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Why not Organic?

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  • jamie
    Hello everyone, Napi asks the question What is a bridge-building definition of what is so harmful about the beloved term organic, that could be used to cross
    Message 1 of 1 , Nov 9, 2003
      Hello everyone, Napi asks the question "What is a bridge-building definition
      of what is so harmful about the beloved term organic, that could be used to
      cross many gaps?" which Gloria answers perfectly with "What I was referring
      to in my previous post is that most of the folks on the other list have only
      exchanged the amendments continuing to garden in the same old way. Chemical
      amendments become organic amendments. I am trying to challenge them to do
      more.....to look beyond that small box."

      I recognise from its constant use that the phrase 'looking outside the box'
      has become the common way in the US for characterising someone as being
      hidebound to an old or small world view - and I'll admit it is rhetorically
      effective. However, we are all constrained by our boxes and I suspect they
      are all quite small. One of the positive advantages of Fukuoka's
      'Japaneseness', his non-western worldview/zeitgeist, is that he offers
      another box with which we can judge the boundaries of our own. These are his
      words taken from near the end of 'The Road Back to nature' (page 362/3)
      under the sub-heading 'Making the Change from Organic to Natural Farming':

      "With the continuing input of corporate capital, American agriculture will
      probably go on growing even larger in scale. At the same time, advances from
      organic gardening to natural farming are likely to continue to be made by
      people with a proclivity toward natural methods. The problem, however, is
      that most people do not yet understand the distinction between organic
      gardening and natural farming. both scientific agriculture and organic
      farming are basically scientific in their approach. The boundary between the
      two is not clear.
      ...The way I see it, and perhaps I am biased, the only way is to follow the
      road to nature as perceived from afar. In so doing, techniques that surpass
      mere technology will be established. That is my view.
      Although there are still many different forms and names for it, it is clear
      that my 'green philosophy' serves as a foundation.
      It is certainly fine to gradually move from organic farming toward an
      anti-scientific way of farming, to aim for a sustainable and permanent
      method of farming, or to attempt to return to nature while enjoying life on
      a designed farm. However, this must be more than a narrow technique; nor
      should it be adopted merely as a passing fad. The thinking and outlook of
      natural philosophy must be at the core of any successful effort to establish
      a form of farming that would become a truly permanent Great Way of

      My gloss on Fukuoka's words (and 'gloss' should be seen as merely an older
      form of modern 'spin', all writing is, after all, rhetoric) would be: it is
      not necessarily what you do as long as you hold to natural philosophy as
      with each passing season and each passing year you will continue to learn
      and this will help you further along the path. It is for this reason that
      natural agriculture based on natural/green philosophy (expressed most fully
      in 'The Natural Way of Farming') must not be considered as a fad to be
      picked up and then set down at the first setback. Natural Farming is a
      lifelong commitment, a reverence, an openness, to the natural world that not
      only supports us but is us.

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