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Re: [fukuoka_farming] Re: Success Stories for Kikoricco

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  • Tradingpost
    Couldn t agree more about the nutritional density factor. However I do believe the 80% figure allows the industrial farming sector to frame the debate, and
    Message 1 of 27 , Feb 2 7:10 AM
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      Couldn't agree more about the nutritional density factor. However I do
      believe the 80% figure allows the industrial farming sector to frame the
      debate, and it's highly misleading. Studies have shown diversified small
      farms to be far more productive overall than industrial farms when total
      output is taken into account instead of a single cash crop mechanically
      farmed with chemicals.


      paul tradingpost@...

      Beware of all enterprises that require new clothes.
      --Henry David Thoreau
      *********** REPLY SEPARATOR ***********

      On 2/2/2007 at 9:18 AM Bart wrote:

      >Maybe we should consider yields rather in terms of minerals, vitamins
      >and general nutritional value per suare meter, instead of volume and
      >weight. It appears that organic vegetables have up to 100% more
      >mineral content (preliminary studies cited in Paul Pitchford's
      >"Healing with whole foods"). So in terms of mineral/vitamin/etc.
      >yield, what at first sight (volume and weight) appears to be a lesser
      >yield, may in fact be a far superior one.
      >
      >Volume and weight are really irrelevant; the ability of produce to
      >sustain healthy life is the real issue. Looking at it that way,
      >natural or veganic farming has a far superior yield compared to
      >chemical farming.
      >Also comparing input of energy and "products" (chemical or not) with
      >output, natural and organic farming have a much higher relative yield,
      >they are much more efficient.
      >
      >I myself experienced very clearly that I needed to eat much less
      >volume and weight once I began to eat only organic food. It has a much
      >higher nutritional "density", so to speak.
      >
      >So forget about producing only 80% compared with chemical neighbours,
      >if you compare input-output-efficiency and nutritional "density", the
      >neighbour looses spectacularly... It's even worse than that: some (or
      >all) of chemically produced foods are even non-foods in reality,
      >industrially grown cabbages for instance have been reported to cause
      >infant death (intoxication by nitrates). Who cares for the chemical
      >neighbours' nitrate bomb disguised as cabbage anyway?
      >
      >Bart
    • Tradingpost
      Have to throw in these references about farm size and efficiency. paul tradingpost@lobo.net ... While the “bigger is better” myth is generally accepted, it
      Message 2 of 27 , Feb 2 7:38 AM
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        Have to throw in these references about farm size and efficiency.

        paul tradingpost@...
        -----------------

        While the “bigger is better” myth is generally accepted, it is a
        fallacy. Numerous reports have found that smaller farms are actually more
        efficient than larger “industrial” farms. These studies demonstrate
        that when farms get larger, the costs of production per unit often
        increase, because larger acreage requires more expensive machinery and more
        chemicals to protect crops.
        from http://www.keepmainefree.org/myth3.html

        THE MYTH:
        Industrial agriculture is efficient.
        THE TRUTH:
        Small farms produce more agricultural output per unit area than large
        farms. Moreover, larger, less diverse farms require far more mechanical and
        chemical inputs. These ever increasing inputs are devastating to the
        environment and make these farms far less efficient than smaller, more
        sustainable farms.

        Proponents of industrial agriculture claim that “bigger is better” when
        it comes to food production. They argue that the larger the farm, the more
        efficient it is. They admit that these huge corporate farms mean the loss
        of family farms and rural communities, but they maintain that this is
        simply the inevitable cost of efficient food production. And agribusiness
        advocates don’t just promote big farms; they also push big technology.
        They typically ridicule small-scale farm technology as grossly inefficient
        while heralding intensive use of chemicals, massive machinery,
        computerization and genetic engineering - whose affordability and
        implementation are only feasible on large farms. The marriage of huge farms
        with “mega-technology” is sold to the public as the basic requirement
        for efficient food production. Argue against size and technology - the two
        staples of modern agriculture - and, they insist, you're undermining
        production efficiency and endangering the world's food supply.

        While the “bigger is better” myth is generally accepted, it is a
        fallacy. Numerous reports have found that smaller farms are actually more
        efficient than larger “industrial” farms. These studies demonstrate
        that when farms get larger, the costs of production per unit often
        increase, because larger acreage requires more expensive machinery and more
        chemicals to protect crops. In particular, a 1989 study by the U.S.
        National Research Council assessed the efficiency of large industrial food
        production systems compared with alternative methods. The conclusion was
        exactly contrary to the “bigger is better” myth: “Well-managed
        alternative farming systems nearly always use less synthetic chemical
        pesticides, fertilizers, and antibiotics per unit of production than
        conventional farms. Reduced use of these inputs lowers production costs and
        lessens agriculture’s potential for adverse environmental and health
        effects without decreasing - and in some cases increasing - per acre crop
        yields and the productivity of livestock management systems.”

        Output Versus Yield

        Agribusiness and economists alike tend to use “yield” measurements when
        calculating the productivity of farms. Yield can be defined as the
        production per unit of a single crop. For example, a corn farm will be
        judged by how many metric tons of corn are produced per acre. More often
        than not, the highest yield of a single crop like corn can be best achieved
        by planting it alone on an industrial scale in the fields of corporate
        farms. These large “monocultures” have become endemic to modern
        agriculture for the simple reason that they are the easiest to manage with
        heavy machinery and intensive chemical use. It is the single-crop yields of
        these farms that are used as the basis for the “bigger is better” myth,
        and it is true that the highest yield of a single crop is often achieved
        through industrial monocultures.

        Smaller farms rarely can compete with this “monoculture” single-crop
        yield. They tend to plant crop mixtures, a method known as
        “intercropping.” Additionally, where single-crop monocultures have
        empty “weed” spaces, small farms use these spaces for crop planting.
        They are also more likely to rotate or combine crops and livestock, with
        the resulting manure performing the important function of replenishing soil
        fertility. These small-scale integrated farms produce far more per unit
        area than large farms. Though the yield per unit area of one crop - corn,
        for example - may be lower, the total output per unit area for small farms,
        often composed of more than a dozen crops and numerous animal products, is
        virtually always higher than that of larger farms.

        Clearly, if we are to compare accurately the productivity of small and
        large farms, we should use total agricultural output, balanced against
        total farm inputs and “externalities,” rather than single-crop yield as
        our measurement principle. Total output is defined as the sum of everything
        a small farmer produces - various grains, fruits, vegetables, fodder, and
        animal products - and is the real benchmark of efficiency in farming.
        Moreover, productivity measurements should also take into account total
        input costs, including large-machinery and chemical use, which often are
        left out of the equation in the yield efficiency claims.

        Once the flawed yield measurement system is discarded, the “bigger is
        better” myth is shattered. As summarized by the food policy expert Peter
        Rosset, “Surveying the data, we indeed find that small farms almost
        always produce far more agricultural output per unit area than larger
        farms. This is now widely recognized by agricultural economists across the
        political spectrum, as the inverse relationship between farm size and
        output.” He notes that even the World Bank now advocates redistributing
        land to small farmers in the third world as a step toward increasing
        overall agricultural productivity.

        Government studies underscore this “inverse relationship.” According to
        a 1992 U.S. Agricultural Census report, relatively smaller farm sizes are 2
        to 10 times more productive per unit acre than larger ones. The smallest
        farms surveyed in the study, those of 27 acres or less, are more than ten
        times as productive (in dollar output per acre) than large farms (6,000
        acres or more), and extremely small farms (4 acres or less) can be over a
        hundred times as productive.
        ------------------

        Small-scale farming is as old as agriculture itself. One study of 15
        countries, primarily in Asia and Africa, found that per-acre output on
        small farms can be as much as four to five times higher than on large ones.
        Russia, over the years, has often produced 30% to 50% of its food on
        household plots representing as little as 3% to 5% of all Russian farmland.
        The productivity of small-scale farms is also being widely recognized by
        agricultural economists who call it the “inverse relationship between
        farm size and productivity.”
        http://www.growbiointensive.org/grow_need.html
        ---------------------

        "However, by managing more “intensively” the new farmers are able to
        net far more profit from each dollar of sales. They reduce their costs of
        purchased inputs through diversification, increase the value of their
        products through niche markets, focus on the things that they do best, and
        work together to do the things that they can’t do as well alone. As a
        result, their net return per dollar of sales may be 40 to 50 percent rather
        than the 15 to 20 percent for a conventional farm. Thus, the net returns
        on a farm with $100,000 in annual sales may be $40,000 to $50,000 and even
        a farm with $50,000 in annual sales may net $20,000 to $25,000 to support
        the small farm family. The bottom line is that 10 acres, intensively
        managed to produce high valued products, may generate more profits than
        1,000 acres used to produce bulk agricultural commodities - corn, cattle,
        wheat, cotton, etc. Many small farms make some fairly big profits."
        Farming for Profit and Quality of Life, John Ikerd
        http://www.ssu.missouri.edu/faculty/jikerd/papers/SFTkeynote.html
        --------------
        "“Get big or get out” is a refrain with which American farmers are all
        too familiar. Small farms are seen as being too small to survive, and
        thus, unworthy of serious consideration. For example, government programs,
        including publicly funded research and education, tend to focus on large,
        commercial agricultural operations as the future of American agriculture.
        In fact, the opposite is true. Most large, commercial farming today are
        too big to survive. Small farms are the future of farming in America. "
        Many Farms Are Too Big To Survive, John Ikerd
        http://www.ssu.missouri.edu/faculty/jikerd/papers/SFT-Too%20Big.htm
        -----------



        *********** REPLY SEPARATOR ***********

        On 2/2/2007 at 8:10 AM Tradingpost wrote:

        >Couldn't agree more about the nutritional density factor. However I do
        >believe the 80% figure allows the industrial farming sector to frame the
        >debate, and it's highly misleading. Studies have shown diversified small
        >farms to be far more productive overall than industrial farms when total
        >output is taken into account instead of a single cash crop mechanically
        >farmed with chemicals.
        >
        >
        >paul tradingpost@...
        >
        >Beware of all enterprises that require new clothes.
        >--Henry David Thoreau
        >*********** REPLY SEPARATOR ***********
        >
        >On 2/2/2007 at 9:18 AM Bart wrote:
        >

        >>So forget about producing only 80% compared with chemical neighbours,
        >>if you compare input-output-efficiency and nutritional "density", the
        >>neighbour looses spectacularly... It's even worse than that: some (or
        >>all) of chemically produced foods are even non-foods in reality,
        >>industrially grown cabbages for instance have been reported to cause
        >>infant death (intoxication by nitrates). Who cares for the chemical
        >>neighbours' nitrate bomb disguised as cabbage anyway?
        >>
        >>Bart
      • Jamie Nicol
        Dear All, in an attempt to broaden the discussion of success and to avoid falling into esoteric chatter, I thought some words of Fukuoka would be
        Message 3 of 27 , Feb 2 7:52 AM
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          Dear All, in an attempt to broaden the discussion of 'success' and to avoid falling into 'esoteric' chatter, I thought some words of Fukuoka would be pragmatic:

          " To achieve a humanity and a society founded on non-action, man must look back over everything he has done and rid himself one by one of the false visions and concepts that permeate him and his society. This is what the 'do-nothing' movement is all about. Natural Farming can be seen as one branch of this movement. Human knowledge and effort expand and grow increasingly complex and wasteful without limit. We need to halt this expansion, to converge, simplify, and reduce our knowledge and effort. This is in keeping with the laws of nature. Natural Farming is more than just a revolution in agricultural techniques. It is the practical foundation of a spiritual movement, of a revolution to change the way we live."

          Obviously, the tenor of these words seems to suggest that NF and 'success' might not be to do with yield, qualitative or quantitative.

          Jamie
          Souscayrous

          ----- Original Message -----
          From: Tradingpost
          To: fukuoka_farming@yahoogroups.com
          Sent: Friday, February 02, 2007 4:10 PM
          Subject: Re: [fukuoka_farming] Re: Success Stories for Kikoricco



          Couldn't agree more about the nutritional density factor. However I do
          believe the 80% figure allows the industrial farming sector to frame the
          debate, and it's highly misleading. Studies have shown diversified small
          farms to be far more productive overall than industrial farms when total
          output is taken into account instead of a single cash crop mechanically
          farmed with chemicals.

          paul tradingpost@...

          Beware of all enterprises that require new clothes.
          --Henry David Thoreau
          *********** REPLY SEPARATOR ***********

          On 2/2/2007 at 9:18 AM Bart wrote:

          >Maybe we should consider yields rather in terms of minerals, vitamins
          >and general nutritional value per suare meter, instead of volume and
          >weight. It appears that organic vegetables have up to 100% more
          >mineral content (preliminary studies cited in Paul Pitchford's
          >"Healing with whole foods"). So in terms of mineral/vitamin/etc.
          >yield, what at first sight (volume and weight) appears to be a lesser
          >yield, may in fact be a far superior one.
          >
          >Volume and weight are really irrelevant; the ability of produce to
          >sustain healthy life is the real issue. Looking at it that way,
          >natural or veganic farming has a far superior yield compared to
          >chemical farming.
          >Also comparing input of energy and "products" (chemical or not) with
          >output, natural and organic farming have a much higher relative yield,
          >they are much more efficient.
          >
          >I myself experienced very clearly that I needed to eat much less
          >volume and weight once I began to eat only organic food. It has a much
          >higher nutritional "density", so to speak.
          >
          >So forget about producing only 80% compared with chemical neighbours,
          >if you compare input-output-efficiency and nutritional "density", the
          >neighbour looses spectacularly... It's even worse than that: some (or
          >all) of chemically produced foods are even non-foods in reality,
          >industrially grown cabbages for instance have been reported to cause
          >infant death (intoxication by nitrates). Who cares for the chemical
          >neighbours' nitrate bomb disguised as cabbage anyway?
          >
          >Bart





          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        • Tradingpost
          High yield and sustainability are not mutually exclusive. To agree that you have to sacrifice one for the other gives up the field to the how will we feed the
          Message 4 of 27 , Feb 2 8:07 AM
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            High yield and sustainability are not mutually exclusive. To agree that you
            have to sacrifice one for the other gives up the field to the "how will we
            feed the world" agribusiness spin. Serious researchers and growers have
            shown higher outputs from small areas grown organically. We know healthy
            plants producing well from healthy soil are higher brix and taste better.
            And I'm not talking about some weird hybrids either.

            paul tradingpost@...

            Beware of all enterprises that require new clothes.
            --Henry David Thoreau

            *********** REPLY SEPARATOR ***********

            On 2/2/2007 at 4:52 PM Jamie Nicol wrote:

            >Dear All, in an attempt to broaden the discussion of 'success' and to
            >avoid falling into 'esoteric' chatter, I thought some words of Fukuoka
            >would be pragmatic:
            >
            > " To achieve a humanity and a society founded on non-action, man must
            >look back over everything he has done and rid himself one by one of the
            >false visions and concepts that permeate him and his society. This is what
            >the 'do-nothing' movement is all about. Natural Farming can be seen as one
            >branch of this movement. Human knowledge and effort expand and grow
            >increasingly complex and wasteful without limit. We need to halt this
            >expansion, to converge, simplify, and reduce our knowledge and effort.
            >This is in keeping with the laws of nature. Natural Farming is more than
            >just a revolution in agricultural techniques. It is the practical
            >foundation of a spiritual movement, of a revolution to change the way we
            >live."
            >
            >Obviously, the tenor of these words seems to suggest that NF and 'success'
            >might not be to do with yield, qualitative or quantitative.
            >
            >Jamie
            >Souscayrous
            >
            > ----- Original Message -----
            > From: Tradingpost
            > To: fukuoka_farming@yahoogroups.com
            > Sent: Friday, February 02, 2007 4:10 PM
            > Subject: Re: [fukuoka_farming] Re: Success Stories for Kikoricco
            >
            >
            >
            > Couldn't agree more about the nutritional density factor. However I do
            > believe the 80% figure allows the industrial farming sector to frame the
            > debate, and it's highly misleading. Studies have shown diversified small
            > farms to be far more productive overall than industrial farms when total
            > output is taken into account instead of a single cash crop mechanically
            > farmed with chemicals.
            >
            > paul tradingpost@...
            >
          • Bart
            I agree wholeheartedly that this is the real issue of natural farming, and that in natural farming yield is not a goal - in a sense, there is no goal. Thank
            Message 5 of 27 , Feb 4 12:53 AM
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              I agree wholeheartedly that this is the real issue of natural farming,
              and that in natural farming yield is not a goal - in a sense, there is
              no goal. Thank you for pointing this out.

              However, let's be careful not to get trapped in Nothingness (which is
              one of the diseases of zen). If my industrial farmer neighbour comes
              to me and tells me, "hey, did you see the sun came up in the west this
              morning", I will tell him that this is not true, i.e. that this is not
              the right way to use these words. I know there is really neither east
              nor west, that these are concepts or illusions, and that the sun
              (another concept) doesn't care, and so on. However, if you open your
              mouth and use words, you should use them correctly.
              In the same way, if he comes to me and tells me "you and your natural
              farming, your yield is pitifull", I think it is important not to let
              ourselves be trapped in his incorrect (selective) use of the term
              "yield", only referring to weight/volume and making abstraction of
              many other important factors.
              Or we can just smile to him of course, but I for one know that if my
              smile doesn't come profoundly from the heart, I better argue :)

              This "industrial high yield"-lie is a stick behind the door with which
              organic producers/consumers/sellers are often beaten on the head -
              with their own full cooperation, choosing to go along with the narrow
              weight/volume-perspective and not finding an adequate response.

              But again, I do think it is very iportant to remember, time after
              time, that he real issue in natural farming is doing nothing.

              Bart

              --- In fukuoka_farming@yahoogroups.com, "Jamie Nicol" <jamienicol@...>
              wrote:
              >
              > Dear All, in an attempt to broaden the discussion of 'success' and
              to avoid falling into 'esoteric' chatter, I thought some words of
              Fukuoka would be pragmatic:
              >
              > " To achieve a humanity and a society founded on non-action, man
              must look back over everything he has done and rid himself one by one
              of the false visions and concepts that permeate him and his society.
              This is what the 'do-nothing' movement is all about. Natural Farming
              can be seen as one branch of this movement. Human knowledge and effort
              expand and grow increasingly complex and wasteful without limit. We
              need to halt this expansion, to converge, simplify, and reduce our
              knowledge and effort. This is in keeping with the laws of nature.
              Natural Farming is more than just a revolution in agricultural
              techniques. It is the practical foundation of a spiritual movement, of
              a revolution to change the way we live."
              >
              > Obviously, the tenor of these words seems to suggest that NF and
              'success' might not be to do with yield, qualitative or quantitative.
              >
              > Jamie
              > Souscayrous
              >
            • Andrew E Fister
              The only time an argument exists between natural farming and conventional farming is when I am having it in my mind. If I am arguing (making one view good and
              Message 6 of 27 , Feb 4 4:49 AM
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                The only time an argument exists between natural farming and conventional
                farming is when I am having it in my mind. If I am arguing (making one
                view good and another view wrong) that's when I get trapped in the
                illusion of concepts. If I make a distinction between "nothingness" and
                "somethingness" as if they are states of mind I could be trapped in, I am
                also trapped. Once I start having this petty argument with my neighbor, I
                am indeed trapped. Unless of course I also know the trap is an illusion,
                in which case I can play and be in love with my conventional farming
                neighbor.

                If natural farming is about how "to do" and how "not to do" then I am not
                doing it and not - not doing it.

                Andrew Fister
                Wandafar Sanctuary
                Glasgow, KY

                b 2007 08:53:16 -0000 "Bart" <bartovan@...> writes:
                I agree wholeheartedly that this is the real issue of natural farming,
                and that in natural farming yield is not a goal - in a sense, there is
                no goal. Thank you for pointing this out.

                However, let's be careful not to get trapped in Nothingness (which is
                one of the diseases of zen). If my industrial farmer neighbour comes
                to me and tells me, "hey, did you see the sun came up in the west this
                morning", I will tell him that this is not true, i.e. that this is not
                the right way to use these words. I know there is really neither east
                nor west, that these are concepts or illusions, and that the sun
                (another concept) doesn't care, and so on. However, if you open your
                mouth and use words, you should use them correctly.
                In the same way, if he comes to me and tells me "you and your natural
                farming, your yield is pitifull", I think it is important not to let
                ourselves be trapped in his incorrect (selective) use of the term
                "yield", only referring to weight/volume and making abstraction of
                many other important factors.
                Or we can just smile to him of course, but I for one know that if my
                smile doesn't come profoundly from the heart, I better argue :)

                This "industrial high yield"-lie is a stick behind the door with which
                organic producers/consumers/sellers are often beaten on the head -
                with their own full cooperation, choosing to go along with the narrow
                weight/volume-perspective and not finding an adequate response.

                But again, I do think it is very iportant to remember, time after
                time, that he real issue in natural farming is doing nothing.

                Bart

                --- In fukuoka_farming@yahoogroups.com, "Jamie Nicol" <jamienicol@...>
                wrote:
                >
                > Dear All, in an attempt to broaden the discussion of 'success' and
                to avoid falling into 'esoteric' chatter, I thought some words of
                Fukuoka would be pragmatic:
                >
                > " To achieve a humanity and a society founded on non-action, man
                must look back over everything he has done and rid himself one by one
                of the false visions and concepts that permeate him and his society.
                This is what the 'do-nothing' movement is all about. Natural Farming
                can be seen as one branch of this movement. Human knowledge and effort
                expand and grow increasingly complex and wasteful without limit. We
                need to halt this expansion, to converge, simplify, and reduce our
                knowledge and effort. This is in keeping with the laws of nature.
                Natural Farming is more than just a revolution in agricultural
                techniques. It is the practical foundation of a spiritual movement, of
                a revolution to change the way we live."
                >
                > Obviously, the tenor of these words seems to suggest that NF and
                'success' might not be to do with yield, qualitative or quantitative.
                >
                > Jamie
                > Souscayrous
                >




                [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
              • rajuktitus
                Dear Charie, This is working for me i opened this page send by you write mail to group fukuoka_farming@yahoogroups.com. Thanks Raju
                Message 7 of 27 , Dec 17, 2008
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                  Dear Charie,
                  This is working for me i opened this page send by you write mail to
                  group
                  fukuoka_farming@yahoogroups.com.
                  Thanks
                  Raju
                • grannis04
                  Greetings from Maine. I am a new member to this site having arrived here from the fukuoka web site. I have been experimenting with natural farming/ gardening
                  Message 8 of 27 , Jan 13, 2009
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                    Greetings from Maine. I am a new member to this site having arrived
                    here from the fukuoka web site. I have been experimenting with natural
                    farming/ gardening for about three years. I have been an organic
                    gardener for forty years and now I am starting over and I'm completely
                    amazed! why did I not see this before. It is the Mahayana aspect of
                    natural farming that rings true to me. Last season we grew a corn crop
                    "Abenaki", a flint type from native american origin, of course. With
                    the high fuel prices last spring I said to myself, "grow a high input
                    crop such as corn and do it without fossil fuel input". I planted in
                    an orchard that was mixed grasses, clover, etc. I close cut with a
                    hand sythe and then covered rows with mulch in preparation for
                    planting. After two weeks I pulled back the mulch and pressed corn
                    seed ( saved from previous years crop) on to the soil. I covered the
                    seed with a light cover,Half inch, of finished compost. after
                    germination I applied cut grasses from the paths to the plants.
                    Thinned to one foot spacing then I top dressed lightly with chicken
                    litter and grass cuttings, this was done about three times during the
                    growing season. Every time I looked at my corn I would say," You guys
                    are A-Maize-ing!". The end of the story is that we are eating our own
                    cornbread made from the corn. The corn produced approx. 25 lbs. from
                    approx. 150' of row space. My next project is to see if I can produce
                    enough corn to supply my family and my chickens.
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