My name is Judy Phillips. I've been lurking about the group for a few weeks
now and though I should introduce myself. I live in the backwoods of
southern Indiana, where I homestead and homeschool three children. I have
read about Masanobu Fukuoka's philosophies of natural farming for years, and
have recently become inspired to put these theories into practice here. I
would like to reclaim an old cornfield that has not been farmed in many
years and has grown thick with fescue and brambles--there are also many
wonderful native plants begining to reclaim the space, which I will take
care to respect. My biggest question is, how can I break through this dense
weed barrier without invasive techniques like bush hogging and tilling? I
would appreciate any input!
Also, though I have read **about** Sensei Fukuoka for many years, I have
never managed to find any of his books--they are no longer in print here in
the U.S. Why IS that? Can anyone suggest the most economical source for
getting ahold of copies of the One Straw Revolution and other works by
Fukuoka? If a bulk purchase were possible, I would be happy to redistribute
these books myself via my own web page (no profit necessary--just
cost+shipping) Unless someone else is already doing this and I just haven't
stumbled across the right source? I think it is important that these words
of sanity be heard in our troubled times!
Thanks for being here--I'm looking forward to getting to know the group.
Date: Thursday, October 18, 2001 10:06 AM
Subject: [fukuoka_farming] Digest Number 24
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>There is 1 message in this issue.
>Topics in this digest:
> 1. a bit off-topic, but...
> From: Carol <reggiecs@...>
> Date: Thu, 18 Oct 2001 06:21:25 -0700
> From: Carol <reggiecs@...>
>Subject: a bit off-topic, but...
>Thoughts in the Presence of Fear
>by Wendell Berry
>I. The time will soon come when we will not be able to remember
>the horrors of September 11 without remembering also the
>unquestioning technological and economic optimism that ended on
>II. This optimism rested on the proposition that we were living
>in a "new world order" and a "new economy" that would "grow" on
>and on, bringing a prosperity of which every new increment would
>III. The dominant politicians, corporate officers, and investors
>who believed this proposition did not acknowledge that the
>prosperity was limited to a tiny percent of the world's people,
>and to an ever smaller number of people even in the United
>States; that it was founded upon the oppressive labor of poor
>people all over the world; and that its ecological costs
>increasingly threatened all life, including the lives of the
>IV. The "developed" nations had given to the "free market" the
>status of a god, and were sacrificing to it their farmers,
>farmlands, and communities, their forests, wetlands, and
>prairies, their ecosystems and watersheds. They had accepted
>universal pollution and global warming as normal costs of doing
>V. There was, as a consequence, a growing worldwide effort on
>behalf of economic decentralization, economic justice, and
>ecological responsibility. We must recognize that the events of
>September 11 make this effort more necessary than ever. We
>citizens of the industrial countries must continue the labor of
>self-criticism and self-correction. We must recognize our
>VI. The paramount doctrine of the economic and technological
>euphoria of recent decades has been that everything depends on
>innovation. It was understood as desirable, and even necessary,
>that we should go on and on from one technological innovation to
>the next, which would cause the economy to "grow" and make
>everything better and better. This of course implied at every
>point a hatred of the past, of all [past] innovations [which] ,
>whatever their value might have been, were discounted as of no
>value at all.
>VII. We did not anticipate anything like what has now happened.
>We did not foresee that all our sequence of innovations might be
>at once overridden by a greater one: the invention of a new kind
>of war that would turn our previous innovations against us,
>discovering and exploiting the debits and the dangers that we had
>ignored. We never considered the possibility that we might be
>trapped in the webwork of communication and transport that was
>supposed to make us free.
>VIII. Nor did we foresee that the weaponry and the war science
>that we marketed and taught to the world would become available,
>not just to recognized national governments, which possess so
>uncannily the power to legitimate large-scale violence, but also
>to "rogue nations," dissident or fanatical groups and individuals
>whose violence, though never worse than that of nations, is
>judged by the nations to be illegitimate.
>IX. We had accepted uncritically the belief that technology is
>only good; that it cannot serve evil as well as good; that it
>cannot serve our enemies as well as ourselves; that it cannot be
>used to destroy what is good, including our homelands and our
>X. We had accepted too the corollary belief that an economy
>(either as a money economy or as a life-support system) that is
>global in extent, technologically complex, and centralized is
>invulnerable to terrorism, sabotage, or war, and that it is
>protectable by "national defense."
>XI. We now have a clear, inescapable choice that we must make. We
>can continue to promote a global economic system of unlimited
>"free trade" among corporations, held together by long and highly
>vulnerable lines of communication and supply, but now recognizing
>that such a system will have to be protected by a hugely
>expensive police force that will be worldwide, whether maintained
>by one nation or several or all, and that such a police force
>will be effective precisely to the extent that it oversways the
>freedom and privacy of the citizens of every nation.
>XII. Or we can promote a decentralized world economy which would
>have the aim of assuring to every nation and region a local
>self-sufficiency in life-supporting goods. This would not
>eliminate international trade, but it would tend toward a trade
>in surpluses after local needs had been met.
>XIII. One of the gravest dangers to us now, second only to
>further terrorist attacks against our people, is that we will
>attempt to go on as before with the corporate program of global
>"free trade," whatever the cost in freedom and civil rights,
>without self-questioning or self-criticism or public debate.
>XIV. This is why the substitution of rhetoric for thought, always
>a temptation in a national crisis, must be resisted by officials
>and citizens alike. It is hard for ordinary citizens to know what
>is actually happening in Washington in a time of such great
>trouble; for all we know, serious and difficult thought may be
>taking place there. But the talk that we are hearing from
>politicians, bureaucrats, and commentators has so far tended to
>reduce the complex problems now facing us to issues of unity,
>security, normality, and retaliation.
>XV. National self-righteousness, like personal
>self-righteousness, is a mistake. It is misleading. It is a sign
>of weakness. Any war that we may make now against terrorism will
>come as a new installment in a history of war in which we have
>fully participated. We are not innocent of making war against
>civilian populations. The modern doctrine of such warfare was set
>forth and enacted by General William Tecumseh Sherman, who held
>that a civilian population could be declared guilty and rightly
>subjected to military punishment. We have never repudiated that
>XVI. It is a mistake also -- as events since September 11 have
>shown -- to suppose that a government can promote and participate
>in a global economy and at the same time act exclusively in its
>own interest by abrogating its international treaties and
>standing apart from international cooperation on moral issues.
>XVII. And surely, in our country, under our Constitution, it is a
>fundamental error to suppose that any crisis or emergency can
>justify any form of political oppression. Since September 11, far
>too many public voices have presumed to "speak for us" in saying
>that Americans will gladly accept a reduction of freedom in
>exchange for greater "security." Some would, maybe. But some
>others would accept a reduction in security (and in global trade)
>far more willingly than they would accept any abridgement of our
>XVIII. In a time such as this, when we have been seriously and
>most cruelly hurt by those who hate us, and when we must consider
>ourselves to be gravely threatened by those same people, it is
>hard to speak of the ways of peace and to remember that Christ
>enjoined us to love our enemies, but this is no less necessary
>for being difficult.
>XIX. Even now we dare not forget that since the attack on Pearl
>Harbor -- to which the present attack has been often and not
>usefully compared -- we humans have suffered an almost
>uninterrupted sequence of wars, none of which has brought peace
>or made us more peaceable.
>XX. The aim and result of war necessarily is not peace but
>victory, and any victory won by violence necessarily justifies
>the violence that won it and leads to further violence. If we are
>serious about innovation, must we not conclude that we need
>something new to replace our perpetual "war to end war"?
>XXI. What leads to peace is not violence but peaceableness, which
>is not passivity, but an alert, informed, practiced, and active
>state of being. We should recognize that while we have
>extravagantly subsidized the means of war, we have almost totally
>neglected the ways of peaceableness. We have, for example,
>several national military academies, but not one peace academy.
>We have ignored the teachings and the examples of Christ, Gandhi,
>Martin Luther King, and other peaceable leaders. And here we have
>an inescapable duty to notice also that war is profitable,
>whereas the means of peaceableness, being cheap or free, make no
>XXII. The key to peaceableness is continuous practice. It is
>wrong to suppose that we can exploit and impoverish the poorer
>countries, while arming them and instructing them in the newest
>means of war, and then reasonably expect them to be peaceable.
>XXIII. We must not again allow public emotion or the public media
>to caricature our enemies. If our enemies are now to be some
>nations of Islam, then we should undertake to know those enemies.
>Our schools should begin to teach the histories, cultures, arts,
>and language of the Islamic nations. And our leaders should have
>the humility and the wisdom to ask the reasons some of those
>people have for hating us.
>XXIV. Starting with the economies of food and farming, we should
>promote at home, and encourage abroad, the ideal of local
>self-sufficiency. We should recognize that this is the surest,
>the safest, and the cheapest way for the world to live. We should
>not countenance the loss or destruction of any local capacity to
>produce necessary goods.
>XXV. We should reconsider and renew and extend our efforts to
>protect the natural foundations of the human economy: soil,
>water, and air. We should protect every intact ecosystem and
>watershed that we have left, and begin restoration of those that
>have been damaged.
>XXVI. The complexity of our present trouble suggests as never
>before that we need to change our present concept of education.
>Education is not properly an industry, and its proper use is not
>to serve industries, neither by job-training nor by
>industry-subsidized research. It's proper use is to enable
>citizens to live lives that are economically, politically,
>socially, and culturally responsible. This cannot be done by
>gathering or "accessing" what we now call "information" -- which
>is to say facts without context and therefore without priority. A
>proper education enables young people to put their lives in
>order, which means knowing what things are more important than
>other things; it means putting first things first.
>XXVII. The first thing we must begin to teach our children (and
>learn ourselves) is that we cannot spend and consume endlessly.
>We have got to learn to save and conserve. We do need a "new
>economy," but one that is founded on thrift and care, on saving
>and conserving, not on excess and waste. An economy based on
>waste is inherently and hopelessly violent, and war is its
>inevitable by-product. We need a peaceable economy.
>Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
- Well, okay then.
On Tue, Nov 17, 2009 at 12:17 AM, <fdnokes@...> wrote:
> Fukuoka had a very good way of communicating this very same idea.
> He wrote it and lived it. And it was at the heart of his ideas about
> We're not really worshipping the man here.
> Just really taken with the spirit of his ideas, and the way he expressed
> > Yep! My thoughts exactly.
> > Frank
> I do trust my own research on what I see on my own land.
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