“The principle of Natural Agriculture is an over-riding respect and concern for Nature,” stated Mokichi Okada in his book A Great Agricultural Revolution. This respect leads to minimum intervention in the growing processes. While many modern agricultural practices are based on a belief in the need to control and manipulate the growing process, Natural Agriculture sees greater benefit in supporting and working in partnership and conjunction with the natural forces.
Thus, the soil is cultivated in its natural state without the addition of foreign elements. If properly cared for, soil provides better nutrition for plants without the addition of chemical fertilizers, while chemicals prohibit the soil’s natural energy from being transferred to the plants to begin with. Similarly, seeds are respected for their purity and are not manipulated for specified ends. Extensive experience has shown that this approach leads to crops that are healthier, stay fresh longer and are better tasting than those produced by conventional agricultural methods.
This approach is in harmony with the intentions of Growing Spaces and our experience teaching Permaculture principles over the last twenty years. Our respect for life and the source of life gives us a natural appreciation for the elegant expression of Shumei’s purpose, and we are inspired by their example.
Growing Spaces Ambassadors, Richard and Janet Miller introduced us to their friends from Rodale Institute’s Shumei Natural Garden, where our Growing Dome is included in the landscape, including Alan A. Imai and Eugene Sensei.
I was especially moved by Ms. Hiroko Koyama – Shumei’s worldwide spiritual leader – as she led the special anniversary celebration Sampi. Her story of her mothers influence in teaching through gardening and through the creation of beauty was especially close to my heart. The people of the Shumei community have a light in their eyes and the obvious ignition of love and service in their devotion to their ideals and their work together.
In addition, we are honored to have attended the 8th Anniversary celebration of the Shumei International Institute of Crestone.