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Re: [pfaf] UK Forest Garden Cycle Tour

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  • Christopher McCOY
    Hi both Franks!   To add some comment, anything that can seemingly exist in nature can seemingly exist . It can seemingly evidence mass extinctions; what
    Message 1 of 16 , May 16, 2013
      Hi both Franks!
      To add some comment, anything that can seemingly 'exist' in nature can seemingly 'exist'. It can seemingly evidence mass extinctions; what seems to be total and utter desolation, rainforest-like vibrant diversity, concrete jungles, tyranny, peace, kindness, hate, nuclear weapons, knitting needles, you name it... To state so, using whatever words and phrases, could be said to be self-evident and, in a sense, a little pointless. You can be robbed, raped, tortured, taxed, mown down, scythed down, reaped, sowed, and it is possible to take the view that, "Hey-ho, 'cos it's possible then it's justified. 'cos others have done it so we can or must do it! 'Cos one wants to rip countryside down and supplant it with Engineering Plant(s), concrete and steel and asphalt, it can be done. 'Cos one has a desire to molest someone 'cos one feels the desire to do so could be construed as, hey-ho, alright guv 'cos nature allows it so, what the heck! Ha Haa!"
      Thus, we can choose something akin to 'anything goes', and say that 'Nature allows it, takes care of everything, so whatever we choose is alright guv!". Nature allows that. But Nature also allows choice. If we, for example, deem that we do not desire particular consequences, then we may seem to have some range to be able to affect what seems, thus, to be 'reality', Nature'...ONE acting on itself, in relative part.
      Whether something is right or wrong could be said to be tied to consequence and perspective. It is underway to kill, usurp, enslave tag, track, fence in, domesticate, exploit, pollute, undermine, control,  increasingly-many forms of life around what seems to be Planet Earth, and what seem to be billions of humans continue to do so, passionately,  allegedly-legally, profitably, full of rationales, reports, experts, data, excuses, to 'justify' any such...as so any murderers do...so many motives...
      If such humans undermine their own ability to seem to exist, then yes we can apathetically state that Nature has taken care of everything and got rid of the disease, and disregard any of what seems to be suffering, pain, hurt, upset. Richard Dawkins & Co. aspire to the pitiless view of life, with many adherents, as do many who some say are psychopathic in nature... It could be said that Mars may have got rid of much of the disease that once afflicted it and, in consequences, might seem to be largely dead (whether true or not). Planet Earth could, conceivably, become like Mars, with relatively few difficulties in making that so if the disease undermines the ability to evidence otherwise.
      So, maybe, we have a choice.
      Frank in the Phillipines may be growing plants suited to the flora, fauna, fungi air currents, soils, etc... in that locality without too much disruption and without undermining most or ll of the forms of life there, or affected there. However, it might be that Frank obtains one plant, or one seed of a plant, or even some spore from  fungus, and introduces it to the area. It may have benefits to humans. However, it might have unwitting unconsidered impacts that, for example, adversely affect the host plant of such and such a moth, which moth helped to pollinate such and such a plant, which plant reduces in number, which plant ceases to keep the soil acid and the soil becomes more alkaline, which affects a wider range of plants, which nuclear chain reaction - like plant growth - explodes in consequence. The humans around and about, all passionate and intrigued at the 'new' plantings, want to try some in their home too. These additional human-hosted seeds/spores may then ccrue further interest, financial backing, nurseries growing stuff, and do so passionately, excitedly, with many bicycle rides to spread the word, so geologically fast and with such human blinkers on that, before the humans know what's happening, nature has changed-around significantly, and is no longer as it may have been when the Forest Garden was then started... It may be, for example, that the humans go hungry, drought spreads, and the place becomes desert. It might be so popular that plantations spread everywhere, the natural flora and fauna otherwise being ripped down, and the Orangutans made extinct, etc...
      If the transformations were coloured as they dynamically PROPAGATE, would they look like Lung Cancer spreading around Planet Earth, or would they look like wondrous nature spreading where once sterile townscapes and cityscapes and concrete and asphalt and monocultures were naturally made to be the case in nature....
      So...would you recommend impatient passionate advocation of the potentially serious consequences that might, barely restrained, flow? Or might you perhaps advocate more mature older-person caution, patience, and careful observation, more in 'indigenous tribal culture' timescales?
      All that seem to be possible seeming to be possible...so which do you wish to unleash upon others...!?
      There's loads of money in it...like prostitution. But should you support such?
      From: Frank Woolf <frank@...>
      To: pfaf@yahoogroups.com
      Sent: Thursday, 16 May 2013, 14:00
      Subject: Re: [pfaf] UK Forest Garden Cycle Tour

      Actually I already see some changes happening around me.  Some of the neighbors who laughed at me when the first saw what I am doing are now copying some things like planting malungay (moringa) that they said would not grow here until I proved them wrong.  I know they will not listen to a foreigner but the more I show what can be done the more likely they are to ask questions and try themselves.

      On May 16, 2013, at 7:27 PM, Christopher McCOY wrote:

      Hiya Frank!.
      May I please, too, wish you very well with all that you do, and with your health and vitality (do the alluring Phillipine ladies, at least in the faithful romantic dreaming,  not put a youthful spring in your step? Ahem.)! May I please also be so bold as perhaps to state the following? You have a lifetime's experience, and you are as a seed in the Phillipines with regards to care for the natural world and landscape. and, in this case, Forest Gardening. Most of the Hosted/Host-as Plants/Planted of other types (e.g. people) seem, initially from the perspective of the seed and young seedling, which seems to be all alone and small, to be swamping almost the entire area, holding-sway, crowding-out new ideas... But, so long as the seed and seedling have and/or receive enough energy, and are not crowded out, and the conditions and airs and waters and soils are suitable, will grow as its story enables...into... maybe into  Rainforest or, if the seed is less than pure, a Reign Forest with dominion over all...
      The Key thing, hence the request for patience, is to be a pure seed IF supporting being a seed at all...and to not become infected, diseased, parasitized... BUT that is problematic to say the least, because few original seeds survive beyond the extreme effort of setting up the initial seeding(s)...but contain enough energy and what it takes to get the job done if, in the circumstances, if is possible...
      So, Frank, if you feel that you've put lots of your life's energies into aiding the seedling of the Forest Garden in the Philippines and are, like many a seed, feeling that you are running out of oomph to continue as once you did, please may I suggest that you could take note that you may, perhaps, have aided the seedling of Forest Gardening in that area for others, maybe, to tend... The question is, will they deem Forest Gardening to be a weed, or to profit from, or to leverage/control/exploit, or to wield, or to... And that the seed probably can't control once the Pandora river gets flowing out from the boxed-in position...
      Seed stories 'need', or create, (especially if pioneering types), sufficient self-reliant oomph to get the job done, bamboo to pierce concrete that once seemed to constrain it...
      The KEY problem, like Phoenix Ash Keys, is as to what, exactly, is seeded, being sprouted, gardened, weeded, topiary'd, landscape-designer, and into what context, soils, airs and graces, waters, pollutants, soiled soils, etc...and as to whether, in such context, it might have been better to heed Gandalf and to not enable what could act through you or others because of what could happen and grow as a result...
      There much more to Forest Gardening than buying plants from a Forest Gardening catalogue..., or genetically-breeding/modifying lifeforms with childish exploitative abandon as if it's just a playground...
      Anyway, to cheer you up, maybe you might enjoy the following book, and/or your partner (as relevant)... might put a small spring in your step in the Philippines! ; )
      What might Flower...? Ahem...
      From: Frank Woolf <frank@...>
      To: pfaf@yahoogroups.com
      Sent: Thursday, 16 May 2013, 3:20
      Subject: Re: [pfaf] UK Forest Garden Cycle Tour
      I wish you luck and really hope you succeed.

      Unfortunately I don't have time to be as patient as you are.  I am 69 with my health and energy fading while the world is rapidly heading for self destruction.  My objective is to do whatever I can for my family's continued survival and for some others if possible.  I doubt if I can achieve more than that.

      On May 15, 2013, at 8:53 PM, Christopher McCOY wrote:

      Hi Frank and Co.
      Now the words and dynamics that I'm about to communicate are, potentially, very risky at best, dangerous at worst, so great care is needed. In the hands, or via the minds/don't-minds of most humans currently, which behave evidentially irresponsibly, immaturely, selfishly, self-centred, herd-'think', fashionably, addictively, profiteering, etc..., they spell disaster, control, oppression, tyranny, geoengineering, totalitarian oppression, exploitations galore, slavery galore, Gestapo group enforcements, etc... all defended and excused  and allegedly rationalized to the hilt.... And that';s before we even mention the alleged authorities... Those in the know know something of that which is here-mentioned. However, it is appropriate at least to mention this in this email, because it is extremely important. Gandalf, by way of example, in the story, knew better than to engage with and empower such because his character knew that, through him, even if he had the desire to do good, instead proverbial evils would take over, hold sway...
      From small seed(s), if fed, if hosted, if channelled, if defended, what may thusly 'grow'...
      Some may fall on what seems, then, to be rocky ground, some gobbled up by the unsupportive, but some may fall into/around gullible/fertile mind(s)/body(ies)/channel(s), to be fed, hosted, empowered, and maybe spread, to grow and/or to reproduce/infect... 
      Forest Gardening is an example of a Seed idea. It is not original, so is more like a branch someway down the road. If channelled, it seems to grow and, like a fractal branch, spread-forth, set seed, spread spore, reproduce, but if impurely empowerd and hosted, if obfuscated, if manipulated, may do so like Germ tendrils, like Octopus Gorgon tendrils, Fractal-like like Father like Son...
      If such Seed idea(s), such Program(me)(s), are hosted, used, owned, manipulated, exploited, 'run', by 'impure' host(s)/channel(s), then the perhaps romantic and pure ideas at the outset will soon-enough become sullied and sullying, diseased and infectious.
      Many are those who believed that they started Revolutions, and with pure intentions and even, maybe, some wisdom, but when unleashed to those who do not, who did not, evidence so...things very soon turned bloody, and the end result largely as bad or worse than that previously attempted tp be fought. The skin had been shed, the disguises changed, but the serpentine flows, the branches, remain...
      If the soil is pure, if the waters are pure, then maybe, just maybe, purity shall remain for a while...
      ...but if the environment, the context, the soil, the airs, the waters, the seed-case(s)/-host(s) are sullied and sullying, diseased, then no matter how pure the intentions a sullied result shall result, and, indeed, be re-disguised as being the 'original', which it isn't.
      The seed idea of 'Forest Gardening' is multifarious in appropriateness and inappropriateness, and may have a pure notion at its outset, BUT IT WON'T STAY THAT WAY...like getting Palm il from a few Palm trees in one's local community vicinity instead to world-wide Palm oil plantation spreading tendrils around Planet Earth, chopping down everything and everyone in the way...or else...and defended to the hilt...
      What do you suppose the nurseries will begin stocking if the fad/fashion of 'Forest Gardening' is passionately enabled but without the 10th Dan Discipline, Responsibility, Maturoty, Wisdom, required to go along with it? Will they sell and stock whatever they can profit from? What 'new' experts will make up the TV gardening programmes advocating the 'Forest Gardening' fashion for the next 10 years until there's another one, then it'll be all-change again...? What book writers will jump on the bandwagon, excited at making profit and of having something to do....? And who gives a monkey's about the natural world and impacts to it whilst all this 'new ' exciting childhood game remains exciting and profitable, until they get bored and look to some other seemingly 'new' seed idea to branch towards?
      I asked Darren & Co. for patience for extremely important reasons. Billions currently behave like infants, passionate about running with a new game, self-involved and going into a huff or lashing out if not appeased and affirmed like a first painting, falling for all the wiles of the marketing, advertisements, peer-pressures, brightly-coloured high-streets and designer-bred garden flowers, and the very few more mature are left having to pick up the mess being made...
      If you REALLY want Forest Gardening proper to take-off PROPERLY, then haste, impatience, is precisely what you should not be supporting... To get it right you've got to get it right...and that includes the airs, waters, and soil around and about...
      Luke: "Is the Dark Side Stronger?" Master Yoda: "No, quicker, easier, more seductive...You must unlearn what you have learned."
      I can see that a very great  and widespread mess is currently being made to happen, and very few, thus far, to maybe, just maybe, clean it up again whilst simultaneously aiding other forms of life...

      From: Frank Woolf <frank@...>
      To: pfaf@yahoogroups.com
      Sent: Wednesday, 15 May 2013, 6:34
      Subject: Re: [pfaf] UK Forest Garden Cycle Tour
      Hi Christopher.  I wish I could write as well as you do:)

      OK thank you.  Now I see that we are both thinking along pretty much the same lines but just coming at it from different angles.

      I was born and brought up in Croydon, South London.  As soon as I married I could wait to get out of the city so I moved to the cotswold hills near Cheltenham where I worked for the British Foreign Office and grew all my veggies.  In 1972 I was posted to Hong Kong, back in a city again.

      In 1994 after a divorce and marriage to a Filipino I moved to Manila, Philippines.  Still in a city but I got out of the city often.

      Five years ago I was able to move to Davao, Philippines.  The fruit basket of the country.  For over 20 years I had been planning a self sustaining permaculture farm and food forest and a year ago I at last bought the land and got started.

      What I see here is that over 90% of the land has coconuts, some small banana farms and very little else.  The locals tend to just follow what their parents did.  Most are uneducated and have little or no access to books or the internet.

      Most of this very large island of Mindanao is farm land and most of the farms are 5 hectares or less because the government decided nobody could own more than 5 hectares.  If you have more they buy it at rock bottom price and give it to people who have none.  The result is by far the majority of these farms are owned by people who are not interested in working on the land.  Most just grow coconuts that in most cases they didn't even plant.  Some take the trouble to plant cacao or coffee or other cash crops under the coconuts but most do nothing more than sit around watching the coconuts grow.  Most of these people are close to starving.  When I talk to them they insist on growing cash crops but the cash they get is not enough to buy food.

      As gas prices go up and climate change has its effect their food gets more expensive and the cash they get for their crops gets less.  They will certainly not listen to a white man and will insist on their hand me down knowledge as being correct.  The keep telling my I can't grow this or that for various reasons like "That doesn't grow here" and I keep proving them wrong.  They do have some good local knowledge but its buried in rubbish passed around by those who really don't understand it.  They will say "It is that way just because it is"

      After a year my 6 acre food forest and veggie patch is coming along really well.  I hope that soon I will reach the point where they can come and see that they can grow all their own veggies and fruit, keep chickens, raise fish etc, etc to produce more food than they need and still have some cash crops.  

      There are of course various plantations and they use all the poisons but they are very much the minority.  Right now I am a tiny island farm surrounded by miles of mostly wasted land.  As brief as I can - I have about 65 different types of fruit trees and one acre of densely planted veggies and herbs of every type I can get to grow.  There are probably around 600 trees in all.  I am raising chickens who work the land and fertilize while growing for meat and producing eggs .  The fish pond is stocked with tilapia and helps with attracting ground and tree frogs, birds and bees.  The rabbit tractor is ready for the rabbits. I am right now making bee hives (locals destroy wild bee nests to get the honey and kill the tiniest birds and frogs for food). I have worm bins breeding worms and creating great fertilizer and will soon get a few pigs.

      My water system uses freely available water but is a bit complicated.  I am working on solar water heating and heating water via rocket mass stoves and a wood burning oven whenever cooking is done.

      There are plenty of challenges like the fact that most people here think it is perfectly OK to steal for anyone who seems to have more than they do.  I have very large dogs (Great Danes) who take guard duty very seriously. They have so far kept any thieves at bay.

      I guess that gives you a good idea of where I am.

      Best regards


      On May 14, 2013, at 10:56 PM, Christopher McCOY wrote:

      Hi Frank,
      To clarify, it is, in my opinion, an error to reduce that which I stated in my own opus reply to Darren's communique as merely 'being against a great variety in private gardens'. I did state that local variation is of importance, and it is, and I mean that. However, when that is done in tunnel-visioned ways, perhaps bounded by what the local plant nurseries sell at the time or by what the horticultural television programmes suggest at the time, say, at the expense of correct awareness of the multitudinal scales/wavelengths of natural and wildlife interactions and where food comes from around the world, then not only are cohesive ecosystems and connections and tele-connections not aided but they are intentionally or inadvertently fragmented, barriered-off, bounded,  forgotten, disregarded, fenced-off behind household castle-walls by owners who, thus-far, 'Defend their Keep', so to speak. Like Zoos. You can go into a Zoo and call it diverse. But the Zoo animals can't so easily travel between cages, or zoos, unless with human orchestration and permission, likely tagged/tracked.
      In the UK it is currently typical to have gardens ranging from all -in-one concrete, to primarily or only lawns perhaps with borders, to diverse flowering designs, to vegetable patches, to the occasional fruit tree, and anything in-between. The countryside is significantly large agricultural fields of arable crops or pasture for animals, bounded by minimal hedgerows, with only here and there remnants of woodlands of any notable size and diversity. Many fruit trees require several different pollination partners to fruit. This requires consideration either of the size and design of one plot, which is able to receive sufficient varieties for pollination on that one plot and/or it requires consideration of the availability of other such fruit trees situated close enough in the local or regional area spaces over several plots. - which requires some form of co-ordinated plan or community agreements. That is also the case scaled-up and scale-down  spatially and temporally for other plants and animals and fungi/spore etc...in addition to human requirements for food and drink and materials etc. Many migrant birds and butterflies, for example, find themselves very limited in habitat, due to human design choices that, to the human, look diverse, seem fashionable, may even look nice, but are small in scale, not well-connected, are chopped-and-changed with sub-human-lifepsan fashion and whim and house-moves, and which do not care to perceive the multi-layered spatio-temporal interactions that are 'necessary' and appropriate for a wider and more multi-dimensional cohesive natural world to flourish and have some stability and adaptability even under changing conditions.
      Presently, in the UK, gardening for appearance, for pretty flowers or colourful foliage or flat uniform monocultural-grass lawns is a norm, which the humans deem to be pretty and so support, and which the businesses and nurseries pander to because there's a fashionable market. and profit to be made. Next year the fashion will be different, the gardeners experts on television will advise something else, and its chopping and changing the garden plants around yet again. Many of the animals and plants don't know whether they are coming or going, especially the larger animals and plants with longer-timescale lives, because the humans like to chop and change things in such short sub-human-lifespan geological time that stability is rare. Diversityy is not everything. You can be as Diverse as you like and be out of tune with the nature further around, and 'fall' in consequence.
      A significant aspects of 'Diverse Gardens' and Gardening generally, in the UK for example, is that proportionately very little is used to grow human foods, drinks, fibres, dyestuffs, and similarly, as well as more cohesively aiding the wider natural world and forms of life. Instead, they are more like playgrounds, artistic colour-scapes, visual and smelly designs, but the presumption that someone else is taking care of everything somewhere 'out there' is underlying and endemic. 'Diverse' such gardens may be, but inedible to humans they also often significantly or entirely are. A desert can be highly diverse, but you'd still die of famine if left in it! The owners, some of who may love their gardening, have an unspoken assumption that this is all fine and well and good, but MOST of the food that they eat comes from somewhere else distant out-of-sight out-of-mind somebody's-else's-problem around Planet Earth, Palm Oil-based ready-made supermarket foods from chopped-down and converted Rainforest easy-as-you-like on special offer today. But it's back to the Barbeque in the Diverse garden int he evening with a few drinks made hundreds/thousands of miles away...
      Many animals are killed as road kill, or trapped by fences, so cannot migrate or travel easily or at all through huge tracts of land covered in gardens and road designs that the humans may look upon with favour and, perhaps, pride and effort. One gardener might worry about the plight of, say, the White Admiral Butterfly, and plant suitable plants in his/her garden to try to help said Butterfly specie's survival. But all the other gardeners around and about may not choose thusly, so the tiniest island of fragmented habitat might be all that's left for the White Admiral in that entire region. The humans, however, look at the various pretty flowers in the neighbourhood and think its 'Diverse and thus good', whereas, as far as the wildlife is concerned, struggling to find the ability to travel, to migrate, to meet mates, to spread around, to find food and habitat, it isn't. If we were to walk a mile in a Hedgehog's shoes we might find mile after mile of shut-in closed-of walled fenced barriered-off gardens that are believed and agreed by all the human residents to be 'Diverse', which human residents attack anyone who doesn't support them. The Hedgehog, meanwhile, has no choice but to crawl across a busy four-lane road at night to find food and a mate. Many (most?) get squashed, and end up on Diverse-designs of 3D T-Shirt worn by smiling humans. There's money in making such T-Shirts...so people make them... it's apparently good for a laugh.
      In the Phillipines, where you state in your email that you are based Frank, am I correct to presume that there are still some rural remnants of semi-rainforest tropical/sub-tropical gardens for those who live there and who look after such gardens, which are closer to the Forest Garden? But I also presume that many millions of town and city dwellers who do not have gardens or who do not do all that much with those that they have - although it could be said that more tropical fruits and plants are culturally available to the populous by community norms in the Phillipines than, perhaps, here in the UK - and that they pretty much depend upon, for example, wide swathes of monocultural fruit, oil, rice, and similar such plantations, many of which are chemical'd to within and inch of their lives and shipped off, so they don't 'Forest Garden' all that much - and not in any notably contiguous way? Would that be a correct presumption, given where you are based Frank?
      From: Frank Woolf <frank@...>
      To: pfaf@yahoogroups.com
      Sent: Tuesday, 14 May 2013, 11:09
      Subject: Re: [pfaf] UK Forest Garden Cycle Tour
      I don't understand why you are against a great variety in private gardens.  Without biodiversity we are screwed.


      Southern Philippines. Zone 9+ (maybe)

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