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The Natural Way of Farming: Masanobu Fukuoka

      Japanese farmer Masanobu Fukuoka practiced what he called the "no-plowing, no-fertilizing, no-weeding, no-pesticides, do-nothing method of natural farming." To him it was ego-centric to think that people grow crops. Ultimately it is nature that grows crops. He saw modern agriculture as doing-this and doing-that to grow crops, but it is meaningless work. With his do-nothing method he was able to get yields in his rice fields that are equal to the highest yields attained with chemical, do-something agriculture.

      What he did do, at least by my translation, is manipulate habitat to favor the crops he wants to grow. He worked within the laws of ecology to tilt the ecosystem in favor of the plants he wants. Then his crops virtually invaded and grew like weeds.

      Fukuoka was born in 1914 and schooled in the Western sciences of microbiology and plant pathology. He worked as an agricultural customs inspector in Japan until he became gravely ill at the age of twenty-five. After his sickness he was "reborn," realizing that "human knowledge was meaningless."

      Western readers may be challenged by the "no method" thought riddles Fukuoka uses throughout his books, but there are real gems of Eastern wisdom there that apply to much more than just farming. Fukuoka's do-nothing approach was one of the most significant influences on my book Direct Pointing to Real Wealth: Thomas J. Elpel's Field Guide to Money

Links related to Masanobu Fukuoka's work
Light Writings
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