Masanobu Fukuoka practised a system of farming he referred to as shizen nōhō (自然農法?) Nature Farming; In English translations till now as “The Natural Way of Farming” or Natural Farming for shorthand. In India, “natural farming” is often referred to as “Rishi Kheti (farming as practised by the ancient sages).”. Although many of his plant varieties and some of his practises, may relate specifically to Japan and even to specific local conditions there in subtropical western Shikoku (island), his philosophy and the governing principles of his farming systems see practical application around the world; Practised with mostly different varieties of plants in different places and climates, as for example in India, in Africa and even in the cold temperate north end of mainland Honshū (island), Aomori Prefecture, far northern Japan, in Akinori Kimura’s apple orchard nature farming (自然農法 shizen nōhō?).
Principally his systems minimise the human labour or disturbance, in facilitating as closely as practical, nature’s reproduction of human foods, such as rice, barley, daikon or citrus mixed within biodiverse agricultural-ecosystems. Without plowing, seeds germinate quite happily on the surface if nature’s conditions at each seed’s site meet that seed’s requirements. Considerable emphasis also gets given to practises sustaining of diversity rather than destructive of it. Spiders’ continuing residence in his annual crop fields provides a ‘key performance indicator‘ of sustainability, he points out.
Ground always remains covered. Weeds, ground cover of white clover, alfalfa (medic) and more herbaceous legumes, and sometimes additional deliberately sown herbaceous plants, receive regard as part of the ecosystems of the grains’ crops, vegetables’ crops and orchards.