The ultimate goal of farming is not the growing of crops, but the cultivation and perfection of human beings." -Masanobu Fukuoka
The Close to Nature Garden - Rodale Press
Seminal book written by Masanobu Fukuoka concerning his methods of natural farming which has been highly influential with various organic farming and natural food and lifestyle movements. In his book, Fukuoka describes a farming method he developed by himself that uses less resources, less people, less energy, and has comparable or greater yields than modern or traditional agriculture. He calls it "Do-Nothing Agriculture" becuase with his method is based on the following four principles:
- NO CULTIVATION that is no plowing or turning of the soil.
- NO CHEMICAL FERTILIZER OR PREPARED COMPOST. People interfere with nature, and try, as they may, they cannot heal the resulting wounds.
- NO WEEDING BY TILLAGE OR HERBICIDES. Weeds play a part in building soil fertility and in balancing the biological community.
- NO DEPENDENCE ON CHEMICALS. From the time that weak plants developed as a result of such unnatural practices as plowing and fertilizing, disease and insect imbalance became a great problem in agriculture.
His method is simple and begun with the question 'what can I stop doing and still get the same results?" After decades of trial and error, he realized that most of what humans do is unnecessary. His method takes advantage of the way natural systems work, simply by giving the crops he wants to grow a natural advantage and letting nature take care of the rest.
An enlightening book and an elegantly simple method with lessons that go well beyond the realm of agriculture.
Fukuoka, M. 1978 One Straw Revolution: The Natural Way of Farming. Rodale Press. Emmaus, Pennsylvania.