Miracle Apple Grandpa, and natural farming methods to teach us something Miracle Apple Grandpa said that, in essence, his orchards were arks, places of refuge for microorganisms that thrive in the soil and upon the apple trees. The skins of his apples registered higher microbial counts than other people’s apples. But that’s not bad. These were organisms arose naturally in harmony with the trees. Likewise, the plants that grew upon the ground helped to enrich the soil naturally. The rich soil supported yet more diverse types of microbial life, worms and other critters that cling to life. His apples would sell before they even grew. In its natural state, the wild apple orchard produced fruits that were very nourishing, stayed good long after being picked, and helped life thrive upon the ground around the trees.
Natural farming techniques. If you enjoy this, you would totally dig my man Masanobu Fukuoka, 福岡 正信, who spent decades teaching people how to grow natural foods as a way to achieve harmony. His “do-nothing” style of farming was ancient, extremely beneficial, and, in sharp contrast to modern techniques that have large hidden costs, cheaper to do. He proved that a person could feed himself on 1/4 of an acre.
He wrote The One-Straw Revolution. He supported microfarms and guerrilla farming. He’s the anti-Monsanto. He died at age 95.
Fukuoka called his agricultural philosophy shizen nōhō (自然農法?), most commonly translated into English as “natural farming“. It is also referred to as “the Fukuoka Method”, “the natural way of farming” or “Do-Nothing Farming”, despite being labor-intensive.
The system is based on the recognition of the complexity of living organisms that shape an ecosystem and deliberately exploiting it. Fukuoka saw farming not just as a means of producing food but as an aesthetic and spiritual approach to life, the ultimate goal of which was “the cultivation and perfection of human beings”.
The five principles of Natural Farming are that:
- human cultivation of soil, plowing or tilling are unnecessary, as is the use of powered machines
- prepared fertilizers are unnecessary, as is the process of preparing compost
- weeding, either by cultivation or by herbicides, is unnecessary. Instead only minimal weed suppression with minimal disturbance
- applications of pesticides or herbicides are unnecessary
- pruning of fruit trees is unnecessary[19
- I stole the bullet points from Wikipedia because I could. And no one’s sad about it.