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by Ben Klenner
The Probiotic Life

047 - A Natural Farming Adventure with Larry Korn


This episode is close to my heart, it really exemplifies the journey I’ve been on in the last year.

Join us today as I talk to Larry Korn who was one of Masanobu Fukuoka’s students 40 years ago, and is now an author, teacher, and natural farmer. Larry shares his story of how he came to be a student of Fukuoka, and his adventure since.

We talk about philosophy and the wisdom of nature as well as compare Fukuoka’s Natural Farming to methods of organic agriculture such as Korean Natural Farming and Permaculture.

We also discuss how Natural Farming is in line with the philosophies of indigenous peoples and how some of the main elements are humility and gratefulness. This resonates with me deeply, and I hope it stirs something in you.

Thanks again to everyone who is supporting the podcast in some way. If the message in this podcast has benefited you in any way, share your experience with us and your friends!

May the beneficial microbes be with you…

Larry Korn’s book: One-Straw Revolutionary: The Philosophy and Work of Masanobu Fukuoka

Larry’s website about Masanobu Fukuoka, Natural Farming, and more: www.onestrawrevolution.net

If you want to connect with Larry direct, he has given his email: ldkorn@gmail.com

Masanobu Fukuoka’s books:

Shizen Nōhō — Wara Ippon no Kakumei - Japanese edition of The One-Straw Revolution

The One-Straw Revolution — An Introduction to Natural Farming - Translated English edition

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

The Natural Way of Farming: The Theory and Practice of Green Philosophy (free pdf)

The Road Back to Nature: Regaining the Paradise Lost (pdf)

See Also:

Fukuoka Masanobu Shizen Nōen (Masanobu Fukuoka’s Natural Farm) Official website.

Final Straw: Food, Earth, Happiness, documentary by Patrick Lydon and Suhee Kang.


Traveled to Japan

met a nice lady

traveled to different back to the land communes

the bozoku - the future primitives

when back in America, Larry did soil science and plant nutrition at Berkleyended up going back to Japan with no plan and living on Masanobu Fukuoka’s farm for two years

What does do nothing farming mean

Fukuoka’s background

trying to improve on nature

natural farming is about getting back to our natural mind, our natural way of living

help nature get whole again so it could fulfil its destiny of providing conditions to foster life

building natural diversity

getting crop yields equal to or better than conventional farming

growing trees from seed - maintaining genetic diversity

people can never understand nature - there’s no need to understand

just enjoy being with the plants in nature

natures design - getting human intellect out of designing a farm

Fukuoka’s philosophy is almost identical to what indigenous cultures were doing

talking with the plants and animals, and trying things out

they had humility and gratitude - this is what we’re missing

arrogance is not the way of natural farming

try things out then listen - nature points out the direction to go

came back to the U.S. with the One Straw Revolution manuscript

landscaping in San Francisco

moved to Ashland, Oregon

wrote the book The One Straw Revolutionary - stories and teachings from his time on Fukuoka’s farm

Larry has edited two of Fukuoka’s four english books - One Straw Revolution and Sowing Seeds In The Desert

Fukuoka’s other english books are The Natural Way Of Farming and The Road Back To Nature

natural farming is suited for orchards, and not so much market gardens

natural farming and KNF are different

Larry’s wisdom is to relax, and accept things that come to you rather than grasping

go easier on yourself and do something that makes you happy

Permaculture vs Natural Farming - one is design based, and the other is intuitive

observing in permaculture is the first step to separation - the observer and the observed

indigenous peoples could talk to the plants and were one with them

become the soil




Episode 47

by Ben Klenner