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RE: [fukuoka_farming] Second of three thoughts

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  • jamie
    Hello Bill, and thanks for your thoughtful introduction (to yourself and your interests). I m sure Robert in OKC will have much to about urban gardening and
    Message 1 of 28 , Nov 15, 2003
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      Hello Bill, and thanks for your thoughtful introduction (to yourself and
      your interests). I'm sure Robert in OKC will have much to about urban
      gardening and organisation, his commitment and involvement really seems to
      be getting something going there, see http://www.oklahomafood.org for more


      -----Original Message-----
      From: Bill Maxwell [mailto:true_tom@...]
      Sent: vendredi 14 novembre 2003 21:11
      To: fukuoka_farming@yahoogroups.com
      Subject: Re: [fukuoka_farming] Second of three thoughts

      Greetings everyone.

      I've been lurking on this group for only a short time, and I have been
      quite envigorated by the wonderful discussion here. Thank you one and
      all for having such a forum! My perspective on Fukuoka may be a little
      different than some here. First of all, I am neither a gardener or a
      farmer. If the world was a different place, perhaps I would be a
      fisherman. However, I am renting a 3/4 acre place in the middle of a
      suburb and am working towards implementing Fukuoka's techniques to
      rejuvenate the soil there in preparation for planting should I have the
      opportunity to buy this land. My interest in Fukuoka's work comes from
      a desire to design a pratical outline for creating suburban and urban
      enclaves that are self-sufficient in both food items and common
      medicinals. It is my hope that such a design will be created and
      implemented within the next ten years.

      Regarding the discussion at hand (with the reduced productivity seen in
      some Fukuoka farms), I would tend to agree that it will take time for
      the soil to regenerate. Fukuoka himself spoke of this in "The Road Back
      to Nature", referring to the desertification process and the severe
      ecological changes forced on the land by modern agriculture and
      associated weeds (like the grasses of California). There is another
      possibility as well, one that I'm not sure I've seen mentioned yet.
      Fukuoka had the time, the energy, and the place to develop a tremendous
      affinity for his particular plot of land in Japan. This depth of
      knowledge and experience may be the reason why it prospered so well. A
      similar type of knowledge had to have been possessed among the
      indigenous tribes that populated the world before modern civilization
      arose 10,000 years ago. While traditionally these are known as
      "subsistence" cultures, a more proper way to define the tribal way would
      be "homeostatic" cultures. Lacking the ability (or even desire) to fly
      in a handful of specialized seeds from another continent, they analyzed
      and manipulated the land immediately around them, gaining an intense
      intimacy with their surroundings. Modern scientific studies have
      discovered that lands still maintained by indigenous tribes possess a
      robust health and diversity unheard of in any modern settlement

      So what is the point to this? It may behoove Fukuoka advocates to study
      the techniques used by the original inhabitants to steward the land
      around them. While these techniques may not be perfect (and, in some
      cases I am sure, possibly harmful!), it would give modern Wei-Wu-Wei
      practioners a hint as to the particular challenges that piece of land
      would offer humanity and thus an avenue for possible solutions. If it
      worked for a specific tribe for 8,000+ years, there is an excellent
      chance it would work well for us too.

      Again, my interest in this is to create a world with options, a world
      where people can choose a number of different ways to live their life
      without immediately being forced into modern culture. I think Fukuoka's
      philosophy is one of the greatest keys towards achieving this goal. On
      a sidenote, to those who are interested in things like the paleo-diet or
      dealing with carbohydrates, you might find the following article of some
      interest -
      I've long been a believer that the simpler the explanation the better;
      mankind would not have survived if his body reacted adversely to so many
      of the foods named as "villians" in the different diet books. However,
      if there were one or two foods that produced a very specific
      physiological reaction that led to a cascade effect...

      Thank you once again for the discussion and I look forward to what comes
      next. Should anyone wish to talk about civilization, hierarchy and
      other such things, I would love to continue such a conversation off-list.


      Bill Maxwell

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