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Re: [fukuoka_farming] A tale of nutrients and the importance of seed saving

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  • Nandan Palaparambil
    Dieter, This is impressive. Saving seeds is good from economical point of view also and makes farming more self-sustainable. But why is that soil worked on by
    Message 1 of 60 , Dec 3, 2008
      Dieter,

      This is impressive. Saving seeds is good from economical point of view also and makes farming more self-sustainable.

      But why is that "soil worked on by a farmer will improve more than soil left to nature without any human interference"? Ideally I would have expected the other way since nature knows what to grow best.


      Regards,
      Nandan

      -











      Takahashi has been a Natural Farmer in Saitama prefecture, Japan, for

      30 years. He is also an active member of the Narita Natural Farmers

      Association.



      Scientists and researches who have come to test his soil found that it

      lacks nutrients. For example, there are only about 10% of the

      nutrients normally required for growing carrots. And yet Takahashi

      has no problem growing his vegetables without any fertilizers

      whatsoever. However, when somebody tried to cultivate F1 vegetables

      in his soil, they didn't grow.



      Takahashi has been saving seeds for nearly 20 years, which has allowed

      him to grow vegetables naturally without fertilizers, while commercial

      seeds will not grow very well. He believes that there is a relation

      not only between soil and seeds but also between humans (i.e. the

      farmer), soil and seeds; for example seeds saved on his farm don't do

      very well on a neighboring farm even though it has the same soil,

      while they may produce good results in a distant place. He considers

      that the longer we save seeds the stronger seeds, soil and humans will

      become.



      According to Takahashi, plants grown without fertilizers will develop

      deeper roots that, if they remain in the soil, act like soil compost.

      He uses wheat and daikon to cultivate the soil. But seeds from seed

      companies are developed to be grown with fertilizers and agrochemicals



      He believes that fertilizers are "poison for the soil". When, members

      from his Farmers Association dug up conventionally farmed soil to a

      depth of 2 meters, they came to a black and hard layer of soil that

      exhibited a lower temperature than other layers. They believed that

      this layer must have been formed by fertilizers and other agricultural

      chemicals. Takahashi thinks that it is necessary to destroy this

      layer for the "energy of the soil" to flow freely.



      Takahashi also found that soil worked on by a farmer will improve more

      than soil left to nature without any human interference. There is an

      empty lot next to his farm which is covered with tall goldenrod

      (Solidago altissima). To prevent the weed from spreading to his own

      farm he has been cutting a strip of land next to his own each year,

      leaving the remaining land untouched. After several years he found

      that the part he had been cutting developed different weeds such as

      chickweed and vetch, which can often be found on soil used for

      vegetable cultivation, while the part that remained untouched kept on

      producing the same weeds year after year. Hence, soil and vegetation

      can be positively affected by the mere act of cutting weeds.



      Summary from Japanese original by:

      Dieter Brand, Portugal



      PS: Takahashi in Japan like Anna Primavesi in Brazil like H.P. Rusch

      in Germany teach us not to trust the agrochemical engineer telling us

      that our soil is deficient in this or that and that we need to add

      fertilizer or other amendments to grow food. Takahashi's story also

      shows that Natural Farming is impossible without seedsaving.



























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    • Sporoi Se Svolous
      Dear friend,   you may cultivate your slopy field using natural farming without spending capital for leveling. Observe among others and the following details:
      Message 60 of 60 , Dec 11, 2008
        Dear friend,
         
        you may cultivate your slopy field using natural farming without spending capital for leveling. Observe among others and the following details:
        In case you will plow do it in leveled lines following the natural contours of the ground. This way you will avoid the elutriation and washing down of your fertile top soil, keeping the rainwater from runing down within the plow furrows.
        If you will employ the no till method you must cover the soil with straw, or leaves or choped branches of trees or anything else available as saw dust or chips of wood from a carpenters shop. This is a measure to protect the top soil from erosion, keep the soil moist and keep it free from weed.
         
        Good luck,
         


        --- On Fri, 12/5/08, Raju Titus <rajuktitus@...> wrote:

        From: Raju Titus <rajuktitus@...>
        Subject: Re: [fukuoka_farming] about making zero leveling of my agriculture land
        To: fukuoka_farming@yahoogroups.com
        Date: Friday, December 5, 2008, 9:07 AM






        Dear friend,
        Leveling is very harmful do not do this. You can do natural farming even
        with zero tillage seed drill with the help of Tractor.
        Thanks
        Raju Titus
        Hoshangabad. M.P.India

        On 12/4/08, shan itagi <shan20itagi@ yahoo.co. in> wrote:
        >
        > hello,
        > this is sharan an agriculturist, we grow sunflower,,jawar, cotton,chilli by
        > using chemical &fertiliser and the way majority of the people do in india..
        > Now i came to know about natural farming & interested to do.
        > i own 50acres of land which is not level that means i have not done any
        > leveling on the field
        > now i want to know wheather i should make it zero level by the dozer OR i
        > should keep it the way it is,which is unlevelled fields.
        > please respond me.
        >
        >
        >
        > Add more friends to your messenger and enjoy! Go to
        > http://messenger. yahoo.com/ invite/
        >
        > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        >
        >
        >

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


















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