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Part One: Agriculture’s Beginnings

Part Two: Modern Agriculture’s Impact

Part Three: Modern Agriculture’s Impact on Society

The Goals of Shumei Natural Agriculture

Part One: Shumei’s Three Core Activities

Part Two: A Farmer Perspective – Consumer Relationships

Part Three: What is Shumei Natural Agriculture?

Part Four: How to Approach Natural Agricultural

Part Five: Understanding Nature – Ecological Literacy

Part Six: The Advantages of Shumei Natural Agriculture

 

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Part One: Agriculture’s Beginnings

The impact of agriculture on nature must be understood in the context of man’s relationship to nature. The act or art of tilling the ground to provide food and fiber to man has been occurring for over 10,000 years. During this time, man has caused great change in the natural environment. Man began changing from a nomadic life style to one where he began to live in communities. With this change came a shift in the structure of civilization and the relationship between man and nature. Families began to be fed through direct cultivation of crops resulting in a withdrawal from direct contact and interaction with the natural/native environment that had formerly provided their food and shelter. Thus, began the first agricultural revolution called the agrarian society, which was the change from nomadic to agrarian lifestyle. In the agrarian society, man cultivated the same land year after year, which allowed stable communities to form and expand. This expansion led to the development of towns and villages surrounded by the farming areas. The change from nomadic to agrarian society caused a philosophical change in how man viewed nature. In earlier time, nature provided man with his basic needs. In essence, man was the benefactor of nature’s bounty. As communities developed, nature became something to be used and controlled by man to provide for the growing populations. This created not only a fundamental philosophical change, but also a cultural change in the human – nature relationship.

Man thought that he did not need to be dependent on nature, but could begin to control some aspects of nature. Instead of living off the native vegetation, man began to clear the forest and grasslands replacing them with small patches of edible crops. As these small fields were enlarged, they continued to be diverse in the mixture of crops, animals, hedgerows, and native tree boarders. This tradition of agricultural practices began in the Fertile Crescent along the Mediterranean and was later adopted by early European settlements. As European migrants came to America, they brought with them the agricultural practice of clearing the land to establish new fields near their towns. The field size continued to be enlarged, until by the 20th century vast expanses of single crop areas were distributed across the countryside. With the introduction of the chemical revolution in the 1930-1950s, the practice of monoculture cropping led to greatly increased production. In order to grow crops on this massive scale, high inputs of synthetic fertilizers and agro-chemicals were required. This type of production created a dependency on these inputs to grow and control the monoculture systems. These inputs were needed because the soil was not replenished through natural cycles provided by the former biodiversity of crops, animals, native plants and natural functions. These fields also lacked habitats to support a diversity of insect species, where beneficial insects would normally control insect pests. Because of the lack of natural bio-controls and high densities of the same crop, these conditions led to an increasingly higher level of pest problems, which needed to be controlled by increasing the level of pesticide applications. The application of high inputs of chemicals over millions of acres of farm and rangelands created conditions leading to the contamination of the agricultural lands and water, the region, and an imbalance with the natural systems.

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Part Two: Modern Agriculture’s Impact

Farming traditions changed as animal and human labor were replaced with mechanical devices causing fewer people needed to live and work on the farm. The rural population lost their direct connection to nature when they moved to the cities. As people became isolated from nature in the development of cities, these conditions created a lack of interest and understanding of nature and the practices of agriculture. This created an intellectual and social chasm between those remaining on the land and those who moved to the cities. This chasm has endured and expanded into current society leading to the present technological revolution.

Technological advancement has provided us with creature comforts (better housing vs. caves), better communication (high-speed internet vs. drums), better health and longer life. Yet the basis of all of these developments and inventions are based on nature. Eighty percent or more of chemical pharmaceutical derivatives of modern medicine comes from natural plant origins for such products as hormones, antibiotics, narcotics, and antihistamines. Even with the great contributions of our industrialized and centralized societies, modern technologies cannot provide at the global scale the life supporting needs that nature can.

Nations have both benefited and been destroyed by the power of nature and the impacts of human civilization on their natural environments. ‘Possible cases of societies that destroyed themselves in the past because of an inability to master their environmental problems include the societies of the Fertile Crescent, where agriculture and metal tools arose, Mycenaean Greece, Easter Island, the Western Roman Empire, Classic Lowland Maya civilization, the Anasazi in the Southwestern U. S., Great Zimbabwe in Africa, Norse Greenland, and Harappan Indus Valley civilization.’ (Chaffee Lecture, p 10) A classic example is the devastation of Easter Island. When Easter Island was settled by Polynesians in 800 A. D., the island was a tropical forest. The settlers cleared land for agriculture as they had done in their native lands. They used the trees for food, fiber, fuel, to build canoes and mulch their fields, and to transport the famous Easter Island stone statues. By 1620 the trees were extinct from over harvesting. The populations began to starve because they could no longer make canoes to fish and the loss of crops due to the decline in soil fertility without mulch from trees. Because of Easter Island’s rapid population increase, low rainfall and cooler temperatures, the forest could not recover and the population collapsed.

Because of the lack of understanding of the impacts that man is having on the environment due to chemical agricultural and industrial practices, nature historically and currently is being polluted and natural resources are being depleted. ‘The collapses of earlier civilizations are relevant to the environmental problems that we face today. Current environmental problems include the water availability problems, problems of deforestation, the impending end of the tropical rain forests, overfishing, soil erosion, soil salinization, global climate change, full utilization of the world’s fresh water supplies, our approach to a photosynthetic ceiling, exhaustion of cheap energy resources, accumulation of toxic chemicals in water, food, and soil, increase in human population, and increase in the per capita impact of our population. Many of those factors are what destroyed past societies, and they are the main threats to us today.’ (Chaffee Lecture, p 10)

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Part Three: Modern Agriculture’s Impact on Society

We are losing our cultural heritage of knowing that we are inextricably linked to our natural environment. The great religious and national histories reflect how societies developed and were nourished by an understanding for the need of reverence and wonder of natural powers. Eastern religions of Shinto and Buddhism reflect the divinity of nature through the multitude of nature gods. As our society is becoming more distanced physically and intellectually from the natural world, the more there is recognition that in order to sustain our way of living we need to re-recognize the connections between humans, and all other species, and nature. We need to physically and intellectually support those connections for our own survival and the sustainability of the planet.

Even with technological advancement, nature still must provide basic life support systems. As civilization advances and we become more decoupled from nature, we lose our intellectual heritage of understanding how nature supports our lives and how our actions and technological advancements are causing a decline in the very natural processes that supports us. We rely on nature to clean the air and water, create soil to grow our crops, stabilize the weather from traumatic events such as flooding and droughts, and enlighten the spirit through the beauty and aesthetic values of nature. These processes and functions provided by nature are called ecosystem services. They are created automatically by nature but can be manipulated by humans. Yet as we become more and more removed from direct contact with nature, we lose the realization and recognition that these environmental or ecosystem services are necessary to sustain us. The Millennium Ecosystem Assessment (MEA) (MA, 2005) sponsored by the United Nations to assess the conditions and trends of the global ecosystems, divides ecosystem services into four categories and linked ecosystem services to human well-being. These categories include provisioning services, such as production of food, water, timber, fuel and fiber, genetic resources; regulating services that affect climate, floods, drought, disease, waste, land degradation, and maintenance of air and water quality; cultural services that provide recreational, aesthetic, and spiritual benefits; and natural supporting services such as soil formation, photosynthesis, biodiversity, and nutrient cycling. Over the last 50 years, humans have changed agricultural and natural ecosystems more rapidly and extensively than in any comparable period of time in human history. For example, how food is grown can impact water and air quality which in turn can lead to a decline in human and other species health. The MEA reported that 15 of the world’s 24 ecosystem services are in decline. The declining ability of the earth’s systems to meet the needs of a growing population and sustain the life support systems of the planet is a very urgent and serious issue.’ (RSBS, 2006)

Agriculture is defined as the taking care of or cultivating (cultura in Latin) the land (ager in Latin). Agriculture is the primary world industry; it is the economic engine of the world. Most of the major human impacts on the environment can be traced to how agricultural production and practices have changed over time since that first town was formed 10,000 years ago and we began the disconnection from nature. If we look at the evolution of agricultural practices and philosophy, we see how the changes in the practice of agriculture parallel the changes in industrialization. Agriculture has gone from gathering native crops to intensive, high input chemical systems, to the current recognition of more ecologically based production systems.

Early in the 20th century, U.S. agriculture was beginning to become industrialized. Mechanization and scientific technologies for crop, animal, and chemical technologies, began to change how farmers could farm. After Work War II, wide spread use of fertilizers and pesticides was adopted. Parallel to the development of this intensive agro-chemical farming system, was the more holistic view of natural systems as a model referred to as alternative agriculture. This alternative system grew from individual farmers and citizens’ efforts to forge a national recognition of the effects that industry and agriculture were having on the environment.

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Part Four: Developing Alternatives

Segments of modern agriculture have had a leading role in the road to reconnecting nature and our environment. The recognition for the need to reconnect to nature began when agricultural practitioners understood the need to change to the concept of Alternative Agriculture, Ecoagriculture, Regenerative Agriculture, or Sustainable Agriculture. Regardless of the specific name, this type of holistic approach supports environmental, economic, and social values.

Nature has provided services for us for many centuries. Now it is time for us to support nature again. By creating a new agricultural revolution that respects the power and processes of nature, man can again be supported by nature without causing the decline of nature. There are many forms of sustainable agriculture. The most fundamental form of a sustainable agricultural system that re-connects and supports both man and nature is Shumei Natural Agriculture as founded by Mokichi Okada. This guideline will explain this system of agriculture, how to practice Natural Agriculture, and the benefits that can be derived from its practice for the farmer, the environment, and for society at large.

The Goals of Shumei Natural Agriculture
Part One: Shumei’s Three Core Activities

Shumei sees the modern world as placing more value on materialism than spirituality. While materialism has advanced remarkably, spirituality, which should have advanced along with it, seems to have been less advanced. Let’s look at agriculture from this point. As young people leave the country and move to cities, the number of farmers is decreasing rapidly, and the diets of the people living in cities are completely separated from nature. As junk food and fast food have prevailed in the world, people are forgetting where food comes from. In fact, even in the countryside, agriculture in which farmers touch the soil and feel nature is a rarity these days. The farmer is often separated from nature by use of pesticides and chemical fertilizers, and by the modern farming practices of mechanization and industrialization.

As a result of having placed a disproportionate emphasis on materialism, we think that money is important, placing too much emphasis on material objects. When we’re concerned about our social status, we take a short-term view and turn to the act of selfishness.

As a result, we’re facing many problems such as environmental problems, social problems and developing countries’ problems. Science has been very materialistic. Also, medical science treats humans not as mental or spiritual beings but as material or physical beings, which seems to be the problem of modern medicine. In agriculture, the economically centered conventional farming, which relies on pesticides and chemical fertilizers, has gone mainstream. For these things, we want to develop a culture of spiritual awareness. We want to balance spirituality and materialism.

The three main activities of Shumei are: appreciation of art and beauty, gratitude and love for others, and natural agriculture. Through these three activities, we hope to provide the people of the world with a new lifestyle, and to develop a culture of spiritual awareness.

We need to seek not only our own personal happiness, but also all people’s happiness and world peace. But, in seeking world peace, we might ignore our own family, so we need to think of the balance between personal happiness and world peace. When we act, we need to consider both present, short-term happiness and future, long-term happiness for posterity.

Since human beings and other life such as plants and animals are living on this earth together, the cultivation of the awareness of a bond, or oneness, is enormously important. Besides, as diversity is beautiful, we should share and understand different cultures, different religions and different customs. We also need to create balance between individuality and oneness.

We need to balance material wealth with spiritual growth. While economy has developed remarkably, the destruction of the environment has continued. We need to balance economic growth with decreasing environmental problems or increasing environmental protection. Technically, we can get information about the world through the Internet and globalization, which is really convenient. But the fact is that people can get great benefits from such technology in some places, while in other places the technology is not available so people are denied these benefits. Localization which focuses on communities is important while the world is becoming one. In this sense, we need to balance globalization with localization. Material happiness is important to us, for we have a body and live in a materialistic world, but we need to balance material happiness with spiritual happiness, for we are spiritual beings.

By keeping the condition in which we balance spirituality with materialism, we are aiming to create a healthy, wealthy and peaceful world that has beauty, virtue and truth. We are also working at aiming for a world where people are engaged in the activities of art and sports. Sports?? Considering Shumei Natural Agriculture in this sense, please understand that Shumei Natural Agriculture is not just a sustainable farming method, but it is an activity of developing a spiritual culture and creating a peaceful world.

The Goals of Shumei Natural Agriculture
Part Two: A Farmer Perspective – Consumer Relationships

On a Shumei Natural Agriculture Farm, the farmer’s mind and love affects his land and crops greatly, which is a key element of Shumei Natural Agriculture. Surely, as the soil should be kept pure, any pesticide or chemical fertilizer is not added to it at all. Seeds are also another key element. We are promoting seed-saving and growing the type of crop which is suitable for the land and the climate in which they are grown. Three key elements of practicing Shumei Natural Agriculture are the farmer, pure soil and pure seed.

Let’s imagine a Natural Agriculture farmer. He is watching a carrot on his farm in front of him. That carrot is not growing alone. Many carrots are growing around it, and so are many other vegetables. Flowers are blooming, too. This farmer understands the communication between different plants.

Moreover, the carrot in front of him is affected by small animals coming to the farm, insects and the natural environment, such as the mountains and rivers surrounding it. There are earthworms and a variety of small animals in the soil. Invisible microorganisms are working to make nutrients in the soil. The carrot is growing with the heat coming from the bowels of the earth and its energy. Looking up at the sky, we find we are living on the planet called “Earth” and we can’t ignore its relation with the moon. Also, the sun is a key element of Shumei Natural Agriculture. From the distant planets and stars to the interior of the earth, all things are related, and the growing carrot is affected by them. There are also the people who come to help the farmer, and the like-minded farmers he can talk to about many things. Also, he has a relationship with the consumers who are willing to eat what he grows. In relation to all of them, the carrot in front of him is growing.

We hope that farmers grow crops with open, inquiring, and loving minds, but in many cases in the world, they face economic problems and it is difficult for them to think in this way. This is not to say that we should ignore economy, but to practice Shumei Natural Agriculture, without depending on money, consumers who understand it and help them are crucial. In order to practice Shumei Natural Agriculture in a way that is ideal for the farm, soil and seeds, the consumers must cooperate with the farmers. This is the Shumei Natural Agriculture movement.

Let’s imagine a scene from a concert. A conductor leads the orchestra players in front of him, and together they perform great music. But, the concert can’t be successful with only the performers. Many people attending the concert are moved by their music. When all of the audience is moved by the music and all people in the concert become one, the concert is successful. We can say the same for Shumei Natural Agriculture.

The conductor is the farmer. He leads a lot of great vegetables as musicians. But, Shumei Natural Agriculture can’t be successful only with them. When the consumers appreciate vegetables, and enjoy eating them and all of them become one, farming can be successful. In this sense, the Shumei Natural Agriculture movement is ready to unite consumers and farmers.

Shumei Natural Agriculture Movement is not simply a sustainable farming method, but it is a way of life. The consumers and the farmers are looking for a way of living based on the respect of nature while they cooperate with and try to understand each other. Though there are social problems and environmental problems in the world, before we focus on such problems specifically, we want to focus on where the cause of these problems are, and we want to show a new lifestyle. We hope to create world peace, which is the goal of the Shumei Natural Agriculture movement.

The Goals of Shumei Natural Agriculture
Part Three: What is Shumei Natural Agriculture?

Definition of Shumei Natural Agriculture

Natural Agriculture can be defined as the art of farm production. In its practice, farmers collaborate with nature and take an approach of overriding respect and concern for nature. The physical practices and spiritual approach creates an artwork of nature in the grown crops. At the same time, Natural Agriculture practice revives the surrounding local ecosystem and extends to all those who participate in or consumes Natural Agriculture products.

A Paradigm Shift in Modern Agriculture

Natural Agriculture is a paradigm shift in modern agriculture. Natural Agriculture goes beyond the single goal of crop production, but also includes the encouragement and support of the entire agroecosystem and its functions. In this sense, the farmer is farming not only to produce crops, but also to support the earthworms in the soil, the birds in the air, and the trees at the boarder of the fields. Okada taught fundamental principles not specific methods about planting or spacing (MO p 60). Beyond the guidance provided by the basic philosophy, Natural Agriculture is interpreted by each farmer as he/she comes to understand the conditions and constraints of his/her environment. The simplicity of this approach also leads to the complexity of implementing the practice of Natural Agriculture.

Go Beyond Organic Agriculture

The principles and practices used in Natural Agriculture go beyond those used in organic agriculture. It resembles organic agriculture in that it eschews chemical fertilizers and biocides of all types. But, it adds additional observances and constraints to the practices and attitudes of the farmer. Perhaps the major difference is in the belief that soil has all the necessary components to grow and sustain food without adding amendments to it. Most organic farmers use manure or other amendments to build the soil fertility and structure. A sensitivity to not contaminate the fields with either chemical or biological substances goes beyond what an organic regimen might require. Natural Agriculture goes the next step with greater emphasis on creating a balance with nature by adopting and replicating the processes occurring in nature. This is thought to be better because man is lessening his intervention in the natural processes and allowing the fields to become connected to the natural flows of energy and environmental services provided by nature.

The Goals of Shumei Natural Agriculture
Part Four: How to Approach Natural Agriculture

Thinking Naturally

Natural Agriculture as designed and taught by Mokichi Okada was conceived from his deep insight and observations into nature. The fundamental principle he concluded was that by observing nature, the farmer can learn how to develop a productive farm. This core value suggests his unique idea that “nature is all wise” Over the eons, nature has created biological, chemical, and geological cycles that regulate the productive capacity of all plants, animals, and inert components of the environment such as soil, water, and air. By learning about these cycles, the farmer can be guided by local ecosystem conditions and restrictions to use the power of nature to bring forth the bounty of the agricultural ecosystem. In order to be able to continue to support the human needs without the destruction of the environment, man needs to become award of the connection between actions and environmental impacts.

In order to become a partner with nature, the farmer must first change his or her current understanding of what farming should be. In other words, one needs an attitude adjustment. Unlike other forms of agricultural management, there is no one way or no one answer to the application of this partnership. There are a multitude of applications to specific problems or conditions on each farm. Natural Agriculture is a tool to empower the people that farm under this philosophy to identify and achieve what is best for them and their environment.

Farmers Attitudes

Shumei Natural Agriculture encourages farmer’s general attitude of reverence toward the soil, natural habitats, and the local ecosystem. Farmers caring for soil and plants is seen as crucial to how well their crops can perform, and to what makes their farms thrive. Living in a society, we benefit from the support and contributions from the general welfare of others. So too, Natural Agricultural practitioners should support the natural environment by not contaminating the soil, water, air, and plants with any harmful substances.

Okada said that human psychological activities such as rational thinking of mind and emotional expressions of heart are not exclusive to people, but can be found in other species like the flora and fauna, microorganisms, soil and other inorganic matters as well. Both producers and consumers should note that their sub-consciousness influences the health of plants, the soil in the fields, and even human feelings and attitudes. The farmer’s genuine care for soil, seeds, and plants with gratitude and grace invigorates the soil to exert its life-force energy. Plants, in turn, tap into soil energy to grow. As spiritual beings, farmers have a personal relationship with their farm. If they tend to their plants with a sincere heart and prayer for their full growth without expecting any return, plants will respond with an abundant yield.

Humans emotionally interact with each other. In this sense, the state of mind in which farmers work their fields have a broad impact not only on the soil, seeds, and produce, but also on the inner feelings within those who are involved with each process of production, distribution and consumption. If everyone works together with gratitude, joy, compassion and mutual respect, these positive thoughts make a difference. These are age old principles that must be respected in the application of Natural Agriculture farming.

The Goals of Shumei Natural Agriculture
Part Five: Understanding Nature – Ecological Literacy

Natural processes have evolved over several millenniums to support life on earth. Even with our modern scientific research into ecosystem functions, soil processes, and plant and animal growth has been ongoing for decades very little is known about the intricacies of these processes since they are so complex and linked beyond the simple interconnections that can be manipulated and observed by scientific inquiry.

By working with nature, by supporting these natural processes, we can be part of this natural process and let the wisdom of nature support us. The surest way to solve a problem is to apply a method that adapts to the circumstances and follows nature. In this way, a farmer saves money by limiting the purchase of inputs, saves time by minimizing the manipulation of nature, is environmentally non-polluting, and learns by observation how nature functions and how to support these functions by replicating natural processes.

Natural Agriculture is the most dedicated and direct process in combining nature and agriculture. Plants do not need to be raised; they grow of their own accord. The mountain forests are living proof that trees are not raised with fertilizer but grow by themselves.

The practices used on the farm can have implications well beyond the farm gate. Everything that is done on the farm not only affects the specific location, but also can affect the entire farm. The actions taken on the whole farm can then affect neighboring farms. The actions taken by all the farms in a region can affect an entire section of the country. This is called the ‘downstream effect’. An example would be tilling the soil before a heavy rain event. In severe rain fall, soil can be transported across the farm and deposited in another field. This soil could also be moved downstream to the neighbor’s field. At the same time, the farm soil can be deposited in nearby streams and taken all the way to coastal estuaries. Soil and nutrient pollution in the Chesapeake, Gulf of Mexico, and the Columbia River are living examples of how one farm can be connected to an area thousands of miles away. Understanding this connectivity shows that the practices used on an individual farm has local and global consequences. To minimize these consequences, there are many good stewardship practices that a farmer can do to protect his farm and therefore decrease the impact on the ‘downstream effect’.

Observing Nature

Observation is the key. By observing natural patterns and actions, you can ask the question of how nature works and then let nature provide you with the answer. Observe the plants and creatures in the field and listen to what they can tell you. Feel as the plant feels as it grows; become the plant. Continually observe the changes on the farm daily – walk the farm.

Reading Nature

If a farmer replicates nature, then all he or she needs to know is how a crop or animal lives under certain conditions. Nature functions at many levels. Natural Agriculture seeks to develop methods where all plants, animals, insects, and microbes in a field function as a whole unit. What appears to be the cause of a problem may not be but a link in a chain of many connections. For example, if an insect infestation occurs in one field, look at the fields where the insect did not go or where there was a light infestation. Consider what the different circumstances were between the fields. Why was the insect in one field part of that community but not the other field? If nature was observed, it may be seen that a border along a field supports unwanted insects. By determining what type of plants the insects live in or on, then those plants could be replaced with plants less friendly to their liking. The insects will still be in the border but at a lower population in balance with other insects. The goal is to provide an environment for pest and beneficial insects and other creatures to live in balance. In fact, there is no pest in natural world. We, human beings, call them “pest” just because of their inconvenience to practicing agriculture. However, Nature maintains a great harmony and balances all the life forms that are in nature. Conversely, by using plants in the border that create a habitat for beneficial insects, then they would be able to be in a sufficient population to balance the non-beneficial insects.

Voices from the Farm

Many Japanese farmers who have adopted the Natural Agriculture philosophy believe the most difficult action to begin farming is to allow ourselves to be uncontrolled – letting the spirit or inner voice within our body direct our actions and provide us with total wisdom. A Natural Agricultural farmer must have complete and total faith that he or she will be given the necessary opportunities to fulfill his or her mission in this life. From this belief, the grace of God will pass between him or her and Nature and to those that he or she comes into contact with. A faith in him or herself and a motivation to benefiting others allows him or her to be content, happy and unstressed. These values radiate into the farmers’ work, to the soil, plants, and animals of the fields. This contentment and happiness of knowing that farming is the most valuable of all professions is transmitted as ‘health’ to those who consume Natural Agriculture crops. Once a person accepts the simplicity of working for the benefit of others, life becomes free and unencumbered from doubts, fears, and greed that can cloud the ability to be self-content. There is no need to worry about decisions of what or how to live and work; no searching for the right methods or formulas to success. Living becomes totally simplified. The first step along this path is so simple, just beginning the chosen mission.

What is Soil?

There is an old farmer saying: if you take care of the soil, the soil will take care of the plants. In that sense, a good farmer focuses on growing soil not plants. Soil is composed of ground rock particles, organic matter or humus (decayed living matter), air, water, and the multitude of living organisms from the microscopic microbes, micro arthropods such as mites and springtails, to the macro arthropods such as earthworms and spiders living in the soil. This soil web of chemical, physical, and biological materials functions in a complex system to make the soil a living entity. The gatekeepers of soil processes are the living organisms or biota who degrade the decaying organic matter and rock particles along with the physical root pressures and extradites, pass these dissolved particles down the soil food chain to eventually have the bacteria and fungi process and recycle at the molecular level nutrients that are then available to be taken up by plant roots for plant growth. This cycle has produced over the millennium nutrient from the degraded rock and humus and nourished the growth of plants and animals. This process is the key support to all living things and builds lasting soil fertility. This process is what makes soil nutrients available for plant uptake. This process is what Natural Agriculture practices supports.

The Goals of Shumei Natural Agriculture
Part Six: Advantages of Shumei Natural Agriculture

There is no need for any fertilizers. The use of natural compost is sufficient. There is no need to invest in expensive artificial fertilizers, and the added labor of applying them becomes unnecessary. Damage by insect pests is mostly eliminated because the cause of these pests are the fertilizers. Crop yield is increased, the quality is superior, and it is delicious. There is no danger of internal intestinal parasites, one of the most serious issues today. These parasites are caused by the use of human manure, which is never applied in the Natural Agriculture method. Damage from wind and water can be decreased dramatically because of the strong vitality of the crops. It is safe to eat since they don’t use genetically modified seed nor chemical substances such as chemical fertilizers and agricultural chemicals.

  1. Natural Agriculture products are so delicious and full of flavor, and have a strong life force.
  2. It is agriculture friendly to the global environment and sustainable agriculture; through supporting Natural Agriculture we can participate in environmental protection activities.
  3. Natural Agriculture products are spiritually dense. By eating it we receive energy.
  4. Since they don’t use organic fertilizers, we don’t have to worry about ascaris and Escherichia coli contamination.
  5. Natural Agriculture vegetables convey the love and care of the farmers to consumers.