Re: [fukuoka_farming] Organic herbicide
- rishi wrote:
> To tell Larry that we (Radhika and i) miss the frequency of his writingHi Rishi and Radhika,
I'm tempted to claim that my infrequent posts of late are due to trying to
practice natural farming rather than talk about it, and that would be true,
but the real reason is that I have been thinking quite a bit about some
things that Michiyo posted about Fukuoka-san and the question of written or
I think this mailing list (or any other for that matter) is a modern,
electronically assisted version of the best type of oral tradition.
Long ago people would gather in a public place in their village or town to
discuss matters of all sorts. The matters they discussed were of common
interest to most, if not all of the participants. Today, for many reasons,
we don't have many of those public places. Nor do we have enough interests
in common with most of our neighbors to cause us to create, or recreate such
places. Many of the communication functions that such places served are now
served by television, radio, print media, telephones, and the internet.
But we still have the need to discuss matters with others who are concerned
about those matters. And that is what internet mailing lists offer us. A
public forum for discussing matters of common interest. Even though the
medium appears to be written, it is, in effect, much more oral in format and
content. Like a discussion in a public square, the comments made are not
very edited before they are uttered/posted. And like any general
conversation some people in the group participate and some do not at any
I think this process is very important to us collectively and individually.
It is a way to acquire and share information in a way that has more impact
than the written word. Many of the discussions are based on written words
that are not uttered, or perhaps repeated, in the public forum, but it is
our personalization of what is being said that gives significant value to
it. It is part of a very human process of trying to understand by talking it
over with others, thinking about what is said, perhaps more talk, and
eventually leading to some action (or not).
As far as I can tell, there is no one in my immediate vacinity interested in
or practicing natural farming or gardening. One of my neighbors gardens
extensively but by using a rototiller and truckloads of amendments and
fertilizers each year. We talk frequently, but he is so used to doing what
he has been doing, and harvesting a lot of food in the process, that the
concept of natural farming is of little or no interest to him. That may
change if I do it successfully, but until then it means that I have no one
to talk to about this. Until I come to this mailing list and then I have
more than 260 people all thinking about (and some even doing) natural
farming, This is my village square for natural farming. And I visit a few
other village squares to talk about other or somewhat related topics as
What we have done/are doing is forming a community public gathering place to
talk about all things related to natural farming more or less based on the
ideas of Masanobu Fukuoka. Each of us brings something different to the
discussion and each of us may take away something different or nothing at
all. But it is a discussion in the truest sense of an oral tradition even
though we never hear the words spoken.
Having said all that, I think the website is more in the written tradition
just as a bulletin board in the public square was used to post information.
It provides easily accessible printed information for all to read and,
hopefully, to discuss.
And speaking of the website, one of my most favorite things to do with it is
to post new "stars". It's very much a part of that "building a community"
thing, especially when the star has a photo of the person or persons. It
tends to make etherial posts become much more personal and meaningful. I
would urge all of you who are actually trying to practice natural farming to
contact me off-list about posting a star on the map. You don't have to have
a successful natural garden (if you did I would not have a star), but at
least be making an attempt to do so. It is always possible that something
you mention in your gardening/farming will provide an important key that
others need to be successful.