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One-straw Revolution: Introduction to Natural Farming [Paperback]

Masanobu Fukuoka , C. Pearce
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
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Book Description

Dec 1992
Masanobu Fukuoka's book about growing food has been changing the lives of readers since it was first published in 1978. It is a call to arms, a manifesto, and a radical rethinking of the global systems we rely on to feed us all. It is also the memoir of a man whose spiritual beliefs underpin and inform every aspect of his innovative farming system. Equal parts farmer and philosopher, Fukuoka is recognized as one of the founding thinkers of the permaculture movement.

Fukuoka perfected his so-called "do-nothing" technique, a way of farming that seeks to work with nature rather than make it over through increasingly elaborate-and often harmful -methods. His farm became a gathering place for people from all over the world who wished to adapt his ways to their own local cultures.
--This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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One-straw Revolution: Introduction to Natural Farming + Natural Way of Farming + Sepp Holzer's Permaculture: 1
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Product details

  • Paperback: 182 pages
  • Publisher: Other India Press; New edition edition (Dec 1992)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 8185569312
  • ISBN-13: 978-8185569314
  • Product Dimensions: 14.4 x 21.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 410,382 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


The man is a legend among permaculture types, no-diggers, forest farmers and legions of other organic and sustainable devotees, not only because of his do-nothing approach but also because his message is one of deep reverence for our astonishing world. This reissue of his classic is welcome. (BBC Gardens Illustrated)

His writings - commonsensical, slightly exasperated and always inspiring - are one of the essential texts of the organic growing movement. (Irish Times) --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

About the Author

Masanobu Fukuoka (1914-2008) was born in a small farming village on the island of Shikoku in southern Japan. He developed what many consider to be a revolutionary method of sustainable agriculture called no-till cultivation. He received the Deshikottan and the Ramon Magsaysay awards in 1988, and the Earth Council Award in 1997.

Frances Moore Lappé is a democracy advocate and world food and hunger expert who has authored or co-authored 16 books, including the bestseller, Diet for a Small Planet. Her most recent books include Hope's Edge and Getting a Grip: Clarity, Creativity, and Courage in a World Gone Mad. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
4.7 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
20 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An amazing, thought-provoking book 11 Jan 2009
I bought this book over 10 years ago and still re-read it from time to time. It follows the progress of a scientist who starts to question the validity of traditional science - due to the increasing speciality of scientists who cannot see the big picture outside of their field of expertise. Fukuoka explains his early failures with pruning experiments, but gradually things change and get better. He develops his 'natural farming' techniques that can rival 'traditional' methods in terms of yield, yet require less time and physical input to the land.

The books shows that a different way is possible - a gentler way. You learn so much about a man's struggle and his successes. Totally compelling and a classic.

Fukuoka died in 2008, aged 95 - his way of life enabled him to have a long and healthy time on earth - no bad thing!
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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Thought provoking environmental classic. 18 Dec 2000
By A Customer
If you are interested in the food you eat, the way this food is produced, or the environment please read this book. The role of modern science and economics within these topics are discussed in this book using hard facts and philosophy, in an easy to read manner. It may change the way you think. Part of the list price goes to plant trees in India to compensate for the use of pulp in this book!
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Zen and the art of organic rice farming 24 Oct 2009
By tallmanbaby TOP 1000 REVIEWER
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
The One-Straw Revolution is not really written as a book, but as a collection of short discursions. These cover the author's life, his farming methods, his conversations with the students that visited his farm, and his philosophy on the impossibility of understanding nature. For me the book got a bit repetitive by the end, but it was never less than readable and thought provoking. With hindsight I would have simply launched straight into reading the book, and left the rather wordy introductions by other authors till later.

If you are interested in the Japanese approach to life, then you might find "Japanese Woodworking Tools: Their Tradition, Spirit and Use" by Toshio Odate, of interest too.
Japanese Woodworking Tools: Their Tradition, Spirit and Use

I suspect that often we are striving to find a technical solution to the wrong questions, when books like this can make us wonder if maybe we should be asking a better question. File next to Thoreau's Walden.

Also worth seeking out material on Sepp Holzer the Austrian permaculturist and Against the Grain by Richard Manning, if you can find a copy.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Important book for humanity's future 24 Mar 2009
This amazing author has clear-eyed views about how we can encourage a healthier and happier way of life for ourselves through living with nature in a more ecological way. Fascinating and interesting ideas.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Subtle agriculture for a world in crisis 16 April 2008
Masanobu Fukuoka defies western or modern agricultural techniques going down to the basics of traditional japanese life. No chemicals and no digging the land for an abundant and long term harvest. Planting with the heart. Mindfulness...
The book and Masanobu himself impressed me and I find myself following his path like that of a guru.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars revolutionary good sense 1 May 2011
By jacketi
I'm always fascinated by people who say that organic farming can't be profitable, and biodynamic farming is for people with half a brain or advanced mental health issues, because when you think about modern, conventional farming methods (a depleted, ash-like earth only able to produce anything worth eating if "enhanced" by a million chemicals that the farmers have to apply with a mask and gloves on) biodynamic farming and the "no-dig" approach look like amazing good sense, the only way to go. The absolute fact is that biodynamic farming is, on the bottom line, every bit as economically viable as conventional farming.

The word "Revolution" is just right for the title of this book, as we desperately need to "turn back" to how people worked the earth until 50 years ago, because that's what worked, that's what sustains agriculture in the long term. Mr. Fukuoka invites us to look at our modern farming methods and decide for ourselves which is insane. This book's incredible asset is that Mr. Fukuoka was a "conventional" agricultural research scientist working for the Japanese government until his epiphany in the mid-forties, after which he commenced his experiments on "no-work" farming, and consequently his rejection of science comes from an informed standpoint. I adored this book because of the great sense that Mr. Fukuoka makes and his white-hot anger in the face of the insanity of today's farming methods.

Where this book falls down for me is the Buddhist/Taoist philosophizing. Mr. Fukuoka set up a pair of opposites as a theme throughout this book: science vs.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Skip the intro's and dive straight into this very accessible read.....Books represent food for the soul and that affirmation is especially valid for those that actually have something to teach us. One particular example could be given by `The One Straw Revolution', one of the most imposing and interesting books written by Masanobu Fukuoka, a true master in the field of natural farming. Many books have been written on this subject but none has managed to reach so many people, bringing new ideas and concepts in our lives, demonstrating clearly the advantages of natural farming.

Masanobu Fukuoka is one of the few men that have understood that it is essential to protect nature, the environment and deter from intensive agricultural techniques. His book, `The One Straw Revolution' strikes the reader by the sincere tone and straight manner in which it is written. Modern agriculture is carefully studied and compared to natural organic farming, being based on many years of experience as an agricultural scientist. It is meant to bring back to our attention the importance and numerous benefits of traditional farming, taking care of the nature that has offered to us so many great things throughout the time.

Reading `The One Straw Revolution' is like discovering notions you thought to be long forgotten. It is more than being reminded of natural farming; some even say that it resembles a spiritual awakening, rediscovering once more the connection between man and nature, between us - human beings - and land. The book describes how natural farming offers beautiful crop yields compared to those that are obtained through modern means and the author highlights that we make too much use of motor trucks, fertilizers and pesticides.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Very interesting.
The principles espoused by Fukuoka are obviously extremely relevant on a grand scale, but I'm not sure sure that I can afford to wait as long as he did to convert my already very... Read more
Published 2 months ago by Eirlys Savage
5.0 out of 5 stars The essence of permaculture
This book is a true inspiration and proof example that permaculture can be a path for environmental sustainability, simultaneously with significant agricultural production yields... Read more
Published 5 months ago by Eduardo Oliveira
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant book.
Brilliant because of the impact it made in the permaculture/natural farming world, and also because he speaks a beautiful philosophy on how our farming and lifestyles need to be... Read more
Published 6 months ago by Chris
5.0 out of 5 stars Inspiring
This book is truly inspiring! Anybody who is interested in Permaculture should read this. It exposes the problems with modern intensive farming practices using chemicals which... Read more
Published 8 months ago by Delilah
5.0 out of 5 stars a revolutionary worldview and philosophy
This was the first of 3 books (translated into English) by this amazing Japanese farmer and philosopher. Read more
Published 15 months ago by D&D
5.0 out of 5 stars So true even today
For anyone who has the health of their family and their land, whether a tiny back garden or a large parcel of land, this is a must read. Read more
Published 19 months ago by Falabella
4.0 out of 5 stars rather philosphy than practical guide
The book itself is a wonderful narrative of a natural farming philosphy. I truly enjoyed and acutally savoured reading it. Read more
Published 23 months ago by Kristine Kreicberga
4.0 out of 5 stars Fukuoka's rural revolution
Fukuoka's text aims to demonstrate how we lost the appropriate and natural approach to agriculture. The process of industrialization had deeply affected the way of dealing with... Read more
Published on 28 April 2012 by Stefano Mazza
5.0 out of 5 stars Inspirational book
This book is not really a 'how to' book, especially for me living in the UK. It is based on a Japanese form of subsistence farming not available to those of different climates and... Read more
Published on 11 Sep 2011 by Mr. J. Horsfall
5.0 out of 5 stars Masanobu Fukuoka one straw revoultion
fantastic seller... this book was sent well packaged all the way from india and took a few days but when it arrived it was perfect and such a beautiful and harmonious book. Read more
Published on 29 Aug 2011 by keswicklemon
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