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Re: [fukuoka_farming] On Fungus

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  • RobinFernández-Medina
    Thanks to all those responses on the issue of Fungus. I agree with Jamie and others on the result of an imbalanced ecosystem being conducive to fungal
    Message 1 of 17 , Sep 4, 2002
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      Thanks to all those responses on the issue of Fungus. I agree with Jamie and others on the result of an imbalanced ecosystem being conducive to fungal outbreaks. The land I am currently mulching and cultivating on was and is on what has always been an olive tree orchard and almond trees. Both dry tolerant. I know the old owner was using foliar sprays and this must have impacted the surroundings in ways I can only dread. Since we purchased the land two years ago we have done nothing in the line of fertilizing or clearing or anything out of choice to see what direction things took. The prescence of certain weeds indicated patches of poor soil, and the sun burn, drought, salting and mineral deficiency look was apparent. Last year we started laying cardboard and manures down on the areas we were preparing to grow veggies in the future (which turned out to be this summer). The aphids were all over in the beginnig and they thinned out to manageable levels alone, but it took a long time to see ladybugs so I am not sure what happened there. The plants showed deficiencies and the latest (which was my comment on fungus) was the spread of leaf rot and just plants dying and noticing that the fungus were clearly invading. I try to limit my watering hours and always in summer wet the soil and not the leaves. I am thinking that perhaps the close by piles of fresh grass clippings has been the focal point of this invasion. Not sure but a hunch. Its the first time I have seen dill get decimated in this fashion.
      We have a very dry climate here during our summer months. Borderline drought and drought prone areas.
      Either way, I really am just standing by and watcing how all these processes unfold during these years as the land continues to go untouched.
      Here on the grape vines we use a blue dust that suppreses rot on the grapes. I dont know what its called but the farmers tell me that it is innofensive. Is this so? Can I apply it to the area under fungal attacks as a solution?
      I would be intereseted to hear of your comments.
      Regards,
      Robin
      jamie wrote:Hello Robin,
      I can only imagine your problem is literally growing out
      of a previous imbalance that has not yet righted itself. What was the land
      you're growing your vegetables on used for previously?
      I've been using a deep mulch for my veg this year instead of watering
      with no fungal problems (I'm just over the border in France from Barcelona).
      I cleared much brushwood last winter and have used this as part of my mulch.
      I noted when spreading it early this year that although we'd had no
      appreciable rainfall over the winter there was still white rot
      (basidiomycetes) invading the twigs and leaves. It might be such an approach
      this autumn/winter might help you by introducing a competing fungus for that
      which is causing your problem - another form of innoculation of the soil,
      but if you have the brushwood it might help.

      Jamie
      Souscayrous

      ----- Original Message -----
      From: Robin Fern�ndez-Medina <flyingdebris1@...>
      To: <fukuoka_farming@yahoogroups.com>
      Sent: Monday, September 02, 2002 10:56 AM
      Subject: [fukuoka_farming] On Fungus


      >
      > Hello everyone,
      >
      > It was nice to read you last email Don Graves. I find Mychorizea a
      fascinating subject. I had the opportunity to Study with Paul Stamets in
      Washington State a few years ago. I learnt a tremendous amount on the
      importance of Fungus in the Ecosystem. In fact, so much so, that I got the
      impression that no fungus, no ecosystem. The beautiful chanterrelle and
      Bollete are two examples of Mychorizea that are enough to get you interested
      in the whole subject.
      > Now that I am on the subject, I find that in the Natural farming method,
      and doing my best to follow the "do nothing approach", the prescence of
      fungus takes a leading role in plant deaths. I always have been one to think
      of leaving all the insects do their thing and if they wasnt to eat my
      vegetables to do so until something or other brings them into balance...as
      well as interplanting other plants and such to control the spread. However,
      fungus is my biggest "pest" ( to use that word) in my Natural farming
      approach. I see it just decimate so many of my plants and trees even though,
      most of the time it doesnt kill its hosts. Fungus are very prolific, and
      some strains seem to be able to leap from one plant to the other without a
      care of type or size. Is there a way at minimizing their impact on my
      vegetable patches?
      >
      > Regards,
      >
      > Robin
      > Malaga, Spain
      >
      >
      >
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    • Chris Sawyer
      If you want to clean up the spores, try using a product called Zerotol. It is OMRI approved for certified organic operations. It works by oxidizing the spores
      Message 2 of 17 , Sep 4, 2002
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        If you want to clean up the spores, try using a product called Zerotol. It is OMRI approved for certified organic operations. It works by oxidizing the spores and can even be used as a soil drench.
        Chris Sawyer
        www.jakesfarm.com
      • jamie
        Hello again Robin, I find it useful to consider fungal problems as indicating a general problem in the health of my plants, the fungus just doing what it is
        Message 3 of 17 , Sep 4, 2002
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          Hello again Robin, I find it useful to consider fungal problems as
          indicating a general problem in the health of my plants, the fungus just
          doing what it is supposed to do, decompose dying or unhealthy plants. To put
          it more simply it's not the fungus that is the problem. But then I think you
          probably know this already. But thinking like this will help you avoid
          spraying your veg with the copper sulphate that I'm sure is what your local
          viticulters are spraying on their crops. It does indeed work well against
          certain fungal and bacterial attacks such as mildew, however, copper enters
          the soil and then remains there, as the concentration increases through
          respraying it reaches a level of toxicity toward earthworms. Here is some
          more information on copper compounds and their effects on plants (sorry I
          don't have the www address);

          >copper compounds. Copper is a foliar fungicide with protective action.
          Copper compounds can be highly toxic to many fruit crops and must be used
          with extreme care. Copper >sulfate is soluble in water. This high degree of
          solubility is the fundamental cause of toxicity problems, which copper
          sulfate can cause to all fruit crops. Fixed coppers have been >developed
          that are relatively insoluble and therefore less toxic to plants. However,
          fixed coppers can also result in phytotoxicity under certain conditions. The
          fungicidal activity of >copper is based on its ability to destroy proteins
          in plants. This is true for all plants, fungi, and fruit plants. When lime
          is combined with copper compounds, it reacts with the copper
          >making it more stable. Thus, copper compounds in the presence of lime would
          generally produce lower, more uniform concentrations of free copper, which
          in turn would be less apt >to injure plant tissues than if no lime were
          used. Because copper has the ability to kill all types of plant tissue, the
          use of copper fungicides carries with it the risk of causing injury to
          >fruit plants. Ideally, copper on the leaf or fruit surface should be high
          enough to kill the fungus or bacteria but low enough not to cause injury to
          the plant. Factors that can promote >injury include: failure to use enough
          lime; cold, wet weather conditions that apparently increase copper's
          solubility, allowing more into the plant and resulting in toxicity; and
          >application of excessive rates of copper. Even when no injury is evident on
          the plant, subtle effects of the copper on the plant may be occurring. In
          addition, to reduce growth and >yields, it has been shown that the use of
          copper fungicides can reduce the maturity of the fruit as well as that of
          the shoots. Copper fungicides can have subtle, chronic negative >impacts on
          fruit plants. Copper provides low to moderate control of many fungal and
          bacterial diseases. Fixed coppers, plus lime, are safer than Bordeaux. They
          may be used for >leaf curl control on stone fruits and pre- and postharvest
          leaf spot control on tart cherries. Copper compounds should not be applied
          in a postharvest spray without adding lime. If >copper is applied without
          lime, orchards will show toxicity symptoms such as chlorosis (yellowing),
          leaf drop on tart cherries, and necrosis (browning) on sweet cherries. If a
          >copper material is applied without lime and yellowing and leaf drop occur,
          an application of lime within 2 to 3 weeks after the copper application may
          prevent further yellowing and >leaf drop.


          I've used cardboard also this year to inhibit the growth of plants in an
          area I'm now preparing for winter veg. It has certainly worked well,
          allowing minimal 'weeding' before I seed the surface with things like
          spinach, chicory, lettuce etc. I declined the offer of manure earlier this
          year after it being suggested by Emilia that the best way to improve the
          fertility of the soil and keep it in balance was by simply using plants,
          just as happens in nature. I'd think you might very well be able to plant
          much of your land this winter with a cover crop that you could scythe and
          leave as a green mulch on the surface when you plant your veg next spring or
          even interplant amongst a cover crop such as white clover. You might want to
          look at http://www.sare.org/handbook/mccp2/index.htm for a cover crop that
          will suit your climate which, I suspect, is very similar to Southern
          California in this cover crop database (I've just remembered this one also,
          should just be what your looking for as it's aimed specifically at
          California http://www.sarep.ucdavis.edu/cgi-bin/ccrop.exe). Have a look at
          that earlier discussion on this list (from message 330 the thread is called
          to souscayrous, emilia and all and then Soil Amendments).

          You seem to be taking a patient approach to your land so rather than go in
          spraying, see if you can't ameliorate the worst of your conditions by simply
          following nature's lead by rebuilding the natural fertility of your soil
          through plants. I'm about to build some raised beds for next years crops and
          I intend planting the beds this winter with cover crops to stop erosion,
          keep the soil loose, feed the soil microorganisms and build up plant
          available nutrients. Why not order Emilia's video (which I'm sure she has in
          Spanish and I know she has in English) and we can compare notes on progress
          and keep in contact with Emilia via this group to keep us on the right path.
          Whilst the beds take a little work to build and there is some weeding
          through the first couple of season's, once the beds are established you will
          have the soil in as natural and 'wild' a state as is possible and thus a
          healthy soil that produces nutritious crops that come to resist pests and
          diseases.

          Jamie
          Souscayrous



          ----- Original Message -----
          From: Robin Fernández-Medina <flyingdebris1@...>
          To: <fukuoka_farming@yahoogroups.com>
          Sent: Wednesday, September 04, 2002 11:10 AM
          Subject: Re: [fukuoka_farming] On Fungus



          Thanks to all those responses on the issue of Fungus. I agree with Jamie and
          others on the result of an imbalanced ecosystem being conducive to fungal
          outbreaks. The land I am currently mulching and cultivating on was and is on
          what has always been an olive tree orchard and almond trees. Both dry
          tolerant. I know the old owner was using foliar sprays and this must have
          impacted the surroundings in ways I can only dread. Since we purchased the
          land two years ago we have done nothing in the line of fertilizing or
          clearing or anything out of choice to see what direction things took. The
          prescence of certain weeds indicated patches of poor soil, and the sun burn,
          drought, salting and mineral deficiency look was apparent. Last year we
          started laying cardboard and manures down on the areas we were preparing to
          grow veggies in the future (which turned out to be this summer). The aphids
          were all over in the beginnig and they thinned out to manageable levels
          alone, but it took a long time to see ladybugs so I am not sure what
          happened there. The plants showed deficiencies and the latest (which was my
          comment on fungus) was the spread of leaf rot and just plants dying and
          noticing that the fungus were clearly invading. I try to limit my watering
          hours and always in summer wet the soil and not the leaves. I am thinking
          that perhaps the close by piles of fresh grass clippings has been the focal
          point of this invasion. Not sure but a hunch. Its the first time I have seen
          dill get decimated in this fashion.
          We have a very dry climate here during our summer months. Borderline drought
          and drought prone areas.
          Either way, I really am just standing by and watcing how all these processes
          unfold during these years as the land continues to go untouched.
          Here on the grape vines we use a blue dust that suppreses rot on the grapes.
          I dont know what its called but the farmers tell me that it is innofensive.
          Is this so? Can I apply it to the area under fungal attacks as a solution?
          I would be intereseted to hear of your comments.
          Regards,
          Robin
        • RobinFernández-Medina
          Hello Jamie, Your email and information are sincerely appreciated. As a student of all these applications, I listen. Thanks for taking the time to elucidate
          Message 4 of 17 , Sep 5, 2002
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            Hello Jamie,
            Your email and information are sincerely appreciated. As a student of all these applications, I listen. Thanks for taking the time to elucidate Copper sulphates true colors. As of yet I have not used anything like that. I am really disposed to just say if its going to die, let it die. I like the idea given on this topic to just use the seed of those plants that best handled the fungus onslaught for the next season. I am a real believer in erradicating all pesticides and biocides from agriculture and the world. It makes me quite paranoid as I am sure others. I do my best to spread that word to anyone that listens and of course apply it "in situ" to our way of life. If its going to die, let it die. If you are not going to eat as a result things get more tricky, but eating copper sulphate sounds a little harsh too.
            Last week I visited an area in the North Mountains of Malaga that is a major producer of raisins. To my surprise these vines spread over all these moutains, up and down ravines, and not a drop of water. The temperature was close to 34� and the solar radiation was impressive. Anyhow what I am getting at is it was all "left alone" as its been done for centuries and every year they get great yields. No sprays or other. Quite a learning trip.
            Where can I learn of Emilias video etc.? I read some of her work and learned. I also appreciate the relief on our backs!
            Thanks again for all the input as to all others who contributed to the Fungus conversations. Its a learning curve.
            Robin



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          • jamie
            Hello Robin, living in the heartland of the vine and seeing the amount sprayed on the vines here (vinifera not raisin) I find it hard to believe that grapes
            Message 5 of 17 , Sep 5, 2002
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              Hello Robin, living in the heartland of the vine and seeing the amount
              sprayed on the vines here (vinifera not raisin) I find it hard to believe
              that grapes can be grown without any spraying at all (and also immensely
              gladdened). The sun and the aridity I can understand, vines are impressive
              in their ability to withstand poor conditions, how else could they still
              grow in the practically dead earth around here.


              The Synergistic Garden Video Tape By Emilia Hazelip
              Las Encantadas, BP 217, F-11306 Limoux-Cedex, France
              Tel/Fax 33+46-83-15-111
              emhaz@...

              Whilst the initial digging of the raised beds would not appear to initially
              favour Natural Farming practices, the actual effect of the raised beds is to
              ensure the fertility of the soil and then maintain it in a wild state. You
              can see photos of her raised beds and veg on Jim Bones' Seedballs site
              (http://www.seedballs.com/hazelip.html) and a useful cropping plan for the
              raised beds over their first three seasons (though being near Malaga you'll
              need to develop the plan to your semi-tropical climate from its temperate
              perspective).


              Jamie
              Souscayrous


              ----- Original Message -----
              From: Robin Fernández-Medina <flyingdebris1@...>
              To: <fukuoka_farming@yahoogroups.com>
              Sent: Thursday, September 05, 2002 12:15 PM
              Subject: Re: [fukuoka_farming] On Fungus




              Hello Jamie,
              Your email and information are sincerely appreciated. As a student of all
              these applications, I listen. Thanks for taking the time to elucidate Copper
              sulphates true colors. As of yet I have not used anything like that. I am
              really disposed to just say if its going to die, let it die. I like the idea
              given on this topic to just use the seed of those plants that best handled
              the fungus onslaught for the next season. I am a real believer in
              erradicating all pesticides and biocides from agriculture and the world. It
              makes me quite paranoid as I am sure others. I do my best to spread that
              word to anyone that listens and of course apply it "in situ" to our way of
              life. If its going to die, let it die. If you are not going to eat as a
              result things get more tricky, but eating copper sulphate sounds a little
              harsh too.
              Last week I visited an area in the North Mountains of Malaga that is a major
              producer of raisins. To my surprise these vines spread over all these
              moutains, up and down ravines, and not a drop of water. The temperature was
              close to 34º and the solar radiation was impressive. Anyhow what I am
              getting at is it was all "left alone" as its been done for centuries and
              every year they get great yields. No sprays or other. Quite a learning trip.
              Where can I learn of Emilias video etc.? I read some of her work and
              learned. I also appreciate the relief on our backs!
              Thanks again for all the input as to all others who contributed to the
              Fungus conversations. Its a learning curve.
              Robin



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