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Re: [fukuoka_farming] Draft of website intro

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  • Robert Monie
    Hi Larry, Seems like a good job to me. Just a few minor proofreading corrections: Change seperated (world s most common mispelling) in line 19 to separated
    Message 1 of 8 , Oct 2, 2002
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      Hi Larry,
      Seems like a good job to me. Just a few minor proofreading corrections: Change "seperated' (world's most common mispelling) in line 19 to "separated" and maybe change "produces" to "produced" in line 50, since Fukuoka no longer operates the farm. At the end of line 59, make it four ellipsis marks before "Home" to show you are moving across sentences. Some editors would delete the possibly redundant "one" in "to a mere one week" in line 110. Also, some would delete the first "of" in "all of the complexities of life" in line 22 and rewrite the comparison "greater than any of the neighboring farms" in lines 52-54 to read "greater than those of any neighboring farm" to emphasize that "yields," not farms, are being compared.
      The closing line seems to suggest that Fukuoka's family continues his way of farming, which we know is not so. Is there a gentle, non-accusatory way of factually stating this?
      Overall, though, it's looking good; no complaints.
      Bob Monie
      Larry Haftl wrote:This is really too long for an email message, but I thought it important
      to get your feedback (including editorial stuff) before I post it
      as the Introduction to Fukuoka on the website...

      INTRODUCTION TO MASANOBU FUKUOKA

      Masanobu Fukuoka was born in 1914 in a small farming village on the
      island of Shikoku in Southern Japan.
      He was educated in microbiology and worked as a soil scientist specializing
      in plant pathology, but at the age of twenty-five he began to have
      doubts about the "wonders of modern agriculture science."

      While recovering from a severe attack of pneumonia, Fukuoka experienced
      a moment of satori or personal enlightenment. He had a vision in
      which something one might call true nature was revealed to him. He
      saw that all the "accomplishments" of human civilization are meaningless
      before the totality of nature. He saw that humans had become seperated
      from nature and that our attempts to control or even understand all
      of the complexities of life were not only futile, they were self-
      destructive.. From that moment on, he has spent his life trying to
      return to the state of being one with nature.

      At the time of his revelation, Fukuoka was living in a Japan that
      was abandoning its traditional farming methods and adopting Western
      agriculture, economic and industrial models. He saw how this trend
      was driving the Japanese even further from a oneness with nature,
      and how destructive and polluting those practices were.
      As a result, he resigned his job as a research scientist and returned
      to his father's farm on Shikoku determined to demonstrate the practical
      value of his vision by restoring the land to a condition that would
      enable nature's original harmony to prevail.

      Through 30 years of refinement he was able to develop a "do-nothing"
      method of farming that does not require soil cultivation such as
      ploughing or tilling, chemical fertilizers, pesticides, weeding,
      pruning, machinery or compost, and yet it produces high-quality fruit,
      vegetables and grains with yields equal to or greater than any of
      the neighboring farms.

      Fukuoka wrote: "If a single new bud is snipped off a fruit tree with
      a pair of scissors, that may bring about a disorder which cannot
      be undone�Human beings with their tampering do something wrong, leave
      the damage unrepaired, and when the adverse results accumulate, work
      with all their might to correct them."

      "To become one with nature -- agriculture is an occupation in which
      a farmer adapts himself to nature. To do that, you have to gaze at
      a rice plant and listen to the words from the plant. If you understand
      what the rice says, you just adjust your heart to that of the rice
      plants and raise them. In reality, we do not have to raise them.
      They will grow. We just serve nature. A piece of advice I need to
      give you here. When I say gaze at a rice plant or stare at its true
      form, it does not mean to make an observation or to contemplate the
      rice plant, which makes it an object different from yourself. It
      is very difficult to explain in words. In a sense, it is important
      that you become the rice plant. Just as you, as the subject of gazing,
      have to disappear. If you do not understand what you should do or
      what I am talking about, you should be absorbed in taking care of
      the rice without looking aside. If you could work wholeheartedly
      without yourself, that is enough. Giving up your ego is the shortest
      way to unification with nature."

      He grew two seasonal crops - rice in summer, barley and rye in winter
      - using just the straw of the preceding crop, a cover of clover and
      a sprinkling of poultry manure for fertilizer. Instead of planting
      seeds and transplanting seedlings as in traditional rice cultivation,
      he broadcasts clay pellets containing seeds on unploughed soil,
      sufficiently loosened by nature's own undercover agents, the earthworm
      and others such creatures.

      The use of white clover reduces the amount of water required to a
      mere one week initially. Weeds are allowed to sprout, controlled
      by nature's checks and balances, including natural predators, which
      also take care of pests. "Nature, left alone, is in perfect balance,
      " asserts Fukuoka with proven confidence. Each rice stalk yields
      200 to 300 grains, which compares very favorably with the yield of
      other forms of cultivation; labor is cut to one-fifth.

      He also grew vegetables and fruits for market using similar techniques.

      In his 60's, Fukuoka sat down to document what he had seen and done.
      In 1975 his first book "One Straw Revolution" was released and has
      had a profound impact on agriculture and human concsciousness all
      over the world. "One Straw Revolution" was followed by "The Natural
      Way of Farming" and then by "The Road Back To Nature."

      Since 1979, Fukuoka has been touring, giving lectures and sowing
      the seeds of natural farming all over the world. In 1988 he was given
      Deshikottan Award, and the Ramon Magsaysay Award. In 1997 he received
      the Earth Council Award.

      To Masanobu Fukuoka, raising food is not the primary goal of farming.

      "The ultimate goal of farming is not the growing of crops,
      but the cultivation and perfection of human beings."

      To Fukuoka, farming is a part of a personal spiritual path. He is
      still alive (as of October, 2002), still touring and teaching, and
      still following his path though he no longer works on the farm, which
      is currently operated by his younger family members.



      Larry Haftl
      larry@...
      http://larryhaftl.com/fukuoka
      http://FukuokaNaturalFarming.org








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    • Larry Haftl
      ... separated I KNOW I ve got a Spelchek around here somewhere... All excellent suggestions and I ll all of the changes except maybe the last one. Thanks for
      Message 2 of 8 , Oct 3, 2002
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        At Wednesday, 2 October 2002, Robert Monie wrote:

        >Hi Larry,
        >Seems like a good job to me. Just a few minor proofreading corrections:
        >Change "seperated' (world's most common mispelling) in line 19 to
        "separated"

        I KNOW I've got a Spelchek around here somewhere...

        All excellent suggestions and I'll all of the changes except maybe
        the last one. Thanks for the editing. I REALLY appreciate it. If
        you do any more could you just quote a bit of the line rather than
        refer to it by a number? I don't have the lines numbered on my text
        and it would make it easier to find.


        >The closing line seems to suggest that Fukuoka's family continues his
        >way of farming, which we know is not so. Is there a gentle, non-
        accusatory
        >way of factually stating this?

        I really tried to come up with one but couldn't. Didn't have the
        heart to lay out that brutal fact. Still trying to cope with it myself.
        If you or anyone else can come up with a gentle way of saying this
        then I'll add it.



        Larry Haftl
        larry@...
        http://larryhaftl.com/fukuoka
        http://FukuokaNaturalFarming.org
      • Sean Phelan
        ... Larry, I d probably change it omit the fact that his family still runs it. Like so: To Fukuoka, farming is a part of a personal spiritual path. He is still
        Message 3 of 8 , Oct 3, 2002
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          >>The closing line seems to suggest that Fukuoka's family continues his
          >>way of farming, which we know is not so. Is there a gentle, non-
          >accusatory
          >>way of factually stating this?
          >
          >I really tried to come up with one but couldn't. Didn't have the
          >heart to lay out that brutal fact. Still trying to cope with it myself.
          >If you or anyone else can come up with a gentle way of saying this
          >then I'll add it.

          Larry, I'd probably change it omit the fact that his family still runs it.
          Like so:

          To Fukuoka, farming is a part of a personal spiritual path. He is
          still alive (as of October, 2002), still touring and teaching, and
          still following his path though he no longer works on the farm.

          This removes the implication.

          Sp


          -------------------------------------------
          Sean Phelan
          Sequoia Consulting - Internet solutions that make sense
          http://www.sqcn.com
          mailto:SPhelan@...
          http://www.TheSCIA.Org - Proud Member of the Space Coast Internet Alliance
          (321) 984-0211
        • Larry Haftl
          ... I m going to deal with this today or tomorrow. Your version sounds like it is pretty close to what the final copy will look like. Thanks for the input.
          Message 4 of 8 , Oct 3, 2002
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            At Thursday, 3 October 2002, you wrote:

            >To Fukuoka, farming is a part of a personal spiritual path. He is
            >still alive (as of October, 2002), still touring and teaching, and
            >still following his path though he no longer works on the farm.

            I'm going to deal with this today or tomorrow. Your version sounds
            like it is pretty close to what the final copy will look like. Thanks
            for the input.


            Larry Haftl
            larry@...
          • Justin .
            Please forgive my asking again, and I really mean know offence, but I would like to know why Fukuoka-san s family reverted to non-natural methods. I have been
            Message 5 of 8 , Oct 6, 2002
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              Please forgive my asking again, and I really mean know offence, but I would
              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 revolution)
              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 were
              taken over by weeds. Does anyone know if there is any truth in that? So far
              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 my
              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
              Justin.





              >From: Larry Haftl <larry@...>

              > >The closing line seems to suggest that Fukuoka's family continues his
              > >way of farming, which we know is not so. Is there a gentle, non-
              >accusatory
              > >way of factually stating this?
              >
              >I really tried to come up with one but couldn't. Didn't have the
              >heart to lay out that brutal fact. Still trying to cope with it myself.
              >If you or anyone else can come up with a gentle way of saying this
              >then I'll add it.
              >Larry Haftl


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            • jamie
              Hello 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
              Message 6 of 8 , Oct 7, 2002
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                Hello 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
                Permaculture.

                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
                already has.

                Jamie
                Souscayrous


                ----- Original Message -----
                From: Justin . <justinasia@...>
                To: <fukuoka_farming@yahoogroups.com>
                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
                would
                > 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
                revolution)
                > 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
                were
                > taken over by weeds. Does anyone know if there is any truth in that? So
                far
                > 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
                my
                > 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
                > Justin.
                >
              • Justin .
                ... Fukuoka-style agriculture. I want to learn more about them and, if possible, contact some of their members. Me too. Let us know what you find out. ...
                Message 7 of 8 , Oct 7, 2002
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                  Bob wrote:
                  >the Buddhist Santi Asoke seem the most motivated to
                  Fukuoka-style agriculture. I want to learn more about them
                  and, if possible, contact some of their members.

                  Me too. Let us know what you find out.

                  >You say that someone has mentioned
                  problems with weeds and a breakdown in Fukuoka's system at some
                  point. Can you tell us where you heard this? Is there anything in
                  writing to document it?

                  Heard it from a chap doing agroforestry. i think agroforestry sounds great
                  by the way. Are you guys into that? It sounds to me totally
                  Fukuoka-compatable. Is that the case?
                  Sorry, nothing in writing.

                  >Perhaps natural farming is not as
                  productive as industrial style farming. Perhaps it is only more
                  sustainable.

                  I the One Straw Revolution, fukuoka was saying that his yields from his
                  fields were as good as the best in his prefecture, and said that his
                  prefecture was the best in Japan, so that his might be as good as the best
                  in Japan.
                  Isn't one of the list with Fukuoka now? If you're out there, perhaps you
                  could ask him about it.


                  Jamie wrote:
                  >Fukuoka's words and could of course be part of a huge charade.

                  Not what I was thinking

                  >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.

                  Yes I thoroughly agree with you. I think he is wonderful, and I beleive him.
                  My only concern is that there may have been some things gone unsaid - that
                  is what the guy was saying. Basically he was saying that it is great, but
                  not as wonderful as it sounds. I am cuious because there just seems to be
                  something missing from the equation. Like Bob wrote, perhaps it is peer
                  pressure, or something unconnected to the actual practicle result. I just
                  like to be aware of and have a broad perspective of something before
                  entering it and investing much time and energy. In fact that it why I have
                  joined this list. Like I say, I am courting. And I thank all of you very
                  much for helping me with this. Sorry that I don't have anything to offer in
                  terms of experience. But it's great to be listening in.
                  Thanks again,
                  Justin.







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