
      >
      > Etem,
      >
      > Clay is used to physically protect seedballs. There is no sense in
      > using compost, COF or anything else. Given the right temperature and
      > sufficient humidity seeds will germinate because a seed contains
      > everything it needs to germinate. Adding manure or compost can even
      > be detrimental because microbes that decompose organic matter are
      > different from microbes that colonize roots to feed the plant.
      >
      > Steve S. is a gardener and author with more experience than most of us
      > whom I greatly respect; however, he advocates a cultivation method
      > that is diametrically opposed to Natural Farming, of which he has a
      > rather low opinion. But by all means do try COF. Yet from a Natural
      > Farming point of view, I would point out that COF, like EM, like
      > mycorrhiza, like terra preta, like a thousand other additives falls
      > under the general heading of "do-nothing", as explained by Fukuoka:
      > "the farmer became too busy when people began to investigate the world
      > and decided that it would be "good" if we did this or did that. All my
      > research has been in the direction of not doing this or that" (OSR, p.
      > 87, lines 10-8 from the bottom).
      >
      > But even if we may have different opinions about this, there can be no
      > doubt about the fact that the aim of Natural Farming is
      > "self-sufficiency" and "sustainability" and not relying on outside
      > inputs such as seedmeal etc. purchased from somewhere else. If we
      > only have a very small plot of land which we want to dedicate entirely
      > to food production, there may be no other way than purchasing seadmeal
      > and the like from outside (but definitely not for seedballs). In most
      > other situations the aim should IMHO be to grow most if not all
      > fertility on-site.
      >
      > Dieter Brand
      > Portugal
      >
      > PS: I would be curious to know where Fukuoka advocated using compost
      > for seedballs.
      >
      > On 11/29/08, Etem Tezcan <etem.tezcan@... <etem.tezcan%40gmail.com>>
      > wrote:
      > > Hello,
      > > I looked at the photos of Seedball event at Greece. It looks like they
      > > didn't use compost since seedballs are pretty reddish and they didn't
      > > mention compost in the machine's description.
      > > "..the machine forces to the premade mix of clay, seeds and water to the
      > > front where steel plate the holes are located..."
      > >
      > > If that is the case, one reason for that maybe lack of enough compost
      > > for making 20 tons of seed balls. Original Fukuoka recipe for seedballs
      > > requires 3 volume part of compost for each 5 volume part of clay.
      > > That would require at least 5-6 tons of compost for the Greece event.
      > >
      > > Steve Solomon advocates using Complete Organic Fertilizer(COF) in
      > > vegetable garden with/instead of compost. It is a mixture made from
      > > seedmeals( 4 volume of seedmeal such as cotton, sunflower),
      > > calcium ingredient(ag lime, dolomite or gypsum summing up to 1 volume)
      > > and some organic additives(bonemeal, kelp. preferred but not necessary).
      > > I made a batch from sunflower seedmeal and results are about NPK of
      > > 2.5-2.5-1 with trace elements. Those results are similar to or even
      > > better that strong compost. Cottonseed meal is said to be much higher
      > > NPK values. (about 5-5-1). These values greatly exceed typical values of
      > > chicken manure which is about 1.5-1.5-1 with much less salt content.
      > >
      > > I think it will be a good idea to use seedmeal or COF in seedball recipe
      > > when one cannot find good compost. Cottonseed or sunflower seed meals
      > > are available from feed stores. Cottonseed meal is about 375 USD/mt and
      > > sunflowerseed meal is half of that in bulk quantities. I would love to
      > > hear any feedback on the subject.
      > >
      > > Etem Tezcan
      > >
      > >
      > >
      > >
      > >
      > >
      > > ------------------------------------
      > >
      > > Yahoo! Groups Links
      > >
      > >
      > >
      > >
      >
      >
      >


      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • Robert Monie
      Hi Dieter,   On his many global travels, Fukuoka often presented lectures and workshops on how to make seedballs. His photo book Travelling with Seedballs
      Message 2 of 7 , Dec 2, 2008
        Hi Dieter,
         
        On his many global travels, Fukuoka often presented lectures and workshops on how to make seedballs. His photo book "Travelling with Seedballs" illustrates this.  It appears that throughout his life, he changed the recommended contents for seedballs, as well as the method of making them. As a microbiologist and plant pathologist, Fukuoka was an inveterate experimentalist; in his book, Ultimatum of God Nature: The One-Straw
        Recapitulation, from pages 83 to 85, in the "Aerial Seeding Using Clay Pellets" section, he gives a rather complicated formula for seedball composition that includes "fine powdered clay such as that used for fired bricks or porcelain"; "bittern" (liquid remaining after removing salt from brine obtained by boling and concentrationg sea water or from natural brackish water); "slaked lime"; "medicinal herbs: derris root, powdered fruits and leaves of Japanese star anise, Japanese andromeda, Japanese lacquer tree, [and] Japanese bread tree"; and water. In the directions that follow  for preparing the seed balls in an adapted cement mixer, he rather mysteriously refers to "placing fungi and seeds into the mixer and mix[ing] well to spread the fungi about." 
         
        I have heard ancedotal reports of Fukuoka advising his audience to mix in various kinds of natural insecticides and red pepper, as well as "dry humus."  So I must conclude that Fukuoka's seedballs were always an idea in progress, subject to any modifications or tinkering that his ever-inventive mind and intuition suggested. It is too bad that he did not complete the book on seedballs that he was slated to do under the terms of a Rockefeller Institute grant.  (He said he was too old to do the project).  This work might have revealed just how large the scope of seedballs was for him and how varied their makeup might be.  
         
         
        Best wishes,
         
        Bob Monie
        New Orleans, LA USA
        Zone 8 

        --- On Sun, 11/30/08, Dieter Brand <brand.dieter@...> wrote:

        From: Dieter Brand <brand.dieter@...>
        Subject: Re: [fukuoka_farming] seedmeal for seedballs
        To: fukuoka_farming@yahoogroups.com
        Date: Sunday, November 30, 2008, 4:33 AM






        Etem,

        Clay is used to physically protect seedballs. There is no sense in
        using compost, COF or anything else. Given the right temperature and
        sufficient humidity seeds will germinate because a seed contains
        everything it needs to germinate. Adding manure or compost can even
        be detrimental because microbes that decompose organic matter are
        different from microbes that colonize roots to feed the plant.

        Steve S. is a gardener and author with more experience than most of us
        whom I greatly respect; however, he advocates a cultivation method
        that is diametrically opposed to Natural Farming, of which he has a
        rather low opinion. But by all means do try COF. Yet from a Natural
        Farming point of view, I would point out that COF, like EM, like
        mycorrhiza, like terra preta, like a thousand other additives falls
        under the general heading of "do-nothing" , as explained by Fukuoka:
        "the farmer became too busy when people began to investigate the world
        and decided that it would be "good" if we did this or did that. All my
        research has been in the direction of not doing this or that" (OSR, p.
        87, lines 10-8 from the bottom).

        But even if we may have different opinions about this, there can be no
        doubt about the fact that the aim of Natural Farming is
        "self-sufficiency" and "sustainability" and not relying on outside
        inputs such as seedmeal etc. purchased from somewhere else. If we
        only have a very small plot of land which we want to dedicate entirely
        to food production, there may be no other way than purchasing seadmeal
        and the like from outside (but definitely not for seedballs). In most
        other situations the aim should IMHO be to grow most if not all
        fertility on-site.

        Dieter Brand
        Portugal

        PS: I would be curious to know where Fukuoka advocated using compost
        for seedballs.

        On 11/29/08, Etem Tezcan <etem.tezcan@ gmail.com> wrote:
        > Hello,
        > I looked at the photos of Seedball event at Greece. It looks like they
        > didn't use compost since seedballs are pretty reddish and they didn't
        > mention compost in the machine's description.
        > "..the machine forces to the premade mix of clay, seeds and water to the
        > front where steel plate the holes are located..."
        >
        > If that is the case, one reason for that maybe lack of enough compost
        > for making 20 tons of seed balls. Original Fukuoka recipe for seedballs
        > requires 3 volume part of compost for each 5 volume part of clay.
        > That would require at least 5-6 tons of compost for the Greece event.
        >
        > Steve Solomon advocates using Complete Organic Fertilizer(COF) in
        > vegetable garden with/instead of compost. It is a mixture made from
        > seedmeals( 4 volume of seedmeal such as cotton, sunflower),
        > calcium ingredient(ag lime, dolomite or gypsum summing up to 1 volume)
        > and some organic additives(bonemeal, kelp. preferred but not necessary).
        > I made a batch from sunflower seedmeal and results are about NPK of
        > 2.5-2.5-1 with trace elements. Those results are similar to or even
        > better that strong compost. Cottonseed meal is said to be much higher
        > NPK values. (about 5-5-1). These values greatly exceed typical values of
        > chicken manure which is about 1.5-1.5-1 with much less salt content.
        >
        > I think it will be a good idea to use seedmeal or COF in seedball recipe
        > when one cannot find good compost. Cottonseed or sunflower seed meals
        > are available from feed stores. Cottonseed meal is about 375 USD/mt and
        > sunflowerseed meal is half of that in bulk quantities. I would love to
        > hear any feedback on the subject.
        >
        > Etem Tezcan
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        > ------------ --------- --------- ------
        >
        > Yahoo! Groups Links
        >
        >
        >
        >














        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      • Dieter Brand
        Bob, Thanks for pointing this out. This seems to be one of his more inspirational statements and may not be backed up by experimental data. Perhaps I m too
        Message 3 of 7 , Dec 3, 2008
          Bob,

          Thanks for pointing this out. This seems to be one of his more
          "inspirational" statements and may not be backed up by experimental
          data. Perhaps I'm too restrictive when I say that clay is all that is
          needed. There is, anyway, no harm in experimenting with all kinds of
          additives or theorizing about their respective advantages; however, I
          fear that it rather detracts from what Natural Farming is all about.

          Inoculation with fungi is used in reforestation projects and
          inoculation with microbes is used in conventional agriculture. It
          stands to reason that inoculation with microbes or fungi may be useful
          when the soil biology is being systematically destroyed by
          agrochemicals or when trees are to be planted on a parking lot. But
          that is normally not the case in Natural Farming. I'm not a
          biologist, but the way I understand it is that, in a biologically
          active soil, the necessary organisms (including microbes and fungi)
          will occur spontaneously when needed and that these organisms will
          multiply and thrive when conditions are right: sufficient humidity,
          air, the right temperature range and most importantly stuff to feed
          on. From which I conclude that rather than inoculating my soil (or
          seedballs) with fungi or microbes produced under laboratory conditions
          at great expense it is preferable to create the right environment for
          organisms to live in. Basically this means the return of organic
          matter in whichever form proves to be most effective.

          While reading the passage you mentioned, it struck me that it is
          formulated exactly like a patent specification. First a description
          of the prior art (seedballs for growing grains), then the
          disadvantages of the prior art ("defects became apparent"), then the
          claim(s) of the present invention (a midget comprising 1, 2, …), and
          finally the "detailed description" lists different embodiments of the
          invention to stake the claims as broadly as possible against future
          patents filed by other parties. I have recently seen a couple of
          patent applications for farming without plowing, I hope this is not
          going to be a trend. For an invention to be patented it needs to have
          "novelty". Novelty is destroyed by prior publication. In other
          words, any idea made public prior to the application date cannot be
          patented. So far, Internet messages are not been used in patent
          opposition cases, but for preventing our ideas from being patented by
          other people it is certainly a good idea to make them public as soon
          as possible. I don´t know if this figured at all among the motives
          that made Fukuoka self-publish this document, but the wording seems to
          suggest it. So folks, don't hold back, let it all pour out!

          Dieter Brand
          Portugal

          PS: I wonder if what he calls "bittern" is what is being marketed as
          "sea solids" nowadays.
        • Jeff
          ... useful when the soil biology is being systematically destroyed by ... conditions at great expense it is preferable to create the right environment for
          Message 4 of 7 , Dec 3, 2008
            > Inoculation with fungi is used in reforestation projects and
            > inoculation with microbes is used in conventional agriculture. It
            > stands to reason that inoculation with microbes or fungi may be
            useful when the soil biology is being systematically destroyed by
            > agrochemicals or when trees are to be planted on a parking lot. But
            > that is normally not the case in Natural Farming. I'm not a
            > biologist, but the way I understand it is that, in a biologically
            > active soil, the necessary organisms (including microbes and fungi)
            > will occur spontaneously when needed and that these organisms will
            > multiply and thrive when conditions are right: sufficient humidity,
            > air, the right temperature range and most importantly stuff to feed
            > on. From which I conclude that rather than inoculating my soil (or
            > seedballs) with fungi or microbes produced under laboratory
            conditions at great expense it is preferable to create the right
            environment for organisms to live in. Basically this means the return
            of organic matter in whichever form proves to be most effective.
            >
            While it is true that a wide variety of fungus and other beneficial
            microbes can and due appear spontaneously under the right conditions,
            it is also true that some never will.....

            IE..
            Most VAM fungus and ecto-mycorhyzal fungus will appear spontaneous--
            this is actually due to pre innoculation of seeds via natural
            dispersement, and the fact that these spores are long lived under
            natural conditions and generally resilient to most chemicals being
            applied (they stay dormant as spores instead of getting killed off)
            the chemicals that absolutely will kill this off is of course
            fungicides..... wine anyone?
            this is basically true of beneficial bacterias as well...

            the best way to promote VAM btw is to simply grow plants that increase
            VAM..

            However, most species specific symbiotic organisms fall into another
            category....
            they are typically short lived, and not wide spread, and may not be in
            the local area, or even the bioregion.

            A couple of examples,
            while peas and beans and garbanzos and soy have long histories of
            cultivation, and basically any farm area will have the right bacteria
            for innoculation...
            other more rare ones like lupin, or lablab or faba (outside of
            Asia)... may require intial site innocultion...
            different groups of legumes actually have different species of
            bacteria (something alot of people don't know)
            .. typically infection drops 10%-20% per year without that crop being
            used,, and bottoms out at about 10%...... innoiculation insures 100%
            infection in most cases

            new to the area.. accacias and leucana (sp) would also require
            innoculation ....

            pines, oaks (truffels anyone?), beeches... all have specific
            beneficial microbes that don't exist outside of there habitat...

            in that case.. usually the best innoculant is simply using soil from
            the area with this trees naturally, rather than being some laboratory
            mix....
            as many of this species aren't able be cultured in laboratory
            conditions....
            some of the innoculation are actualy harvest in the wild,, in a
            damaging way (ie dig the plant up and scrape off the roots)....
            caveat emptor.

            j
          • Dieter Brand
            Having planted or sown hundreds of different species in the last ten years, I have never used any inoculation whatsoever, certainly not for lupines or fabas,
            Message 5 of 7 , Dec 3, 2008
              Having planted or sown hundreds of different species in the last ten
              years, I have never used any inoculation whatsoever, certainly not for
              lupines or fabas, even though these haven't been grown on this site
              for at least 40 years and the next garden is more than a mile away.

              Dieter


              On 12/3/08, Jeff <shultonus@...> wrote:
              >
              >> Inoculation with fungi is used in reforestation projects and
              >> inoculation with microbes is used in conventional agriculture. It
              >> stands to reason that inoculation with microbes or fungi may be
              > useful when the soil biology is being systematically destroyed by
              >> agrochemicals or when trees are to be planted on a parking lot. But
              >> that is normally not the case in Natural Farming. I'm not a
              >> biologist, but the way I understand it is that, in a biologically
              >> active soil, the necessary organisms (including microbes and fungi)
              >> will occur spontaneously when needed and that these organisms will
              >> multiply and thrive when conditions are right: sufficient humidity,
              >> air, the right temperature range and most importantly stuff to feed
              >> on. From which I conclude that rather than inoculating my soil (or
              >> seedballs) with fungi or microbes produced under laboratory
              > conditions at great expense it is preferable to create the right
              > environment for organisms to live in. Basically this means the return
              > of organic matter in whichever form proves to be most effective.
              >>
              > While it is true that a wide variety of fungus and other beneficial
              > microbes can and due appear spontaneously under the right conditions,
              > it is also true that some never will.....
              >
              > IE..
              > Most VAM fungus and ecto-mycorhyzal fungus will appear spontaneous--
              > this is actually due to pre innoculation of seeds via natural
              > dispersement, and the fact that these spores are long lived under
              > natural conditions and generally resilient to most chemicals being
              > applied (they stay dormant as spores instead of getting killed off)
              > the chemicals that absolutely will kill this off is of course
              > fungicides..... wine anyone?
              > this is basically true of beneficial bacterias as well...
              >
              > the best way to promote VAM btw is to simply grow plants that increase
              > VAM..
              >
              > However, most species specific symbiotic organisms fall into another
              > category....
              > they are typically short lived, and not wide spread, and may not be in
              > the local area, or even the bioregion.
              >
              > A couple of examples,
              > while peas and beans and garbanzos and soy have long histories of
              > cultivation, and basically any farm area will have the right bacteria
              > for innoculation...
              > other more rare ones like lupin, or lablab or faba (outside of
              > Asia)... may require intial site innocultion...
              > different groups of legumes actually have different species of
              > bacteria (something alot of people don't know)
              > .. typically infection drops 10%-20% per year without that crop being
              > used,, and bottoms out at about 10%...... innoiculation insures 100%
              > infection in most cases
              >
              > new to the area.. accacias and leucana (sp) would also require
              > innoculation ....
              >
              > pines, oaks (truffels anyone?), beeches... all have specific
              > beneficial microbes that don't exist outside of there habitat...
              >
              > in that case.. usually the best innoculant is simply using soil from
              > the area with this trees naturally, rather than being some laboratory
              > mix....
              > as many of this species aren't able be cultured in laboratory
              > conditions....
              > some of the innoculation are actualy harvest in the wild,, in a
              > damaging way (ie dig the plant up and scrape off the roots)....
              > caveat emptor.
              >
              > j
              >
              >
              >
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