Natural farming
- Solution to Offgrid Living
- Technology and Systems

September 2011

| INTRODUCTION | SOIL & HEALTH FORUM | COMPOST | RWH FORUM | RAIN GARDEN | RWH |

Introduction
The road back to natureMasanobu Fukuoka (Fukuoka Masanobu), born February 2, 1913, author of The One-Straw Revolution, The Road Back to Nature and The Natural Way Of Farming, is one of the pioneers of no-till grain cultivation. His system is referred to as "natural farming", Fukuoka Farming, or the Fukuoka Method. Masanobu Fukuoka died at the age of 95 on August 16, 2008 at his home in Iyo, Ehime Prefecture, Japan.
Background
Trained as a microbiologist in his native Japan, he began his career as a soil scientist specializing in plant pathology. At age 25, he began to doubt the wisdom of modern agricultural science. He eventually quit his job as a research scientist, and returned to his family's farm on the island of Shikoku in Southern Japan to grow organic mikans. From that point on he devoted his life to developing a unique small scale organic farming system that does not require weeding, pesticide or fertilizer applications, or tilling.
Technique
Fukuoka practices a system of farming he refers to as "natural farming." Although some of his practices are specific to Japan, the governing philosophy of his method has successfully been applied around the world.

The essence of Fukuoka's method is to reproduce natural conditions as closely as possible. There is no plowing, as the seed germinates quite happily on the surface if the right conditions are provided. There is also considerable emphasis on maintaining diversity. A ground cover of white clover grows under the grain plants to provide nitrogen. Weeds (and Daikons) are also considered part of the ecosystem, periodically cut and allowed to lie on the surface so the nutrients they contain are returned to the soil. Ducks are let into the grain plot, and specific insectivorous carp into the rice paddy at certain times of the year to eat slugs and other pests.

The ground is always covered. As well as the clover and weeds, there is the straw from the previous crop, which is used as mulch, and each grain crop is sown before the previous one is harvested. This is done by broadcasting the seed among the standing crop. Also he re-introduced the ancient technique of seed balls ({Earth Dumpling}). The seed for next season's crop is mixed with clay, compost, and sometimes manure, and formed into small balls. The result is a denser crop of smaller but highly productive and stronger plants.

Fukuoka's method and philosophy is about small scale farming, yet he claims "With this kind of farming, which uses no machines, no prepared fertilizer and no chemicals, it is possible to attain a harvest equal to or greater than that of the average Japanese farm."

Introduction
Masanobu Fukuoka was born in 1914 in a small farming village on the island of Shikoku in Southern Japan. He was educated in microbiology and worked as a soil scientist specializing in plant pathology, but at the age of twenty-five he began to have doubts about the "wonders of modern agriculture science." ...... Read More.
Books: Road Back to Nature
The road back to natureThe Road Back to Nature : Regaining the Paradise Lost - Masanobu Fukuoka
In this collection of articles, lectures and essays, Fukuoka records for the first time his impressions and observations during his travels. He recounts also how he developed a superhigh-yielding variety of rice, and his incredulity and despair at the petty international seed politics that prevent the use of this miracle grain where it could do the most good. And he goes on to lucidly demonstrate the interdependence of nature, God and man.
Indian Price : Rs.300/- International Price : US $ 13. Email:publications@ciks.org [ PDF ]
Books: The Natural Way of Farming
The natural way of farming.The Natural Way of Farming : The Theory and Practice of Green Philosophy
- Masanobu Fukuoka
This book is an in-depth look at the author's unique method of "do nothing" farming. It has the secrets of Fukuoka's approach to farming the natural way; the theory and practice of working with nature, and living better for it. At once philosophical and down-to-earth, he takes us on a walk through healthy fields, and clearly explains how we can and must change our way of doing things if we are to make lasting peace with the earth and ourselves.
Indian Price : Rs.300/- International Price : US $ 13
Email:publications@ciks.org [ PDF ]
Books: The One-Straw Revolution
The one straw revolution.The One-Straw Revolution
- Masanobu Fukuoka
It is one of the classics of organic farming. The philosophy of this book is that farming is simply as possible within and in co-operation with the natural environment, rather than the modern approach of applying increasingly complex techniques to remake nature entirely for the benefit of human beings.
Indian Price : Rs.90/- (English) International Price : US $ 5.00
Email:publications@ciks.org [ PDF ]
References
"The One Straw Revolution" and " The Natural Way of Farming" (Two of Fukuoka's books are free from this virtual library) url: http://www.soilandhealth.org/01aglibrary/01aglibwelcome.html
Overview
"Although natural farming ??€” since it can teach people to cultivate a deep understanding of nature - may lead to spiritual insight, it's not strictly a spiritual practice. Natural farming is just farming, nothing more. You don't have to be a spiritually oriented person to practice my methods. Anyone who can approach these concepts with a clear, open mind will be starting off well." - Masanobu Fukuoka ...... Read More.
Ole Errson's: Rainwater Harvesting and Purification System
Ole Errson's: Rainwater Harvesting and Purification SystemIn January 1996 we installed a rainwater catchment system to capture Oregon's abundant rainfall. Portland receives between 3 and 4 feet of rainfall annually. During a gentle rain a typical Oregon downspout sheds several gallons per minute. Our twelve hundred square foot roof captures on average 3600 cubic feet (27,000 gallons) of water per year... >> Read More.
The Nicholson's House: Offgrid Living
The Nicholson's House: Offgrid LivingIt's a straw bale house, which means the outside walls are constructed of bales of straw pinned together with steel rods. The straw is then covered with chicken wire and a stucco coating is then applied. This coating keeps the straw from getting wet and increases the fire protection. A straw bale house constructed this way has a better fire rating than a normal wood frame house... >> Read more.
Synergistic
Where Fukuoka focused most of his attention on orchards and the rice/barley crop rotation, Emilia Hazelip focused on creating and maintaining market gardens of vegetables and herbs. Born in Spain, Emilia immigrated to California and began gardening seriously in the late '60s. Much of her early work drew on Ruth Stout's deep mulch method. ..... Read More.
Articles
Articles on Masanobu Fukuoka ...... >> Read More.
Projects
Projects based on Masanobu Fukuoka's method ......... >> Read More.
Resources
Resources - Fukuoka farming>>Click
Philosophy
"The ultimate goal of farming is not the growing of crops, but the cultivation and perfection of human beings." Masanobu Fukuoka .....Read More
Sitemap of Organic Farming
You will find here all the articles published in Rainwater Digest. >> Click here