Loading ...
Sorry, an error occurred while loading the content.

starting NF

Expand Messages
  • grannis04
    Thomas and all, I did not till prior to starting. The ground was a garden 10 years ago but has been grasses,clover etc. since then. my focus now is on growing
    Message 1 of 8 , Mar 2, 2009
    • 0 Attachment
      Thomas and all,
      I did not till prior to starting. The ground was a
      garden 10 years ago but has been grasses,clover etc. since then. my
      focus now is on growing corn and beans because they are basic staple
      foods that make a complete protein when eaten. These plants should be
      a foundation for self-sustainability.
      In the spring I choose a section of ground I wish to grow on.
      This would be in early may when the grasses are starting to grow but
      the temperature is still too cold to plant. I use a scythe or a push
      lawn mower w/bag to cut the area once the growth is starting to speed
      up. This first cut should be cut very low, almost earth level. These
      cuttings are then piled where I intend to grow, either rows or beds or
      whatever you choose. These piles of mulch will remain in place for two
      to three weeks. When the planting conditions permit pull back the
      mulch and cut the ground covers back quite low one more time. The
      seeds are then placed on top of the ground and gently pressed to the
      surface to get some contact. I have also just broadcast seed with good
      results as well. I then apply a small amount (1/2") of finished
      compost or sifted soil over the seed. I mainly do this to hide the
      seed from birds and to get the moisture up. Over this i lay a thin
      layer of grass cuttings from the last cut I made. When the seed
      sprouts and primary leaves are out I start to move the previously
      removed mulch back up close to the plants. The plants are thinned to
      appropriate spacings and then mulched more closely. Here to note that
      the mulch layers I use are never over 3" or 4"in depth. I will
      continue to cut the paths and apply the cuttings through out the
      season. I will also apply small amounts of chicken litter on top of
      mulch layer two or three times. Some areas are only mulches with no
      chicken and they also do well. Your growing season work is mainly
      cutting and applying the cut materials. I call this moving the Qi.
      Matter is neither created or destroyed, it only changes form. So we
      move plant material from the paths and apply it to the crop and we
      grow natural, bio-regulated plants that feed us. A word on mulch too,
      by applying mulch,(feeding) our plants we are getting the full benefit
      of that plant material with all of it's nutrition without having an
      animal made out of it first. I've also spent a lot of time on my
      stomach lifting up mulch layers to watch what was going on under
      there. From what I've witnessed going on and from what I understand
      all the nutrition happens right at the top layer of soil.
      Steve G.
    • thomcprestes
      hello Steve, thank you very much for your message. I m about to start some experiments and it s very useful and inspiring to hear from other people. best
      Message 2 of 8 , Mar 2, 2009
      • 0 Attachment
        hello Steve,

        thank you very much for your message.

        I'm about to start some experiments and it's very useful and inspiring
        to hear from other people.

        best regards,

        thomas

        ps: i just noticed that somehow i ended up deleting the post in which
        i asked you to tell more about your experience...

        --- In fukuoka_farming@yahoogroups.com, "grannis04" <grannis04@...> wrote:
        >
        > Thomas and all,
        > I did not till prior to starting. The ground was a
        > garden 10 years ago but has been grasses,clover etc. since then. my
        > focus now is on growing corn and beans because they are basic staple
        > foods that make a complete protein when eaten. These plants should be
        > a foundation for self-sustainability.
        > In the spring I choose a section of ground I wish to grow on.
        > This would be in early may when the grasses are starting to grow but
        > the temperature is still too cold to plant. I use a scythe or a push
        > lawn mower w/bag to cut the area once the growth is starting to speed
        > up. This first cut should be cut very low, almost earth level. These
        > cuttings are then piled where I intend to grow, either rows or beds or
        > whatever you choose. These piles of mulch will remain in place for two
        > to three weeks. When the planting conditions permit pull back the
        > mulch and cut the ground covers back quite low one more time. The
        > seeds are then placed on top of the ground and gently pressed to the
        > surface to get some contact. I have also just broadcast seed with good
        > results as well. I then apply a small amount (1/2") of finished
        > compost or sifted soil over the seed. I mainly do this to hide the
        > seed from birds and to get the moisture up. Over this i lay a thin
        > layer of grass cuttings from the last cut I made. When the seed
        > sprouts and primary leaves are out I start to move the previously
        > removed mulch back up close to the plants. The plants are thinned to
        > appropriate spacings and then mulched more closely. Here to note that
        > the mulch layers I use are never over 3" or 4"in depth. I will
        > continue to cut the paths and apply the cuttings through out the
        > season. I will also apply small amounts of chicken litter on top of
        > mulch layer two or three times. Some areas are only mulches with no
        > chicken and they also do well. Your growing season work is mainly
        > cutting and applying the cut materials. I call this moving the Qi.
        > Matter is neither created or destroyed, it only changes form. So we
        > move plant material from the paths and apply it to the crop and we
        > grow natural, bio-regulated plants that feed us. A word on mulch too,
        > by applying mulch,(feeding) our plants we are getting the full benefit
        > of that plant material with all of it's nutrition without having an
        > animal made out of it first. I've also spent a lot of time on my
        > stomach lifting up mulch layers to watch what was going on under
        > there. From what I've witnessed going on and from what I understand
        > all the nutrition happens right at the top layer of soil.
        > Steve G.
        >
      • Robert Monie
        Hi,   Yes, Steve seems to have plugged into a fertility cycle by mulching what naturally grows and sowing into the thin covering of plant litter. This is an
        Message 3 of 8 , Mar 3, 2009
        • 0 Attachment
          Hi,
           
          Yes, Steve seems to have plugged into a fertility cycle by mulching what naturally grows and sowing into the thin covering of plant litter. This is an entry point or portal to the cyclical forces of natural farming which might as well be called "Qi" as "Mu." The simplicity of this natural fertility cycle eludes human understanding, yet there it is!  You have to "do" something to get to it, yet there is nothing you can "do" to make it happen. So it is both a "do" and a "do nothing" proposition. Of particular note is that Steve entered the cycle without using many of the props others consider essential, such as raw organic material buried in the ground, or seedballs, or acacia. His use of a thin scattering of compost or soil over the seeds obviates the need for anything as elaborate as seedball coatings, and his observation that the seeds sprout with or without the boost of chicken manure also rings true. My only suggestion is that he try to grow some
          greens (kale, bok choy, cabbage, napa cabbage, gai lan, collards, turnips) along with the corn and beans for greater diversity, more vitamins, and more phytochemicals in the soil (and in his diet). 
           
          Best of luck, Steve. Please continue to update your natural farming adventures with us.
           
          Bob Monie
          New Orleans, La 70119
          USA
          Zone 8

          --- On Mon, 3/2/09, thomcprestes <thomcprestes@...> wrote:

          From: thomcprestes <thomcprestes@...>
          Subject: [fukuoka_farming] Re: starting NF
          To: fukuoka_farming@yahoogroups.com
          Date: Monday, March 2, 2009, 5:55 PM






          hello Steve,

          thank you very much for your message.

          I'm about to start some experiments and it's very useful and inspiring
          to hear from other people.

          best regards,

          thomas

          ps: i just noticed that somehow i ended up deleting the post in which
          i asked you to tell more about your experience.. .

          --- In fukuoka_farming@ yahoogroups. com, "grannis04" <grannis04@. ..> wrote:
          >
          > Thomas and all,
          > I did not till prior to starting. The ground was a
          > garden 10 years ago but has been grasses,clover etc. since then. my
          > focus now is on growing corn and beans because they are basic staple
          > foods that make a complete protein when eaten. These plants should be
          > a foundation for self-sustainability .
          > In the spring I choose a section of ground I wish to grow on.
          > This would be in early may when the grasses are starting to grow but
          > the temperature is still too cold to plant. I use a scythe or a push
          > lawn mower w/bag to cut the area once the growth is starting to speed
          > up. This first cut should be cut very low, almost earth level. These
          > cuttings are then piled where I intend to grow, either rows or beds or
          > whatever you choose. These piles of mulch will remain in place for two
          > to three weeks. When the planting conditions permit pull back the
          > mulch and cut the ground covers back quite low one more time. The
          > seeds are then placed on top of the ground and gently pressed to the
          > surface to get some contact. I have also just broadcast seed with good
          > results as well. I then apply a small amount (1/2") of finished
          > compost or sifted soil over the seed. I mainly do this to hide the
          > seed from birds and to get the moisture up. Over this i lay a thin
          > layer of grass cuttings from the last cut I made. When the seed
          > sprouts and primary leaves are out I start to move the previously
          > removed mulch back up close to the plants. The plants are thinned to
          > appropriate spacings and then mulched more closely. Here to note that
          > the mulch layers I use are never over 3" or 4"in depth. I will
          > continue to cut the paths and apply the cuttings through out the
          > season. I will also apply small amounts of chicken litter on top of
          > mulch layer two or three times. Some areas are only mulches with no
          > chicken and they also do well. Your growing season work is mainly
          > cutting and applying the cut materials. I call this moving the Qi.
          > Matter is neither created or destroyed, it only changes form. So we
          > move plant material from the paths and apply it to the crop and we
          > grow natural, bio-regulated plants that feed us. A word on mulch too,
          > by applying mulch,(feeding) our plants we are getting the full benefit
          > of that plant material with all of it's nutrition without having an
          > animal made out of it first. I've also spent a lot of time on my
          > stomach lifting up mulch layers to watch what was going on under
          > there. From what I've witnessed going on and from what I understand
          > all the nutrition happens right at the top layer of soil.
          > Steve G.
          >
















          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        • Steven McCollough
          To all, I have used a similar technique on hay/pasture land, sorry no pictures. First the field is mowed in strips about 6 feet wide with all the mulch thrown
          Message 4 of 8 , Mar 3, 2009
          • 0 Attachment
            To all,

            I have used a similar technique on hay/pasture land, sorry no pictures.
            First the field is mowed in strips about 6 feet wide with all the mulch
            thrown into narrow windrows. The higher growth in the windrows helps to
            hold the flying mulch. This is continued for the year. During the
            winter the snow piles up in the windrows as well which really helps the
            summer dry period. The following year planting proceeds in what is now
            a very light growth because of the smothering affect of mulching.
            Perennial grasses are weakened in this way and although I can't prove
            it, it seems the worms and such migrate to the windrows.

            I don't use any of Steve's other techniques and am thinking about it
            now. Because the windrows are so wide, the second year mowing between
            rows can start another windrow between the previous windrows.
            Alternatively, I use the mowing mulch up against the emerging crops
            grown for that year. Because of weather extremes in my area, most of my
            plantings are started plants. I am experimenting with scythe and rake
            now. I will also try a technique that will migrate the windrows
            annually, offset from the previous year and progressing across the
            unused six feet of space between rows. Hopefully this is a sustainable
            method.

            All attempts to scatter seeds, seedballs, and legumes have been overcome
            by perennial grasses to this point except red clover and trefoil are
            starting to represent a minor element in the pastures. It is
            interesting to note that most of this land has had hay taken off of it
            for years with subsequent drain on the soil. In one place were it is
            difficult to get to, the field got cut only often enough to keep
            saplings from springing up. This area maintains the best growth and no
            persistent perennial grass, only annual grasses and the soil is soft and
            pliable. What really surprises me is these fields haven't been
            harvested for more than ten years and still the soil drain is severe.
            The consequences of our actions are truly long term.

            Steven McCollough
            UP of Michigan USA

            >
            > >
            > > Thomas and all,
            > > I did not till prior to starting. The ground was a
            > > garden 10 years ago but has been grasses,clover etc. since then. my
            > > focus now is on growing corn and beans because they are basic staple
            > > foods that make a complete protein when eaten. These plants should be
            > > a foundation for self-sustainability .
            > > In the spring I choose a section of ground I wish to grow on.
            > > This would be in early may when the grasses are starting to grow but
            > > the temperature is still too cold to plant. I use a scythe or a push
            > > lawn mower w/bag to cut the area once the growth is starting to speed
            > > up. This first cut should be cut very low, almost earth level. These
            > > cuttings are then piled where I intend to grow, either rows or beds or
            > > whatever you choose. These piles of mulch will remain in place for two
            > > to three weeks. When the planting conditions permit pull back the
            > > mulch and cut the ground covers back quite low one more time. The
            > > seeds are then placed on top of the ground and gently pressed to the
            > > surface to get some contact. I have also just broadcast seed with good
            > > results as well. I then apply a small amount (1/2") of finished
            > > compost or sifted soil over the seed. I mainly do this to hide the
            > > seed from birds and to get the moisture up. Over this i lay a thin
            > > layer of grass cuttings from the last cut I made. When the seed
            > > sprouts and primary leaves are out I start to move the previously
            > > removed mulch back up close to the plants. The plants are thinned to
            > > appropriate spacings and then mulched more closely. Here to note that
            > > the mulch layers I use are never over 3" or 4"in depth. I will
            > > continue to cut the paths and apply the cuttings through out the
            > > season. I will also apply small amounts of chicken litter on top of
            > > mulch layer two or three times. Some areas are only mulches with no
            > > chicken and they also do well. Your growing season work is mainly
            > > cutting and applying the cut materials. I call this moving the Qi.
            > > Matter is neither created or destroyed, it only changes form. So we
            > > move plant material from the paths and apply it to the crop and we
            > > grow natural, bio-regulated plants that feed us. A word on mulch too,
            > > by applying mulch,(feeding) our plants we are getting the full benefit
            > > of that plant material with all of it's nutrition without having an
            > > animal made out of it first. I've also spent a lot of time on my
            > > stomach lifting up mulch layers to watch what was going on under
            > > there. From what I've witnessed going on and from what I understand
            > > all the nutrition happens right at the top layer of soil.
            > > Steve G.
            > >
            >
            >
            >
            > __._
          • grannis04
            To Robert, Steven and all, Robert, thanks for the feedback. I also grow a wide variety of crops because my main goal has always been to supply the family and
            Message 5 of 8 , Mar 3, 2009
            • 0 Attachment
              To Robert, Steven and all,
              Robert, thanks for the feedback. I also grow a wide
              variety of crops because my main goal has always been to supply the
              family and neighbors with the best quality produce. I have been
              integrating NF for about four years. I grow garlic, peas, lettuce,
              cucumbers, squashes, pumpkins, sunflower, tomatoes, many culinary and
              medicinal herbs. The corn and beans are an attempt to supply a grain
              for basic foodstuffs. This year I plan to refine methods for the small
              seed crops that are slow to mature and need more attention when they
              are vulnerable. I think that they need a heavier mulch maintained over
              a full season so that the repression of growth is enough so that the
              seedlings can get going. Thanks for recognizing the do and do nothing
              balance, this is the real joy in NF to find the "portals or points of
              entry".
              Steven your experience seems to parallel mine. Your
              climate is similar. The six foot wide rows seem wide but is that what
              your equipment dictates? With the scythe any shape of bed can be
              maintained and there is no compaction of soil. The only drawback is in
              large scale application the scythe would need more people, so machines
              will probably be adapted similar to the low-till machinery developed
              by farmers trying to use cover cropping techniques. I can see a series
              of mowers independently set to achieve cutting heights. I also have
              hay land that was overused however if the soil is mulched and clover
              added to the area, it can be used after one growing season. You said
              your land was drained but this is reparable in a short time with the
              cooperation of nature.
              Good Growing, Steve G.






















              - In fukuoka_farming@yahoogroups.com, Steven McCollough <steb@...> wrote:
              >
              > To all,
              >
              > I have used a similar technique on hay/pasture land, sorry no
              pictures.
              > First the field is mowed in strips about 6 feet wide with all the mulch
              > thrown into narrow windrows. The higher growth in the windrows
              helps to
              > hold the flying mulch. This is continued for the year. During the
              > winter the snow piles up in the windrows as well which really helps the
              > summer dry period. The following year planting proceeds in what is now
              > a very light growth because of the smothering affect of mulching.
              > Perennial grasses are weakened in this way and although I can't prove
              > it, it seems the worms and such migrate to the windrows.
              >
              > I don't use any of Steve's other techniques and am thinking about it
              > now. Because the windrows are so wide, the second year mowing between
              > rows can start another windrow between the previous windrows.
              > Alternatively, I use the mowing mulch up against the emerging crops
              > grown for that year. Because of weather extremes in my area, most
              of my
              > plantings are started plants. I am experimenting with scythe and rake
              > now. I will also try a technique that will migrate the windrows
              > annually, offset from the previous year and progressing across the
              > unused six feet of space between rows. Hopefully this is a sustainable
              > method.
              >
              > All attempts to scatter seeds, seedballs, and legumes have been
              overcome
              > by perennial grasses to this point except red clover and trefoil are
              > starting to represent a minor element in the pastures. It is
              > interesting to note that most of this land has had hay taken off of it
              > for years with subsequent drain on the soil. In one place were it is
              > difficult to get to, the field got cut only often enough to keep
              > saplings from springing up. This area maintains the best growth and no
              > persistent perennial grass, only annual grasses and the soil is soft
              and
              > pliable. What really surprises me is these fields haven't been
              > harvested for more than ten years and still the soil drain is severe.
              > The consequences of our actions are truly long term.
              >
              > Steven McCollough
              > UP of Michigan USA
              >
              > >
              > > >
              > > > Thomas and all,
              > > > I did not till prior to starting. The ground was a
              > > > garden 10 years ago but has been grasses,clover etc. since then. my
              > > > focus now is on growing corn and beans because they are basic staple
              > > > foods that make a complete protein when eaten. These plants
              should be
              > > > a foundation for self-sustainability .
              > > > In the spring I choose a section of ground I wish to grow on.
              > > > This would be in early may when the grasses are starting to grow but
              > > > the temperature is still too cold to plant. I use a scythe or a push
              > > > lawn mower w/bag to cut the area once the growth is starting to
              speed
              > > > up. This first cut should be cut very low, almost earth level. These
              > > > cuttings are then piled where I intend to grow, either rows or
              beds or
              > > > whatever you choose. These piles of mulch will remain in place
              for two
              > > > to three weeks. When the planting conditions permit pull back the
              > > > mulch and cut the ground covers back quite low one more time. The
              > > > seeds are then placed on top of the ground and gently pressed to the
              > > > surface to get some contact. I have also just broadcast seed
              with good
              > > > results as well. I then apply a small amount (1/2") of finished
              > > > compost or sifted soil over the seed. I mainly do this to hide the
              > > > seed from birds and to get the moisture up. Over this i lay a thin
              > > > layer of grass cuttings from the last cut I made. When the seed
              > > > sprouts and primary leaves are out I start to move the previously
              > > > removed mulch back up close to the plants. The plants are thinned to
              > > > appropriate spacings and then mulched more closely. Here to note
              that
              > > > the mulch layers I use are never over 3" or 4"in depth. I will
              > > > continue to cut the paths and apply the cuttings through out the
              > > > season. I will also apply small amounts of chicken litter on top of
              > > > mulch layer two or three times. Some areas are only mulches with no
              > > > chicken and they also do well. Your growing season work is mainly
              > > > cutting and applying the cut materials. I call this moving the Qi.
              > > > Matter is neither created or destroyed, it only changes form. So we
              > > > move plant material from the paths and apply it to the crop and we
              > > > grow natural, bio-regulated plants that feed us. A word on mulch
              too,
              > > > by applying mulch,(feeding) our plants we are getting the full
              benefit
              > > > of that plant material with all of it's nutrition without having an
              > > > animal made out of it first. I've also spent a lot of time on my
              > > > stomach lifting up mulch layers to watch what was going on under
              > > > there. From what I've witnessed going on and from what I understand
              > > > all the nutrition happens right at the top layer of soil.
              > > > Steve G.
              > > >
              > >
              > >
              > >
              > > __._
              >
            • Lawrence Haftl
              Steven McCollough wrote: All attempts to scatter seeds, seedballs, and legumes have been overcome by perennial grasses to this point except red clover and
              Message 6 of 8 , Mar 3, 2009
              • 0 Attachment
                Steven McCollough wrote:

                "All attempts to scatter seeds, seedballs, and legumes have been overcome
                by perennial grasses to this point except red clover and trefoil are
                starting to represent a minor element in the pastures."

                I had the same problem in Oregon. Perennial grass is highly aleopathic. It
                emits a chemical that is a very effective herbicide which keeps seeds of
                other plants from growing. I found only two ways to stop this. One was to
                remove the grass in late winter/very early spring using a sod cutting
                machine and then plant seeds in the exposed earth. The other method was much
                less mechanical and more in tune with natural farming. It was to cut the
                grass very short in late fall and then cover it with a deep layer of straw.
                At least a foot deep to keep sunlight from reaching the soil and grass.
                Starting in very early spring every few weeks you take a pitchfork, slip it
                under the pile of straw and lift it up and then let it fall back. This
                lifting lets the fresh grass sprouts that managed to grow up through the
                mulch to be re-buried by the straw mulch and rot rather than grow. By early
                summer I was able to plant in the mulch by exposing pockets of soil and
                planting into them leaving the rest of the mulch in place to continue
                suppressing/smothering the grass. By covering the grass with the straw mulch
                before the ground freezes it lets the soil stay a bit warmer and makes it
                easier to warm up in spring. Direct sunlight hitting the exposed pockets
                also speeds warming of the soil up to a temperature needed to germinate
                seeds.

                Larry
                http://fukuokafarmingol.info

                P.S. Work on revising the Fukuoka Farming website is progressing. It is
                taking more time than I'd hoped but is finally beginning to look and
                function the way I'd hoped. I should be ready for some beta testing by some
                of you in about one more week. The main changes are that it will be far more
                interactive with a blog and the ability to upload images to illustrate user
                comments and articles. Being a website rather than a Yahoo forum will give
                greater exposure to search engines and the global Internet community along
                with easier access by not requiring people to join Yahoo groups unless they
                want to participate in this forum. It will also be possible for people to
                get emails with new content as it is posted much the way this forum does.
                The website is still designed as a companion resource to this forum and not
                as a replacement.
              • Robert Monie
                Hi Larry,   Perennial grasses are the source of fertility in the prairies of the world. Our prairies in the US are made of switchgrass, Indian grass, bluestem
                Message 7 of 8 , Mar 3, 2009
                • 0 Attachment
                  Hi Larry,
                   
                  Perennial grasses are the source of fertility in the prairies of the world. Our prairies in the US are made of switchgrass, Indian grass, bluestem and other perennials.  Their roots create soil and build glomalin levels that give the soil coherence--staving off erosion and dust bowling. If the main effect of perennial grasses was alleopathic, food production would be impossible on prairie land,
                   
                  In my own garden in sultry New Orleans, I deliberately grow masses ("alley crops") of Vetiver grass rows, alternating with lemon grass. Not only does Vetier not produce an alleopathic effect, it actually lends nutrients to adjacent plants, a property well known to cocoa and banana farmers who use it to protect their main crops, above- and below-ground.
                   
                  Of course some types of perennial grass are noxious weeds, difficult to eradicate and bitter enemies of adjacent food plants.   But let's not indite the whole family for the misdeeds of certain species.
                   
                  Bob Monie
                  New Orleans
                  Zone 8

                  --- On Tue, 3/3/09, Lawrence Haftl <lawrence@...> wrote:

                  From: Lawrence Haftl <lawrence@...>
                  Subject: Re: [fukuoka_farming] Re: starting NF
                  To: fukuoka_farming@yahoogroups.com
                  Date: Tuesday, March 3, 2009, 12:22 PM






                  Steven McCollough wrote:

                  "All attempts to scatter seeds, seedballs, and legumes have been overcome
                  by perennial grasses to this point except red clover and trefoil are
                  starting to represent a minor element in the pastures."

                  I had the same problem in Oregon. Perennial grass is highly aleopathic. It
                  emits a chemical that is a very effective herbicide which keeps seeds of
                  other plants from growing. I found only two ways to stop this. One was to
                  remove the grass in late winter/very early spring using a sod cutting
                  machine and then plant seeds in the exposed earth. The other method was much
                  less mechanical and more in tune with natural farming. It was to cut the
                  grass very short in late fall and then cover it with a deep layer of straw.
                  At least a foot deep to keep sunlight from reaching the soil and grass.
                  Starting in very early spring every few weeks you take a pitchfork, slip it
                  under the pile of straw and lift it up and then let it fall back. This
                  lifting lets the fresh grass sprouts that managed to grow up through the
                  mulch to be re-buried by the straw mulch and rot rather than grow. By early
                  summer I was able to plant in the mulch by exposing pockets of soil and
                  planting into them leaving the rest of the mulch in place to continue
                  suppressing/ smothering the grass. By covering the grass with the straw mulch
                  before the ground freezes it lets the soil stay a bit warmer and makes it
                  easier to warm up in spring. Direct sunlight hitting the exposed pockets
                  also speeds warming of the soil up to a temperature needed to germinate
                  seeds.

                  Larry
                  http://fukuokafarmi ngol.info

                  P.S. Work on revising the Fukuoka Farming website is progressing. It is
                  taking more time than I'd hoped but is finally beginning to look and
                  function the way I'd hoped. I should be ready for some beta testing by some
                  of you in about one more week. The main changes are that it will be far more
                  interactive with a blog and the ability to upload images to illustrate user
                  comments and articles. Being a website rather than a Yahoo forum will give
                  greater exposure to search engines and the global Internet community along
                  with easier access by not requiring people to join Yahoo groups unless they
                  want to participate in this forum. It will also be possible for people to
                  get emails with new content as it is posted much the way this forum does.
                  The website is still designed as a companion resource to this forum and not
                  as a replacement.
















                  [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                • Lawrence Haftl
                  Hi Bob, I certainly agree that the allelopathic effect definitely varies from species to species both in type and strength of toxicity to neighboring plants.
                  Message 8 of 8 , Mar 3, 2009
                  • 0 Attachment
                    Hi Bob,

                    I certainly agree that the allelopathic effect definitely varies from species to species both in type and strength of toxicity to neighboring plants. The only seeds I got to resist/overcome the allelopathic effects of the native grasses I had in Oregon was clover and that was spotty at best. Did get a fair number of four-leaf clovers out of the patches though. Sowing seed balls and seeds in the grass failed. Certainly insects and birds took their toll, but sowing the same type of seed balls and seeds on exposed soil worked. A lot of the plants germinated despite having the same population of birds and insects.

                    The prairie grasses certainly contributed to/built fertility on the plains but the only way farmers were able to use that fertility was to plow the grasses under and plant into the freshly exposed soil. A variation on the sod-cutting technique I experimented with.

                    I still really enjoy your posts.

                    Larry
                    http://fukuokafarmingol.info

                    ----- Original Message -----
                    From: Robert Monie
                    To: fukuoka_farming@yahoogroups.com
                    Sent: Tuesday, March 03, 2009 1:05 PM
                    Subject: Re: [fukuoka_farming] Re: starting NF


                    Hi Larry,

                    Perennial grasses are the source of fertility in the prairies of the world. Our prairies in the US are made of switchgrass, Indian grass, bluestem and other perennials. Their roots create soil and build glomalin levels that give the soil coherence--staving off erosion and dust bowling. If the main effect of perennial grasses was alleopathic, food production would be impossible on prairie land,

                    In my own garden in sultry New Orleans, I deliberately grow masses ("alley crops") of Vetiver grass rows, alternating with lemon grass. Not only does Vetier not produce an alleopathic effect, it actually lends nutrients to adjacent plants, a property well known to cocoa and banana farmers who use it to protect their main crops, above- and below-ground.

                    Of course some types of perennial grass are noxious weeds, difficult to eradicate and bitter enemies of adjacent food plants. But let's not indite the whole family for the misdeeds of certain species.

                    Bob Monie
                    New Orleans
                    Zone 8

                    --- On Tue, 3/3/09, Lawrence Haftl <lawrence@...> wrote:

                    From: Lawrence Haftl <lawrence@...>
                    Subject: Re: [fukuoka_farming] Re: starting NF
                    To: fukuoka_farming@yahoogroups.com
                    Date: Tuesday, March 3, 2009, 12:22 PM

                    Steven McCollough wrote:

                    "All attempts to scatter seeds, seedballs, and legumes have been overcome
                    by perennial grasses to this point except red clover and trefoil are
                    starting to represent a minor element in the pastures."

                    I had the same problem in Oregon. Perennial grass is highly aleopathic. It
                    emits a chemical that is a very effective herbicide which keeps seeds of
                    other plants from growing. I found only two ways to stop this. One was to
                    remove the grass in late winter/very early spring using a sod cutting
                    machine and then plant seeds in the exposed earth. The other method was much
                    less mechanical and more in tune with natural farming. It was to cut the
                    grass very short in late fall and then cover it with a deep layer of straw.
                    At least a foot deep to keep sunlight from reaching the soil and grass.
                    Starting in very early spring every few weeks you take a pitchfork, slip it
                    under the pile of straw and lift it up and then let it fall back. This
                    lifting lets the fresh grass sprouts that managed to grow up through the
                    mulch to be re-buried by the straw mulch and rot rather than grow. By early
                    summer I was able to plant in the mulch by exposing pockets of soil and
                    planting into them leaving the rest of the mulch in place to continue
                    suppressing/ smothering the grass. By covering the grass with the straw mulch
                    before the ground freezes it lets the soil stay a bit warmer and makes it
                    easier to warm up in spring. Direct sunlight hitting the exposed pockets
                    also speeds warming of the soil up to a temperature needed to germinate
                    seeds.

                    Larry
                    http://fukuokafarmi ngol.info

                    P.S. Work on revising the Fukuoka Farming website is progressing. It is
                    taking more time than I'd hoped but is finally beginning to look and
                    function the way I'd hoped. I should be ready for some beta testing by some
                    of you in about one more week. The main changes are that it will be far more
                    interactive with a blog and the ability to upload images to illustrate user
                    comments and articles. Being a website rather than a Yahoo forum will give
                    greater exposure to search engines and the global Internet community along
                    with easier access by not requiring people to join Yahoo groups unless they
                    want to participate in this forum. It will also be possible for people to
                    get emails with new content as it is posted much the way this forum does.
                    The website is still designed as a companion resource to this forum and not
                    as a replacement.

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




                    [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                  Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.