Permaculture self sabotage

Finding land, working a small plot or anything else countryside related
User avatar
Zasso Nouka
Tech Support
Tech Support
Posts: 5656
Joined: Wed Sep 23, 2015 9:37 am
Location: Chiba Prefecture
Has thanked: 4129 times
Been thanked: 3549 times

Permaculture self sabotage

Post by Zasso Nouka »

Split from the Permaculture Spam thread

Parts have been edited to try to make more sense in the thread.

Permaculture is a really really good idea, unfortunately a lot of the folk that get into it here in Japan (can't speak for outside as haven't met any of them) seem to do so much to damage the view of it for ordinary people. This isn't meant as an attack on permaculture because the principles are really sound but more of a wondering why many proponents of permaculture here in Japan just seem to be trying to alienate ordinary people and farmers when surely you'd think they would want to draw non-permaculture people in so it can spread further. Just to add we don't consider our farm to be permaculture as we've never really studied it in any depth, we're just ordinary organic farmers.

I'll give some examples. I've seen some permaculture folk criticise ordinary people for burning stuff like leaves or garden waste saying how it pollutes the atmosphere whilst sitting snugly by their wood stove burning stuff to keep warm. We've received criticism for using chicken manure and oyster shells as fertiliser from local permaculture people because apparently we should be producing all our own compost. I've been told by another local permaculture-ist that I don't know anything and aren't qualified to say anything about permaculture because I haven't done a 2 week PDC :roll:, despite running an organic farm for 13 years. We even got criticised for putting solar panels on our roof because the mining of the materials causes untold environmental damage and they would never recover the carbon debt to produce them, even though it's well established that carbon debt is cleared within a few years. And there's plenty more.................

Sorry, that's not what @Sound556 was talking about in his original thread but I wondered if any of the folk into permaculture here know why this seems to be the case or are we just surrounded by a bunch of extremist zealots in our location ?

Rant over and apologies.

Sound556
Posts: 33
Joined: Fri Dec 22, 2023 10:23 am
Has thanked: 21 times
Been thanked: 48 times

Permaculture self sabotage

Post by Sound556 »

Zasso Nouka wrote:
Sun Jan 14, 2024 8:41 am
Permaculture is a really really good idea, unfortunately a lot of the folk that get into it here in Japan (can't speak for outside as haven't met any of them) seem to do so much to damage the view of it for ordinary people. his isn't meant as an attack on permaculture because the principles are really sound but more of a wondering why many proponents here in Japan just seem to be trying to alienate ordinary people and farmers when surely you'd think they would want to draw non-permaculture people in so it can spread further. Just to add we don't consider our farm to be permaculture as we've never really studied it in any depth.

I'll give some examples. I've seen folk criticise ordinary people for burning stuff saying how it pollutes the atmosphere whilst sitting snugly by their wood stove burning stuff to keep warm. We've received criticism for using chicken manure and oyster shells as fertiliser because apparently we should be producing all our own compost. I've been told by another local permaculture-ist that I don't know anything and aren't qualified to say anything about permaculture because I haven't done a 2 week PDC :roll:, despite running an organic farm for 13 years. We even got criticised for putting solar panels on our roof because the mining of the materials causes untold damage and they would never recover the carbon debt to produce them, even though it's well established that carbon debt is cleared within a few years. And there's plenty more.................

Sorry, that's not what you were talking about but I wondered if any of the folk into permaculture here know why this seems to be the case or are we just surrounded by a bunch of extremist zealots in our location ?

Rant over and apologies.
I used to hear the quote ''bad habits die with its generation'' allot in the oil industry , meaning most older folks whove been into the occupation are kinda locked into it. Understanding change is needed but persistantly resist it because ''its how its always been'' i think with the farmers their age its kinda a given when ever you try something or improve something that seems extremely handy or beneficial for our view , can just crush their world view.

Same with your fertiliser immagine doing farming for 40+ years and finding out your yield got crushed 38 years ago and the only thing that you had to do was stop putting an extreme amount of chemicals in the soil and regenerate it. ive seen this issue every where

Dolphines ''steal'' fishermens catches out at sea , birds devour cerial crops so they have to go. next generation finds out they were eating the locust not really the seeds ( sparrow extermenation by the chinese).

I'm graced by the amount of stubborness ive gotten through the age's and my culture teaches me to defi everything thats being thought. So on one hand i would understand the neighbours view (mostly the crops not doing as well as yours and turning it into jealosy) the other hand i just couldnt care.

User avatar
Zasso Nouka
Tech Support
Tech Support
Posts: 5656
Joined: Wed Sep 23, 2015 9:37 am
Location: Chiba Prefecture
Has thanked: 4129 times
Been thanked: 3549 times

Permaculture self sabotage

Post by Zasso Nouka »

Sorry, that's my bad. I should have been clearer.

What I meant to say was, why do so many people within the permaculture movement here seem to want to alienate folk outside of permaculture when you'd think they would want to draw them in and expand the movement. All the criticism we've had has come from folk that identify with permaculture rather than from non organic farmers.

e2a: It's probably best to split my question off into it's own topic rather than ruin your thread with a major diversion. Apologies, I'll split it tonight so your thread doesn't get derailed. Posts have now been split off into their own topic

Sound556
Posts: 33
Joined: Fri Dec 22, 2023 10:23 am
Has thanked: 21 times
Been thanked: 48 times

Permaculture self sabotage

Post by Sound556 »

Zasso Nouka wrote:
Sun Jan 14, 2024 1:00 pm
Sorry, that's my bad. I should have been clearer.

What I meant to say was, why do so many people within the permaculture movement here seem to want to alienate folk outside of permaculture when you'd think they would want to draw them in and expand the movement. All the criticism we've had has come from folk that identify with permaculture rather than from non organic farmers.

e2a: It's probably best to split my question off into it's own topic rather than ruin your thread with a major diversion. Apologies, I'll split it tonight so your thread doesn't get derailed. Posts have now been split off into their own topic
Yeah , there's a big ''gate keeping'' thing going on aswell with the whole of humanity.

tataminodani
Posts: 108
Joined: Fri Sep 29, 2023 2:30 pm
Has thanked: 140 times
Been thanked: 159 times

Permaculture self sabotage

Post by tataminodani »

Some people just love to get on a moral high horse and be "better" than others.

Those people would always find _something_ to point out that was wrong.

Perfect permaculture can only work when you sell nothing and compost your humanure. Any nutrients that leave your property need to be replaced with outside nutrients or you are just mining your soil - as all commercial agriculture pretty much is.

Attaining the above is pretty much impossible so it's (in my opinion) infinitely better to encourage improvements where you can, by setting an example and explaining to others what and why you are doing things rather than judging and telling others they should do it your way.

I have had great success with this method. I just do my thing and when I inevitably get questions I tell them, but I never push it.

When I rented a plot in a share garden a few years ago, everyone said I was weird at first but by the time I left almost everyone had copied something I was doing. Compost, biochar, raised beds, saving water etc. When I left there was practically a brawl over who got my bathtub (for water catchment), compost bins and garden bed edges that I left behind.

In the new place (only been there a month now!) one of the neighbours came down the other day to tell me he collected all the leaves around his house over new years, mixed it with some chicken manure and komenuki and started a compost pile after seeing my leaf piles and hearing why I was doing it. :dance:

User avatar
Eric in Japan
Posts: 300
Joined: Wed Sep 23, 2015 4:21 pm
Has thanked: 200 times
Been thanked: 460 times

Permaculture self sabotage

Post by Eric in Japan »

Zasso Nouka wrote:
Sun Jan 14, 2024 8:41 am
... I wondered if any of the folk into permaculture here know why this seems to be the case or are we just surrounded by a bunch of extremist zealots in our location ?
I posted about this 10 years ago on my blog:
https://japanhomestead.blogspot.com/201 ... ryone.html
"... so, the cucumbers said to the cabbage, `Lettuce Go.`"

User avatar
Zasso Nouka
Tech Support
Tech Support
Posts: 5656
Joined: Wed Sep 23, 2015 9:37 am
Location: Chiba Prefecture
Has thanked: 4129 times
Been thanked: 3549 times

Permaculture self sabotage

Post by Zasso Nouka »

That's a great article @Eric in Japan, totally sums up what I was thinking. Sadly some folk in that movement really do seem to think they are the elite there to tells us plebs how we should be doing things and even berating us for not being like them. It seems incredibly counter productive and is one reason we don't describe ourselves to our customers as organic farmers because that conjures up negative impressions in them. If the aim is to open someone's mind to new ideas and ways of doing things then berating them and telling them how wrong they are doesn't seem like a good approach.

I'm curious where that sense of elitism or entitlement comes from ? Is it from being a small group battling against a much larger group or is it something else ? It's almost like some of these folks are bitter and have an axe to grind with the world, not all folk into permaculture but there does seem to be a significant minority who just seem to have a very negative attitude. I'm not sure how that is useful when trying to convince others to change how farming is done and make it more sustainable. Most large farmers who are making a living from their endeavours are going to take one look at that and write it off as an unsustainable business model, which nicely leads on to the next point.

If the intention is to really change farming then that needs to extend to really big farms. I know there are larger permaculture farms abroad but many of the ones here in Japan seem little more than part time hobby farms (where they support themselves with a partner earning an outside income and the other partner gets to live the permaculture dream all the time not realising that dream is being supported by their partner's income and again there's nothing wrong with having a part time job, both Mrs Nouka and I do some work outside the farm as probably other folk do) and while there's nothing wrong with having a permaculture garden as a hobby or having a little patch where you grow some personal vegetables that isn't going to feed the world nor is it going to convince large scale farmers to convert.

I personally am not involved in the permaculture movement nor do I have any answers but as an outsider it seems that some folk inside the movement don't want it to spread because they would then be relegated either to insignificance or no longer special anymore.

@tataminodani, some very good points man. Hopefully be able to discuss them shortly

User avatar
Zasso Nouka
Tech Support
Tech Support
Posts: 5656
Joined: Wed Sep 23, 2015 9:37 am
Location: Chiba Prefecture
Has thanked: 4129 times
Been thanked: 3549 times

Permaculture self sabotage

Post by Zasso Nouka »

tataminodani wrote:
Wed Jan 17, 2024 5:35 pm
Some people just love to get on a moral high horse and be "better" than others.

Those people would always find _something_ to point out that was wrong.
That seems to be sadly true, certainly not the case for everyone but it does seem sometimes that the loudest voices are the ones leaning in this direction. Most likely the folk that aren't like this are the ones quietly getting on with it.
tataminodani wrote:
Wed Jan 17, 2024 5:35 pm
Perfect permaculture can only work when you sell nothing and compost your humanure. Any nutrients that leave your property need to be replaced with outside nutrients or you are just mining your soil - as all commercial agriculture pretty much is.
This is something that so many really don't seem to understand. We tried to explain that was why we use oyster shell and chicken manure from laying chickens to replace the minerals lost to crops and they were like "You shouldn't use fertiliser from outside the farm"
tataminodani wrote:
Wed Jan 17, 2024 5:35 pm
Attaining the above is pretty much impossible so it's (in my opinion) infinitely better to encourage improvements where you can, by setting an example and explaining to others what and why you are doing things rather than judging and telling others they should do it your way.

I have had great success with this method. I just do my thing and when I inevitably get questions I tell them, but I never push it.

When I rented a plot in a share garden a few years ago, everyone said I was weird at first but by the time I left almost everyone had copied something I was doing. Compost, biochar, raised beds, saving water etc. When I left there was practically a brawl over who got my bathtub (for water catchment), compost bins and garden bed edges that I left behind.

In the new place (only been there a month now!) one of the neighbours came down the other day to tell me he collected all the leaves around his house over new years, mixed it with some chicken manure and komenuki and started a compost pile after seeing my leaf piles and hearing why I was doing it. :dance:
We try to do things in a similar way, don't criticise other people doing things differently. If someone asks what you are doing then use that as an opportunity to explain (without pushing or saying it's better) and maybe say why it works in your situation. Like say with the chicken manure we get, explain that it's free whereas fertiliser can soon add up or with our car. When we explained how cheap it is to run and maintenance is virtually zero one of our friends also decided to go electric and has been really pleased with it since switching over.

It is unfortunate that the loudest voices often seem to be the ones who are most likely to put others off from making the changes we need to put into action but maybe the quieter voices are the ones who are actually having an effect. It's just that we don't hear or see that happening.

tataminodani
Posts: 108
Joined: Fri Sep 29, 2023 2:30 pm
Has thanked: 140 times
Been thanked: 159 times

Permaculture self sabotage

Post by tataminodani »

I had another good show and tell experience just yesterday. I was out at the farm when the 野業員会 actually dropped by to do their assessment of the land (I missed the December session because of paperwork reasons..)

There was my agent and 6 other guys and we started chatting and they were asking about what I was doing with the piles of leaves, bamboo and wood chips. They appeared to like my answers and I got lots of good advice back also.

They asked what I was planting and thought I was crazy at first, because the sheet we filled out was vague due the space limit. But after I explained my plans (like keeping my fruit trees low, cover crops, interplanting and succession planting etc.) and companion planting type setup (e.g. I had just finished planting some asparagus and strawberries together which served as a good example.) They started talking about coming to help me or at least see it again next year. Which I took as a good sign.

They were also really interested in some of my non-conventional tools, like my push-hoe and once I demonstrated it to them I ended up having to show them the amazon links on their phones. They wanted one for their home veggie patches due to the back saving benefits. :lol:

User avatar
Zasso Nouka
Tech Support
Tech Support
Posts: 5656
Joined: Wed Sep 23, 2015 9:37 am
Location: Chiba Prefecture
Has thanked: 4129 times
Been thanked: 3549 times

Permaculture self sabotage

Post by Zasso Nouka »

That seems like an ideal way to introduce folk to new ideas, showing them something that works with no pressure to try it or criticism of what they are doing. Your way doesn't create barriers to new ideas getting inside people's heads and them giving it a go.

Is you hoe one of these ?

Image

A Kezutaro ? Or something different ?