[permaculture] Fast growing nitro fixers, semi tropics

Cory Brennan cory8570 at yahoo.com
Thu Oct 18 20:37:00 EDT 2012

I hear you, I use cowpea as my canary to see if stuff has been sprayed. Even when people say it hasn't, sometimes it has. 

That is a very good idea about live oak. I'll forward it!
Koreen Brennan


 From: venaurafarm <venaurafarm at bellsouth.net>
To: permaculture <permaculture at lists.ibiblio.org> 
Sent: Thursday, October 18, 2012 8:15 PM
Subject: Re: [permaculture] Fast growing nitro fixers, semi tropics
On 10/18/2012 7:58 PM, Cory Brennan wrote:
> I think every time we sheet mulch with a variety of locally available
> materials, it is a grand experiment right? I am trying to create good
> soils with locally sourced waste stream and plant life as much as
> possible. It isn't always easy to get it right! I am interested in

You use what you have available. Just make sure it is as natural as 
poossible; if yard waste, no herbicides or pesticides in it.

> dynamic accumulators too, and was fascinated by the earlier
> discussion about sea minerals which I am surrounded by on the
> Pinellas peninsula. I have six beds and using six different sheet
> mulch approaches to see what happens. If I had more time, I would
> include more variety - the base is(for me)  easily acquired oak mulch
> for all of the beds.

You can hardly do better than oak mulch; I assume shredded oak (debark) 
bark. Live oak? If so lumber from that tree is a rare and valuable 
commodity; it is the hardest oak and maybe the hardest wood grown in the 
US. Blocks of it can be used to make wood planes, Japanese type, with 
inserted iron & chipbreaker, cut on pull stroke. Your friends could make 
a living manufacturing these plane dai's from live oak; purchase the 
metal parts from a reliable source, also, tool handles, chisel handles, 
garden dibbles, turned pieces, art objects stained with natural dyes. 
Lots of possibilities for generating income while on break from managing 
your seawater aquaponics systems :-)

Do you have access to seaweed? If so it could be fed to livestock and 
turned into fertilizer. Duckweed is really excellent fertilizer.

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> On 10/18/2012 4:41 PM, John D'hondt wrote:
>> I find it a bit unusual that you talk only about nitrogen fixing
>> plants Cory. I have alweays thought about nitrogen fixing bacteria
>> for I have seen bacteria on their own without plants fix nitrogen.
>> As long as they had a source of decomposing carbon and some supply
>> of phosphate that is. Also on our grazing fields we see a
>> competition between clovers (mostly white clover because this stays
>> quite low to the ground where other clovers grow higher and are
>> eaten by ruminants a lot faster) and grasses. Grasses need nitrogen
>> to do well and compete out the clover eventually. When we put some
>> rock phosphate out the clovers boom again.
>> All that said, I know well that plant species provide nitrogen
>> fixing bacteria with root exudates to make them thrive and do their
>> business. But again, phosphate in the soil is essential for the
>> nitrogen fixing process. (as are oxygenation of the soil and many
>> trace elements)
> To mine phosphate and trace minerals and make them available to
> plants, amongst other things, you need fungi in the soil and a source
> of raw minerals for them to feed on, i.e. quarry siltation pond fines
> or finely pulverized rock dusts, preferably a variety of them.
> A cool scheme to improve soil fertility, seasonally: (John D'hondt,
> could you evaluate this plan?) At a time when this is appropriate
> apply rock dusts and manures and/or compost to raised beds; tilth
> these amendments into the soil lightly so as not to disturb vital
> soil dwelling microorganisms, especially fungi, earthworms, various
> insects, invertibrates, etc. Use a spade fork or even a digging fork.
> Follow this procedure with a planting of red clover. The clover will
> exude certain substances that the fungi will use that will stimulate
> them to extract or mine, beyond normal levels, trace minerals and
> phosphate from the rock dusts. The manure you use does not have to be
> fully decomposed. Next season apply, as needed, extra amendments to
> boost soil fertility and balance nutrients and minerals. These
> amendments can include any or all of the following: azomite,
> aragonite, high calcium limestone, dolomitic limestone, greensand,
> more quarry rock dusts, rock phosphate and colloidal phosphate.
> Somewhere in my online archives I have a few documents on research
> that demonstrated the beneficial connection between red clover, rock
> dusts (or native soil) and soil fungi. I guess the method I have
> suggested should be fine tuned to ensure the stability of soil
> bacteria and soil fungi populations and that the bacteria do not
> consume too many of the fungi, needed to interact with the clover. I
> thought that you could accomplish two things at once, add nitrogen in
> the form of manure and/or compost, add minerals in the form of rock
> dusts and the clover cover crop would extract valuable phosphate
> from the rock particles. The rock dusts will feed the bacteria and
> fungi that will break the manure and compost down and the red clover
> will assist the fungi in further extraction of minerals and some
> phosphate from the rock dusts while the manure and compost will
> provide acids that will dissolve the rock dusts making it easier for
> bacteria to use and fungi to use with enhanced ability to extract
> minerals from the rock dusts with additional stimulus from the clover
> exudates enabling enhanced fungal mineral mining. This would be a
> grand experiment. Other amendments could also be added such as fish
> meal, fish emulsion, crab meal, alfalfa meal or compost, all sorts of
> herbs and even compost teas of one sort or another.
> LL

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