[permaculture] Eliot Coleman's seed starting mixture

Amy Little amylittle at hvc.rr.com
Mon Apr 11 20:50:54 EDT 2011


this is a good inquiry for a SARE grant. US farmers need high 
quality, sustainable and resilient resources, such as seedling growing medium.

At 08:26 PM 4/9/2011, you wrote:
>Not everybody has access to coconut fibre, but you may be interested 
>to learn that the windmill palm (Trachycarpus fortunei) will grow 
>very well in cold climates and at high altitudes.  It does very well 
>in my own preferred locale in the Tibetan foothills where is has 
>been used for millenia as a source of coir type fibre.
>I was recently given a very interesting paper on the many uses of 
>this plant in Chinese history by Frederick Essig, Professor Emeritus 
>of Biology at USF.  I you send me an email off list, then I would be 
>happy to share a copy with you.
>
>Hope that this helps
>
>Chris
>
>--- On Sun, 4/10/11, David Muhl <dmuhl65 at yahoo.com> wrote:
>
> > From: David Muhl <dmuhl65 at yahoo.com>
> > Subject: Re: [permaculture] Eliot Coleman's seed starting mixture
> > To: "permaculture" <permaculture at lists.ibiblio.org>
> > Date: Sunday, April 10, 2011, 3:14 AM
> > True...the import/export of coir
> > around the world is (mostly) a byproduct of coconut
> > plantations of various sizes, and it's pretty obvious that
> > monocrop agriculture does not lend itself to
> > biodiversity.  However, for those that live in climates
> > where coconut palms grow, it can be a renewable resource if
> > harvested as needed at the local level for local use, and
> > not treated as merely an export commodity.  This is not
> > currently an option for many of us, but it is for some.
> >
> > For anyone that might be feeling guilty about their
> > "commercial" coir use and orangutan habitat destruction, it
> > should be clarified that 90% of the worlds coconut coir
> > production occurs in India/Sri Lanka.  Coir is made
> > from coconuts, and since "Oil Palms" don't produce coconuts,
> > people need not feel guilty about their coir use affecting
> > orangutan habitat in Borneo and Sumatra.  My
> > understanding is that the damage in these areas is due
> > primarily to timber and "oil palm" production (followed by
> > rubber, cacao, coffee, cinnamon, and mining operations).
> >
> >
> > > On 4/8/2011 2:18 PM, Paul Cross
> > > wrote:
> > > > I've often wondered why people seem to think coir
> > is
> > > ecological. It is
> > > > produced as a byproduct of industrial agriculture
> > that
> > > destroys
> > > > rainforests and plants monocrops of palms. As
> > > permaculturalists we have
> > > > to recognize that any outside input impacts the
> > site
> > > from which it was
> > > > taken. Maybe in our accounting that is
> > acceptable, or
> > > maybe it is not.
> > > > We can think we're doing good by washing our
> > dishes in
> > > coconut oil soap
> > > > instead of petrochemical detergents, growing
> > seedlings
> > > in coir instead
> > > > of peat, but the orangutans who lost their
> > habitat to
> > > palm plantations
> > > > don't see it that way. We're always causing
> > impacts.
> > >
> > > To back you up on this here's something I picked up
> > on
> > > recently:
> > >
> > > "The biggest problem agriculturally is that the most
> > > profitable crop
> > > here and in Indonesia is palm trees for palm oil, the
> > > universal cooking
> > > oil in this part of the world.  Problems are that
> > palm
> > > oil is hideously
> > > viscous and overwhelms anything cooked in it.  In
> > > addition, there is no
> > > life form that can survive in a palm oil forest.
> > Zero
> > > ecological balance."
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> > > chrys at thefutureisorganic.net
> > > and paul at richsoil.com
> > >
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> > and paul at richsoil.com
> >
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>List contacts: permacultureforum at gmail.com, 
>chrys at thefutureisorganic.net and paul at richsoil.com




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