[permaculture] [Fwd: Re: [SANET-MG] Late BlightThir]

Lawrence F. London, Jr. lflj at intrex.net
Sun Jul 26 19:39:32 EDT 2009

-------- Original Message --------
Subject: Re: [SANET-MG] Late BlightThir
Date: Sun, 26 Jul 2009 23:07:59 +0100
From: kmarsh at IOL.IE
Reply-To: kmarsh at iol.ie

Roused from reading a novel sitting in the sunshine on a hotel balcony
overlooking the ocean in Chile to join in this one.


I've seen John's operation. He grows a lot of spuds. He doesn't just have a
few in containers, he feeds his family and his livestock - excellent pork
by the way. He does just what he says he does. There was no trace of blight
on his potatoes last time I saw them, while back home the commercial
growers, organic and non-organic, had been spraying with whatever they were
allowed to spray with for weeks and back garden growers around me had all
taken the haulm off because blight had arrived. I'd sprayed with copper
three times on our own commercial crop at Sonairte. John grows in one of
the most blight prone places in Ireland. His neighbours do as they are told
and get blight. He doesn't. Go figger.

In my experience products such as compost tea, milk (which, by the way, is
approved by the Netherlands dept Ag and the Brazilian dept ag as a
fungicide, kelp and equisetum all work only as preventatives. Once late
blight has struck they no longer work. Copper will still work but only if
you are really fast getting it on - as inn the moment you see the first
lesion you stop anything else you are doing, go mix it, and spray

I'm not an airhead amateur experimenting on a couple of plants in flower
pots. I'm a retired commecial organic farmer, run an organic teaching
garden, I'm a member of our national expert working group on organic
farming advising our dept ag here in Ireland and I work with the national
potato research group, who have registered some of the most grown varieties
in the world. I was also one of the team that put together our national
organic standards and advise on European standards

Just because something is established wisdom doesn't mean it is the end of
all knowledge - if that were the case we'd still be hunting and gathering,
rather than trying feed billions without wiping out the planet in the
process. I can think of dozens of items of "knowledge" I've confidently
handed out in the past that I cringe to remember - but they all had state
of the art science behind them when I said it. Knowledge marches on.

What John is doing makes sense. There could be some hairy years while
resistance is built up in both plants and soil but in the long run we win.

And there has been research suggesting this is the best way to deal with
late blight around since the thirties


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