Masanobu Fukuoka, with his grizzled white beard, subdued voice, and traditional Oriental working clothes, may not seem like an apt prototype of a successful innovative farmer. Nor does it, at first glance, appear possible that his rice fields—riotous jungles of tangled weeds, clover, and grain—are among the most productive pieces of land in Japan. But that's all part of the paradox that surrounds this man and his method of natural farming.
Using practices that some people might consider backward (or even foolish!). His acres consistently produce harvests that equal or surpass those of his neighbors who use labor-intensive, chemical-dependent methods. Fukuoka's system of farming is amazing not only for its yields, but also for the fact that he has not plowed his fields for more than 30 years! Nor does he use prepared fertilizer—not even compost—on his land, or weed his rows, or flood his rice paddies.
Fukuoka's agricultural approach is simplicity itself.
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He says: "If a single new bud is snipped off a fruit tree with a pair of scissors, that may bring about a disorder which cannot be undone…Human beings with their tampering do something wrong, leave the damage unrepaired, and when the adverse results accumulate, work with all their might to correct them."