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The One-Straw Revolution by Masanobu Fukuoka
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The One-Straw Revolution (1975)

by Masanobu Fukuoka

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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English (14)  Spanish (1)  All languages (15)
Showing 1-5 of 14 (next | show all)
Note: This book was read as part of an upcoming, Books on Tap, summer event sponsored by our county library system and a local cidery, in which folks compete in answering questions about ten different books and ten different movies available through the library. The book starts by concentrating on how the author developed a "close-to-nature" method of agriculture. It is this part of the book, roughly a third, that has attracted so many readers and such high regard for the work. The methods could be described by some as back-to-basics or old fashioned techniques, but crude would be closer to it. It most certainly is not the modern agriculture that has attracted huge corporations. For instance, there is no ground cultivation in the authors method. Before assuming this may be insanity, the reader must accept that his methods have been proven to produce crop production equal to modern methods and with no pollution. The problem is this agricultural debate is only a part of the book, and this is a review of the book and not the agricultural techniques. The rest of the book, which the author would claim is all connected to the part that is so highly regarded, goes far afield from such things as planting techniques. Should most people leave the cities and start small farms? If you think about why you are eating something, does that reduce its nutritional value? Do crops that grow well in any given season do so specifically because that is what humans need to be eating at that point on time? If "true" natural foods taste good and everything else tastes bad, why is cooking or pickling vegetables not unnatural, while adding spices is because you thought about the flavor you wanted? Is it really "do-nothing" agriculture if you have to do it all day long everyday? I have watched four different videos about the author and this book to see what others have thought, and, while they have all praised the author and the book, none have mentioned anything about these or other issues covered in the book. I give full credit to the wisdom of the "natural farming" espoused in the book and consider much of the rest dangerously close to claptrap. ( )
  larryerick | Apr 26, 2018 |
While this book is about one man's gardening adventure in Japan, the concepts behind his garden philosophy seem pretty applicable to gardens everywhere. This book certainly serves to justify my own garden philosophy to folks who think I am nuts for not constantly using fertilizers, herbicides, insecticides and a mower to tame and manage my yard. ( )
  JBarringer | Dec 30, 2017 |
This book has a bit of everything, from 'natural farming' and healthy eating to philosophical beliefs and particle physics! The first two thirds of the book deal with Mr. Fukuoka's methods of farming. I found this to be an inspired and insightful section of the book, which I will certainly reread at some point. The last third I did not enjoy as much, though the author and I agree on many points, I was unable to appreciate the style in which it was written. I believe Mr. Fukuoka was attempting to rally his people to a way of life they have all but forgotten. An admirable goal to be sure, but for this Western reader seemed a bit angry, high-minded, and condescending. As I said before, I did enjoy this read, and the letter to his readers written seven years after the first publication seemed an appropriate and peaceful way to close. ( )
  MRandall87 | Sep 10, 2017 |
It really is an amazing book. Ok, fine, not every detail of what Fukuoka proposes would work elsewhere, for example where there are harsh winters, but the idea of living simply, of letting nature guide farming practices, of not using chemicals and not tilling for a monoculture, is exceedingly valuable. And what a healthy way to live - eating hydroponic tomatoes and commuting to an office job and relaxing in front of the tv will kill you a lot faster than living on a few acres and growing your own food, relaxing by shelling peas kind of thing. I know, it sound corny, but in this gentleman's voice, it sounds not only lovely but plausible, even necessary.

From the introduction by Larry Korn: The fundamental distinction is that Mr. Fukuoka farms by cooperating with nature rather than trying to 'improve' upon nature by conquest."

A quote from Mr. F.: "When a decision is made to cope with the symptoms of a problem, it is generally assumed that the corrective measures will solve the problem itself. They seldom do." The examples given make it clear that we need to bear this in mind not just in farming, but in the rest of our lives. Get more fresh air and exercise, to make your whole body healthier, and you won't need to pop as many pills (which cost money which lack of sufficient causes one stress which makes one feel the need for more pills). We all know this - but Mr. F. encourages one to feel it strongly enough to begin to practice it.

Another example of how a person can live more completely and holistically by living more simply: "When it is understood that one loses joy and happiness in the attempt to possess them, the essence of natural farming will be realized. The ultimate goal of farming is not the growing of crops, but the cultivation and perfection of human beings."

Or try this: "In nature there is life and death, and nature is joyful. In human society there is life and death, and people live in sorrow."

Lest you think this is 'too deep' for you, note that there is humor, too. Mr. F. notes that Einstein was given the Nobel Prize for explaining something about physics. "His explanation is bewildering, however, and it caused people to think that the world is complex beyond all possible understanding. A citation of 'disturbing the peace of the human spirit' should have been awarded instead.'"" ( )
  Cheryl_in_CC_NV | Jun 6, 2016 |
This book is a great argument for authentically natural farming - farming that follows most closely the behavior of nature. Fukuoka is known as the Father of Permaculture, and his methods he used in Japan were unheard of, and extremely underrated. The actual methods explained in the book aren't as applicable (unless you live in Japan) as the concepts discussed in the book and its overall theme. A short, good read that I'll likely reference while planning my own garden! ( )
  kristilabrie | Mar 6, 2016 |
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» Add other authors (9 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Fukuoka, MasanobuAuthorprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Korn, LarryEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lappé, Frances MooreIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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"Call it Zen and the Art of Farming or a Little Green Book, Masanobu Fukuoka's manifesto about farming, eating, and the limits of human knowledge presents a radical challenge to the global systems we rely on for our food. At the same time, it is a spiritual memoir of a man whose innovative system of cultivating the earth reflects a deep faith in the wholeness and balance of the natural world. As Wendell Berry writes in his preface, the book 'is valuable to us because it is at once practical and philosophical. It is an inspiring, necessary book about agriculture because it is not just about agriculture'. Trained as a scientist, Fukuoka rejected both modern agribusiness and centuries of agricultural practice, deciding instead that the best forms of cultivation mirror nature's own laws. Over the next three decades he perfected his so-called do-nothing technique: commonsense, sustainable practices that all but eliminate the use of pesticides, fertilizer, tillage, and perhaps most significantly, wasteful effort." -- Book cover.… (more)

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NYRB Classics

2 editions of this book were published by NYRB Classics.

Editions: 1590173139, 1590173929

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