In this event which took place in 2010, at İstanbul Zeytinburnu Tıbbi Bitkiler Bahçesi Panos Manikis talks about seeds, natural farming, making of seedballs and raised-bed gardening, with practical demonstrations.
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Note: Initially the video was somewhat disordered, so we did some rearrangements in order to allow a viewer-friendly content without losing any important information.
Who is Panos Manikis?
Born in 1950, Manikis studied engineering but he never worked on that area. From an early age on, he sought new ways of living. Fukuoka’s book, The One-Straw Revolution changed his life. Book influenced him to such a degree that he decided to go to Japan with nothing but his backpack. In year 1980, he finally arrived at Fukuoka’s village and became his apprentice.
Manikis learned Japanese in a short period of time. From his Sensei, he learned using tools with minimum effort, pruning trees to their natural shapes, sowing seeds without tillage and understanding nature through becoming one with it. After six months, Fukuoka and Manikis travelled to Europe to introduce people the teachings of natural way of farming. They travelled across Italy, Netherlands, Austria and Switzerland, showing the methods to people, and talking about natural farming at universities and local farms. In line with their philosophy, they did not demand anything in return.
After Fukuoka’s return to Japan, Manikis went to Brazil to start a natural farm. After a year, he travelled to India and Nepal for new experiences, and lived there for some long time. He returned to Greece on foot through Turkey, which took about a year. He took long walks, practiced meditations and started to think about ways of designing his own natural farm and greening the world. After a while, he settled in a small village in Northern Greece; created a jungle of plants and fruit trees out of a barren area.
Manikis translated and published Fukuoka’s books in Greece. He also joined Fukuoka on his journey of greening the world. Together, they sow seeds in different regions of Europe and Africa. The most important of all was the seeding in Greece, 1988; sowing seeds in an area of 10,000 hectars by 3,000 people. Afterwards, Manikis kept working on greening post-war Yugoslavia by himself.
In last ten years, in his farm which has become the Natural Farming Center of Europe, Manikis has been showing his methods to those who are interested. At the same time, he works on building networks of cooperation across farmers and creating alternative customer-producer relationships. He not only sows seeds in barren areas, but also sticking to the motto of his Sensei, he travels across countries to ‘sow seeds in the hearts of humans’, and gives seminars about natural farming practices.