Healing the Planet — farm by farm

A portion of Masanobu Fukuoka’s farm

Good Evening, God

So here is a key question:  if natural farming is sensible and cheaper and easier — why is it not taking over the world? I have four reasons that seem key to me”

  1. MONEY:  A switch to Natural Agriculture would mean an immediate economic hit — 10% drop in output for the first year or more.   Masanobu Fukuoka said that his land has been getting more fertile every year for over 25 years.  Nature does know how to heal and revitalize if we get out of the way.  But it would seem to take economic help to begin the transition.  And since “everyone” believes that we “need” chemical fertilizer and herbicides and insecticides how would you persuade a bank to give you a loan?  Is there a handy billionaire that would like to take this on?  Or lots of little folks in a “Go Fund Me?”

2. Know How: Industrial agriculture pumps out endless videos on superior seeds and poisons.  They have salesmen making the rounds—  how to “salesmen” plus videos.    Masanobu Fukuoka is very clear.  Nature/reality is very complex. Each plot of ground, each season…different.  So it takes watching and learning and that takes enormous reserves of courage and energy.

3. Picky consumers! Unnatural and artificial look “pretty”. Consumers want bright colored fruit that is a pleasant shape.  We  want it picked early and gassed to give it a bright color and to make it shippable.  We want it to look Perfect!  Surely, no signs that a bug might have taken a bite. 

4. Failure to Understand: We fail to understand the power in natural farming. Soil that has regained its health absorbs more water . . . permits water to drain into the ground and retains water for plant growth. Healthy soil absorbs carbon.  It takes carbon out of the air and uses it.  When I think of the miles and miles of almost dead soil — soil that could be revitalized and helping to combat global warming — I weep. 

Tagged with:
Posted in connecting

Single-Minded or Natural?

Masanobu Fukuoka son speaks about his father

Good Evening, God

One thing that struck me in reading The One Straw Revolution was how Masanobu Fukuoka believed that Nature knows what she is doing. How, if we get out of Nature’s way she will rebalance and heal. Indeed, God, he often said that Nature is God and God is Nature. As You seem to be built into the very fabric of Everything . . . I can dimly sense what he meant.

Another idea was that Nature’s complexity can look “random” to us. Mr. Fukuoka seemed almost to laugh at the neatness and tidiness of industrial farming. He shared that that someone told him they had tried the straw covering but it failed.  He investigated.  And he found that they had placed the straw in an orderly sequence — neatly laying it down in touching rows.  He however had strewn his straw, thus leaving room for sprouting, etc.

I just gave a happy sigh.  Having been raised in the mechanical era I got the idea that “orderly” was the way things were to be.  A place for everything and everything in its place.  So there was something freeing . . . liberating even . . . in realizing that a certain amount of “random” is useful. 

Actually, God, I am persuaded that “random” is part of a super complex reality. I have noticed that often odd and seemingly unrelated bits of information come together in a pattern as I finally “connect the dots.”

Such Mystery!

Posted in Balancing and adjustments, connecting, Eating for health, healing, health, Random, Rebalancing, Super Complexity, web of life

Overcome Evil with Good

cherry tomatos

Good Evening, God!

A dear friend emailed me to say that no-weeding farming might work, but not weeding her garden would be a disaster. And, I have to say that I definitely pull weeds daring to grow in my garden pots.

But, I love the principle of it. Or should I saw that I am struggling to truly understand the principle. Hmm. I think it was St. Paul that said “Overcome evil with good.” That was pretty much Mr. Fukuoka‘s plan. When he started weeds were a problem and he cut them down. He did not poison them, or even uproot them. He just cut them down. Then he sowed clover seeds over the ground to encourage a “good” ground cover. That and covering the plants with straw were his approaches to bringing things into balance.

And, that reminds me of probiotics. Because, surely Your principles are built into every aspect of life. To take an extreme case of a very bad bug in our biome — C.difficile — just a simple squirt of a healthy stool into the infected biome can result in healing. The wide array of bacteria, fungi, and other small nameless creatures in healthy stools were enough to take over the intestinal track and restore it to health.

Perhaps that might work for our human communities too? Oh! To raise up a crop of caring, listening people! People who encourage and strengthen. People who love and forgive and reach out to touch one another.

Tagged with:
Posted in a prayer for healing, connecting, growing toward up, Growth Opportunities, Heal Us Now, healing, health, Ongoing Transformation, Rebalancing, the Growth Mindset, Transitions

Do-Nothing Farming – Works

Good Evening, God

I’m loving this book — The One-Straw Revolution. I ordered it on a whim . . . part of my new awareness of the importance of traditional agriculture. But, this book takes us way back — well past traditional farming. The author, Mr. Kukuoka, had what seemed like an “enlightenment” in which he knew that we humans know nothing! And out of that grew that idea that crops can grow best if left alone

At the beginning he says, “I acted in the belief that everything should be left to take its natural course, but I found that if you apply this way of thinking all at once, before long things do not go so well. This is abandonment, not ‘natural farming.’ “

What he ended up with was FOUR PRINCIPLES:
NO CULTIVATION — no plowing or turning of the soil
NO CHEMICAL FERTILIZER OR PREPARED COMPOST
NO WEEDING BY TILLAGE OR HERBICIDES
NO DEPENDENCE ON CHEMICALS

Applying these principles, his yields were just as high as with the other modes of farming. But the costs were less and the labor was less. He said that for years people came and investigated and learned. But, no one followed his ways. And one of the reasons he gave struck me powerfully. “The world has become so specialized that it has become impossible for people to grasp anything in its entirety.”

Mr. Fukuoka says that, “I think an understanding of nature lies beyond the reach of human intelligence.” Aah, yes. Our human understanding is limited. We do not understand Nature. We do not understand, You, God. If we loose our grip on those two facts we can all to easily fall into hubris. . . hurtling into the future without taking the time to explore, observe and contemplate.

Posted in accepting my ability to REDESIGN, awareness, connecting, Creating, Failure as Teacher, Failure to assess, Future, Greening Spirit, humility, learning, The Learning Revolution, trying vs learning, web of life

More on my Wife App

Out for a walk with my wonderful husband, Kit

Good Evening, God

A dear friend of mine said that she really didn’t understand the analogy of having a Wife App. And I realized that YES! It must seem really strange to a lot of folks. And that pushed me into pondering just why I was so delighted by it.

First of all, relationships are incredibly complex and so very organic. The longer the relationship, the more the growth of habitual patterns of behavior. “Sponse” and response have been practiced and refined — if not perfected. And when we are IN the relationship we are very much like fish in water. Oblivious to it. And certainly without the idea of altering the environment.

Secondly, long-term relationships are precious. They have a compounded value. And therefore, one is reluctant to “look” at them. More so for a dearly beloved husband. Mostly, one is thankful!

However, when realities change there are stressors applied to the relationship. How do we respond positively? For me, recasting much of my “behavior” as the result of a Wife App gave me a much needed sense of efficacy. Apps are created. They can be adjusted and reset. Indeed, the very concept of having a control spot called Settings was exciting.

Why? Perhaps, because it puts the focus on me and my part in maintaining the health of the relationship. And with that focus comes both an enhanced sense of responsibility and a sense of opportunities waiting to be created.

Then, upon discovering my Wife App, I have become aware that I have other Apps. I have a Self-Care App. . . which right now is suggesting that perhaps it would be a good investment of time to list and diagram as many of my apps as I can find.

All in all, I am grateful for an additional way of “seeing”.

Posted in Balancing and adjustments, Commitments, Communication, connecting, LOVE, My Wife App, Rebalancing, relationships, The daily details of love, the gift of persistent love

I learn more about PDST

Good Evening, God

I’m back on the topic of how to treat Post Traumatic Stress.  Once again, I am listening to Bessel van der Kolk.

Let me just lay out what I have learned.  First, traumatic stress an affront or shock to the Limbic System.  The limbic system is on also known as the paleo mammalian cortex.  And sits above the brain stem and on both sides of the thalamus.  (The only part I recognized was the amygdala.)

This older part of our brain supports functions including “emotion, behavior, motivation, long-term memory, and olfaction.[2] Emotional life is largely housed in the limbic system, and it critically aids the formation of memories.”  

According to Dr. van der Kolk, healing this area involves calming the limbic system.  Behaviors that calm the limbic system can help with PTSD.  One method is EMDR  (eye movement desensitization and reprocessing).  The therapist or individual recalls distressing images while generating side-to-side movements or finger tapping.  

Other activities that calm the limbic system are: touch, rhythmic movement, physical action and activities that help put us in “tune” with others.  Even working on a theatre project seems to help.  One proponent of this Somatic approach is Peter Levine.

One striking point Dr. Bessel van der Kolk made was that — if during a traumatic event we can move — the event gets processed.  He used the example people running/struggling toward home after the 9/11 attack.  The fact that they could move away from danger and toward the safety of home helped tremendously.   

ONE LAST POINT:  Dr. van der Kolk said that trauma that happens as an adult . . . or as a discrete incident is easier to treat than the ongoing trauma of childhood abuse and injuries.  Having an unsafe and unloved childhood makes for a different kind of trauma. But that is a whole other disaster.

Tagged with:
Posted in Compassion, connecting, healing, health, learning, LOVE, Persistence, self-compassion, so much to learn, the gift of persistent love

Healing Trauma

Dr. Bessel van der Kolk

Good Evening, God

Yesterday, I was looking for something to counter the TV program my wonderful husband Kit was listening to, when I stumbled on to a talk by Dr. Bessel van der Kolk. And I remembered reading his book, The Body Keeps the Score.

Then this morning, while mailing a package at the post office I thought I’d buy some stamps. Looking through the offerings I spotted Healing PTSD. Perfect! More and more, God, I am realizing that post traumatic stress is more prevalent than I’d ever realized. It isn’t just caused by wars . . . or domestic violence. Ordinary aspects of daily life can also impact us — perhaps with ever getting a conscious diagnosis.

For some reason this has captured my interest. Even just a five minute video helps broaden my understanding. This one on how neurofeedback changes the brain was fascinating.

It seems that — as the traumatized area of the brain is calmed — the Executive functions of the brain become stronger. The way to perceive progress is not so much the diminution of fear, but that the mind is able to learn and able to imagine the future.

I wonder, God, if folks who have difficulty accessing their executive functions might have hidden trauma that is impacting them? Right now, I am just thankful to have this area returned to my attention. What it might mean in my life is yet to be discovered.

Posted in connecting

More On My Wife App

The corner where Kit fell this morning

Good Evening, God!

The Big Thing I learned today is how extremely fine tuned the Wife App needs to be.  My wonderful husband Kit wanted to go for a much longer walk than usual this morning.  And I was happy to go with him.  But turning toward home I wanted to get home quickly — the day was calling me.  Kit said he wanted to be “safe” and go slower.  I failed to respond properly to the word “safe”.  And so I took off at a jog down the hill — thinking Kit would continue on more leisurely.

WRONG!  His Male Pride was triggered!  And he tried to keep up.  Only to fall at the next to last corner. Actually, he just wanted to keep me in “sight” so he could “protect” me.  I understand that with my Heart and love him for it.  I just wish it wasn’t so foreign to my world view so I might remember it!

Fortunately, a kind neighbor (a Vietnam vet guy) was also out walking and saw Kit fall.  And with great kindness and compassion supported him on the walk home.  Truly an angel!

The tricky adjustment to my Wife App was later in the afternoon.  Kit came to me dressed for a walk and wanted to know if I was ready!  WHAT? REALLY?  You are KIDDING!!!  But, it was clear he wanted to get back up on the horse that threw him. . . but I was still busy. But, he wanted to go alone.

So, I hovered . . . and asked “What will you do if you feel wobbly?”  “Call you!”, Kit said.  “Will you you sit down, FIRST?” He smiled. And off he went.

So, God, courage and a healthy self image won out over caution and sensibility.

Posted in asking for help for myself, Balancing and adjustments, balancing free with supported, connecting

I Discover My Wife App

The two of us at the beach last year

Good Evening, God

Much to my surprise I discovered recently that I have a Wife App. I noticed it because it seems to be ON more during this lockdown.  In fact, I noticed that when my wonderful husband is asleep I have more energy.

Aha!  I must be running it in the background all the while he is awake.  It is sort of like being “On Call” and indeed, he does call. Now one might wonder how it was that it is only now — as we begin our 62st year of marriage — that I noticed.  

Well, I am an extrovert.  Mostly, I am busy noticing the outer world.  My own dear inner self is still basically uncharted territory.  

So it was just last week that I noticed I have another app — the graphic designer app.  I was taking one of my husband’s blogs and reformatting it to a paper copy.  I LOVE working with graphics!

But, it seems, that my loving easy-going Wife App cannot run at the same time as my Designer App.  My designer app is all business — single focused! And, apparently, unaware of kindness or even civility. Ok . . . rude!

And I realized that I am starting to extend my Designer App to select areas of our home.  Once again, when that app is running it is best if Kit is napping or asleep for the night.  This Designer App is very tightly focused and particular.  It is in fact, as close to being a perfectionist as I ever get.   Fussy FUSSY!

I’m ever so grateful to have discovered these apps, God.  Because, apps have Settings!  I can make adjustments!  I haven’t figured out just HOW to do that yet.  Still, I have hope!  And I have a better understanding for what’s going on inside me . . . as I interact with my loving — and thankfully patient –husband.

Please help me, God, as I seek out the many other inner apps I’m running.

Tagged with: , ,
Posted in accepting my ability to REDESIGN, accepting my need for help, adjusting, connecting, developing helpful definitions of love, family, growing toward up, Growth Opportunities, kindness, LOVE, Patience, The daily details of love, the Growth Mindset

A Change of Perspective

Good Evening, God

Today my wonderful husband Kit and I walked up our valley and on the way down paused at the park.  I love turning the corner and looking down the valley — because THERE is the ocean!  I get a sudden shift in my perspective!  Hey!  We are on an island!

Of course, God, I “know” we live on an island.  But, the reality of it is that my mental map contracts.  More so, recently, as we haven’t even gone out in our cars more than once a week.  So my day-to-day mental map is SMALL.  It is our corner of Hawaii Kai — our neighborhood.

Travel does expand our physical map of the world.  Just today I shared a photo of a lovely orchid — and realized that I had taken the photo in the Singapore Botanical Garden.  That expanded my perspective!

And prayer can be an excellent expander of perspectives.  I was in a difficult meeting in December.  It hadn’t gone well.  But, I didn’t realize how badly it had gone until April when it became painfully clear that I was now persona non grata.  Yikes!

So I began praying about it.  And as You know, God, the first week or so was spent reviewing the meeting from my point of view.  But, by week three I was beginning to have my perspective expanded.  I could see that I had had opportunities to ask for “backstory” or even to ask to pause the meeting for prayer.

Still, it wasn’t until week five of praying that I realized I had made a bad mistake.  I had failed my own heart’s desires.  All because I hadn’t been able to see and believe that You can use a wide assortment of people. . . not just the kind I had come to expect.

Now I am daring to mail out a letter of apology.  Sigh.  It seems that enlarging our perspective can come with a certain amount of pain and resistance.  But, I feel slightly enlarged and more healthily humble.

Tagged with: , , , ,
Posted in a prayer for healing, acknowledging my need for prayer, Apologies, Communication, confession, Grief, Prayer, Regret -- acknowledging and releasing it, relationships

Blogs I Follow
Brené Brown

chatting and sometimes, listening

Rachel Naomi Remen

chatting and sometimes, listening

A Moment with God

chatting and sometimes, listening

Sacred Dance Guild Journal

Since 1958 articles by members & guests offer news about activities, history, Sacred Dance practices, profiles of Sacred Dancers, choreography, images & illustrations.

Victoria Paulsen

How to Step In -- Substitute Teaching

Brené Brown

chatting and sometimes, listening

Rachel Naomi Remen

chatting and sometimes, listening

A Moment with God

chatting and sometimes, listening

Sacred Dance Guild Journal

Since 1958 articles by members & guests offer news about activities, history, Sacred Dance practices, profiles of Sacred Dancers, choreography, images & illustrations.

Victoria Paulsen

How to Step In -- Substitute Teaching