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Re: [fukuoka_farming] Re: Jase & others: Reply to Bob Monie:

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  • Robert Monie
    Hi Norm,   Some other plants you could try, to make the soil-building mix more lively, would be gobo (burdock), yacon, chicory, and stinging nettle. Also, do
    Message 1 of 9 , Jan 24, 2009
      Hi Norm,
       
      Some other plants you could try, to make the soil-building mix more lively, would be gobo (burdock), yacon, chicory, and stinging nettle. Also, do you have any native perennial grasses in your region with long fibrous roots, similar to the Indian grass, brome grass, or switchgrass found in North America? Let these kinds of plants go to work on your soil and after a few years you won't have to worry about  "adding carbon" to your field; the prolific roots on these plants will do the job far better than any human scheme could. As they decay, their litter and the microbes associated with them provide carbon exactly in the right form and amount to produce fertility.  No need to burn down the woods to make some "BioChar" concoction. Big fibrous roots microbally activated are nature's carbon factory par excellence. The secret of Terra Preta probably lies in the way that calcium, potassium, phosphrous and other molecules (possibly silicon) are configured in
      a living matrix--not in the amount of finely powdered carbon that somebody poured into the system. Thanks for the photos.
       
      Bob Monie

      --- On Fri, 1/23/09, Norm <fukuoka@...> wrote:

      From: Norm <fukuoka@...>
      Subject: [fukuoka_farming] Re: Jase & others: Reply to Bob Monie:
      To: fukuoka_farming@yahoogroups.com
      Date: Friday, January 23, 2009, 5:30 PM






      Hi Bob:
      Thanks for all that information, some very interesting stuff. I have
      been wondering if I should try that Gumi after reading your previous
      article, as it appears I could probably obtain it in Australia too, as
      I did a search & as well as building up the soil it could possibly
      produce a crop of fruit. Like you say I should try looking for a
      legume to go with Vetiver, there are some tropical legumes [vines]
      here that could work, problem is whether they would all be eaten by
      wild life, got one vine growing near the house, but in the paddock it
      doesn't survive.
      I have posted some pictures of how my Vetiver is growing so far &
      other grasses I'm trying to grow, showing the difference between with
      or without manure. You might see my ground is pretty poor in it's
      basic state, I have a big job trying to build up fertility. Here is my
      link to my album, if you click to see the large picture you will get a
      description. ..regards. ..Norm... Australia.

      http://s151. photobucket. com/albums/ s133/greenie6666 /Grass/

      Hi Norm,

      I'm glad that you are trying Vetiver and hope that the Vetiver roots
      proliferate in your field.
      Here in New Orleans, I am beginning to think that Vetiver roots are
      among the best possible roots for creating fertile soil and
      sequestering carbon, comparable to the work done on the North American
      prairie by perennials like switchgrass and Indian grass. Finding a
      nitrogen-fixing companion plant for Vetiver would probably create a
      humus and glomalin creating "guild" scarely matched anywhere else in
      nature (maybe even better than Raju's acacia trees.) If so inclined
      you might want to pursue this as a research project on some of your land.

      Some great recent articles on Vetiver appear if you google.com to:

      Vetiver a carbon sequestering factory.

      These include some news of the vast power of Vetiver to sequester
      carbon, a contribution from Paul Truong in Brisbane, Australia, and a
      photo of a mammoth Vetiver root system large enough to be a thatched
      roof for some hut or at least a hula skirt for a very large hula
      dancer! If you ever get a photo of your Vetiver roots grown to such
      proportions, please post it. Imagine the capacity of roots like this
      to form microbial/fungal colonies and exudates and invigorate the soil
      as they shed and decompose.

      I am trying all sorts of things with Vetiver, such as planting it
      alongside Lemon grass (both plants are trouble free in the New Orleans
      climate and do not suffer any insect infestation or attack
      whatsoever), and even trying to find some room to plant Vetiver
      alongside nitrogen fixing shrubs like gumi or Russian Olive, and will
      eventually report the results, good, bad, or indifferent.

      Best wishes,

      Bob Monie
      Zone 8
      New Orleans, LA 70119 (Where, according to the definition of Vetiver
      in the 1940's second edition of Webster's Unabridged Dictionary,
      Vetiver grass is grown).















      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • macropneuma
      Norm, Hoping your farm is improving - maybe Bob s vetiver advice is bearing fruit or maybe not. Sorry i have been so remiss in not replying to you here after
      Message 2 of 9 , Apr 14, 2009
        Norm,
        Hoping your farm is improving - maybe Bob's vetiver advice is bearing 'fruit' or maybe not.

        Sorry i have been so remiss in not replying to you here after you greatly wrote up all your detailed answers to my questions here. I've been very busy with work in Local Government in Sydney and fire threats in my farm area in far east Gippsland, Victoria.
        I've still not had time to write up much of a reply to you today below.
        I've only today re-found a reference which i've had in mind to relate to you since your writing below.

        I've quoted (another quoting) from Cook and co., inline within your reply below.

        Hope you enjoy this one.
        Some time later i will have time to get back and write more substance in reply to you (as yet i have only some rough notes written at the time).
        Thanks for your fine, detailed reply.

        Jase.


        --- In fukuoka_farming@yahoogroups.com, "Norm" <fukuoka@...> wrote:
        >
        > -Norm,
        >
        > Thanks for your own great write-up.
        >
        > A few more details please.
        >
        > You've obviously read some of Fukuoka, Masanobu's writing, which ones
        > have you had the opportunity to read so far? Have you read "The
        > Ultimatum of God-Nature - The One Straw Revolution - A Recapitulation"?
        >
        > <<<"The One Straw Revolution…. The Natural Way of Farming">>>
        >
        > How much land do you have?
        >
        > <<<46 Acres…approx 18 Hectares.>>>
        >
        > Do you help any of the native wattles and other plants to grow inside
        > your farm land?
        >
        > <<<I let various wattles including Black Wattle [Acacia mearnsii] grow
        > between my orchard trees & before they get too big I ringbark them.
        > They come up naturally I don't need to plant them myself; I just let
        > them grow where I want them removing others.>>>
        >
        > And how tall is the wet sclerophyll forest or woodland abutting your
        > farmland, assuming it is on originally the same soils as your
        > 'paddocks'?
        >
        > <<<The tallest trees are probably between 15 to 20 meters. When I came
        > here 25 years ago I obtained a forestry map of the area which 20 years
        > previous to then showed my property as open grassland with scattered
        > tress. So it had at least once been cleared, maybe more & that's when
        > most of the soil degradation probably happened, because of the steep
        > nature of the land & heavy rainfall, plus I'm sure the area was
        > regularly burnt, even by aboriginal peoples, even before European
        > settlement, as near here Captain Cook named an area Smoky Cape because
        > of fires he saw burning when he passed here.>>>
        >


        Norm, I'm thinking this detail and understanding of Cook's observations will interest you (as it does me also).

        "
        Cook (1770) and White (1790)
        During his exploration of the east coast of Australia in May 1770, James Cook (1770)
        observed many Aboriginal fires or what he termed `smooks'. Ryan et al. (1995) quote
        Cook's journal as the explorer passed Cape Howe when he noted:

        `In the afternoon we saw smook in several places by which we knew the
        country to be inhabited.'

        As Cook sailed up the east coast of Australia after leaving Botany Bay he made other
        references to fire. On Tuesday 8th May, 1770, just north of Broken Bay near Cape
        Three Points, Cook (1770 p. 313) noted:

        'In the pm saw some smooks upon the shore and in the evening found the Variation to
        be 80° 25' East, at this time we were about 2 or 3 miles from the Land and had 28
        fathom of water.'

        and again on Friday 11th, near Port Stephens Cook writes (p. 314):

        'We saw several smooks a little way in the Country rise up from the flatland, by this
        I did suppose that there were Lagoons which afforded subsistence for the natives such
        as shell fish &c for we as yet know nothing else they live upon. '

        And on the following day, near Port Macquarie (p. 315):

        'In the pm as we run along shore we saw several smooks a little way in land from the
        sea and one upon the top of a hill which was the first we have seen upon elevated
        ground since we have been upon the coast. '

        It was from Sunday 13th May, 1770, that Cook appears to detail a larger fire as
        opposed to the smoke from smaller camp fires. He writes:

        'At Noon we were by observation in the Latitude of 30° 43' S and Long 206° 45' west
        and about 3 or 4 Leagues from the land (15–20 km), the northermost part of which
        bore from us N 13° West and a point or headland on which were fires that caused a
        great quantity of smook which occasioned my giving it the name of Smooky Cape, bore
        SW distant 4 Leagues. It is moderately high land, over the pitch of the point is a round
        hillock, within it two others much higher and larger and within them very low land.
        Latitude 30° 51's, Longitude 206° 54' West. Besides the smook seen upon this Cape
        we saw more in several other places along the Coast.'

        This large fire at Smoky Cape may have either been a bushfire, a controlled burn by
        Aboriginal people, or merely a large gathering of people. Two days later near Byron
        Bay, Cook notes (p. 317):

        'At 9 O'Clock being about a League from the land we saw upon it People and smook
        in several places. '

        While near Indian Head in south east Queensland, Cook notes fires on the 20th May:
        '
        We saw people in other places besides the one I have mentioned, some smooks in the
        day and fires in the night. '

        Further north on 23rd May at a place now named `1770', near Bundaberg, Cook noted
        (p. 325):

        'As yet we had seen no people but saw a great deal of smook up and on the west side
        of the Lagoon which was all too far off for us to go by land excepting one; this we went
        to and found 10 small fires in a very small compass and some cockle shells laying by
        them but the people were gone. '

        Of at least 12 references to fire over the month of May 1770, and a distance travelled
        of some 2000 kilometres, Cook did not refer to widespread burning of the landscape
        by Aboriginal people. Most of the smooks seen by Cook were probably camp fires
        used for cooking, as evidenced in the last quote. This point was overlooked by Ryan
        et al. who portray his observations as proof that Aboriginal people extensively burnt
        the landscape. Cook's observations are more important in providing evidence that
        the east coast of Australia was well occupied by Aboriginal people in 1770. They
        provide little information on the nature of Aboriginal burning practices.
        "

        -this whole paper these 2 pages 289 - 290 are quoted from will interest you quite a bit i think:
        Benson, John S. & Redpath, Phil A. (1997) The nature of pre-European native vegetation in Australia: a critique of Ryan, D.G., Ryan, J.R. and Starr, B.J. (1995) "The Australian Landscape — Observations of Explorers and Early Settlers"
        Cunninghamia 5(2): 285–328.

        John S Benson is Senior Plant Ecologist at: Royal Botanic Gardens Sydney, Mrs Macquaries Road, Sydney, NSW.

        Phil A. Redpath is now in NSW Department of Environment and Climate Change, and in 1997 was in New South Wales Department of Land and Water Conservation, Parramatta NSW.

        as well as the reply to it by Tim Flannery:
        Flannery, T.F. (1998) A reply to Benson and Redpath (1997). Cunninghamia 5(4): 779-781.

        and John Benson's & Phil Redpath's reply back to Flannery:
        Benson, J.S. & Redpath, P.A. (1998) A response to Flannery's reply. Cunninghamia 5(4): 782-785.

        All freely available for download at the (free) Cunninghamia online journal page:
        ->
        http://www.rbgsyd.nsw.gov.au/science/Scientific_publications/cunninghamia/contents_by_volume/volume_5


        > More reply later, but as another Aussie farming about 1000 kilometres
        > due south of you, I am gathering some better naturalist information.
        >
        > As i can reply in detail to you, as you're within range of my detailed
        > plant, animal, soil, geology, natural history, and wider-environment
        > knowledge.
        >
        > I don't know much of detail about the natural history, landscapes and
        > environments of all the many of you in the northern hemisphere. (I do
        > know there are some fantastic leguminous nitrogen-fixing plant species
        > in Europe, because they are some of our most serious, noxious pest
        > plants here in Australia - in the sense of pest plants which Fukuoka,
        > Masanobu sensei does accept - akin also to the Australian Queensland
        > fruit fly as it would be a pest insect in Japan. eg. Genista
        > monspesulana, Genista linifolia, Ulex europeaus, etc.)
        >
        > What is your average annual rainfall? - as you said it has been all year
        > round recently.
        >
        > <<<I was told it was about 60 inches [1500mls] when I moved here. At
        > some times I have had 12 inches in one day in the January to May
        > period, but of late we had about 10 years of low rainfall & as I said
        > of late it has been more evenly spread throughout the year. It is said
        > by the Bureau of Meteorology that this area gets three wet springs out
        > of ten, but the last three have been wet whether it has changed or
        > just variability it's hard to know. Summers mild rarely goes above
        > 33C…only mild frosts about 2C warm winter days sometimes up to 23C.>>>
        >
        > What altitude are you at?
        >
        > <<<The highest hills around here are all below 100 metres above sea
        > level.>>>
        >
        > How far inland from the coast?
        >
        > <<<Approximately 20 odd kilometers.>>>
        >
        > If you'd like please tell us more about your background. A farming
        > family. Originally from the city. etc.
        >
        > <<<Born in the suburbs of Sydney, moved at 7 to near Manly NSW. Was
        > bushy in those days spent most of my life running around in the bush.
        > Then bought my first few acres approx 7 acres when 21 years old, moved
        > to 10 acres in 1978 then here in 1983. From the beginning always-loved
        > nature, animals & birds, couldn't wait to move to the
        > countryside…regards…Norm.>>>
        >
        > My parents & family originally grew up in bushy Melbourne - Sandringham
        > area - 'bush-remaining' parts of the beach-side suburbs. I lived there
        > in the city region but still spent most of my growing up in the
        > remaining bush areas of the foreshores by the beach and inland in the
        > heaths and woodlands. I learnt my natural history and soils experience
        > over 10 or more years there. Then moved my home base to my late father's
        > organic vegetable farm, in far east gippsland, victoria. 30kms from the
        > NSW border. In river flats in a deep valley, at 200m altitude, amongst
        > the mountains of the "coast range". 40 km's inland from the coast, which
        > is due south. About 80-100km's inland, over mountains, from the coast,
        > in NSW, which is due east. Rainfall is average 1000mm/year. Climate is
        > much cooler than yours, except in hot summers. Officially warm temperate
        > climate.
        >
        > Cheers,
        >
        > Jase (from Oz - joking slang for Australia)
        >
      • Norm
        Hi Jase: Thanks for your response, don t worry about the time I fully understand what you guys were going through down there in Gippsland. Thanks for that
        Message 3 of 9 , Apr 22, 2009
          Hi Jase:
          Thanks for your response, don't worry about the time I fully understand what you guys were going through down there in Gippsland. Thanks for that information from Cook's diary, that was quite interesting. Fire was about the only agriculture practiced by Australian aboriginals, but as always even this human interference probably destroyed some of the soils fertility & helped create plants that can live with fire in the Australian scene.
          I have propagated in pots some of the Vetiver grass recommended by Bob & so far planted something like 30 roots in the paddock, I added some manure to the soil as it's quite poor, the first planted eight plants have established more, but after grazing the regrowth has been quite slow, but may improve over time, especially if I add more manure at times. As the weather is getting colder, I wonder if I will have to wait till next spring at least to plant out more roots as I guess Vetiver may not grow as well in the cooler time, even though we rarely get frosts here. I read where cutting the plants back increased tillering, but I found them very slow to come back after cutting even in the pots.
          regards...Norm Australia.


          --- In fukuoka_farming@yahoogroups.com, "macropneuma" <macropneuma@...> wrote:
          >
          > Norm,
          > Hoping your farm is improving - maybe Bob's vetiver advice is bearing 'fruit' or maybe not.
          >
          > Sorry i have been so remiss in not replying to you here after you greatly wrote up all your detailed answers to my questions here. I've been very busy with work in Local Government in Sydney and fire threats in my farm area in far east Gippsland, Victoria.
          > I've still not had time to write up much of a reply to you today below.
          > I've only today re-found a reference which i've had in mind to relate to you since your writing below.
          >
          > I've quoted (another quoting) from Cook and co., inline within your reply below.
          >
          > Hope you enjoy this one.
          > Some time later i will have time to get back and write more substance in reply to you (as yet i have only some rough notes written at the time).
          > Thanks for your fine, detailed reply.
          >
          > Jase.
          >
          >
          > --- In fukuoka_farming@yahoogroups.com, "Norm" <fukuoka@> wrote:
          > >
          > > -Norm,
          > >
          > > Thanks for your own great write-up.
          > >
          > > A few more details please.
          > >
          > > You've obviously read some of Fukuoka, Masanobu's writing, which ones
          > > have you had the opportunity to read so far? Have you read "The
          > > Ultimatum of God-Nature - The One Straw Revolution - A Recapitulation"?
          > >
          > > <<<"The One Straw Revolution…. The Natural Way of Farming">>>
          > >
          > > How much land do you have?
          > >
          > > <<<46 Acres…approx 18 Hectares.>>>
          > >
          > > Do you help any of the native wattles and other plants to grow inside
          > > your farm land?
          > >
          > > <<<I let various wattles including Black Wattle [Acacia mearnsii] grow
          > > between my orchard trees & before they get too big I ringbark them.
          > > They come up naturally I don't need to plant them myself; I just let
          > > them grow where I want them removing others.>>>
          > >
          > > And how tall is the wet sclerophyll forest or woodland abutting your
          > > farmland, assuming it is on originally the same soils as your
          > > 'paddocks'?
          > >
          > > <<<The tallest trees are probably between 15 to 20 meters. When I came
          > > here 25 years ago I obtained a forestry map of the area which 20 years
          > > previous to then showed my property as open grassland with scattered
          > > tress. So it had at least once been cleared, maybe more & that's when
          > > most of the soil degradation probably happened, because of the steep
          > > nature of the land & heavy rainfall, plus I'm sure the area was
          > > regularly burnt, even by aboriginal peoples, even before European
          > > settlement, as near here Captain Cook named an area Smoky Cape because
          > > of fires he saw burning when he passed here.>>>
          > >
          >
          >
          > Norm, I'm thinking this detail and understanding of Cook's observations will interest you (as it does me also).
          >
          > "
          > Cook (1770) and White (1790)
          > During his exploration of the east coast of Australia in May 1770, James Cook (1770)
          > observed many Aboriginal fires or what he termed `smooks'. Ryan et al. (1995) quote
          > Cook's journal as the explorer passed Cape Howe when he noted:
          >
          > `In the afternoon we saw smook in several places by which we knew the
          > country to be inhabited.'
          >
          > As Cook sailed up the east coast of Australia after leaving Botany Bay he made other
          > references to fire. On Tuesday 8th May, 1770, just north of Broken Bay near Cape
          > Three Points, Cook (1770 p. 313) noted:
          >
          > 'In the pm saw some smooks upon the shore and in the evening found the Variation to
          > be 80° 25' East, at this time we were about 2 or 3 miles from the Land and had 28
          > fathom of water.'
          >
          > and again on Friday 11th, near Port Stephens Cook writes (p. 314):
          >
          > 'We saw several smooks a little way in the Country rise up from the flatland, by this
          > I did suppose that there were Lagoons which afforded subsistence for the natives such
          > as shell fish &c for we as yet know nothing else they live upon. '
          >
          > And on the following day, near Port Macquarie (p. 315):
          >
          > 'In the pm as we run along shore we saw several smooks a little way in land from the
          > sea and one upon the top of a hill which was the first we have seen upon elevated
          > ground since we have been upon the coast. '
          >
          > It was from Sunday 13th May, 1770, that Cook appears to detail a larger fire as
          > opposed to the smoke from smaller camp fires. He writes:
          >
          > 'At Noon we were by observation in the Latitude of 30° 43' S and Long 206° 45' west
          > and about 3 or 4 Leagues from the land (15–20 km), the northermost part of which
          > bore from us N 13° West and a point or headland on which were fires that caused a
          > great quantity of smook which occasioned my giving it the name of Smooky Cape, bore
          > SW distant 4 Leagues. It is moderately high land, over the pitch of the point is a round
          > hillock, within it two others much higher and larger and within them very low land.
          > Latitude 30° 51's, Longitude 206° 54' West. Besides the smook seen upon this Cape
          > we saw more in several other places along the Coast.'
          >
          > This large fire at Smoky Cape may have either been a bushfire, a controlled burn by
          > Aboriginal people, or merely a large gathering of people. Two days later near Byron
          > Bay, Cook notes (p. 317):
          >
          > 'At 9 O'Clock being about a League from the land we saw upon it People and smook
          > in several places. '
          >
          > While near Indian Head in south east Queensland, Cook notes fires on the 20th May:
          > '
          > We saw people in other places besides the one I have mentioned, some smooks in the
          > day and fires in the night. '
          >
          > Further north on 23rd May at a place now named `1770', near Bundaberg, Cook noted
          > (p. 325):
          >
          > 'As yet we had seen no people but saw a great deal of smook up and on the west side
          > of the Lagoon which was all too far off for us to go by land excepting one; this we went
          > to and found 10 small fires in a very small compass and some cockle shells laying by
          > them but the people were gone. '
          >
          > Of at least 12 references to fire over the month of May 1770, and a distance travelled
          > of some 2000 kilometres, Cook did not refer to widespread burning of the landscape
          > by Aboriginal people. Most of the smooks seen by Cook were probably camp fires
          > used for cooking, as evidenced in the last quote. This point was overlooked by Ryan
          > et al. who portray his observations as proof that Aboriginal people extensively burnt
          > the landscape. Cook's observations are more important in providing evidence that
          > the east coast of Australia was well occupied by Aboriginal people in 1770. They
          > provide little information on the nature of Aboriginal burning practices.
          > "
          >
          > -this whole paper these 2 pages 289 - 290 are quoted from will interest you quite a bit i think:
          > Benson, John S. & Redpath, Phil A. (1997) The nature of pre-European native vegetation in Australia: a critique of Ryan, D.G., Ryan, J.R. and Starr, B.J. (1995) "The Australian Landscape — Observations of Explorers and Early Settlers"
          > Cunninghamia 5(2): 285–328.
          >
          > John S Benson is Senior Plant Ecologist at: Royal Botanic Gardens Sydney, Mrs Macquaries Road, Sydney, NSW.
          >
          > Phil A. Redpath is now in NSW Department of Environment and Climate Change, and in 1997 was in New South Wales Department of Land and Water Conservation, Parramatta NSW.
          >
          > as well as the reply to it by Tim Flannery:
          > Flannery, T.F. (1998) A reply to Benson and Redpath (1997). Cunninghamia 5(4): 779-781.
          >
          > and John Benson's & Phil Redpath's reply back to Flannery:
          > Benson, J.S. & Redpath, P.A. (1998) A response to Flannery's reply. Cunninghamia 5(4): 782-785.
          >
          > All freely available for download at the (free) Cunninghamia online journal page:
          > ->
          > http://www.rbgsyd.nsw.gov.au/science/Scientific_publications/cunninghamia/contents_by_volume/volume_5
          >
          >
          > > More reply later, but as another Aussie farming about 1000 kilometres
          > > due south of you, I am gathering some better naturalist information.
          > >
          > > As i can reply in detail to you, as you're within range of my detailed
          > > plant, animal, soil, geology, natural history, and wider-environment
          > > knowledge.
          > >
          > > I don't know much of detail about the natural history, landscapes and
          > > environments of all the many of you in the northern hemisphere. (I do
          > > know there are some fantastic leguminous nitrogen-fixing plant species
          > > in Europe, because they are some of our most serious, noxious pest
          > > plants here in Australia - in the sense of pest plants which Fukuoka,
          > > Masanobu sensei does accept - akin also to the Australian Queensland
          > > fruit fly as it would be a pest insect in Japan. eg. Genista
          > > monspesulana, Genista linifolia, Ulex europeaus, etc.)
          > >
          > > What is your average annual rainfall? - as you said it has been all year
          > > round recently.
          > >
          > > <<<I was told it was about 60 inches [1500mls] when I moved here. At
          > > some times I have had 12 inches in one day in the January to May
          > > period, but of late we had about 10 years of low rainfall & as I said
          > > of late it has been more evenly spread throughout the year. It is said
          > > by the Bureau of Meteorology that this area gets three wet springs out
          > > of ten, but the last three have been wet whether it has changed or
          > > just variability it's hard to know. Summers mild rarely goes above
          > > 33C…only mild frosts about 2C warm winter days sometimes up to 23C.>>>
          > >
          > > What altitude are you at?
          > >
          > > <<<The highest hills around here are all below 100 metres above sea
          > > level.>>>
          > >
          > > How far inland from the coast?
          > >
          > > <<<Approximately 20 odd kilometers.>>>
          > >
          > > If you'd like please tell us more about your background. A farming
          > > family. Originally from the city. etc.
          > >
          > > <<<Born in the suburbs of Sydney, moved at 7 to near Manly NSW. Was
          > > bushy in those days spent most of my life running around in the bush.
          > > Then bought my first few acres approx 7 acres when 21 years old, moved
          > > to 10 acres in 1978 then here in 1983. From the beginning always-loved
          > > nature, animals & birds, couldn't wait to move to the
          > > countryside…regards…Norm.>>>
          > >
          > > My parents & family originally grew up in bushy Melbourne - Sandringham
          > > area - 'bush-remaining' parts of the beach-side suburbs. I lived there
          > > in the city region but still spent most of my growing up in the
          > > remaining bush areas of the foreshores by the beach and inland in the
          > > heaths and woodlands. I learnt my natural history and soils experience
          > > over 10 or more years there. Then moved my home base to my late father's
          > > organic vegetable farm, in far east gippsland, victoria. 30kms from the
          > > NSW border. In river flats in a deep valley, at 200m altitude, amongst
          > > the mountains of the "coast range". 40 km's inland from the coast, which
          > > is due south. About 80-100km's inland, over mountains, from the coast,
          > > in NSW, which is due east. Rainfall is average 1000mm/year. Climate is
          > > much cooler than yours, except in hot summers. Officially warm temperate
          > > climate.
          > >
          > > Cheers,
          > >
          > > Jase (from Oz - joking slang for Australia)
          > >
          >
        • macropneuma
          Norm thanks, ... I wasn t tangibly impacted by any fires, there were fires nearby on those days on which people died elsewhere in Gippsland and on which many
          Message 4 of 9 , Apr 23, 2009
            Norm thanks,

            --- In fukuoka_farming@yahoogroups.com, "Norm" <fukuoka@...> wrote:
            >
            > Hi Jase:
            > Thanks for your response, don't worry about the time I fully understand what you guys were going through down there in Gippsland. <<

            I wasn't tangibly impacted by any fires, there were fires nearby on those days on which people died elsewhere in Gippsland and on which many died in Central Victoria (mainly Black Saturday and beforehand), but they didn't get to my farm/house. I was, under threat and, in dangerous circumstances should they have hit my home but they didn't, so it was just the real anxiety of the very real threat which impacted more or less on all of us in Cann Valley community.

            Since then there have been wonderfully mild bushfires burning (both lightning bushfires, arson bushfires (extremely bad crime but near home even those arson ones were mild fires), and planned Government ignited ecological burns, 'regeneration' (logging coup) burns and fuel reduction burns)

            >Thanks for that information from Cook's diary, that was quite interesting. Fire was about the only agriculture practiced by Australian aboriginals, but as always even this human interference probably destroyed some of the soils fertility & helped create plants that can live with fire in the Australian scene. <<

            I know a good lot about that (combined) subject in my professional role in ecology -fire ecology of Australia, particularly S.E. Oz-, -and land management cultureS of indigenous peoples of Australia (all what WE were taught in school in Australia about indigenous peoples of here is horsesh!t. (full stop))-;
            Also in my farm practical role -eg. planning, conducting my own ecological burns, & monitoring them-.
            More & better insights later -i've just been reading a 'latest' new scientific paper on that very subject -"Pre-European Fire Regimes in Australian Ecosystems"- this morning before work, and another professional scientific paper on agriculture of Indigenous peoples of Australia and New Guinea:
            --Enright Neal J Ian Thomas (2008) Pre-European Fire Regimes in Australian Ecosystems. Geography Compass 2 (4) 979–1011
            --Denham T (2008) Traditional forms of plant exploitation in Australia and New Guinea: the search for common ground. Vegetation History and Archaeobotany 17 (2) 245-248
            I'll send you those papers by email if you'd like to read science on it.

            > I have propagated in pots some of the Vetiver grass recommended by Bob & so far planted something like 30 roots in the paddock, I added some manure to the soil as it's quite poor, the first planted eight plants have established more, but after grazing the regrowth has been quite slow, but may improve over time, especially if I add more manure at times. As the weather is getting colder, I wonder if I will have to wait till next spring at least to plant out more roots as I guess Vetiver may not grow as well in the cooler time, even though we rarely get frosts here. I read where cutting the plants back increased tillering, but I found them very slow to come back after cutting even in the pots. <<

            Good luck with that Vetiver (un-Australian introduced grass) there on your poor Ozzie farm soils. Northern hemisphere people usually don't appreciate the science that Australian soils in their natural form ON AVERAGE measure about 10% fertility of the AVERAGE fertility of Western European and North American soils, and our natural heathland soils about 1%, or 10% of that 10%- because the Australian continent has by and large remained unaffected by glaciation, volcanism and igneous geology for many tens of millions of years, which is what creates new parent material and in turn new very FERTILE soils.

            > regards...Norm Australia.

            Cheers mate,
            Jase.



            > --- In fukuoka_farming@yahoogroups.com, "macropneuma" <macropneuma@> wrote:
            > >
            > > Norm,
            > > Hoping your farm is improving - maybe Bob's vetiver advice is bearing 'fruit' or maybe not.
            > >
            > > Sorry i have been so remiss in not replying to you here after you greatly wrote up all your detailed answers to my questions here. I've been very busy with work in Local Government in Sydney and fire threats in my farm area in far east Gippsland, Victoria.
            > > I've still not had time to write up much of a reply to you today below.
            > > I've only today re-found a reference which i've had in mind to relate to you since your writing below.
            > >
            > > I've quoted (another quoting) from Cook and co., inline within your reply below.
            > >
            > > Hope you enjoy this one.
            > > Some time later i will have time to get back and write more substance in reply to you (as yet i have only some rough notes written at the time).
            > > Thanks for your fine, detailed reply.
            > >
            > > Jase.
            > >
            > >
            > > --- In fukuoka_farming@yahoogroups.com, "Norm" <fukuoka@> wrote:
            > > >
            > > > -Norm,
            > > >
            > > > Thanks for your own great write-up.
            > > >
            [snip]
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