The One-Straw Revolution: An Introduction to Natural Farming (Anglais) Broché – 2 juin 2009
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"The One-Straw Revolution is one of the founding documents of the alternative food movement, and indispensable to anyone hoping to understand the future of food and agriculture."—Michael Pollan
"Only the ignorant could write off Fukuoka, who died two years ago at the age of 95, as a deluded or nostalgic dreamer...Fukuoka developed ideas that went against the conventional grain....Long before the American Michael Pollan, he was making the connections between intensive agriculture, unhealthy eating habits and a whole destructive economy based on oil." --Harry Eyres, The Financial Times
"Fukuoka's do-nothing approach to farming is not only revolutionary in terms of growing food, but it is also applicable to other aspects of living, (creativity, child-rearing, activism, career, etc.) His holistic message is needed now more than ever as we search for new ways of approaching the environment, our community and life. It is time for us all to join his 'non-movement.'"—Keri Smith author of How to be an Explorer of the World
“Japan’s most celebrated alternative farmer...Fukuoka’s vision offers a beacon, a goal, an ideal to strive for.” —Tom Philpott, Grist
“The One-Straw Revolution shows the critical role of locally based agroecological knowledge in developing sustainable farming systems.” —Sustainable Architecture
“With no ploughing, weeding, fertilizers, external compost, pruning or chemicals, his minimalist approach reduces labour time to a fifth of more conventional practices. Yet his success in yields is comparable to more resource-intensive methods…The method is now being widely adopted to vegetate arid areas. His books, such as The One-Straw Revolution, have been inspirational to cultivators the world over.” —New Internationalist
Présentation de l'éditeur
Trained as a scientist, Fukuoka rejected both modern agribusiness and centuries of agricultural practice, deciding instead that the best forms of cultivation mirror nature’s own laws. Over the next three decades he perfected his so-called “do-nothing” technique: commonsense, sustainable practices that all but eliminate the use of pesticides, fertilizer, tillage, and perhaps most significantly, wasteful effort.
Whether you’re a guerrilla gardener or a kitchen gardener, dedicated to slow food or simply looking to live a healthier life, you will find something here—you may even be moved to start a revolution of your own.
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Petit livre de sagesse empirique qui devrait être étudié dans toutes les écoles.
En effet, nous sommes bien trop prisonniers de nos cultures (sans jeu de mot), de nos traditions, de nos modes, et pire de la science moderne, bien loin de la Nature.
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Fukoka was immediately drawn to organic and natural farming methods, and over the years developed a type of natural farming that he refers to as "do-nothing farming". Contrary to what you may imagine, this method does involve work, much of it menial, but at least in Fukoka's experience the benefits outweight the negatives. His method of farming is thus:
After the seasonal heavy rains, the rice is planted by scattering it by hand throughout the farming area. The planting rice is rolled in a type of clay that will help prevent animals from eating it but will not inhibit sprouting. Clover seeds are also sewn at the same time in the same method. The clover acts as a natural barrier to the young rice shoots, and helps the soil from eroding.
The rice will grow naturally over the course of the next few months without constant pools of water as are often seen in traditional(from 1600-1940s) Japanese rice farming, albeit shorter and stockier than the cultivated rice. After the rice harvest, the leftover straw is scattered over the field to decompose, adding nutrients back into the soil. Afterwards, barley is planted as a winter crop and to further enrich the soil for the next rice season.
Fukoka does not use compost on his rice fields or on his citrus orchard as he finds that the byproducts of the plant provides all the soil nutrients needed. He does maintain a small compost pile for his vegetable garden, however. Outside of the rice season, he tends to his mandarin orange orchard, which is also kept on a "do-nothing" method of growth. From using this technique, he has not only kept up with modern(tractor, fertilizer, pesticide) farmers in quantity, but has a much higher quality of rice, barley, and oranges. He spends very little out of pocket and sells his produce for a very fair price.
The great thing about this short book (192pp) is that it is not exclusively about farming. In fact, there are many pages where Fukoka expands on philosophy, history, nutricion, intentional communities, and sustainibility. There is also an excellent forward by Wendell Berry, one of my favorite authors(Jayber Crow is a must read) Highly reccomended although it seems to be out of print. I borrowed mine from a local library.
I myself value this text because he correctly points out that your food is your medicine and that those of us who persist in unhealthy diets will as a result become unhealthy. To him, food and farming are opposite sides of the same coin. Some may regard him as being anti-science, but I myself regard him as being critical of relying solely on science and intellect. Granted, while science and intellect serve as good starting points, they also need to be balanced with philosophy/spirituality and the environment. Although this smacks of so-called 'New Age' thinking, many in academia and industry are slowly coming to realize that our single-minded quest for higher yields, minimal cost, maximum return, and larger scale is grossly at odds with a clean environment and sustainable development.
Thus, his approach is not a blueprint for farming for profit so much as it is a guide to farming for well-being- both physical and mental. In sum, as Mr. Fukuoka asks his reader, "Could there be anything better than living simply and taking it easy?"
The methods outlined in this book will not be helpful to most people trying to grow food sustainably in North America. I am not talking about the rejection of chemical ferts and pesticides. I am there with him on that totally. I'm not talking about his focus on growing small, either--he discusses growing food sufficient for a family on 1/4 acre, but he is limiting it to grains (he grows veggies in a large citrus orchard). I am talking about the use of nothing but hand tools, the use of straw as a mulch, the focus on growing three grain crops which depend on a frost-free winter, and the use of flooding for irrigation. I think anyone who has made even a stab at growing food in North America on a small scale can see the problems with this. So there's that.
There's also the problem of Mr. Fukuoka's unpaid help. I think it is great for people to go and learn from someone like him, but they work for no pay and live in unheated huts without electricity or running water. In terms of practicality, how many of us are going to have help like that? People seem to not notice this.
Finally, I found Mr. Fukuoka's philosophy of nothing means anything and nothing human beings do makes any difference in the grand scheme of things to be despressing in the extreme.
The central idea--that you can grow sufficient food sustainably in a small plot--makes sense to me, although in my opinion we have not yet arrived at models that are truly flexible and workable. But outside of that idea, this book's value is mostly in the depiction of one guy's struggle to make people think differently about agriculture in Japan.
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