"do-nothing method of natural farming".
I have recently read that there are those that like to disclaim being "a granola crunching, Silent Spring toting, environmentalist whacko" when talking about the earth and growing things. Understandable when such labels dredge up preconcieved notions that can undermine the validity of what one has to say.
But I am not afraid and will wear the tag proudly and aspire to actually living up to such an indictment.
Instead of 'Silent Spring' the book I tote tends to vary but most often is 'The One Straw Revolution' by Mansanobu Fukuoka. A philosophy of life as well as the garden, interests me more than the scientific verification of mankinds mistakes. I have read what Rachel Carson had to say and am grateful for her work but I have never used such chemicals and as Bill Mollison has said " choose your friends from people who you like what they do - even though you mightn't like what they say" So I chose those writers that have lived their words...
The writings of this wise old farmer, Mansanobu Fukuoka, helped me to understand what to do and how to do it in my own garden. He helped me understand how to watch, to learn from the earth and the plants and the creatures themself...to figure out where we fit and what we should do or not do.
I have learned that weeds and insects have a part to play and that there is a balance that will develope in time if our intrusion does not cause upset .
In a later writing of Fukuoka's he talks about using seed balls. Mixing many kinds of seeds in mud balls to reclaim waste land. I wondered if these could be made with native plants and tossed into neglected urban lots. Such musing brought to light this site.
I am so tempted!!!
FUKUOKA: First of all, I operate under four firm principles.
The first is NO TILLING . . . that is, no turning or plowing of the soil. Instead, I let the earth cultivate itself by means of the penetration of plant roots and the digging activity of micro-organisms, earthworms, and small animals.
The second rule is NO CHEMICAL FERTILIZER OR PREPARED COMPOST.
I've found that you can actually drain the soil of essential nutrients by careless use of such dressings! Left alone, the earth maintains its own fertility, in accordance with the orderly cycle of plant and animal life.
The third guideline I follow is NO WEEDING, either by cultivation or by herbicides. Weeds play an important part in building soil fertility and in balancing the biological community . . . so I make it a practice to control—rather than eliminate—the weeds in my fields. Straw mulch, a ground cover of white clover interplanted with the crops, and temporary flooding all provide effective weed control in my fields.
The final principle of natural farming is NO PESTICIDES. As I've emphasized before, nature is in perfect balance when left alone. Of course, harmful insects and diseases are always present, but normally not to such an extent that poisonous chemicals are required to correct the situation. The only sensible approach to disease and insect control, I think, is to grow sturdy crops in a healthy environment.
To read more in the old man's own words...
The Plowboy Interview