Back in print, just in time: THE ONE-STRAW REVOLUTION by Masanobu Fukuoka

onestraw

From the reprinting publisher’s site — NYRB Classics:

The One-Straw Revolution
An Introduction to Natural Farming

By Masanobu Fukuoka

Introduction by Frances Moore Lappé
Preface by Wendell Berry
Translated from the Japanese by Larry Korn, Chris Pearce, and Tsune Kurosawa

Paperback
May 26, 2009
200 pages
NYRB Classics

Masanobu Fukuoka (1914–2008) was born in a small farming village on the island of Shikoku in southern Japan. He developed what many consider to be a revolutionary method of sustainable agriculture called no-till cultivation. He received the Deshikottan and the Ramon Magsaysay awards in 1988, and the Earth Council Award in 1997.

Call it a Zen and the Art of Farming or a “Little Green Book,” Fukuoka’s short volume about gardening, eating, and the limits of human knowledge is as startling today as it was 30 years ago. “It is an inspiring, necessary book about agriculture because it is not just about agriculture.”—Wendell Berry

Masanobu Fukuoka’s book about growing food has been changing the lives of readers since it was first published in 1978. It is a call to arms, a manifesto, and a radical rethinking of the global systems we rely on to feed us all. At the same time, it is the memoir of a man whose spiritual beliefs underpin and inform every aspect of his innovative farming system.

Equal parts farmer and philosopher, Fukuoka is recognized as one of the founding thinkers of the permaculture movement. But when he was twenty-five, he was just another biologist taking advantage of the unprecedented development of postwar Japan. Then a brush with death shattered his complacency. He quit his job and returned to his family farm. Over the decades that followed, Fukuoka perfected his so-called “do-nothing” technique, a way of farming that dispenses with both modern agribusiness practices and centuries of folk wisdom, replacing them with a system that seeks to work with nature rather than make it over through increasingly elaborate—and often harmful—methods. Fukuoka developed commonsense, sustainable practices that all but eliminated the use of pesticides, fertilizer, tillage, and the wasteful effort associated with them—and his yields matched those of neighboring factory farms. His farm became a gathering place for people from all over the world who wished to adapt his ways to their own local cultures.

Now, more than thirty years after they were first published, Fukuoka’s teachings are more relevant and necessary than ever.

Reviews

With no ploughing, weeding, fertilizers, external compost, pruning or chemicals, his minimalist approach reduces labour time to a fifth of more conventional practices. Yet his success in yields is comparable to more resource-intensive methods…The method is now being widely adopted to vegetate arid areas. His books, such as The One-Straw Revolution, have been inspirational to cultivators the world over.
— New Internationalist

The One-Straw Revolution shows the critical role of locally based agroecological knowledge in developing sustainable farming systems.
— Sustainable Architecture

Fukuoka’s do-nothing approach to farming is not only revolutionary in terms of growing food, but it is also applicable to other aspects of living, (creativity, child-rearing, activism, career, etc.) His holistic message is needed now more than ever as we search for new ways of approaching the environment, our community and life. It is time for us all to join his “non-movement”.
— Keri Smith, author, How to be an Explorer of the World

More: NYRB Classics website

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Categories: Uncategorized | 1 Comment

About Jay Babcock

I am the co-founder and editor of Arthur Magazine (2002-2008, 2012-13) and curator of the three Arthur music festival events (Arthurfest, ArthurBall, and Arthur Nights) (2005-6). Prior to that I was a district office staffer for Congressman Henry A. Waxman, a DJ at Silver Lake pirate radio station KBLT, a copy editor at Larry Flynt Publications, an editor at Mean magazine, and a freelance journalist contributing work to LAWeekly, Mojo, Los Angeles Times, Washington Post, Vibe, Rap Pages, Grand Royal and many other print and online outlets. An extended piece I wrote on Fela Kuti was selected for the Da Capo Best Music Writing 2000 anthology. In 2006, I was one of five Angelenos listed in the Music section of Los Angeles Magazine's annual "Power" issue. In 2007-8, I produced a blog called "Nature Trumps," about the L.A. River. Today, I live a peaceful life in Tucson, Arizona with Stephanie Smith. https://linktr.ee/jaywbabcock

One thought on “Back in print, just in time: THE ONE-STRAW REVOLUTION by Masanobu Fukuoka

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