Masanobu Fukuoka's Natural Farming, One Straw Revolution

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Masanobu Fukuoka's Natural Farming, One Straw Revolution

Postby George Collins » Tue Mar 13, 2012 12:08 pm



Masanobu Fukuoka's The One-Straw Revolution can be found here: http://files.uniteddiversity.com/Food/The-One-Straw-Revolution.pdf

Per Wijipedia:
http://www.ask.com/wiki/Masanobu_Fukuoka

Fukuoka called his agricultural philosophy shine nōhō, most commonly translated into English as "natural farming". It is also referred to as "the Fukuoka Method", "the natural way of farming" or "Do-Nothing Farming", despite being labor intensive.
The system is based on the recognition of the complexity of living organisms that shape an ecosystem and deliberately exploiting it. Fukuoka saw farming not just as a means of producing food but as an aesthetic and spiritual approach to life, the ultimate goal of which was "the cultivation and perfection of human beings".

The five principles of Natural Farming are that:
- human cultivation of soil, plowing or tilling are unnecessary, as is the use of powered machines
- prepared fertilizers are unnecessary, as is the process of preparing compost
- weeding, either by cultivation or by herbicides, is unnecessary. Instead only minimal weed suppression with minimal disturbance
- applications of pesticides or herbicides are unnecessary
- pruning of fruit trees is unnecessary


After having read Mr. Fukuoka's book, strong similarities between his work and the work of many (all?) of those practicing some form of natural farming became very apparent - Mulch!

If understood correctly, Mr. Fukuoka grew a permanent ground cover of white clover (i.e. living mulch) and rotated two crops per year: rice and barley. After the harvest of his grains, the straw was returned to the field as mulch to compost in place. There are other interesting nuances to his farming method but after having read his work, it seems that the main tenet of his natural farming method was to keep his field permanently mulched. Growing crops within a system of a permanent mulch is in keeping with every other icon of the permaculture world whose work I've studied. Looking at the five principles of Natural Farming as listed above, the first four are all possible results of using permanent mulch.
"Solve world hunger, tell no one." "The, the, the . . . The Grinch!"

"If you can't beat them, bite them."
George Collins
 
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