Natural Farming : 'The Harmonious Wheatsmith'

Discussion in 'The big picture' started by gnoll110, Oct 21, 2006.

  1. gnoll110

    gnoll110 Junior Member

    Oct 11, 2006
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    I found this reference Thursday night, 'The Harmonious Wheatsmith' by Mark Moodie (ISBN 0-9517890-0-7). It's about a method of no-till farming developed by Marc Bonfils, a French ecologist/grain farmer.

    Yesterday I found this abstract

    Author: Mark Moodie
    The only text on the Bonfils/Fukuoka no-till methods of cereal cultivation. A delightfully idiosyncratic booklet with quirky illustrations.
    Book's abstract at

    This morning I found this

    An e-book of 'The Harmonious Wheatsmith'

    then this

    Authors website with e-book versions of his works (Buy via

    Here is Marc Bonfils, the developers enter on wikipedia,

    I also remembered that CSIRO was doing Clover/Lucerne research in the early 1990s. They were using Lucernes summer growth to produce a mulch layer for winter growing veggies and Clovers winter growth to produce a mulch layer for summer growing veggies.

    I saw a backyard Clever Clover patch in suburban Canberra in the early 1990's. It was during an 'open garden' organized by Permaculture ACT (now defunct). An Ex-Pacters out there?

    While googling I found these interesting looking links.

    Australian Journal of Soil Research
    Long-term effects of crop rotation, stubble management and tillage on soil phosphorus dynamics

    E. K. Bünemann, D. P. Heenan, P. Marschner and A. M. McNeill

    Australian Journal of Agricultural Research
    The effect of boron supply on the growth and seed production of subterranean clover (Trifolium subterraneum L.)

    BS Dear and J Lipsett

    Australian Journal of Experimental Agriculture
    Survey of the productivity, composition and estimated inputs of fixed nitrogen by pastures in central-western New South Wales

    A. M. Bowman, W. Smith, M. B. Peoples and J. Brockwell

    Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC)
    Research Update for Growers - Southern Region - September 2004
    Putting the system together - Testing the value of lucerne with GRAZPLAN decision support tools

    Libby Salmon, CSIRO Plant Industry

    Then I hit pay dirt.

    product info from the Diggers Club website and

    info from a Canberra Organic Growers Society member. and

    Organic Weed Management Survey results, Uni of New England research project

    All the initial 'Clever Clover' stuff I found was from this decade. Then I found an early reference.

    And guess where it was... a article written by David Holmgren in 1991
    Development of the Permaculture Concept.
    There is a reference to Clever Clover in the Natural Farming section (page 4-5)
    then back to the 2000's where I found a similar observation to David Holmgren's about the value of observing nature.

    In a Science Show discussion panel, with the subject of the 'Serendipity in Science', Clever Clover and its originator Richard Stursacre are used to illustrate observation and serendipity.

    Panel Transcript
    I wonder if a 'Wetting Front Monitor' is anything like the 4 foot steel rod an old farmer I know uses? ;)

    I did some searches on Richard Stursacre, both on google & CSIRO, but it lead nowhere.

    I do agree about the best thinking being done when your out in nature. I walk in the mornings, it's my best thinking time.


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