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masanobu fukuoka

larry korn
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Joined: May 17, 2009
Posts: 118
Location: Ashland, Oregon
    
  25
I think I was, Travis, but when I looked up above I couldn't find the reference.  It was about a neighbor farmer's field that had been cropped then fallowed and various weeds like thistle and horsetail came up.  Maybe I mixed up the threads, or should we call them hyphae?


onestrawrevolution.com
There is no time in modern agriculture for a farmer to write poetry or compose a song -- Masanobu Fukuoka
Travis Philp
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Joined: Dec 28, 2009
Posts: 951
Location: ZONE 5a Lindsay Ontario Canada
    
    8
Ah yes, that was my question regarding my neighbor. Thanks for the response.

What would you suggest as to how to determine when the rehabilitation has come far enough along that a grain crop could be planted in such a field? Is it as simple as noticing the 'weed' population drop significantly, or doing a test digging at a few spots in the field to examine the structure? Or am I way off? I guess it may depend on which grain crop he had in mind, and I cannot at this time say what it is but for arguements sake lets say rye grass as that is what he has in there currently.


http://www.greenshireecofarms.com
Zone 5a in Central Ontario, Canada
larry korn
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Joined: May 17, 2009
Posts: 118
Location: Ashland, Oregon
    
  25
Good question.  No set answer.  It will take more than one season, but probably not more than two.  The quickest way to get it going would be to disc in the soil building crop to a depth of not more than a few inches.  This will leave the roots in the soil to decompose and will put the tops in touch with the soil to begin creating a rich surface layer.  It would be nice if you could clip the troublesome weeds before they flower, but thistle and horsetail present special problems, don't they.
Travis Philp
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Joined: Dec 28, 2009
Posts: 951
Location: ZONE 5a Lindsay Ontario Canada
    
    8
My friend has a discing machine (I haven't a clue what its technical name is) so he'd probably end up doing that instead of mowing. I would have thought though, that the weight of the tractor and disc'er on the field would be more detrimental than beneficial to already compacted soil structure. This is not the case?

How would you suggest determining the most effective ratio of seeds for each plant type that you have recommended? Or is that too hard to say given the little amount of information on the field?
larry korn
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Joined: May 17, 2009
Posts: 118
Location: Ashland, Oregon
    
  25
There's no technical name for it.  It's a contraption pulled behind a tractor.  Using plants for soil building will be more beneficial than the problem of making one or two passes over the field.  It's just to get things going.  I have no idea of seed quantities.  You should be able to get that sort of information from local farmers or the seed supplier.  They will all still remember what you are doing...it's a variation on basic good soil conservation practices from the 50's and 60's.
Travis Philp
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Joined: Dec 28, 2009
Posts: 951
Location: ZONE 5a Lindsay Ontario Canada
    
    8
Just to make sure we're talking about the same thing, I'm not asking about seeds per acre when I asked about seed ratios. I'm wondering how much of each type of seed should be used compared to each of the other types aka how much land coverage for each plant type (eg. 70% grass, 20% legume, 10% mustards/radish)

Maybe I'm misunderstanding your reply and if so I apologize for all of this confusion.
                    


Joined: Oct 23, 2011
Posts: 0
When I saw Fukuoka's rice/barley fields that hadn't been plowed for more than 25 years and yet achieved the yields of conventional farmers I immediately understood its significance.  This was the example no one knew existed!  I dropped what I was doing and became committed to making his understanding and techniques available to the rest of the world. (LK)


I had a similar, though definitely not as intense, feeling when I was first reading The Natural Way of Farming (borrowed the book from the library at the PDC in new zealand).  "THIS is the way! THIS is what we need!  THIS is so important!  I want to live and grow food in this way!" 

Cannot tell you how much we're looking forward to the course at Sahale!  My partner hasn't had a permaculture course experience yet, I'm almost more excited for him because of his virginness....ha!  It's impossible to walk away without a life changing experience, wherever it is and whoever is teaching....but we get to sit at the foot of Fukuoka (almost)! 

!!! 
larry korn
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Joined: May 17, 2009
Posts: 118
Location: Ashland, Oregon
    
  25
Hey Travis,  Grain seeds are huge compared to tiny clover seeds and radish/mustard seeds are somewhere in between.  That's usually taken into account when you buy a mix.  It's not by weight and I don't know how to figure out how much of each you would need.  They are usually okay with grass/legume mixes.  Then ask how many pounds it takes to seed an acre with mustard and add it to the mix if it isn't already in there.  You can't seed too much clover, but you really don't want to seed too much grass.
larry korn
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Joined: May 17, 2009
Posts: 118
Location: Ashland, Oregon
    
  25
Marina,  It looks as though the course will fill (barely).  We could use another three of four students, but it looks like we may just scrape by.  Looking forward to meeting you and your partner.
Travis Philp
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Joined: Dec 28, 2009
Posts: 951
Location: ZONE 5a Lindsay Ontario Canada
    
    8
Thanks for your input everyone. I'm seeing this friend of mine tomorrow so I'll bring up the field in question and the ideas that have sprouted in this thread if it seems appropriate. I'll give an update if anything comes of it.
Travis Philp
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Joined: Dec 28, 2009
Posts: 951
Location: ZONE 5a Lindsay Ontario Canada
    
    8
So I talked to my farmer friend on sunday and mentioned what Larry recommended, and who Larry was (in the hopes that his credibilty would lend weight to my suggestion. It was met with luke-warm, minimal response. He said that he doesn't think the field is compacted and that he's probably going to just put in an annual rye crop.

He seemed sceptical of the 1-2 year timeframe of rehabilitating with the nitrogen fixer/grass/mustard mix being adequate enough. He cited that he's been disking in other plots with oats and/or buckwheat for several years and it hasn't done much. I tried to explain the difference between that and the mix Larry recommended but he kinda tuned me out. Ah well, at least I tried.

Thanks for your help everyone.
larry korn
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Joined: May 17, 2009
Posts: 118
Location: Ashland, Oregon
    
  25
Well, Travis, you tried.  The best we can do is create examples of our own so others can see the difference.  Also, it takes some patience which most farmers these days do not have.  They are pushed to the limit each year by economics.  Often it is how they can make payments on their equipment.  The equipment was sold to them as "labor saving devices," but in the end many farmers need to take work off the farm to pay for them.  I don't know the situation of your particular farmer, but it is often the case.
jeremiah bailey


Joined: May 05, 2009
Posts: 343
Its ironic that the very devices we (mankind) create to reduce our labor on the land turn and make us slave to them and the land. Then we deny that fact. Perhaps a new generation of farmers will be from the cities, rather than the countryside. Perhaps an empty mind is a good thing.
I like tossing seeds by hand and then mulching over them. It may not feed an army, but it is plenty for my own increase. I tried it last year with pinkeye purple-hull peas and buckwheat. I more than doubled the amount of peas I started with. The buckwheat was more or less a wash. I noticed that the cowpeas liked to be crowded, and much of my planting was a bit too sparse for them. This year I'm going to plant them denser in a smaller plot and see how they take. I'll also try a few other varieties this year.


"Although the world is full of suffering, it is full also of the overcoming of it." - Helen Keller
--
Jeremiah Bailey
Central Indiana
Aljaz Plankl


Joined: Feb 18, 2010
Posts: 310
    
    4
...
larry korn
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Joined: May 17, 2009
Posts: 118
Location: Ashland, Oregon
    
  25
Thanks for posting the photos of the vegetables growing like semi-wild plants!
Aljaz Plankl


Joined: Feb 18, 2010
Posts: 310
    
    4
...
thomas jahn


Joined: Oct 31, 2009
Posts: 10
I would be highly interested to hear if here is anybody, who has tried to grow a cereal crop the Fukuoka way.
Not to be mistaken: I believe every word from him about his yields and practices. But you gotta have the right spirit to do it.

I have been reading about perennial cereal crops. In particular the sources provided by the Land Institute in Kansas. The idea of perennials seems attractive. But breeding for perennial cereal crops somehow appear to me like starting from scratch and I wonder if we will see "competitive" varieties that will convince farmers to switch from annuals to perennials.

On the other hand, what Fukuoka and also Marc Bonfils have been doing is imitating the perennial grassland by using annuals. With all the beneficial aspects for soil building and resilience. Therefore, it would be extremely valuable to hear, if somebody succeeded.

cheers
Thomas

larry korn
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Joined: May 17, 2009
Posts: 118
Location: Ashland, Oregon
    
  25
Good question Thomas.  I would also like to hear if anyone else has been successful with no-tillage grains whether using perennial grains or annuals as Fukuoka-san did.  It's not that easy! 
thomas jahn


Joined: Oct 31, 2009
Posts: 10
thanks Larry! Though disappointing.

I don't want to be too strict, when I ask for a "reproduction". Already the seedballs may be a science on its own. If there was some good (or bad) experience with growing e.g. wheat intercropped with clover, I would be happy.

I am in the process of taking up such a method for an experiment at our Faculty in agriculture and ecology. And I meet a lot of scepticism and resistance from my colleagues. Rumors go that intercropping of wheat with clover outcompetes the wheat. Now I am trying to find out what they did in detail to get an idea what was wrong.

If I had to start this with wheat and clover, I would host some pigs at the spot to clear the place. And for the first sowing, I could try to start with wheat instead of clover, although this is not according to the method you can find on the net. But as there would be plenty of nitrogen in the soil (from pig manure, there should be plenty of nutrition to give the wheat a proper head start.

In year 2 I would sow right under the clover.

Also, I could imagine that it was best to start with a population rather than a variety, to start with a broad genetic potential. Then using the seeds from the harvest to adapt the population.

just to mention two aspects

cheers
Thomas
jeremiah bailey


Joined: May 05, 2009
Posts: 343
I can't say that I've actually done it yet, but I am setting aside a few hundred square feet for planting a cereal this year. No till, grass sod that will be mowed down and left as mulch and possibly some straw on top of that.

I haven't decided whether to seed ball yet. I did an experiment with cowpeas and buckwheat last year on 500 sqft. 1/2 was seed ball, 1/2 was plain seed. Both halves seemed to do equally well.
                                          


Joined: Aug 11, 2009
Posts: 27
Location: Seattle, WA
The Fukuokian method has a trick to it: experimentation and observation.  I, being the rebel that I am, enjoy using this 'wild' method in even my zone 1 and 2 areas for growing all manner of plants.  It's a bit risky to be sure and one can never predict the outcome, but that's the point in some ways.  So experiment, observe and be willing to accept any yeild as being a success.  I learned a whole lot about plants, their relationships, how they live and die, and how the gardening books are flat wrong by using the 'grow and let go', no-till method.

I will say though that sheet mulching is a key factor in taking control of the ground back from things like sod and buttercup.  Without it, it's unlikely I would have seen as much success as I have thus far.


Don't do it to make a statement, do it to make a difference!

Permaculture Design and more!  http://www.terraflorafarm.com
Joel Hollingsworth
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Joined: Jul 01, 2009
Posts: 2103
Location: Oakland, CA
jeremiah bailey wrote:I haven't decided whether to seed ball yet. I did an experiment with cowpeas and buckwheat last year on 500 sqft. 1/2 was seed ball, 1/2 was plain seed. Both halves seemed to do equally well.


My understanding was that this was partly to keep seeds from being eaten in the interval between sowing and the availability of sufficient moisture, perhaps partly to allow more uniform & well-mixed sowing of seeds with a wider range of sizes & shapes.


"the qualities of these bacteria, like the heat of the sun, electricity, or the qualities of metals, are part of the storehouse of knowledge of all men.  They are manifestations of the laws of nature, free to all men and reserved exclusively to none." SCOTUS, Funk Bros. Seed Co. v. Kale Inoculant Co.
Aljaz Plankl


Joined: Feb 18, 2010
Posts: 310
    
    4
I tried growing veggies totally wild. Learned that only beans and peas can grow wild in my meadow. Everything does not grow or even not germinate. Growth of a meadow is to fast in spring. Semi wild veggies are the way if i want any crop.

I also grow wheat, rye and spelt without tilling. Harvest was comparable to conventional system. i put mulch on a surface in august. I used hay. Removed mulch in october, sow and covered back. There are many weeds, but no weeding is needed. Now i got plenty of straw mulch which was left on ground. I will grow veggies on this place.
Travis Philp
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Joined: Dec 28, 2009
Posts: 951
Location: ZONE 5a Lindsay Ontario Canada
    
    8
plankl, are you sowing in fall to get a crop next year, or are you in a mild enough climate that you can grow wheat through the winter?
Aljaz Plankl


Joined: Feb 18, 2010
Posts: 310
    
    4
Wheat, spelt and rye that i grow must be sown in fall, so they go through winter conditions, freezing. If they don't go through freezing conditions they don't flower. Sowing in fall and harvest in the end of July next year is common practice for winter cereals as we call it.
We got some cereals that are called summer cereals. They are sown in spring and harvested in summer the same year. But mostly we grow winter cereals.
Experiments. For next year crop i have sown seeds of winter cereals when they were mature in end of July and started to self seed. Just want to replicate nature's ways. New seedlings are already growing above mulch (fully grown mature meadow packed down).
Mekka Pakanohida


Joined: Aug 16, 2010
Posts: 383
Location: Zone 9 - Coastal Oregon
larry korn wrote:
All Right!  That last post worked out well, so here are some answers which were written above.

The Natural Way of Farming will probably not be republished.  You'll have to find it in a used bookstore, in a friend's library or on line.

When people ask you to PLEASE DO NOT WALK IN THE BEDS they are almost always referring to beds in zone 1 which have been turned over.  These are the plowed or rototilled beds, or ones which have been double dug or otherwise been infused with compost and lots of oxygen.  Walking on unplowed ground does not pose a problem.  The soil "plows" itself by the action of penetrating roots, earthworms, microorganisms, water, trees falling over and so forth.  The new grain crops in Fukuoka's rice and barley fields are trampled by human feet during the harvest of the previous crop but they don't seem to even notice.  In the orchard it is good if one can avoid stepping directly on a ripe cucumber or daikon radish, but otherwise no damage is caused.  Running heavy equipment over and over on the fields...well, that creates problems.
~Larry



Bummer about the second book.  I am encouraging nearly everyone I meet to read both books in my area.  The farms around here scare me sometimes when I see what goes on. 

On the plus side, Larry..  Mr. Fukuoka's book did change me & my garden a lot.  At first I did an experiment in CA on a small small ((30 x30') area.  It worked great!!!

Then I moved to Oregon, got 3 acres and are starting the conversion over to a great many of Mr. Fukuoka's methods including vegetable beds just like Emilia Hazelip's & Mr. Fukuoka's methods in the orchard.

My only question is this, how does Mr. Fukuoka's methods deal with large predatory herbivores in his orchard if he had such issue?  ((Deer, Elk))
Joel Hollingsworth
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Joined: Jul 01, 2009
Posts: 2103
Location: Oakland, CA
thomas jahn wrote:And I meet a lot of scepticism and resistance from my colleagues. Rumors go that intercropping of wheat with clover outcompetes the wheat.


If I recall correctly, this was dealt with in the case of rice by drowning the clover, and in the case of wheat by scything the area when the wheat was too young to be set back.

It's also possible that the straw mulch and/or grazing by ducklings helped to give the wheat an edge vs. the clover.
paul wheaton
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Posts: 14841
Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
    ∞


sign up for my daily-ish email / rocket mass heater 4-DVD set / permaculture playing cards
Jordan Lowery
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Joined: Sep 26, 2009
Posts: 1528
Location: zone 7
    
  11
thought i would post these here since i haven't seen them yet.

http://agroinnovations.com/index.php/en_us/multimedia/blogs/podcast/2010/09/episode-105-masanobu-fukuoka/

http://agroinnovations.com/index.php/en_us/multimedia/blogs/podcast/2010/09/episode-106-the-one-straw-revolution/


The ultimate goal of farming is not the growing of crops, but the cultivation and perfection of human beings. - Masanobu Fukuoka
Aljaz Plankl


Joined: Feb 18, 2010
Posts: 310
    
    4
Lary, or anyone else, i would love to hear something about planting friut trees from seeds. I know Fukuoka-san liked this way a lot.
I'm all about planting fruit trees from seed in wild, is there any good way that he discovered?

For now i don't have lots of seeds so i will be planting seed by seed in clear cut areas which are now grass lands.

Should i wrap the seeds in seed balls and throw them in the grass and try to remember where i threw them or should i carefully sow them and mulch with vegetation around?
First option - not sure if they will germinate in the shade of vegetation.
Second option - better as germination is in mind but easier for wild life to find them.

Also, i got this idea right now, probably it is best to save seeds somewhere outside in protected area so they get winter stratification and don't get eaten by rodents. Then i can sow in wild in early spring.

I feel a bit funny, as i know i had to go through my own experiments, but hey, asking for tips is never stupid.
                                      


Joined: Sep 25, 2010
Posts: 39
Location: Chapel Hill, N.C.
thomas jahn wrote:
thanks Larry! Though disappointing.

I don't want to be too strict, when I ask for a "reproduction". Already the seedballs may be a science on its own. If there was some good (or bad) experience with growing e.g. wheat intercropped with clover, I would be happy.

I am in the process of taking up such a method for an experiment at our Faculty in agriculture and ecology. And I meet a lot of scepticism and resistance from my colleagues. Rumors go that intercropping of wheat with clover outcompetes the wheat. Now I am trying to find out what they did in detail to get an idea what was wrong.

If I had to start this with wheat and clover, I would host some pigs at the spot to clear the place. And for the first sowing, I could try to start with wheat instead of clover, although this is not according to the method you can find on the net. But as there would be plenty of nitrogen in the soil (from pig manure, there should be plenty of nutrition to give the wheat a proper head start.

In year 2 I would sow right under the clover.

Also, I could imagine that it was best to start with a population rather than a variety, to start with a broad genetic potential. Then using the seeds from the harvest to adapt the population.


Following pigs with wheat or corn, rye grain, oats or barley seems a good plan. As for intercropping grain with legume, what about these legume options:
1) tall sweet clover - mellilotus alba, the white variety or the yellow one
its a tall plant with wide but sparse branching and plenty of seeds
a good nitrogen builder with strong, deeply penetrating root system, good for two years
seed it with grain then in second year intercrop it with a grass for hay mulch and soil building
2) plant vetch (a low growing variety like purple) and sow grain within it

After pigs spread rock dusts over the land for mineral nutrients, remineralizing the soil
Spread hay, mulch or compost over the land and
Plant red clover into it; the clover will interact with soil fungi to augment the mining of phosphate
and possibly other micronutrients for plant use - follow this in Fall with a planting of rye grain or winter rye grass
(a great soil builder).

LL


Lawrence London
lfljvenaura@gmail.com
EcoLandTech
http://ecolandtech.blogspot.com
http://ibiblio.org/ecolandtech
Aljaz Plankl


Joined: Feb 18, 2010
Posts: 310
    
    4
Pigs and preparation of land for sowing spelt

http://picasaweb.google.si/iluzije/PujsiOraci
Here on this link, you can see pictures of how the soil at friend's farm was prepared in fall 2009 with help of pigs, for sowing spelt. It works. It would be better to remove the pigs after sowing of spelt and rake the seeds in the soil by hand. Or to put a cover of hay, straw or something else on top. Friend didn't have anything like that available at that time, and also didn't rake it in, so he just sow the spelt and let the pigs tread down the grain into the soil. In 2010 when spelt was growing nicely, the weeds also grew nicely as the germination of spelt in fall 2009 was not so good, because most seeds were not in good contact with soil. Harvest was much lower as it could be, but it was still good.


Personal experiments of growing winter cereals - wheat, rye and spelt -  Europe, zone 5 or 6, not sure

Sown in fall 2009 using hay method. Small, separate patches for different kind of cereal. During the year of 2010 no intercropping was done, just a bit of weeds were left to grow inbetween cereals. Rye, spelt and wheat were fully ripe in end of July 2010. Harvesting was done with hand and a willow basket only pinching the heads of grains. I was harvesting little by little. Rye and wheat are easy to clean by hand, spelt needs much more work.

During this time, from end of July till mid August 2010 I  broadcasted some harvested rye, spelt and wheat into diverse mature meadow which was then packed down in mid August. This part is now green again from local vegetation and i still have to learn to identify cereal plants in all this vegetation of grasses and other plants. Intention is to grow them wild in local vegetation of diverse grasses and other plants.

On patches of rye, wheat and spelt some ripe seeds fell down during harvest and I also intentionally took some and broadcasted them where they were growing.

Final harvest was done in mid August.

Where wheat and spelt were growing, straw was chopped and dropped after final harvest. Wheat and spelt on these patches are now growing again from self reseeded and intentionaly broadcasted seeds and are quite established. Traditionally they are sown in mid October, so I wonder how they will do over winter. It's a rule that they shouldn't be to big when winter hits, as they start to mold faster if they are to big. I'll see how it goes. Anyway, this two patches will be heavily thinned in spring, want more veggies to grow on this patches. Don't want to have monoculture cereal patches. I don't need them as i'm only using them in small quantities for sprouts, rejuvelac, raw bread and eating them fresh when the berries are still milky and stalks still green.

On rye patch, straw of rye was left standing after final harvest. A little sunflower got more light and was able to flower in end of August, picture below. Now there is standing straw and a ground cover of weeds. I do not recognize any new rye plants. Maybe they are some, i'm not sure. This patch will be left as it is till spring. There will be veggies growing here. In spring i will just chop and drop + plant and sow. Below is a photo from end of August.

Some stalks of rye, spelt and wheat with mature grains were left growing. Some of them are now growing in air. Green shoots and roots are visible. They have sprouted somewhere in end of September. Some are also touching the ground by their weights and growing.


Suggestions and ideas for growing cereals and other crops

But if you still want your main crop to be cereals and to get as much from a piece of land, be it a small patch or a field, i would try this. A week from cereal harvest (for me somewhere in end of July), i would broadcast seeds of veggies for fall crop, into cereal patch which is still growing. A week later i would harvest heads of cereals (they've done this just harvesting few centimetres below heads, with some sharp tool like sickle) and just chop and drop the straw and some weeds. Broadcasted bush beans or peas, radish, salad and others would happily come out, i'm sure. In mid of October most of veggies are done and you can sow cereals again. If you left veggies vegetation on site, just taking the fruits of veggies, i'm sure you will have a successful rotation on the same land, growing many crops and soil at the same time, year after year.
thomas jahn


Joined: Oct 31, 2009
Posts: 10
Thanks for the many answers to my question some time ago!

I have been thinking a lot about Fukuoka these days and I really appreciate the many recent links, like the link to the interview with Larry Korn on agroinnovations.
Listening to the interview and also watching the youtube film Fukuoka in Greece I came to think of that the difference between permaculture and natural farming really is the end of the scale where you approach the process.
Natural framing as Fukuoka practiced must be appropriate when starting with a natural situation. And in this situation, the actual management is absolutely minor and is almost reduced to seeding and harvesting. Both which will have an impact on the direction where the natural ecosystem will be drifting, slowly drifting to eventually even yield corn/rice in large amounts.
In Fukuoka's situation it may have taken already 10 years to reach a natural system and it is not surprising that it took such a long time for Fukuoka to reach the final state. It may also explain, why so few (? any?) people have succeeded repeating it.
With all the deap respect for Fukuoka, I guess that he himself has overestimated the effect of his practise on the sites in Greece. As Dieter B. in the permaculture mailing list these days appeared to remember, the large seeding events in Greece, only had marginal success.

With permaculture, we come from the other end. As Larry says in the interview, we start with a close observation of the place, which may be in what ever state different from a natural state. But the idea is then, to employ management with the goal to reach a system that is related to nature, as closely as possible. So, the final state of a long year natural farming place and a permaculture place may end up being quite similar, at least in the amount of management needed to sustain it. The decision, however, where to start (natural farming or permaculture) will have to be made on the current situation.

What Fukuoka tried in Greece may not have worked, because the conditions were to harsh. Likely in relation to water availability. Water seems to be THE prime factor, for both natural farming and permaculture. So if water is scarce, some kind of management may be needed. And that is exactly what we know from Sepp Holzer, keyline plowing, natural sequence farming and others.

Another point that I really appreciate about Fukuoka's work is that he brings back annuals in the natural farming. In this context there is one remark from Larry in the interview that I would like to comment on. He says, the cultivars Fukuoka used aren't that important. It was really more a question of his practices.
I would completely agree. But we have also to be aware of genetic variation and the process of adaptation. Natural farming or even permaculture for that sake, will probably never succeed with modern varieties. And the adaptation process was likely one major factor explaining why Fukuoka's final success took such a long time. But his population were finally adapted to his site. So whenever we use in particular annuals for our systems, we should take as local as possible and as old as possible populations (populations with different genetic individuals as opposed to varieties with genetically 'identical' individuals).

So how to end this little statement: I guess, I am most impressed and fascinated by Masanobu Fukuoka. But I realize that the world is so deeply damaged by various means, that we will have to use permaculture rather than natural farming and leave the natural places untouched to preserve the school of the art.
Not only that. We may have to find ways to accelerate permaculture in order to win the race. So permaculture is a transition process. And Fukuoka was enlighten, strong, and blessed to jump over this phase. At least mentally.

Thomas
Joel Hollingsworth
volunteer

Joined: Jul 01, 2009
Posts: 2103
Location: Oakland, CA
Loose sorts of replication are actually fairly abundant. I found the following here (emphasis mine):

Wheat/Red Clover as an Alternative to Corn — Sjoerd Duiker, Soil Management Specialist

Farmers are looking for alternatives to corn because of its high input costs. An interesting alternative is wheat planted after soybeans, corn silage or early maturing corn grain. Red clover can be frost-seeded into standing wheat in late winter when the soil honeycombs, or it can be mixed with nitrogen fertilizer and seeded while top-dressing wheat. Typical wheat yields are 60 bu/A plus 1 ton/A of straw. If wheat is $6/bu and straw is $100/ton, this makes for $460/A. A cutting of red clover may be harvested in the fall. If the yield is 2 ton DM/A this would add another $120/A (@$60/ton). Total value of wheat and red clover would be $580 in revenue. Input costs of the wheat/red clover package are much lower than those for corn, and in one example net revenue was $220/A. Herbicide costs are low and can be zero in a field with low weed pressure. The wheat/red clover package has some additional benefits in the crop rotation, especially for soil improvement. Corn yields after red clover are typically improved, and nitrogen application can be reduced. The N-value of the red clover harvested for forage is approximately 50 lbs/A, or 80 lbs/a if the red clover is not harvested. In addition, corn yields after red clover are typically improved. It is not uncommon to see a 10% yield increase in corn beyond the nitrogen value of red clover. The wheat/red clover combination also helps to keep living roots in the soil year-round, one of the principles we use in designing optimal no-till systems, making this option worthy of consideration. Get ready now for red clover seeding by acquiring the seed and getting set up for frost seeding your winter small grain acres. For more information see http://cropsoil.psu.edu/extension/facts/agfact67.pdf and http://cropsoil.psu.edu/Extension/Facts/agfact21.pdf.


Note that this is not an organic farmer, but a researcher who is happy to eliminate herbicide, reduce the use of chemical fertilizer, and sees benefits to the crop which can't be explained by nitrogen alone.

A direct laboratory experiment showed that cutting was important, and soil disturbance unnecessary, in the transfer of nitrogen to wheat from inter-planted white or red clover. This is consistent with the practice of scything clover while wheat is just beginning to grow. Abstract & link
                                      


Joined: Sep 25, 2010
Posts: 39
Location: Chapel Hill, N.C.
Joel Hollingsworth wrote:
Loose sorts of replication are actually fairly abundant. I found the following here (emphasis mine):

Note that this is not an organic farmer, but a researcher who is happy to eliminate herbicide, reduce the use of chemical fertilizer, and sees benefits to the crop which can't be explained by nitrogen alone.

A direct laboratory experiment showed that cutting was important, and soil disturbance unnecessary, in the transfer of nitrogen to wheat from inter-planted white or red clover. This is consistent with the practice of scything clover while wheat is just beginning to grow. Abstract & link


Strip cropping on the contour of fields with alternating wheat (or spelt) and clover would allow safe scything of the clover for regeneration without disturbing the wheat; nitrogen from the clover would migrate downhill across the grade to fertilize the cash crop. The cut clover would provide animal feed or could be left in place for added humus and nitrogen.

From my earlier post:
<>
After pigs spread rock dusts over the land for mineral nutrients, remineralizing the soil
Spread hay, mulch or compost over the land and
Plant red clover into it; the clover will interact with soil fungi to augment the mining of phosphate
and possibly other micronutrients for plant use - follow this in Fall with a planting of rye grain or winter rye grass
(a great soil builder).
<>
A good time to add rock dusts would be prior to seeding the clover.
Joel Hollingsworth
volunteer

Joined: Jul 01, 2009
Posts: 2103
Location: Oakland, CA
dirtfarmer wrote:Strip cropping on the contour of fields with alternating wheat (or spelt) and clover would allow safe scything of the clover for regeneration without disturbing the wheat


That sounds like it would work well, and is very reminiscent of Helen Atthowe's method (except she market gardens on level ground).

The Natural Way of Farming reports another way that might be less effort, because seed can be broadcast at random: scything is carried out only once, when the wheat seedlings are short enough not to be harmed much, and rice straw is added on top just afterward. It seems this would make a more balanced C:N ratio in the sheet compost, and prevent much volatilization of nutrients from the clover.
Brenda Groth
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Joined: Feb 01, 2009
Posts: 4433
Location: North Central Michigan
    
    8
Plankl I have 3 really nice apple trees that I grew from seed, just put the rotting core in the ground and walla apple tree..they all have pretty good apples..

they do tend to be full size and that can be quite large, but some of mine are larger than others, 2 are very large and wide spreading tops and I probably should clear out some of the water suckers that grow straight up from the branches to thin them out some for light to get in.

One other larger one is more upright, less wide spreading, but that might be cause it grew in the woods where there had been a wildlife bait pile many years ago.

The 4th one is rather small, but still fullsize, not dwarf..possibly cause it was being overcrowded by some alder trees which I have recently removed and pruned up some bottom branches of the tree.

all are visible on my blog (see signature).

as for growing things from seed and letting them go wild, I think it is a great way to provide a year around food crop, but I especially love the greens that I got from allowing them to go wild here, like kale, lettuces, swiss chard, etc..i have a pretty much year around crop as I also keep some in the greenhouse here in the winter (right now we have had 3 very hard freezes and my little greenhouse is full of lettuces, and greens, snap peas, radishes, kohlrabi, etc..which isn't necessarily Fukoka but it works for me in Michigan, esp when I eat salads every day.


Brenda

Bloom where you are planted.
http://restfultrailsfoodforestgarden.blogspot.com/
Mary Saunders


Joined: Nov 26, 2010
Posts: 73
Fukuoka also used tree legumes to increase fertility.  It is wood from these that he sometimes buried.

Brassicas such as daikon till, but they also provide pretty yellow flowers.  Probably the greens are useful as well.

If your friend wants a cash crop, flowers are often good because they are pitched to the wealthy as a luxury item.  I do not know if Fukuoka grew them.  This was advice from a friend who went to ag school.

There are trendy fruits that also set nitrogen.  Goumi is an example.  If you do not get to a goumi crop, the birds will.

Plums will often grow with little bother from pests and are among the first fruits to flower and ripen.  Arctic varieties of kiwi are also popular, though these seem to require good tilth and fertility.

Connie Van Dyke, of Portland, also has some amazing seedless black grapes.  I will not say the variety because grapes adapt to specific climates.  You would have to see what works where you are.
paul wheaton
steward

Joined: Apr 01, 2005
Posts: 14841
Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
    ∞
I just uploaded the mananobu fukoka podcast with Larry Korn.

maikeru sumi-e


Joined: Dec 14, 2010
Posts: 312
Paul, I have a question for you. In your irrigation podcast, you mentioned that Fukuoka was planting and cutting down catalpa trees for something similar to hugelkultur and that these were nitrogen fixing. Are you sure you weren't referring to acacias? I know he planted and valued acacias.


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subject: masanobu fukuoka
 
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