Loading ...
Sorry, an error occurred while loading the content.

6226RE: [fukuoka_farming] Re: growing into NF

Expand Messages
  • Linda Shewan
    Jun 30, 2007
      Jamie – I am at the start point in NF. Your definition. “To allow nature
      just to be and therefore for us to do nothing are the very selfsame
      understanding.” surely must be a point along the road, not a starting point.

      Can you answer these questions bearing in mind the comments below:

      At what point can you move to this level of do nothingness ie. how does a
      natural farm get to the state where you can do nothing (allow nature just to

      How do you get there from a bare patch of earth, possibly totally destroyed
      by chemical farming for generations, without doing something to survive in
      the meantime?

      And is that not a hunter-gatherer relationship with the earth as opposed to
      a farmer? Which is ideal perhaps but then we must cull billions from the

      If you let nature run it’s own course with no human intervention then you
      will not have enough food to sustain you on a small area of land, while one
      of the key concepts of NF is that you can grow enough to sustain you on just
      ¼ acre. So your definition of NF seems to be only viable for those with
      outside income to buy in food, or the urban hunter-gatherer, which seems
      completely against the whole concept of NF.

      And my personal bugbear because it is so misunderstood - Permaculture is NOT
      gardening or farming or agriculture of any kind, it is DESIGN.

      I do understand the issues you have with human oriented design and agree in
      soul with them but PC strives to design the spaces in the environment so
      that they will work with and for the natural world not oppose them. And yes,
      PC strives to do that by following patterns observed in nature. Agreed that
      all patterns observed are not all the patterns that exist. The wild spaces
      inherent in PC and the perennial, self-seeding nature of PC designs ensure
      that nature dictates the spread and development of the plants in the

      PC is CONSCIOUS as opposed to what you define as NF which is the unfolding
      or unconscious. I simply do not believe any natural farms are unconscious
      spaces from day one. In his entire farming life Fukuoka never ‘did nothing’,
      he constantly manipulated his environment to grow what he chose. He did do a
      lot less than most farmers for the same or better result. And we respect him
      greatly for that and learn from his techniques. We know we can grow both in
      body and spirit following this path.

      In peace, Linda

      From: fukuoka_farming@yahoogroups.com
      [mailto:fukuoka_farming@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Jamie Nicol
      Sent: Saturday, 30 June 2007 7:21 PM
      To: fukuoka_farming@yahoogroups.com
      Subject: Re: [fukuoka_farming] Re: growing into NF

      Dear All, the discussion of PC versus NF has come up regularly on this list.
      Similarly, I have often tried to draw discussion away from organic
      agriculture (which provides the bulk of the subject matter of this lists
      archives) to NF - and, yes, this is an NF as understood by me and not
      Fukuoka's NF, just as Jean-Claude's NF is not mine nor Fukuoka's either. PC
      is not different in practice or philosophy from organic agriculture and
      Fukuoka has explicitly repudiated organic agriculture as simply another form
      of the thinking of conventional agriculture.

      But the consideration of anything versus anything else is itself the problem
      and I have often felt mixing with PCers that many of the practitioners were
      striving for something which would not *not* be considered NF too. However,
      PC as expressed in the books by Bill Mollison and as currently lectured on
      by David Holmgren (Peak Oil, Energy Descent etc) is not in any way connected
      to NF.

      There is a quiet tradition in the West, long lost amid the material and
      technological ' progress' , that speaks with the same voice as Fukuoka,
      Daoism or Buddhism and is alive in all of us - all we have to do is hear it.

      But it is this hearing that is the most difficult thing. We are all just too
      busy. This busyness is expressed perfectly in PCs desire to impose a human
      pattern on a landscape, a pattern that is explicitly created so as to
      maximise energy flows. It is not that such an approach does not observe the
      landscape first, but that the observation itself is already moving within
      prescribed, logical patterns. A pattern is, after all, nothing other than
      something always already thought to be understood.

      What if we were to hand back to nature the choice of pattern? That is NF.
      The reason that this is so difficult is that while we allow nature to do
      what it does (because nature knows better than we do) we must find something
      else to do. Or not do? That is NF. But there are not two NFs, only one. To
      allow nature just to be and therefore for us to do nothing are the very
      selfsame understanding.

      Those who call themselves PCers but find a spiritual dimension open up are
      no different to NFers. Bill Mollison infamously called those who would bring
      a religiosity to their farming/gardening, ' woo-woo' PCers! But he missed
      the point that that is just what is missing in our lives. Working within
      nature can open up the wonder at what is, a wonder that can soon lead to
      *the* question, ' Why is there something and not nothing' . When the wonder
      at existence works deep there is a transformation.

      There are those who understand, there are those who have not yet understood
      and there are those who will never understand. PC is no entry into NF nor is
      not an entry into NF. Conventional chemical agriculture is not an entry into
      NF nor is it not and entry into NF. There is nothing you have to do nor can
      do to understand NF, just as once understood there is nothing you have to do
      nor don't have to do.

      Heraclitus wrote that you cannot walk into the same river twice and I
      believe that he is father to the silent tradition I mentioned earlier in the
      West. But a follower of his, Cratylus, said that you cannot walk into the
      same river even once! If Cratylus is right as I believe, then there is no
      PC, nor is there technology or philosophy either. There isn't even NF!


      On 6/29/07, Sara Mandal-Joy <smjlists@...
      <mailto:smjlists%40gmail.com> > wrote:
      > I disagree with your definition of permaculture. Although a few folks
      > do practice in that form, so do some folks talking about "doing" NF.
      > The people I know and have researched who practice permaculture are not
      > at all head centered, nor even heart centered, but deeper, dropping into
      > their own roots in being and FEELING the connections to all that are
      > around them, letting earth be the teacher, not another human "master"
      > with their own unseen hangups and unrecognized mind controls, but
      > letting earth itself be their teacher, listening and learning and
      > adapting and responding to what they learn from the Earth itself, and
      > all forms of life therein, and all extended expanded forms of life
      > extending out from the land with which they are interacting. I think
      > you need to look into it a little further, based on your thumbnail
      > definition. Just my perception. Sara

      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]

      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • Show all 32 messages in this topic