“The ultimate goal of farming is not the growing of crops, but the cultivation and perfection of human beings.” -Masanobu Fukuoka
The merging of traditional sustainable practices from the east and west is gaining relevance in development strategies for a sustainable future. Masanobu Fukuoka was at the forefront of merging the two. He was a radical farmer, activist and teacher who developed natural farming methods for what he called ‘the road back to nature’. Fukuoka had a uniquely dualistic East/West perspective of food production and a vision of people and nature co-existing in the farming system. He worked in the sciences as a plant pathologist, but when recovering from a severe attack of pneumonia he realized he had to work to put humans back in harmony with nature. He then quit his job, returned to his family’s farm and devoted his life to small-scale natural farming systems, using natural rhythms of the land without tilling, weeding or applying pesticides and fertilizers.
Fukuoka’s vision and action for a world in which civilization and nature can peacefully coexist was carefully documented. He was the author of several books including ‘The One Straw Revolution’ with great influence on farmers and activists around the world. Fukuoka also wrote: The Road Back to Nature and The Natural Way of Farming. The resources available online are from the Fukuoka Farming Website, Mother Earth News, One Straw, and Natural Farming.
Learning from the apprentices and farmers following Fukuoka’s way of natural farming can be done all over the world. The Center for Sustainable Community offers workshops by Larry Korn who studied with Fukuoka.