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

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  • Dieter Brand
    ... Kostas, I didn t say anything to the contrary. My example was to show that simply leaving things to nature doesn t necessarily improve soil to the point
    Message 1 of 60 , Dec 7, 2008
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      > There is a big difference between natural farming and abandonment

      Kostas, I didn't say anything to the contrary. My example was to show
      that simply leaving things to nature doesn't necessarily improve soil
      to the point where it will produce food in any reasonable period of
      time. Hence, I think there is a degree of irresponsibility in
      advising newcomers that all they have to do is stop plowing and sow
      seedballs. In 99% of cases this will lead to failure.

      > and a farm that was never a natural farm cannot be abandoned.

      You lost me there, anything can be abandoned.

      Regarding trees, we have a few loquat trees that grow naturally, there
      are also of course oak trees and I was looking forward to using the
      acorns this year as somebody suggested recently; however, this was a
      particularly bad year and there were hardly any. Apart from that
      there are no "natural" trees in the sense you mentioned, and these
      cannot be purchased either. You either buy trees from the nursery or
      graft old trees, in either case you have to prune (that is with trees
      that need pruning). Many trees including citrus trees (which Fukuoka
      grew) don't need pruning anyways; just cut the dead stuff away from
      time to time.

      > A tree that has been pruned by a farmer cannot be abandoned –
      > it was raised in an unnatural shape and it will always need care
      > or it will die.

      I wouldn't be so categorical about that. In a different climate (a
      temperate climate) many trees go without care after the initial few
      years. As a child in Germany I used to raid fruit trees on abandoned
      farms with my friends, they would produce plentiful harvest year after
      year without anyone looking after them. Anyway, pruning is typically
      performed during the first 5 years, after that there is no cutting or
      only minimal thinning out or cutting away of dead parts, and it
      doesn't make much difference if that is not done.

      I don't know how to say this, but you seem to have a very precise idea
      about how nature ought to be. We humans always do. But nature
      doesn't necessarily care a lot about our ideas. They are just ideas.

      It is alright to speculate about the form of an ideal natural farm.
      But that hasn't got anything to do with farming. A farmer who needs
      to grow a crop this year cannot spent years improving the soil.
      Farming is all about growing food not speculating about an ideal that
      may never be.

      Fukuoka's words can be interpreted any which way, but his work as a
      farmer doesn't leave room for speculation, there was food on table!

      Dieter Brand
      Portugal

      PS: I have the highest regard for farmers who made a living under
      these difficult conditions by traditional farming methods. I would
      not advise them to change to natural farming because there is no
      proven model they can adopt.



      On 12/7/08, gunther1753 <gunther.jerabek@...> wrote:
      > --- In fukuoka_farming@yahoogroups.com, "karoubas" <karoubas@...>
      > wrote:
      >>Hello Dieter and Kostas
      > Reading your interesting discussion, a question has crossed my mind:
      > How does the concept of a forestgarden fit in with natural farming?
      > I will soon get my delivery of trees, shrubs and perrennials.
      > cheerio guenther
      >> Dieter,
      >>
      >> There is a big difference between natural farming and abandonment –
      >> and a farm that was never a natural farm cannot be abandoned.
      > Fukuoka
      >> – San learned this early in his natural farming journey, when he was
      >> trying to learn about the natural shape of trees. A tree that has
      > been
      >> pruned by a farmer cannot be abandoned – it was raised in an
      > unnatural
      >> shape and it will always need care or it will die. But a tree that
      >> grows in its natural shape, on a natural farm needs no care; it will
      >> grow and keep producing at the optimum rate for years.
      >>
      >> Fukuoka – San almost destroyed his father's orange orchard by trying
      >> the abandonment route – it does not work.
      >>
      >> A conventional farm left on its own will die away as you say, while
      > a
      >> natural farm will continue to improve its soil forever. But a
      > natural
      >> farm needs a hundred types of trees and one hundred types of plants
      >> growing in order for it to work – not just plants and trees are
      >> "useful" for humans. But trees and plants that will feed the birds
      > and
      >> the bugs. Most of all a natural farm it needs time to develop.
      >>
      >> Kostas
      >>
      >>
      >>
      >>
      >>
      >> --- In fukuoka_farming@yahoogroups.com, "Dieter Brand"
      >> <brand.dieter@> wrote:
      >> >
      >> > Kostas,
      >> >
      >> > I thought that somebody was bound to disagree. It is of course
      >> > correct that when we reach that ideal stage you mention we can
      > make
      >> > substantial economies by being able to do without plowing,
      > reducing
      >> > time spent on weeding, not having to earn income for spending on
      >> > fertilizers, diesel, machinery, etc.
      >> >
      >> > And when it comes to being lazy, I assure you, I will be up there
      > with
      >> > the best of you. Yet I'm reluctant to make a philosophy out of
      > it. I
      >> > think Fukuoka's idea of "do-nothing" has the potential for being
      >> > misunderstood. In my exchange with Nandan as in numerous previous
      >> > messages I advocate a more realistic and practical approach.
      >> > Kawaguchi, for example, redefines it as "avoiding unnecessary
      > work",
      >> > which is already a lot more accessible for most people, and less
      > prone
      >> > to misunderstanding.
      >> >
      >> > I'm glad that your soil is improving by not plowing. I have
      > already
      >> > explained in this thread how that is not always the case and will
      > not
      >> > repeat it here. Perhaps I can add that in the region where I live
      >> > there are many abandoned homesteads because people yearn for the
      >> > easier life in the city. The land has been used for centuries to
      > grow
      >> > food, but as soon as it is abandoned there is virtually nothing
      > edible
      >> > that will grow of its own. Without the caring hand of the farmer,
      >> > even the old fruit trees stop producing, or if they continue to
      >> > produce a meager harvest, it will be entirely eaten by worms.
      > And if
      >> > there is improvement to the soil, it is more likely measured in
      >> > hundreds or perhaps even thousands of years rather than in
      > decades.
      >> > The abandoned farms are often grown in by a dense mass of scrubs
      > which
      >> > have fueled many of the disastrous wildfires we have seen in
      > recent
      >> > years.
      >> >
      >> > Dieter Brand
      >> > Portugal
      >> >
      >>
      >
      >
      >
    • 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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