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Re: RE: Ethics? [Online Permaculture Course: File: Ethics Note ethical pricipals

In a message dated 2/1/97 10:51:22 PM, sals@rain.org (sal schettino) wrote:

>Thanks  does Buckwheat, need to be watered or can I grow it free in the
>winter here.  My friend has a cart he pulls his chickens around.  the
>friend I told you about that has cows between his rows of fruit trees.  And
>now the chickens follow the cows when he moves the cows to another row the
>chickens walk with the cows and seem happy to move with them.  and the
>chicken cart (house)moves  along  too.  I can just see the chickens
>following your  water buffalo at your place.  Also maybe kiwi may be a good
>idea for your temp.  Dan.  and thanks for all the great ideas on growing
>grain and letting the chickens do the work.  >

Sorry, I don't remember where "here" is.  PDBR.  Buckwheat is pretty easy to
grow but does need some moisture.  I usually grow it by broadcasting it by
hand (I love broadcasting by hand--it is the closest I ever get to graceful
action.) and cutting crop residue to cover it.  In Florida on sand it did
well in the winter (Jacksonville, some years ago--I haven't got that far here

I forgot to mention that it mobilizes phosophorous and is a good precursor to
legumes and other phosphorous hungry crops.  Even legumes that are know
phosophorous accumulators, e.g. red clover, do better after buckwheat.  I've
also used it to relieve compaction where soil was so hard that we had not got
dow a inch with a few dozen passes with a troy-bilt rototiller (brand new, at

We broadcast buckwheat (we being me and my prison inmate "interns") and
covered it with straw, very lightly, and waited for rain.  As soon as it
blossomed, we broadcast more and cut it back again to cover the seed.  We had
three cycles of this before we made another pass with the rototiller to put
everything in the ground for a winter rye crop.  (Massachusetts, winter rye
is the best cover in cold winter areas, aside from deep mulch, in my
opinion.)  The tiller dropped to the axil on the first pass.  How those
delicate buckwheat roots accomplished that I have no idea.

I suggest that you just buy a packet or two and try it.  It is a good bee
plant too, by the way, one of the best.  And the seed is high lysine, and
generally has a superior amino acid balance to cereal grains, though probably
not as good as quinoa for a stand alone four seed.  It takes some fussing to
get the hulls off the seed--I just grind them into my flower but some people
gag on them--irritates their throats, so they have to be removed.  Not as
much fuss as rice or quinoa, though.  

Buckwheat is frost sensitive.  Instead of trying to figure out by proxy how
it will do in your winter, why not buy a bit from a seed company such as
Johnny's or Abundant Life or Bountiful Gardens, all of whom I am sure carry
it.  If it works, get a sack from your local feed store (which may have to
order it for you so order early.)  

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, P.O.
Box 2052, Ocala FL 34478 USA  YankeePerm@aol.com  

We don't have time to rush.