Natural Farming

“I was aiming at a pleasant, natural way of farming which results in making the work easier instead of harder. “How about not doing this? How about not doing that?” was my way of thinking. I ultimately reached the conclusion that there was no need to plough, no need to apply fertilizer, no need to make compost, no need to use insecticide. When you get right down to it, there are few agricultural practices that are really necessary…

“Take a look at these fields of rye and barley. This ripening grain will yield about 22 bushels (1,300 pounds) per quarter acre. I believe this matches the top yields in Ehime Prefecture.

“And yet these fields have not been ploughed for twenty-five years. To plant, I simply broadcast rye and barley seed on separate fields in the fall, while the rice is still standing. A few weeks later I harvest the rice and spread the rice straw back over the fields….

“In my opinion, if 100% of the people were farming it would be ideal. There is just a quarter-acre of arable land for each person in Japan. If each single person were given one quarter-acre, that is 1 1/4 acres to a family of five, that would be more than enough land to support the family for the whole year.

“If natural farming were practiced, a farmer would also have plenty of time for leisure and social activities within the village community. I think this is the most direct path toward making this country a happy, pleasant land.” – The One-Straw Revolution:  An Introduction to Natural Farming (New York Review Books Classics)

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