In the late 1970s, a Japanese farmer by the name of Mansanobu Fukuoka wrote The One Straw Revolution.
’s book—really a manifesto—presents an approach to organic farming that can serve as a powerful model for a commonsense approach to living in general. He calls his method “do-nothing” farming. It is based on the premise that working with the land’s evolved natural propensities can ultimately yield far superior results compared to modern farming with its monoculture and its labor-intensive environmentally destructive techniques. Modern industrial farming attempts to force nature, or impose an artificial structure on the natural world. Fields are plowed and planted with crops that need to be fertilized because the soil’s ability to sustain growth has been destroyed by the cultivation itself. Herbicides are then applied to keep the “weeds” at bay. All of this requires an enormous amount of human and natural resources. Fukuoka ’s do-nothing approach is simply to scatter seed on an existing uncultivated field. Along with the desired crop, “weeds” of a certain type are planted to keep other weeds in check. The straw from one harvest is allowed to sit on the field and decompose naturally even as the next season’s crop is being sown. After a few seasons, the field is producing almost as much as a commercially cultivated and chemically treated field—but without either the cultivation or the chemicals. The plants are healthier, and there is a net improvement in the soil season by season. Even poor land and depleted soil can be resurrected by his methods. Fukuoka
Wednesday, October 13, 2010
In Search of an Organic Herbicide for Corporate Weeds
Posted by OldDog at 8:24 AM