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Re: [fukuoka_farming] Fukuoka Farming website update

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  • Robin, Maya, or Napi
    Thank you, Larry, We appreciate all the work that you have done & continue to put into the Fukuoka Farming on line information site
    Message 1 of 3 , May 27, 2006
      Thank you, Larry,

      We appreciate all the work that you have done & continue to put into the
      Fukuoka Farming on line information site <http://www.fukuokafarmingol.info>.

      Circle School Cooperative in Richmond, Virginia, USA, continues to hold
      dear Fukuoka's teachings of natural gardening, through a few set-backs & a
      long, drawn-out permit & permission processes with the City Department of
      Parks & Recreation.

      As our official catch-up report, we respectfully submit the following for
      the Fukuoka group archives:

      We are participating in a collective of gardeners working to gain
      permission for community gardens in each city council district, sometimes on
      privately owned land, such as on the grounds of an apartment complex,
      sometimes on public land, such as a park, playground, or right of way.

      Within the community gardens, it is our Circle School Cooperative goal to
      have a side-by-side comparison of Fukuokan gardening along with other
      practices. All gardens in this program are required to be organic, which is
      defined simply as not using toxic petro-chemical fertilizers, pesticides &
      herbicides. Hardly anyone in the group, so far, knows much about the work &
      writing of Masanobu Fukuoka nor Emilia Hazelip, so there is neither support
      nor resistance to including this experiment within the larger context of
      getting more organic gardens going.

      The old saying holds true: Democracy is run by those who show up. In
      this case, being on the committees for the community gardening discussions
      has given us the opportunity to have Fukuokan options considered, such as
      observing the compatibility of plants within a guild under a nearby tree, &
      learning what benefits they provide each other. An alternative to labor
      intensive forms of composting is attractive to most of the participants,
      especially those new to gardening.

      As a collective, the group advocating this City-Wide project believes
      that urban agriculture is an activity that must be experienced by each
      succeeding generation, with models & voices of experience, to help support
      the population through the coming cultural changes from ever-increasing oil
      prices. Not only must gardeners & farmers know how to grow food without
      input of petrochemicals, but we must know which foods grow, & how they grow
      in our locales & microclimates *before* the rising fuel costs for trucking (&
      of processing & of plastic packaging) makes a balanced diet hard to come by,
      except for the ultra-rich (of which there will be plenty) & the
      ultra-observant who know what real food is, where & how it is already growing
      in the cities. We plan to produce programs on foraging & native plant
      identification, as part of the function of the community gardening sites.

      The collective of community gardening groups is fortuitously taking part
      in a program called Richmond Sister Cities, with partners in South Africa,
      New Zealand, Australia, & several of the United States, all arranging visits
      by each Richmond's representatives, featuring tours of each other's public
      gardens. Locally the program is supported by major gardening groups such as
      the Maymont Gardens & Lewis Ginter Botanical Gardens, educators & PTAs using
      gardens as outdoor classrooms in school yards, as well as representatives of
      low-income housing & Citizens Against Crime, who are looking at the community
      building aspects of gardening. Internationally, the Royal Botanic Garden at
      Kew is the major member.

      It is within this rich mix that we humbly offer the observations from our
      Fukuokan gardens as the project develops.

      Pacing this spring has been frustrating for those of us who would get
      outside & just do it.

      We have just jumped the hurdle of insurance for our nearest community
      garden on private land. It will be an intergenerational garden for elders &
      preschoolers in programs at the community house, & for residents of two
      bordering neighborhoods of differing racial mixes.

      We have not yet surmounted the red tape of the City for a community
      garden in the park next door, where our Fukuokan border produced some food
      before it was mistakenly mowed down by a park maintenance crew. We are very
      pleased to have won two major grants for an urban greenway (the first was
      submitted about the time Larry set sail) that have within the total
      ($475,000), set-aside pockets of funds that can be applied to fence our
      Fukuokan garden border ($8,000) & provide interpretive, educational signage
      (couple $thousand).

      As a public community garden project, we begin with the necessity of
      organizing the university science department to work with a volunteer
      environmental engineer to learn to run the required testing procedures to
      measure the soil contaminants (not to mention the blah-blah-blah soil
      nutrient testing offered by the local farm extension services). We can not
      avoid land that is seriously contaminated from say, generations of junk cars
      leaking fluids, or demolition of houses that had chipping lead paint,
      asbestos siding, & leaking heating-oil tanks. Now, given that most land
      available to this project is either beside the fumes & contaminated dust of a
      highway, or has been used for years as an unauthorized parking lot, or is the
      site of a condemned building that was razed, we expect that a lot of the
      testing will reveal that we are required to bring in uncontaminated soil for
      raised beds over a thick landfill liner, which is not a Fukuokan design, but
      once it is in place we proceed from there.

      We have not at all given up on replacing the border gardens that were
      mostly wiped out along the alley behind our school. We have weathered
      changes of administration within the City & the Parks Department to have an
      increasing likelihood that the results of the Fukuokan trial, whatever they
      may be, could be reported by whatever future media stories we can generate
      about the Richmond Sister Cities project.
      Peace,
      N

      Larry Haftl wrote:

      > Hello all,
      >
      > Life seems to have gotten regular enough to give me time to work on the
      > Fukuoka farming website again. Before I start, if there is anything any of
      > you think would improve it then please let me know and I will try to
      > incorporate that.
      >
      > The website is at http://www.fukuokafarmingol.info
      >
      > The version at larryhaftl.com/ffo will be completely eliminated shortly to
      > direct all traffic to the fukuokafarmingol.info website.
      >
      > Hope at least some of you get some benefit from the website.
      >
      > Larry Haftl
    • Gloria C. Baikauskas
      Wow Napi! I am very impressed with all that you have accomplished...and with what you are about to accomplish. I can t wait to hear the results of this grand
      Message 2 of 3 , May 27, 2006
        Wow Napi! I am very impressed with all that you have
        accomplished...and with what you are about to accomplish. I can't
        wait to hear the results of this grand experiment to show the
        differences to the folks in this group there in Virginia between the
        gardening methods.

        Normally in organic gardening it is not advisable to bring in soil to
        an area. Instead it is recommended that one bring in
        compost...finished compost. I thought I would make that my
        contribution. It can set back a garden for a while to bring in
        outside soil. I do realize this is contaminated land you are
        speaking of here. I am assuming you are going to remove some/all of
        it? Or will you use what you bring in to make raised beds that you
        will grow in instead? That way you could use several layers of wet
        newspaper, or wet cardboard serve as a barrier to the contaminated
        soil.

        Gloria, Texas

        --- In fukuoka_farming@yahoogroups.com, "Robin, Maya, or Napi"
        <seafloorgarden@...> wrote:
        >
        > Circle School Cooperative in Richmond, Virginia, USA, continues
        to hold
        > dear Fukuoka's teachings of natural gardening, through a few set-
        backs & a
        > long, drawn-out permit & permission processes with the City
        Department of
        > Parks & Recreation.
        >
        > As our official catch-up report, we respectfully submit the
        following for
        > the Fukuoka group archives:
        >
        > We are participating in a collective of gardeners working to
        gain
        > permission for community gardens in each city council district,
        sometimes on
        > privately owned land, such as on the grounds of an apartment
        complex,
        > sometimes on public land, such as a park, playground, or right of
        way.
        >
        > Within the community gardens, it is our Circle School
        Cooperative goal to
        > have a side-by-side comparison of Fukuokan gardening along with
        other
        > practices. All gardens in this program are required to be organic,
        which is
        > defined simply as not using toxic petro-chemical fertilizers,
        pesticides &
        > herbicides. Hardly anyone in the group, so far, knows much about
        the work &
        > writing of Masanobu Fukuoka nor Emilia Hazelip, so there is neither
        support
        > nor resistance to including this experiment within the larger
        context of
        > getting more organic gardens going.
        >
        > The old saying holds true: Democracy is run by those who show
        up. In
        > this case, being on the committees for the community gardening
        discussions
        > has given us the opportunity to have Fukuokan options considered,
        such as
        > observing the compatibility of plants within a guild under a nearby
        tree, &
        > learning what benefits they provide each other. An alternative to
        labor
        > intensive forms of composting is attractive to most of the
        participants,
        > especially those new to gardening.
        >
        > As a collective, the group advocating this City-Wide project
        believes
        > that urban agriculture is an activity that must be experienced by
        each
        > succeeding generation, with models & voices of experience, to help
        support
        > the population through the coming cultural changes from ever-
        increasing oil
        > prices. Not only must gardeners & farmers know how to grow food
        without
        > input of petrochemicals, but we must know which foods grow, & how
        they grow
        > in our locales & microclimates *before* the rising fuel costs for
        trucking (&
        > of processing & of plastic packaging) makes a balanced diet hard to
        come by,
        > except for the ultra-rich (of which there will be plenty) & the
        > ultra-observant who know what real food is, where & how it is
        already growing
        > in the cities. We plan to produce programs on foraging & native
        plant
        > identification, as part of the function of the community gardening
        sites.
        >
        > The collective of community gardening groups is fortuitously
        taking part
        > in a program called Richmond Sister Cities, with partners in South
        Africa,
        > New Zealand, Australia, & several of the United States, all
        arranging visits
        > by each Richmond's representatives, featuring tours of each other's
        public
        > gardens. Locally the program is supported by major gardening
        groups such as
        > the Maymont Gardens & Lewis Ginter Botanical Gardens, educators &
        PTAs using
        > gardens as outdoor classrooms in school yards, as well as
        representatives of
        > low-income housing & Citizens Against Crime, who are looking at the
        community
        > building aspects of gardening. Internationally, the Royal Botanic
        Garden at
        > Kew is the major member.
        >
        > It is within this rich mix that we humbly offer the
        observations from our
        > Fukuokan gardens as the project develops.
        >
        > Pacing this spring has been frustrating for those of us who
        would get
        > outside & just do it.
        >
        > We have just jumped the hurdle of insurance for our nearest
        community
        > garden on private land. It will be an intergenerational garden for
        elders &
        > preschoolers in programs at the community house, & for residents of
        two
        > bordering neighborhoods of differing racial mixes.
        >
        > We have not yet surmounted the red tape of the City for a
        community
        > garden in the park next door, where our Fukuokan border produced
        some food
        > before it was mistakenly mowed down by a park maintenance crew. We
        are very
        > pleased to have won two major grants for an urban greenway (the
        first was
        > submitted about the time Larry set sail) that have within the total
        > ($475,000), set-aside pockets of funds that can be applied to fence
        our
        > Fukuokan garden border ($8,000) & provide interpretive, educational
        signage
        > (couple $thousand).
        >
        > As a public community garden project, we begin with the necessity of
        > organizing the university science department to work with a
        volunteer
        > environmental engineer to learn to run the required testing
        procedures to
        > measure the soil contaminants (not to mention the blah-blah-blah
        soil
        > nutrient testing offered by the local farm extension services). We
        can not
        > avoid land that is seriously contaminated from say, generations of
        junk cars
        > leaking fluids, or demolition of houses that had chipping lead
        paint,
        > asbestos siding, & leaking heating-oil tanks. Now, given that most
        land
        > available to this project is either beside the fumes & contaminated
        dust of a
        > highway, or has been used for years as an unauthorized parking lot,
        or is the
        > site of a condemned building that was razed, we expect that a lot
        of the
        > testing will reveal that we are required to bring in uncontaminated
        soil for
        > raised beds over a thick landfill liner, which is not a Fukuokan
        design, but
        > once it is in place we proceed from there.
        >
        > We have not at all given up on replacing the border gardens
        that were
        > mostly wiped out along the alley behind our school. We have
        weathered
        > changes of administration within the City & the Parks Department to
        have an
        > increasing likelihood that the results of the Fukuokan trial,
        whatever they
        > may be, could be reported by whatever future media stories we can
        generate
        > about the Richmond Sister Cities project.
        > Peace,
        > N
        >
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