"This book is a bombshell. Forget the gentle and retiring farmer of The One-Straw Revolution fame, replaced now by a flaming, world-travelling revolutionary. To achieve the kind of natural farming that can avoid worldwide collapse, Masanobu Fukuoka bluntly and fearlessly insists that we must first reject traditional ideas about God, the after life, accepted economic systems—especially capitalism—much of current agricultural thinking including organic farming, and even parts of science which he says are based on mistaken notions about the connection between cause and effect. Once we return to a way of life dictated by nature, not institutional religions, he says, we can apply his unorthodox farming methods to make the deserts bloom and the green fields stay lush without much expense or even labor involved.
Be prepared to be mystified, irritated, shocked, and maybe even, if you persevere to the end, enlightened and encouraged by this trail-blazing book. Disagree with Fukuoka's provocative pronouncements at your own risk. Some of what he predicted in this book, originally written in Japanese in the 1990s has already happened, especially the collapse of the Japanese economy in recent years and the spread of deserts throughout the world."
—Gene Logsdon, author of A Sanctuary of Trees
The last major work from the author of international bestseller The One-Straw Revolution
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 present condition is not “natural,” according to farmer and philosopher Masanobu Fukuoka, but a result of humanity’s destructive actions. Our global trauma, however, can be remedied—and maybe even reversed—but only when we change our methods of earth stewardship, and the very way we think about the relationship between humans and nature.
Fukuoka’s inspiring and international best-selling book, The One-Straw Revolution (1978), spoke directly to the growing movement of organic farmers and activists seeking a new way of life. For years after its publication, Fukuoka traveled the world spreading his teachings and developing a devoted following of farmers seeking to return to the truth of nature.
Sowing 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 show how you could grow food and regenerate forests with very little irrigation in the most desolate places. This revolutionary book presents Fukuoka’s plan to rehabilitate the world’s deserts and achieve global food security by using natural farming, including practical solutions for feeding a growing human population and providing a deep and renewed understanding of the relationship between human beings and nature. Fukuoka’s message comes at a time when people around the world seem to have lost their frame of reference, and offers us a way forward.
About the Authors
Masanobu Fukuoka (1913-2008) was a farmer and philosopher who was born and raised on the Japanese island of Shikoku. He studied plant pathology and spent several years working as a customs inspector in Yokohama. While working there, at the age of 25, he had an inspiration that changed his life. He decided to quit his job, return to his home village, and put his ideas into practice by applying them to agriculture.
Over the next sixty-five years he worked to develop a system of natural farming that demonstrated the insight he was given as ...
Larry Korn is an American who lived and worked on the farm of Masanobu Fukuoka for more than two years in the early 1970s. He is translator and editor of the English language edition of Mr. Fukuoka's The One-Straw Revolution and editor of his later book, Sowing Seeds in the Desert. Korn accompanied Mr. Fukuoka on his visits to the United States in 1979 and 1986. He studied Asian history, soil science, and plant nutrition at the University of California, Berkeley, and has worked in wholesale and retail plant nurseries, as a soil scientist for the California Department of Forestry, ...