In Search of Balance explores a new paradigm of health, science and medicine that recognizes the importance of the interconnections between us, the food we consume, how we produce that food and the natural world at large, including the mysterious, invisible world of the human microbiome.
At a genetic level, humans are literally connected to the rest of the natural world through our DNA. But today’s highly processed foods, pesticide based monoculture farming methods, increasing urbanization, obsession with technology and destruction of the natural environment distance us further and further from the world we coevolved with. We are out of balance with nature and the reductionist philosophy of modern western medicine, once immensely powerful, seems inadequate to answer today’s challenges.
The explosive growth of technology is driving profound changes in every aspect of human civilization. The benefits of our new found electronic interconnectivity are incalculable. But modernization seems to come with a price tag, especially when it comes to our health. Could the tsunami of chronic and autoimmune diseases that modern societies face be related to our increasing disconnection from nature?
Maybe it is time to look at our health problems from a new perspective, one based on an understanding of how our health and ultimately our destiny as a species are inextricably intertwined with the natural world. In Search of Balance explores a vision of health, science and nature that recognizes the importance of the interconnections between us, the food we consume, how we produce that food and the natural world at large including the mysterious, invisible world of the human microbiome. From the islands of Hawaii to rural villages of Italy, physician, author and ‘health explorer’, Dr. Daphne Miller guides us through conversations with scientists, doctors, farmers and personal stories of healing to uncover the myriad ways we are connected to everything around us.
The second day opened up with Vince Mina introducing us to his farm’s method of producing natural farming inputs. A flat spade is invaluable to his operation. Simple tools make natural farming a practical solution for a growing world.
Majority of the Second day was panels. I recorded them audibly and will update this post with them here as the become available.
The day finished up with visible evidence of natural farming improving ‘soil tilth’. This can be measured in many ways, and Dr. Kun Hui Wei uses a variety of methods to quantify the results such as biological nematode populations, soil penetrometer tests, records of harvests and salable yields, and shows the results of several test comparisons of conventional, organic and natural farming in Hawai’i.
The first day opened up with Vince Mina introducing us to his farm’s method of producing worm vermicompost, various natural farming inputs and inoculated ‘functionalized’ char covered in mycelium as seen under a microscope! A really good immediate introduction to natural farming and regenerative soil practices lived and used on a daily basis. Simple tools make natural farming a practical solution for a growing world.
Local business leader Derek Karisu had some fine words to share in his encounters marketing natural farming products. He has carried IMOlizer in his stores for over 5 years and has had several thousand satisfied customers.
We then went out into the courtyard to hear and see the experts of Natural Farming. Ginger John, Dr. Park and Jackie Prell all shared how they live natural farming every moment of their lives and the recipes they use to keep a steady supply of beneficial microbes to improve human and soil health.
Richard Parea has been practicing natural farming because it is practical and effective. He has successully adapted many methods of Gil Carandang into his mostly spray to invigorate plant growth approach to natural farming. Liquids are a great way to get started and fermented plant juice is an essential drink to restore the human micro biome!
Dr. Park has significantly improved his digestion by a daily addition of 1 oz of Lactic Acid Bacteria, and can now have a regular life with only 20% of a stomach. Hear and see his miraculous story while he explains how to make LAB at home.
Drake formulated all the solutions presented throughout the day into an easy to follow and use practical guide for all levels of natural farmer. Starting with the classic formulas learned in Korea, simplified down to a maintenance solution as the common denominator, as one easy way to take care of plants and your microbial environment. The remaining part of the talk is devoted to a primer on biology from a natural farmers perspective. What do we want to see in the soil on a microscopic level? How can I identify beneficial fungus are indicators of vibrant and diverse soil conditions? Find out why natural farmers are bringing the soils back to life and eating better because of it.
FEAST – Food *Education * Agriculture * Solutions * Together – is a Community Foods Organizing event that provides a menu of methods to help communities mobilize around improving their local food system. The event includes a local panel of food system representatives, introduction to community food systems organizing and language, the identification of food system priorities and creation of a community foods organizing plan – plus a meal celebrating our local food provided by AJ & Sons Catering!
This event was originally created and facilitated by The Oregon Food Bank and has been used widely in communities all over the US. FEAST founder, Sharon Thornberry of The Oregon Food Bank will share her talents as an experienced facilitator at the September 24th event courtesy of the invitation of the Hawai`i Department of Health and the local Hawai`i Island Food System Stakeholders group. Funding for the event has been generously provided by the Hawai`i Department of Health and Kaiser Permanente Thrive.
August 2015 Natural Farming Hawai’i Meeting in Hilo. Natural Farming Solutions was the topic discussed and the Maintenance solution recipe was given as 1 part OHN, 2 parts FPJ and 2 parts Vinegar (Banana preferred) combined, then diluted 20mL per gallon of water and sprayed every 7-11 days on plants optimally around sunset or used as a drench to clean up pollutants by revitalizing beneficial soil micro biology.
Banchan-san presented a fermented beverage that originated in Japan after the 3/11 tsunami. People are finding that the microbes are mitigating the damage caused by radioactive exposure. This Shwa-Saka drink is made from the microbes of over 100 different herbs and cultured together is making it’s way around the world gaining even more potency through diversity.
Our June 2015 meeting covered microscopic soil analysis of indigenous micro organisms, IMO. We discovered and identified bacteria, fungus and nematodes. I brought in my 400x microscope to easily evaluate soil fertility based on biology. We recorded this lesson on how to use a microscope to validate your natural farming.
We are essentially looking for beneficial fungus. Aerobic, oxygen loving, soil building life forms, beneficial fungus, can be identified by looking for ‘tubes’ greater than 3.5 micrometers wide and darker in color. There should be one beneficial fungus per view when soil is around 600:600 bacteria:fungus ratio, ideal for most crops.
Identifying this beneficial fungus is a key indicator of natural farming success. The idea is to get these organisms to dwell deep within our soil. Bringing life and oxygen deep into the Earth and allowing plants lots of room to grow roots. Beneficial fungus harbor beneficial bacteria and healthy levels of nematodes. Good thing they are easy to see and increase with natural farming solutions!
This is an introduction to the SCIENCE behind the popular agriculture technique called Natural Farming, which utilizes indigenous microorganisms and plant and animal based agricultural by-products to produce unique amendments. These techniques use the natural biological pathways found in forested systems and replicates them in the agricultural field and in livestock pens. James doesn’t put labels on these techniques and is an academic who isn’t concerned with profiting off of these systems and the education behind the practices, so he provides an unbiased, science based analysis of these techniques.
Composting toilets use aerobic, meaning oxygen loving, microbes to decompose waste into clean water and scentless carbon dioxide gas. Stink arises when microbes are deprived of oxygen and begin to produce methane, ammonia and rotten egg smelling gasses.
The clivus multrum design facilitates oxygen rich conditions by draining away liquids.
In relation to Natural Farming, we produce facultatively anaerobic microbes such as Lactic Acid Bacteria that will aid in maintaining oxygen rich environment for this composting system.