Natural Farmer-Agronomist Mr. Manikis Panagiotis.
Mr. Panagiotis Manikis was still an agronomy student when he came face to face with health problems which the Western way of thinking could not provide any solutions for. It was then that he started looking for different methods of approach, closer to a ‘big’, unifying, philosophical status quo. On his quest, he met Masanobu Fukuoka, a Japanese phytopathologist, philosopher and inspirer of ‘natural farming’. For the last few years Mr. Manikis has maintained and successfully developed a farm in the region of Edessa, based on the principles of natural farming, which he also implements in his life. He travels and talks about them throughout the world, hoping for his ‘seeds’ to take effect.
Finally, Mr. Panagiotis Manikis is the person in charge of the natural Farming Centre, located in Klisohori of Edessa.
There is no doubt that not only Greece but Europe as well, along with the whole of mankind and human civilization itself is going through a deep crisis, a crisis which is not only economic but affects all other aspects of human life. There is, however, no doubt, for those who can clearly see, that the myth cultivated and relied on the perception that the accumulation of material goods is directly linked to human joy and happiness proved to be a huge fallacy. This concept led to the destruction of nature and seriously damaged human relations. It is no wonder then that this financial bankruptcy is just a small consequence of another, more important moral bankruptcy of human relations, the relationship between humans and other living creatures. This egocentric culture leads humanity to destruction with mathematical accuracy. For ten thousand years of ‘civilization’ the scene has not changed. Violence, wars, terrorism, human slavery in numerous ways, hunger and misery come and go with only a few sunny spells of happiness. People react erratically, trying to solve the problems that have been caused.
The solution to those problems, however, lies within their understanding itself. We are society and vice versa. Should each of us seek his own responsibility in society and change, then society will also change. Now is the time to realise that the real wealth is the wealth of the human relations, the wealth of the relationship with other creatures of nature. Real wealth is the wealth of nature. The time has come to build a civilization, a natural civilization we may call it, that everything people do will be in the service of nature, will be good for nature and therefore for people.
The time has come for each of us to create a vision of self-sufficiency, self-sufficiency on a nutritional, health and mental level. Small, self-sufficient societies, where people will have a simple life close to nature, will be the future of humanity. Self-sufficiency on a nutritional and health level, no matter how strange it seems, is directly associated with the fertility of the soil. The more fertile the soil the healthier the plants, animals and people will be. The fertility of the soil, however, is inseparable from the high degree of biodiversity. The higher the degree of biodiversity of the soil, the more fertile it becomes, the more effectively erosion is controlled, the greater the balance or harmony. As Hippocrates, the father of medicine puts it more succinctly: “Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food”.
Moving on to the existing farming reality that promotes monocultures, pesticides and fertilizers, genetically modified seeds and biotechnology, wanting supposedly to solve the problem of hunger and increase human life expectancy, we have found out that it achieved exactly the opposite. Not only did it fail to solve the problem, but it also poisoned the air, water and soil leading to irreparable impairment of the physical and mental health of people.
Unfortunately, even people from the field of alternative farming who promoted a new understanding regarding human-nature relations, were trapped in the meaning of time and space, emphasizing on the financial aspect of their efforts. As a result, they made many of the mistakes of conventional chemical farming. In this way, not only did they not manage to deliver, with small exceptions, a sustainable lifestyle that would respect Nature and Earth, but they were also caught in the spiral of the commercial farming, resulting in jeopardizing their own sustainability and much more. At the same time, they broke down into groups that each of them raised their own flag, claiming the truth and validity of their words.
Is the time ripe to reargue the case of alternative farming and medicine movement on a new philosophical basis that would work as a vision for the whole of mankind as well? Has the time come for religion, philosophy and science, God, human and Nature to reunite as it once was in the past? We need a science that everything that stands for should be for the good of Nature and consequently for mankind. We need a Farming that after establishing the great Biodiversity will achieve constant increase of land fertility and excellent health of plants, animals and people. We need a civilization that should serve Nature and work towards one goal; that our planet should be the Garden of Eden again. That is why people with good intentions, those who see clearly and want to see all the above come true, should not squander more time and should hurry to join their forces, to co-operate and to work beyond optimism and pessimism, hope or not. And they should start now. The ‘Now’ belongs to the heart; ‘Tomorrow’ belongs to the mind.
But what exactly is the natural farming method?
It is a farming method where no fertilizers or pesticides are used. There is no weed control, no weeding and no use of machine ploughing. And there is also a fifth principle, if you like, regarding fruit trees: no pruning. However, we would seriously underestimate natural farming simply by defining it as a farming method. Natural farming is a pathway where science, religion and philosophy come together as they once were. It aspires to unite God, human and nature. Nowadays, natural farming has almost reached its greatest simplicity, meaning that no planting, ploughing or anything else needs to be done. In rainy seasons, before the autumn and spring rains, simply mix a lot of seeds from any tree, fruit trees for instance, and vegetables, wrap them up in clay soil to protect them from birds and rodents and drop them on the ground. Then observe what nature can teach us: each plant will grow where it is best for it. No human knowledge is required, no equipment.
Natural Farming Centre,
Klisohori, Edessa, P.C. 58200, EDESSA
Τel. No: (+30)2381027312 (19:00-21:00 Greek time)