[permaculture] [Fwd: Re: [SANET-MG] soybean rust a new dread] }|{ potato culture in blight-infested soils

michael snow msnow at mountainschool.org
Sun Dec 5 20:22:37 EST 2004

I'm not sure what message this responds to, that is, what the concern is.
I'm new here, and don't want to step into a conversation I haven't followed
from the beginning.  But here's a thought:
Breeding resistance.  The potato anecdote reminds me of what is called
Horizontal Resistance, that is, breeding polygenic resistance in plants.
Such a program would expose a population to ALL pests, parasites, diseases,
etc that occurr locally or regionally, the inocculation roguing the
population in its own way.  Horizontal resistance is accumulated using
recurrent mass selection: the surviving individuals are selected en masse
and improved up on in the next generation.
So, pick the beans that don't get rust.
see Return to Resistance, Roul A. Robinson.  1996: agAccess, Davis.

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Lawrence F. London, Jr." <lfl at intrex.net>
To: <permaculture at lists.ibiblio.org>
Sent: Saturday, December 04, 2004 11:15 PM
Subject: [permaculture] [Fwd: Re: [SANET-MG] soybean rust a new dread] }|{
potato culture in blight-infested soils

> -------- Original Message --------
> Subject: Re: [SANET-MG] soybean rust a new dread
> Date: Sat, 4 Dec 2004 22:05:02 -0000
> From: John D'hondt <dhondt at EIRCOM.NET>
> >          The more important issues is how should soybean rust be
> > now that it is here.  This will prove especially critical for organic
> > growers who cannot rely on synthetic fungicides, even if they were a
> > idea.  Does anyone have suggestions for organically approved remedies
> > organic soybean growers might use?  Or that researchers should be
> > JBK
> I have never been able to grow soybean well because our climate is just
> cold for it but I live in Ireland where potato blight is omni present and
> deadly. I have been an organic farmer here for almost twenty years and I
> have never sprayed anything; not synthetic fungicides or even Bordeaux
> mixture which I would be allowed to use as an organic farmer.
> I have successfully grown potatoes for all this time through a few very
> simple maverick techniques :
> - I grow a great number of varieties mixed at random. The reason for this
> that we found that home grown seed did better than bought in seed by at
> least 30%. At one time or another we bought small quantities of seed
> potatoes of perhaps thirty different varieties. For the last ten years or
> I have also grown new varieties from real seed after flowering, perhaps
> to two hundred plants per year.
> - Then we have been as hard on our potatoes as we knew how. One year we
> harvested after leaving most of the tubers overwinter in situ. Many were
> lost I don't doubt but the ones that survived were used as seed and
> - When plants get diseased I have never panicked and tried to destroy
> last particle of the afflicted plant. Instead I have left them to rot
> they fell. The idea behind this is that if there are fifty thousand
> different species of micro organism in the soil then there should be one
> them making a living of Phytophtra infestans. If I gave them an extra dose
> to eat they would get more numerous so that in the end I would have less
> blight. I have for myself called this technique "soil immunization" and I
> have gotten convinced that it works for my potatoes. If I knew more about
> the identity and nature of my "blight-eater" I would be able to make more
> this than I ever would be from selling potatoes but this is not a priority
> for me at the moment.
> -I mulch heavily and put out compost after harvest but I am not obsessed
> with rotation. One reason for this being that volunteer potatoes usually
> extremely well. Some of these have come back year after year for ten years
> or more even if I tried to get every last little tuber out of the ground
> because they were in the way of other crops.
> If I were living in America this is the way I would go about solving
> problems with soybean rust.
> john
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> L.F.London
> lfl at intrex.net
> http://market-farming.com
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