Hello Gloria and everyone, finally the promised rain has arrived and the seeds and seedlings I've been planting in expectation have had a thorough soaking - I've never enjoyed rain as much as I do now as a gardener, especially when it falls soft and constant as it did today.
Happy Easter/Joyeux Paques/Vrolijk Pas Feest to those who celbrate such events. And, equally, my thoughts are with the Shi'a of Iraq in Karbala and across the Muslim world as they mark the martyrdom of Ali and Hussein.
Gloria, there is no real answer to your thoughtful post, we each interpret the boundary of man and nature tailored to our own beliefs and opinions - but the pursuit of the point is well worth following, especially for those that would wish to follow the path of NF.
To briefly sketch a possible answer, it might be worthwhile to wonder at the boundary of humanity and nature, not as some point along the continuum between the two but the actual existence of the dichotomy itself. Working within our local environments in our efforts after NF, perhaps there is truly no distinction between humankind and nature to be made!
From : Gloria Baikauskas <gcb49@...
To : email@example.com
Date : Fri, 18 Apr 2003 23:47:27 -0700 (PDT)
Subject : RE: [fukuoka_farming] Re: Thought and Representation
Jamie.......I have been thinking about this again..........When a child is quite small and filled with the wonder of this world it watches in awe and silence the butterflies as they flit about like magic bits of color. It sees the bees buzzing to and fro between the flowers. It sees the birds do some of the same, as well as gathering bits of plant material to build their nests. At some point it sees the seed of a tree flutter down in the breeze to the ground. A very young child may come back and one day notice that a tree has sprouted from that seed. But here is where the line splits........because as the human child grows older it can no longer seem to watch the seed fall and fend for itself. Instead the child feels it must now pick up the seed and find the special place for it to grow......where it can be watched and tended. Now instead of bits of leaves and shattered small twigs falling to cover the ground and insulate the seedling where the seed itself originally fell, there is bare soil until t
he child grows to a point it realizes it must protect the seedling further with something and covers it with soil and perhaps grass clippings. Is that not the place were natural farming by Nature departs and human interference begins? As soon as we move the seeds in the first place to make it more convenient for us we are no longer committing natural farming in its true form.....call it what we may. Is this not why the seedballs come as close to making the bridge back to its purer form as we can accomplish? I have been thinking about something else related to this. When a seed pod is open and ready to spread its seeds into the world at large they spread in several ways from wind to assistance from creatures like birds. Often the seeds end up in a clump to germinate as they will. As humans it occurs to us to thin these plants out to make the surviving plants stronger to produce more food for us per plant. What does Nature do by enabling this clump of seeds to germinate all together? By clumping a
nd growing it succeeds in crowding out other plants as if they were allelopathic. The weaker seedlings die out as the stronger ones grow until only the strongest survive to mature and bestow seed once again continuing the process. Are these new seeds not going to produce stronger, and better plants than if man has separated them..never allowing them to clump and go through the process? Do we continually weaken the plants (seeds) by the methods we use by allowing the weaker ones to also survive? First that maturing child mentioned above will take a stick and make a hole to plant the found seed in the place it chooses. Then the older still child/nearly adult realizes it must thin the seeds as it goes along through the growing process. I guess where I am going with this is this. We interfere in the very first step by separating the seed from the parent and taking it to plant in a place convenient to us.......thus we get farming and not gathering. But when we take the next step in thinning the plants,
etc, is that not where we separate ourselves from true natural farming? Are we weakening plants from the very start by taking away the variables that create the strong plants we need to produce our best food crops? This interference idea is driving me crazy with new thoughts all the time now. I keep trying to find the best solution.....without being a part of the problem. Nature set up rules from its very beginning. In that way plant life has survived longer than even animal life. How do we make it right and still farm? For those of you who celebrate it.....Happy Easter!Gloria
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