First of all, hello everyone! A subject I have been getting quite passionate about is something called Natural Farming, it's an approach to plant propagation (and a philosophy) that has four basic tenants. No digging, no watering, no fertiliser and no weeding.
Masanobu Fukuoka was the proponent of this style and it didn't take off in his native Japan that much as he was seen as eccentric for his ideas, but it did pick up in Greece, India, America and Africa.
He felt that modern science could not hope to fully understand the totality of Nature as it was too focused on deductive reasoning, the breaking down of something into parts and going from there. His arguement was that since the whole is greater than the sum of its parts you could never gleam any truly useful information from looking at parts of a whole process.
For instance, he pointed out that at first fertilisers seem like a good idea but only if used on dead soil. On living soil, it actually leaches nutrients from the soil and has the reverse effect. He argued that instead inductive reasoning should be applied to Nature. "I know what I want, now how do I get there" as opposed "I know what's there, but what can I get out of it".
His argument simply sumarised is that when we bottle and comoditise all these products and say this work for this and that, they actually don't because they only work on certain things in certain conditions. They don't exactly do what we think they do because they were not studied in a wild environment with all these uncontrollable, contextual situations that are unique to each corner of the globe.
Simply put, he argued for a simpler approach with minimal input. You coat seeds in clay balls to fight off animals that want to eat the seeds, wildly flinging the balls everywhere.
He argued that to imitate nature you must saturate an area with species and let Nature carve a new diversity, different species of each type (e.g, tree, shrub, ground cover, flowers, fruits, vegetables, herbs, etc) and by saturating the area with a large amount of plants, nature could sculpt a situation that suited the environment.
The main approach he used when on his own farm in Japan, was to thresh wheat for use as a ground cover and to grow his rice in this, only flooding the rice for one week out of the whole year and the rest of the time, letting nature drop the water on. It surpressed weeds long enough for the rice to establish and basically blot out any parasitic or harmful plants with ease.
To me, it's incredibly compelling information but I may have a bias there. For me one of the biggest thoughts motivating me is this: If you put in minimal input (the other name for this method is Do Nothing Farming) then anything produced has minimal costs associated with it. In other words, there is no pollution, no excessive and pointless hardships. The primary thought behind each action should be "what is the least I can do here to achieve what I want" if you follow the philosophy of Natural Farming to the letter.
The reason why I think this is an issue? Masanobu Fukuoka argued that we were overconsuming, drawing resources from one piece of rock to another, creating pointless pollution and harming the environment thinking we were doing good garden practice. That really we are just slowly fallowing our land, creating artifical deserts via over farming and not enough return of resources to the land be it via plants being overfarmed or livestock being overused.
I think he's right, really. I think we need to cultivate a much stronger desire around the globe for just using what you've got around you and working with it, not thinking you need some special bottle of stuff to get the results you want because you know nothing about plants but instead getting to understand the land around you via your failures and your success.
If you search "Masanobu Fukuoka Natural Farming PDF" on Google you can actually read the book yourself and get your own impression on the subject, if you're interested. Welp now I've let that all out of my system, would love to know what you people think about this?