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Sowing Seeds in the Desert: Natural Farming, Global Restoration, and Ultimate Food Security

4.22  ·  Rating Details  ·  169 Ratings  ·  22 Reviews
The earth is in great peril, due to the corporatization of agriculture, the rising climate crisis, and the ever-increasing levels of global poverty, starvation, and desertification on a massive scale. This present condition of global trauma is not "natural," but a result of humanity's destructive actions. And, according to Masanobu Fukuoka, it is reversible. We need to cha ...more
Hardcover, 208 pages
Published May 28th 2012 by Chelsea Green Publishing (first published May 14th 2012)
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Aug 12, 2012 Jared rated it it was ok
Shelves: non-fiction, farming
This book was okay, but my expectations were probably too high. I was hoping for more of the practical "hands on" explanation of natural farming and less of the zen, one-with-the-earth philosophy, which was the bulk of the book, and felt unnecessary.

I enjoyed the author's personal experiences with his farm in Japan as well as his integrated, non-tilling, multi-species seeding recommendations for healing damaged soil. That was helpful. I think he could have gone further with the inclusion of anim
Ian Wood
Sep 04, 2015 Ian Wood rated it did not like it
This is the complete review as it appears at my blog dedicated to reading, writing (no 'rithmatic!), movies, & TV. Blog reviews often contain links which are not reproduced here, nor will updates or modifications to the blog review be replicated here. Graphic and children's reviews on the blog typically feature two or three images from the book's interior, which are not reproduced here.

Note that I don't really do stars. To me a book is either worth reading or it isn't. I can't rate it three-
Shakara Petteway
Aug 28, 2015 Shakara Petteway rated it liked it
At first, I was disappointed by the lack of detail when it came to Fukuoka's plans to reverse desertification. But then I recalled Larry Korn's words in the book's introduction: "Mr. Fukuoka told us over and over that the philosophy was everything, and the farming was merely an example of the philosophy" (xxi).

This book deals quite heavily with Fukuoka's philosophy. His statements are entwined with a few anecdotes that--in my mind--often a have loose connection with what he is trying to say. To
Henri Moreaux
Having read Masanobu's first book, The One-Straw Revolution, I was excited to dig into Sowing Seeds in the Desert to gain more knowledge on his techniques and the practical applications of such. Disappointingly the book mostly deals with his philosophy of natural farming & being at one with nature.

It's a good book, but the majority of it is to do with his philosophy which wasn't of that much interest to me. There's some interesting recounts of travels through India & the United States of
Dec 31, 2014 Oliver rated it really liked it
This book was a great introduction for me to Fukuoka's ideas & natural farming. It was a bit light on the details of natural farming, instead giving a more overview of how he came to his technique, his philosophy, his thoughts on the agriculture business and his efforts to help revegetate the deserts of the world. Before I read this I just thought deserts were an inevitable consequence of climate & geography, however after reading Fukuoka's thoughts, I kind of see this possibility of hav ...more
Jan 22, 2014 Oliver rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
Masanobu Fukuoka was a farmer and philosopher who first became a leader in the worldwide sustainable agriculture movement with the release of The One-Straw Revolution in 1975. Sowing Seeds in the Desert seems to build off of his introduction to his farming techniques, but is still easily accessible and understandable for those, such as myself, who have not read his previous works.

The book begins with some history to help the reader understand Fukuoka's life; his world, spiritual, political, and
Though I was looking for more of a practical guide to permaculture, this was the only book my library had that was even close to the subject. This is more of a philosophical book, talking about his beliefs on nature, science, as well as giving sort of a history of how he came to his method of natural farming, as well as some of his travels and efforts in trying to spread the ideas.

I read it in a couple hours of highly engaged reading. I really like this man's take on farming and the best way fo
Nov 11, 2013 Darweech rated it it was amazing
Shelves: farming
The Best like always, of course a farmer of 50+ years that spent his life making more food for less and less efforts and materials is a genius, no wonder he is the ghandi of farming. Fukuoka used the same techniques he gathered and connected together to farm his farm in aim to reforest the deserts of these world without any mentioned efforts.
Dropping many many seed balls that would have all the kind of seeds from all over the world on the land, specially near the river. This balls can be droppe
Apr 13, 2016 Trish rated it it was ok
I found a few interesting insights in this book. However, it wasn't what I expected. The author talks a lot about zen and being one with the earth. Overall it just didn't seem very practical or helpful.
Stephie Jane Rexroth
Mar 17, 2013 Stephie Jane Rexroth rated it it was amazing
"I spent many years of my youth foolishly searching for something I 'should' have been doing. Instead, I should have entrusted everything to the flowers blooming in the meadow. Even if people do nothing at all, the grasses and trees and the songbirds will live on."

"The sad truth is that for much of my youth, I, too, felt estranged from nature. But now I just take a single flower in my hand and converse with it. I have finally learned that, although nature does not reach out to people directly, p
Bossy Acres
Nov 09, 2012 Bossy Acres rated it really liked it
Fukuoka is a farmer and a philosopher so it wasn't a surprise to me that much of this book early on was very philosophically based. One doesn't have to be a farmer, however, to find his teachings, views, and experiences beneficial. This book was especially a good overview of Fukuoka's travels and research - setting the stage of his life's work - rehabilitating our poor environmental conditions and reclaiming global food security through natural farming methods.

This was his final book, but it se
May 01, 2016 Amelia rated it it was amazing
Irrigation, dams and canals cannot solve the problem of expanding deserts. Only natural farming brings together the need for food production and the regeneration of green areas which together create an environment in which water is not only conserved but created.
Aug 07, 2014 Kak rated it liked it
Dec 23, 2012 Marie rated it it was amazing
I'm only a third of the way through this book but I just love it so much, it really speaks to me. I don't know if I read parts of Fukoakas philosophy in Mollison's work, but Ive had this thing in my mind saying "let the plants do the work" for everything whether its wind breaks, heating, food, whatever, they want to grow, want to live, we just have to let them. Im interested in his semi-wild farming as well as low energy,abundant, in harmony with nature its definitely something I want to aspire ...more
Dana Ross
Jul 31, 2014 Dana Ross rated it really liked it
A beautiful and practical guide to the future healing of the world and providing abundance for us all. Fukuoka describes a harmonious method of agriculture that gives more food and nutrition with less work and gas than traditional agribusiness farming methods. His methods replenish the soil and environment while nourishing our bodies and souls.
Steven Allat
Sep 11, 2013 Steven Allat rated it it was amazing
Shelves: gardening, on-living
As 'The One Straw Revolution' changed my life about 15 years ago, so does this continuation of his story of natural farming and living.
I can find no fault with anything he says and most of the practices he advocates.
We should all think and live so naturally, so abundantly, so connected.
Sep 04, 2012 David rated it it was amazing
I was inspired by this book - a complete surprise, and now I will read One Straw Revolution. The first couple of chapters especially, as I was ready for the inspiration of how to just "be" in the natural world.
Sara J.
May 19, 2015 Sara J. rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
Wow. Such an interesting read. Part guide to natural farming, part life philosophy, part zen. Only gave it 4stars due to some waffling at the start...
Aug 22, 2012 Anna rated it it was amazing
Shelves: ag-food
An inspiring idea regarding combating desertification, and also a great story that makes you feel like you know Mr. Fukuoka personally.
Feb 02, 2013 Karen rated it really liked it
Beautiful, inspired book on seeking true joy by recognizing the natural rhythms, cycles and patterns of nature and living with in them.
Mar 20, 2013 Nikki rated it it was amazing
Saving Earth's soil
will take not interfering
with how it worked before.
Mria Quijada
Mria Quijada rated it it was amazing
Jun 26, 2016
Prashanth Jnanendra
Prashanth Jnanendra rated it really liked it
Jun 25, 2016
Prashanth Jnanendra
Prashanth Jnanendra marked it as to-read
Jun 20, 2016
Evanjelina Krkić
Evanjelina Krkić marked it as to-read
Jun 12, 2016
Max Ward
Max Ward marked it as to-read
Jun 10, 2016
Luka marked it as to-read
Jun 07, 2016
Robert rated it really liked it
Jun 06, 2016
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Masanobu Fukuoka was born in 1914 in a small farming village on the island of Shikoku in Southern Japan. He was educated in microbiology and worked as a soil scientist specializing in plant pathology, but at the age of twenty-five he began to have doubts about the "wonders of modern agriculture science."

While recovering from a severe attack of pneumonia, Fukuoka experienced a moment of satori or p
More about Masanobu Fukuoka...

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“A natural person can achieve right diet because his instinct is in proper working order. He is satisfied with simple food; it is nutritious, tastes good, and is useful daily medicine. Food and the human spirit are united.” 0 likes
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