Sunday, January 11, 2015

Masanobu Fukuoka (Farmer Philosopher)

For this entire year, I am going to introduce themes of agriculture, ecology, horticulture, ecosystem, environment, etc.  Why?  Because I believe that today many admirable people are genuinely working for a better future for Earth and mankind, for example, the permafarmers (those who hold to the ideas of Permaculture and practice the discipline of Permaculture Design).  It is LIKE they are baptized into this mission of rebuilding the Earth and humanity from all the harm it has suffered over the past one hundred to two hundred years.  Perhaps the Spirit has inspired some of those of this new wave.  And I think God will eventually bless and reward all their efforts, for a better Earth, a happier human family, healthier children, and so on.  In addition Pope Francis is working on an encyclical about the environment or climate change. I'm not sure if he is familiar with the grassroots movements happening around the world.  So I want to disseminate ideas about these admirable and smart people, especially to some Catholic who might happen upon this blog.  Some of these ideas may seem radical, and they are, but I always make sure that I never associate myself with fanatics, or extremists.  These are peaceful people who have a good attitude for change, and they work toward it in spite of immense obstacles.  I think some of these ideas are the future.  

Masanobu Fukuoka was a farmer/philosopher from Japan, who lived for most of last century.  Fukuoka rose up as a microbiologist and agricultural scientist.  But after contracting a sickness, he took a sabbatical from his work.  During this sabbatical he had this profound inspiration, that Mother Nature functioned optimally without the control of humans, specifically modern industrialized control.  He began to see how plants and animals function to mutually benefit one another on a grand scale.  From there he sort of invested himself in a mission or a journey for a renewed agriculture.  He is probably one of the greatest farmers ever. He came to some of the same insights and methods as the originators of permaculture, all on his own, in isolation. Few if no one of his country supported him.

His farming technique required no machines, no chemicals and very little weeding. He did not plow the soil or use prepared compost and yet the condition of the soil in his orchards and fields improved each year. His method created no pollution and does not require fossil fuels. His method required less energy than any other, yet the yields in his orchard and fields compare favorably with the most productive Japanese farms which use all the technical know-how of modern science.

To cut this article short here is a quote from Mollison's Permaculture 2:

Perhaps Fukuoka, in his book The One Straw Revolution, has best stated the basic philosophy of permaculture. In brief, it is philosophy of working with, rather than against nature; of protracted and thoughtful observation rather than protracted and thoughtless labor; and of looking at plants and animals in all their functions, rather than treating any area as a single-product system.

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