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This, that and the other

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  • Larry Haftl
    Hello all, ... directly? ... I d very ... internet? One way is when you are on a page that has something of interest to you then just save it to your computer
    Message 1 of 1 , Feb 23, 2003
      Hello all,

      Marika wrote:

      > Is it possible to somehow download all information of the website
      > In the way it is presented now it is very well accesible and browsable
      > online, but slow and laborious to save it all and have a closer look
      > offline. For this reason I still didn't read most of it, though
      I'd very
      > much want to! Or is it just me, being too stupid with puters and

      One way is when you are on a page that has something of interest
      to you then just save it to your computer so that you can read it
      later at your leisure. There is software that does this for an entire
      website, but I don't remember the name off hand.

      > I'm aware that many answers are already
      > there, given a thousand times - in Fukuoka's books, Emilia's articles,
      > website, the list archives, or other places, but the information is so
      > diffuse - I mean, you need to read through piles of texts, hoping
      that you
      > find just that one part that is answering your actual question
      or fitting
      > your situation.
      > Sure it is good to read all of Fukuoka's books, the website and
      all, and so
      > I do, gradually... But where to start when I want to just go out
      on the
      > field and start
      > gardening, and preferably not make the same mistakes others already
      know of?

      There are at least two ways to approach this that I can think of,
      probably more.

      The first is to just go do it, make the mistakes, redo it based on
      observing the mistakes and successes, make more mistakes and successes,
      then redo it again.... doesn't require any reading, though reading
      Fukuoka's "how to" manual, 'The Natural Way of Farming' would probably

      The second is to wade through all the literature you can, read critcally,
      think about it, compare it to other writings, read some more tracking
      down all the little bits and pieces one by one, experience by experience,
      then synthesize a plan to apply all that you learned to your garden,
      go do it, make mistakes, redo it... you get the idea?

      I tried the first way without reading anything but 'One Straw Revolution'.
      It didn't work. Now I'm in the midst of the second way but won't
      know how it turns out until late this year.

      > Do you think it is feasible to make some 'reference guide' for
      > Fukuokian gardeners?

      In theory at least 'The Natural Way of Farming' is exactly that as
      far as Fukuoka is concerned. You could, at least in theory, read
      just that, follow the directions as best you can, and see what happens.
      If you want to grow rice/barley or start a natural three-dimensional
      orchard there may be enough information there to get you started
      well. If, on the other hand, you want to raise vegetables and herbs
      you are probably going to be disappointed with what you find there.
      That's where Emilia's writings would help. Either way you may have
      to make adjustments for climate, perhaps limited to choice of plants,
      but then maybe not.

      The place where Fukuoka practiced farming is the Island of Shikoku.
      About 32 deg. N latitude and definitely a maritime-influenced climate
      (meaning no extremes in temperature, probably plenty of rainfall
      much of the year). What worked for him might not work very well in
      the climate of northern Canada, eastern Europe, or a lot of other
      places. Certainly I doubt you could get orange trees to grow in Saskatchewan
      using Fukuoka's method. And trying to grow rice in the desert might
      be a bit of a problem also. On the other hand some things work in
      all climates. Raised beds, for example, offer the same benefits near
      the equator that they do near the Arctic circle, and have been used
      for millenia in such diverse climates.

      Personally, I have no problem answering the same question eight times
      in a row since I often had to ask the same question several times
      before the answers finally sunk in to my sometimes-slow brain. Some
      of this stuff is really hard to comprehend at first reading or sight.
      Or second reading, or third reading.... But it does get a bit frustrating
      when it appears that the questioner doesn't make the effort to use
      what resources are already available. Then it becomes a matter of
      laziness rather than ignorance. Ignorance can be changed by information,
      but laziness can make all the information in the world useless.

      It's been said before, but I'll say it again. Just because Fukuoka's
      method got labeled as a "do nothing" method does NOT mean that you
      can do nothing and make it work. It takes time and effort to understand
      and apply what he is saying in order to actually get a productive
      farm or garden going.

      Or, is there enough coherence to make up a FAQ list
      > about gardening practices? regarded that every situation is unique and
      > requires its own answers...

      I don't think a FAQ would be adequate. FAQs are good for answering
      questions like "is Fukuoka still alive". I found Jamie's FAQ both
      interesting and useful, but it still leaves so many questions unanswered.
      That is the inevitable nature of a FAQ.

      The website is an attempt to provide as much information as possible
      on an always-available, completely free basis, and yes, it does take
      time to read what is there because there is a LOT of stuff there.
      But there are times when I think some of the people who ask the
      questions or post comments on this list have never taken the time
      to actually read what is available there. Is this ignorance or laziness?
      And would a FAQ, even a really long and comprehensive FAQ, fare any

      > This could also be in the form of a message board, where people
      can put
      > their questions and others add their answers, sharing their own
      > or give references to Fukuoka's Emilia's or others' writings.
      > Or maybe this kind of communication doesn't work out, for all those
      of us
      > with rural, rare and slow connections (including me)? E-mail, and
      > this list, are the main sources of information, while web resources,
      > message boards, are much harder to access.

      This list is supposed to do exactly what you proposed and to do it
      via email, which is much easier/cheaper to access than a message
      board on a website as you noted. Putting a message board on the website
      is technically easy to do, but I have yet to see the interest or
      point in doing so. It's hard to improve on this list as a mechanism
      of information exchange for the kinds of questions you are talking
      about. The website is more useful in storing/accessing larger chunks
      of information rather than Q&A.

      > Maybe we'd better sort out the relevant questions and answers from
      the list
      > archive, and make it available in a downloadable form on the site?
      (and keep
      > on updating it... I realise that I'm proposing a lot of work here...)

      Care to volunteer to do this? It would be most welcome and give you
      someting very interesting to compile and make.

      Your list of questions were interesting. Many of them do have answers
      in various documents on the website. Some do not. Some have kinda/sorta
      answers buried in the email archives, which I'm still working on
      to bring to the light of day via a keyword search function. But as
      I noted above, I don't think a FAQ would do it. A book is a more
      likely format, but if anyone does compile all the info in a book
      it is unlikely that it will be free. There is simply too much time
      and effort tied up in writing a worthwhile book. Someone once said
      they wanted such a source, and out of curiosity I asked how much
      they would pay to get it. Never got an answer. Not one. So where
      is the motivation to invest the time, energy, and expense in creating
      such a book if no one is willing to pay for it. The website does
      have a lot of the information, though not in the format of a book,
      but it is free and still it appears that a lot of people don't take
      advantage of it. Go figure.

      > Is it worth figuring all this out from the e-mail-archives and make an
      > online message board? Or is the website as it is providing enough
      > answers and resources?

      I don't know. You tell me. There is always room for more information
      to be posted, and I will gladly do so when and as it comes in. The
      question is who is going to take the time to compile and write about
      it. Excluding mentioning links and the much appreciated translation
      efforts of several people, I can count the number of original content
      contributors to the website and still have more than enough fingers
      left over to hold my cup of coffee. That is not a complaint, just
      an observation. Any and all efforts to improve this situation are
      always more than welcome.

      Larry Haftl
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