Call it “Zen and the Art of Farming” or a “Little Green Book,” Masanobu Fukuoka’s manifesto about farming, eating, and the limits of human knowledge presents a radical challenge to the global systems we rely on for our food. At the same time, it is a spiritual memoir of a man whose innovative system of cultivating the earth reflects a deep faith in the wholeness and balance of the natural world. As Wendell Berry writes in his preface, the book “is valuable to us because it is at once practical and philosophical. It is an inspiring, necessary book about agriculture because it is not just about agriculture.” Trained as a scientist, Fukuoka rejected both modern agribusiness and centuries of agricultural practice, deciding instead that the best forms of cultivation mirror nature’s own laws. Over the next three decades he perfected his so-called “do-nothing” technique: commonsense, sustainable practices that all but eliminate the use of pesticides, fertilizer, tillage, and perhaps most significantly, wasteful effort. Whether you’re a guerrilla gardener or a kitchen gardener, dedicated to slow food or simply looking to live a healthier life, you will find something here—you may even be moved to start a revolution of your own.
One-Straw Revolutionary represents the first commentary on the work of the late Japanese farmer and philosopher Masanobu Fukuoka (1913 – 2008), widely considered to be natural farming’s most influential practitioner. Mr. Fukuoka is perhaps most known for his bestselling book The One-Straw Revolution (1978), a manifesto on the importance of no-till agriculture, which was at the time of publication a radical challenge to the global systems that supply the world’s food, and still inspires readers today. Larry Korn, who apprenticed with Mr. Fukuoka in Japan at the time, translated the manuscript and brought it to the United States, knowing it would change the conversation about food forever. The One-Straw Revolution, edited by Korn and Wendell Berry, was an immediate international success, and established Mr. Fukuoka as a leading voice in the fight against conventional industrial agriculture. In this new book, through his own personal narrative, Larry Korn distills his experience of more than thirty-five years of study with Mr. Fukuoka, living and working on his farm on Shikoku Island, and traveling with Mr. Fukuoka to the United States on two six-week visits. One-Straw Revolutionary is the first book to look deeply at natural farming and intimately discuss the philosophy and work of Mr. Fukuoka. In addition to giving his personal thoughts about natural farming, Korn broadens the discussion by pointing out natural farming’s kinship with the ways of indigenous cultures and traditional Japanese farming. At the same time, he clearly distinguishes natural farming from other forms of agriculture, including scientific and organic agriculture and permaculture. Korn also clarifies commonly held misconceptions about natural farming in ways Western readers can readily understand. And he explains how natural farming can be used practically in areas other than agriculture, including personal growth and development. The book follows the author on his travels from one back-to-the-land commune to another in the countryside of 1970s Japan, a journey that eventually led him to Mr. Fukuoka’s natural farm. Korn’s description of his time there, as well as traveling with Mr. Fukuoka during his visits to the United States, offers a rare, inside look at Mr. Fukuoka’s life. Readers will delight in this personal insight into one of the world’s leading agricultural thinkers.
This book is an important contribution to our understanding of food in China through an ethnographic case study of an alternative food movement in Shanghai and the surrounding countryside. Cody examines a group of middle-class urban residents who move to the countryside to establish small-scale and independent organic farms. The book explores the complex relationships movement protagonists have with customers in the city, rural neighbours in the countryside, volunteers on their farms, intellectuals involved in rural reconstruction initiatives as well as the organic items they produce. In doing so, Cody provides valuable insights into the urban/rural dichotomy and questions of morality in China today. This book speaks to several concerns associated with the accelerated modernization China and other Asian nations are experiencing, including food safety and class relations. It will appeal to scholars and practitioners across a range of fields including anthropology, food studies, rural development and China Studies.
Mycelium Running is a manual for the mycological rescue of the planet. That’s right: growing more mushrooms may be the best thing we can do to save the environment, and in this groundbreaking text from mushroom expert Paul Stamets, you’ll find out how. The basic science goes like this: Microscopic cells called “mycelium”--the fruit of which are mushrooms--recycle carbon, nitrogen, and other essential elements as they break down plant and animal debris in the creation of rich new soil. What Stamets has discovered is that we can capitalize on mycelium’s digestive power and target it to decompose toxic wastes and pollutants (mycoremediation), catch and reduce silt from streambeds and pathogens from agricultural watersheds (mycofiltration), control insect populations (mycopesticides), and generally enhance the health of our forests and gardens (mycoforestry and myco-gardening). In this comprehensive guide, you’ll find chapters detailing each of these four exciting branches of what Stamets has coined “mycorestoration,” as well as chapters on the medicinal and nutritional properties of mushrooms, inoculation methods, log and stump culture, and species selection for various environmental purposes. Heavily referenced and beautifully illustrated, this book is destined to be a classic reference for bemushroomed generations to come. From the Trade Paperback edition.
A Manual for Self-Reliance, Sustainability, and Surviving the Long Emergency, 2nd Edition
Author: Matthew Stein
Pubpsher: Chelsea Green Publishing
Category: House & Home
There’s never been a better time to “be prepared.” Matthew Stein’s comprehensive primer on sustainable living skills—from food and water to shelter and energy to first-aid and crisis-management skills—prepares you to embark on the path toward sustainability. But unlike any other book, Stein not only shows you how to live “green” in seemingly stable times, but to live in the face of potential disasters, lasting days or years, coming in the form of social upheaval, economic meltdown, or environmental catastrophe. When Technology Fails covers the gamut. You’ll learn how to start a fire and keep warm if you’ve been left temporarily homeless, as well as the basics of installing a renewable energy system for your home or business. You’ll learn how to find and sterilize water in the face of utility failure, as well as practical information for dealing with water-quality issues even when the public tap water is still flowing. You’ll learn alternative techniques for healing equally suited to an era of profit-driven malpractice as to situations of social calamity. Each chapter (a survey of the risks to the status quo; supplies and preparation for short- and long-term emergencies; emergency measures for survival; water; food; shelter; clothing; first aid, low-tech medicine, and healing; energy, heat, and power; metalworking; utensils and storage; low-tech chemistry; and engineering, machines, and materials) offers the same approach, describing skills for self-reliance in good times and bad. Fully revised and expanded—the first edition was written pre-9/11 and pre-Katrina, when few Americans took the risk of social disruption seriously—When Technology Fails ends on a positive, proactive note with a new chapter on "Making the Shift to Sustainability," which offers practical suggestions for changing our world on personal, community and global levels.
"The members of 7group and Bill Reed are examples writ large ofthe kind of leadership that is taking this idea of green buildingand forming it into reality, by helping change minds, buildingpractice, and design process." —from the Foreword by S. Rick Fedrizzi President, CEO, andFounding Chair, U.S. Green Building Council A whole-building approach to sustainability The integrative design process offers a new path to makingbetter green building decisions and addressing complex issues thatthreaten living systems. In The Integrative Design Guide to GreenBuilding: Redefining the Practice of Sustainability, 7group'sprincipals and integrative design pioneer Bill Reed introducedesign and construction professionals to the concepts of wholebuilding design and whole systems. With integrative thinking thatreframes what sustainability means, they provide a how-to guide forarchitects, designers, engineers, developers, builders, and otherprofessionals on incorporating integrative design into every phaseof a project. This practical manual: Explains the philosophy and underpinnings of effectiveintegrative design, addressing systems thinking and building andcommunity design from a whole-living system perspective Details how to implement integrative design from the discoveryphase to occupancy, supported by process outlines, itemized tasks,practice examples, case studies, and real-world storiesillustrating the nature of this work Explores the deeper understanding of integration that isrequired to transform architectural practice and our role on theplanet This book, both practical and thoughtful, will help you deliveryour vision of a sustainable environment. 7group, based in Kutztown, Pennsylvania, includes principalsJohn Boecker, Scot Horst, Tom Keiter, Andrew Lau, Marcus Sheffer,and Brian Toevs, who bring a unique integration of expertise indesign, engineering, energy and daylight modeling, materialsassessments, commissioning, education, and communications to theirwork. Internationally recognized thought leaders in the greenbuilding movement, they have led countless teams through thepractical implementation of integrative design on building projectsof all types around the world. 7group also has been directly anddeeply involved with the development of the LEED® GreenBuilding Rating System, including experience on more than 100 LEEDprojects. Scot Horst currently serves as chair of the U.S. GreenBuilding Council's LEED Steering Committee.