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The Power Of Duck – A Review

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A Brief Description

“The Power Of Duck” is a short informative book on the integration of rice and duck farming. The book may be relatively short, however it is nothing short of thorough and abundantly helpful for anyone looking to educate themselves on the processes and benefits of rice farming with ducks.

“The Power Of Duck” is a journal like book, written by Takao Furuno, describing his own rice paddy farming system. The book thoroughly and descriptively outlines the complete life cycle of rice, and how ducks can work within the rice field to increase a farmer’s crop production with a more environmentally responsible method. All in all, this book explains how the introduction of ducklings, water plants, and fish to a rice paddy can create a prosperous land; thriving with rice, animal life, natural fertilizer, and abundant crops. With this system, your yield will prosper, even throughout the coldest part of the year.

This book reaffirms the naturalist’s view that everything can be done organically… even rice farming. It is ever acclaimed, by mass manufacturers everywhere, that rice production is dependent on proper chemical use. “The Power Of Duck” brings to light the natural farming system successfully incorporated and sustained by more than 10,000 Japanese rice farmers. Takao Furuno, himself, has utilized this system for over 10 years to produce substantial amounts of sustainable, profitable rice yield. Now, with his book, “The Power Of Duck”, he has helped farmers increase their own yields by 20 to 50% in just the first year. In this Do-It-Yourself guide, Takao Furuno vividly displays how any farmer can connect and team up with nature instead of hazardous chemicals, to lay his own stone on the path to a safe, beautiful, and flourishing agricultural future. Written by a true farmer, the detail and accuracy is flawless, making this book an absolute guide to using ducks for the farming of rice.

The Structure

“The Power Of Duck” is a very short, journalistic styled book about using ducklings in the growth and substantiation of rice. The book is only 94 pages long, and is structured as a descriptive and illustrative guide book, separated into clean cut columns of text.

Takao Furuno’s system is completely conveyed through precise descriptive words, vivid photos, detailed drawings, and technical charts, tables, and the like. This book serves as a complete educational text book for towards the purpose of case studies and the evolution of natural farming systems.

Summary

“The Power Of Duck” is Takao Furuno’s account of his own environmentally friendly method of raising ducks and rice in a unified manner. This completely eliminates the need for chemicals to either feed the soils or to kill undesired pests. This naturalistic cohabitation is known as Aigamo, and has been incorporated into Japanese farming for over 500 years.
Takao discovered this ancient method of rice farming by watching wild ducks float around on his rice paddies. He knew that he wanted to share the secret with the rest of the world; leading him to create and share his story through his written guide, “The Power Of Duck”. Though Takao dreamed of sharing this system with the world, he knew imagined that it would turn his own little farm into a booming agricultural dream, and in turn, be adopted by thousands of Eastern Asian farmers.

The traditional method, Aigamo, was named after the small hybrid breed of Mallard Drake and Domesticated ducks, used for the integrated system. The process begins in June,with the transplant of rice into flooded fields. Shortly after the rice is transplanted, 2 week old ducklings are placed into fenced pens at a rate of 100 ducks to one acre of land. The ducklings thrive within the rice paddy by eating weeds, weed seed, insects, and other pests. This natural process of survival is beneficial to the growth of rice, simply because it is closely related to the process of spraying weed and pest killer around the plants. However, unlike chemicals that easily get blown all over the fields, the ducklings do this all while never touching the actual rice plants. Consequently, the natural thriving of the ducks cultivates the rice plants, without harming the environment and the food and water sources with toxic chemicals.

In addition to replacing chemical weed and pest killer, the ducklings also simulate the use of plows and other tools used for sifting soils. When moving throughout the paddies, the ducklings naturally turn over the soil with their feet and bills, reducing, or even eliminating, the need for machinery. Not to mention, ducklings means duckling droppings, providing a constant, all-natural fertilizer. No need for chemical fertilizers. That’s the beauty of duck rice farming; the enrichment of soils and plant nutrients through organic avenues.

Using ducks for rice farming offers a whole world of real life benefits. Aside from natural fertilizers, pest and weed control, added food source, and plant stimulation, ducks are also provide the most natural way of repairing pond holes and dam breaks. Many years ago, the natural way of repairing farm ponds was a method called Gleying. Gleying is a process in which six to nine inches of animal manure is spread over the damaged area. The manure is then covered by any material that will prevent oxygen from reaching the manure. The manure then sits like that for a couple of weeks until it ferments anaerobically and naturally seals the holes. When complete, the covering is removed and the pond is refilled. This process has been adapted by humans from a fully natural process. Using ducks will seal the pond in a way that naturally parallels the gleying method. Ducks swimming among your rice paddies will do all those things nature intends, certainly leaving duck droppings throughout. The duck droppings will accumulate inside the pond’s cracks, and will become mixed and packed into the crevices with the constant swimming and activities of the ducks. The daily activities of the ducks will also naturally scatter grass and other organic matter from the paddies throughout the pond, covering the manure, restricting oxygen, and properly repairing the pond.

No matter how you look at it, ducks actually completely alter the way a rice plant grows. It’s some kind of natural phenomenon that Takao names “the stimulation effect”. The swimming and everyday activity of the ducklings around the plants increase the plant growth, and in turn results in fuller stockier stems. In the end, using ducks is far cheaper, and actually produces far more rice per acre, than modern artificial methods. Not to mention, farmers can then also offer duck meat and eggs, in addition to their abundant supply of rice.

Takao explains how his rice yields are almost twice those of chemically induced farms, producing 7 tons of rice, 4,300 ducks, and a sufficient amount of vegetable and fish to sustain 100 families a week. After his rice is harvested, he rotates crop; adding compost and wheat plants as a follow up crop, and then raising a variety of vegetables in the 2 ensuing years. This unique and brilliant method allows him to deliver not only rice, but wheat, vegetables, duck meat, eggs, and fish. He exclaims,

“Some of the things I am doing have been done in Japan for 500 years.”

He then explains that, though he has never been himself, he is a enthusiast of Iowa farming. He believes that Iowans need to remember their history as well, for it comes from a very naturalistic and organic birth, just as his own. He speaks of how modern agriculture studies very narrow answers to specific issues, devoted to a very analytic approach. He then explains how this approach will eventually destroy all the aspects of nature that include weeds and insects… the parts of the ecosystem that actually begin the process of the fields returning to nature when unused by humans. He ends by displaying how this whole artificial process will result in the extinction of wildlife nature.

Takao’s system can be summed up with one central belief,

“Nature is able to live with itself. These animals can live in harmony and nature gives animals the power to interact and live with one another,” he said. “That principle needs to be brought back into agriculture.”

Takao devoted 10 years to the experimentation and development of the Aigamo method. He meticulously studied the activities and happenings of his own farm. He measured yield, insect populations, and all additions, subtractions, and changes in every aspect of the area. Takao’s system is so perfect, it is put into place by more than 10,000 Japanese farmers. It is also being incorporated into farms throughout many other areas, including China, India, and the Philippines. Takao knows the significance of his method on farms in such areas, where much of the farming work is still carried out by hand. He also appreciates that this method takes much work, diligent observation to ensure an impartial standpoint of personal methods, and consistent projections for subsequent years. Because of this, he travels all across the world to share his exact methods, as well as working with Bill Mollison, founding Director of the Permaculture Institute, to publish and distribute his book, “The Power Of Duck”.

Permaculture News has the book available to purchase through our store, please click here for more details or to buy.

The Permaculture Research Insitute

PRI Zaytuna Farm functions as a model farm (in development) and permaculture training facility. Geoff and Nadia Lawton, world-renowned permaculture educators and consultants, lead the project. Much of Geoff and Nadia’s time over the last few years has been spent away from the Institute, consulting and helping set up projects in diverse locales around the world. Seeing the worldwide demand for knowledgeable permaculture consultants and teachers increase exponentially, as fuel and fertiliser prices skyrocket and the effects of climate change, soil depletion and water shortages begin to hit hard, priority and focus is now shifting back to the Institute, where growing the training program will increase the output of quality teachers to help fill the growing need for them.

2 Comments

  1. Hi everyone ! I hope that everything is going on the right path for any of you that is reading this comment, but here, I’m actually sad.

    May I tell you the story.

    I’m a permaculture rookie, I was studying journalism in Argentina when it got me. My cousin started to talk about permaculture (He’s got his PDC, so the talks where more like courses!). So I started to read, to look videos (on youtube, permaculturenews.org, etc) and everything made sens. Every video that I watched made sens, every article that i read made sens.

    But the further i “studied” the more questions came to my mind: “Why isn’t permaculture more talked about?”, “Why is Sepp Holzer with such governmental problems ?”. To those questions I can get that as it is a different way to proceed the legislation may not be adapted and therefor it could look like it’s illegal (even if I don’t agree a single bit with it). But my real preoccupation started only a few hours ago when I was trying to get Takao Furuno’s book: “The power of duck” after I read this article. I clicked on the link to buy it here, on this website, but the link was down. I’m a 24 years old guy, even if I’m no Bill Gates o Mark Zuckerberg, that knows how to find thing on internet. And my first surprise was to find that the available places to buy that book (like amazon) are selling it a the accessible price of 780$ for the US amazon and 1’140€ for the french one. That news hit me like Tyson’s uppercut but, HEY, I know my stuff i’ll try to find it directly on the editors website, where I had the good surprise to find it at the price of 40 AUS$. Wow great !! I’ll buy it directly, no questions ask, the credit card in hand I tried and tried until I got tired, the website is on “maintenance”, second uppercut (it starts tu hurt).
    But still not K.O I thought that I tried all the legally allowed ways to buy it, now I have to see if there is anyother ways, well here is the answer : NO. You won’t find that book.

    Now this is my question, they can find that Hillary Clinton has deleted 30’000 mails, that Donald Trump has said some nasty things about women, but I can’t buy a book about doing stuff the right way ? Doesn’t anyone find that there is a problem there ? I can assure you that it is hard to hide stuff on internet (way harder to hide than to find).

    Could we please all team up to stop this hidden censure or will we all continue being lead like sheeps ?

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