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

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  • Robert Monie
    Dieter,   One paragraph here says it all. Takahashi has rediscovered the great principle that Robert Ellis knew--biologically active roots make the soil and
    Message 1 of 60 , Dec 4, 2008
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      Dieter,
       
      One paragraph here says it all. Takahashi has rediscovered the great principle that Robert Ellis knew--biologically active roots make the soil and support vegetal life. Without roots there is only chemistry and chemical engineering, not biology and life. Dr. Al Kapuler makes the same point when he says that good soil is in a state of fermentation, biologically active, not just a pile of dry or sticky/gooey minerals and decaying plant matter with water and air running through it. Also, seeds grown in a natural, living environment somehow carry with them genetic memory of their preferred matrix and will not grow well outside of it.
       
      This paragraph from Takahashi should be engraved on a plaque for all to see:
       
      "According to Takahashi, plants grown without fertilizers will develop DEEPER ROOTS that, IF THEY REMAIN IN THE SOIL, ACT LIKE SOIL COMPOST."
       
      This is not airy metaphysics; this is earthy truth.
       
      Dieter, can you give us the exact source for this quote?
       
      The Shumei support their gardens mostly  with herbal green manure and leaf mold.  This is probably just a different path to the same end. Their soil would also probably falsely appear to be deficient in nutrients when subjected to standard chemical analysis. If science is to catch up with natural farming, it will have to develop a systems approach to measuing not chemically isolated individual nutrients but the entire microbiological process of nutrient cycling in a particular environment for a particular group of plants. Not the easiest thing in the world to do!
       
      Bob Monie

      --- On Wed, 12/3/08, Dieter Brand <brand.dieter@...> wrote:

      From: Dieter Brand <brand.dieter@...>
      Subject: [fukuoka_farming] A tale of nutrients and the importance of seed saving
      To: fukuoka_farming@yahoogroups.com
      Date: Wednesday, December 3, 2008, 4:52 PM






      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
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        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]
        >
        >
        >

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