I'm jumping into the discussion without having read all the contributions, but just wish to contribute a thought which might help resolve the issues around human "interference".
If we reframe the issue considering man as part of nature, not as something more or less alien to nature, with a peculiar gift of intelligence to contribute, this might help.
This privilege gives man a peculiar responsibility. Enter the notion of stewardship. If I have understood Fukuoka aright, his philosophy is one of humble stewardship, contrasting with the arrogant and hubristic attitutude to human intelligence evinced in the technological or bullying approach to farming. Nature "rewards" this humility by good yields with less effort. In the same way being wise stewards of our selves leads to greater health and vitality, less spending on medical technology, and so on.
Fukuoka insists that we know nothing and that our responsibility is to listen to nature and to work with it; this embraces the listening to one's own self - body, spirit, so at to be a wise steward of it too. There is no distinction between man and nature, just a difference of gifts.
There is included in all this the paradox that though it is impossible to understand or know nature (in the way that the techno-scientific approach aspires to and often claims to), our reason nevertheless has a natural role in which it is adequate, and that is to listen and watch and then, in a sort of way, obey the nature of things: things as they are, not as we want them to be or as we try to force them to be. Such obedience leads to the natural consequences of wise stewardship which are health, harmony and abundance.
----- Original Message ----
From: Gloria C. Baikauskas <gloriawb@...
Sent: Friday, August 1, 2008 10:32:36 PM
Subject: [fukuoka_farming] Re: Natural Farming for a Living
Thank you, Dieter, for reminding me of Mr. Piri's name. I am
recovering from a mastectomy, and my mind is not as astute as it
might otherwise be.
It is hard to jump in, but harder still sometimes to catch up on the
dialog on this list. Because all of you are as intelligent and
knowledgable as you are I feel I must read them carefully lest I miss
I tell myself all of the time we must be missing something. Before
man things fell and germinated without our interference, yet I know
also that without the interference of man much in the way of plant
life would not now exist. Robert Monie sent me an incredible book
explaining just that. It took me a bit to wrap my mind around it
because we spend so much time setting aside land to let it 'heal'
from our interference. It is as much the nature of the interference
as not. Correct interference makes success.
I think that is the thing here in this discussion.. ..trying to decide
what is the correct interference. We do know that in different parts
of the world what has worked in another won't work there, or over
there. Sometimes that is true within the same garden.
I suspect the biggest problem we face is that without man quite often
larger amounts of humus built up. We have lost it, or destroyed it.
Sometimes man had nothing to do with it. Glaciers, or something else
Maybe if we keep discussing it, we will find a solution. I know
there must be one.
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