“Fans of Fukuoka’s The One-Straw Revolution will be delighted by Sowing Seeds in the Desert, his last book. It is a rich treasure trove detailing how his own philosophy of farming evolved and how he decided to apply what he learned on his own farm in Japan to other parts of the world. His insights into the tragedies of taking Western, industrial agriculture to places like Africa to ‘enrich the national economy,’ and his alternative approach of working with indigenous farmers to enable them to become self-sufficient are instructive for all of us.” — Frederick Kirschenmann, author of Cultivating an Ecological Conscience: Essays from a Farmer Philosopher
Masanobu Fukuoka”s The One-Straw Revolution: An Introduction to Natural Farming was one of the first farming books the Land Library acquired. Our collection has just come full circle with the arrival of Fukuoka’s last book Sowing Seeds in the Desert: Natural Farming, Global Restoration, and Ultimate Food Security, an inspiring summation of his lifelong work to develop sustainable agricultural techniques.
Masanobu Fukuoka (1913-2008) was a farmer and philosopher who was born and raised on the Japanese island of Shikoku. In 1975 he wrote The One-Straw Revolution, a best-selling book that described his life’s journey, his philosophy, and the farming techniques that came to him as he worked closer and closer with nature. This small volume eventually was translated into twenty-five languages, and helped make Fukuoka a leader in the worldwide sustainable agriculture movement. He continued farming until shortly before his death in 2008, at the age of ninety-five.
Here’s a wonderful film clip on the life and work of Masanobu Fukuoka:
Masanobu Fukuoka in the field, along with his earlier book The Road Back to Nature: Regaining the Paradise Lost (out of print, but on the Land Library’s shelves).
As many of you know, the Land Library hopes to open an Urban Homestead Library in Denver, full of books on living green in the city, with titles on organic gardening, urban farms, beekeeping, city-bred chickens, goats, pigs — plus many more topics on living lighter on the land. The works of writers such as Masanobu Fukuoka, Wendell Berry, and Liberty Hyde Bailey will form the philosophical backbone of this collection. Help us make this happen!
And for more on the Land Library’s farming collection, here’s a book-filled past post:
–The Work We Do: On the Practice & Philosophy of Farming