Shizen Nouhou

Following on from Midori’s post yesterday, this month’s issue of Orion Magazine contains a lovely article by Lisa M. Hamilton on shizen nouhou, natural agriculture, as practiced by the Shumei group in Japan. Hamilton profiles a farmer named Susumu Hashimoto, who explains how his daily work is a means of spiritual devotion. Hamilton asks him what he hopes to accomplish through shizen nouhou’s labor-intensive, low-yield method of growing food:

“’World peace,’ he replied, then smiled and waited for the next question, as if there were nothing more to say.”

Read the full article, “Land, Farmer, Community: A Sacred Trust,” on Orion Magazine’s website. And while you’re there, don’t miss the gorgeous poem “Boundaries” by the great Mary Oliver in the same issue. The archive of past issues holds such gems as “Small Wonder” by Barbara Kingsolver (an essay reflecting on miracles, myth, and the nature of war), “The Naturalist” by Barry Lopez (discussing the importance of sitting quietly by a river), “Tumult of Vision” by David Abram (introducing the beautiful photographs of Mathew Chase-Daniel), and a lovely little essay on the humble tortilla by Rebecca Allen.

The painting above is “Seed Saver” by Steven Kenny.


About brent

Brent founded the Hyphae Design Laboratory in February 2008; “the lab” is a consulting and design firm dedicated to bridging the gap between architecture and biological sciences. Brent is also an active member of greenmeme, an artistic design firm based in Los Angeles and The Chlorophyll Collective, an environmental education group based in Oakland, California. From 2005-2008, Brent served as the design director at Rana Creek, an ecological restoration and design firm based in Carmel Valley, California. Brent’s work included the design of large-scale living roofs, ecological landscapes, rainwater catchment systems, living walls, greywater systems and constructed wetlands. Hit me up if interested about the world before that.

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