Most of what I read is purely practical these days. Not much deep philosophy. It’s hard to fit in between all-day canning sessions, compost turning, and refereeing less-than-philosophical debates like “that’s my cheap plastic doohickey-no that’s my cheap plastic doohickey.”
That’s why I was surprised to find that Sowing Seeds in the Desert, by Masanobu Fukuoka (try saying that fast three times) was such a treat. I think we all find as we get older and gain a little more experience and perspective that our overall view of things shifts a little, nudged on by things big and small, and this is one of those small things for me.
Fukuoka, the author of The One-Straw Revolution, was a former plant pathologist who returned to his small family farm and restored it to a self-sustaining, balanced system without chemical fertilizers or herbicides. His farm eventually came to rival conventionally farmed similar farms and became an example of sustainable agriculture.
Fukuoka’s perspective is one of the wholeness of “our” human world, and the natural world. Instead of seeing our human world as a separate entity, completely distinct from nature, he views us as an inseparable part of nature.
The book summarizes his methods to attain sustainability on his farm and follows him as he travels the world observing global desertification and the agricultural methods that promote soil and plant life failure.
One of the most significant parts of this book for me was his assertion that there are no harmful or beneficial insects: just insects doing their thing. It is the imbalance exterior to the intrinsic world of the insects that makes some appear destructive. Each has its role in a balanced system.
I still hate squash borers, but now I see them in a different light–they are examples of the imbalance in my garden’s system. It is both disheartening and encouraging. I can continue to strive toward a more balanced system and see if the tide changes in favor of squash survival—eventually, maybe.
Quite a litmus test, unattainable perhaps, but I see good things happening as I try, anyway.
To get in the running to win the giveaway of this book, just click on the publisher’s link below.