In rereading Frances Moore Lappe and Wendell Berry's prefaces I noticed that both addressed the "do nothing" aspect of Fukuoka-san's philosophy. The "do-nothing" idea has many facets. I'm sure it will come up several more times during our discussions. Fukuoka believes that we should have every expectation that nature will fully provide for our needs, if we allow it to. That is, if people haven't damaged nature too badly. If we have caused damage, people have a responsibility to repair it. It is also in our self interest.
Wendell reminds readers of the words of the St. Matthew in the bible, "Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns, yet your heavenly Father feedeth them." I usually substitute "nature" for "heavenly Father" in this passage. If we obey the rules of nature (the rules of ecology?), nature will provide food and everything else we need to live. We are further rewarded by being able to appreciate this wonderous creation. That way of living served humanity very well for several million years.
Now, however, we believe that we will not have enough food to eat unless we roll up our sleves, take control from nature, and do it ourselves. Lappe interestingly sees fear as the primary motivation for the change, mainly the fear that we will not have enough to eat. She points out the irony that today we are producing food in such abundance and have at the same time created a persistent "food scarcity."
Practicing natural farming does take a leap of faith. We have come to believe that the only way to provide enough food is to use the plowed field agriculture people developed around 12,000 or 14,000 years ago. It is a kind of production by conquest. One thing is for sure...we are certainly working a lot harder these days to obtain our food. It has been so long by now since we simply sat back and lived as part of nature, enjoying her bounty, in balance with other forms of life, that we have almost forgotten that it was, and still is, possible to live that way.[/b]
"There is no time in modern agriculture for a farmer to write a poem or compose a song" --Masanobu Fukuoka