Sowing Seeds in the Desert PDF/EPUB ´ Sowing Seeds

Sowing Seeds in the Desert [PDF / EPUB] Sowing Seeds in the Desert The earth is in great peril due to the corporatization of agriculture the rising climate crisis and the ever increasing levels of global poverty starvation and desertification on a massive scale This The earth in the PDF È is in great peril due to the corporatization of agriculture the rising Sowing Seeds PDF or climate crisis and the ever increasing levels of global poverty starvation and desertification on a Seeds in the Epub Ù massive scale This present condition of global trauma is not natural but a result of humanity's destructive actions And according to Masanobu Fukuoka it is reversible We need to change not only our methods of earth stewardship but also the very way we think about the relationship between human beings and natureFukuoka grew up on a farm on the island of Shikoku in Japan As a young man he worked as a customs inspector for plants going into and out of the country This was in the s when science seemed poised to create a new world of abundance and leisure when people fully believed they could improve upon nature by applying scientific methods and thereby reap untold rewards While working there Fukuoka had an insight that changed his life forever He returned to his home village and applied this insight to developing a revolutionary new way of farming that he believed would be of great benefit to society This method which he called natural farming involved working with not in opposition to natureFukuoka's inspiring and internationally best selling book The One Straw Revolution was first published in English in In this book Fukuoka described his philosophy of natural farming and why he came to farm the way he did One Straw was a huge success in the West and spoke directly to the growing movement of organic farmers and activists seeking a new way of life For years after its publication Fukuoka traveled around the world spreading his teachings and developing a devoted following of farmers seeking to get closer to the truth of natureSowing Seeds in the Desert a summation of those years of travel and research is Fukuoka's last major work and perhaps his most important Fukuoka spent years working with people and organizations in Africa India Southeast Asia Europe and the United States to prove that you could indeed grow food and regenerate forests with very little irrigation in the most desolate of places Only by greening the desert he said would the world ever achieve true food securityThis revolutionary book presents Fukuoka's plan to rehabilitate the deserts of the world using natural farming including practical solutions for feeding a growing human population rehabilitating damaged landscapes reversing the spread of desertification and providing a deep understanding of the relationship between human beings and nature Fukuoka's message comes right at the time when people around the world seem to have lost their frame of reference and offers us a way forward.

10 thoughts on “Sowing Seeds in the Desert

  1. says:

    Masanobu FukuokaI have now read his first book One Straw Revolution and his last Sowing Seeds in the Desert There is such a distance between eastern and western ways of knowing and thinking I like how provocative it is to explore the spaces between them I like how this book sets them in dialogue Reading Fukuoka reminds me of seeing the Dalai Lama talk at the LSE they seem so idealistic they speak using familiar words but in such different ways seem so removed and unworldly and thus so easily taken advantage of by a capitalist system that thrives on co opting everything and turning it into profit Yet really seems to me their points are needle sharp in deflating the engorged balloons of western capitalist ways of knowing and valuing If you listenIt also of course resonates so much with indigenous systems with permaculture with struggles for biodiversity and tradition as against monoculture and many another relationship between generations and the land they are connected to From the editor Larry Korn who also helped bring the first book into the worldThe most conspicuous of the cultural difficulties is that the Japanese way of telling a story or developing a complex argument is different from the approach that is generally taken in English In Japanese the author typically begins with the theme or the point he wishes to make then he offers an anecdote or an argument that helps to take that story or bolster the point before returning to the theme which is restated Then the author goes on another loop again returning to the theme One might say that these side stories or arguments form the petals of a flower with the theme as its center xxxIn Western writing however the linear is preferred The character arc The beginning ramping up to a climax and then a tidy conclusion Even in our non fictionThere has never been a generation like the present where people's hearts are so badly wounded This is true of every are of society politics economics education and culture It is reflected in the degradation of the environment which comes about through the material path humanity has chosen Now we have the ugly sight of industry government and the military joining forces in the struggle for ultimate power 14I don't know that this linear thinking can be blamed for our current world but it is part of the larger pattern I think Curious that old certainties about cause and effect our capacity to know everything so many simplifications are being increasingly challenged by new thinking in biology and this sounds remarkably like the kind of thing Brian Greene writes about in terms of new directions in physicsTime does not simply flow mechanically in a straight line in a fixed direction We could think of time as flowing up and down right and left forward and backward As time develops and expands multifaceted and three dimensional the past is concealed within the instant of the present and within this instant of time is concealed the eternity of the future 26All made of the same things connected at the base like a chain of islands whose tops are above the oceanIn the past present and future the true disposition of nature is toward abundance for human beings and for all species Therefore the uestion should not be Why are there too many people? but rather Who has created the scarcity into which they are born? And then finally How can we heal the earth so it can support future generations? 42On the euality and interconnectedness of all thingsPlants people butterflies and dragonflies appear to be separate individual living things yet each is an eual and important participant in nature They share the same mind and life spirit They form a single living organism to speak of creatures as beneficial insects harmful insects pathogenic bacteria or troublesome birds is like saying the right hand is good and the left hand is bad Nature is an endless cycle in which all things participate in the same dance of life and death living together and dying together 43It is in using massive interventions to destroy parts of the cycle with very little understanding of it and driven by motives of profit that we have arrived at the point of destruction This lack of holistic understandings is endemic seen in many a western method for solving thingsWhen the specialized Western medicinal approach is used the uestion of what gives life and health to the whole body and mind is put off In other words modern Western medicines puts the human body ahead of the human spirit This separation is a starting point for emotional anxiety among people today 44Fukuoka keeps them togetherGradually I came to realize that the process of saving the desert of the human heart and revegetating the actual desert is actually the same thing 47This is all talking about land and spirit and some of us not me especially not any will be rolling their eyes But this understanding of the capitalist economy the 'Money sucking Octopus Economy' 50 as he calls it is interesting it definitely breaks things up in a different way than I am used to At the heart of the octopus? politicians and the military industrial government complex The legs? maintenance of the transportation network control of agencies administering transportation supervision of communications establishment of an economic information network education and administrative advising control of financial institutions control of information control of citizens' personal computers and registration 53 I like this list it's funny that control of land and resources is not on itThere is nothing I don't agree with about consumption and our economic model thoughI have often said that value does not lie in material goods themselves but when people create the conditions that make them seem necessary their value increases The capitalist system is based on the notion of ever increasing production and consumption of material goods and therefore in the modern economy people's value or worth comes to be determined by their possessions But if people create conditions and environments that do not make those things necessary the things no matter what they are become valueless Cars for example are not considered to be of value by people who are not in a hurryEconomies that aim at production and consumption of unnecessary products are themselves meaningless 51Yet that is our economic model of development And it is all about control and the marketing of products whether luxury goods or Monsanto's technologiesWhen I went to apply for a visa from the Somalian government I was flabbergasted when they told me that any kind of instruction that agitates the farmers and encourages them to become self sufficient would not be welcome If such activity went too far they said it would be considered treason 76Colonial agricultural policiesBig money into big damns big irrigation drawing water from auifers leading to salinization of land cash crops ending nomadic cultures resulting in massive stress on one area of the land and damage to a culture and a people national parks that its former indigenous residents must leave and suddenly go all the way around in their movements The are sudden insights like the ways that the irrigation of water in high dikes controls the people who surround it cuts them off from free movement and free access to water And it puts blame where blame is dueI started with the recognition that the causes of desertification in most areas are misguided human knowledge and action If we eliminated them I believed that nature would certainly heal itself 87It examines the real costs of our current agricultural practices of GMOs monocropping and etc Fukuoka writes 'Agricultural Production is Actually Deduction' 88If you really count all the inputs of cost to the environment mining and fossil fuel extraction construction of machinery damage from cash crops etc we have the most inefficient agricultural systems possibleIt is not just in Africa that these problems existAbout half of the land in the United States is or is becoming desert I felt that the expanding American desert was at least as great a problem as the deserts of Africa but most Americans seemed totally unaware that their country is becoming arid 123We don't talk about those kinds of things but it threatens the communities like New Mexico's aceuia farmers most likely to offer hope and the capacities to sustainably grow food in increasingly arid conditionI do like that he toured the US saying this kind of thingEverywhere I went I preached the abolition of lawn culture saying that it was an imitation green created for human beings at the expense of nature and was nothing than a remnant of the arrogant aristocratic culture of Europe 129This philosophy is a very particular way very Japanese way of embracing the world of changing itWhen people are released from the idea that they are the ones who have created things and have abandoned human knowledge nature will return to its true form The rebirth of nature is not simply a return to the primitive it is a return to the timeless My method of natural farming aims at liberating the human heart 140I loved this final uote partially a reminder that even if we are not the ones who love land and roots as farmers we still can live in sustainable ways But mostly it is good to encounter to know that radically different ways of being are still possible in this worldI still remember the words of an Ethiopian tribesman who at first rejected my ideas of natural farming Are you asking me to become a farmer? he asked To be attached to the soil and to accumulate things are the acts of a degraded person 52

  2. says:

    Though I was looking for of a practical guide to permaculture this was the only book my library had that was even close to the subject This is of a philosophical book talking about his beliefs on nature science as well as giving sort of a history of how he came to his method of natural farming as well as some of his travels and efforts in trying to spread the ideas I read it in a couple hours of highly engaged reading I really like this man's take on farming and the best way forward I don't agree with his notion of strewing seeds globally with no regard to what's native to the area which actually seems to go against his own philosophy given that he basically sees the last few thousand years of agriculture and especially the recent century or so as mistake upon mistake full of unintended conseuences caused by the mitigation efforts of the last round Putting non native plant seeds across a large area of the landscape could easily have major negative effects on local ecology So I can't get on board with this aspect of the book But obviously the man's principles are sound in general and can of course be utilized even with just native species He writes that it is not natural for the world to be so full of rapidly advancing deserts; many such places were not deserts in the past even in living memory and in some places mere years before today Knowing that the actions of humans are the cause we must solve the issue and his ideas for greening the desert are welcome to my mind No dams or irrigation wells which are short term solutions but rather spreading seeds and using the plants' to shade and loosen the soil bring water up from below and pump water into the air bringing rains No heavy handed work; his way is the lazy way of letting nature do the work with we humans only doing the truly necessary work Stuff like plowing though so entrenched in the mind may not be necessary he assures us it isn't and we are encouraged to observe nature to learn instead of just going by tradition As the old ways are turning Earth into a desert this seems wise to me I also appreciated that he stated the way advanced technological methods of farming are in many ways just a way for those in power to control the people and the food same thing really He doesn't dwell on this too much but it's there as it should be Here are a few uotes that I personally found striking We have seen huge advances in modern medicine but there is little value in the advancement of medicine if the number of sick people continues to increaseIn ancient times I would like to think that people must have made drawing close to nature the most important goal of their livesGradually I came to realize that the process of saving the desert of the human heart and revegetating the actual desert is actually the same thingI still remember the words of an Ethiopian tribesman who at first rejected my ideas of natural farming 'are you asking me to become a farmer?' he asked 'To be attached to the soil and to accumulate things are the acts of a degraded person' If we list the things necessary for plants to grow then sunlight nutrients water and air are sufficient to create paradise

  3. says:

    Fukuoka did with farming what Ueshiba Morihei did with martial arts he radically transformed it by doing what appears to be less And like Osensei the inspiration to do so came to him suddenly in a satori like moment From such revelations have sprung Aikido and natural farming Really they are the same thing I know some readers are disappointed by Fukuoka's books because they don't really seem to say anything At times it reads like hippie nonsense drop seeds not bombs etc Osensei was accused of the same thing sometimes; that the idea of a peaceful martial art transforming the world through non violence was ridiculous This is understandable given the prevalence of do thinking in the modern world If you aren't busy all the time or straining yourself to the maximum level than you must not be accomplishing muchThis is why Fukuoka's work is so important it is a needed counter to this thought pattern not to eliminate it necessarily but to restore balance We need a middle path; too much of one philosophy can lead to stagnation In the case of agriculture it has led to literal stagnation of the soils and waters There were times while reading that I found myself disagreeing somewhat with Fukuoka mostly because I think his understanding of science was a little too critical or one sided But overall we would be better off if people followed his advice And what is that advice? This is where people can get frustrated; when you are used to complexity simplicity starts to sound like a cheat or a swindle Don't till the soil? Don't use pesticides? Just let plants grow wherever nature wants them to? To a conventional farmer all of this sounds like a recipe for disaster And Fukuoka did meet with failure at first his initial attempt to grow an orchard by doing nothing resulted in a lot of dead trees But he stresses that there is a difference between doing nothing and abandonment Natural farming is not about neglect It is about working with nature rather than against itIf you focus only on Fukuoka's words you will miss this crucial point It is why at one point in his life he did not talk much about his ideas; words were simply inadeuate The words in this book are only one part of a larger vision a vision that reuires you to look at the world in a completely different way than you have always seen it There is no separation between you and nature The soil water plants and animals do not exist just to serve you Trying to make them do so is counter productive because it just ends up hurting humanity in a round about way In the introduction the translator spoke of how Fukuoka stressed the importance of philosophy over techniue In a similar way Osensei valued the spirit of Aikido than the physical If you concentrate only on the latter you may become strong but you will not have really learned Aikido you will not have achieved harmony which is the whole point of doing Aikido in the first place What is the point of growing food faster if the food you make is less nutritious and healthy and the methods you use make it difficult to grow food in the future? It is a self defeating path There is nothing for people to gain and nothing for them to lose As long as people lived according to natural law they could die peacefully at any time like withering grasses

  4. says:

    Having read Masanobu's first book The One Straw Revolution I was excited to dig into Sowing Seeds in the Desert to gain knowledge on his techniues and the practical applications of such Disappointingly the book mostly deals with his philosophy of natural farming being at one with natureIt's a good book but the majority of it is to do with his philosophy which wasn't of that much interest to me There's some interesting recounts of travels through India the United States of America and then finally the book gets into some practical applications at the very endIf looking for a book to buy I'd recommend The One Straw Revolution over this

  5. says:

    I found a few interesting insights in this book However it wasn't what I expected The author talks a lot about zen and being one with the earth Overall it just didn't seem very practical or helpful

  6. says:

    Fukuoka is a Japanese farmer and philosopher who largely coined the term natural farming Natural farming is an approach to farming that eliminates the use of manufactured inputs and euipment and instead leverages the work of nature and ecosystems Fukuoaka’s philosophy isn’t so much to “do nothing” but to work together with nature not separate from nature This book is about Fukuoka’s experiences in developing and promoting natural farmingFukuoka claims that natural farming provides yields to the same extent to that of conventional farming with the enormous benefit of having no negative impacts on the environment Unfortunately however his claims and supporting evidence are almost entirely anecdotal Going further Fukuoka rejects scientific research and thinks human knowledge is useless As a researcher I find this perspective a bit hard to hear However I imagine his perspective may be partly emotionally influenced perhaps stemming from his frustration with conventional farming systems and the environmental degradation it has causedWhile I would have preferred credible evidence to support his claims I have much respect for Fukuoka He challenged the norm and made me think a bit differently about how we grow our food

  7. says:

    This book is informally organized into two sections The first is an overview of Fukuoka's philosophies regarding re greening the man made deserts of the earth The second is part of the story of how he came to these philosophies where he has seen them work and how he himself applied them When I started reading the first part seemed a bit preachy and out of character for Fukuoka It was not until I finished reading the book that I understood why it was presented in that way Maybe it could have been better organized but the text is sounds and the philosophies are reasonable even if sometimes a bit ethereal The book is profound and inspiring just as one would expect from Mr Fukuoka I would suggest a read especially if you enjoyed The One Straw Revolution just don't get lost in the first part and you will come to understand his message

  8. says:

    This is my first read on the subject Permaculture and it did not disappoint First of all the author isn't trying to put a plain formula that would save the future of man and the plants altogether in this aging world but rather explain his point of view on the ecological advancement of today's life I found that his total refusal to technology is a lol bit extreme honestly I would have Givin this book if I actually planted anything but I don't I drink tea

  9. says:

    So simply written yet very insightful Hard to believe that this book was written almost 20 years ago Still contains concepts and ideas we are just starting to come around on I particularly enjoyed the philosophical content So simple I love simply communicated messages that don't need to be verbose to be beautiful

  10. says:

    I definitely feel like this book probably just scratched the surface of the topic But such a great introduction for me Mind blowing eye opening I will definitely make some seeds pellets for this growing season

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