By incorporating microbial inoculants with a no-till agriculture system, there is a home for the microbes to reproduce as a carbon rich soil can both house and feed a diverse population. Using the IMO's to enzymatically digest and make bioavailable through fermentation,
hormones and minerals in various solutions you can apply to plants at various growth stages what the plant needs whether in vegetative or blooming cycles. Different times of a seasonal cycle call for different ionic metabolites, which facilitated by wildcrafting "weeds" from your local ecosystem, makes for a most a fun and economical form of ethnobotany. What is in abundance in our own habitats can be using as sustainable, naturally occurring resources that break our reliance on the global petroleum addiction, all the while helping heal and replenish our surroundings, providing nutrition for our friends and families. By taking cultures from established ecosystems we can bring a microbial diversity to our gardens, orchards, farms and livestock operations.
From the International Nature Farming Research Center:
INFRC believes that Nature Farming is a method of producing food for the future which can satisfy the five requirements given below. This is based on the basic principles of Nature Farming, which are "Respect Nature and Conform to Its Laws" and "Allow the Living Soil to Exhibit Its Great Potential Abilities." In addition, the technology of Effective Microorganisms (EM) currently promoted as a vital component technology in Nature Farming was introduced in the mid 1980s.
The five basic principles of Nature Farming are as follows:
To produce foods which can sustain and promote human health.
To be beneficial economically and mentally to both the producers and consumers.
To be practicable by anyone, with durability.
To be responsible for an environmental integrity, paying respect to nature.
To be responsible for the production and supply of provisions in such a manner to meet the growth of population
In principal, practitioners of natural farming maintain that it is not a technique but a view, or a way of seeing ourselves as a part of nature, rather than separate from or above it. Accordingly, the methods themselves vary widely depending on culture and local conditions.
Rather than offering a structured method, Fukuoka distilled the natural farming mindset into five principles:
No pesticides or herbicides
from the Janong Book :
"Natural Farming and organic farming are different. Let me introduce some unique points about Natural Farming:
Natural Farming is a sustainable farming. It makes all inputs from natural materials, observes the law of the Nature and respects the rights of crops and livestock. It heals the soil slashed by chemicals, herbicide and machines. Where Natural Farming is practiced, the soil and water become clean and ecology is recovered. It is even being used as a tool to fight desertification.
2. Respect for life
Natural Farming respects life. It opposes human exploitation on life. Ironical it may sound; respecting the nature of the life is the best way to achieve top quality and yield. We prevent disease rather than curing with medicines. We rear healthy animals rather than feeding them hormones and antibiotics.
Crops and livestock reared by Natural Farming are very healthy. They have almost no disease and show especially strong resistance to climatic fluctuation. Natural Farming orchards in Korea were least damaged by the notorious typhoon that ruined other farms in 2003.
3. High quality
People commonly think that organic farming produces smaller yields, lower quality and smaller-sized fruits. In Natural Farming it is the opposite. We do not go back to the past; we take a leap into the future. Natural Farming products have much higher nutritional contents. Protein, amino acid, crude fat and other essential nutrient were identified to be as much as 300 percent higher than ordinary products. Chemical residue such as nitrate is almost undetectable. (KAERI, 1996)
4. No pesticide
Natural Farming does not use pesticide. Pesticides do not only kill insects; they reside in the soil and fruit. When absorbed, it can do serious harm to our bodies and even our next generations. Instead of using toxic chemicals, we use light, alcohol, aroma, poisonous plant and the like to control pests. More surprisingly, an ecology that recovered the natural balance will drop in the pests and disease occurrence. Natural Farming does precisely that. Most of our farmers are certified by the government as low or zero pesticide.
5. No herbicide
Natural Farming does not use herbicide. Killing the weeds with chemical is not the only solution nor is it wise. Herbicide is lethal to human. How can it only kill the weeds? Natural Farming uses the weeds rather than killing them. We actually grow the wild grass such as rye and clover for mulching. Natural Farming orchards are green with grass growing between the fruit trees. The grass prevents soil erosion, holds moisture, propagates microorganism, produces organic fertilizer, improves soil ventilation and suppresses the pests. How can it only be a thief of nutrients?
6. No mechanical tillage
Instead of using machines for plowing, we use earthworms, microorganisms and small animals. Machine can plow 20 centimeters at best, whereas earthworms will dig 7 meters. The excretions of the earthworms turn into the best soil. After practicing Natural Farming, the soil inflates like a balloon. Our little workers tilled so well that your hand will slide in as if into a soft cake. Making soft soil for the plant will actually weaken its roots.
Because you don’t till the land, the grass seeds in the soil do not come up to the surface. In other words, after the grass on the surface have germinated and died, you will have no more weed problems! No tillage and no herbicide are linked.
7. No chemical fertilizer
Natural Farming does not use chemical fertilizer. Nor does it follow the common practice of applying over half of the fertilizer as base manure. Crops will become weak if given too much food at early stage. Nitrogen, phosphorous, potassium, calcium and all other elements that would be commonly given in the form of chemical fertilizer are substituted with Natural Farming inputs. Fish amino acid provides nitrogen, eggshells give calcium, animal bones are source of phosphoric acid. Our Natural Farming inputs are not only cheap but highly effective.
8. No pollution
Natural Farming animal houses do not emit any wastewater. There is no need to install an expensive treatment machine. All the treatment is done right on the floor itself. As soon as feces fall on the floor, it is quickly decomposed by the powerful microorganisms. Floor is not made from concrete, it is touching the soil; it is alive. Rice straw, sawdust, fresh soil are used for flooring.
Even if you use a Natural Farming animal house for many years, you do not need to remove the feces. They are decomposed so do not pile up or smell. It is a common sight to see our farmers eating their meals inside the pig sty. Our method is revolutionary considering the serious pollution that livestock wastewater are doing to our rivers.
9. No artificial heating
Our animal houses do not provide any artificial heating. Rather than consuming fossil fuel or electricity we think it is wiser to develop the animal’s natural resistance against cold. A healthy animal does not need such human-improvised help. Natural Farming chicks grow short, tough and dense hair whereas ordinary chicks have long, soft and sparse hair. In extremely cold climate, we use heat from fermentation of compost.
10. Natural feed made by farmers
Natural Farming animals do not only eat commercial feed from the market. They eat natural food prepared by farmers with love and affection. Chicks are given with whole brown rice grains and bamboo leaves immediately after hatching. Tough food develops their intestines. We do not give antibiotics, hormones, colorants or other chemicals to our animals. We give them what nature has given them to eat. We use grass, rice husk, rice bran, left-over food, sawdust and even soil for feed. They go through our special treatment and assorting.
11. Farming inputs are made by farmers
One of the most important aspects of Natural Farming is that the farmers make what they need. Fertilizers, soil improvers, pest controllers, disease cure are all made by the farmers themselves using only natural materials based on the Nutritive Cycle theory. We do not simply buy materials from the market and follow the manual. We make what we need and follow the principle of the nature. By doing so, we save money and perform better. Our field, hills, forest, rivers, ocean and all surroundings are full of useful materials that are tools of our farming; only if we open our eyes. This is why Natural Farming can be a powerful tool for the third world farmers who cannot afford to buy expensive imported farming inputs.
Our important inputs include Indigenous Microorganism (IMO), Fermented Plant Juice (FPJ), Oriental Herbal Nutrient (OHN), Lactic Acid Bacteria (LAB), Fish Amino Acid (LAB), Water-soluble Calcium (WCA), Water-soluble Calcium Phosphate (WCP), and Insect Attractant (IA). All produced at home easily and cheaply. Most importantly, they work!
12. Nutritive Cycle Theory
We care for the crops and livestock according to the “Nutritive Cycle Theory.” It is a theory that enables us to read the changing growth stages of a plant or animal. We apply fertilizer, feed, or prescription precisely according to this cycle. Natural Farming is a very elaborate, complicated and precise method that denies “spray-and-forget” approach.
The general idea is that the crops and livestock need nitrogen when young, phosphoric acid during adolescence and calcium after maturity. The amount of food they need will also change constantly. Natural Farming emphasizes the right use of the right material, at the right stage, in the right quantity.
Talk only with results
Natural Farming is absent of four most notorious works in farming. First, weeding is unnecessary because it is controlled with wild grass mulching. Second, tillage and maintaining expensive machine is unnecessary because we let the nature till itself. Third, chemical fertilizer is unnecessary because fertilizers are produced sufficiently on the soil itself. Fourth, pesticide is unnecessary because insects are controlled naturally and a healthy ecology will drop in the occurrence of pests."