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RE: [permaculture] Emelia Hazelip Quote re entropy
Hello Steve, as you say 'every instance of farming and gardening is
relative'... Fukuoka does plant peas in a row, although he also seedballs
them (remember to soak them in water for a couple of hours before hand
otherwise the peas expand and crack the seedball).
In reference to your 'goals of production system' it might be well to note
that Fukuoka suggests, for commercial production, to 'mound' soil by digging
'pathways' alongside, just as Emilia explains for her raised beds - but for
home gardens his (very) general advice is to cut existing plants (there are
no weeds!) as close to the ground as possible and seed directly vigorous
plants. It can take a year or two but soon the soil will be able to support
the 'weaker' (cultivated) seeds of vegetables we prefer to eat.
His advice for regreening the deserts (and the seeds and seedball recipes
necessary there) is somewhat different, as is his advice for semi-wild
vegetables, natural orchards, creating paddies etc etc...
A few years ago I planted white clover because, in an interview with Larry
Korn on his first visit to the US, he said categorically to listen to him
and plant white clover; instead of thinking 'Ok, Fukuoka says white clover,
but perhaps I can try something else, something better'. I had to water by
hand as early as March (I don't water normally) and by April decided that on
this Fukuoka was wrong. But then again, it is indeed true that NatAg is 'not
Emilia worked generally on the scale of an acre or two (Fukuoka less for his
rice/winter wheat or barley) but she believed SynAg would work on any scale
whatsoever, all that is necessary is to maintain fertility is abandon all
synthetic chemicals and adopt a long term rotation pattern, while always
remembering to return waste back to the field (and, of course, never till
once beds have been created). Her broadscale idea of 'Ecological Zero-Till'
fits well with the zero-till movement in (both) the Americas and elsewhere
in the world. It offers these farmers a means of weaning themselves off
chemicals (herbicides and the fertilizers necessary to replace the natural
fertility destroyed by the soil imbalances created by the use of the
herbicides) and travelling toward a fully ecological zero-till.
It might seem that Fukuoka-san and Emilia had much in common. However, on
seeing a copy of Emilia's video, Fukuoka is said to have remarked, 'I don't
know why this woman considers herself a follower of Natural Agriculture!' I
believe Emilia understood the simple but profound revelation of soil's
self-fertility, but had not understood the equally simple and profound
revelation of 'do-nothing'. I believe Emilia's SynAg is the best
(commercial) market gardening approach we have. It is just that I believe we
have a long way to go before we let go of our desire to 'make' plants grow,
in order to just let them grow.
Beyond 'do-nothing' (no tilling, no chemicals, no fertilizers, no composts
and no pruning) and soil's self-fertility (which is not not 'do-nothing')
everything still remains to be done. But what is actually done: how, where,
when and especially why is, of course, dependent entirely on circumstance...
[mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]On Behalf Of Steve Diver
Sent: Monday, October 04, 2004 6:34 PM
Subject: [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.
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