Sunday, February 22, 2009

The Fundamental Reality that Underlies Fukuoka's Principles
By Emilia Hazelip

Soil is created by living plants working with microorganisms, and by the plants' residues and the microorganisms' corpses after their death.

Soil is drained of nutrients by cultivation, NOT by plants. 

Tilling and cultivation of any sort diminishes the natural fertility of the soil in three ways: 
Mechanical grinding of the soil particles reduces their size and smooths them. This greatly reduces the size and number of micro-cavities between the particles, which are the habitats of balanced bacteria breathing out gases essential to mineral absorption and plants' health. 
Tilling kills vital microorganisms in the soil by exposing them to excessive oxygen in the air.
And tilling exposes the organic matter in the rhizosphere (soil around the roots) to the atmospheric gases, precipitating the combustion of the humus turning it into soluable mineralized nutrients . This provides a quick fertilizer for the plants, but at the cost of destroying permanently the texture and tilth of the organic, humic, rich soil, which accellerates erosion as well as contamination of the watertable with nitrates.

Minerals and trace elements, although present in soil, may not be accessible to plants due to the absence of the micoorganisms (killed by tilling, pollution, or the use of herbicides or pesticides) that participate in the plant's mineral nutritional process. Just as microflora in our own digestive systems are needed so that our bodies can absorb and use the nutrients of the ingested food, microorganisms in the soil perform the same function for plants.

In crops, if the edible parts of a plant are harvested and the rest left to return to the soil, the organic mass left by the decaying plants will be superior to the volume of nutrients taken from the soil.

A plant gets up to 95 percent of all the nutrients it needs from the sky (gases and sunlight), NOT the soil. Of the 5 percent taken from the soil, half of it is the essential nutrient nitrogen, which, if the plant is grown in combination with a legume, can also come from the air.

ONLY 2.5 percent of the total nutrition of a plant IS COMING EXCLUSIVELY FROM THE SOIL in the form of soluable minerals and trace elements.
"That is the fundamental reality that underlies and supports Fukuoka's principles of No tilling, No fertilizer, No weeding, and No pesticides or herbicides. Natural agriculture refutes and disproves the foundation of current agronomical logic, and because it does it is seen as heresy by most of the agronomic community. Fukuoka proposes, and supports with evidence, the first fundamental agronomic reform since agriculture was invented." -- Emilia Hazelip

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