Here is the link if you are interested in reading the whole interview. https://www.context.org/ICLIB/IC14/Fukuoka.htm What I have questions about is what they discuss in this part of the interview specifically. Robert: How have you applied your method to the deserts? Masanobu: Chemical agriculture can't change the desert. Even if they have a tractor and a big irrigation system, they are not able to do it. I came to the realization that to make the desert green requires natural farming. The method is very simple. You just need to sow seeds in the desert. Here is a picture of experimentation in Ethiopia. This area was beautiful 90 years ago, and now it looks like the desert in Colorado. I gave seeds for 100 varieties of plants to people in Ethiopia and Somalia. Children planted seeds, and watered them for three days. Because of high temperature and not having water, the root goes down quickly. Now the large Daikon radishes are growing there. People think there isn't any water in the desert, but even in Somalia and Ethiopia, they have a big river. It is not that they do not have water; the water just stays underneath the earth. They find the water under 6 to 12 feet. Diane: Do you just use water to germinate the seeds, and then the plants are on their own? Masanobu: They still need water, like after ten days and after a month, but you should not water too much, so that the root grows deep. People have home gardens in Somalia these days. The project started with the help of UNESCO with a large amount of money, but there are only a couple of people doing the experiment right now. These young people from Tokyo don't know much about farming. I think it is better to send seeds to people in Somalia and Ethiopia, rather than sending milk and flour, but there isn't any way to send them. People in Ethiopia and Somalia can sow seeds, even children can do that. But the African governments, the United States, Italy, France, they don't send seeds, they only send immediate food and clothing. The African government is discouraging home gardens and small farming. During the last 100 years, garden seed has become scarce. Diane: Why do these governments do this? Masanobu: The African governments and the United States government want people to grow coffee, tea, cotton, peanuts, sugar - only five or six varieties to export and make money. Vegetables are just food, they don't bring in any money. They say they will provide corn and grain, so people don't have to grow their own vegetables. A Japanese college professor that went to Somalia and Ethiopia said this is the hell of the world. I said, "No, this is the entrance to heaven." Those people have no money, no food, but they are very happy. The reason they are very happy is that they don't have schools or teachers. They are happy carrying water, happy cutting the wood. It is not a hard thing for them to do; they truly enjoy doing that. Between noon and three it is very hot, but other than that, there is a breeze, and there are not flies or mosquitoes. One thing the people of the United States can do instead of going to outer space is to sow seeds from the space shuttle into the deserts. There are many seed companies related to multi-national corporations. They could sow seeds from airplanes. Diane: If seeds were thrown out like that, would the rains be enough to germinate them? Masanobu: No, that is not enough, so I would sow coated seeds so they wouldn't dry out or get eaten by animals. There are probably different ways to coat the seeds. You can use soil, but you have to make that stick, or you can use calcium. My farm has everything: fruit trees, vegetables, acacia. Like my fields, you need to mix everything and sow at the same time. I took about 100 varieties of grafted trees there, two of each, and almost all of them, about 80%, are growing there now. The reason I am saying to use an airplane is because, if you are just testing you use only a small area. But we need to make a large area green quickly. It needs to be done at once! You have to mix vegetables and trees; that's the fastest way for success. Another reason I am saying you have to use airplanes is that you have to grow them fast, because if there is 3% less green area around the world, the whole earth is going to die. Because of lack of oxygen, people won't feel happy. You feel happy in the spring because of the oxygen from the plants. We breathe out carbon dioxide and breathe in oxygen, and the plants do the opposite. Human beings and plants not only have a relationship in eating, but also share air. Therefore, the lack of oxygen in Somalia is not only a problem there, it is also a problem here. Because of the rapid depletion of the land in those parts of Africa, everyone will feel this happening. It is happening very quickly. There is no time to wait. We have to do something now. People in Ethiopia are happy with wind and light, fire and water. Why do people need more? Our task is to practice farming the way God does. That could be the way to start saving this world. ---------end of interview----------- Ok, so my questions are as follows- -- do you know of any groups out there, doing as Fukuoka perscribes? Are their people out there regenerating deserts by means of Fukuokian methods? From the perspective of a permaculturist: is Fukuoka's perpective nonesense, naive? I've read onestraw revolution and the book was highly intelligent - -but what he prescribes is just so simple. I've only begun educating myself on gardening 6months ago and have very little hands on experience but feel i've tapped into a great resevoir of minds via the web. Please, express what you feel is significant, helpful. thanks.