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Hi everyone!

The staff here on permies have been discussing making a forum for the various Natural Farming methods of Korea, Japan and China ("Korean Natural Farming," JADAM, bokashi ...)...but we're trying to figure out how best to word it. We don't want the title to be too long, or too confusing. "Natural Farming" seems like a good term, but we're wondering if people who don't know anything about Korean Natural Farming, etc will post in there with unrelated things that are "natural" and "farming," but not "natural farming." (Note: "Orient" literally means "east"... but we wonder if there's negative connotations to that word that we wouldn't want. Please speak up if you think so!)

I like apple polls, so I'm making one! I'll add any new suggestions you make to the apple poll. Please discuss down below why you think a name is good or not-so-good.

If you have a shorter title that fits, PLEASE mention it!



For more information about Korean Natural Farming, check out this thread: https://permies.com/t/90967/Definition-Korean-Natural-Farming-abbreviations
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pollinator
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This is tuff. Anything that doesn't have geography in description sounds like natural gardening, which will get off topic posts. So geography is a must.

Would Fukuoka(sp?) Inspired gardening be included ? If so, "traditional" would not be included as he was a disrupter. If he's not included, I like the word.

These are my thoughts, but still thinking about it.

 
pioneer
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That's a really good question, Wayne!

We're also trying to figure out just what exactly this forum will contain, and not many of us moderators are very knowledgeable about the different gardening techniques.

I'm thinking that this forum will be more focused on the soil preparations and breeding of beneficial microorganisms that occurs in Korean Natural Farming. I don't think Fukuoka focused on that...but I'm really not familiar with his work.

And, since we already have a forum on Biodynamics, we don't want this to encompass all the different techniques of building soil life, such as Bryant and Elaine's work or biodynamics.

So, we've got the dual questions of:

(1) What do we name this forum
and,
(2) What techniques and gardening/farming techniques fit inside this forum

We'd really appreciate help in answering these questions!
 
wayne fajkus
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Ancient Chinese Secrets

 
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I’m thinking of east Asian natural farming
 
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Natural Farming seems the most all+encompassing to me.
 
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I don't like the term Natural Farming - isn't Permaculture, Organic Farming, etc just that? So it would be confusing unless substantiated by a geographical location.
 
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F Agricola wrote:I don't like the term Natural Farming - isn't Permaculture, Organic Farming, etc just that? So it would be confusing unless substantiated by a geographical location.



Yes, I think 'Natural Farming' would be confusing.

'Naturally Grown' has been used for a long time among those who grow organically but can't call themselves that because they aren't certified.

'Asian Natural Farming would be a better fit I think.
 
pollinator
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Aren't most of the bokashi-type methods for fostering microbiology anaerobic in nature? As in, based on ferments and fermenting scraps in anaerobic conditions? That could be the delineation.

I think that there's no point in a new natural farming forum unless the forum is specific in its parameters. Otherwise, what's the point in the subdivision, other than to make us look better to Google?

-CK
 
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My wifes sister-in-law is 2nd generation chinese and she told us that 'oriental' is now on the pc forbidden list (evidently someone, somewhere, decided it's an ethnic slur.  Since all it means is 'easterners' does that mean they can't call us 'westerners or occidentals' either?).  I can't keep up with what's 'acceptable' or not anymore.  Who the hell gets to decide, and on what grounds?

Asian includes everything from Turkey to the eastern end of Siberia, so that is probably too broad a term.

east asian natural farming seems good to me.   If you want to go with more drama, maybe 'natural secrets of asian farming'.
 
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I'd go with Asian Natural Farming techniques.   The word, "oriental" is probably not a good idea, it reminds me of the British Empirialism for some reason.   These techniques are different so if you don't want to split them into three sections I'd go with Asian Natural Farming. 

It seems to me that Korean Natural Farming and Chinese Natural Farming are more akin to one another.  Fukuoka kind of stands on his own. 
 
Chris Kott
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My vote is for precision, not brevity or drama.

I suggest something along the lines of "Korean Natural Farming, JADAM, and other Traditional East Asian Farming Techniques."

Honestly, I think anything else would be confusing. I don't even know if Fukuoka should fit in here. I mean, he's from the right geographical area, sort of, but his methodology and those of the aforementioned techniques are radically different. As Wayne mentioned, he was a disrupter, was he not?

"Oriental" has been on the PC shit list since I was in gradeschool (shit, like thirty years ago?). It first hit the skids because it was deemed too generic, and grouping diverse cultures together under one banner seemed reductionist. It doesn't seem to me to be any different than grouping every non-european of european descent into the "White People" group. Though I don't like that either, and I have never desired to use the term "Oriental," probably for similar feelings.

I would leave the word "Oriental" out. I wouldn't think a forum called "White People's Farming Methods" would go over too well, and not only because it lacks specificity.

-CK
 
Mick Fisch
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'Oriental' is simply a general geographic description.  Compare "Traditional european farming methods" with "White people's farming methods" one term sounds like a discussion of regional practices while the other sounds like the start of a racist rant.  The problem is, that in the west, (another general geographic description) we have used a generic, general term to describe an generic, general area with a different philosophical, religious and ethnic history.  The reason the differences are so great are primarily because of distance and natural boundaries. 

Someone decided that this is ignorant and shows a ethocentric, parochial view of the world.  They are correct of course, because we all come from a time, place and society that is our starting point for learning about the world, we move out from there, but there are always areas of ignorance. 

I had a friend who, growing up, spent several years in Ethiopia.  He said they had 200+ cultural groups that differentiated between each other with (sometimes slight) variations in hair style, tatoos, clothing, etc.  They were insulted if they were mistaken for a member of another group, (the vast majority of societies secretly or openly think they are better than the rest).

Because of my unfamiliarity with Eastern Asia and the people from there, I would have a hard time telling a person from an eastern asian country from a someone from a neighboring country on initially meeting them.  I'm also pretty fuzzy on the cultural differences.  When I taught on a native american reservation, I had students ask me why european whites (french, english, germans, etc) fought each other, because from my students perspective, they were all just a bunch of whites.  Understanding dawned for my students when I compared these groups with their tribe and a tribe that was a traditional enemy, who, to an outsider, wasn't that different from them.  Even the most urbane, educated person you meet will have areas where our experience and education fail us, whether its the differences between groups in Africa, Polynesia, Asia or Europe.  Because the USA was founded by europeans, the culture has primarily european roots and most of the citizens (especially the ruling elite) are of european descent, the USA has a eurocentric view.  There is nothing necesarily racist about that.  It would be strange if it were otherwise. 

If you think about it, getting wound up about an outsiders lack of knowledge of your culture/ethnicity is pretty ethnocentric.
 
wayne fajkus
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Ancient may be the term needed to differentiate.

Ancient farming techniques

Thats enough to separate this from modern techniques. I think any technique this new forum is probably trying to promote would fit the definition of being ancient. The inclusion of other ancients (rome, etc) would be minimal if none.

Ancient is almost synonymous with Asia from my earlier "Ancient Chinese Secrets"...... at least in usa.
 
Nicole Alderman
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I added some more suggestions to the apple poll!



Chris Kott wrote:My vote is for precision, not brevity or drama.

I suggest something along the lines of "Korean Natural Farming, JADAM, and other Traditional East Asian Farming Techniques."



The problem is, none of our forum names are this long. I don't know how our programing will deal with it, and it might look reeeeeeally clunky. We'll definitely give further definition on the forum page itself, but I'm not so sure that people ever read the little words under a forum heading...


"Oriental" has been on the PC shit list since I was in gradeschool (shit, like thirty years ago?). It first hit the skids because it was deemed too generic, and grouping diverse cultures together under one banner seemed reductionist. It doesn't seem to me to be any different than grouping every non-european of european descent into the "White People" group. Though I don't like that either, and I have never desired to use the term "Oriental," probably for similar feelings.

I would leave the word "Oriental" out. I wouldn't think a forum called "White People's Farming Methods" would go over too well, and not only because it lacks specificity.

-CK



As far back as I remember, "oriental" was a slang and derogatory word. It's the kind of word little kids would use when slanting their eyes. I really don't like the thought of using it.
 
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I don't like the idea of the Korean natural farming form on permies. The folks here at permiso are not the authority on natural farming. The Korean natural farming communities don't visit permies. knfsupport.com is where you should be going for answers, not here
 
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If possible, it would be great to keep the forum name to one or at most two words.
It fits with the feel of the site.  Has better googlelove.  And Paul once told me he likes shorter titles.

I've often thought about spending a few hours and trying to get some of longer named forums down to two words or less.



One thing to do, is to look at existing forums and see if we could fit this topic in there with a small adjustment of name or description.  I don't know enough about the topic to say if it would fit.


How about the title Pre-industrial farming?
 
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I vote for Natural Farming. While Korean Natural Farming has risen in prominence, it's not the only natural farming method out there.  I would say that there is also Indian Natural Farming also.  It's the country that gave us Neem, and I suspect there's plenty of wisdom to be tapped into there as well.  There was a youtube channel called the Natural Farmer with some lessons on natural farming from a guy working in India for a NGO I think.

 
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One option I haven't seen mentioned is

FAR EAST NATURAL FARMING ? I do like ORIENTAL NATURAL FARMING but no one else does.

The reason why I like Oriental is because that IS the precise definition of what you are trying to create... a forum that covers all of the historical farming techniques of the Oriental countries.

 
raven ranson
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What would someone new to gardening think belongs in "natural farming"?

As it is, we spend a lot of moderator time moving stuff out of organic and permaculture growies forums that don't fit there because the title was too general.
 
raven ranson
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I love Oriental.  It's not derogatory where I live.  Often used as a compliment of a specific kind of beauty or elegance.
 
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r ranson wrote:I love Oriental.  It's not derogatory where I live.  Often used as a compliment of a specific kind of beauty or elegance.



As a Korean-American, I can say that being called oriental is indeed considered distasteful by the majority of Asian-Americans.  As far as why ... it probably has to do with how the word was historically used.  It has connotations attached to it. 

African-Americans are perfectly fine with being called black.  In fact I've been told on more than one occasion to not bother saying  African-American and just say black.  The word Negro though is now a nono. This is the word probably most similar to "oriental" in that it isn't inherently a racist word, but it's now considered to be offensive.  Latino-Americans are fine with being called brown, and Caucasians are fine with being called white.  But Asian-Americans are NOT okay with being called yellow, and I believe Native-Americans are not okay being called red.

So Asian is the preferred term, or East Asian if you are aiming to narrow it to China, Korea, and Japan.
 
raven ranson
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Very different here in Canada.

Most of my friends have immigrated from Japan, China, or Korea.  I asked a few of them, and they weren't familiar with Oriental as an insult.  Although my black friends do take huge exception at being called 'african american' since most of them come from the Caribean and aren't american.  I have one from Jamaica that encourages me to call him "the little brown guy" but I just call him Fred since that's his name.

Most of my friends from Asia would rather be called Oriental than the wrong country.  A bit like calling a Scot, English, or a Canadian, American. 

But it's a global site, so if it's an insult in the US, then we won't use it here.
 
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I like Asian Natural Farming. If it was just natural farming, it seems like it could turn into an information free for all.  While not a bad thing, could be frustrating to those who want to discuss the Asian methods and more work for the moderators.
 
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Stemming from Japan originally, Asian Natural Farming is practiced in many Asian countries.

Korean Natural Farming and JADAM is pretty much a trade mark and its use may cause problems. There was a big fight which may still continue among the Hawaii and North America group.

In Australia, we have Pat Coleby who wrote the book called Natural Farming too.

There is also the book Dark Emu from Bruce Pascoe which explains Aboriginial sophisticated farming with indigenous rice and wheat cultivars.

So, it is wider than we think and it is always going back to the old owners of that land and what they did to survive.

Names I am thinking of are:

Indigenous Natural Farming (My favorite)
Asian Natural Farming
Australasian Natural Farming
Traditional Natural Farming
Low Cost Natural Farming






 
F Agricola
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Perhaps the easiest way to adopt a name and avoid perceived local ethnic slurs is to follow current United Nations terminology - it's also easy to defend if necessary:

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_Nations_Regional_Groups

Asian seems to be the most appropriate term (coincidentally, it also has the most votes at the moment).
 
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FAR EAST NATURAL FARMING ? I do like ORIENTAL NATURAL FARMING

if it doesn't say something to the effect of location/type then yes, people will just post unrelated topics..lol
 
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I agree with those who mentioned that "Natural Farming" is too broad a term.  Fukuoka practiced what he called natural farming, and I think that if all vocabularies were the same, then most indigenous people would consider their traditional millenia old methods to be natural farming.

I like East Asian Natural Farming.  Since Asia starts at the Ural Mountains, Bosporus Strait, and the Suez Canal, I'd say even India could be called East Asia.  I have no familiarity with the Indian methods or with the Australian techniques and only passing knowledge thus far of the Korean and other techniques in question.  I think that it would be valuable to have an ancient farming techniques forum that encompassed indigenous horticultural knowledge globally, but that's not what we are talking about here. 

I agree with Chris that, from my understanding, most of these East Asian techniques in question are using ferments to create specific microbiology.   Maybe a forum called East Asian Fermentation Gardening would be appropriate?  But it seems clunky.

I understand the argument against Oriental.  I think that newer East Asians are less likely to be offended by it since they are not hauling around all the cultural baggage that we have when we talk about these folks.  When I say cultural baggage I am talking about Chinese railway labour and Japanese Internment Camps during World War 2 and also the connotation from this time period and previous to it that these folks were somehow subhuman, or if they were, that they were not to be trusted.  I think it is more of a slur to people who are more than a generation deep here, as it definitely has connections to Colonial times, and specifically British degradation; similarly the term Yellow to describe the skin colour of some East Asians is offensive as it was used extensively particularly in WW2, Korea, and Vietnam and not in a friendly way. 

I find it difficult to navigate the intricacies of political correctness---as it changes all the time, and over time.  Indigenous folks of this continent have had the name Indians put on them since Columbus landed.  Then many of them chose to go with First Nations, then some took on the term Aboriginal, and now it seems to be that Indigenous is the term that is favored (at least in Canada).  In Canada there is a techno tribal group made up of Indigenous artist called "A Tribe Called Red", so even the term Red has been embraced in this way.  I don't want to offend anybody, and it's hard to know which term someone would use to describe themselves, so I think avoiding such a term as Oriental would be a good idea.     

I like the forum name East Asian Natural Farming, or East Asian Fermentation Farming because it is about these regional practices, and not about a potentially racial term.
 
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I'd also go with Asian.

With respect, the oriental thing also refers to exoticism of "The Orient" as other (i.e. Ancient Oriental Secrets!) and hits a particular chord for Asian women who are and have been endlessly exoticized/eroticized. I'd ask my (Asian) daughter to explain it but she tends to get a bit emphatic (admittedly, she has experienced a lot more disgusting behavior through this sort of exoticism/eroticization than I have, since I am white) and you all seem like reasonable folks who don't deserve a diatribe.
 
Nicole Alderman
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The forum has been created! The main consensus seems to be for "Asian Natural Farming" and so I named it that! It'll hopefully help people who have no idea what "natural farming" not post unrelated things in there, and it's not too long. I see a few other forums of that length or longer. And, it maintains the verbiage that its practitioners use, so hopefully those looking for natural farming information and a place to post about it will know where to post.

Here's the link! https://permies.com/f/348/natural-farming
 
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