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Re: Fukuoka Farming website update

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  • 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 1 of 3 , May 27, 2006
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      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

      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
      > permission for community gardens in each city council district,
      sometimes on
      > privately owned land, such as on the grounds of an apartment
      > sometimes on public land, such as a park, playground, or right of
      > Within the community gardens, it is our Circle School
      Cooperative goal to
      > have a side-by-side comparison of Fukuokan gardening along with
      > 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
      > 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
      > 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
      > intensive forms of composting is attractive to most of the
      > especially those new to gardening.
      > As a collective, the group advocating this City-Wide project
      > that urban agriculture is an activity that must be experienced by
      > succeeding generation, with models & voices of experience, to help
      > the population through the coming cultural changes from ever-
      increasing oil
      > prices. Not only must gardeners & farmers know how to grow food
      > 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
      > identification, as part of the function of the community gardening
      > The collective of community gardening groups is fortuitously
      taking part
      > in a program called Richmond Sister Cities, with partners in South
      > New Zealand, Australia, & several of the United States, all
      arranging visits
      > by each Richmond's representatives, featuring tours of each other's
      > 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
      > 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
      > garden on private land. It will be an intergenerational garden for
      elders &
      > preschoolers in programs at the community house, & for residents of
      > bordering neighborhoods of differing racial mixes.
      > We have not yet surmounted the red tape of the City for a
      > 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
      > Fukuokan garden border ($8,000) & provide interpretive, educational
      > (couple $thousand).
      > As a public community garden project, we begin with the necessity of
      > organizing the university science department to work with a
      > environmental engineer to learn to run the required testing
      procedures to
      > measure the soil contaminants (not to mention the blah-blah-blah
      > 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
      > asbestos siding, & leaking heating-oil tanks. Now, given that most
      > 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
      > 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
      > about the Richmond Sister Cities project.
      > Peace,
      > N
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