Book: The one-straw revolution

If there’s anything that has really gone downhill this last few months it’s my reading, which is really saying something! But one of the Christmas presents I’ve really enjoyed so much I thought I’d post about is this manifesto.

If your Facebook feed is anything like mine you will probably have come across the name Masanobu Fukuoka a number of times. Mostly with quotes by him, and you may also know him as the inventor of permaculture, or of seedbombs, which were not invented by guerrilla gardeners!

However, something really interesting I didn’t know about him is that he was actually an agricultural scientists and worked for the Japanese government in that field during the Second World War. So he’s not just a hippie who’s always lived in the country.

One of the ways this work has been described is “a book about farming that is actually about culture”. And this, I would say, is pretty accurate.

The main premise of the book is that nature provides everything with very little effort, in what he calls a do-nothing approach. It’s not doing nothing though, it’s utilising everything as much as possible, being in touch with nature and taking little actions just at the right time. This includes what we call seedbombs, which he’d just scatter all over the place to prevent the seeds from being eaten by birds.

One of the things I find really interesting in the book is the yield comparisons between his method and ‘traditional farming’, the claim being that his method produces as much as or sometimes even more than other farmer’s crops with nothing other than straw and the occasional handful of manure, which it’s apparently possible to overdo.

I really recommend this one!

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