- Hello again Terry,
I had the same problem trying to get a copy of Fukuoka's books. Finally
solved the problem by going to the local public library with a pocket full
of coins and photocopying most of the books. For what it's worth, this is
legal under the "fair use" rules because of the existing conditions -
out-of-print, unable to purchase used, for personal non-commercial use......
As to plastic mulch, screens, etc., as Chas Baudelaire pointed out, none of
that is part of "natural farming as stated by Fukuoka." So the answer to
your questions depend on what you are trying to accomplish. If you are
simply trying to grow something desirable on your patch of land then you can
do or use anything you think will work. It's your land so it's your rules.
On the other hand, if you are trying to experience what Fukuoka describes as
happening when you practice his method of farming then that is a totally
For the last few weeks I have been reading and re-reading Fukuoka's book
"The Natural Way of Farming." In fact, I'm in the midst of a dialog with the
book in the sense that I write comments and thoughts about the different
statements he makes. Some I agree with, some I don't. The objective of this
analysis is to come to understand not only what he is saying, but also the
arguments he uses to support his statements.
To make a long story short, the really hard part of following his method is
the need to commit an act of faith and stick to it. The method itself is so
simple that most people will have a hard time accepting it and will try to
tinker with it (plastic, tilling, etc.). but the really hard part, the part
where most people will cop out, is in truly letting go of the reins of
control (self-deluding as they are) and in accepting whatever nature does
for the next three years. Three years because that is how long it will take,
according to Fukuoka, for an environment to naturalize and settle itself in
so to speak if you follow his methods. The only activities we normally
associate with gardening/farming that you actually get to do is spread some
seeds/seedballs, harvest edibles, and if part of what you are harvesting is
grains then you get to spread the unchopped stalks back over the field. The
rest of your time can be spent watching and learning from what nature is
doing on your patch of dirt.
Hope all of this is of some use to you.
Journalist * Photographer * Videographer
----- Original Message -----
From: Castillo Gallery <castilloga@...>
Sent: Tuesday, October 30, 2001 8:59 AM
Subject: Re: [fukuoka_farming]
> thanks to all who have responded to my email...this concept of group
> emailing reflects the paradigm of multi-functioning tasks that is so often
> referred to by those who practice permaculture and the like
> 1. a bookstore told me all of fukuoka's books are out of print, hard to
> by, sell fast at high prices when they are available...any thoughts on
> (it holds true after an Amazon.com search)
> 2. even though plastic mulching is not adherent to natural farming
> practices, are there physiological reasons NOT to use it for a small
> when no other source is immediately or practically available...in a pinch,
> so to speak?
> 3. is it worth trying to rig a crude screening device on my flood
> source to eliminate the unwanted millions of my neighbors' seeds?
> after gathering from sources i have decided to plant in these guilds this
> a. wheat, rye, barley, oats, vetch and clover (white or red, not sure..i'd
> like to do both)
> b. mini-guilds of perennial herbs
> c. poppies and other flowers
> d. local species
> thanks terry