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Re: [fukuoka_farming] Re: Gajin Tokuno / wood ashes

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  • La Clarine Farm
    Harvest, some claim that ashes will dry out a soil. Do you have any feeling that this occurs? -Hank
    Message 1 of 14 , Dec 31, 2008
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      Harvest, some claim that ashes will dry out a soil. Do you have any
      feeling that this occurs?

      -Hank

      Harvest McCampbell wrote:
      >
      > We heat with wood and I use the ashes in the garden, lots of them . .
      > . But we live in a high rainfall area where the soils tend to be a
      > bit on the acidic side.
      >
      > In low rainfall areas, especially if the soil tends towards alkaline,
      > the ashes can be problematic if not used sparingly . . .
      >
      > Ashes actually are high in calcium, which soils in high rainfall areas
      > tend to be low in . . . They are low in nitrogen and sulfur, but
      > otherwise provide all the minerals plants need. However, these
      > minerals have been changed into an inorganic form, so it is very
      > useful to also add plenty of organic matter.
      >
      > The areas that I have been using plenty of ashes and mulch, the soil
      > has a beautiful crumbly texture . . . My greens and garlic love it,
      > and nothing at all seems to complain . . .
      >
      > Harvest
      > http://harvestsgardeningsecrets.blogspot.com/
      > <http://harvestsgardeningsecrets.blogspot.com/>
      >
      > --- In fukuoka_farming@yahoogroups.com
      > <mailto:fukuoka_farming%40yahoogroups.com>, Michael Meredith
      > <meredith848@...> wrote:
      > >
      > > Wood ashes are good, but the charcoal is probably better.
      > > Michael
      > >
      > >
      > >
      > >
      > > ________________________________
      > > From: Dieter Brand <brand.dieter@...>
      > > To: fukuoka_farming@yahoogroups.com
      > <mailto:fukuoka_farming%40yahoogroups.com>
      > > Sent: Wednesday, December 31, 2008 4:25:42 AM
      > > Subject: Re: [fukuoka_farming] Gajin Tokuno
      > >
      > >
      > > Bob,
      > >
      > > Why would a natural farmer not use wood ashes?
      > >
      > > Dieter
      > >
      > > On 12/31/08, Michael Meredith <meredith848@ yahoo.com> wrote:
      > > > OK< so who's doing azomite, charcoal , and sonic bloom in their
      > weed garden
      > > > but me?
      > > > Michael
      > > >
      > > >
      > > >
      > > >
      > > > ____________ _________ _________ __
      > > > From: Robert Monie <bobm20001@yahoo. com>
      > > > To: fukuoka_farming@ yahoogroups. com
      > > > Sent: Tuesday, December 30, 2008 8:30:01 PM
      > > > Subject: Re: [fukuoka_farming] Gajin Tokuno
      > > >
      > > >
      > > > Hi,
      > > >
      > > > Tokuno's "Let Nature Do the Growing' is available used on
      > abebooks.com for
      > > > about $5.95, if you want a copy. He was a splendid illustrator and
      > his book
      > > > (if you can get past the sometimes obscure translation of the
      > plant names)
      > > > is a great introduction to Asian vegetables for westerners not
      > familiar with
      > > > their appearance or how to grow them.
      > > >
      > > > But he was not a natural farmer or a forest gardener. He used
      > wood ash and
      > > > other ashes as fertilizer.
      > > >
      > > > Bob Monie
      > > > New Orleans, La 70119
      > > > Zone 8
      > > >
      > > > --- On Mon, 12/29/08, Dieter Brand <brand.dieter@ gmail.com> wrote:
      > > >
      > > > From: Dieter Brand <brand.dieter@ gmail.com>
      > > > Subject: Re: [fukuoka_farming] Gajin Tokuno
      > > > To: fukuoka_farming@ yahoogroups. com
      > > > Date: Monday, December 29, 2008, 3:36 AM
      > > >
      > > > Hank,
      > > >
      > > > I have heard about the author but I didn't read any of his books.
      > > > Tokuno used to be an illustrator and author of children books. He
      > > > even received a Manga award, if I remember correctly. In the 80s, he
      > > > started writing gardening books on "how to grow vegetables without
      > > > chemicals." His main interest appears to be "companion planting" and
      > > > "growing vegetables in small spaces." He is the author of numerous
      > > > books in Japanese and is generally associated with the broad spectrum
      > > > of Natural Farming in Japan.
      > > >
      > > > Dieter Brand
      > > > Portugal
      > > >
      > > > On 12/28/08, La Clarine Farm <laclarinefarm@ att.net> wrote:
      > > >> Does anybody have any experiences with author Gajin Tokuno (wrote
      > a book
      > > >> called "Let Nature Do The Growing")? Any opinions?
      > > >>
      > > >> Thanks,
      > > >>
      > > >> Hank
      > > >>
      > > >
      > > >
      > > > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      > > >
      > > >
      > > >
      > > > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      > > >
      > > >
      > >
      > >
      > > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      > >
      >
      >
    • Harvest McCampbell
      Hi Hank . . . Rainfall here averages between 30 and 60 inches a year, and we burn wood and create ashes during the wet season . . . so, this is mearly
      Message 2 of 14 , Jan 1, 2009
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        Hi Hank . . .

        Rainfall here averages between 30 and 60 inches a year, and we burn
        wood and create ashes during the wet season . . . so, this is mearly
        theoretical . . .

        But it seems that ashes may resemble salts in some ways, high in
        minerals and alkaline in nature .. . salts do tend to attract water,
        ashes may do the same . . .

        I think experience is the best judge . . . set up some test plots and
        try different things . . .

        Since burning anything releases carbon into the atmosphere, I would
        never make ashes on purpose, but since we do make them as a byproduct
        of heating, I am going to make the best use of them I can . . .

        --- In fukuoka_farming@yahoogroups.com, La Clarine Farm
        <laclarinefarm@...> wrote:
        >
        > Harvest, some claim that ashes will dry out a soil. Do you have any
        > feeling that this occurs?
        >
        > -Hank
        >
        > Harvest McCampbell wrote:
        > >
        > > We heat with wood and I use the ashes in the garden, lots of them . .
        > > . But we live in a high rainfall area where the soils tend to be a
        > > bit on the acidic side.
        > >
        > > In low rainfall areas, especially if the soil tends towards alkaline,
        > > the ashes can be problematic if not used sparingly . . .
        > >
        > > Ashes actually are high in calcium, which soils in high rainfall areas
        > > tend to be low in . . . They are low in nitrogen and sulfur, but
        > > otherwise provide all the minerals plants need. However, these
        > > minerals have been changed into an inorganic form, so it is very
        > > useful to also add plenty of organic matter.
        > >
        > > The areas that I have been using plenty of ashes and mulch, the soil
        > > has a beautiful crumbly texture . . . My greens and garlic love it,
        > > and nothing at all seems to complain . . .
        > >
        > > Harvest
        > > http://harvestsgardeningsecrets.blogspot.com/
        > > <http://harvestsgardeningsecrets.blogspot.com/>
        > >
        > > --- In fukuoka_farming@yahoogroups.com
        > > <mailto:fukuoka_farming%40yahoogroups.com>, Michael Meredith
        > > <meredith848@> wrote:
        > > >
        > > > Wood ashes are good, but the charcoal is probably better.
        > > > Michael
        > > >
        > > >
        > > >
        > > >
        > > > ________________________________
        > > > From: Dieter Brand <brand.dieter@>
        > > > To: fukuoka_farming@yahoogroups.com
        > > <mailto:fukuoka_farming%40yahoogroups.com>
        > > > Sent: Wednesday, December 31, 2008 4:25:42 AM
        > > > Subject: Re: [fukuoka_farming] Gajin Tokuno
        > > >
        > > >
        > > > Bob,
        > > >
        > > > Why would a natural farmer not use wood ashes?
        > > >
        > > > Dieter
        > > >
        > > > On 12/31/08, Michael Meredith <meredith848@ yahoo.com> wrote:
        > > > > OK< so who's doing azomite, charcoal , and sonic bloom in their
        > > weed garden
        > > > > but me?
        > > > > Michael
        > > > >
        > > > >
        > > > >
        > > > >
        > > > > ____________ _________ _________ __
        > > > > From: Robert Monie <bobm20001@yahoo. com>
        > > > > To: fukuoka_farming@ yahoogroups. com
        > > > > Sent: Tuesday, December 30, 2008 8:30:01 PM
        > > > > Subject: Re: [fukuoka_farming] Gajin Tokuno
        > > > >
        > > > >
        > > > > Hi,
        > > > >
        > > > > Tokuno's "Let Nature Do the Growing' is available used on
        > > abebooks.com for
        > > > > about $5.95, if you want a copy. He was a splendid illustrator and
        > > his book
        > > > > (if you can get past the sometimes obscure translation of the
        > > plant names)
        > > > > is a great introduction to Asian vegetables for westerners not
        > > familiar with
        > > > > their appearance or how to grow them.
        > > > >
        > > > > But he was not a natural farmer or a forest gardener. He used
        > > wood ash and
        > > > > other ashes as fertilizer.
        > > > >
        > > > > Bob Monie
        > > > > New Orleans, La 70119
        > > > > Zone 8
        > > > >
        > > > > --- On Mon, 12/29/08, Dieter Brand <brand.dieter@ gmail.com>
        wrote:
        > > > >
        > > > > From: Dieter Brand <brand.dieter@ gmail.com>
        > > > > Subject: Re: [fukuoka_farming] Gajin Tokuno
        > > > > To: fukuoka_farming@ yahoogroups. com
        > > > > Date: Monday, December 29, 2008, 3:36 AM
        > > > >
        > > > > Hank,
        > > > >
        > > > > I have heard about the author but I didn't read any of his books.
        > > > > Tokuno used to be an illustrator and author of children books. He
        > > > > even received a Manga award, if I remember correctly. In the
        80s, he
        > > > > started writing gardening books on "how to grow vegetables without
        > > > > chemicals." His main interest appears to be "companion
        planting" and
        > > > > "growing vegetables in small spaces." He is the author of numerous
        > > > > books in Japanese and is generally associated with the broad
        spectrum
        > > > > of Natural Farming in Japan.
        > > > >
        > > > > Dieter Brand
        > > > > Portugal
        > > > >
        > > > > On 12/28/08, La Clarine Farm <laclarinefarm@ att.net> wrote:
        > > > >> Does anybody have any experiences with author Gajin Tokuno (wrote
        > > a book
        > > > >> called "Let Nature Do The Growing")? Any opinions?
        > > > >>
        > > > >> Thanks,
        > > > >>
        > > > >> Hank
        > > > >>
        > > > >
        > > > >
        > > > > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        > > > >
        > > > >
        > > > >
        > > > > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        > > > >
        > > > >
        > > >
        > > >
        > > > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        > > >
        > >
        > >
        >
      • Dieter Brand
        Hank, Harvest, et al, We use some of our wood (only a tiny fraction of what grows back) for heating. On our clay soil, the effect of wood ashes is a bit like
        Message 3 of 14 , Jan 2, 2009
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          Hank, Harvest, et al,

          We use some of our wood (only a tiny fraction of what grows back) for heating.

          On our clay soil, the effect of wood ashes is a bit like that of lime:
          the solid light brown clay will turn into a crumblier darker soil. It
          would take too much time to set up test plots to do exact
          humidity-retaining tests. I have nevertheless no doubt that the
          crumblier soil structure can hold water better than pure clay.

          When I converted to Natural Farming five years ago, I stopped using
          the ashes in the garden and used it on the compost heap instead (some
          people recommend using ashes in compost) since I continued to make
          compost, even though a lot less than previously. However, I didn't
          like that very much because it was too much work to homogeneously mix
          the ashes with the compost, there would always remain some clumps of
          ashes in the heap. I also had the impression that the ashes did dry
          out the compost, but this really is a very subjective impression.

          Anyway, if my ever so non-scientific observations are correct, it
          could be that ashes do indeed have a drying-out effect in compost but
          that the overall effect on clay soil is positive.

          For a couple of years I just returned the ashes to the forest, but
          considering the positive effect the ashes have on our clay soil, I
          have now reverted to using the ashes in the garden and the fields.
          Anyway, spreading the ashes from one winter over an acre or two
          results in a very thin layer that shouldn't impact the soil biology
          too much.

          Fukuoka stopped using ashes in the garden when he noticed a negative
          effect on spiders and other insects living in the mulch near the
          ground. Obviously, the ashes would make the spider nets temporarily
          unusable. In my case, there are hardly any spiders in the garden
          during the winter anyways, and the ashes will be gone after a rain
          shower or irrigation.

          Hence, I concluded that, as long as the ashes are from our own hearth,
          to use wood ashes in the garden is consistent with Natural Farming as
          I understand it. To put them in the garbage would certainly be wrong.

          Dieter Brand
          Portugal
        • Michael Meredith
          Some people advocate mixing ashes and urine together to create a balanced fertilizer. Of course, we throw away so many valuable things. Michael
          Message 4 of 14 , Jan 2, 2009
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            Some people advocate mixing ashes and urine together to create a balanced fertilizer.
            Of course, we throw away so many valuable things.
            Michael




            ________________________________
            From: Dieter Brand <brand.dieter@...>
            To: fukuoka_farming@yahoogroups.com
            Sent: Friday, January 2, 2009 10:49:04 AM
            Subject: Re: [fukuoka_farming] Re: was Gajin Tokuno now wood ashes


            Hank, Harvest, et al,

            We use some of our wood (only a tiny fraction of what grows back) for heating.

            On our clay soil, the effect of wood ashes is a bit like that of lime:
            the solid light brown clay will turn into a crumblier darker soil. It
            would take too much time to set up test plots to do exact
            humidity-retaining tests. I have nevertheless no doubt that the
            crumblier soil structure can hold water better than pure clay.

            When I converted to Natural Farming five years ago, I stopped using
            the ashes in the garden and used it on the compost heap instead (some
            people recommend using ashes in compost) since I continued to make
            compost, even though a lot less than previously. However, I didn't
            like that very much because it was too much work to homogeneously mix
            the ashes with the compost, there would always remain some clumps of
            ashes in the heap. I also had the impression that the ashes did dry
            out the compost, but this really is a very subjective impression.

            Anyway, if my ever so non-scientific observations are correct, it
            could be that ashes do indeed have a drying-out effect in compost but
            that the overall effect on clay soil is positive.

            For a couple of years I just returned the ashes to the forest, but
            considering the positive effect the ashes have on our clay soil, I
            have now reverted to using the ashes in the garden and the fields.
            Anyway, spreading the ashes from one winter over an acre or two
            results in a very thin layer that shouldn't impact the soil biology
            too much.

            Fukuoka stopped using ashes in the garden when he noticed a negative
            effect on spiders and other insects living in the mulch near the
            ground. Obviously, the ashes would make the spider nets temporarily
            unusable. In my case, there are hardly any spiders in the garden
            during the winter anyways, and the ashes will be gone after a rain
            shower or irrigation.

            Hence, I concluded that, as long as the ashes are from our own hearth,
            to use wood ashes in the garden is consistent with Natural Farming as
            I understand it. To put them in the garbage would certainly be wrong.

            Dieter Brand
            Portugal


            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
          • Harvest McCampbell
            Yes I think that is exactly right Dieter, the wood came from the soil, and if we are using it to create ashes it should be returned to the soil. Each of us
            Message 5 of 14 , Jan 2, 2009
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              Yes I think that is exactly right Dieter, the wood came from the soil,
              and if we are using it to create ashes it should be returned to the
              soil. Each of us needs to make our own observations on how this is
              best done for our own gardens and farms . . .

              Ashes were once used in soap making, in processing some foods, and I
              am sure for other things as well . . . I think if we are producing
              them, if possible we need to use them in a good way . . .

              Harvest


              --- In fukuoka_farming@yahoogroups.com, "Dieter Brand"
              <brand.dieter@...> wrote:
              >
              > Hank, Harvest, et al,
              >
              > We use some of our wood (only a tiny fraction of what grows back)
              for heating.
              >
              > On our clay soil, the effect of wood ashes is a bit like that of lime:
              > the solid light brown clay will turn into a crumblier darker soil. It
              > would take too much time to set up test plots to do exact
              > humidity-retaining tests. I have nevertheless no doubt that the
              > crumblier soil structure can hold water better than pure clay.
              >
              > When I converted to Natural Farming five years ago, I stopped using
              > the ashes in the garden and used it on the compost heap instead (some
              > people recommend using ashes in compost) since I continued to make
              > compost, even though a lot less than previously. However, I didn't
              > like that very much because it was too much work to homogeneously mix
              > the ashes with the compost, there would always remain some clumps of
              > ashes in the heap. I also had the impression that the ashes did dry
              > out the compost, but this really is a very subjective impression.
              >
              > Anyway, if my ever so non-scientific observations are correct, it
              > could be that ashes do indeed have a drying-out effect in compost but
              > that the overall effect on clay soil is positive.
              >
              > For a couple of years I just returned the ashes to the forest, but
              > considering the positive effect the ashes have on our clay soil, I
              > have now reverted to using the ashes in the garden and the fields.
              > Anyway, spreading the ashes from one winter over an acre or two
              > results in a very thin layer that shouldn't impact the soil biology
              > too much.
              >
              > Fukuoka stopped using ashes in the garden when he noticed a negative
              > effect on spiders and other insects living in the mulch near the
              > ground. Obviously, the ashes would make the spider nets temporarily
              > unusable. In my case, there are hardly any spiders in the garden
              > during the winter anyways, and the ashes will be gone after a rain
              > shower or irrigation.
              >
              > Hence, I concluded that, as long as the ashes are from our own hearth,
              > to use wood ashes in the garden is consistent with Natural Farming as
              > I understand it. To put them in the garbage would certainly be wrong.
              >
              > Dieter Brand
              > Portugal
              >
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