new videos
hot off the press!  
    more about rocket
mass heaters here.

more videos from
the PDC here.
  • Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic

The One-Straw Revolution by Masanobu Fukuoka  RSS feed

 
Adrien Lapointe
steward
Posts: 3422
Location: Kingston, Canada (USDA zone 5a)
201
chicken dog food preservation forest garden fungi tiny house toxin-ectomy trees woodworking
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator


Summary

This book is about the innovative farming system that Masanobu Fukuoka developed to be more in harmony with the natural world. Fukuoka talks about his "Do-Nothing" farming philosophy, growing grains, growing vegetables like wild plants, his orchards and much more.

Where to get it?

Amazon.com
Amazon.ca
Green-Shopping.co.uk
Amazon.co.uk
Powell's

Related Podcasts

Paul Wheaton Permaculture Podcast 007 - Discussion with Larry Korn About Masanobu Fukuoka

Related Videos



Fukuoka Style Seed Balls for No Till Farming

Related Threads

Masanobu Fukuoka thread at Permies
Seed Balls thread at Permies
Fukuoka forum at Permies

Related Websites

Larry Korn's website
 
Brenda Groth
pollinator
Posts: 4434
Location: North Central Michigan
10
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
loved this book, have read it a few times..it is also available somewhere free online (first time I read it before I bought it)
 
Miles Flansburg
steward
Posts: 3981
Location: Zones 2-4 Wyoming and 4-5 Colorado
166
bee books forest garden fungi greening the desert hugelkultur
 
Danielle Diver
Posts: 60
Location: France
14
books chicken duck tiny house trees
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I give this 9 out of 10 acorns.

Overall, this book served for me, and can for others, as a practical, easy to read, easy to understand guide to the practice of permanent agriculture. Not as much as a textbook as a reflection on Fukuoka's field work, he shares with you his personal evolution from scientist to agriculture.

When my best friend handed down her copy of One Straw Revolution to me, i was, at that time, an experienced gardener with a love for Edible Landscaping. My experiences in EL gave me a drive to create permanent food systems long before i had heard the words permaculture, agro-écologie, agro-foresterie, etc. The book was the first (of many many) Ah-Ha! moments i've had in recent years in relation to everything that CAN be possible in permanent agriculture . As mentioned before, i kept it by my side, as inspiration more than practical information, and enjoy reading through it when im seeking inspiration, motivation.

In recent months I, with my partner, have been cultivating an idea to grow a farm in france. Im currently head deep in studies and books trying to understand permaculture principals before the eventual event of buying land and installing our farm. Unlike other books that are read once and then collect dust; the more books i read on the topic, the more i keep going back to this book as a spiritual reference.

Highly recommended especially for anyone looking to understand permanent food systems without the technical information.

 
Julia Franke
Posts: 66
Location: Eastern PA
6
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
7 out of 10 acorns.

Background on the book:
As a young man, Mr. Fukuoka worked as a research scientist. He worked hard and long hours, and also enjoyed the night life after work. Burning the candle at both ends led him to fainting at work. Eventually he got very sick and almost died in the hospital.

After his close brush with death, he found a new inner truth. He found that all of his life has been meaningless. All of his pursuits, all of his work has been for nothing. This thought could either be depressing or freeing. I found the thought depressing. He found this new personal truth set him “free”. After he left the hospital, Mr. Fukuoka went to his job and quit. All of his peers thought he was insane.

He then went and lived on his parent’s farm. While there, he was in charge of the citrus trees. He decided that since everything in life was meaningless, he did not have to care for the trees. The lack of care caused all of the trees to die. Needless to say, his father was less than happy, and Mansanobu Fukuoka had to look for work off of his father’s farm. He eventually came back to living on a farm, and began the “no-work” farming method. This method was planned out a little more, and he started experiencing great success with is farming methods.

This “no-work” farming method was actually quite a bit of work. But he used no chemicals. He grew rice without flooding the fields. He used a cover crop of white clover and mulched with long straw. He then scattered seeds around that were covered in clay pellets. The clay pellets protected the seeds from rotting or being eaten by slugs or other garden creatures. His results were very good and comparable to his neighbors who used chemical means on their fields. He harvested his yields using hand tools. Nothing more.

He decried the “organic” farmers of the West (AKA Americans) as taking too much work. The idea of composting seems like too much of a hassle. He felt they didn’t get it. He said they could scatter the straw on the fields and essentially let the waste compost on it’s own without all the extra work of formal composting.

My thoughts (for what it's worth)
Other than those basics, I didn’t really get any major “how-to” take aways. I got a lot of philosophy though. Some of it was esoteric. Okay, most of it was esoteric and I didn’t quite grasp what he was trying to say. and I disagreed with some of his philosophical thoughts. It would not be how I chose to live. He is against what we would call progress. From his book he stated that if our economy has an increase in growth from 5% to 10% are we twice as happy? I agree that wealth doesn’t make us happy, but it does allow us to make more choices. Sometimes these choices can allow us to live happier lives. He lived his life (as far as I know) living up to his ideals. For that, I deeply admire him.

Overall the book was a good read. I think it will help you to become a more well-rounded gardener, and it will help you to think about your land in a different way. However, I don’t see myself ever referencing this book for the sake of my land. I’m glad I read this book, although I don’t see myself using any of the techniques. His methods have been critiqued for being hard to follow and unsuccessful unless they are followed exactly. I believe once you understand how all of his methods work, it works well.


 
Miles Flansburg
steward
Posts: 3981
Location: Zones 2-4 Wyoming and 4-5 Colorado
166
bee books forest garden fungi greening the desert hugelkultur
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I give this book 8 out of 10 acorns

I really enjoyed reading Masanobu's thoughts. A very interesting read that opens the door to looking at permaculture in a philosophical way.
 
Richard Gorny
pollinator
Posts: 264
Location: Poland, zone 5
48
books forest garden fungi greening the desert hugelkultur urban
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I give this 8 out of 10 acorns.

It has been the first "permaculture" book I have read. Fukuoka's philosophy was so intriguing, that more books has followed, I have found permies.com, and soon after I was sold to permaculture for good

While I do not follow Fukuoka's techniques (they turned out not to fit my circumstances), I admire his philosophy.

I recommend this book to those who are seeking spiritual motivation to re-shape their relationship with Mother Earth.
 
D. Logan
gardener
Posts: 584
Location: Soutwest Ohio
99
books food preservation forest garden rabbit tiny house
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I am going to say 9 out of 10 acorns. Those of you who think it is the greatest of all permaculture-related books, don't form an angry mob yet, let me explain.

This book is one of the benchmark reads of permaculture. It's undeniably helped shape countless permaculture experts in their path to understanding. It is powerful and I can't deny that it has a lot of great things to offer. I didn't come to permaculture through men like Mollison and Fukuoka, so I read books like this from a different perspective than many others. Make of that what you will. What dropped it from a ten for me was actually the running commentary tied to it.

Before you can even start reading, there was an introduction that more or less said that 'these techniques don't work outside of Fukuoka's farm'. While some of the things he mentions may not be right for every environment, certainly the philosophies all apply. After all, he goes so far as to say that each unique location would take a great deal of time to assess and apply techniques suited to that location. He wasn't really saying anything he did was a catch-all for the entire world.

Peppered through the book are also similar statements. Some of the footnotes are very helpful for anyone unfamiliar with the cultural context of the book, but some came across as if they were trying to downplay Fukuoka's success. It was really off-putting for me as I read and each time it happened I was yanked out of the narrative somewhat.

Unrelated to my rating of the book, I did notice a quirk in the book from what I had learned elsewhere. The nature of his seed distribution method differed somewhat from other accounts of what I have seen called the 'Fukuoka method' and seed balls. It was an interesting little aside that fixed my attention for a time on trying to decide what that was. I think I have an answer, but you are free to come to your own conclusions.

As a philosophy book, it is certainly a 10 of 10 situation. The introduction doesn't tout it as simple philosophy. It mentions a practical guide, etc. Fukuoka himself flatly notes within the book that this isn't about being a practical guide, but instead more of a book about understanding the right mindset and how he came to progress along his path from a scientist to a farmer.

I don't know. I liked the book. I am happy to have read it. If it had been edited to remove the above-mentioned aspects, I don't think I would have rated it the way I did, but since those aspects were indeed there, I had to drop a point off. Get the book. Make sure you have it in your collection. It is a source of inspiration and interest worth having. Just remember to accept that there are two opinions within and they don't always align.

 
Dave Green
Posts: 32
Location: London, United Kingdom
6
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I give this book 8 out of 10 acorns

It's short and mostly about philosophy or his life. When it did get round to explaining the grain growing process, I think it took up about two small pages, with one or two pages on seed balls and some more on pruning (or not pruning).

I'm not really the target market for this book as I dont have the patience or interest for philosophy but I did take some things from it. There is definitely a value in just contemplating and following the simple life eating simple seasonal food. I think it would be a good thing for societies and communities to re-connect with the natural food growing in their area and their seasonality. He makes me want to grow these 8-10 classic japanese herbs and vegetables he talks about. I was also getting hungry for basic rice and vegetables while reading it.

It's all kind of biographical but the bits specifically talking about his journey through life and why he followed that path was very enlightening.

From some research it seems like the UK climate is not suited to his grain method of doing 2 types of grain per year which is a shame and probably means I wont read this again but I'm glad I did in the first place.

The high score reflects that I think it's an important book for permaculturists to read and that most people are more willing to read philosophical musing than I.
 
ev kuhn
Posts: 55
Location: N-E edge of Atlanta
books food preservation forest garden
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
9 out of 10?
8 out of 10?

did we read the same book?
thruout the 1st half he rants about his stupid competitors or fellow farmers who did not jump his band waggon but stuck to what they knew
the 2nd half he gets all warm and fuzzy about philosophy and believes

practical take away for someone who does not have >50F thruout the year and reliable monsun type rainfall, who can not grow winter-whatever after the regular harvest
and who does not have a huge orchard, all the time on earth and a gozillion of deciples who do all the not-work for him ? ? ?
practical take away for someone like that? ZERO
plus down here in the south, thanks to a bunch of 'gifts' from Asia, laissez faire does not work in an orchard or for any place I want to harvest something other than kudzu or privet

 
Dave Green
Posts: 32
Location: London, United Kingdom
6
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
8 out of ten felt right to me. It's not a big investment time-wise; I read it slowly in a day and it gave me plenty to mull over plus some new ideas and made me consider things I wouldnt normally think about.
 
Thomas Partridge
Posts: 130
Location: Zone 7a
3
books chicken duck
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I give this 9 out of 10 acorns.

Fukuoka's One Straw revolution is something I was grateful to see on scribd since I had always meant to read it.

As for the review of the book. Wow, simply wow. While I had to start skimming through the latter chapters I only did so because at about the one third mark I determined that this was a book that would be joining my library and as such a book that I would read multiple times. It starts off describing his life and his philosophies (many of which seem nearly identical to my own) and goes on to describe his method of cultivating grains. He is thorough in his explanations and the writing style inspires confidence in the reader as to their ability to replicate such methods.

Unfortunately that is also why I had to give it only nine acorns. His method, while great sounding is for the vast majority of people only an example they can draw inspiration from for their own systems. While this is great and it has inspired a few ideas I am toying around with, I will say that if taken as only a guide to a farming method a person might be slightly disappointed.

All in all, my recommendation would be to see if you could read a few chapters first and see if Fukuoka's philosophies resonate with yours. If so, then purchase a copy new (the price is reasonable) because you will go back to it over time to read the words of a kindred spirit. If they do not then I would only recommend reading it once so that you can broaden your understanding of permaculture.
 
It's exactly the same and completely different as this tiny ad:
Thread Boost feature
https://permies.com/wiki/61482/Thread-Boost-feature
  • Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic
Boost this thread!