nature farming

“Consider the ravens: for they neither sow nor reap; which neither have storehouse nor barn; and God feedeth them: how much more are ye better than the fowls?” - Jesus

“In Wildness is the preservation of the World.” - H.D. Thoreau

introduction

Natural farming, the true and original form of agriculture, is the methodless method of nature, the unmoving way of Bodhidharma. Although appearing fragile and vulnerable, it is potent for it brings victory unfought; it is a Buddhist way of farming that is boundless and yielding, and leaves the soil, the plants, and the insects to themselves.” - Masanobu Fukuoka

The living and holistic biosystem that is nature cannot be dissected or resolved into its parts. Once broken down, it dies.” - Masanobu Fukuoka

“Produce grown in an unnatural way satisfies people's fleeting desires but weakens the human body and alters the body chemistry so that it is dependent upon such foods. When this happens, vitamin supplements and medicines become necessary. This situation only creates hardships for the farmer and suffering for the consumer.” - Masanobu Fukuoka

“Natural farming and scientific farming are diametrically opposed. Natural farming moves centripetally toward nature, and scientific farming moves centrifugally away from nature. - Masanobu Fukuoka

“Because it is founded upon principles derived from a fundamental view of nature, natural farming remains current and applicable in any age. Although ancient, it is also forever new.” - Masanobu Fukuoka

“When it is understood that one loses joy and happiness in the attempt to possess them, the essence of natural farming will be realized. The ultimate goal of farming is not the growing of crops, but the cultivation and perfection of human beings.” - Masanobu Fukuoka

principles

The central truth of natural farming is that nothing need be done to grow crops. I have learned this because non-discriminating knowledge has enabled me to confirm that nature is complete and crops more than capable of growing by themselves. This is not the theoretical hypothesis of a scholar in his study or the wishful thinking of an idler with an aversion to work; it is based on a total, intuitive understanding of the reality about self and nature wrested from the depths of doubt and skepticism in a deeply earnest struggle over the meaning of life. This is the source of my insistence that nature not be analyzed.” - Masanobu Fukuoka

The age of aggressive expansion in our materialistic culture is at an end, and a new “do-nothing” age of consolidation and convergence has arrived. Man must hurry to establish a new way of life and a spiritual culture founded on communion with nature, lest he grow ever more weak and feeble while running around in a frenzy of wasted effort and confusion. When he turns back to nature and seeks to learn the essence of a tree or a blade of grass, man will have no need for human [intellectual] knowledge. It will be enough to live in concert with nature, free of plans, designs, and effort. One can break free of the false image of nature conceived by the human intellect only by becoming detached and earnestly begging for a return to the absolute realm of nature. (…) Natural farming is more than just a revolution in agricultural techniques. It is the practical foundation of a spiritual movement, of a revolution to change the way man lives.” - Masanobu Fukuoka

(todo: principles with regards to the initial farmland setup versus a running farm, the issue of tree canopy growth versus the amount of sunlight needed for ground-level crops)

no tillage

If man leaves the soil to itself, the forces of nature will enrich and loosen. Farmers usually plow the soil to a depth of about four to eight inches, whereas the roots of grasses and green manure crops work the soil down to twelve inches, fifteen inches, or more. When these roots reach down deep into the earth, air and water penetrate into the soil together with the roots. As these wither and die, many types of microorganisms proliferate. These organisms die and are replaced by others, increasing the amount of humus and softening the soil. Earthworms eventually appear where there is humus, and as the number of earthworm’s increases, moles begin burrowing through the soil. The soil works itself: The soil lives of its own accord and plows itself. It needs no help from man. (…) Let the grasses plow the topsoil and the trees work the deeper layers. (…) Clearing new land for agriculture by pulling up trees and bushes robs the deeper layers of the soil of a source of humus, halting the active proliferation of soil microbes. These very actions are what make plowing and turning the soil necessary in the first place. There is no need to plow or improve a soil because nature has been working at it with its own methods for thousands of years.” - Masanobu Fukuoka

“If the forest is left to itself, the action of the wind and snow over the years weathers the rock, a layer of humus forms and deepens with the fall of leaves each year, microorganisms multiply in the soil— turning it a rich black, and the soil aggregates and softens, increasing water retention. There is no need for human intervention here. (…) Weeding and plowing the fields each year depletes the fertility of the soil, creates a deficiency of trace components, diminishes the soil’s vitality, hardens the topsoil, kills off microbes, and turns rich, living, organic material into a dead, inanimate, yellowish-white mineral matter the only function of which is to physically support the crops.” - Masanobu Fukuoka

“Plowing is supposed to loosen the soil and improve the penetration of air, but does not this in fact have the opposite effect of compacting the soil and decreasing air porosity? When a farmer plows his fields and turns the soil with a hoe, this appears to create air spaces in the soil and soften the dirt. But the effect is the same as kneading bread: by turning the soil, the farmer breaks it up into smaller and smaller particles which acquire an increasingly regular physical arrangement with smaller interstitial spaces. The result is a harder, denser soil. The only effective way to soften up the soil is to apply compost and work it into the ground by plowing. But this is just a short-lived measure. In fields that have been weeded clean and carefully plowed and re-plowed, the natural aggregation of the soil into larger particles is disturbed; soil particles become finer and finer, hardening the ground.” - Masanobu Fukuoka

no fertilizer

“(…) each year the topsoil becomes darker and richer. Compare this with the soil in the fields farmed by man, which grows poorer and more barren each year, in spite of the large amounts of fertilizer constantly poured onto it. The no-fertilizer principle does not say that fertilizers are worthless, but that there is no need to apply chemical fertilizers.” - Masanobu Fukuoka

no weeding

(todo: various 'weed' containment strategies)

no watering

(todo)

no pesticides

(nor herbicides, fungicides, or other ecology unbalancing forms of pest control)

no pruning

(todo)

farm design

Natural farming takes 4-5 years to show results. Once a farmer crosses that, he can see terrific results. But farmers who come here to learn natural farming try it for a year or two. When pressure comes from their family members and neighbours, they lose confidence and go back to chemical farming. Very few are ready to give it the time it requires.” - Abhijay Savé

(todo: hardiness zone considerations, personal preferences, produce categories: drinking-water/carbo-hydrates/greens/fats/…, winter survival, …)

(todo: vertical farming systems analysis: types of inputs (water, lighting, nutrients, terroir), sustainability, ecology symbiosis)

foodforest

ponds

soil

Water and soil are decayed and dying rock. They are, literally, dead rocks. Out of death in Nature life springs, and when life above ground is dead it gives new life to the death of earth.” - Walter Russell

composting

humanure

seeds

seed balls

wild edibles

(todo: plant knowledge processess)

other produce

drinking water

(todo: natural and sustainable clean drinking water strategies, desalination strategies, …)

wood

(todo)

livestock

(todo)

mushrooms

(todo)

algae

(todo)

community

(todo: knowledge/seed/produce sharing-trading, food festivities, project/task help, …)

see also

(todo: “do nothing” farming, human purpose, nature farming principles, smarter work strategies, natures hyper-complexity, sustainability: local/self-reliant nutrient cycles, natural diversity, food quality, beauty inspiration, hardiness zone specific guidelines, …), bio-systems as moisture attractors and retainers due the generative principle, raindrops versus cloud pressure equilibrium, Organic matter and water implode the high potential moisture gasses better than less charged landscapes such as desserts. Therefore the unbalance of desserts causes more unbalance, only rejuvenation of soil and plant life can bring back the water in naturally sustainable way. See also: Wilhelm Reichs bioenergetic accumulation dessert projects.)