What I learned from Masanobu Fukuoka and Natural Farming

Masanobu Fukuoka
Masanobu Fukuoka

Mr Fukuoka’s approach to natural farming is such a noble act in itself. Once many people including myself acquire the knowledge in farming, often they try to implement new ideas by creating more work. I often find myself struggling with a lot of projects because of this. I am sure that he went through a lot of new experiments he conducted to find new approaches to farming. He mentions in his “One straw revolution” that he has unusual confidence in having more failures than others. I tend to have multiple experiments at my farm too and this act of experimenting actually give new experience and great new techniques. The process of testing new approaches in farming is the never-ending joy and passion for farming that I find most exciting.

Seedballs reestablish natural order in a farm and peaceful mind

Seedball technique strikes as such an impressionable way to farm when you come from more conventional or organized organic farming background. I was deeply drown into that unconventional aspect of farming too. Seedballs are a mixture of various seeds, thus we never know what will grow where. It sounds like bringing in an element of chaos into my farm. It will probably make your farm task more tedious and time consuming to harvest all these vegetables for market and who knows what’s in season and I might not even have any decent harvest. As Mr Fukuoka describes this type of farming is a small mind.

Three Paths of our minds

In his book he describes that people generally have three paths:

  1. Small minds worry about flood as it rains and grieve drought as the sun shines.
  2. Large minds farm in nice weather and read as it rains. Follows the true voice of one’s mind.
  3. Rain and shine are both blue sky above the cloud. The mind beyond ordinary laughs in joy.

I see that Mr Fukuoka clearly laughs in joy in all situations as I continue to read his book. I am reading his book, finding myself only trying to achieve the path of large mind. I see more clearly what natural farming leads us to from these three paths. Even though I may just be on the path of small or large mind and the seedball technique creates greater entropy in the farm, I find myself in peace. I have to surrender completely to what comes to me instead of my controlling every possible situations of plant growth, fighting weeds, pest problems, adequate watering, etc.

Natural farming and Mauna Kea Tea

Due to this similar chaos we introduced to our tea fields, we often find some vegetables like daikon (radish), mustard, and even lettuce and beans growing among rows of tea. We harvest and eat some, but most of all finding them in knee high weeds truly makes me smile.