Loading ...
Sorry, an error occurred while loading the content.

Kobunaki Ecovillage

Expand Messages
  • Tim Cook
    Fukuoka Farmers, greetings, About my only dabbling in growing food is a small garden plot that only produces in the winter (this is Alabama) because it s too
    Message 1 of 3 , Nov 1, 2003
    • 0 Attachment
      Fukuoka Farmers, greetings,

      About my only dabbling in growing food is a small garden plot that
      only produces in the winter (this is Alabama) because it's too shady
      in the summer, but I joined this list because I was interested in Mr.
      Fukuoka's books and he happens to be a friend of a friend (his doctor,
      although I haven't met either of them for some 15 years). I have a
      question that I wonder if people on this list are familiar with. There
      is a group of people who are planning and building a new community in
      Oumihachiman, Shiga Prefecture, Japan, that is supposed to be a model
      ecological village. Apparently other such places exist in other
      countries and they're called "ecovillages." Does anyone know about
      them, and this one in particular? My wife, who is Japanese, and I are
      thinking about moving to Japan, and I wondered if this village would
      be a worthwhile place to live. Living in an ecologically conscious
      community makes it easier for oneself to live ecologically, but on the
      other hand, the building of a new community, no matter how ecological,
      itself has an ecological impact. I wonder if this idea and Fukuoka's
      ideas mesh or clash. If you're interested in their Web site, it's
      http://www.g-project.net/kobunaki/
      Thanks for whatever anyone might know or think about this.

      Tim Cook
      Tuscaloosa, Alabama


      *********************************************************************
      So long as I confine my activities to social service and the blind,
      they compliment me extravagantly, calling me "archpriestess of the
      sightless," "wonder woman," and "a modern miracle." But when it comes
      to a discussion of poverty, and I maintain that it is the result of
      wrong economics -- that the industrial system under which we live is
      at the root of much of the physical deafness and blindness in the
      world -- that is a different matter!
      --Helen Keller, noted Alabama Socialist
      *********************************************************************
    • jamie
      Hello Tim, you might want to have a look at http://gen.ecovillage.org/ for more information on ecovillages. As to whether an ecovillage and Fukuoka s message
      Message 2 of 3 , Nov 1, 2003
      • 0 Attachment
        Hello Tim, you might want to have a look at http://gen.ecovillage.org/ for
        more information on ecovillages. As to whether an ecovillage and Fukuoka's
        message might clash would depend on the community itself - but in principle
        I would suggest there is no incompatibility. Fukuoka has shown himself, with
        the young people who came to his farm, open to alternate ideas of community
        and if such a community opens itself, actually hearkens to the world in a
        relationship of openness and reverence, then all the better. Some
        communities turn inward and resist this call to openness, however well
        meaning the intention of their reserve. But I think ecovillages are a force
        for good (and it certainly looks true of kobunaki from what I've seen of
        their website) especially when they work to develop ties with their local
        community and communicate their conscious attunement to nature.

        I would also hope there will be people in the community who have either
        spent time with Fukuoka on his farm or who have an intimate relationship
        with his natural agriculture: What could be more appropriate for an
        ecovillage than natural agriculture and all that this implies for its
        culture!


        Jamie
        Souscayrous
      • Robin, Maya, or Napi
        Greetings, The Kobunaki Ecovillage website is timely, with sharp, inspiring quotes from many wise & experienced people who are working on the project. The
        Message 3 of 3 , Nov 1, 2003
        • 0 Attachment
          Greetings,

          The Kobunaki Ecovillage website is timely, with sharp, inspiring quotes from
          many wise & experienced people who are working on the project.

          The organizers may have on a list somewhere (you know how organizers live
          through fulfillment of lists) to invite Masanobu Fukuoka to address the ECI
          (Earth Community Institute, occupying 2.58% of the land area of Kobunaki).
          Although I may have missed it, I saw no space identified as a community garden.
          With 200-300 residences in the plan, we might expect that many families would
          have personal gardens around their detached homes (with 39.27% of the space).
          For those who chose to live in collective housing (in 9.77% of the space), a
          place will surely be designated for collective gardening. The plan does call
          for an edible & accessible landscape, which lends itself to the Fukuokan-framed
          imagination. Much of the public area is road & sidewalk, in a lovely area
          between & overlooking three rivers, with greenspace (3.43% of the area) divided
          between the Ecovillage Park, grove of the village shrine, & children's
          playground. Along these walks & bicycle paths could be grown much good food.
          Motor-road-side grown food does have its heavier pollution factor.

          There was something in the plan that was distressing to me, Mr.Cook. Since
          you have asked for an honest review, I must mention that the only business
          specifically designated was called Sweets Factory (given 15.11% of the
          Ecovillage area). The more I read the beautiful work to come on Kobunaki, the
          more the Sweets Factory stood out & the lack of a garden called out. It may
          just be this jarring to me because of the irony in comparison with our local
          Twin Oaks Commune, over 20 years old, see <http://gen.ecovillage.org/>, whose
          income producing industries here in Virginia are famous rope hammocks & tofu.
          Tofu in the health-be-damned-tobaccoland of Virginia & sweets in an ecovillage
          in Japan?

          There is a memorable line in Sugar Blues, William Dufty's expose' of the
          incredibly lucrative sugar industry, "Sugar, I would not have it in my house,
          much less my body." A chart showing the addictive power of sugar compared with
          other non-nutritive drugs is eye-opening. It is right up there with plenty of
          illegal, life-wrecking substances. It is perfectly legal, but not perfectly
          healthy. The method of growing the beets or cane can have a huge impact on the
          farming area, as the devastated water quality of Florida shows. We might assume
          that the founders have taken all this in mind, & would guarantee that these
          sweets were made from local, organically raised crop. If so, that would be a
          comforting paragraph for their website to include. The crop is clearly not
          carved out of the land of the Ecovillage itself.

          You can tell this is an issue of importance at our school. The menus here
          are sugar (sucrose) free, with constant no-thanks to well-meaning gifts, & with
          amazement at the skewing of nutrition knowledge by our school lunch licensing
          agencies. In the regulations, salty pickles or olives count as half a
          vegetable, cookies can count as a bread, while tofu, tempeh, & falafel, count as
          nothing. We are not without treats at school, each day we have fruits. A few
          recipes are fruit-sweetened foods for holidays; some with honey or maple, say
          for birthday parties, weekend camp-overs, or reunions. Mostly we serve, & our
          children eat, vegetables, beans, whole grains, & rice or soy milk, every day.
          Our children must struggle whenever we go out into the 'real' world, with a
          constant bombardment of sweets, at & between every meal, that undermines the
          wholesome food that we have brought in our own picnic basket. That Circle
          School families could be a part of building an Ecovillage would be a dream come
          true. That the village industry would be sweets could be a nightmare, undoing
          all we were founded for: support for an education that is based in knowledge of
          healthful whole food, support for adults at practice in being the role model of
          eating well & support in raising children who, while in out care, have the
          maximum opportunity to develop tastes for real garden food.

          All the best wishes for Kobunaki, & for your own direction,
          Napi


          Tim Cook wrote:

          > Fukuoka Farmers, greetings,
          >
          > About my only dabbling in growing food is a small garden plot that
          > only produces in the winter (this is Alabama) because it's too shady
          > in the summer, but I joined this list because I was interested in Mr.
          > Fukuoka's books and he happens to be a friend of a friend (his doctor,
          > although I haven't met either of them for some 15 years). I have a
          > question that I wonder if people on this list are familiar with. There
          > is a group of people who are planning and building a new community in
          > Oumihachiman, Shiga Prefecture, Japan, that is supposed to be a model
          > ecological village. Apparently other such places exist in other
          > countries and they're called "ecovillages." Does anyone know about
          > them, and this one in particular? My wife, who is Japanese, and I are
          > thinking about moving to Japan, and I wondered if this village would
          > be a worthwhile place to live. Living in an ecologically conscious
          > community makes it easier for oneself to live ecologically, but on the
          > other hand, the building of a new community, no matter how ecological,
          > itself has an ecological impact. I wonder if this idea and Fukuoka's
          > ideas mesh or clash. If you're interested in their Web site, it's
          > http://www.g-project.net/kobunaki/
          > Thanks for whatever anyone might know or think about this.
          >
          > Tim Cook
          > Tuscaloosa, Alabama
          >
          >
          > *********************************************************************
          > So long as I confine my activities to social service and the blind,
          > they compliment me extravagantly, calling me "archpriestess of the
          > sightless," "wonder woman," and "a modern miracle." But when it comes
          > to a discussion of poverty, and I maintain that it is the result of
          > wrong economics -- that the industrial system under which we live is
          > at the root of much of the physical deafness and blindness in the
          > world -- that is a different matter!
          > --Helen Keller, noted Alabama Socialist
          > *********************************************************************


          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.