1258Re: [fukuoka_farming] Draft of website intro
- Oct 7, 2002Hello Justin, seems a perfectly sensible question to me and one that any one
interested in following Fukuoka's techniques must be made aware of and
answer for themselves.
I have no evidence to refute any claims to the impracticability of Fukuoka's
Natural Farming, indeed, even in the face of the accepted fact of the
children's reversion to conventional techniques, I do not feel the need for
any. There are the books and their obviously deeply researched musings on
nature and the apparent evidence of his rice and barley yields, there are
even references to this or that professor from such and such university, but
these are in Fukuoka's words and could of course be part of a huge charade.
You could also point to the replication of his work by others in Japan we
were reading recently from a post forwarded by Emilia from Kyle, or the use
of Fukuoka's work by David Holmgren and Bill Mollison the founders of
But actually for me the 'evidence' exists simply in the voice of Fukuoka in
The One-Straw Revolution. It is of a man who has seen something so simple
and yet so powerful and who goes on to dedicate his life to this insight. I
don't know how you could falsify this voice or express such close knowledge
of nature without actually having experienced it.
You might also want to stop a moment and ask yourself why you're asking the
question or even why others have been expressing their doubts. As an
occidental I know I grow up in a culture that is inherently sceptical -
modern thought begins with Descartes holing himself up in a room for three
days to see what remains after he has flayed himself with doubt. The result
"I think therefore I am", a distinctly meagre representation of the world
and the social interactions that actually define the world for us.
Such reductionism is the tool of scientific enquiry and as such seems wholly
inappropriate when applied to Fukuoka. But ultimately the only 'proof' of
the truth of what Fukuoka says is to develop your own version of Fukuoka's
farming. Only by experiencing nature close at hand will you come to
understand whether Fukuoka knew what he was doing or not. But for to do that
you would have to already believe him to be bothered to start.
In a society that constantly moves on to the 'latest thing' commitment
becomes harder and harder. Doubts can always be sown. Because we have become
hardened sceptics we would rather let anything go than be fooled. Sometimes
we should just listen to ourselves when something inspires us and turn off
the thunder of voices speaking on the radio, TV, newspapers and the chatter
that is generated from these media.
We should remember that it is not the goal for which we should aim, but the
path along the way. If there ever was a joyful path through this life it
would be something close to what Fukuoka outlines, a life spent close to
nature, listening to its rhythms and adapting ourselves and our culture to
those rhythms. We could do worse, sceptical/reductionist scienctific enquiry
----- Original Message -----
From: Justin . <justinasia@...>
Sent: Sunday, October 06, 2002 11:10 AM
Subject: Re: [fukuoka_farming] Draft of website intro
> Please forgive my asking again, and I really mean know offence, but I
> like to know why Fukuoka-san's family reverted to non-natural methods. I
> have been told by someone, that the ideas in the book (one straw
> are really great and that it sounds wonderful, but that there are problems
> which he had that were not in the book. This person gave the example that
> the fields (rice etc) were fine for however many years, but eventually
> taken over by weeds. Does anyone know if there is any truth in that? So
> I cannot understand how, if the techniques were really so good, if
> production was really higher, input costs lower and labour time lower, how
> could it be that his family didn't continue his way. Surely they would be
> the ones who could see the most clearly, as they would have been living
> there, working there, and so on. Somehow the logic doesn't add up to me.
> I really want to beleive that it can work. I was never even interested in
> farming untill I heard about Fukuoka from a friend of mine. Now I'm really
> interested, and can well imagine myself as a farmer. What was so far from
> philosophy - farming, control of the environment to such extreme - I have
> now, thanking you guys also, so unseperable from my philosophy - farming,
> working with nature in harmonious relationship.
> I just want to understand. This is my courtship.
> Thank you
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