Tuesday, 5 June 2018

The Advantage of Natural Farming as an Eco‐Friendly Way of Living: Practice and Discourse on the “Learners’ Fields” in Fukuoka, Japan

Culture, Agriculture, Food and Environment Volume 40, Issue 1 Original Article Kaoru Fukuda First published: 03 December 2017 Share a link [Privacy Badger has replaced this AddThis button.] Abstract This article is based on participant‐observation research among a small group of people who practice Natural Farming (Shizennō) in Fukuoka Prefecture, Japan. Natural Farming differs from organic farming in that practitioners do not plow the land, use fertilizers or agrochemicals, or try to eliminate weeds and insects. The members of the group chose this method primarily to improve self‐sufficiency in an ecological way, but they were also attracted to the way of life working closely with and “in harmony with” nature. This research reveals that, although the productivity of Natural Farming per land area is about the same as that of mainstream organic farming, the higher labor intensity hinders commercialization. The absence of commercial intention, however, appears to be an “advantage” that makes Natural Farming easy to start for laypersons. Above all, Natural Farming gives practitioners not only an improved self‐sufficiency, but a feeling that they are getting to know the essence of nature.