This diary is dedicated to OrangeClouds
FUKUOKA: Part of my purpose is to create a society where no one has to do anything.This is my philosophy so let's see what Fukuoka says next:
FUKUOKA:[Draws a picture of a man sleeping under a tree].. This is a natural farmer, sleeping in the sunshine. He does no fertilizing, no plowing, no weeding-almost no work. You could say I have been sleeping for 40 years, yet my yields are as high as those of the farmer who works all the time.Japan's agriculture has the top 5% of yields in the world. Fukuoka is in the top 1% of Japan's yields.
So make the jump even if you don't feel like it.
Here's the article posted from Mother Earth News: Please notice that it was done in 1987.
I have admired and tried some of Fukuoka's suggestions since I first read One-Straw Revolution (Please republish this book Rodale as it's getting too expensive in the used market). The interview consists of Fukuoka, Mollison(permaculture) and Wes Jackson of the Land Institute on perennials. These are the big guns in sustainable agriculture. And they all say we have run out of time but still should keep trying anyway. At times it gets sort of technical but followable. But then Fukuoka breaks in with his zen wisdom:
There's another way. Don't carry out your research by asking, How about if we tried this? How about if we tried that? Instead, go in the opposite direction and ask, What if we don't do this? What if we don't do that? After 30 years of such efforts, I have managed to reduce my own labor essentially to just sowing seed and spreading straw.Well that was my idea of gardening so I tried it on a one acre plot of Missouri weeds one year in 1993. I got square bales of hay and broke each one apart in "books" (naturally considering my ID)and laid them out in row after row like bricks up a wall (only flat). This was in the fall and there they stayed all winter getting snowed and rained on. When spring came I planted string beans,peas, potatoes, butternut,acorn squash and corn by digging a little hole through the hay layers, then putting some loosely on top of the seed. The tomato plants I did the same, patting the loose hay around them after having dug a hole to put the small plant in. The same with all the different kinds of pepper plants. I planted the lettuce seeds in the part that got soggy with water. The swiss chard went on top of the root celler in the shade by the cabin and went through November until we went to Arizona. I put those see through "old lady curtains" over everything to keep the insects out, watered everything the day I planted them and a few days after. Then basically I did nothing except go down and see it everyday, water very very occasionally, pick and eat.
I put up quarts of tomatoes both canned and dried, and peppers. The extra bushels of potatoes I bartered at my local health food store as well as part of a truckload of butternut and acorn squash. The rest of the squash I stored in the root celler and ate all winter. I covered the tomatoes up every time there was a frost (same with the pepers) and had both fresh until we left in November. I think I could have fed part of an army, so prolific was my garden without labor.
On the subject of what's wrong:
FUKUOKA: The food produced in the U.S. is not produced by soil, but by oil. Herbicides, pesticides, fertilizers-oil, oil, oil. If such chemical agriculture continues, this earth will be destroyed a lot sooner than you expect.And concerning hope:
FUKUOKA: There is no natural farming in Japan. In China, they've started a 1-million-hectare natural farm. There's some natural farming happening in India and the United States. It hasn't started yet in Africa, but I can feel the people's strong interest.
FUKUOKA:Even if we practice natural farming-and that's something we have to do-I have a feeling it will still be too late. If we cannot change the way of agriculture now, it will be too late.And Fukuoka's last ditch advice:
FUKUOKA: There's one last chance. In sumo wrestling, there's a way to win at the very last moment. When a big wrestler pushes a little wrestler back, back, back, just as the little guy is back at the end of the ring, he uses the weight and power coming at him, and flips the big man over his shoulder. The big wrestler is thrown out of the ring, and the little one wins.I have not quoted from Wes Jackson of The Land Institute or of Bill Mollison's permaculture as IMHO I think their way is too late, too little, too late. Do read the entire article as there is more by Fukuoka and much by Mollison and Jackson for those less zen than I.
Our world leaders must have a great courage and be this sumo wrestler. They must take the bombers and the missiles that are loaded with implements of war and throw the bombs away. Then pelletize seeds of all different types of vegetables, of fruit trees, of grains. Load the missiles up with the seeds, shoot them up, and spread seeds all over the earth. Scatter them over the deserts. Cover the imitation green pastures and lawns.
In the first year, after rain comes, everything will come up here and there-it may look like a mess. The second year, nature will begin to tell you which plants will grow well where. In the third year, microorganisms, earthworms, and small animals will increase and start making the soil rich.
Then when there is food for people everywhere, they won't be in such an uneasy, confrontational state of mind. People's attitudes will change. You'll regreen the earth, fix the ecological crisis, fix the economic crisis, and give people the chance to find happiness.
And then there can be peace.
Hi there Orange Clouds!