Awareness born from the frustration of a farmer
I used to be a vegetable producer. We grow large quantities of vegetables in small quantities and sell them as vegetable sets to individuals and restaurants. However, I was discouraged from living as a vegetable farmer three years ago. I like growing vegetables, but the task of growing large quantities of vegetables on a large area for transportation was too difficult for me, someone who was not good at doing the same job. In particular, the natural farming method that I previously did, did not use many machines and did many small jobs with hoes and sickles, so the mental and physical burden increased corresponding to the increase in the area. and debilitating. What a state it has become. I still liked the field environment, so I started looking for a way to work other than “produce and sell vegetables” while using the field as a workplace.
At that time someone who wanted to start home gardening from now on asked me, “I want to do natural farming in my garden, can you tell me?”
At that time I noticed. I want to “grow vegetables for a living” instead of growing vegetables like a farmer.
Growing vegetables to make a living from natural farming is difficult, but not if you are self-sufficient. Furthermore, you don’t need a machine like a tiller, you can do enough soil with weeds and fallen leaves without buying compost or fertilizer. Isn’t this wisdom and skill only needed in the home garden?
Since then, I decided to call myself a “live field shop” and pass on the knowledge and natural farming techniques that I learned and practiced to those who want to grow vegetables for daily life. day.
Farmers and home gardens grow vegetables differently
Current popular vegetable cultivation methods have been basically studied for farmers. Almost like in the house, but from the start, the purpose of vegetable production is completely different between farmer and home garden. Therefore, what is popular today may not always be the right farming method for home gardens. Of course, it is not a mistake to use the same farming method as a farmer, but I feel that there are more opportunities to study a farming method suitable for home gardening.
At the beginning of the experimental farm I now run, my father, an organic farmer for many years, taught me “the organic farming method I used to do as a farmer”. However, if we do it at home it is not impossible, but there are various inconveniences. However, using the wisdom and natural farming techniques I practiced for that problem, I had more choice and it became easier to practice it myself. These are three particularly important improvements.
I don’t have to buy compost and fertilizer!
For many years Terakoya in the fields used my father’s homemade cow manure compost. However, students cannot do it so easily on their own. Even if you buy it, you will have to buy it yourself at the center, but in reality, it is very difficult to sell high quality organic fertilizers. Even if it does, that would be a substantial expense. We don’t sell vegetables that we make in our garden, so we don’t want to spend as much money on fertilizer as possible. By using compost of weeds and fallen leaves, also made in natural agriculture, students can now easily compost them on their own. I was worried that weeds and rice bran, as raw materials, would have sufficient nutritional value, but the soil analysis results were quite good.
Now you can grow a variety of vegetables in a small space!
Farmers grow only one basic vegetable in one place to prioritize work efficiency. However, at home, we don’t eat all of the same vegetables, and it’s important to grow multiple varieties in a confined space. By using companion plants and using weeds and fallen leaves to improve soil fertility, one can grow multiple vegetables in one place.
Farming just got easier!
Many people think that farming is “farming”, but this is a difficult job. Since this is a burden for beginners, at our experience farm, we used a large machine to pour large amounts of compost once a year and plow the soil with a tractor. . However, I find it necessary to think about ways the user can do it himself, considering when the user becomes independent. For those who are just starting to plow each time, it is difficult, but buying a tiller for home use comes with a cost. However, in natural farming, there is a method of making the ground and growing up in the first year so that the soil does not harden even though it is hardly cultivated after the second year. By introducing this, it is no longer necessary to use the tractor. This method is not suitable for farmers because it is difficult to have a large area but should be applied to home gardens.
There is still much room for improvement in home gardening practices
As introduced in the previous series, by understanding how nature works and making use of it in field farming, we have seen a new method of vegetable production that is unique to home gardens. And I’m glad that the people who knew about it changed their views on nature and became interested in it, saying, “The mechanism of nature is so interesting!” And “Nature is very well made”.
However, there are also many busy families who do not have rice fields at home or do not have time to farm. I think it makes a lot of sense to enrich the lives of such modern people, so I would like to suggest a new method of growing vegetables in the home garden that breaks conventional wisdom, including growing plants. and hydroponics.
◆ Next notice
Next time, I will introduce in detail the method of “creating fields without cultivation” that I introduced earlier. Knowing this eliminates the need for effort and effort to plow! expected!