JUDY KRAVIS

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Thursday, 10 November 2016

One-Straw Revolution by Masanobu Fukuoka

I started reading before a trip to London and finished when I came back, by which time our autumnal eco-patch and any sympathetic reading I might do in that direction were rendered even more poignant by the disastrous turn in American politics. Behind such noisy manipulation it's hard to hear yourself think.
Autumn sunlight through
such leaves as remain a sad—
ness unrequited
Fukuoka did not deviate from his way of farming, or his way of living, which were one and the same: no ploughing, no fertilising, no machines at all, growing crops as wild plants among other wild plants, living off his produce, knowing his trees and his plants, buying only soy sauce and vegetable oil; no wonder he lived to the age of 95.

Looming behind such lucidity and humaneness, is the agro-petro-chemical dependency machine that makes the farmer busier, the CEOs richer and the politics noisier. Better to have zero chemicals, zero machinery, zero economic growth and a population of 100% farmers who, in the slack winter season have the leisure to write haikus, says Fukuoka. Under 5% of the Irish population are farmers. No statistics on how many write haikus, or sonnets.

People are the way their land and air is, as Gertrude Stein said.

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