I was aiming at a pleasant, natural way of farming which results in making the work easier instead of harder. “How about not doing this?” “How about not doing that?” — that was my way of thinking.
I ultimately reached the conclusion that there was no need to plow, no need to apply fertilizer, no need to make compost, no need to use insecticide. When you get right down to it, there are few agricultural practices that are necessary.
The reason that man’s improved techniques seem necessary is that the natural balance has been so badly upset beforehand by those same techniques that the land has become dependent on them.
— Masanobu Fukuoka
Passing of a Pioneer
Though there are literally thousands of books that have been written on sustainability and agriculture, here at the urban homestead we’ve opted to have only a few and the best at that. On our bookshelf contains only a few (handful) basic books that we’ve needed for growing food -many of the titles sitting on our shelves were written decades ago. These “heavy weight” classics are still relevant today despite the overwhelming surge of “light” green and sustainable books.
Farmer D having read Masanobu Fukuoka book, One Straw Revolution, back in the 80’s encouraged us as teenagers to also read it. I found it fascinating that the modern mentality of farming (gardening) being hard and laborious work was in fact such a fatal misconception. The book’s philosophy showed that natural farming was very simple – working with nature not against.
Masanobu Fukuoka, 1913-2008
Long live ‘do-nothing farming’
….Many conventional scientists (such as the one now shaping our nation’s foreign policy with regard to ag development) exude arrogance about humanity’s ability to control “nature”; Fukuoka preached humility
……In our time, small-scale farmers operate under brutal economic pressure — and the resources needed to develop a truly sustainable agriculture too often lie beyond their grasp. So we slog on, doing our best, often falling short.
Fukuoka’s vision offers a beacon, a goal, an ideal to strive for. Making predictions is arrogant, but I’ll venture one anyway: As long as humans are still scratching their sustenance out of the earth, Fukuoka’s work will remain an inspiration.
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