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Hello from South East USA

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  • Robin, Maya, or Napi
    May we please be a blip in the map of Fukuoka inspired projects? Dear fellow members, please tell us of any changes suggested to make this is an appropriately
    Message 1 of 1 , Nov 23, 2002
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      May we please be a blip in the map of Fukuoka inspired projects?
      Dear fellow members, please tell us of any changes suggested to make
      this is an appropriately styled blurb.

      Circle School, in Richmond, Virginia, is a vegetarian cooperative,
      serving some 50 children, infants through high school, from all
      spiritual paths, all walks of life. We love our adjacent half block
      of city park. Under a Department of Parks & Recreation program called
      Adopt-a-Spot, with a proposal that we called Wildflower Walk, & a
      paper called "More Green than Gasoline" we were granted permission to
      keep areas of the park unmowed. At that point, maybe eight years ago,
      we did not know about the work of Mr. Masanobu Fukuoka. Then we
      talked with a neighbor in the community organization, a landscape
      designer, who had read One Straw Revolution. From first hearing, the
      ideas resonated with what the park cried out for, & what the school
      had advocated: to free the land from spraying broadleaf weed-killer,
      from dangerous steep hill mowing in frequent fumy, disruptive racket,
      & from wasteful Department spending on maintenance that rotated,
      rather than interplanted, seasonal flower groupings, by driving
      expensive labor crews over to the park in city equipment , digging up
      & throwing away the seed bearing spent flower heads, only to replace
      them with skimpy rows of the next round of blooms, all descendants of
      which are laid to waste in the spring tilling. Then we began to learn
      about the damage to the earth itself from this pattern.

      Attitudes in the Department have ranged the gamut from scorn to
      indifference to interest to support for our first unmowed strip. At
      first, the issue was that our randomly scattered seeds, collected by
      the children on walks, interspersed with what-have-you created an
      "eyesore". We responded that the manicured lawn created a nosesore &
      an earsore from regularly scheduled gasoline powered mowing. At last,
      we were given the opportunity to plant a steep strip along the alley
      at the top of the hill. We began to chop the contents of the school
      cafeteria's honorable daily compost bowl to scatter, rather than to
      pile up in the straw bale bin that we had been using for the compost.
      (It is still called the compost, or, to the wittle ones, the pompos'
      bowl).

      When a company came through to trim the trees under the power
      lines, we asked if we could please have a load from their branch
      chipper. They were pleased to oblige, which saved them the long run
      out of town to dump the chip. Two years ago, our local high school
      joined us in the project of spreading the chip into a serpentine deep
      mulch berm along the alley, so far a hundred feet long, two to four
      feet wide, & up to three feet high. As the chip has broken down over
      the past seasons, we have made an informal study of the plants that
      take hold & carry on here, those that come up but last unpredictably,
      & those that vanish without high maintenance.

      As we study, especially through specific questions asked within
      this newsgroup, we have learned steps that make the polluted urban
      soil safer, as well as more productive, how to know what to expect it
      to produce, & how to continuously surprise ourselves with fresh
      insight from respectful observation of nature. Next up: making
      seedballs with our mud pies.

      Respectfully submitted,
      Napi Ippolito, Principal


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