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Re: [fukuoka_farming] Proposed changes to website

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  • Justin .
    ... Great idea. ... Larry, I had difficulty in finding this section. Now I have seen where it is listed - on the home page. But on the other pages (eg images
    Message 1 of 5 , Nov 7, 2002
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      >From: Larry Haftl <larry@...>
      >Hello all,
      >Based on recent comments and suggestions I propose making the following
      >changes to the website. Your thoughts and comments about this will
      >be greatly appreciated.

      >What if I change the name "Images" to "Projects" and the description
      >(and purpose) to be: "A collection of reports and photographs of
      >gardens, farms and projects that use the Fukuoka Farming method".
      >I don't think that is a big change, but would clarify the purpose
      >of that subsection and give us a place specifically for reports on
      >what we, and others, are doing.

      Great idea.


      >Regarding a place for posting information for teachers as Napi has
      >requested, we currently have a subsection called "Opportunities"
      >with the description: "This section contains a calendar of events,
      >apprenticeship and employment opportunities, classes and seminars,
      >as well as other special offers and opportunities."

      Larry, I had difficulty in finding this section. Now I have seen where it is
      listed - on the home page. But on the other pages (eg images page,
      philosophy page etc) at the top, where the pages are listed, this one is
      absent. Now that I've found it, it appears to be empty.


      >What if we use this subsection to include what Napi is requesting.
      >We could leave the name the same, change the description to include
      >something like "...seminars, and teaching resources." and post pages
      >there for teachers' uses as well as the other items mentioned. Would
      >this work for you Napi? Does anyone have any problem with this? Any
      >other ideas?

      All great. Sounds very practical.

      [..]
      >As to a place for book reviews, I still think they should go in the
      >"Articles" subsection, but I can change the description to include
      >"book reviews". Would this be OK or do they need to be somehow set
      >off differently?


      Great.

      [...]
      >That leaves the question of how comprehensive or focused the links
      >section should be. On the one hand there is the risk of distracting
      >from the focus on Fukuoka's teachings and methods. On the other hand
      >it would give people easier access to other somewhat kindred websites.

      You know what I'm gonna say don't you...

      >Let me clairfy something here. In my mind (and on my lists of links)
      >there are three different categories of links.


      Yes, I feel that is the good idea. Seperate the links into 3 categories.


      >The first is sites that have specific Fukuoka-related content --
      [..]
      >The second category is sites that have information that might be
      >directly useful in implementing a project using Fukuoka's methods
      >-- plant encyclopedias, research documents on cover crops, trees
      >or whatever, sources for organic seeds, etc.

      Regarding this, perhaps we could also make appendises. For example, in
      Robert Hart's book on Forest Gardening, there is at the back a great list of
      plants and their varieties, what their characteristics are, and what
      environment they are best for. I think that is very Fukuesqe, in that it is
      so important to have the appropriate varieties, so that they can more easily
      establish t6hemselves in natural symbiosis. I'm sure that if all the lovely
      people on the list could contributr info on their experienc with various
      varieties and sspecies, we would have a good, practical resourse.


      >I don't think anyone would argue against including those two categories
      >of links, but if I'm wrong please let me know.

      Great.

      >The third category is sites related to other methods of sustainable
      >agriculture -- Permaculture, biointensive, biodynamic... pick your
      >favorite flavor -- and philosophically friendly sites -- holistic
      >lifestyles, tree-hugging, etc. This, for me, is where things become
      >sticky.

      >Let me give you my arguments against including them, but before I
      >do I want to say two things. If the group concensus is that they
      >should be included, I will include them. Not grudgingly or with muttered
      >deprecations, but truly freely and willingly. The second thing is
      >that just because I set up and maintain the website, please don't
      >let that mislead you into thinking that my opinion on this matter
      >counts any more than yours does. In my mind, and I hope in yours,
      >it doesn't!


      You're great. A fine example to us all.

      >Having said that let me argue against including category three links
      >for the following reasons:
      >
      >In researching the other methods I was made constantly aware, not
      >as a Fukuoka Fanatic but as a trained journalist, that all of the
      >other methods are human-centered. All of them are based on the idea
      >humans can have ultimate control over what will or will not grow.
      >When they do talk of "working with nature", the underlying subtext
      >is nature as subserviant to the human's will. Don't just take my
      >word for this. Check it out yourself.

      In the hope of my being able to learn from responses to what I'm about to
      say, may I play (from an uneducated perspective) devil's advocate:
      "ultimate control over what will or will not grow" - The permaculture people
      who I have talked with, all tell me about the fundamental importance of
      learning from nature. They emphasise working as much as possible with
      nature, and understand that they do not have "ultimate control over what
      will or will not grow". An example could be in their design. They talk of
      designing the layout of the garden or whatever. Then they talk of whatching,
      seeing what happens, and working with the changes. Rather than sticking
      ridgedly to their original plan, they adapt there ideas in accordance with
      what nature has manifested.

      "subserviant to the human's will" - on the other hand, of course, these
      peole I have talked with are trying to control "what will or will not grow",
      and do have the will to have nature work for them. But is this not true for
      Fukuoka? As you have said, he was a comercial farmer! Do you suppose that it
      was the "will of nature" to manifest a rice field? If so, why did it not do
      it by itself? Was it not in fact Mr. Fukuoka applying his will upon nature,
      that brought about those fields of grain.

      Was it "human centred" or "nature centred"?
      If we look at the products - grain and fruit, to sell in the markets - I
      would say that it was human centred. If we look at the methods, we could say
      that it is a manipulation of nature - flooding the fields to kill the weeds,
      applying straw mulch, getting chickens to shit on the straw for the
      necessary chemical decomposition to take place, diging the slopes to create
      terraces for the orchard, cutting down trees for those terraces, applying
      machine oil emulsion on the trees to control insects - I think these are all
      well thought out ways of controlling nature. Some people could use the word
      "subservient".

      But I think that word brings dark conotations, doesn't it. I think when we
      look at the motivation, we would not be comfortable using that word
      "subservient". The motivation behind what Fukuoka was doing, I think, is
      important. I think he has said, the techniques themselves are not the most
      important things. He talks about a personal transformation be importnt,
      doesn't he. He has a love for nature, and has has a direct (non-intelectual)
      experience of being an integral part of nature. And this is reflected in his
      approach. How does nature do it? And he learns a lot like that. One of my
      permaculture friends up in Scotland bought some land, which was said to be
      totally of no agricultural value. He likes walking around, looking at all
      the different plants growing there, seeing such variety. He planed, among
      other things, some willow. He was told it would never grow up there in
      Scotland. He now has lots of willow, and makes all kinds of things out of
      it.
      Robert Hart talked about how England is naturally woodland. He said, farmers
      are always fighting against woodland. That means, every field is trying to
      revert back to being a wood. So Robert thought it is easier to make a
      woodland garden. If trees want to grow, lwt them grow. Of course, he wanted
      to be able to eat as I'm sure Fukuoka-san likes to eat also. So he helped
      food producing trees to grow, and shrubs and so on.

      Also, we have to think of what Our intensions are. What does natural farming
      mean for us? If we have some feeling or experience of the
      interconnectedness/interdependance of everything, then what consequence does
      that have? For some, it means we should farm naturally. For some, it means
      we should give our children an education which bears this in mind.
      I beleive Fukuoka has been very concerned about pollution. He talked about
      the terrible consequences of pollution from farms in Japan. We can see, he
      is seeing the wider picture. He is seeing beyond just farming. He is seeing
      the interconnections. It is not a different topic to think about, for
      example, renewable energy. Energy IS useful! Where I am now, it gets dark at
      about 5 or 5:30. And it gets cold. There is not enough wood for everyone to
      burn. We do use electricity. So wind and solar power countering
      energy-related environmental costs is really not so far away from thoughts
      of pollution in the Inland Sea (see one straw revolution).
      For many people, Natural farming might be about sustainability, and perhaps
      ideas of using the environment while at the same time being able to share it
      with other species. I know that for me, that is very important. That is
      quite "counter-subservientist". That is like, using nature (let's be honest)
      but not being selfish about it and letting other species do their thing too,
      and so allowing ourselves to co-exist with all the spiders and frogs and so
      on. And even admit and perhaps enjoy our co-dependance within this
      interconnected web.
      That is the idea I get from Fukuoka. And that is what I get from many other
      places too. A friend of mine is living in a wood, coppicing. That wood has
      been coppiced now for about 400 years, and supports a great deal of
      wildlife. I have heard about a small-leafed lime tree in the South of
      England, which has been coppiced for about 6000 years - that is one tree -
      one very old tree!


      >When people find themselves outside of their normal comfort range
      >for any length of time they will usually try to turn to or grasp
      >something more familiar to hold on to. Fukuoka's methods tend to
      >force us to get way outside of our normal comfort range. They also
      >force us to think in non-traditional ways,

      very Zen.

      >and if we get confused
      >or uncomfortable we have a tendency to reach for something more
      >traditional.
      >Consider how many comments on this list have involved the making
      >and using of compost. Try to find a document on organic gardening
      >that DOESN'T promote the use of compost. And then look at what Fukuoka
      >says about compost.
      >
      >We have been culturally conditioned to look for quick answers, solutions,
      >and gratifications (thanks in no small part to TV). Fukuoka's methods
      >are indeed simple, but understanding them and how to use them is
      >anything but.
      >
      >My concern with including the category three links, given the conditions
      >I just outlined, is that they will be providing nothing more than
      >a distraction and escape from having to think about and confront
      >what Fukuoka is all about -- natural farming.


      I think that if they don't want to think about it, they won't anyway. If
      they are interested enough to follow Fukuoka links, they will. If they
      don't, they won't regardless. But I think you do have a point, of sorts. I
      think the answer is in the idea of categories. As an example, I could
      suggest that you have a page for the links (so they can all be seen at once
      -less hassle), broken into sections. At the top, you have all Fukuoka stuff,
      showing the priorety. Below, sectioned off, you have the other stuff, with
      an approriate title, such as "other", or "similar topics" or "stuff we are
      also interested in" - whatever.


      >One last point: Any of those links we might post are already available,
      >along with thousands more, to anyone who knows how to type a keyword
      >into any search engine. At most, all we would be doing by posting
      >those types of links is making it a bit more convenient for visitors
      >to the Fukuoka site to leave the site for essentially unrelated sites.

      I must disagree here. For me the situation is fundamentally different, and
      that is why I feel it as being so important. The point is, you can only
      search for something if you know what you are looking for. I never found
      Fukuoka because I didn't know to look. I am very greatful for being
      introduced to his wok by my dear friend Edward. That was my point in giving
      the Amazon analogy. "poeple that bought this book also bought/recommend..."
      I am being introduced to something new, which could be the thing I was
      always wanting.

      Secondly (sorry to go on), had somebody in the street mentioned to me
      Fukuoka, I may have never bothered to follow it up. But it was recommended
      by Edward. That's why I trusted it.
      A search churns out so much stuff. I rather go on recommendations.

      Thanks Larry. You're really doing a great thin with the site.
      Best wishes,
      Justin.

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    • emilia
      the special particularity of natural ag. is the maintaining the dynamic of a wild soil in spite of practicing an agriculture system...agriculture is a
      Message 2 of 5 , Nov 7, 2002
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        the special particularity of natural ag. is the maintaining the dynamic of a wild soil in spite of practicing an agriculture system...agriculture is a manipulation, meaning an action is done by human hands: which implies we are imposing something to whatever could have been there "naturally"...but out of all the "manipulations" that humans can do, if the one done is stablishing an agriculture with a dynamic that corresponds to what the soil would have going there if let to itself (instead of agriculturally occupied): is a less harmful thing that whatever other agriculture disturbing the soil would be happening there...
        so my opinion on what links, etc. to put on the fukuoka site should be consistent with this particularity of no-till...if we integrate whatever other "systems" that are already recommending remedies to the disbalances started by touching the soil...it seems to me that we are missing the point, the purpose of the site: the vegetable ( including of annuals) production with soil's self-fertility should be emphasized as what it is: a unique proposition!
        if we drown this info on all the others: ecological, biodynamic,biointensif, etc (but with tilling ways) we wont communicate the important fukuoka-san message...

        david holmgren's vegetable garden is done biodynamically ...& years ago when we met, he didn't show much interest in changing ways...permaculture proposes perennial plants for permanent places but neither him nor bill mollison have endorsed no-till for (annual) vegetable growing...we have this endeavour to carry on: so lets do it without drowing this unique info on all the other stuff...
        i think that in the titles of the sections/sub-sections: the no-tilling, self-fertile dynamic of this agriculture should be emphasized or at least mentionned...

        my comments on larry's posting:

        What if I change the name "Images" to "Projects" and the description
        (and purpose) to be: "A collection of reports and photographs of
        gardens, farms and projects that use the Fukuoka Farming method".
        i would add the word "principles" to Fukuoka farming method" so as to allowd synergistic ag. to be part of the evolution in this research
        Regarding a place for posting information for teachers as Napi has
        requested, we currently have a subsection called "Opportunities"
        with the description: "This section contains a calendar of events,
        apprenticeship and employment opportunities, classes and seminars,
        as well as other special offers and opportunities."

        just as long as the projects relate to activities of gardening without tilling...if they are "only" ecological it seems to me we are again missing the point of our specificity...

        As to a place for book reviews, I still think they should go in the
        "Articles" subsection, but I can change the description to include
        "book reviews". Would this be OK or do they need to be somehow set
        off differently?

        yes: please make it clear that they are books

        That leaves the question of how comprehensive or focused the links
        section should be. On the one hand there is the risk of distracting
        from the focus on Fukuoka's teachings and methods. On the other hand
        it would give people easier access to other somewhat kindred websites.

        Let me clairfy something here. In my mind (and on my lists of links)
        there are three different categories of links.

        The first is sites that have specific Fukuoka-related content --
        the Greenbelt project in Europe, news articles and interviews about
        and with Fukuoka, where to get his books, other documents that talk
        about him and his methods, etc.

        The second category is sites that have information that might be
        directly useful in implementing a project using Fukuoka's methods
        -- plant encyclopedias, research documents on cover crops, trees
        or whatever, sources for organic seeds, etc.

        I don't think anyone would argue against including those two categories
        of links, but if I'm wrong please let me know.

        this 2 categories are up to the point

        The third category is sites related to other methods of sustainable
        agriculture -- Permaculture, biointensive, biodynamic... pick your
        favorite flavor -- and philosophically friendly sites -- holistic
        lifestyles, tree-hugging, etc. This, for me, is where things become
        sticky.

        what about just mentioning one permaculture site (like the british one) that would give the many other links?

        My concern with including the category three links, given the conditions
        I just outlined, is that they will be providing nothing more than
        a distraction and escape from having to think about and confront
        what Fukuoka is all about -- natural farming. i agree

        emilia

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








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      • Justin .
        ... How does Agroforestry fit in with this. Does Forest Gardening involve any tilling? If not, it sounds like there would be no problem giving links for that.
        Message 3 of 5 , Nov 7, 2002
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          >From: "emilia" <emhaz@...>
          >the special particularity of natural ag. is the maintaining the dynamic of
          >a wild soil in spite of practicing an agriculture system...agriculture is a
          >manipulation, meaning an action is done by human hands: which implies we
          >are imposing something to whatever could have been there "naturally"...but
          >out of all the "manipulations" that humans can do, if the one done is
          >stablishing an agriculture with a dynamic that corresponds to what the soil
          >would have going there if let to itself (instead of agriculturally
          >occupied): is a less harmful thing that whatever other agriculture
          >disturbing the soil would be happening there...
          >so my opinion on what links, etc. to put on the fukuoka site should be
          >consistent with this particularity of no-till...


          How does Agroforestry fit in with this. Does Forest Gardening involve any
          tilling? If not, it sounds like there would be no problem giving links for
          that.
          Regarding Permaculture, I think the suggestion of a link to the British site
          is a good idea. There are lots of people involved with that association who
          are interested in and perhaps use Fukuoka's techniques. I am sure also that
          if you asked them, they would add our site to their links page. That would
          be very good.

          An example of no-till permaculture could be Ben Law. He has a book, "The
          Woodland Way: A Permaculture Approach to Sustainable Woodland Management"
          which I will be happy to review once I've read it. He is the coppicer. I
          don't think he ever tills. As I have said, his woods have been continually
          coppiced for 400 years. This then, also seems consistent.

          Emilia, do you have a web-site?
          Best wishes,
          Justin.


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        • Beatrice Gilboa
          ... consistent with this particularity of no-till...if we integrate whatever other systems that are already recommending remedies to the disbalances started
          Message 4 of 5 , Nov 8, 2002
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            emilia wrote:

            >> so my opinion on what links, etc. to put on the fukuoka site should be
            consistent with this particularity of no-till...if we integrate whatever
            other "systems" that are already recommending remedies to the disbalances
            started by touching the soil...it seems to me that we are missing the point,
            the purpose of the site: the vegetable ( including of annuals) production
            with soil's self-fertility should be emphasized as what it is: a unique
            proposition!
            if we drown this info on all the others: ecological,
            biodynamic,biointensif, etc (but with tilling ways) we wont communicate the
            important fukuoka-san message...

            So is my opinion too, more clearly said than I did before.

            Beatrice
            Israƫl



            ----- Original Message -----
            From: "emilia" <emhaz@...>
            To: <fukuoka_farming@yahoogroups.com>
            Sent: Thursday, November 07, 2002 3:12 PM
            Subject: Re: [fukuoka_farming] Proposed changes to website


            > the special particularity of natural ag. is the maintaining the dynamic of
            a wild soil in spite of practicing an agriculture system...agriculture is a
            manipulation, meaning an action is done by human hands: which implies we are
            imposing something to whatever could have been there "naturally"...but out
            of all the "manipulations" that humans can do, if the one done is
            stablishing an agriculture with a dynamic that corresponds to what the soil
            would have going there if let to itself (instead of agriculturally
            occupied): is a less harmful thing that whatever other agriculture
            disturbing the soil would be happening there...
            > so my opinion on what links, etc. to put on the fukuoka site should be
            consistent with this particularity of no-till...if we integrate whatever
            other "systems" that are already recommending remedies to the disbalances
            started by touching the soil...it seems to me that we are missing the point,
            the purpose of the site: the vegetable ( including of annuals) production
            with soil's self-fertility should be emphasized as what it is: a unique
            proposition!
            > if we drown this info on all the others: ecological,
            biodynamic,biointensif, etc (but with tilling ways) we wont communicate the
            important fukuoka-san message...
            >
            > david holmgren's vegetable garden is done biodynamically ...& years ago
            when we met, he didn't show much interest in changing ways...permaculture
            proposes perennial plants for permanent places but neither him nor bill
            mollison have endorsed no-till for (annual) vegetable growing...we have this
            endeavour to carry on: so lets do it without drowing this unique info on all
            the other stuff...
            > i think that in the titles of the sections/sub-sections: the no-tilling,
            self-fertile dynamic of this agriculture should be emphasized or at least
            mentionned...
            >
            > my comments on larry's posting:
            >
            > What if I change the name "Images" to "Projects" and the description
            > (and purpose) to be: "A collection of reports and photographs of
            > gardens, farms and projects that use the Fukuoka Farming method".
            > i would add the word "principles" to Fukuoka farming method" so as to
            allowd synergistic ag. to be part of the evolution in this research
            > Regarding a place for posting information for teachers as Napi has
            > requested, we currently have a subsection called "Opportunities"
            > with the description: "This section contains a calendar of events,
            > apprenticeship and employment opportunities, classes and seminars,
            > as well as other special offers and opportunities."
            >
            > just as long as the projects relate to activities of gardening without
            tilling...if they are "only" ecological it seems to me we are again missing
            the point of our specificity...
            >
            > As to a place for book reviews, I still think they should go in the
            > "Articles" subsection, but I can change the description to include
            > "book reviews". Would this be OK or do they need to be somehow set
            > off differently?
            >
            > yes: please make it clear that they are books
            >
            > That leaves the question of how comprehensive or focused the links
            > section should be. On the one hand there is the risk of distracting
            > from the focus on Fukuoka's teachings and methods. On the other hand
            > it would give people easier access to other somewhat kindred websites.
            >
            > Let me clairfy something here. In my mind (and on my lists of links)
            > there are three different categories of links.
            >
            > The first is sites that have specific Fukuoka-related content --
            > the Greenbelt project in Europe, news articles and interviews about
            > and with Fukuoka, where to get his books, other documents that talk
            > about him and his methods, etc.
            >
            > The second category is sites that have information that might be
            > directly useful in implementing a project using Fukuoka's methods
            > -- plant encyclopedias, research documents on cover crops, trees
            > or whatever, sources for organic seeds, etc.
            >
            > I don't think anyone would argue against including those two categories
            > of links, but if I'm wrong please let me know.
            >
            > this 2 categories are up to the point
            >
            > The third category is sites related to other methods of sustainable
            > agriculture -- Permaculture, biointensive, biodynamic... pick your
            > favorite flavor -- and philosophically friendly sites -- holistic
            > lifestyles, tree-hugging, etc. This, for me, is where things become
            > sticky.
            >
            > what about just mentioning one permaculture site (like the british one)
            that would give the many other links?
            >
            > My concern with including the category three links, given the conditions
            > I just outlined, is that they will be providing nothing more than
            > a distraction and escape from having to think about and confront
            > what Fukuoka is all about -- natural farming. i agree
            >
            > emilia
            >
            > Larry Haftl
            > larry@...
            > http://larryhaftl.com/fukuoka
            > http://FukuokaNaturalFarming.org
            >
            >
            >
            >
            >
            >
            >
            >
            > To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to:
            > fukuoka_farming-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com
            >
            >
            >
            > Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to the Yahoo! Terms of Service.
            >
            >
            >
            > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
            >
            >
            > To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to:
            > fukuoka_farming-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com
            >
            >
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            >
            >
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