Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic
permaculture forums growies critters building homesteading energy monies kitchen purity ungarbage community wilderness fiber arts art permaculture artisans regional education skip experiences global resources cider press projects digital market permies.com private forums all forums
this forum made possible by our volunteer staff, including ...
master stewards:
  • Anne Miller
  • Pearl Sutton
  • Nicole Alderman
stewards:
  • Mike Haasl
  • r ranson
  • paul wheaton
master gardeners:
  • jordan barton
  • John F Dean
  • Rob Lineberger
  • Carla Burke
  • Jay Angler
gardeners:
  • Greg Martin
  • Ash Jackson
  • Jordan Holland

Doubts about Holzer?

 
steward
Posts: 7926
Location: Currently in Lake Stevens, WA. Home in Spokane
318
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Report post to moderator
If Sepp had been a total failure in his endeavors, nobody would have even noticed him.
He has had many successes, and all eyes turn to him. It's like painting a target on his back.

The nit-pickers are all looking for the flaw.

Perhaps, we should rename this thread "Sour Grapes".

 
Posts: 39
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Report post to moderator

paul wheaton wrote:Ute: Sepp Holzer did not invent Huegelkultur.

me: Did Holzer ever say that he invented hugelkultur? Did anybody say that holzer invented hugelkultur?

Ute: No


So, please help me to understand why it was important to bring this up. It seems we are talking about a really difficult and sensitive topic. Difficult enough without complicating the issue with this.



That is a good and thoughtful observation. You are quite right. I brought it up for the same reason Jack made the "kick the wet dog" tongue-in-cheek comment in his superb podcast. It seems to me that just because Holzer says Huegelbeds are good everybody and their granny builds them, whether they are appropriate in a given context or not, whether they justify the labour and expense or not. They are one tool in a toolkit and should be treated as such, not a one-size-fits-all. Mark Harris made a similar observation recently in the long Huegelkultur thread (https://permies.com/forums/posts/list/14046#127087)

I admit it, it was a bit of a snipe.

I wish to address many of the other points you have brought up, but my knee jerk reaction is quite similar to my reaction to this point. It could take years to unravel all of this stuff - but it seems like I must be missing the point as to why they are brought up for consideration at all.

At the moment it feels like (and I could be wrong) negativity toward holzer, and a lack of supporting stuff - so there is a bit of scraping the bottom of the barrel and the dressing up tiny things to make them appear bigger than they really are. If that is the case, it seems like a personal issue - not something worthy of a public forum; not something I wish to publish.



I have no 'personal issue' with Sepp, never met him, but - and that is the reason I am contributing to this thread - I know what was going on in the German PC scene. I would not call threats of libel cases and forced retractions "scraping the barrel". I have all the e-mails from said mailing list on my computer and re-read the lot last night to make sure I wasn't exaggerating things. It was hair-raising stuff and at the end the moderators message was basically "think very carefully about what you write here unless you have a lot of money to blow on court cases" and he brought in an iron-clad rule that no one has permission to pass on any of the mails to third parties. So I can't prove this stuff, and you can dismiss it as hearsay, but it is the truth.

The root of this thread is that somebody suggested that holzer was a lessor person. It sounds like that woman had her day in court with holzer and holzer was found to be reasonable and the woman was put in jail for making up such nasty stuff. I find myself in the awkward position of some comments here appearing to slander holzer and then I need to figure out if I am okay with publishing those words.

On evaluation, like the judge, I am leaning toward favoring holzer. And by "leaning" I mean I have ropes attached to the ceiling keeping me from laying on the ground.



The court papers are not public, believe me, I have checked because I would like to know what really went on there. None of us knows except for the affected parties. So in the interest of balance you should consider that Mr. Fiebrig's comment above may be libelous.

Another line of thought:
Let us suppose that that are 100 geniuses that pursue something like permaculture. And they all attempt to share what they have learned. And each one is subjected to fines and abuse for attempting to share what they have learned. 99 of them go silent. What is the personality of the one that is left standing?

Should we be shocked/surprised/offended at this personality?



Again, speaking from the German experience, Holzer did not *share* what he has learned, he never got involved in the Institute, the meetings, the mailing lists; he charged handsomely for every morsel of information. Not that there is anything wrong with making a living with teaching and consultancy.

For every person that accomplishes something great, there are 20 detractors that have accomplished nothing that will point at the one person and complain long and loud.



My guess is that you consider me as a "detractor who has achieved nothing"? Water off a duck's back. I have a nice little 1 hectare PC set-up, 17 years in the making, for self-sufficiency. It's not perfect, never will be, and its changing and evolving all the time. I have learned by reading, doing, making mistakes, and learning from others and have always shared my knowledge and experience willingly and freely. I have had many visitors from around the globe and I'm happy to show anyone around at no charge.
Same goes for a bunch of my German and Austrian fellows who basically just shut up about Sepp because they have better things to do than blow their hard-earned money on solicitors fees.

So I'd say let's agree to differ and move forward, as you say, with good things, produce food and live lightly on this earth.

Ute
 
Ute Chook
Posts: 39
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Report post to moderator

John Polk wrote:If Sepp had been a total failure in his endeavors, nobody would have even noticed him.
He has had many successes, and all eyes turn to him. It's like painting a target on his back.

The nit-pickers are all looking for the flaw.

Perhaps, we should rename this thread "Sour Grapes".



If it was a case of "sour grapes" wouldn't the "detractors" be giving out stink about Bill, Dave, Toby, Geoff, Skeeter, Joe etc. who have all set up really cool examples, written excellent books and spread the word through their teaching?
 
pollinator
Posts: 11802
Location: Central Texas USA Latitude 30 Zone 8
1051
cat forest garden fish trees chicken fiber arts wood heat greening the desert
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Report post to moderator
I've seen folks stink about Bill and Geoff on other boards where it's ok to crap on other people..... Not sure who Joe is but there's a thread on this board in which people seriously criticize some techniques of Joel Salatin and even aspects of his character. So Sepp isn't the only one being looked at critically.

https://permies.com/t/14588/homestead/trip-Polyface-Farms-chance-interview
 
Ute Chook
Posts: 39
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Report post to moderator

Tyler Ludens wrote:..... Not sure who Joe is ...


The late Joe Polaischer.
 
Posts: 9002
Location: Victoria British Columbia-Canada
670
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Report post to moderator
It sometimes happens that a person with poor people skills, due to arrogance, apathy or whatever, may still have something important to teach. Some people just aren't diplomats.

My sometimes friend Franco is one of these. There is nothing the man can't do with metal. He has many other great skills. He is also a boorish blow hard who regards most other people as grosly inferior to himself and he would prefer to spend most of his time bragging on the accomplishments of himself and others from his home country. Franco is limited by the fact that he's a cartoonish Archie Bunker sort of character. He makes enemies. He's an ass hole and in a weird sort of way, I like that old biggoted ass hole. But I prefer him in small doses. Many great artists have been famously difficult on a personal level.

From what I've read, some people just don't like Sepp. A lot of this may come down to his communication skils and dismissiveness when asked silly questions. True or not, none of this should cloud our judgement about what he has accomplished.

A guy like Jeff Lawton has the whole package. He's so darn likeable that he's not likely to collect enemies.

I think it's important that we separate our personal feelings and judgements about another's character and motives from the research and other good work that they do.

This isn't directed at anyone in particular not even at Franco, whose name has been changed.
 
Tyler Ludens
pollinator
Posts: 11802
Location: Central Texas USA Latitude 30 Zone 8
1051
cat forest garden fish trees chicken fiber arts wood heat greening the desert
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Report post to moderator
As someone with poor people skills myself, I have to say, if Sepp actually had truly poor people skills he would not be the internationally recognized figure he is. He would not be flying all over the world giving talks and doing projects.

 
steward
Posts: 32847
Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
hugelkultur trees chicken wofati bee woodworking
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Report post to moderator

So in the interest of balance you should consider that Mr. Fiebrig's comment above may be libelous.



I think that your suggestion about my good friend, Dr. Fiebrig, may be libelous.

Further, I see armies of nitwits complaining about good works of permaculture all the time. I think half the army is corporate trolls trying to further their employer's cause by using any means to bash the alternatives; and the other half is reactionary nincompoops that are easily convinced by the lamest fallacies from the corporate trolls.

Here are the facts: Holzer is a genius that gets shit done. Holzer's stuff is a threat to chem ag. Corporations have learned that the most cost effective PR is an army of trolls and their sock puppets. This thread is about once incident, and I am now convinced that the woman bitching about sepp had her day in court and then got sent to the pokey for fraud - then all her stuff was given to sepp for her crimes against sepp. I expect that there will continue to be an anti-sepp army. And there will continue to be an anti-paul army. And there will continue to be an anti-permaculture army. And I think the people that do the worst damage to permaculture are flying the permaculture banner.

I am convinced. And this is my site. And most of the people that come to this site depend on me (trust me) to sift through all the crap and share what I believe.

I think we should stand up for the people that are doing good work. Not bash the shit out of them. This thread is disgusting. I'm closing it.


 
I was born with webbed fish toes. This tiny ad is my only friend:
100th Issue of Permaculture Magazine - now FREE for a while
https://permies.com/goodies/45/pmag
    Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic