Re: [fukuoka_farming] Re: Wei-Wu-Wei.....and an FYI
- that is refreshing to know that you are there supporting the basic philosophy of natural way of farming .
----- Original Message -----
Sent: Saturday, November 08, 2003 11:14 AM
Subject: RE: [fukuoka_farming] Re: Wei-Wu-Wei.....and an FYI
Hello Gloria, I understand your commitment and enthusiasm for non-chemical
ways of gardening and you seem to work tirelessly to have that message
understood but organic farming/gardening is not natural farming/gardening.
It is a point Fukuoka makes explicit in 'The Road Back to nature' where even
one of the sub-chapters is entitled 'Organic Farming and Ecology are
This is the point of the Wei-wu-wei article I posted, how do we know what to
do when even when we mean to do good we end up perpetuating the problem?
Organic agriculture and Ecology are a compromise made from within the
scientific paradigm that treats of objects and subjects...perhaps it is
better not to act rather than perpetuate the cause of the problem.
But I am not a Buddhist and I trust that the path of natural agriculture is
not solely Buddhistic, therefore if I had to suggest another book to be read
alongside 'One-Straw' I would choose 'Basic Writings: Martin Heidegger' Ed.
David Farrell Krell, Routledge, 1993 and particularly the essay 'The
Question Concerning Technology' although 'Building Dwelling Thinking' is
also interesting in the way it establishes our lives within the fourfold of
Earth, World, Gods and Mortals (no, really, it's wonderful and any
philosopher who feels that the only real custodians of truth in our cultures
are poets has my full attention).
I would also ask that you be very clear when discussing Emilia's Synergistic
Gardening that you avoid labelling her organic, she wasn't and wouldn't
thank you for suggesting she was. She was passionate in her beliefs and
spent much time fighting Permaculture and Biodynamics on their reliance upon
If I seem overly proscriptive I am sorry, I don't mean to discourage,
however, Fukuoka is misunderstood on almost all sides and at least here, on
an email group dedicated to his work, he should at least be listened to in
his own words.
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[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
- Wordy! How many cups of caffeine do you fellows drink before you write
Fukuoka's 'method' was never intended for commercial agriculture, in
the American use of the phrase.
On Tuesday, November 18, 2003, at 04:56 AM, Larry Haftl wrote:
> Hi Jamie,
>> Hello Larry, I'm not quite sure how to respond to this email, a
>> point-by-point rebuttal, silence or something else entirely. My
>> problem is
>> that I don't actually know what it is you're arguing against.
> I didn't think I was arguing against anything in particular, so I went
> and re-read several of the threads and I think I figured out what I
> that is probably bothering you. It is my comments about Fukuoka
> not being able to sustain the rice/barley yields he wrote about in his
> books. If that is true then it can cast serious doubt on the
> possibility of
> using his method to develop commercially successful farms. Since you
> personally heavily invested in trying to demonstrate that Fukuoka's
> can be successful enough to replace current commercial agricultural
> it is understandable that you find expressing such doubts in this forum
> troublesome. Sorry about that, but all humans have doubts from time to
> even those who have never been formally exposed to Descartes,
> culture, or Pragmatism. Doubt is something that happens to thinking
> beings when, for instance, someone tells them something is going to
> and it doesn't happen time after time after time.
>> the criteria of proof proved?). But it is this worldview that Fukuoka
>> always opposed as seeing such 'contrariness' as reducing the reality
>> world so as to gain control over it and our current ecological
>> the result of this reduction. Natural Agriculture is Fukuoka's
>> acceptance, of not doubting the natural world - of seeing doubt not
>> as the
>> achievement of humankind but its weakness, even downfall. Every page
>> Fukuoka's 3 main books are steeped in this openness to experience, his
>> 'green philosophy' has been gained not by shutting himself away for 3
>> to see what he could be sure of through deductive thinking as
>> but 40 years work in the fields slowly letting scientific and
>> techniques go.
> Fukuoka urged people to put doubts aside and try his method in order
> to get
> direct, first-hand experience with the power and abilities of natural
> processes. I was and still am totally in favor of that. Openness to new
> experiences is, to me, a very good thing. And so is not dismissing
> because it failed to have desired results the first time I tried it.
> Try to
> figure out why it failed, make some adjustments, and try again. Sorry
> this sounds like the scientific method at work, but it is, after all,
> Fukuoka used himself and promotes.
>> Why is it 'critical' that you question Jean-Claude's conception that
>> of farmers is 'madness' when this is exactly Fukuoka's viewpoint
>> throughout his work to get people to return to the land so that they
>> rebuild the relationships to the natural world he feels we have lost
>> technicity of scientific enquiry? My point is that we know that this
>> Fukuoka feels and that is why we're part of this group. What I really
>> understand is why you continue to be part of this group if you
>> such basic aspects of Fukuoka's ideas?
> I didn't know that it was mandatory to absolutely, totally, and
> accept and believe in everything Fukuoka ever said or wrote in order to
> participate in this group. The list's description said something about
> discussing his ideas, not mindlessly repeating what he wrote or said. I
> asked Jean-Claude why he thought it insane that only 2% of the
> chose to be farmers because I wanted to hear his reasoning. Like
> Fukuoka, I
> think it would be nice if more people raised their own food, and even
> if I could do so myself. But even if I disagreed with Fukuoka about
> that, I
> don't see such a disagreement as grounds for banishing from this forum
> me or
> anyone else. Do you? Are you saying that anyone who questions anything
> Fukuoka has written or said should not be allowed to express his or her
> thoughts, opinions, and experiences about what Fukuoka has written.
>> Or, to try again: Why are you a member of the Fukuoka_Farming email
>> discussion group? I used to know, last year when you built the
>> we corresponded voluminously off-list, as you also did with Emilia,
>> expressing your enthusiasm, your very real belief that Fukuoka
>> something tangible for your life, I could understand. But now you are
>> 'contrary', deliberately so. I don't understand.
> I am a member of this group because I get useful information from it. I
> still have a lot of enthusiasm for what Fukuoka has written and said,
> try to implement his methods as much as possible, and still enjoy
> maintaining the website as a tool to help others find, understand, and
> perhaps expand on what Fukuoka is all about. What I think you are
> having a
> hard time understanding or accepting is my doubts that Fukuoka's
> methods can
> be used exclusively in a commercial operation of any significant size
> (arbitrarily more than several acres per person) with success. I think
> is wisdom in his writings, but they are not, for me, absolute gospel
> that I
> have to absolutely and unquestioningly accept or be excommunicated
> from the
> group. If you are some day able to make a commercially successful go
> of your
> farm using only his methods they I will definitely sing your praises
> rejoice with you. Doubting the effectiveness of his methods in
> applications is not a deterrent to me as my goals are much more modest
> yours. I simply want to understand how and why things grow and enjoy
> learning process. And if I can get some goodies to eat along the way
> then so
> much the better. And who knows, maybe one day I'll be back on enough
> that I can use his methods to completely feed myself, my family and
> maybe a
> few others and not have to rely on that dreaded scientific agriculture
> actual survival as most of us now do.
>> Fukuoka's message is that of Buddhism, Christian mystics and (Islamic)
>> Sufism, humankind cannot know the natural world in totality,
>> therefore we
>> must stop trying to improve the world through the valorisation of our
>> intellect, our ability to question and create laws by which we
>> world, but rather, settle back and let ourselves slowly regain the
>> of life that we have lost. We go nowhere, literally, with
>> with natural agriculture Fukuoka has offered a practical release from
>> ever decreasing circles of doubt.
> It's much easier to "settle back and let ourselves slowly regain the
> of life that we have lost" if we have the land and/or resources to
> clothe and house ourselves in a manner we find acceptable. You, me,
> and many
> of the people on this list (and even Fukuoka for that matter) can be
> dilitante natural farmers and gardeners because we have a support
> that will feed, clothe, and house us even if we are totally inept at
> food. We can follow his writings and personally benefit from them
> of how much food we personally grow, and that process can, I believe,
> us up to the natural world around us more effectively than many other
> activities. To me, that's enough to be worth trying.
>> What I have been trying to situate
>> in this email, because I'm not quite sure how else to express it, is
>> you are not just wondering which of the crossroads to take but have
>> around and retraced your footsteps and left that path altogther.
> Hmmm.... still feels like I'm on the same path I was on when I first
> encountered this list. Moved along it a bit, but still seems like the
> path. Perhaps you are on a different one that doesn't give you a very
> view of the one I am on.
>> Sometimes in our lives we can feel that what we do amounts to
>> nothing, we learn our own helplessness. Sometimes there is a spark
>> lights a new enthusiasm. I'm part of this group because I want to be
>> a movement that produces a practical, temperate natural agriculture
>> will one day counter the current scientific agriculture of the West.
> It appears that we are on different paths. I'm just trying to
> understand how
> and why things grow, trying to be in closer conscious contact with the
> natural world around me. And maybe learn how to grow or gather as much
> as I
> eat. It's true I have doubts about Fukuoka's method being effective
> to permanently replace "current scientific agriculture" (a very
> thing), but telling me it's wrong to express those doubts is pretty
> much a
> waste of time and bandwidth. Showing me that my doubts are unfounded by
> turning Souscayrouse into a successful commercial venture would,
> definitely shut me up. And I'd be glad to help you in whatever way I
> can to
> do so. I think your grand goal is admirable. But then I think so is my
> modest one.
> Larry Haftl
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