“In my opinion, if 100% of the people were farming it would be ideal. If each person were given one quarter-acre, that is 1 1/4 acres to a family of five, that would be more than enough land to support the family for the whole year. If natural farming were practiced, a farmer would also have plenty of time for leisure and social activities within the village community. I think this is the most direct path toward making this country a happy, pleasant land.”
“The ultimate goal of farming is not the growing of crops, but the cultivation and perfection of human beings.” —Masanobu Fukuoka
Masanobu Fukuoka is a farmer/philosopher who lives on the Island of Shikoku, in southern Japan. His farming technique requires no machines, no chemicals and very little weeding. He does not plow the soil or use prepared compost and yet the condition of the soil in his orchards and fields improve each year. His method creates no pollution and does not require fossil fuels. His method requires less labor than any other, yet the yields in his orchard and fields compare favorably with the most productive Japanese farms which use all the technical know-how of modern science.
Natural farming is an ecological farming approach established by Masanobu Fukuoka (1913–2008), a Japanese farmer and philosopher who described his way of farming as 自然農法(shizen nōhō) in Japanese. It is also referred to as “the Fukuoka Method”, “the natural way of farming” or “do-nothing farming”. The title refers not to lack of labor, but to the avoidance of manufactured inputs and equipment. Natural farming can also be described as ecological farming and is related to fertility farming, organic farming, sustainable agriculture, agroforestry, ecoagriculture and permaculture but should be distinguished from biodynamic agriculture.
The system exploits the complexity of living organisms that shape each particular ecosystem. Fukuoka saw farming not just as a means of producing food but as an aesthetic or spiritual approach to life, the ultimate goal of which was, “the cultivation and perfection of human beings”. He suggested that farmers could benefit from closely observing local conditions. Natural farming is a closed system, one that demands no inputs and mimics nature.
Fukuoka’s ideas challenged conventions that are core to modern agro-industries, instead promoting an environmental approach. Natural farming also differs from conventional organic farming, which Fukuoka considered to be another modern technique that disturbs nature.
“Modern research divides nature into tiny pieces and conducts tests that conform neither with natural law nor with practical experience. The results are arranged for the convenience of research, not according to the needs of the farmer.”
― Masanobu Fukuoka
He is increadably inspiring and clearly demonstrated that all the wisdom that surpasses any technology is learning from life and nature itself. By observing nature we find solutions to all our problems and become better human beings.
I just wanted to introduce Masanobu Fukuoka to anyone who does not know him and to encourage reading some books about his work to find out more about his wonderful work with nature.
Everything we do we do better with our harts and life/ nature as our teacher.
“I do not particularly like the word ‘work.’ Human beings are the only animals who have to work, and I think that is the most ridiculous thing in the world. Other animals make their livings by living, but people work like crazy, thinking that they have to in order to stay alive. The bigger the job, the greater the challenge, the more wonderful they think it is. It would be good to give up that way of thinking and live an easy, comfortable life with plenty of free time. I think that the way animals live in the tropics, stepping outside in the morning and evening to see if there is something to eat, and taking a long nap in the afternoon, must be a wonderful life. For human beings, a life of such simplicity would be possible if one worked to produce directly his daily necessities. In such a life, work is not work as people generally think of it, but simply doing what needs to be done.”
― Masanobu Fukuoka, The One-Straw Revolution
“Speaking biologically, fruit in a slightly shriveled state is holding its respiration and energy consumption down to the lowest possible level. It is like a person in meditation: his metabolism, respiration, and calorie consumption reach an extremely low level. Even if he fasts, the energy within the body will be conserved. In the same way, when mandarin oranges grow wrinkled, when fruit shrivels, when vegetables wilt, they are in the state that will preserve their food value for the longest possible time.”
― Masanobu Fukuoka, The One-Straw Revolution
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