On the principles of natural farming.
Notes taken from Der Große Weg hat kein Tor.
Masanobu Fukuoka was a philosopher and pioneer of natural farming and re-vegetating desertified land. His method is referred to as the "do-nothing-farming".
Fukuoka's four principles of natural farming
No tilling the soil
The soil cultivates itself through permeation of plant roots, the activity of microorganisms and small animals such as earthworms
No chemical fertilizer or processed compost
Ground cover of white clover, threshed straw and some poultry dung is enough.
No weed control through cultivation or herbicides
Weeds play their role in the balance of nature. One should keep them under control instead of eliminating them. Use straw-mulch, saw white clover between fruits and occasional flooding is sufficient.
No dependency on chemicals
The reasonable way to control sickness and insects is to grow robust plants in a healthy environment.
- Tilling: the agricultural preparation of soil by mechanical agitation of various types, such as digging, stirring, and overturning.
- Threshing: the process of loosening the edible part of grain from the straw to which it is attached.
- Straw-mulch: a protective covering of half-composed straw placed around plants to prevent the evaporation of moisture, the freezing of roots, and the growth of weeds.
- Herbicides: chemicals to kill weeds
- Pesticides: chemicals to kill insects