Fukuoka gardening

Youtube diary of this year’s landrace/Fukuoka gardening
Hello all,
Long time lurker, first time posting!

I’m Mike Dixon, I like in Kentucky, zone 6b, and I’ve been growing grexes and landraces ever since catching the Fukuoka bug and then later learning about Joseph’s breeding philosophy about five years ago (back when you could order seeds directly from him with silver dimes). I’m looking forward to participating in this year’s seed exchange (gotta get my seeds packed up!)

My approach is based on making the Fukuoka style of growing work with annuals by customizing my varieties through landrace seed saving. I focus on mostly getting away with surface-sown direct seeding, I am trying to move away from most transplants. I employ a few tricks from Korean Natural Farming and JADAM as well, but I see a path towards not needing to fuss too much with inputs and to focus instead on making gardening as fun and stimulating to the human mind as possible.

I document my garden on my Youtube, it’s called The Universe in the Garden. I do a lot of thinking out loud, pondering and expressing joy and surprise and how things grow. I deeply enjoy the mental space that comes from this kind of gardening!

Looking forward to sharing ideas and seeds with all of you.


Debbie A
Hello, Mike! Welcome to the group. I’m looking forward to watching your YouTube channel, especially your techniques for direct seeding. I would like to get away from babying transplants, mainly to save time and space indoors. Thanks for joining!

Ray S
Hello and welcome. I’m only just beginning the landrace journey and I love that it has taken interest in the garden to a new level. I’m also looking forward following everybody’s progress.

Ryder T
Hi Mike! :slightly_smiling_face: I’ve actually seen one of your videos (the half hour fukuoka/landrace intersection) and was very inspired by it. It’s exactly the kind of thing we want to do more of on the homestead.

Mark R
@Michael Dixon
, I see you’re in KY zone 6B,
@H.B Timberlake
, I think in your post you said you’re in IN zone 6A.

Sweet, that make three of us. I’m SE Indiana, close enough almost to spit in the Ohio River. Maybe in future we can set up some kind of a reginal landrace adaptation project.

To gage how close we are, do either of you know where any of these towns are.
KY - Florence, Dry Ridge, Owenton, Carrollton, Bedford?
IN - Lawrenceburg, Versailles, Madison, Rising Sun, Hanover?

Michael D
A regional landrace project would be great, I’m always down to share and swap seeds.

I’m from Indiana originally, so I’m more familiar with the IN towns you listed than the KY ones. I live about 40 miles south of Lexington.

Let’s not forget that the original modern landrace, Astronomy Domine corn, comes from southern Indiana, assembled by Alan Bishop. If I remember right, this is the one that inspired Joseph Lofthouse to first grow his own landraces.

Ryder T
@Mark R
I would love that! I know some of those towns but we’re much closer to Bedford IN than Bedford Kentucky

Maarten F
Mike, thanks for your YouTube videos, I enjoy them and it inspired me to do more surface-sown direct seeding next year. I am from Northern Kentucky and would gladly meet as well to share and swap seeds.

Michael D
Hello there Maarten! Thanks for your comments. I’d be happy to swap seeds and meet up, always looking to meet fellow Kentucky gardeners.


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Anyone else trying Fukuoka style gardening? I made a half hearted attempt by broadcasting beans into lawn. Then we entered a serious drought period; the worst in recorded history. A few plants managed to come up. They struggled valiantly for a few weeks then gave up the ghost. I haven’t tried since.

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I wouldn’t bill this as Fukuoka gardening, but I did throw a bunch of seeds on a pad of compost and grew an experimental milpa last year.


Looks like it worked a treat!

I have been slightly thinking about this concept for my 8b Mediterranean climate. Starting with spring wheat. I haven’t landed on an ideal follow on crop, as we seem to be too dry in august/July to germinate a crop until October. So, the climactic differences make it slightly more complicated than a copy-paste solution.

Thanks for documenting your garden .

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Maybe try winter wheat, and then plant your next crop between the rows shortly before you harvest? In zone 8 I should think winter wheat would be ready by June at the latest. Probably use something leafy, like sweet potatoes or squash. Use the stubble to protect the young plants.


Looking forward to watching your project. This year I have been toying with the aspect of growing everything together in my main garden. I have a small area I have been adding organic matter to these last few years and lightly weeding. Thinking I will try full Fukuoka method to it this year.

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I have read 4 of Fukuoka’s books and apply what I can in my high mountain desert climate. I’m still practicing what will work for me. I wish I had met him. I look forward to seeing your YouTube videos!

I had never heard of Fukuoka’s work but i think i am mostly going to be doing this. I have shoveled the turf off parts of my lawn and direct seeded, and my husband did clear a big plot of earth that i have also direct seeded. I direct seeded random mixes of whatever is ready to be planted every two weeks, and have been planting in successions. I dont plan on using fertilizer if possible, maybe just puttng leaves on in the off season because i have too many leaves. And i think i am going to just eat the radishes and green and then just try direct seeding on the soaces left behind for the crops that are after last frost. I dont know how its going to work but cant wait to see what happens!

I will be looking into the other philosophies you mentioned and i will be checking out the youtube channel!

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