For the majority of people in the western world their food comes from a supermarket. Our supermarkets are stuffed with inexpensive food, giving us the feeling of abundance. Where does all this come from? How is it produced? At whose expense is it produced? How can they afford to sell so cheaply? Is it good quality? Many are starting to ask these questions as we have growing statistics of degenerative diseases. At every step of food production there is a myriad of commercial and political interests involved. As a result, our world is full of commercial misinformation about food. On top of that we have food science, largely funded by commercial companies, which is producing an endless stream of nutritional misinformation which people believe. To find true information about food takes a special effort.
There is a myth perpetuated in the media that we cannot produce enough meat, milk and eggs to feed the population. This idea comes from industrial farming where animals and birds are raised in factories (Confined Animal Factory Operations) in terrible conditions. They are crowded to a point the animals cannot turn around, they stand and sleep in their own waste and are fed commercial feeds composed of grain, inappropriate for their physiology making them ill. The waste from these confinement operations is a toxic pollution poisoning our waterways. The meat, eggs, and milk produced are of poor quality. Animals and birds kept in confinement are prone to diseases and require constant input of antibiotics and other drugs. On top of that government regulations are difficult to comply with. So animal husbandry is not popular amongst industrial farmers. From the point of view of Industrial agriculture, growing crops is much easier than producing meat, milk and eggs.
On the other hand, arable industrial agriculture uses cultivation methods and chemicals that destroy the soil. Soils of these fields are so damaged today that most of them are unable to support any plant life at all without the application of chemicals. The topsoil of our planet is a source of all life! Healthy topsoil is the most concentrated sources of carbon on Earth. Healthy soil is a community of many life forms, from tiny viruses, bacteria, fungi, protozoa and other microbes, to worms, insects, mice and moles. These creatures create humus – rich fertile top soil in cooperation with grazing animals and plants. It is a balanced eco-system and all life on Earth is based on it. It is the most precious part of nature and it is being lost in staggering amounts every year due to the activity of our arable industrial agriculture, growing plants for us to eat.
Natural farming, which is more than organic farming, takes advantage of this community of life forms - indigenous micro-organisms (IMO) (bacteria, fungi, nematodes and protozoa) to produce fertile soils that yield high output without the use of pesticides and herbicides. The basis of natural farming is limiting human intervention and leaving nature to work. An environmentally sustainable way of growing food. Natural farming was first coined by ‘Masanobu Fukuoka “ in his book “The One Straw Revolution”. He describes it as the “natural way of farming”. He summarizes it as avoidance of equipment usage – no tilling, weeding, pesticides and fertilizers - reducing human intervention in farming. All the essentials for plants to grow are supplied only by Nature.
Natural Farming improves soil quality, humus is created and because of it, the microclimate around plants is enhanced and beneficial insects are attracted. Also, because the soil is filled with humus, water retention is improved, so it saves 60 to 80 percent of water. Like conventional organic farming. Natural Farming does not use any chemical-based implements including insecticides, fungicides, herbicides and fertilizers. Unlike conventional organic farming, however, Natural Farming teaches farmers simple fermentation techniques among other farm-based technologies to produce their own organic implements utilizing as much as possible resources available from within the farm. These organic implements include Indigenous Micro-organisms Fermented Plant Juice, Lactic Acid Bacteria Serum, Fish Amino Acid, Oriental Herbal Nutrients, Calcium Nutrient and Calcium Phosphate Nutrient. The farming system is divided into three stages, namely: vegetative stage, change over stage, reproductive stage. Specific combination of these concoctions is sprayed according to the growth stage of the plant.
Natural Farming concoctions which contain live organisms feed both the plant and the soil. The inoculation and ‘cultivation’ of beneficial microorganisms in the soil is very important as this allows vital nutrients and minerals to be available to the plants. It also promotes the proliferation of earthworms and other higher soil organisms which contribute to the overall fertility of the soil. It is remarkable to see that plants grow very healthy and virtually pest-free without the use of chemical pesticides and fertilizers. In the event of pest infestation, it uses various botanical extracts.
The concept of natural farming is not limited to agricultural crops but is also applied to animal farming utilizing similar fermented products and botanical extracts in lieu of chemicals and antibiotics, producing nutrient dense products – better than conventional organic farming.
To serious proponents of organic foods, natural farming is fast becoming the technology of choice because of the high-quality products produced, and the use of natural environment-friendly concoctions caring for the Earth’s microbiome. We should look for Naturally Farmed produce to buy.