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[permaculture] Emelia Hazelip Quote re entropy
Jamie S. -
Thanks for sharing. I was mainly interested in your thoughts
and views on Fukuoka and Emilia, as well as any practical
I'm not looking for information on Fukuoka or Hazelip, per se,
as I am well connected to resources.
I am looking for insight from people who've known them
and can share practical views of gardening and farming in action.
I'm still struggling with these permaculture discussions that are
so generalized as to be hard to grasp.... unless people also talk
about the specific scale of production, tools available, goals of
the production system, and so forth.
Mark Cain's article also talks about Fukuoka planting peas in
a row, after making a furrow.
"A fellow I met back in 1981 had spent about 6 months on Fukuokas
farm, and said that one morning he came across this guru of no-till
planting peas in a conventional waymaking furrows, planting in rows,
etc. When the astonished student asked him why he wasnt simply
broadcasting the peas in the do-nothing way, Fukuoka simply said,
If you want peas, plant them this way. I heard that Shunryu Suzuki
once summarized Zen as not always so. Certainly this applies to the
art of gardening as well."
Every instance of gardening and farming is relative.
An observation that I enjoyed in my garden this year
was the fall-planted crimson clover -- a cool-season
cover crop -- flowering and maturing and invisibly
dropping its seeds in late spring, then sprouting in early
summer to become living mulch of green clover in the
summer garden of warm-season vegetables.
Hello Steve, I met Emilia a few months before her death, but had known her
for more than a year before that through emails and telephone conversations.
She was a passionate and well-informed source of information, holding, like
many radicals, strong opinions against those who could not see her point of
view - Bill Mollison receiving some sharp words, especially for his
insistence on digging in green manures in the spring: Emilia believed that
such practices were like 'force-feeding the soil' giving it a case of
indigestion that exhibited itself as a greater propensity for pest and
Although Emilia felt herself to be following in the footsteps of Masanobu
Fukuoka, I feel she was far more of a North American heritage: Chadwick,
Stout, Faulkner. I think it also important to mention Marc Bonfils as a
fundamental influence on her agricultural development. Looking through
Emilia's written work and the documents of her PC Association, it is perhaps
Marc who has the stronger voice. Although perhaps best known for his work
with winter wheat he wrote widely on apiculture, fruit trees, farm animals,
agroforestry, in fact, nearly every aspect of agriculture. The documents are
published only by Las Encantadas (in French) but I'm working my way through
them and would like to give them a wider (English) audience.
Emilia was writing a book when she died. Unfortunately, having been involved
in another project for the last year, I don't know how far along her friends
are in getting the book published. I'm visiting a close friend of Emilia's
on Sunday and will let you know the status of her book and how the
association would feel about publishing Marc Bonfils' material in some way.
Despite certain (heated) disagreements, I think Emilia felt herself a
permaculturalist at heart. This could not be said for Fukuoka. He certainly
respected Bill Mollison's work and wryly wished he could have had the number
of followers PC gained in the 1980s, but ultimately, Fukuoka believed PC was
another form of organic agriculture which, he believed, was formed from the
same set of beliefs and perspectives as modern scientific agriculture. And
scientific agriculture, in whatever form, was the cause of the catastrophe
overtaking Japanese farming, which was the impetus for him to finally put
pen to paper.
However, I feel awkward writing for Fukuoka as he often criticises writing
itself and can only see a possible reason for writing in correcting some
previous error. As soon as you say 'this is it' or 'that is it', 'do this'
and 'don't do that' (ie make positive statements) then writing fails. If
there were anything I'd want to say regarding my understanding of Natural
Agriculture it would be that it can only be expressed by an embodied
knowing. I can say that without the knowledge that ultimately humans
understand nothing and that there is nothing, or that it is not that god
inhabits trees and grass but that god is the trees, the grass, the stone,
the bird, the human...but I doubt this gives anything of the importance such
beliefs have for me when I practice Natural Agriculture.
Natural Agriculture is about not-doing. It is not about criticising other
forms of agriculture (or ways of life) but about asking why do this? Why do
that? It is the agriculture of no-agriculture. It seeks to let nature be.
I suspect this isn't quite what you were after. I'd be happy to try and
answer specific questions if you have any. Otherwise there're 3 pieces in an
issue of PCActivist from last year on Emilia's SynAg and some emails by
Emilia and me (Souscayrous) on the Fukuoka_Farming list at Yahoo that might
help. There are links to many pieces on Fukuoka at www.fukuokafarmingol.net,
including an introduction to Natural Agriculture and Fukuoka at
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