[permaculture] Fwd: Permaculture TV - The Real Dirt On Farmer John

Lawrence F. London, Jr. venaurafarm at bellsouth.net
Mon Nov 30 22:43:37 EST 2009

ktho at comcast.net wrote:

> I haven't seen this movie, but I've read the reviews. I was unaware that
> he'd inherited a great farm and nearly crashed it. That is inexcuseable.

Of course it is and that's why we are in such a fix now with lost of 
farmland and farms and soil and environmental quality.

We are worried about global warming but every time we read the news its 
about global warring.

> One thing I'd like to see happen are trade schools for new farmers. John
> Ikerd has written quite a bit about the large numbers of new small and
> medium sized farmers coming into farming from non-farming backgrounds.
> Surely the new urban farmers are part of the demographic. They have to start
> from scratch because, IMPO, Farming is an Art form passed on by Tradition
> Bearers, and almost all of the hundreds of years of farming knowledge  -
> that was sensible - can be lost in a generation. 

That is so true. I hope this list will help as many as possible retain 
that knowledgebase, how to farm, diversified farm. "lost in a 
generation" (or 1.5) is exactly what happened to the Russians. Communism 
(the phony version installed by the totaliarian dictatorships in Russia 
starting with Lenin, moving to Stalin then on to the corrupt private 
sector "Russia is now officially, a corrupt state" type of thing) broke 
down the traditional farming methods in place for centuries with the 
associated high level of skill, experience and knowledge of its farmers
and replaced all that with collective farms. After half a century of 
communism and the apathy it generated amongst Russia's best farmers, now 
noone knows how to farm productively. Read the news, Russia's best 
farmland, the Black Earth area is being sold off or leased farm by farm, 
thousandsf of acres at a time. Unthinkable. Of course in the USA and 
Canada vertically integrated multinational agribusiness is doing similar 
things, including ruining the soil they farm with various categories of 
pesticides, chemical fertilizer and GMO crops, AND putting independent 
farmers and family farms out of business using various methods, low crop
prices, corporations buying up infrastructure (i.e. grain elevators),
sticking them with high operating costs, i.e. fuel, equipment, seed.

> IMPO this is the cultural piece of how the Dust Bowl was created. I have no
> proof, but have often thought about this. Non-farmers trying to figure it
> out from scratch on land that was never farmable in the first place ruined
> the land because they didn't know, and possibly didn't care, what they were
> doing. 

See above about the post communism era (now) in Russia.

 > Multi-generational farmers who knew better, likely steered clear of
> that kind of land. Only the landless who believed that having land was the

Real farmers know what marginal farmland is all about.

> way to become somebody, were desperate enough to go for those deals, as had
> the generations before them. When colonial Virginian's finally forced their
> way into the Ohio Valley and The Kaintuckee, (the Garden of Eden of the
> Shawnee, the Cherokee, the Creek, and many other Nations and tribal bands of
> that area), the new white farmers boasted about how many farms they'd worn
> out and moved on to as they moved from Kentucky to Ohio and Indiana and
> westward. Use it up and move on. But I have to wonder how many of these

Like slash and burn agrinonculture in Asia and South America.

> people were ever from multi-generational farming families who had to make a
> living in the same place for centuries. They were landless recently
> indentured servants who had to have land to get the vote.

Same folks that decimated the Indians and the ruthless industrialists 
who virtually enslaved and abused American workers; shipped that 
offshore to the Chinese and Indians now, soon Africa.

> The Amish on the other hand, have farmed the same places for going on what -
> almost 3 centuries now?
> If anyone could run trade schools for new farmers, and teach both organic
> and permacultural practices, it would be the Amish and the permaculturists.
> I think there would be  way to do that, maybe on the Berea College model,
> employing entire faculties, and thus making it possible for all of us to
> make livings while trying to hold the world together long enough to
> regenerate Herself.

That's it exactly. New trade schools, community colleges new ag and shop 
classes in high school. Income necessary for funding could come from 
products made in the shops and from school farms also producing value 
added products; cycling students into teachers, farmers, permaculturists 
  and producers.

This is what the Russian people need. It could mean a lot to millions of 
Russians struggling to survive, keep them on their land and in their 
towns, villages and communities. Stimulate new small scale and cottage 
industry. Keep the younger generations at home, on the farm and away 
from industrialized cities. To what degree has the practice of 
permaculture spread across Russia, Georgia and the Ukraine and 
adjoining, now independent, countries? Are there any permaculture 
organizations there? Who does consulting or teaching there? Why aren't 
there Russian (and those in neighboring countries) people participating 
in this mailing list? Russians love Nature, are excellent stewards of 
their land and enjoy spending a lot of time in the out of doors, 
especially in Spring.

> What do you all think?

This discussion will go on for some time I think.

> Hugs,
> Chuthlu

Hark, I see the color out of space, must go now...

dirtfarmer out...:

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