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Re: [fukuoka_farming] growing food for the people

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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 1 of 13 , Jan 4, 2008
      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 2 of 13 , Jan 5, 2008
        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 3 of 13 , Jan 6, 2008
          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 4 of 13 , Jan 7, 2008
            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 5 of 13 , Jan 7, 2008
              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 6 of 13 , Jan 10, 2008
                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 7 of 13 , Jan 10, 2008
                  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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