[permaculture] semantics, re "peasants"

Lawrence F. London, Jr. lflj at intrex.net
Thu Jan 8 23:31:22 EST 2009

=SANET-MG Archives -- January 2009 (#41)
=Subject: Re: semantics, re "peasants"
=From:	Felicitas Flörchinger <[log in to unmask]>
=Reply-To: Sustainable Agriculture Network Discussion Group <[log in to unmask]>, [log in to unmask]
=Date:	Fri, 9 Jan 2009 01:30:15 +0100

==Good point. Choose a term in local use that signifies skill,
==perseverance and dignity. What Korean word would that be?

=I will ask them. Btw whenever you talk to korean people you will find
=skill, perseverance and dignity, lots of hurt dignity. It is wonderful
=to work with these persons but also extremely difficult.

It sounds like fertile ground for success in upgrading their ability to produce food.
Are they concerned with cropping for local/family use or for outside sales to other
localities or other regions? Are they part of a national food production network
that I seem to have heard about in the media, like the old collective farm that
produces for nationwide use, through a distribution system?

Their dignity will surely return as they gain confidence in their ability to secure their own food supply.
A multi-faceted approach to teaching them how to do this could be a good place to start.
1) Start with getting a group consensus about what they want to achieve and secondly, how they
a) think they ought to go about doing this  b) want to go about doing this.
2) Teach them basic soil biology, crop types and cropping methods and how to build cropping systems using permaculture 

Between Sanet-MG and the Permaculture mailing list we (those of us interested in this project) could deliver a distance 
learning course in natural, biointensive food production to you for your students. This would be a fascinating, ongoing 
brainstorm session.

What are conditions like in the area where you are working?
1) climate: rainfall, min/max temperatures, ratio of rainy days to sunny per year
2) what soil types are prevalent and what are their characteristics, i.e. ratio
of topsoil to subsoil, depth of topsoil, percolation/drainage characterists of the soil,
levels of soil organic matter and macro and micro nutrients.
3) is their farming diversified, i.e. are livestock, dairy, draught animals
included on farm,
4) do they utilize season extension methods, i.e. row covers, high tunnels, greenhouses, cold frames, etc.
5) do they have any motorized farm equipment for soil conditioning, crop management, harvesting
6) what is the quality and diversity of the hand tools they have access to
7) are there any resource inputs available to them from provincial or national governmental entities
8) can they borrow or lease equipment from outside their area
8) do they have access to fuel for tractors or other tillage machines
9) can they convert to manual and draught animal planting/cultivation/harvesting of crops exclusive of fossil fuel
    powered equipment, i.e. all work done by hand labor or draughtanimals carried out by organized workgroups on a
10) what seeds and plant material do they have access to; they need to start propagation nurseries and seed banking
11) they need to do site inventories and learn what lives on their land that is valuable to them and to existing
     ecosystems and how these resources can be preserved/stabilized/utilized/enhanced

There is a lot they can learn from homestead (urban & rural) and production farmers and gardeners in Japan.

==Korean farming and gardening methods using natural methods and
==materials are some of the best and most interesting
==in the world along with Japanese, American traditional
==organic/sustainable, European biointensive, Andean, Hunza,
==raised bed farming in the Middle East, Asian terrace farming, and many
==other prime examples scattered over the globe.

=Unfortunately all that traditional knowledge is gone or deeply buried,

I am sure it was not lost forever. It can be restored and revitalized,
with help, of course.

=or forbidden perhaps. I´m giving my korean collegues information about
=permaculture in tiny bits, and they are really getting courious about
=it. Yesterday one of them asked me to explain the concept of green
=manure and undercrops...and he said maybe we can find some farmers who
=want to try it, but they certainly rather prefer their "traditional"

Wonderful; they can build on this. Seeing that these methods are worthwhile should spur them on to
further experiments and trials.

=methods, that is plowing, monocropping, mineral fertilizer. I would like

This is not sustainable. They need to wean themselves from as many external inputs as possible.
Maybe some of the cropping systems that they adopt will necessitate some changes in their diet,
minor ones perhaps like incorporating more or different grains, perennial crops, different
and perhaps improved vegetable crops, maybe heirloom varieties or some from out of area.

=to travel to south korea and learn about their farming methods, they
=certainly still possess those ancient skills - but it would be of
=absolutely no help to get back here and tell them how their south korean
=brothers and sisters are working. maybe they would accept some japanese
=knowledge, I might tell them some of Fukuokas experiences.

You can just tell them that you have discovered much useful cropping information that will benefit them in big ways
without mentioning the sources; you could put together a multimedia/hardcopy presentation of Japanese farming methods 
and Fukuoka's techniques and methods for them. If Bill Mollison's "Permaculture Design Manual" has been translated into 
Korean you could aquire a copy and let them read it or read it to them as part of your coursework. You could build a 
library for them.

Here are some useful resources for you:

My blog - have a look at the equipment pictured here and the lists of links to other great websites:
http://venaurafarm.blogspot.com  Venaura Farm
Scythe Connection
Fukuoka Farming
Soil & Health Library
Journey To Forever
AFSIC - National Agricultural Library, Alternative Farming Systems Information Center
Society of Primitive Technology
Soil Foodweb, Inc.
Ecology Action
Plants For A Future
Permaculture FAQ at ATTRA
Permaculture Activist
ARS News
Sal's Don't Panic Eat Organic, an organic grower's website
Pattern Literacy
Pattern Literacy's permaculture reading list
Gardening Hand Tool Sourcelist
Various permaculture & biological agriculture bibliographies

=Some of my replies didn´t show on the list,  our internet here is not
=too stable, sorry.

Could you resend those, I'd like to read them.


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