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Re: [fukuoka_farming] growing food for the people ( ants problem )

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  • Dieter Brand
    Calin, Bob et al. Why do we have to limit the size of farms to no more than one acre? In some places, 1 acre may be enough, in others, with poorer soil, 10
    Message 1 of 13 , Jan 4, 2008
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      Calin, Bob et al.

      Why do we have to limit the size of farms to no more than one acre?
      In some places, 1 acre may be enough, in others, with poorer soil,
      10 acres are hardly enough to sustain a family even under subsistence
      farming. But more importantly, would it be so terrible if we could figure
      out a way of applying some of the advantages of NF or "organic no-till"
      to large scale mechanized farming? Fukuoka developed his methods
      of non-mechanized farming on a small traditional Japanese farm, which,
      in Japan, are probably even smaller than elsewhere. I think we all agree
      that this model cannot be exported to other places without modification,
      and I can't remember that he made such a request either.

      Besides, it isn't going to happen, is it? We are not going to empty the
      cities and give everyone an acre of land to live on. That would indeed be
      terrible! Remember, that the "back to the country" movement of Mao's
      red hordes was followed by one of China's worst starvations, costing the
      life of millions (OK, it wasn't only that, there was also the "big leap
      forward" to blame).

      So, what is NF going to be? Is it going to be a play thing for the
      privileged few? Or is it going to provide people with natural food?
      Even in my remote corner of the World, people can buy organic food
      or food produced according to bio-dynamic principals at the supermarket
      or at the local health food store. Where are the shelves with NF food?

      And what is NF anyway? Is it what nowadays is called "organic no-till"?
      Or is it what is sometimes referred to as "semi-wild cultivation"?

      Dieter Brand
      Portugal

      Robert Monie <bobm20001@...> wrote:
      Hi,

      I agree with Dieter's complaint that Fukuoka farming has not made much of an impression world-wide. Some types of alternative farming have been able to get public or private endorsement for continuing demonstration projects but (at least outside of India and maybe Greece) no private or public fund currently supports a Fukuoka-style demonstration farm or garden. Dave Jacke, in his large and intensively researched Edible Forest Gardens, mentions Fukuoka a few times but never refers to a Fukuoka project, probably because he couldn't find one! Jacke does mention and show photos of the Agroforestry Trust in Devon, England, funded by th elate John Seymour and Gaia theorist James Lovelock. The trust showcases Martin Crawford's "research and demonsration garden" based on, but not limited to, Robert Hart's Forest Farming ideas.

      Crawford has written a series of books on how to grow fruits and nuts and use temperate
      nitrogen fixers, and he sells root trainers and plants to interested parties. He and the agroforestry trust know how to PROMOTE their approach, and they got a lot of free publicity in Jacke's book (including an excellent interview with Crawford and pictures of the little farm interspersed throughout. ) They have taken Robert Hart's inchoate ideas and developed them in a demonstrable way calculated to sustain public interest and present something attractive for people to visit and view. Rather than making a shrine of Robert Hart's original somewhat slapdash (but inspiring) forest garden they have found a way to manage improvements creatively, entice visitors, and keep the financial support coming in.

      This they do without a word of metaphysics, Zen, or mysticism. And, though they recognize the ethical and spiritual dimensions of forest farming, they stick to verifiable facts and procedures that ordinary mortals can put into place--no existentialism, no deconstruction, no word games. This is also the approach taken by Jacke and Toensmeier in their book, Edible Forest Gardens, and may go a long way to account for the excellent reviews the book has received. If they were to say that forest farming had nothing to do with growing things, most reviewers would probably wince or laugh ("so why do you want us to plant cover crops and measure canopy widths?") and go on to more rewarding reading.

      Bob Monie
      New Orleans, La

      crandrei <crandrei@...> wrote:

      There is a reason why there aren't many successful NF examples of big,
      (lot of acres) farms, growing food for lots of people.
      It was never meant to work that way.
      It can't be used to make lots of money or to prop up a broken system
      that departed from nature and was already here long before NF.
      Eventually it will lead to land/people abuse and degeneration.
      Fukuoka talks about a small size family farm, about an acre or so.
      This limits (size of the farm and the scope of NF) are very important.

      To Dieter:
      Some of us don't have practical experience because we are still in
      (conventional) hort school where we learn about pest management,
      among other things. One way you go about that is getting a bunch
      of ideas (Google works just fine for that) and validating them into
      practice. When there is something wrong about most of the ideas, one
      is just left with no plan at all, stuck with the pest and maybe self
      censoring in the future.

      calin.

      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]






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    • Robert Monie
      Hi, If the method works, use it, whether for a small garden container or a 10-mile field. What is Fukuoka farming? His rice farming and orchard farming are
      Message 2 of 13 , Jan 4, 2008
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        Hi,

        If the method works, use it, whether for a small garden container or a 10-mile field. What is Fukuoka farming? His rice farming and orchard farming are one thing, but his grain and vegetable farming, so far as it can be separated from Fukuoka's own hand, personality, and locale, is to use alternating cover crops and plant vegetables either into them or next to them and return as much organic residue as possible to the soil as mulch. He used close intercropping (polyculture) and (much to the chagrin of us vegan farmers) did not hesitate to apply chicken manure as fertilizer when he felt it was needed. Stripped of its mystery, this could be called organic no-till, green (living) manure farming. It has much in common with Robert Hart's forest farming (extended by Martin Crawford, Dave Jacke and others) and the "ley" farming done by Robert Ellis in his "Clifton Park" system at the turn of the 19th to 20th Centuries. Ellis emphasized grasses and forbs, Hart emphasized fruit
        trees and canopy layers, Fukuoka emphasized white clover and other low growing covers and applied straw as mulch. All of them, it seems to me, qualify as "natural" and all of them could probably be made to work at many scales from micro to macro. What these approaches have most in common is to engage nature in a relatively self-regulating and nearly closed system regarding nutrient cycling and encouragement of maximum beneficial biological activity at the root level.

        Jacke and Toensmeier give this in a nutshell: "Create a stable, resilient garden ecosystem, driven by solar energy, that largely maintains and renews itself" (page 46, Vol. 1, Edible Forest Gardens).

        That seems to be to be as Fukuokan as anything in Fukuoka.

        Bob Monie
        New Orleans, LA
        Zone 8, 70119



        Dieter Brand <diebrand@...> wrote:
        Calin, Bob et al.

        Why do we have to limit the size of farms to no more than one acre?
        In some places, 1 acre may be enough, in others, with poorer soil,
        10 acres are hardly enough to sustain a family even under subsistence
        farming. But more importantly, would it be so terrible if we could figure
        out a way of applying some of the advantages of NF or "organic no-till"
        to large scale mechanized farming? Fukuoka developed his methods
        of non-mechanized farming on a small traditional Japanese farm, which,
        in Japan, are probably even smaller than elsewhere. I think we all agree
        that this model cannot be exported to other places without modification,
        and I can't remember that he made such a request either.

        Besides, it isn't going to happen, is it? We are not going to empty the
        cities and give everyone an acre of land to live on. That would indeed be
        terrible! Remember, that the "back to the country" movement of Mao's
        red hordes was followed by one of China's worst starvations, costing the
        life of millions (OK, it wasn't only that, there was also the "big leap
        forward" to blame).

        So, what is NF going to be? Is it going to be a play thing for the
        privileged few? Or is it going to provide people with natural food?
        Even in my remote corner of the World, people can buy organic food
        or food produced according to bio-dynamic principals at the supermarket
        or at the local health food store. Where are the shelves with NF food?

        And what is NF anyway? Is it what nowadays is called "organic no-till"?
        Or is it what is sometimes referred to as "semi-wild cultivation"?

        Dieter Brand
        Portugal

        Robert Monie <bobm20001@...> wrote:
        Hi,

        I agree with Dieter's complaint that Fukuoka farming has not made much of an impression world-wide. Some types of alternative farming have been able to get public or private endorsement for continuing demonstration projects but (at least outside of India and maybe Greece) no private or public fund currently supports a Fukuoka-style demonstration farm or garden. Dave Jacke, in his large and intensively researched Edible Forest Gardens, mentions Fukuoka a few times but never refers to a Fukuoka project, probably because he couldn't find one! Jacke does mention and show photos of the Agroforestry Trust in Devon, England, funded by th elate John Seymour and Gaia theorist James Lovelock. The trust showcases Martin Crawford's "research and demonsration garden" based on, but not limited to, Robert Hart's Forest Farming ideas.

        Crawford has written a series of books on how to grow fruits and nuts and use temperate
        nitrogen fixers, and he sells root trainers and plants to interested parties. He and the agroforestry trust know how to PROMOTE their approach, and they got a lot of free publicity in Jacke's book (including an excellent interview with Crawford and pictures of the little farm interspersed throughout. ) They have taken Robert Hart's inchoate ideas and developed them in a demonstrable way calculated to sustain public interest and present something attractive for people to visit and view. Rather than making a shrine of Robert Hart's original somewhat slapdash (but inspiring) forest garden they have found a way to manage improvements creatively, entice visitors, and keep the financial support coming in.

        This they do without a word of metaphysics, Zen, or mysticism. And, though they recognize the ethical and spiritual dimensions of forest farming, they stick to verifiable facts and procedures that ordinary mortals can put into place--no existentialism, no deconstruction, no word games. This is also the approach taken by Jacke and Toensmeier in their book, Edible Forest Gardens, and may go a long way to account for the excellent reviews the book has received. If they were to say that forest farming had nothing to do with growing things, most reviewers would probably wince or laugh ("so why do you want us to plant cover crops and measure canopy widths?") and go on to more rewarding reading.

        Bob Monie
        New Orleans, La

        crandrei <crandrei@...> wrote:

        There is a reason why there aren't many successful NF examples of big,
        (lot of acres) farms, growing food for lots of people.
        It was never meant to work that way.
        It can't be used to make lots of money or to prop up a broken system
        that departed from nature and was already here long before NF.
        Eventually it will lead to land/people abuse and degeneration.
        Fukuoka talks about a small size family farm, about an acre or so.
        This limits (size of the farm and the scope of NF) are very important.

        To Dieter:
        Some of us don't have practical experience because we are still in
        (conventional) hort school where we learn about pest management,
        among other things. One way you go about that is getting a bunch
        of ideas (Google works just fine for that) and validating them into
        practice. When there is something wrong about most of the ideas, one
        is just left with no plan at all, stuck with the pest and maybe self
        censoring in the future.

        calin.

        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]

        ---------------------------------
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      • Adin Sh
        Dieter my friend! I side with you, why not indeed to incorporate into NF some ideas of a diferent schools? What s wrong with burying the seed 1/2 sm beneath
        Message 3 of 13 , Jan 4, 2008
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          Dieter my friend!
          I side with you, why not indeed to incorporate into NF some ideas of a diferent schools?
          What's wrong with burying the seed 1/2 sm beneath the surface or even ( Oh, horror! )arrange that in rows?
          If something works on a given acre, why not use it instead of sticking to some dogmas that have proven themselves dead fruitless, again, on a given acre?




          Dieter Brand <diebrand@...> wrote:
          Calin, Bob et al.

          Why do we have to limit the size of farms to no more than one acre?
          In some places, 1 acre may be enough, in others, with poorer soil,
          10 acres are hardly enough to sustain a family even under subsistence
          farming. But more importantly, would it be so terrible if we could figure
          out a way of applying some of the advantages of NF or "organic no-till"
          to large scale mechanized farming? Fukuoka developed his methods
          of non-mechanized farming on a small traditional Japanese farm, which,
          in Japan, are probably even smaller than elsewhere. I think we all agree
          that this model cannot be exported to other places without modification,
          and I can't remember that he made such a request either.

          Besides, it isn't going to happen, is it? We are not going to empty the
          cities and give everyone an acre of land to live on. That would indeed be
          terrible! Remember, that the "back to the country" movement of Mao's
          red hordes was followed by one of China's worst starvations, costing the
          life of millions (OK, it wasn't only that, there was also the "big leap
          forward" to blame).

          So, what is NF going to be? Is it going to be a play thing for the
          privileged few? Or is it going to provide people with natural food?
          Even in my remote corner of the World, people can buy organic food
          or food produced according to bio-dynamic principals at the supermarket
          or at the local health food store. Where are the shelves with NF food?

          And what is NF anyway? Is it what nowadays is called "organic no-till"?
          Or is it what is sometimes referred to as "semi-wild cultivation"?

          Dieter Brand
          Portugal

          Robert Monie <bobm20001@...> wrote:
          Hi,

          I agree with Dieter's complaint that Fukuoka farming has not made much of an impression world-wide. Some types of alternative farming have been able to get public or private endorsement for continuing demonstration projects but (at least outside of India and maybe Greece) no private or public fund currently supports a Fukuoka-style demonstration farm or garden. Dave Jacke, in his large and intensively researched Edible Forest Gardens, mentions Fukuoka a few times but never refers to a Fukuoka project, probably because he couldn't find one! Jacke does mention and show photos of the Agroforestry Trust in Devon, England, funded by th elate John Seymour and Gaia theorist James Lovelock. The trust showcases Martin Crawford's "research and demonsration garden" based on, but not limited to, Robert Hart's Forest Farming ideas.

          Crawford has written a series of books on how to grow fruits and nuts and use temperate
          nitrogen fixers, and he sells root trainers and plants to interested parties. He and the agroforestry trust know how to PROMOTE their approach, and they got a lot of free publicity in Jacke's book (including an excellent interview with Crawford and pictures of the little farm interspersed throughout. ) They have taken Robert Hart's inchoate ideas and developed them in a demonstrable way calculated to sustain public interest and present something attractive for people to visit and view. Rather than making a shrine of Robert Hart's original somewhat slapdash (but inspiring) forest garden they have found a way to manage improvements creatively, entice visitors, and keep the financial support coming in.

          This they do without a word of metaphysics, Zen, or mysticism. And, though they recognize the ethical and spiritual dimensions of forest farming, they stick to verifiable facts and procedures that ordinary mortals can put into place--no existentialism, no deconstruction, no word games. This is also the approach taken by Jacke and Toensmeier in their book, Edible Forest Gardens, and may go a long way to account for the excellent reviews the book has received. If they were to say that forest farming had nothing to do with growing things, most reviewers would probably wince or laugh ("so why do you want us to plant cover crops and measure canopy widths?") and go on to more rewarding reading.

          Bob Monie
          New Orleans, La

          crandrei <crandrei@...> wrote:

          There is a reason why there aren't many successful NF examples of big,
          (lot of acres) farms, growing food for lots of people.
          It was never meant to work that way.
          It can't be used to make lots of money or to prop up a broken system
          that departed from nature and was already here long before NF.
          Eventually it will lead to land/people abuse and degeneration.
          Fukuoka talks about a small size family farm, about an acre or so.
          This limits (size of the farm and the scope of NF) are very important.

          To Dieter:
          Some of us don't have practical experience because we are still in
          (conventional) hort school where we learn about pest management,
          among other things. One way you go about that is getting a bunch
          of ideas (Google works just fine for that) and validating them into
          practice. When there is something wrong about most of the ideas, one
          is just left with no plan at all, stuck with the pest and maybe self
          censoring in the future.

          calin.

          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]

          ---------------------------------
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        • Calin A. Radulescu
          Limits should be self imposed and different from one location to another. Yet they are important, because without limits one would be dealing and wheeling,
          Message 4 of 13 , Jan 4, 2008
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            Limits should be self imposed and different from one
            location to another. Yet they are important, because
            without limits one would be dealing and wheeling,
            instead of watching and learning; doing, instead of
            not-doing. Chances are that the main purpose of the
            farm would pretty soon become to make money just like
            anybody else, selling out nutrients, energy and real
            estate to the empire when the price is right.
            Religions goes on for pages about this when they talk
            about greed; I am just going to say that it takes the
            mystery out of the field, keeping the farmer from
            advancing spiritually, and have very little to do with
            nature.
            Why would be tilling such an evil thing then? A little
            bit of tilling wouldn't hurt nobody. It would be only
            done because... you know... raising a family...


            --- Dieter Brand <diebrand@...> wrote:




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          • Anders Skarlind
            Dear Calin you seem to think that tilling is evil. Why evil? It is a religous concept I think. Is it relevant here? Unwise I can understand. Against nature I
            Message 5 of 13 , Jan 4, 2008
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              Dear Calin
              you seem to think that tilling is evil. Why evil? It is a religous
              concept I think. Is it relevant here? Unwise I can understand.
              Against nature I can perhaps understand, but it depends on how nature
              is perceived (or construed). But evil? No, not really.

              It sounds like you think: man needs limits to avoid doing the evil.
              Well, in a sense and to some extent I can agree. It depends on
              condtions and what you mean by evil. And you also say self-imposed
              and different from one location to another. That is good I think. But
              still it seems like you think that man is inherently evil and
              therefore he needs these limits. There I cannot follow you, and I
              think you are also outside of the scope of a farming discussion. And
              perhaps also distanced from Fukuoka, even though I haven't studied
              religion enough to tell the difference properly. My bold impression
              is anyway that your concept of evil is of a Christian brand, while
              Fukuoka's thoughts are rooted in eastern philosophy. I wonder if you
              have considered this. If I am right here, I think the problem with
              this would not be Christian roots in your thinking per se, not at
              all, but rather an unreflected mixture of modes of thought from quite
              different traditions. In fact I wouldn't be surprised if much of the
              ideology arising around Fukuoka's philosophy has similar roots.

              I also wonder what is your basis for speaking of "making money like
              everybody else"? If you think of farmers, my picture is that, even
              though conditions vary from time to time and place to place, farmers
              more often than not finds it difficult to survive economically (if
              not even nutritionally), whether they farm conventionally,
              ecologically, or whatever. One factor that seems beneficial is to
              avoid buying lots of input material (chemical fertiliser etc etc).
              Another is good husbandry.
              But OK, you speak of purpose, not outcome. But still I wonder what
              you are thinking of here.

              Sincerley
              Anders Skarlind, Sweden

              At 00:06 2008-01-05, Calin A. Radulescu wrote:
              > Limits should be self imposed and different from one
              >location to another. Yet they are important, because
              >without limits one would be dealing and wheeling,
              >instead of watching and learning; doing, instead of
              >not-doing. Chances are that the main purpose of the
              >farm would pretty soon become to make money just like
              >anybody else, selling out nutrients, energy and real
              >estate to the empire when the price is right.
              >Religions goes on for pages about this when they talk
              >about greed; I am just going to say that it takes the
              >mystery out of the field, keeping the farmer from
              >advancing spiritually, and have very little to do with
              >nature.
              >Why would be tilling such an evil thing then? A little
              >bit of tilling wouldn't hurt nobody. It would be only
              >done because... you know... raising a family...
              >
              >
              >--- Dieter Brand <diebrand@...> wrote:
            • Dieter Brand
              Calin, I had the impression that the problem is that farmers cannot earn enough money not that they earn too much. That is why most small farmers in the
              Message 6 of 13 , Jan 5, 2008
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                Calin,

                I had the impression that the problem is that farmers
                cannot earn enough money not that they earn too much.
                That is why most small farmers in the industrialized
                World had to give up farming and why many of those
                that still remain have to look for employment outside
                the farm just to keep going. Can we really expect
                farmers to live in utter poverty without car, TV, Internet,
                fridge, health services, ... All those things the rest of
                us take for granted? Sure, life on the farm has its
                compensations, and personally, at this stage in my live,
                I'm quite content to put up with some inconveniences,
                living in my little earth hut in the mountain. That is my
                choice, but for people born out here, in little houses with
                a floor of rammed earth, who could blame them for
                wanting a bit more creature comfort?

                Thanks for bringing up the issue of tilling. But is it really
                evil? Fukuoka is categorical about this "do not plough"!
                And I have seen what ploughing can do to the soil. Yet,
                as long as we don't have a method that will allow to grow
                food without ploughing in many parts of the World we will
                have to go on ploughing, and, in the meantime, try to find
                methods that are appropriate to specific conditions in
                different places.


                Dieter Brand
                Portugal

                "Calin A. Radulescu" <crandrei@...> wrote:
                Limits should be self imposed and different from one
                location to another. Yet they are important, because
                without limits one would be dealing and wheeling,
                instead of watching and learning; doing, instead of
                not-doing. Chances are that the main purpose of the
                farm would pretty soon become to make money just like
                anybody else, selling out nutrients, energy and real
                estate to the empire when the price is right.
                Religions goes on for pages about this when they talk
                about greed; I am just going to say that it takes the
                mystery out of the field, keeping the farmer from
                advancing spiritually, and have very little to do with
                nature.
                Why would be tilling such an evil thing then? A little
                bit of tilling wouldn't hurt nobody. It would be only
                done because... you know... raising a family...

                --- Dieter Brand <diebrand@...> wrote:

                __________________________________________________________
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              • Calin A. Radulescu
                Dieter, Anders about making money like everyone else Here in the US most people are very pragmatic. They are in a particular business or activity just
                Message 7 of 13 , Jan 6, 2008
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                  Dieter, Anders

                  about " making money like everyone else"

                  Here in the US most people are very pragmatic.
                  They are in a particular business or activity just
                  because of the money. There are farmers that are
                  struggling to make the ends meet and other farmers
                  that make big money. Farming is a huge business in
                  many states, billions of dollars, mostly from a big
                  acreage, high inputs situation.

                  about "why tilling should be evil"

                  Actually tilling is alright, deserts aren't made by
                  farmers that till the soil.
                  They just dropped from the sky. Aliens made them.

                  Anders,

                  about being a Christian, what i think, etc.

                  I can assure you that am not a Christian. What i think
                  doesn't really matter. I am not a teacher. Nature is.




                  --- Dieter Brand <diebrand@...> wrote:

                  > Calin,



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                • Dieter Brand
                  Calin, ... We all know that deserts are caused by: 1. deforestation 2. overgrazing (in particular by goats who make tabula rasa) 3. wrong agricultural
                  Message 8 of 13 , Jan 7, 2008
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                    Calin,

                    >Actually tilling is alright, deserts aren't made by
                    >farmers that till the soil.
                    >They just dropped from the sky. Aliens made them.

                    We all know that deserts are caused by:
                    1. deforestation
                    2. overgrazing (in particular by goats who make tabula rasa)
                    3. wrong agricultural practices including tilling under condition
                    when this shouldn't be done.

                    Yet to jump to conclusion or to generalize serves no purpose
                    at all. The North European plains have been ploughed for
                    centuries without any danger of desertification even under
                    the modern day onslaught of chemicals-based industrial
                    scale agriculture.

                    Even though, nobody here is advocating tilling, in fact I have
                    spent, for a number of years, a substantial amount of my time
                    and part of my savings to find a method of no-till farming for my
                    region. That is why I know that, at present, there is no method
                    of no-till farming that would allow to feed people in large parts
                    of the World where people have traditionally fed themselves
                    by dry-land farming. And since I joined this group a few
                    years ago, I have found not much interest or even adversity
                    to the idea of discussing practical steps for finding such a
                    method, after all, if it is "nature that feeds us" why should we
                    bother, or perhaps "people shouldn't live there in the first place".

                    Just in case you are of the latter persuasion, I would ask
                    you to send us a few billion green cards for resettlement
                    in your backyard. Unless, of course, you have something
                    a little more sinister in mind.

                    Dieter Brand
                    Portugal


                    "Calin A. Radulescu" <crandrei@...> wrote:
                    Dieter, Anders

                    about " making money like everyone else"

                    Here in the US most people are very pragmatic.
                    They are in a particular business or activity just
                    because of the money. There are farmers that are
                    struggling to make the ends meet and other farmers
                    that make big money. Farming is a huge business in
                    many states, billions of dollars, mostly from a big
                    acreage, high inputs situation.

                    about "why tilling should be evil"

                    Actually tilling is alright, deserts aren't made by
                    farmers that till the soil.
                    They just dropped from the sky. Aliens made them.

                    Anders,

                    about being a Christian, what i think, etc.

                    I can assure you that am not a Christian. What i think
                    doesn't really matter. I am not a teacher. Nature is.

                    --- Dieter Brand <diebrand@...> wrote:

                    > Calin,

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                  • Calin A. Radulescu
                    Dieter, Tilling has been relatively safe in Northern Europe because the gentle rain pattern in that region. That is an exception, and the experience based on
                    Message 9 of 13 , Jan 7, 2008
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                      Dieter,

                      Tilling has been relatively safe in Northern Europe
                      because the gentle rain pattern in that region. That
                      is an exception, and the experience based on that,
                      would be at least risky to transfer anywhere else.

                      I believe that you sincerely want to help the people
                      in your part of the world, but the question is how far
                      would they want to go to help themselves ? I wouldn't
                      bet on it. Time hasn't come for a change yet.
                      If we had all the true masters of the humanity, all
                      the
                      elders and senseis in the world willing to help with
                      the transition, they couldn't do a thing because most
                      people aren't ready for the real change right now.
                      You know, there were people that died because of the
                      western ideas. Entire cultures have been wiped out
                      completely, so this time around the change should come
                      deeply from within first, otherwise it wouldn't matter
                      very much at all.

                      And no, I don't think that bringing billions of people
                      to North America will solve the problem. Their worries
                      for the future will get to be different, but that may
                      be as well the only change they'd experience.

                      Calin.



                      --- Dieter Brand <diebrand@...> wrote:




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                    • Calin A. Radulescu
                      Robert, Natural Farming is the Road back to Nature, the very not-doing of the commercial farming, not some method that we can strip away of it essence, copying
                      Message 10 of 13 , Jan 10, 2008
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                        Robert,

                        Natural Farming is the Road back to Nature, the very
                        not-doing of the commercial farming, not some method
                        that we can strip away of it essence, copying bits and
                        parts of it and paste them into commercial farming and
                        still call it Natural Farming or Fukuokan. What is
                        natural about commercial farming ? What is natural
                        about economic growth ? The farm size is naturally
                        limited by the manpower of the farmer, his family
                        and friends. What can be wrong about that ? Every
                        one is free to grow an organic crop but why would
                        anybody associate that with Fukuoka ?


                        calin.



                        --- Robert Monie <bobm20001@...> wrote:


                        > Stripped of its mystery, this could be
                        > called organic no-till, green (living) manure
                        > farming. It has much in common with







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                      • Robert Monie
                        Hi Calin, Well, a little improvement is better than none. If you are drenching your soil with Haber-process fertilizer and you see that your neighbor doesn t
                        Message 11 of 13 , Jan 10, 2008
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                          Hi Calin,

                          Well, a little improvement is better than none. If you are drenching your soil with Haber-process fertilizer and you see that your neighbor doesn't have to use as much because she rotates cover crops, buckwheat, sudan grass/sorgum, triticale, rye, and either cuts them or rolls tham down (as Titus suggested) to provide biomass, nutrition, and biology to the soil, you may say, "I'll try that and see if it works." If it does, then you have made your farm/garden just a little more self-reliant, with lower input requirement and more vital soil web activity at the root level. Is something wrong with that? If you later plant nitrogen-fixing trees and shrubs and clovers and notice that your field becomes still more nutrient-sparing, what is wrong with that? If you add bee-attracting plants, nectary plants for birds, insectary plants to attract beneficial bugs, maybe plant some citrus thyme and vetiver grass to cut back a little on the predatory bugs, isn't that an
                          improvement? If you try companion planting, and develop supporting plant guilds, grow chicory, stinging nettle, comfrey and other dynamic plant accumulators, and you see that your garden is getting green, healthy and more productive, what's wrong with that, even it is not "all the way" natural?

                          These are the kinds of improvements that Jacke suggests in Edible Forest Farming to try to wean your farm or garden from excessive reliance on added fertilizer and pesticides. To me, that would be edging your field toward--dare I say it--natural farming. Not everyone is blessed with sudden gnosis or inspiration to conspire with nature to produce a perfect garden out of whole cloth. Some have to go step by step. Not everyone can benefit from mystery. Some need clarity and method to guide them. The essence of natural farming is to reach very low input levels, high levels of self-sustenance, and not damage the environment. This is quite a bit more than just organic farming, and why should anyone insist that it be achieved mystically if it can also be approached by method and known good practices? Robert Hart's little forest garden fed him right up to his death, and according to Jacke, he did nothing at all by way of maintenance for the last 3 or 4 years. I would say that
                          mystic and mysterious or not, that was some kind of natural garden. Forest gardening and forest farming are a long way from "commercial"; their current scale is more along the mom, pop, and friends lines that you suggest as ideal.

                          With the increasing number of people living in high density urban apartments, it is realistic (as Dieter recently pointed out) to expect that fairly large farms are needed to feed them. Is there an intrinsic reason why these farms could not be, if not entirely natural, then at least adoptive of as many natural attributes as possible?

                          Bob Monie
                          New Orleans, La
                          Zone 8


                          "Calin A. Radulescu" <crandrei@...> wrote:

                          Robert,

                          Natural Farming is the Road back to Nature, the very
                          not-doing of the commercial farming, not some method
                          that we can strip away of it essence, copying bits and
                          parts of it and paste them into commercial farming and
                          still call it Natural Farming or Fukuokan. What is
                          natural about commercial farming ? What is natural
                          about economic growth ? The farm size is naturally
                          limited by the manpower of the farmer, his family
                          and friends. What can be wrong about that ? Every
                          one is free to grow an organic crop but why would
                          anybody associate that with Fukuoka ?

                          calin.

                          --- Robert Monie <bobm20001@...> wrote:

                          > Stripped of its mystery, this could be
                          > called organic no-till, green (living) manure
                          > farming. It has much in common with

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