8Over 20 years ago, i learned agnihotra at a weekend workshop in Humpy near Mapleton.  And it was my practice for a period of time, sunrise and sunset. I bought my kit on the sunshine coast when Lee Ringma from Agnihotra Australia visited as part of a workshop tour.

from their website  …. “We also regularly organise Workshop Tours coming to your location to conduct free workshops.The geographical area we cover is Australia, New Zealand and Asia.The Workshops, Talks and Courses are conducted as voluntary work, as service and hence are free of charge. We accept sponsorship for the travel, food and accomodation costs.”

Buy your kit.

Agnihotra (Homa) consists of making two offerings to the fire exactly at the time of sunrise & sunset along with two small Sanskrit mantras. Agnihotra is regarded a process of purification of the atmosphere as a cumulative effect of various scientific and sonic principles harnessed to give rise to an unparalled purifying and healing phenomenon. The benefits, both spiritual and mundane, that accrue to sacrificers is said to be enormous.

How to perform Agnihotra in Summary

1. Smear few cow dung chips with ghee and arrange them in the Agnihotra pot.
2. Mix about a teaspoon full of rice with a small amount of ghee and keep them aside.
3. Start the fire few minutes before sunrise/sunset time.

While chanting the mantra offer the rice smeared with ghee (just enough that one can hold in the tip
of five fingers) at the utterance of ‘Swaaha’ ie ‘Sváhá’ in the fire.

There are only two offerings at Sunset or Sunrise each in the Agnihotra fire.

Mantra At Sunrise:  listen

Sooryáya Sváhá
(add the first portion of rice)
Sooryáya Idam Na Mama

Prajápataye Sváhá
(add the second portion of rice)
Prajápataye Idam Na Mama

Unto the fire I am offering all.
This offering is not mine, it is Thine.

Mandtra At Sunset:  listen

Agnaye Sváhá
(add the first portion of rice)
Agnaye Idam Na Mama
Prajápataye Sváhá
(add the second portion of rice)
Prajápataye Idam Na Mama

Unto the sun I am offering this offering.
This is not mine, this is Thine.

Word to Word Meanings:
Agnaye … fire
Sooryáya … sun

swáhá … offering
idam … this
na mama … not mine
prajá- … all the living
pataye … The Lord

Word to word meaning does not give the purport of the mantras.

 When the mantras are chanted in the meter in which they are composed, by Supreme Grace the inherent meaning and the power and vibrations impact the entire creation. The healing occurs at the grass roots level in the subtlest manner.
 This power of the mantra is locked into the ashes that develop in the fire upon the oblations.
These vibrations pulsate the entire universe in a profound, subtle but sure impact and affect.
 It is like the fragrance and beauty of a flower when the flower is in the form of a bud.
 By grace it radiates all its beauty and joy for the good of the entire universe.
…Guruji Shree Mohan Jadhav

AGnihotr1AGnihotra 2


The Phenomena of Agnihotra Homa Practice

free ebook download    agni hotra: ancient sollution to modern pollution

How to Videos

videos by Bruce Johnson and wife Anne Godfrey really deserve mentioning here

and Rose Circles

Further Reading:



My Do’s and Don’ts

lushvegNone of these are required in nature:
soil preparation, fertilization, irrigation, weed control, pest control, crop rotation, ph balancing, bio-innoculation, compost tea-ing

With SlowFastSoil, the following are no longer necessary:

  • creating different beds for sun-loving and shade-loving food plants
  • tilling
  • digging
  • companion planting
  • composting
  • worm casting or juice

Most non-toxic food production methods, materials, infrastructure and tools for both the home/market garden and commercial cropper comprises a continual  adding ingredients into and atop the soil and doing things to the soil,  along with a constant wondering about the viability of soil.

Most non-toxic growers begin their food growing on soil which is not ideal. The ways that they set out to improve it and get things growing as soon as possible, are many and varied, as the following forum partiipants discuss.

What I Don’t Do Anymore: ie because slow fast soil makes it all so unnecessary

  • Lots of Swaling
  • Regular Watering
  • Mulching with Deep Straw
  • Raised Beds
  • Worrying over what to feed the garden.
  • Huge Compost Heaps
  • Worm Farms
  • Continual Compost Tea
  • Manure Water
  • Green Manuring Crop
  • Crop Rotation

What I Still Do:

Smaller Compost Heaps – to create a planting medium (as you cannot plant straight into the woody mulch mix).

Initial (not continual) Compost Tea-ing

Grow Hedgerows or Borders of suitable plants for :

  • crop and drop – for lay mulching
  • putting through shredder  – for lay mulching
  • compost heaps – to create a planting medium

Use Humanure when I am living in a place where I have built my own worry-free compost toilet.

what i am no longer impressed by:

  • AquaCulture

what i have never impressed by:

Top 12 Garden Trends for 2014


1. Grafted Vegetable Plants

2. Not Using GMO Seeds

3. Planting Raised, Stackable Beds, and Container Bags

4. Bee Gardening

5. Planting for Health Benefits/Foraging

6. Herbs-Medicinal and Culinary

7. Growing Exotic and Unusual Vegetables

8. Themed Seed Samplers

9. Growing Small/Rooftops

10. Growing “Super Foods“

11. Fermentation

12. Sprouts & Micro Greens

The Importance of traditional cultures and indigenous practices

The Melanesian Way Inc. Papua New Guinea (tmwpng)

culture12.jpg“We loved and enjoyed the dance but tired now and know nothing about what it means?”

We have heard comments that our cultures and traditions are old-fashioned; they hold back progress in nation building and that we should completely forget about them and adopt new ways of life. Some say they are ‘dirty’ and ‘primitive’. They are perceived as negative by the new generation. Adding on all these claims, a report by the Pacific Women Against Violence (Volume 1, Issue 10) stated that Pacific Islands cultures and unequal relationship between men and women contribute largely to violence against women in the region. But the report then challenges its own findings that domestic violence is an international problem that is thriving locally – not alone grown by Melanesian way of life.
Many of us do not agree with all these comments because some of us are living examples of what our cultures and…

View original post 1,480 more words

Mary Valley Country Harvest Co-op

I am visiting the Dagun Station Growers market tomorrow arvo from 3 – 5pm at Dagun Railway Station.  i am so looking forward to it. I have not been there for so long.

the market is one activity of the  Mary Valley Country Harvest Co-opcropped-web-header1

keyline design mark IV by collins & doherty

On their blog,  HeenanDoherty has a posted a paper originally posted here in all its glory ie with pictures and format. I made an attempt to contact HeenanDoherty via a comment On their blog, to no avail – the page would not let me comment. 

I have republished AN EXTRACT below.  And have created a PDF document from the original source here

To download this worthy paper, go here.


KEYLINE DESIGN Mark IV   Soil, Water & Carbon for Every Farm’

Building Soils, Harvesting Rainwater, Storing Carbon

 by Abe Collins[1] & Darren J. Doherty [2]


Keyline Design was first developed by the great Australian, P.A. Yeomans (1904-1984), in the late 1940’s & 50’s initially as a practical response to the unpredictable rainfall regime he found on his new property, ‘Nevallan’, to the west of Sydney, New South Wales, Australia. Soil Conservation, as developed by the US Army Corp of Engineers was the predominant practice of the time and for a time Yeomans was influenced by this, though soon found somewhat deficiencies with the pattern of water flow its application expressed. Yeomans went on to devote the rest of his life to the promotion, research and development of Keyline Design and in doing so was labelled by Permaculture co-originator Bill Mollison as ‘…one of Australia’s greatest patriots…[3]’.

Influenced[4] by the likes of prominent organic agriculture figures in Andre Voison, Friend Sykes, Newman Turner & Louis Bromfield (among many others!) Yeomans has been attributed with being the 1st person to accelerate soil formation through the stacking of methods, overturning the myth that it took 1000 years to create an inch of topsoil. Yeomans proclaimed that ‘…the landman’s job is not so much to conserve soil as it is to develop soil, to improve his soil his soil and to make it more fertile than it ever was…’.[5]

The development of the Permaculture concept owes much to P.A. Yeomans[6], not only for its enduring and effective landscape patterning, but also for the integrated business framework that he developed over the 40 odd years that he worked in developing a myriad of enterprises around Keyline®. From the 1950 – 1970’s there was a nationally (in Australia) published ‘Keyline’ magazine, authorship of articles & books, at least three operational broadacre R&D farms under his control, CSIRO support (up until 1958), a ‘Keyline Foundation’, an established international property design & development consultancy, Chisel Plow, ‘Delver’, ‘Tritter’, ‘Keyline Plow’, Lockpipe, ‘Bunyip Level’,  and ‘Ag-Yo’ or ‘Yobanite’ manufacture & sales. How Yeomans managed such a diverse business model over many years is a tribute to the man’s capability and is unparalleled in the Permaculture (or Agriculture!) industry despite the devices of modern communications.

Stunned by the loss of his brother-in-law Jim Barnes, in a grass fire in 1944 on ‘Nevallan’, Yeomans brought to bear his vast experience as a mine overseer and earthmover to capture and store rainwater in large ponds (referred to in Australia as ‘farm dams’) across broadacre landscapes which ‘so lush and green all year round, they would be virtually fireproof’[7] and droughtproof. Similar climate regions across the world suffer similarly and the clearly the adoption of Keyline methods would be a primary form of solid-state risk management for both rural and urban landscapes alike. I commonly get requests from clients and correspondents to design both fireproof & droughtproof landscapes and fortunately Keyline provides the effective template.

According to Yeomans the ‘inseparable trinity of landscape design’ were climate, landshape and water supply, with roads, trees, buildings, fencing & soils being the ‘more negotiable remainder of the hierarchy’. Yeomans labeled this prioritization the ‘Keyline Scale of Permanence’ as a foundation to the process involved with planning permanent landscapes. Interestingly it is now evident that the loss of carbon in agricultural soils. I commonly say that Permaculture itself ‘lacks a clear decision making process’[8]: the Keyline Scale of Permanence’ and latterly Allan Savory’s landmark ‘Holistic Management® Model’ ably provide the models for the Permaculture ‘toolkit’. These methodologies lack the integrated design principles such as those espoused and continually expanded by Permaculturalists, so combining these approaches makes obvious sense and follows the intellectual pathway led by Yeomans, Savory, David Holmgren, Bill Mollison along with Dr. John Todd[9], Dr. George Chan & Gunter Pauli[10]     among others.

The following article serves to outline many of these processes as part of the ongoing evolution of Keyline or Keyline Design Mark IV as I am calling it, and was developed by Abe Collins & myself for our various seminars.

The Keyline Plan

”A comprehensive design strategy for agricultural and urban development based on fundamental, repeating land shapes that have been created by water” Abe Collins

Key components:

  • Rapid development of biologically active, fertile soil within a systematically designed landscape.  During an average three-year conversion phase, four to six inches of new topsoil are typically formed each year. This new topsoil stores large quantities of water in the landscape.
  • Design for the harvest, storage and distribution of water on the landscape forms the foundation of the Keyline Plan.
  • Run-off water is stored in dams.  This water is later released for rapid, gravity-powered flood-irrigation.
  • Roads, forests buildings and fencing follow primary water layout and fit together within the lay of the land.
  • The Keyline landscape is a permanent landscape in which every infrastructure component helps ensure the maintenance and renewal of the topsoil within it.

“The hallmarks on the properties of successful Keyline farmers are lakes with water birds, contour and ridge line roads and contoured strip forests, dark fertile soil, luxuriant healthy green crops and feed.” Ken Yeomans[11]    

New Topsoil Can Be Created Quickly

Factors that determine soil fertility:

  • The mineralogical and structural framework
  • The prevailing climate
  • The soil’s biotic associations

Soil has a life and environment of its own.  The biotic association can be modified through modification of the soil microclimate.

Soil life responds dramatically to ideal air, moisture, food and temperature conditions.  These conditions are simple to create with grazing, subsoiling and dependable rainfall or irrigation. Life begets Life.   Plants, their roots and attendant exudates are the solar harvesters and the raw food of soil life. Grazing animals are ‘biological accelerators’ they are the most effective tool we can use to speed mineral cycling, and graziers affect enough land to make a large impact.


Graziers can build topsoil more quickly than anyone else on earth

pasture cowThe work of the Yeomans Family, their forebears and contemporaries, Savory and more recently Collins, Dr. Llewellen Manske[12], & others have clearly demonstrated a variety of means available to increase air, water and organic materials: only the scientists who policy-makers choose to listen to need convincing.

[1]   Carbon Farmers of America co-founder,, Swanton, VT

[2]   Australia Felix Permaculture,, Bendigo, VIC

[3]   Mollison, B., Permaculture Design Certificate Course, Tyalgum, NSW, 1995

[4]   Yeomans, A.J., Homage to P.A. Yeomans, Gold Coast, QLD, 19

[5]   Yeomans, P.A., The Challenge of Landscape, Keyline Press, Sydney, NSW, 1958, pp 166.

[6]   Hill, S.B., Yeomans Keyline Design for Sustainable Soil, Water, Agroecosystem & Biodiversity Conservation: A Personal Social Ecology Analysis, University of Western Sydney, NSW, 2001

[7], Keyline & Fertile Futures, Sydney, NSW, 2007

[8], Keyline & Fertile Futures, Sydney, NSW, 2007

[9], Principles for Designing Eco-Machines, Burlington, VT, 2008

[10], About ZERI: The Science Behind It, 2008

[11], Yeomans, K.B., Keyline Designs, Gold Coast, QLD, 2005

[12], UND, 2008

Mark Wilkes, a pioneer using wood mulch & myco


April 25, 2010 – Help Plant a Mushroom Garden

As part of the upcoming Earth Day celebrations, the Sunshine Coast Society for Hunting, Recognition and Observation of Mushrooms (SHROOM) is inviting members of the public to help establish a mushroom demonstration garden at the Iris Griffith centre at 2 p.m. on Sunday, April 25.

Join Mark Wilkes of Funguy Gardens, who will demonstrate his method of using mycelium-impregnated wood chips as mulch. Not only does the mulch produce an abundance of good-tasting mushrooms (known as Wine Caps, Garden Giant, or King Stropharia), over the period of less than a year the mycelium consumes the lignin in the wood and the chips are transformed into healthy, nutrient-rich garden soil.

For more information, contact Ann Harmer at 604 883 3678 or visit Mark Wilkes’ website

SHROOM (a newly established sunshine coast mycological society) will also be accepting memberships at that time: annual dues is $20 per person, $25 for a family.


Website: Funguy Gardens Email Address:

Phone: 604-886-3388


Through the use of mushroom mycelium, Funguy Gardens offers Sunshine Coast residents fantastic nutrient- rich “living soil” solutions at great prices. We are dedicated to the environment and use techniques that mimic nature to create the healthiest of ecosystems in your own back yard. Sterile soil mixes lack the nutrients, minerals and life that your garden needs to be healthy and flourish. Mark Wilkes has taken his love for food and gardening and created an option that will save you time, money and water. Growing your garden with mushrooms will build plant health, raise yields and re-introduces the beneficial fungus back in your garden where it is belongs. Join the local eco movement for only $1.75/sq.foot.

Funguy Gardens also frequently sells mushroom mulch kits and various delicious homemade mushroom edibles at farmers markets on the Sunshine Coast and throughout the Lower Mainland.

“10 Questions With……”
Mark Wilkes 
Owner and operator of Funguy Gardens
 October, 2010 Interview

How did you first become interested in the innovative concept of “growing your own soil” through the use of mushroom mycelium?
As a gardening enthusiast on the Coast, I found it very difficult to source healthy fertile soil that did not need to be amended for a minimum of 5 years. I discovered that one of the types of mushrooms I was growing was leaving me with beautiful black soil in place of the wood chips. Now I am a soil farmer who offers garden lovers a living soil option.

How does mushroom mycelium turn wood chips into rich fertile soil?
The mushroom roots (mycelium) wrap around the chips and digest the lignin-cellulose structure of the wood leaving you with fertile soil. They amend the carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen and minerals back into the ecosystem in forms usable to the plants, insects, and other organisms.

What are the benefits to digesting wood rather than adding heat to compost it?
When we look at nature there are never naturally occurring large piles of wood generating heat. When we add heat (naturally or artificially) we trigger harmful bacteria to grow that are not beneficial for our plants to thrive in.
Glomalin, only recently discovered in 1996, is exclusively created in the wood chip digestion process by mycelium. It’s presence is now increasingly being included in soil quality analysis.

What makes glomalin such a valuable soil component for gardeners on the Sunshine Coast?
When we compost wood with heat there is no glomalin production. Glomalin is the matrix that holds soil together. When we over-till our soil the glomalin is broken up, leaving the wind and the rain to wash away important nutrients and minerals. Because we get a lot of rain on the Coast, our soils can become depleted without this very valuable substance.

Describe the on-site services that you provide for residents of the Sunshine Coast.
First, I personally consult with the customer to determine their specific needs. Then I choose the type of wood to be digested by the mycelium for each particular installation. This is determined by the digestive lifetime of the wood, the environmental conditions on the property, and the type of plants the customer wants to grow in and around the mulch. For example, if the customer wants flower beds dressed then I suggest a wood that lasts longer. If they want mulch for vegetable beds I choose a wood that digests quickly, giving results in less than a gardening season. Ornamental and vegetable plants can grow directly in the installation area where the mycelium is at work. I supply, deliver, and install all aspects of the procedure and this can be done any time of the year with the exception of January and February.

How long does a mushroom mulch installation last and how long does it take for the mycelium to fruit?
How long an installation lasts depends on the thickness of the mulch installed and how much fuel you supply the mycelium with. As with all organisms, as long as you feed them from year to year they keep growing and expanding, leaving you with more and more fertile soil. A large mulched area could produce wheelbarrow loads of delicious edible mushrooms 6-10 months after an installation, growing around your plants only and never harming them.

Funguy Gardens also retails mushroom mulch kits for people who wish to install the mycelium themselves. How do these work and where can you buy them?
The mushroom mulch kits are easy to install. First, you simply dig a large shallow hole in your garden the size of the kit. Next, empty the contents of the kit into the hole. Lastly, dust some soil over top and add water. To properly flush mushrooms, they need to be installed in an area with partial to full sun exposure. I regularly sell the kits at farmer markets on the Coast or you can contact me directly by phone or email for pickup in the off-season.

What are the various reasons why mushroom mulch is “The Sustainable Choice” for improving soil quality?
Using mushroom mulch to grow your soil is a form of biomimicry and thus has many environmental benefits. Mycelium installations create a natural food chain effect, drawing many valuable creatures to your garden like bugs, birds, and most of all lots of worms. The addition of glomalin in your soil through the digestion process has significant water retention benefits which helps to preserve a valuable resource here on the Coast. Glomalin also provides excellent erosion control for your soil and the digested wood chips feed nutrients to your plants directly for at least five years. No human-created energy is used to create or transport the soil, as it is grown naturally right in your own yard. In addition, mushroom mulch can provide natural weed suppression without the use of any chemicals.
Human-created energy is used to create or transport the soil, as it is grown naturally right in your own yard. In addition, mushroom mulch can provide natural weed suppression without the use of any chemicals.

Stropharia Rugoso-Annulata, Wine Caps, or Garden Giants are three names for the edible mushroom strain that you use for garden installations. What are the physical attributes of this mushroom and what does it taste like?
It resembles a large Portobello with a red wine colored cap. It has a deep, rich delicious flavour.

You are a highly trained chef and have been known to sell various edible mushroom food products at farmers markets on the Sunshine Coast. Could you describe your delicious smoked mushroom seasonings and mushroom burgers?
As a chef for over 15 years I love to incorporate my cooking skills with these delicious edibles. I smoke, dehydrate, grind and then spice my mushroom seasonings, which can be incorporated into many different foods. I make lots of healthy choice mushroom burgers made from loads of organic veggies, oats and quinoa (an ancient grain). My next line is Mushroom Pate Sausages that I know will create a buzz for meat eaters as well

Microbes Will Feed the World, or Why Real Farmers Grow Soil, Not Crops – Modern Farmer

INTRO: OOO i am so happy to have found this post. i googled “real soil”. The following is an EXTRACT.
SOURCE: Microbes Will Feed the World, or Why Real Farmers Grow Soil, Not Crops – Modern Farmer.

Out on the horizon of agriculture’s future, an army 40,000 strong is marching towards a shimmering goal. They see the potential for a global food system where pesticides, herbicides and fertilizers are but relics of a faded age.

They are not farmers, but they are working in the name of farmers everywhere. Under their white lab coats their hearts beat with a mission to unlock the secrets of the soil — making the work of farmers a little lighter, increasing the productivity of every field and reducing the costly inputs that stretch farmers’ profits as thin as a wire.

‘Producing more food with fewer resources may seem too good to be true, but the world’s farmers have trillions of potential partners that can help achieve that ambitious goal. Those partners are microbes.’

The American Society of Microbiologists (ASM) recently released a treasure trove of their latest research and is eager to get it into the hands of farmers. Acknowledging that farmers will need to produce 70 to 100 percent more food to feed the projected 9 billion humans that will inhabit the earth by 2050, they remain refreshingly optimistic in their work. The introduction to their latest report states:

“Producing more food with fewer resources may seem too good to be true, but the world’s farmers have trillions of potential partners that can help achieve that ambitious goal. Those partners are microbes.”