One straw revolution

One straw revolution

April 26, 2019
book, life, agriculture

“The ultimate goal of farming is not the growing of crops, but cultivation and perfection of human beings.”

My thoughts upon reading “The one-straw revolution by Masanobu Fukuoka”. It does not just teach natural farming, gives you valuable life lessons. It questions your lifestyle and teaches you self reliance.

Biggest benefits shall come when we start to live in harmony with nature. We have disturbed it by bringing in technological advancements that are not sustainable or ecological. The farmer can make the greatest contribution to human development. Many problems can be addressed by the farmer. Being at source and close to nature, choices the farmer makes will make a big impact on the global scale. Our research tries to replicate nature but often fail to achieve the perfection of nature.

If we can right the wrongs of our approach with your basic needs, we can improve the quality of lives on Earth. We should stop the blame game and understand the problem, look for solutions.

Foods that have departed far from their wild state and those raised by chemically unbalance the body chemistry. Eat local and seasonal fruits for better immunity. More chemicals we infuse into our crops/food more chemicals we put into our bodies resulting into unhealthy mind and body.

We are considering our needs based on appearance rather than the value it adds. We all want better-looking vegetables and food for which research is aiding the supplies with practices that move away from a natural way. The way we treat our earth is the same way we treat our body or vice versa.

Our ancestors were primitive with technology but they stayed in harmony with nature. They did not intend to disturb the natural cycle of life on earth. They were definitely happy and nature aided to their happiness with the better yield for their hard work. We made technological advancements but away from nature, it does not look disturbing to plain eyes yet it is affecting the way of life on earth. Minimalistic living can make a profound impact on our lives.

“When farmer began to grow crops to make money, he forgot the real principles of agriculture.” Culture is always entwined with our nature. The more we move away from it, the bigger the problem to solve. Mahatma Gandhi said – “The world has enough for everyone’s need, but not enough for everyone’s greed.” We moved away from our conventional methods of agriculture, we adapted to cash crops instead of ecological balancing crops that are best suited for better yield and need. All thanks to human intellect and capitalism.

There is fear of machines taking over our jobs. Big names in the industry want to bring in rules and universal income to address the cause. Who to blame when we actively adapted machines to meet our every need. We are making machines and chemicals to meet our needs. “A Community that cannot manage to produce its own food will not last long.” Green revolution(s) and machinery brought in techniques to produce more food. There is always a tradeoff between elements in the body, we are doing the same with our crops. Intensive research is adding more value to yield, instead of nutritional value. Nothing to blame when research approached to produce more to address the problem of the hour – food scarcity. Studies show we are producing more food and waste more. Is the problem with production or usage?

We fail to appreciate the perfection of nature, we come to understand only it’s wrath. We know nothing, we have illusions of intellectual mind to understand all of nature. Western/modern science teaches us to study objects in isolation or in a controlled environment but never in its wholesome interaction with the world around in its lifetime. “An object seen in isolation from the whole is not the real thing.” Most of the research is about using few tools for every operation. Same is true with technologically advanced crops, it proposes crops of higher yield for given parameters meaning to grow in the controlled fashion. Treatment of plants/crops goes in hand with the way we treat our fellow beings. More controlled the environment, more deprived will be one’s soul.

People are committed to doing good to the world but their approach towards the problem is an inkling for newer problems. We are trying to fix our solutions instead of finding better solutions.

I am no expert in agriculture but I understand the need of the hour. It is hard to move back to farming from a luxurious lifestyle with packed working hours. Make an attempt to improve your lifestyle in small ways like eat food locally to you, encourage a sustainable lifestyle.

With the end of the book, a question still lingers around “Can natural farming solve and meet our needs?”.

The beautiful excerpt on living in present:

“Day by day hair and nails grow, tens of thousands of cells tens of thousands more are born; the blood in the body a month ago is not the same blood today. When you think that your own characteristics will be propagated in the bodies of your children and grandchildren, you could say that you are dying and being reborn each day, and yet will live on for many generations after death.
If participation in this cycle can be experienced and savored each day, nothing more is necessary. But most people are not able to enjoy life as it passes and changes from day to day. They cling to life as they have already experienced it, and this habitual attachment brings fear of death. Paying attention only to the past, which has already gone, or to the future, which has yet to come, they forget that they are living on the earth here and now. Struggling in confusion, they watch their lives pass as in a dream.”

Key Learnings:

  1. Conventional knowledge/practice are not always the best options.
  2. Life is simple.
  3. Always see the problem as a whole, not in isolation.
  4. Learn to satisfy your needs only for a happier life.
  5. Minimal living, less is more.
  6. Always question your practices if they are ecologically balanced.
  7. Let go of past and expectations.
Copyright © 2024 Karan Nadagoudar