Pretty much everything that Masanobu Fukuoka wrote is inspiring and useful in some ways, but there are a few that really stand out so I made a list of useful and practical quotes that can be applied in gardens and farming.
Most quotes by Masanobu you can find on the internet is inspiring and philosophical, but here I want to highlight the more practical quotes:
1. Nature does not go on unbalanced rampages. It has mechanisms for self-control in places unknown to man.
2. The soil tends to become imbalanced when a stand of one type of plant is grown year after year on the same land; the emergence and succession of different weeds is more natural and more conducive to soil enrichment and development.
3. You can grow vegetables any place there is a varied and vigorous growth of weeds. It is important to become familiar with the yearly cycle and growing pattern of the weeds and grasses. By looking at the variety and the size of the weeds in a certain area, you can tell what kind of soil is there and whether or not a deficiency exists.
4. Plowing land is not good. It removes the green cover and exposes the bacteria to sunshine. Just as we need clothes to protect our skin from sunshine, our planet needs green. I have used my farm for fifty consecutive years. There is no need to let it take a rest, because I have never plowed.
5. We often speak of “producing food,” but farmers do not produce the food of life. Only nature has the power to produce something from nothing. Farmers merely assist nature.
6.There is no good or evil in nature. Natural farming admits to the existence neither of insect pests nor of beneficial insects. If a pest outbreak occurs, damaging the barley, one reflects that this was probably triggered by some human mistake. Invariably, the cause lies in some action by man; perhaps the barley was seeded too densely or a beneficial fungus that attacks pests was killed, upsetting nature’s balance.
Thus, in natural farming, one always solves the problem by reflecting on the mistake and returning as close to nature as possible.
7. While my father celebrated his profit-making citrus crops, his sturdy trees, and his growing wealth, the orchard soil had become depleted.
I set out to raise fruit trees that grow as the soil enriches. This was one of the main reasons why I grew cover crops.
8. No other evergreen tree of the pea family grows as quickly as the black wattle. It grows five feet or more in a year, creating a shelter belt in just three to four years and becoming about the size of a telephone pole in seven to eight years. After five to six years of growth, I felled these and buried the trunks and tops in trenches within the orchard. Saplings do not take well, so it is better to plant the seed directly. All one has to do is scatter seed here and there throughout the orchard and, in six years or so, it becomes hard to tell from a distance whether one is looking at a citrus grove or a forest.
9. In about twelve inches of topsoil, there are enough nutrients to sustain an orchard for ten years without adding fertilizer. If you have three feet of rich earth, the orchard can be sustained for approximately thirty years. If we can retain and maintain the richness of natural forest soil by using a soil-building combination of plants, including nitrogen- fixing plants such as white clover, beans, and vetch, then no-fertilizer cultivation is possible indefinitely.
10. If possible, you should dig holes for planting, add coarse organic matter, and then plant the trees in a raised mound on top of that. Trees that are planted and grown in a natural way live longer and are more resistant to insects and disease than those grown with extra fertilizer and agricultural chemicals.
BONUS: The only sensible approach to disease and insect control, I think, is to grow sturdy crops in a healthy environment.
If you have some other useful practical quote by Masanobu you wish to see added, just contact me and I add it.