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Fukuoka and Animals  RSS feed

 
Lauren Dixon
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Location: Kalispell, Montana
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I have seen a few people ask a similar question, but I haven't seen any solid answers. What were some of Fukuoka's animal management practices, and did he keep anything other than chickens? How did he view animals in the grand scheme of a permaculture-type farm?
 
larry korn
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Hi Lauren, Animals are important to any natural environment and Fukuoka-san certainly felt that way. In Japan there is no virtually no tradition of grazing cattle or sheep or animals like that. That is mainly because of the topograpgy of Japan and the Buddhist admonishment to avoid red meat, especially beef (going all the way back to India). Anyway, yes, he did have chickens and ducks. The chickens ran around freely in the orchard and were brought in at night to protect them from predators. He used ducks and geese in the rice fields for many years, as was traditional in Japan until the end of WWII, but then the construction of a highway between his home in the village where he housed the ducks and geese, made it impossible to get them safely to the rice fields. After that he supplemented clover/straw from time to time with some chicken manure he got from a neighbor farmer. When I was there he also had rabbits and a few goats. He thought that for his situation smaller animals, up to about the size of a goat, worked the best.
 
Lauren Dixon
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Wonderful! Thank you for the look into his philosophy. How much acreage did he have to work with?
 
larry korn
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Fukuoka-san's farm, which is now being managed by his oldest son, Masato, consists of a ten acre orchard and about an acre and a half of rice and barley fields. He also has a regular house in the village. It really is quite lovely there!
 
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