"The healing of the land and purification of the human spirit is the same process."
Masanobu Fukuoka was born in 1913, of a family that has fanned the southern Japanese islands for over 1,400 years. His well-known book 'One Straw Revolution' was published in 1978 by Rodale Press.
Educated as a microbiologist and soil scientist Mr Fukuoka's specialty was plant pathology and he spent a lot of time in research.
Over 40 years, he observed the Japanese nation abandoning their traditional farming methods and following the American model, both economic and industrial.
He noticed this coincided with degradation of the land and society and so he returned to traditional methods and improved on many of the old ways.
Fukuoka produces citrus and grains including rice. He believes in minimal interference to create a natural balance and that upsetting the balance by using insecticides to destroy pests perpetuates a cycle of imbalance, creating a system permanently dependent on chemicals which results in greater long term insect damage once predators are destroyed.
For people who wonder why they have chosen an ideology of self sufficiency, it is encouraging to read the experiences of someone who has already trodden this arduous path. Masanobu offers words of reason that are simple and uncomplicated. He has also written many other books 011 natural farming.
The early years
In the early years of what came to be known as the organic movement, growth was slow.
Here and there a few conservation-minded people were impressed with Sir Albert's reasoning and began trying to teach his ideas to others.
Before long garden and farm magazines headed by "organic' editors were being published in the United States, England, Australia, New Zealand, and Germany.
These magazines becamc the principal method of communication in the organic field, because the usual government channels of education and science were largely closed to those with organic knowledge.
Organic gardening is complex, yet quite simple when fully understood. The basis is a healthy 'live' soil, rich in organic matter and natural minerals, and teeming with life. Such a soil will provide all the nutrients that plants need to be healthy and productive. In this healthy state they will also be more resistant to pests and diseases.
Using natural fertilisers and mulches, companion planting, rotation cropping, and the minimal use of even non toxic pesticides, organic gardening works in harmony with natural laws and the wholeness of Nature.
Foliar fertilising with natural products such as fish or seaw eed extracts w ill also help ensure the health of plants.
Saving seed from the plants we grow in our own garden and district, or when buying seed, using old traditional, open pollinated varieties helps to achieve this aim.
To gain a full understanding of the close and intimate connection which all living tilings have with cach other, is an essential tool when gardening organically. Using natural laws, fruit, vegetables, herbs, tlowers and all types of plants can be grown very successfully without using herbicides, pesticides or petro-ehemical fertilisers.
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