What is Natural Agriculture?
Natural Agriculture emphasizes the farmer’s harmonious relationship to nature. It is a way of farming that refrains from using fertilizers, manure, pesticides, and agrochemicals. As well as being a form of food cultivation, Natural Agriculture is also a spiritual pursuit.
What is meant by ‘Natural’?
Natural things, such as plants, grow from within, whereas artificial things, such as machines, are assembled through outside manipulation. Synthetic chemicals are artificially assembled in factories, whereas the sun, wind, rain, soil, plants, and animals are expressions of the natural world. The less human interference with the growing process, the more natural it is.
How is nature viewed?
Nature is seen as conscious, intelligent, and sensitive. Thus, it is loved and respected. Natural Agriculture works with nature rather than trying to dominate it.
What is the difference between Natural Agriculture and organic farming?
Natural Agriculture’s approach is to view healthy soil as regenerative. It has everything it needs to produce food. No fertilizer, rock dust, or manure is necessary. Conventional and organic farming, on the other hand, usually add nutrients to the soil. Also, organic farming is not necessarily a spiritual practice.
Does Natural Agriculture use compost or mulch?
In cold climates mulch is applied to keep the soil soft, moist, and warm. Whereas in hot climates it is applied to keep the soil soft, moist, and cool. This promotes good soil drainage. It also supports the growth of beneficial bacteria, worms, and fungi, which helps plants absorb nutrients from the soil. However, mulch and compost are not used to provide nutrients to the soil, only to improve soil quality.
What makes soil unhealthy?
Chemicals kill worms and microorganisms, plowing destroys colonies of fungi, and fertilizers create an imbalance in the soil. Lack of moisture can, of course, also be harmful.
What sets a Natural Agriculture farmer apart from other farmers?
In Natural Agriculture, the farmer’s attitude and feelings are more important. Nature responds to the farmer’s thoughts, feelings, and consciousness. When the farmer works with love and gratitude, crops grow better.
What are the essentials of Natural Agriculture?
Pure soil, pure seeds, and the pure heart of the farmer are the key elements. If one of these is missing, it is not Natural Agriculture.
What is pure soil?
Pure soil is free of chemicals and other contaminants. It is full of living microorganisms such as bacteria, fungi, and worms. Healthy soil is intelligent and adapts to the seeds and plants growing within it. It also responds to the thoughts and feelings of the farmer.
Why are pure seeds important?
Locally grown, non-hybrid, non-GMO, chemical-free, openly pollinated (heirloom) seeds that are grown in the same location year after year are ideal. Such seeds learn and adapt to the soil, and grow into the best crops.
What does a “pure heart” have to do with farming?
A pure heart is one that does not dominate nature but instead observes and cooperates with it.
Are seeds saved?
Yes. Saving seeds from each year’s crops and planting them in the same location year after year allows the plants to adapt to local soil and weather conditions. This produces heirloom crops that are stronger and healthier.