Why we should go back to ‘do nothing’ farming?

Published on by Nika Zobec

Natural farming, popularly known as “do nothing” farming, is an environmentally sustainable way of growing food, founded not in technique, but in the philosophical principal of living and growing food in accordance with nature’s principal.

Does it mean farmers don’t have to work at all? Not necessarily…

In fact, to ‘do nothing’ is to remove all the human prejudice from farming and leave it to nature.

Developed in Japan primarily by Masanobu Fukuoka in his book One Straw Revolution, natural farming contrasts starkly with most contemporary forms of farming in that it is premised on developing closer relationships between farmer, land, and consumer, where as the industrial farming process, requires the fundamental separation of these relationships.

This point has proven to be a key element in natural farming’s inherent sustainability.

Why the chemical industrial way of producing food wouldn’t work?

For this, there is a simple answer: there is no way for any system of production to continue, if it consistently takes more resources fromthe Earth than can be replaced.

Science, as well as in-field practice, clearly proves that industrial-scale farming is absolutely, unquestionably, unrealistic.

There is no way around this, and no amount of technology or innovation can ever reconcile the biological fact no farm can continue to feed the planet if it is based on extraction and pollution instead of regeneration ofthe Earth’s habitats and resources.

The proper question then, becomes: how do we move away from the current destructive ways, towards more regenerative ways of farming and of living?

Here are a few “principles” that nature tends to teach farmers:

  • There is no need to till the field
  • Bugs and weeds are not enemies
  • There is no need for external inputsof any kind into your farm
  • Let nature decide what grows

As Larry Korn reminds us, realizing natural farming’s true benefits requires us “to become partners again with other forms of life,” and this kind of learning can only be fully realized through real-world practice.

With so many places now cultivating “poisonous food”, natural farming becomes not only an alternative, but a much-needed solution. Not only for its methods but for its values focused on creating are generative way of farming and living.

As nature creates everything and people are there to serve nature.