One-straw Revolution: Introduction to Natural Farming (Anglais) Broché – décembre 1992
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Masanobu Fukoka was a laboratory agricultural scientist who worked on fighting plant diseases. He also had many unanswered questions about the interrelationship between man and nature. After a long sabbatical he resigned his position and took over his father's rice and mandarin orange farm. Fukuoka thought that by putting the subjects of his questions into actual material challenges he might find the answers he sought. 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 --By David E. Galloway on June 22, 2004
I happened upon a copy of this monumental text while looking for books on soils and agriculture at my local library. As a graduate student in agricultural engineering, Masanobu Fukuoka's book really forced me to think long and hard about the philosophy behind conventional farming. As such, Fukuoka's book is more about philosophy than farming, or better put, the philosophy of natural farming. His short vignettes on various aspects of conventional and natural farming are very enlightening, especially in the face of the emerging Genetic Revolution and the New Biotechnology. Rather than trying to improve upon nature, Fukuoka gives the reader approaches which allow him or her to co-exist with nature. As such, his approach demands one to lead a more subdued, simple, and austere lifestyle. In the book, he tells the reader how he came to embrace his variety of natural farming, which he has termed a do-nothing approach to agriculture, and the worldview that he has developed from his lifelong pursuit of natural farming. 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. --By Gregory McMahan on June 17, 2001
Présentation de l'éditeur
Fukuoka perfected his so-called "do-nothing" technique, a way of farming that seeks to work with nature rather than make it over through increasingly elaborate-and often harmful -methods. His farm became a gathering place for people from all over the world who wished to adapt his ways to their own local cultures.
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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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Throughout the book Mr Fukuoka lament's the change in farmer's lives from many years ago when there was much more leisure in the village life, whereas today they have to struggle to survive working long hours everyday and still cannot get out of debt. Debt created incidentally by being sold a system that relies on pesticides, herbicides, chemical fertilizers, as well as large amounts of motorized equipment. The revolving door between the chemical companies and agricultural departments in government as well as school reliance on grants from these institutions are discussed, consumerism, our fetish for perfectly formed produce, and much, much more.
This book can be read in a short period and is written in a nice conversational manner (kudos to Mr Larry Korn for his work there as well). For me this is such an important book that I have given a number of copies to friends. This book will change the way you think- read it today!
But really this does not matter because his book is a plea to trust nature and work with nature and to honour traditional, gentle ways of relating to each other and our world. In our frantic, hurried, consumer oriented, greed and profit driven world, I love his inspiring and wise message of living simply with nature