Episode-1745- Larry Korn on The Philosophy and Work of Masanobu Fukuoka — 12 Comments

  1. Jack,

    What’s your opinion on the book, The Giving Tree, by Shel Silverstein. I have read it with my kids at least 10 times — they like it that much— yet I can’t figure out how I feel about it.

    • I’ve never read it, don’t even know what it is about beyond the title.

    • Well, if you ever get the chance, here is a the story narrated by the author in a short film. It’s quite a depressing story in my view. But when my kid read it, the first thing that came to her head was why didn’t the boy (an old man, then) cut just another piece of tree and have some dentures made, after all, the tree had given the boy her limbs and shade to play and rest, her apples for money, her branches to build a house, her trunk to build a boat and once finally a stump, served as a resting place for the boy to sit.

  2. Jack and Larry,

    Thank you very much for an enlightening and inspirational interview! There is something to simple methods. Mind like water!

    Keep going with all the good you’re doing and sharing.

    Flint, MI

  3. RE: Earth Gods vs Sky Gods

    It’s pretty interesting how in the Judeo-Christian Mythos, the same time God stopped walking the earth with humanity is the same time man was cursed with the plow.

  4. Clarification: It may seem that Jack and I are in disagreement about the Federalists. In fact we are not. In writing the history segments I am often limited in what I can say because if I start adding qualifying statements, the main thrust of my point will be lost. I have one paragraph to make a point, so I make my best point and trust that Jack will fill in what I leave out.

    Thank you, Jack. I especially loved it when you pointed out in the previous podcast that Benjamin Franklin was the first Open Source developer. Excellent.

    The Democrats seem to be the new Federalists, but make no mistake… the Republicans are Federalist-lite (less disruption, slower change, but central control, nevertheless).

    “Trust me. I’m from the government.” (shudder!)

    Alex Shrugged

  5. “Man must also turn away from a world of expansion and extinction, and place his faith instead in contraction and revival”, Natural Way of Farming, page 262. Fukuoka and indigenous cultures it seems like, shared common beliefs about how to live. They both lived as minimalist and and believed in limits. Fukuoka lived in a mud hut and didn’t believe in the accumulation of material possessions. Ditto for native tribes. The mindset of a culture that accumulates wealth is that someone else will desire it and therefore it must be protected which creates a environment where a hierarchy of power develops to protect it. This hierarchy then develops into a three headed monster that not only wants to protect but also accumulate that which is not his.

    Fukuoka and native cultures understood the value in limits. Limits created a mindset that if you wanted to have abundance, you couldn’t take more from the land that it was capable of giving. This meant a restricted population that could only support your tribe or household, period. Growth was folly and a road to misery, just look to China, India or any society where growth isn’t checked.

    Why didn’t the theory and practice of Fukuoka not catch on? I think part of it is that it wasn’t demonstrated on farms in Japan and in other countries. People want to see, feel and experience the practice, reading a book doesn’t cut for most of us. Look at how permaculture is expanding because the use of videos, demonstration properties and the experiences of PDC’s and such.

    I disagree with Larry that you had to go way back to find cultures that lived in harmony with the land. Most native cultures(that didn’t practice accumulation) here in North America before the Europeans arrived, for the most part, lived harmoniously with the environment that they lived in. There were hundreds of tribes just in California, that respected their tribes borders and lived and understood the limits the output that the land could provide for them. And they lived there without tilling the soil and destroying the landscape.

    Just think of how the “State” changes how we live and how that destroys our environment. With the “State” demanding tribute, we must extract wealth from our environment for their never ending demands.

    A book that I just read that really calls to question our need for the accumulation of possessions and government is “What is Sustainable” by Richard Reese. It’s an excellent book that looks at native cultures, limits of growth, loss of community through individualism and other interesting ideas.

  6. This was an awesome interview. I learned some new ideas about this natural farming. Looking forward to reading the books. Oh and Ben Franklin never ceases to amaze me.