064 One Straw Revolutionary Larry Korn


Larry Korn with Masanobu Fukuoka.

On the podcast this week we interview Larry Korn, author of One-Straw Revolutionary and translator and editor of Masanobu Fukuoka’s The One-Straw Revolution and Sowing Seeds in the Desert. We talk about Larry’s experience living on Fukuoka’s farm and we delve deep into Fukuoka’s natural farming philosophy. During the discussion we cover how natural farming is┬ásimilar to indigenous agriculture and how it’s different than permaculture. We also talk about the mystical experience that changed Fukuoka’s life. Larry’s website is onestrawrevolution.net.

If you want to leave a question for the Root Simple Podcast please call (213) 537-2591 or send an email to [email protected]. You can subscribe to our podcast in the iTunes store and on Stitcher. The theme music is by Dr. Frankenstein. A downloadable version of this podcast is here.

Leave a comment


  1. What is with the changes in the comments section? I am happy to leave you my e-mail and first name privately, but I’d prefer not to have to give my full name repeatedly on the internet.

    Wonderful interview, BTW. Would love to hear more about de-desertification.

    • Hi Kyle, Sorry about this. We were getting 3,000 spam comments a day and getting charged for going over our server’s limits. Our webmaster Roman is working on the problem.

    • Got it!

      I can’t remember if you have the “prove you’re a human” button where you have to select the right image? Another blog has had major spam issues and that seemed to help it quite a bit.

  2. Thank you for this amazing podcast with Mr. Korn!

    I came upon Fukuoka’s work in the 80’s and ever since then, have used his writing in translation as part of my teaching on agrcoecology and soil classes as well as on permaculture courses.

    I disagree that Natural Farming is just ‘a philosophy’ – it is also a practice that involves methodologies, even if some of those methodologies create a more ample opportunity for the cultivator to learn from the site she is working with. Environment as mentor and equal actor in this dance called ‘farming’ or ‘production gardening’.

    Its distinction from Permaculture that Mr. Korn makes is key – intuition affirms us that we are listening deeply and accepting that information or knowledge can some from the body of land we are engaged with.

  3. thanks so much for this interview! I think I need to re-listen again, but I was a bit confused about the part where Mr Korn said that Mr Fukuoka needed to keep pruning the fruit trees at his farm. Did he only need to prune the fruit trees that had already been pruned and not need to prune trees that had never been pruned? I am wondering if I can just “go with the flow, Fukuoka-style” with my new fruit trees.

    I love what you guys do! Thanks again!

    • You’re welcome. As I understand it, yes — you’re right. He needed to continue to prune trees which had been pruned already–he learned this the hard way. I guess “once pruned, always pruned!” I believe he preferred to grow trees from seed, and let them take their own shape. I’m not sure about your new trees–nursery trees, small as they are, come to you pruned already. Does that mess up their “flow”? What happens if you don’t prune them? I don’t know!!! Fukuoka-san may have advised to watch, and follow your intuition.

  4. Pingback: A happy tangle | Root Simple

  5. I can’t thank you enough for this. Mind Blown. We own a small farm that was previously irresponsibly farmed. We’ve struggled greatly to bring even a sign of life back to the abused soil. This podcast gave me great hope and some practical ideas too. Now I’m off to go read the books!

  6. Very cool! I asked my library to get the One Straw Revolution then I went out and bought both books (had to order them)got my books from the bookstore then the library informed me that the book was in and on hold for me, so I checked it out too, reading it right now, great read, Zen…. Can’t wait to read Larry’s book next! He lives in my wife’s hometown, going to look him up next time we visit, sounds like an interesting person to meet, hope that he would have time to talk gardening. (=

  7. Pingback: Our new front yard, part 4: a digression on the new paradigm | Root Simple

  8. The world will not change unless human perception changes; walking through the deer path: a sublime and excellent interview and illumination of Fukuoka Sensei’s vision and philosophy for planet Earth.

    For me, it’s without doubt the most significant reinforcement of the Tao this given year.

    Thank you so much for the sharing and hope you continue the great work and a successful journey!

    Love your voices.

Comments are closed.