6226RE: [fukuoka_farming] Re: growing into NF
- Jun 30, 2007Jamie 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
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 its 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
[mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org] On Behalf Of Jamie Nicol
Sent: Saturday, 30 June 2007 7:21 PM
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
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
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:
>[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
> 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]
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