Fukuoka Farming

Fukuoka about vegetable gardening

  • The important thing is knowing the right time to plant, mostly just before certain weeds have sprouted.Its the best to wait for a rain which is likely to last for several days. If the seeds sprout up before the weeds they will be not overgrown later.
  • For a backyard garden it is enough to grow the right vegetables at the right time in soil prepared by organic compost and green manure. and rotating the crops.
  • [For the spring vegetables the right time can be when the winter weeds are dying back and just before the summer weeds have sprouted. For the fall sowing seeds should be tossed out when the summer grasses are fading away and the winter weeds have not yet appeared.]
  • Cut a swatch in the weed cover and put out the vegetable seeds, there is need to cover them with soil: just lay the weeds you have cut back overs the seeds to act as a mulch and to hide them from birds and chickens until they can germinate (ontkiemen). When the weeds and clover are not so thick you can simply toss out the seeds: just scatter the seeds here and there.
  • Spinach and carrots dont gerninate easily. Soak the seeds in water for a day or two and wrap them in a clay pellet.
  • Radish and turnip (meiraap), are strong enough to copete succesfully with the weeds; leave a few unharvested to seed themselves year after year.
  • Carrots, burdock (kliswortel), garlic, pearl-onions (parelui) en chinese leek (chinese bieslook); will come by themselves year after year.
  • Legumes (peulvruchten) are best sown in spring. In growing peas, red azuki beans, soybeans and kidney beans, early germination is essential. They will have difficulty germinating without enough rain, and keep an eye out for birds and insects.
  • Tomatoes and Eggplants are not strong enough to compete with the weeds when they are young and so should be grown in a starter bed and later transplanted. Let the tomatoes run along the ground. roots will grow down from the nodes along the main stem and new shoots will come up and bear fruit.
  • Cucumbers: the creeping-on- the - ground variety is the best. You have to take care of the young plants, occasionally cutting the weeds, but after that the plants will grow strong. Lay out branches of a tree and the cucumbers will twine all over them. The branches keep the fruit just avobe the ground so that it does not rot. This method of growing also works for melons and squash (turkse muts)\
  • Potatoes are very strong plants, once planted they will come up in the same place every year and never be overgrown by weeds., just leave a few in the ground when you harvest.
  • If the ground is hard, grow japanese radish (daikon) first: they cultivate and soften the earth, after a few seasons potatoes can be grown in their place.
  • If you mix white clover and the vegetable seeds; it will act as a living mulch, enriching the soil, keeping the ground moist and well aerated and hold back even the strong weeds zoals bijvoet.
  • As with the vegetables, it is important to choose the right time to sow the clover seed. (Late summer or fall sowing is the best, the roots develop during the cold months, giving the clover a jump on the annual spring grasses. or you can also sow early in spring. Once the clover takes hold, you do not need to sow it again or 5 or 6 years.
  • Leave some vegetables unharvested, the seeds fall, and after one or two generations,they revert to the growing habits of their strong and slightly bitter tasting wild predecessors.
  • If various kinds of herbs and vegetables are mixed together and grown among the natural vegetation, damage by insects and diseases will be minimal and there will be no need to use sprays or to pick bugs by hand.
  • You can grow vegetables at anyplace there is a varied and vigorous growth of weeds. It is important to become familiar with the yearly cycle and growing pattern of the weeds and grasses.
  • By looking at the variety and the size of the weeds in a certain area you can tell what kind of soil is there and whether or not a deficiency exists.
  • Fukuoka grows in his orchard: burdock (kliswortel), cabbage, tomatoes, carrots, mustard, beans and many other herbs and vegetables in a semi-wild way…
  • Strooi over de zaden in de herfst wat stro or mulch. The use of mulch increases the soil ability to retain water.
  • The best disease and insect control is to grow crops in a healthy environment.

Fukuoka about herbs

when you gather and eat the seven herbs of spring: your spirit becomes gentle:

  • Chickweed - Stellaria media - Vogelmuur
  • Wild radish | Raphanus raphanistrum or sativius | Knopherik
  • Cottonweed - Otanthus maritimus
  • Shepherd's purse | herderstasje - hij houdt wel van me ,hij houdt niet van me) | Capsella bursa-pastoris -…Flora
  • Watercress | Nasturtium officinale | Waterkers
  • Wild turnip | (raap) | Brassica rapa ssp sylvestris
  • Bee nettle | Witte dovenetel | Lamium album
  • When you eat Bracken schoots | Pteridium aquilinum | Adelaarsvaren, Osmund ? and Shepherd's Purse you become calm to restless, impatient feelings Shepherd's Purse is the best of all.
  • Horsetail | Equisetum | paardestaart, Bracken shoots | varen, and Mugwort | Bijvoet |Artemisia vulgaris: they make delicious tempura

Sheperd's purse : jonge (voor de bloei) rozetblaadjes kunnen gebruikt worden in salades, of gesmoord in soepen.

Wilgenkatjes is edible

  • Chinese bell flower | Platycodon grandiflorus | ballonklokje
  • Arrowroot (kudzu)
  • Thoroughwort (a boneset)…wellicht Koninginnekruid…
  • Valerianacea in nederland Valeriaan…
  • Bush clover - Lespedeza thunbergii
  • Wild fringed pink
  • Japanese pampass grass


The One - Straw Revolution - Masanobu Fukuoka - reading notes

  • For fertilizer Mr. Fukuoka grows a leguminous ground cover of white clover, and returns all the trash straw and chaff to the field, and adds a little poultry (chickens or ducks) manure to help decompose the straw, and helps to control the weeds.
  • There is no need in working hard to make compost. If straw is left lying on thesurface of the field in the spring or fall and is covered with a thin layer of chicken manure or duck droppings, in six months straw and clover are a simple way to control weeds
  • By spreading straw, growing clover, and returning to the soil all organic residues -everything that has grown in the field-, the earth comes to posses all the nutrients needed to grow rice and winter grain in the same field year after year. By natural farming, fields that have already been damaged by cultivation or the use of agricultural chemicals can be effectively rehabilitated.
  • Make a cover of white clover and weeds, cut the weeds back when the vegatable seedlings are young, once the vegetables have esthablished themselves, leave them to crow up with the natural ground cover.
  • Weeds should be controlled, not eliminated interplant white clover with the crops.
  • Ground cover crops such as clover, vetch and alfalfa conditions and nourish the soil.
  • It is best to toss the straw around every which way, just as though the stalks had fallen naturally
  • Seed balls: germination is best on the surface of the ground, where there is exposure to oxygen. And where these pellets are covered with straw, the seeds germinate well and will not rot even in years of heavy rainfall.

Example to fertilize the ground: For instance the roots of an acacia tree improves the soil deep down, clover as a manure for the surface layer and daikon for the middle layer.In the end you will have a dark and soft ground.

  • The roots of japanse reddish; daikon penetrate deep into the soil, adding organic matter and opening channels for air and water circulation. It reseeds itseld easily.
  • Rather than growing vegatables or apples up here, he says he has been helping to restore the fertility of the soil

Make the work easier instead of harder; how about not doing this. how about not doing that is his way of thinking.

Fukuoka does not particulary like the word “work”. Human beings are the only animals who have to work, and he think this is the most rediculous thing in the world. Other animals make thier livings by living, but people work like crazy, thinking that they have to in order to stay alive. The bigger the job, the greater the challenge, the more wonderfull they think it is. It would be good to give up that kind of thinking and live an easy, comfortable life with planty of free time. For human beings, a life of such simplicity would be possible if one worked to produce directly his daily necessities. In such a life, work is not work as people generally think of it, but simply doing what needs to be done.

  • We have come to the point at which there is no other way than to bring about a

“movement” not tot bring anything about.

  • Never make a useless step

  • no cultivation; means plowing or turning of the soil
  • no chemical fertilizer or prepared compost
  • no weeding by tillage or herbicides
  • no dependence on chemicals

  • He wonder how it is that people's philosophies spin faster than the changing seasons.
  • He believes that even 'returning-to-nature' and anti-pollution activities, no matter how commendable, are not moving toward a genuine solution if they are carried out solely in reaction to the overdevelopment of the present age.
  • The world has become so specialized that it has become impossible for people to grasp anything in its entirety
  • An object seen in isolation from the whole is not the real thing.
  • If you think there is live on one side, then death is on the other. if you want to get rid of of the idea of death, then you should rid yourself of the notion that there is life on this side. Life and death are one.
  • In nature there is life and death, and nature is joyfull. In human society there is life and death, and people live in sorrow.
  • The direct appreciation of music is the murmuring of a stream, the sound of frogs croaking by the riverbank, the rustling of leaves in the forest, all these natural sound are music- true music
  • The ones who see true nature are infants, they see without thinking, straight and clear.

Discriminating knowledge is derived from analytic, willful intellect in anattempt to organize experience into a logical framework. Mr Fukuoka believes that in this process, the individual sets himself apart from nature. It is the limited scientific truth and judgement… Non-discriminating knowledge arises without conscious effort on the part of the individual when experience is accepted as it is, without interpretation by the intellect. while discriminating knowledge is essential for analyzing practical problems in the world, Mr Fukuoka believes that ultimately it provides too narrow perspective. In the West natural science developed from discriminating knowledge; in the East philosophy of yin-yang and of the I Ching developed from the same source. But scientific truth can never reach absolute truth, and philosophies, after all, are nothing more then interpretations of the world. Nature as grasped by scientific knowledge is a nature which have been destroyed: it is a ghost possesing a skeleton, but no soul. Nature as grasped by philosophical knowledge is a theory craeted out of human speculation, a ghost with a soul, but no structure. There is no way in which non-discriminating knowledge can be realized except by direct intuition. Abandon the discriminating mind and trancend the world relativity if you want to know the true appearance of nature. From the beginning there is no east or west, no four seasons, and no yin or yang.

  • A scientific testing method which takes all relevant factors into account is an impossibility
  • When reason is applied to selecting foods, one's understanding of nature becomes fixed and nature's transformations, such as seasonal changes are ignored.
  • Like a body in meditation; his metabolism, respirtion, and calorie assumption reach an extrreme low level. In the same way, when madarin oranges grow wrinkled, when fruit shrivels, when vegetables wilt, they are in the state that will preserve their food value fro the longest time possible.
  • The more out of balance one's body becomes, the more one comes to desire unnatural foods. This situation is dangerous to health. The foods that are natural nearby are best for human beings
  • It is easy tot lay out the simple foods of a natural diet on the dining table, but those who can truly enjoy such a feast are few.
  • When people rejected natural food and took up refined food instead, society set out on a path toward its own destruction. This is because such food is not the product of true culture. Food is life, and life must not step away from nature.
  • In japan, not so long ago the daily meal of the farmers in his area consisted of rice and barley with miso and pickled vegetables.
  • A nutritious diet which doesnot include the natural seasons isolated people from nature. A fear of nature and insecurity are often the unfortunate results.

  • A life of small-scale farming may appear to be primitive, but in living such a life it becomes possible to contemplate the Great Way (the path of spiritual awareness which involves attentiveness to and care for the ordinary activities of daily life). He believes that if ones fathoms deeply in one's own neighboorhoud and the everyday world in which he lives, the greatest of worlds will be revealed. To be here in a small field, in full possession of the freedom and plenitude of each day, every day - this must have been the original way of agriculture.
  • Natural farming arises of itself when unity exists between man and nature. It conformes to nature as it is, and to the mind as it is. It proceeds from the conviction that if the individual tempararily abandons human will and so allows himself to be guided by nature, nature responds by providing everything.
  • The ultimate goal of farming is not the growing of crops, but the cultivation and perfection of human beings
  • What is the natural pattern, was always in his mind

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