Masanobu Fukuoka’s book, The One-Straw Revolution, caused a stir around the world.
His principles, unconstrained by conventional practices, struck a chord with many readers and impelled them to visit his farm. It was a time of worldwide economic growth. While this gave people a sense of material abundance, some searched for fulfillment that consumerism could not provide. Masanobu, at the time, perceived his farm as a ray of light.
Based on Masanobu’s principles from that time, we grow our produce with tender care, engaging in dialogue with nature and interacting sincerely with consumers. We consider the sometimes inconsistent, lumpy appearance of our produce as a part of who we are. Rest assured that we would never deceive customers nor infringe on nature. Our ethos is honesty.
The serene mountains and rivers of nature remain unchanged since times of old, even if the chaotic world order is distorted. One drop of water creates a river, which in turn creates the countryside anew. In the relay of life, the farm is now overseen by Masanobu’s son Masato and grandson Hiroki, drops in the great river. Every day, we aspire to continue being pure and clear drops in the Ehime countryside.
This is the Masanobu Fukuoka Natural Farm.
I was born in 1973 and grew up knowing I was to inherit the family farm. In my teens, I became fascinated with environmental issues and the philosophies of life and nature. I came to appreciate our family farm and farming methods, and resolved to one day take over the business. After graduating university, I went off to experience life with my father telling me to return to the farm by the time I was 30. But I discovered I wanted to take a hands-on approach to learning, so I started working on the farm when I was 25, and now I run it.
- Masanobu Fukuoka Natural Farm
The history of Masanobu Fukuoka Natural Farm
The Fukuoka family were sharecroppers and village headmen before World War II, and Kameichi, Masanobu’s father, served as the village mayor. Masanobu, who loved learning, attended university and later found a position in the quarantine department of the Yokohama Customs Office. When he suddenly took gravely ill and almost died, he realized that “in this world there is nothing at all.” Thus he awakened to the “philosophy of emptiness,” a Buddhist concept which would have a profound impact on the rest of his life.
To prove it, Masanobu returned to Ehime to advocate his natural approach to farming and put his philosophy into practice.
Masanobu continued his research into the natural farming methods of “no cultivation, no chemical fertilizer, and no weeding,” which ran counter to the swift modernization of agriculture during Japan’s period of rapid economic growth in the 1960s and 1970s. However, the more he researched natural farming, the more difficult it became to manage the farm due to its inconsistent yields.
When Masato, his son, took over, he too devoted himself to studying natural farming. He struggled to find ways to ensure stable production and sales, based on the farming methods his father advocated. But he succeeded in establishing a steady income by farming without the use of pesticides or chemical fertilizers.
Today, the farm is run my Masato’s son, Hiroki, who remains committed to maintaining business stability. He is searching for his own natural farming methods and “philosophy of emptiness” so more people will become acquainted with natural farming and be able to make a living from farming, themselves.