How can this site be a beacon for NSF?

Any questions or comments you have about Natural Sequence Farming processes. These could include general questions or ones about your personal problems.

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Please remember, Natural Sequence Farming has to be tailored for your specific problem and to follow general advice may create more problems for you.

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alan
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How can this site be a beacon for NSF?

Postby alan » Sun Jan 31, 2010 5:28 pm

Let me say that I am not a farmer and can contribute little to the debate about how to implement NSF in a practical way. I truly believe that Nature has the cure for ALL the ills of the world including the Australian landscape. Nature is a balance, if you take something away, you need to put something back to restore the balance; food producers have long forgotten this simple maxim. How crazy is it to use pesticides to kill the soil structure and fertilizers to feed new growth when Nature has had this system in place since before man? NSF follows Nature.

I have been following this NSF forum as a lurker since seeing the Australian Story about Peter Andrews and am impressed with his will and his dedication. However I have some concerns that what Peter is trying to achieve is moving too slowly to become accepted practice and to make a difference. Whilst reading this forum and the many posts, the overwhelming impression I have is that there is a great deal of initial interest in NSF as a cure for the landscape ills, but there is a lack of instruction about the details and, as we all know, the devil is in the details. The lack of detail seems to cause those initially interested in NSF to give up on what they are trying to accomplish, restore their land.

My question is, “How can we make this forum the focal point for all interested in NSF?”

In this post I am trying to give some constructive criticism as to how we can all contribute to make this a credible resource for all interested in NSF. I do not want to upset anyone here and apologise in advance should I do so, but this subject is so serious that the practical experience of landholders should be showcased for all interested parties to see and to learn from. Considering the great television coverage NSF has received, this forum, should be the centrepoint to the movement, however it appears to be very sparsely populated and lacking in solid information about how folks can move their projects forward. There is very little sustained interest in using this site as a reference about NSF and there is very little continued involvement from landowners. This is crazy, this site should be THE NSF resource. I have some suggestions about helping this forum grow to make this resource.

Throughout this forum there are dire warnings about any advice given by folks can; hurt your land, cannot be relied upon, is not Peters Andrews view, is offered by folks who are not experts and numerous other examples. Whilst I understand the fear of being sued, surely a disclaimer in the Terms and Conditions would suffice; instead we are being reminded that this site does not offer anything to be relied upon! Well which site does then? Why would people come here if this site can't help? This attitude needs to change in order to stimulate debate and help for everyone.

Duane is doing a good job in answering many questions, but many others go unanswered. Many questions are repetitive and the answers may lie in the forum, but in this Internet Age, people expect instant answers to their questions, if they are not forthcoming, people very soon lose interest and go elsewhere. This forum needs more experts who can answer the questions that arise. Perhaps those involved with trials, the landowners, the scientists, the workers should be part of this forum to impart their wisdom. Peter Andrews also has a role to play in this, he is the voice of authority yet rarely offers advice or encouragement; Peter has made 5 posts since 2007. As the spearhead of the movement he should be a visible presence.

Many remarks are made in this forum about Peters knowledge and how specialised it is, how each landcare situation needs Peters presence and expertise; if this is so, the movement will die along with Peter. No matter how much publicity is given on television, one man is not physically able to change Australia's landscape. If the knowledge is so specialised, Peters value is to teach others and should be running training courses to impart his knowledge so that his work continues. Without a groundswell of trained NSF advisors, there will never be enough momentum to create the difference. This learning can take the form of Internet/ Distance Learning for which Australia is famed. Of course there are numerous Laws which need to be uphelp when involved with NSF and part of this process should involve all members of this forum actively seeking ways to work within the Law whilst upholding the value of NSF.

Having viewed the YouTube videos I see that there many thousands of viewers, but there is no message to encourage those viewers to come here and be part of the project, this needs to change. The videos should be edited to allow more time to advertise and help people to be involved by coming here.

Members here need to invite friends, family, colleagues and interested parties to come here and join and be involved. Even the local council inspectors should be encouraged to join; in this way you will have a range of views which can be debated and argued. Members with websites should be linking to this site, adding it to their online signatures, using whatever methods it takes to make people want to save Australia's land.

There are many other examples I can give but I would like to stimulate a debate about how to move NSF into the mainstream farming community. I am not a farmer and have little offer but my views, but for all those who are interested in the land and your children's future, I am sure that your collective thoughts, ideas and creativity can help put NSF before the people who matter.

How can you help turn this site into a resource?
Last edited by alan on Mon Feb 01, 2010 8:47 pm, edited 1 time in total.

gwmbox
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Postby gwmbox » Mon Feb 01, 2010 7:27 pm

Hi Alan, welcome to NSF...

Loved your post and it echoes what I have been thinking also, you may have also read my post about the web sites and the need to get them organised better - http://naturalsequencefarming.com/forum ... ight=#2699

My main concern is that the running of NSF may be getting bogged down by Board meetings with little action and decisions being made. Don't get me wrong I am sure that something is being done in the background, it would just be nice to know about it.

As a non farmer myself and being new to a property and having read both books and watched the Australian Story videos I was all gun ho on getting my little plot of land up and running the NSF way...but... there is little to nothing practical available to help and while a sparodic reply and forum post may provide some insight to NSF inner workings for a non farmer it is difficult to understand... but I am learning and I am keen to learn more.

I frequent the forums daily (yes daily) in the hope for more activity and renewed enthusiasm, but that has not yet happened - I am still hopeful. I also echo Alan's comments about Peter's posts and contribution to the discussions, 5 posts in 3 years is not really good enough in my view, by all means I understand that Duana is the spokes person for Peter but NSF is Peter, we are here to learn from Peter and also anyone that has successfully started or even completed the implemenataton of NSF on their property.

I think it comes down to the fact we are all busy, which is fine, so ask for help, get the people more involved, grow the meaning and purpose of NSF through site members and not just through an exclusive board or chapter.

As an IT nut myself I like to think of NSF as an open source seed (much like open source software) which has been planted and while there has been some growth the plant is wilting away and starving for more nutrients (input) from many sources, and that source is untapped and by that I mean everyone that has any sort of interest in NSF at all. Get them to join an NSF web site (1 site not 3), become a MEMBER and contribute in any way they can, be that financial, any services, facilities - anything they can offer to assist in the growth of NSF.

Anyway I have had my rant to add to Alan's post (thanks Alan), I feel better and hopefully this thread might just kickstart some action...
--
- VERY new to farming - have a small farm
- Property Interests - NSF, Evergreen, Dorper Sheep and Horses
- Other Interests - Web Site Design and IT
- Eagleburra - eagleburra.com.au | Dogsites - dogsites.com.au | That Net Site - thatnetsite.com

alan
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Postby alan » Tue Feb 02, 2010 4:15 pm

gwmbox,

Thanks for the link, I did read it. Your suggestions would also have been mine and so I obviously agree! There appear to be several semi-interested parties involved with the different websites which are doing little to promote NSF in a coherent way. There is good information on all the sites but allying sections to recorded music, record shops etc. does nothing to lend credence to the project. If I was an MP looking for information about NSF I would be less than impressed about the layout, character and links within the sites. Some links even go straight to download a virus; any well maintained site would check and rectify this immediately. It appears the project lacks a professional webmaster and thus a professional image. Strange when the Internet is the ideal vehicle to spread the word, especially on the back of the TV programmes and books. Somebody missed their chance...............

But it is not too late. There needs to be consolidation of the sites. Would the disparate website owners allow for the content to be aggregated? Perhaps they would let the users know. Would someone volunteer to change them or it needs to be paid for; would anyone consider donating?

I am not convinced about the lack of time in peoples schedule. Any forum should attract members who can help each other out. Especially here, the volumes are so low that all queries could be answered each day following 5 minutes of Peters time. The replies may take 30 minutes and if the information was available onsite, even less. With more knowledge transferred to members the time would be lower still.

Todays tip:

Get rid of “Peters Truth File”. Who wants to visit a site which may be a party to libel with what appears to be petty retribution. No matter what the injustice, these websites are no place for airing dirty washing in public; lawyers do that.

Shirley Henderson
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Location: Thirlmere

Postby Shirley Henderson » Tue Feb 02, 2010 5:51 pm

I have to comment on this! Duane, Peter, sadly I agree with what is being said. I have wanted to learn about NSF and if possible teach it too. I always try to help out if I can but get little from PA himself to say yes I am on the right track or no that is not right therefore I am becoming hesitant to offer advice for fear of getting it wrong. Help me and I will help you. You know I have been an avid supporter since learning about NSF although I do not farm I am a landcarer and practise what I preach.
I also dont want to lead people up the wrong path and they have not come to hear from me.... they want to hear from Peter. Still love NSF though!
Shirl

gwmbox
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Postby gwmbox » Tue Feb 02, 2010 5:51 pm

alan wrote:
...snip. Would someone volunteer to change them or it needs to be paid for; would anyone consider donating? snip...


Yes, yes and yes - as in I will donate some time and effort if it will do some good :)

alan wrote:Todays tip:

Get rid of “Peters Truth File”. Who wants to visit a site which may be a party to libel with what appears to be petty retribution. No matter what the injustice, these websites are no place for airing dirty washing in public; lawyers do that.


Have to agree that 'truth file' is simply an awful advertisement for NSF
--
- VERY new to farming - have a small farm
- Property Interests - NSF, Evergreen, Dorper Sheep and Horses
- Other Interests - Web Site Design and IT
- Eagleburra - eagleburra.com.au | Dogsites - dogsites.com.au | That Net Site - thatnetsite.com

alan
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Joined: Sat Jan 30, 2010 5:36 pm

Postby alan » Tue Feb 02, 2010 8:50 pm

Shirl,

I have read many of your posts and can see that you do a lot of research to help others out.

Thanks for the support for this post, I almost thought only two of us cared.

I see from looking around there is a blog also at http://peterandrews.com.au/ where Peter did attempt some replies. Unfortunately the comments followed an Australian Story and overwhelmed him I think, no more were forthcoming. More fragmentation which could be easily cured by a professional. Duane, you have a volunteer already!

With the lack of official response at the moment I am trying not to be too critical, but in order to move the project into the mainstream more work must be done through the Internet. I would hate to see a contributor such as yourself become discouraged.

Shirley Henderson
Posts: 356
Joined: Sun May 06, 2007 4:03 pm
Location: Thirlmere

Postby Shirley Henderson » Wed Feb 03, 2010 8:57 am

I believe NSF is far more reaching than only Farming
I feel certain that Peters understanding of the Australian landscapes and the NSF principles can be the base line for creating a sustainable Australia. Humans should be able to live in and with the environment causing the least damage possible, living with wildlife and the natural systems functioning as they should.
NSF can and should also be applied to
• Conservation and land management practises
• Planning and building urban landscapes, cities and towns
• Planning and care of all waterways
I cannot accept any thing less than decision making based on absolute concern for the country and its natural functioning systems to be reinstated or recreated. All courses of action that have profit at there fore disregard the above. Yes we have to eat, yes we have to have jobs, I have a family of my own and I understand the need for us to have jobs and a sustainable country.
Peter is not a mad farmer and should stop being referred to ever as that. When the public hear those words it is all that they hear and then it in the back of their minds that it might be true. Stop calling him that and start referring to him as the genius that he is.
The government should be putting some funding into undoing damage that has already been done and put the weeds issue and its phenomenal costs on hold to do so.
The idea of planting trees as solutions needs to be brought in to mainstream knowledge that it does not solve the problem of water shortage or salinity unless the plantings are diverse from trees to groundcover.
Peter needs airplay, media coverage, newspaper articles, magazine articles, interviews, debate in the open enough so to get everyone thinking about how it works for THEM.
Support of weeds in this country has an immediate enemy of hundreds of thousands that truly believe weeds are sworn enemies of the country, wildlife, animals, fauna and native flora. I have learnt in my own experience that those ideas can be changed if approached well enough. I have seen avid native plant lovers turned around when they come to understand Peter and his experience. If they realised that the health restored to the environment inevitably restores diversity and native plants and wildlife in all their glory.
These are the people that can be supporters and friends of NSF. They can help. There are many people in the environment industry aside from agriculture that would support NSF if they could only understand the benefits. NSF is heard about but not understood.
When I mention Peter Andrews, the feed back is the
Willows guy
The weeds guy
The outback farmer
Yeah they have heard of him but little is known about his work.
More, more, more and more, lets get on with the task together and bring all together that can help and do it.
Shirl

gwmbox
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Postby gwmbox » Wed Feb 03, 2010 11:55 am

Thanks Shirley, totally agree.

It would be nice to get an official response to our above posts?
--
- VERY new to farming - have a small farm
- Property Interests - NSF, Evergreen, Dorper Sheep and Horses
- Other Interests - Web Site Design and IT
- Eagleburra - eagleburra.com.au | Dogsites - dogsites.com.au | That Net Site - thatnetsite.com

Shirley Henderson
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Location: Thirlmere

Postby Shirley Henderson » Wed Feb 03, 2010 2:25 pm

I am sure they are just busy. Duane usually replies when back from whatever they are doing.

alan
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Postby alan » Wed Feb 03, 2010 3:39 pm

Shirley, Greg,

I think it is worthwhile continuing the conversation even amongst ourselves as others will join us as the dissemination of information about NSF if of vital importance for Australia.

Shirley you are right about not just being about farming but also about the way we plan urban environments; the continual collection of rainwater into drainage systems makes little sense for such a valuable resource. NSF could be a catalyst to transfer the knowledge of the benefits of water, our most precious commodity and this forum is a good place to start where we can try and make a difference by suggesting ways to galvanise Joe Public by creating a groundswell of opinion. On the Peter Andrews blog there was a great response to his TV programmes but we have lost the audience; it will be hard to bring them back when there is so little continuing response. This is why I am concerned that the information is disseminated across so many different sites, it becomes confusing and difficult to navigate, difficult to understand where the latest information is, difficult to know where to read Peter's responses. We need a more professional approach to focus on one website where the NSF principles can be found and consolidated. This just takes a decision from the site owners to which site it should be and to consolidate the NSF story. With a mix of forums, public acknowledgment and praise, help and advice, ongoing and breaking news, Peters blog etc. consolidating the interest, especially the views from the public, the site will grow and create a greater and stronger message. By doing this the “mad farmer” image can become the respected visionary; the Internet is powerful enough to do this.

I realise that many of Peters friends and relations are helping to get the word out with the various websites, but with the increasing support of powerful lobbyists NSF needs to adopt a more professional and sustainable image. This can be done extremely easily, right Greg? There is no need to lose any pertinent information on the websites and they can all be directed toward one coherent site. The amount of work could be accomplished within 10-14 days and could be done by willing helpers or as a paid project.

This is sounding rather like NSF, we need to convince more people...........!

Tip of the day (?):

Can we have a link from the forum to the home page please?

gwmbox
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Postby gwmbox » Wed Feb 03, 2010 6:05 pm

Hi again Alan, you should have stopped lurking long ago :P

alan wrote:...snip
I realise that many of Peters friends and relations are helping to get the word out with the various websites, but with the increasing support of powerful lobbyists NSF needs to adopt a more professional and sustainable image. This can be done extremely easily, right Greg?


Fairly easy yes, however we would need to know how the site would be best managed and by who before we go too far into it, i.e.
1) a central admin for managing the web site as the tool,
2) central publisher to manage any content being added and used on the site, we could have more than one.
3) several editors that can be approved to be editors by the Publisher to assist in the addition of content
4) the members (as registered web site members with login user ID and password) of whom can submit content for editing, share ideas, share images and video and so on.
5) and finally the many visitors to the site to read up on and spread the word about NSF

The entire site can be run through a central Content Management System with integrated forums, blogs, photo and video galleries, calendars and so on. Joomla (http://www.joomla.org/) would be my recommended starting solution.

We would also need to know where and on what the site would be hosted on and how that cost can be covered, being an Australian site I would suggest using my recommended web host... more on that if we proceed.

alan wrote:There is no need to lose any pertinent information on the websites and they can all be directed toward one coherent site.


Correct, though there would need to be a consensus from all three site owners to form one large more complete web site and to then have the one active domain and the other domains parked on top of the main domain.

alan wrote:The amount of work could be accomplished within 10-14 days and could be done by willing helpers or as a paid project.


As I have said, happy to donate some of my time, and your time frame if all went smooth could possibly be achieved, but I'd stretch it to 21 days to ensure it can be done in that time if we want to fix a time onto the project. I'd need for example at least 7-10 days to get the system up and running before the publishers/editors can add content, however they could start collating, editing and sorting through the existing content during that time.

I have already done a few mock up designs for a complete new NSF site (just for fun) and will probably do a few more over the next few days (as time permits), though if there are any budding designers (graphics etc) that can knock up a good design I can then carve it up into xhtml and css and use that :). One thing though, the logo at the top of these forums, is that official, or just a 'something to use' image? Anyway I am going into it too deep here and would be better chatting to who ever makes the decisions (though I think the NSF community should do that from now on - or at least be a consulted)

alan wrote:This is sounding rather like NSF, we need to convince more people...........!


Seeds planted, plants withering but it might have just been saved, lets see what growth can be given to NSF...

alan wrote:Tip of the day (?):

Can we have a link from the forum to the home page please?


Love the tips, keep them coming :)

Cheers

Greg
--
- VERY new to farming - have a small farm
- Property Interests - NSF, Evergreen, Dorper Sheep and Horses
- Other Interests - Web Site Design and IT
- Eagleburra - eagleburra.com.au | Dogsites - dogsites.com.au | That Net Site - thatnetsite.com

alan
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Postby alan » Wed Feb 03, 2010 6:54 pm

Greg,

Make sure you don't scare folks off with talk of the details!

The primary objective right now must be to gain a consensus amongst ourselves and show PA that we are trying to help and not to take over his vision. That we are concerned enough and believe enough in what he is saying to move NSF more readily to the mainstream.

We must remember PA will want to sustain his family and to provide consultancy to farmers/urban planners/whoever and will obviously be guarded about imparting all his knowledge to others, he will not want everyone to become an instant expert! However as the "Head of a Large Movement" his financial standing will increase with a greater Internet presence and professional image. With the contacts PA has already, I feel sure that he is secure in his professional capacity.

My concern is that following all the brickbats which have come the way of PA over the years, it must be difficult to accept outsiders as having genuine concern about the landscape as he himself has. None of us has had to go through what PA has been through for NSF.

This discussion is about how we can help. If we can have some encouragement to continue when Duane returns, I am more than happy to share my thoughts on how this can be taken forward with mutual respect and confidence.

I am not trying to take over the world, just to do my bit to help.

gwmbox
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Postby gwmbox » Wed Feb 03, 2010 7:04 pm

alan wrote:Greg,

Make sure you don't scare folks off with talk of the details!


Yes I did sort of run at it didn't I :D

No matter, the point I guess I was trying to make is that it can be fairly easily done as you suggested. The details as I put were not to scare anyone away but to put into the minds of those that make the decisions that help is available - if wanted :)

alan wrote:The primary objective right now must be to gain a consensus amongst ourselves and show PA that we are trying to help and not to take over his vision. That we are concerned enough and believe enough in what he is saying to move NSF more readily to the mainstream.


Totally agree

alan wrote:This discussion is about how we can help. If we can have some encouragement to continue when Duane returns, I am more than happy to share my thoughts on how this can be taken forward with mutual respect and confidence.


I hope that is what my posts also conveyed, one of trying to help and encourage the expansion of NSF as a whole.

alan wrote:I am not trying to take over the world, just to do my bit to help.


Thanks for the grounding :), I tend to get quite involved in things when given a chance and often need to pull myself up to wait for everyone else to catch up :)
--
- VERY new to farming - have a small farm
- Property Interests - NSF, Evergreen, Dorper Sheep and Horses
- Other Interests - Web Site Design and IT
- Eagleburra - eagleburra.com.au | Dogsites - dogsites.com.au | That Net Site - thatnetsite.com

lyrebird
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Postby lyrebird » Thu Feb 04, 2010 8:07 am

thank you, Alan for opening this subject. yes! i totally agree with your observations. many a great idea has gone to the grave with its creator for want of adequate sharing and 'delegation' into formal existence.
NSF is not rocket science. if an irascible guy like bill mollison was able to set up such an enormous and diverse movement as permaculture then surely NSF can be formalised and made applicable to a diverse range of situations, as well as taught and disseminated through education and awareness.
the internet is the most valuable tool we have for sharing information and experiences.
thanks again,
kate
we have just bought 42 acres on the mid-north coast. want to develop it to its full potential naturally.

alan
Posts: 17
Joined: Sat Jan 30, 2010 5:36 pm

Postby alan » Thu Feb 04, 2010 3:19 pm

Greg,

I don't think this will move quickly, farmers aren't city folk! They like to digest things and make sure that they are taking the right path; just like sowing a crop, a matter of judgment.

Your ideas of course are right if PA wants his followers to help spread the message, which is the right thing to do, but we do need to be led, otherwise we will be expending effort to no effect. I hope that the obverse will be the case and that we can encourage momentum to induce a regular following and great resource for all interested in NSF.

Kate,

Thanks for your support. Hopefully as more people see the postings and have an idea of our feelings about the landscape and how NSF can have a positive effect, we will be able to become a force for good in helping PA and NSF.

Like permaculture, a strong leader is always going to attract detractors and followers, we need to convince PA that we are willing to work for the good of NSF and not against.

This forum is really the only place where users come for help and often it is not available. If we try hard enough to convince the NSF leadership, they will see the benefits of the mass of people who want to help. By providing more detail and encouraging us to talk about NSF, the benefits will flow out across Australia and really start to make a difference.

Tip of the day:

This is for Duane too!

Do NOT open the following link unless you have effective and up to date anti-virus software, you will download a virus to your computer:

http://www.nsfarming.com/Principles/NSFPres/index.html


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