When I was a university student, I majored in Agriculture. Unfortunately, I could not learn about sustainable agriculture but was able to study the structural problems in Japanese agriculture.
During my training, I had a headache and felt nauseous while working at the farm using agricultural chemicals and chemical fertilizers. This experience taught me how dangerous agricultural chemicals were. At the same time, I realized farmers alone should not be blamed and that the actual situation of Japanese agriculture meant farmers had to use those agricultural chemicals.
After my graduation, Shumei started to seriously promote the Natural Agricultural approach and I gradually came to participate.
After that, I came to the United States, worked at the Santa Cruz farm and now I am helping Mr. Scott Park, an organic farmer who is currently growing Natural Agricultural rice.
By participating in the production process of the Natural Agricultural crops, I came to strongly feel that farm products are grown by nature, not by myself. I think, the roll of Natural Agricultural farmers is to humbly observe nature with gratitude, to pray, and to create the environment suiting the crops. For that, it is necessary for us to learn the features of the land, the local climate and the characteristics of crops. Regardless of how hard we pray, if the crops are cared for in the wrong way or with discontent or conceit, it is impossible to grow good crops. I would like as many as people to enjoy the crops for which I grow with my utmost ability. Growing food is now my greatest pleasure.
Also I realized that I could have been healthy all along by eating Natural Agricultural products.
First, about rice. After I came to the US, sometimes I had headaches and had to stay in bed; although I was eating the Natural Agricultural vegetables daily. However, since starting eating Natural Agricultural rice, I noticed that my headaches were less than before and milder. From this experience, I understood how important the crops we eat everyday were.
However, after we moved to Yuba City in California, it became difficult to get Natural Agricultural vegetables that we could eat as a matter of course. We had to purchase organic vegetables at the market. But, from those vegetables I could not feel energy and the taste was not good at all, which made me realized that people eating them considering them healthy foods. Then I thought that I would like to grow my vegetables by the Natural Agricultural approach. Fortunately, Mr. Park let us use part of his farmland and it became possible to grow our own vegetables. By eating them, my physical condition improved.
Thus, I learned that I am most blessed since I can grow my own Natural Agricultural vegetables and I appreciate them again. From now on, I would like to continue putting forth effort to be able to deliver Natural Agricultural products to as many people as possible.