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Re: Tagasaste advice needed

                      RE>>Tagasaste advice needed                  1/16/97

Okay, here's a little more about myself and why I'm interested in
tagasaste.  I am a cell biologist/physiologist at Duke University, but the
plants have nothing to do with my work at the university.  I read a message
last year (on the permaculture list?) that mentioned  tagasaste, so I did a
little searching on the Web and found out that the plant was being
recommended as a forage food for livestock in Australia.  I have dairy
goats and I am interested in finding better ways to feed them, so the
tagasaste sounded interesting. I ordered some seeds, and they arrived with
no instructions.  This area of North Carolina may be too cold for the
plants to survive a severe winter, but I like to experiment so I thought
I'd give it a try.  Maybe if I grow it in a protected spot, it will do
okay.  I imagine there are quite a few other plants that could be used for
browsing animals, so I'd like to learn about other options.  
Darned if I know.  But here's what I'd do.  First, you must know what
genus and species they are.  I've seen reference to them over an over in
Mollison, but don't remember (and don't need to at the moment.)  Just
remember Vavivlov's law of holologus series.  How do you germinate the
nearest relative of the species that you know about?  Start from there.

Examination of seeds also helps.  Is the seed coat tough.  (Did you cut
yourself trying to cut it open?)  If so, scarification is in order.  What
climate zone does the seed come from?  What time of the year is it
 Seed produced in the fall in a cool to cold temperate climate, and seed of
woody plants in warm temperate climates, are likely to require
stratification.  So are some others?  How is the seed naturally dispursed.
 Winged seed and particularly floating seed are likely to require soaking.
 As do many others.  Does the seed form right before a monsoon?  Again
soaking, maybe prolonged soaking.  And so forth.  These are not foolproof,
course, or even smartproof, but that's the way to go if the net bombs out.
 More than likely, several Aussie's will help you out.

Now please tell us why you want to grow Tagasaste.  Do we infer from your
address that you are a cell biologist at Duke University?  

For Mother Earth, Dan Hemenway, Yankee Permaculture Publications (since
1982), Elfin Permaculture workshops, lectures, Permaculture Design Courses,
consulting and permaculture designs (since 1981), and now correspondence
permaculture training by email. Copyright, 1996, Dan & Cynthia Hemenway,
Box 2052, Ocala FL 34478 USA  YankeePerm@aol.com  

We don't have time to rush.