At the end of a week with Shikoku-based natural farmer Okitsu-san, my body is still smarting in places from the work of weeding — as a natural farm, this place has some major healthy weeds — but my mind is refreshed. The experience this week, which consisted of days in the field, and nights conversing with Okitsu-san over dinner, showed me much about the ‘truth’ behind natural farming. Perhaps even as much as the past year-and-a-half of research and interviews for The Final Straw documentary.
It’s funny, because the concepts which these farmers live by are so frustratingly simple, that it has been a difficult thing for the logical side of my mind to comprehend; everything always had to have some comlex series of reasons behind it, some logical truth that could be put into formula, or at least organized prose and thesis. But that’s not how natural farming works.
It’s more simple than any of that, and although this simplicity is the key to an amazing concept, it is also the issue behind our general lack of understanding. We don’t want to turn our neat and tidy system of categorical life management off, because it will confuse our world too much. For many, natural farming is a ‘simplicity’ overload.
Even the few small pieces of natural farming that you can view in a logical way seem again, far too simple. If we take the ‘distribution’ piece of natural farming, for instance, and place it against the system we know, we get something like this: