This family garden is 300 years old. It literally contains tons of food: cassava, coconut, banana, watercress, taro, shellfish, roofing material, flowers, and much more. There is no tilling, no fertilising, just tons of food grown naturally. The garden is tended and harvested, but nature is left to do most of the work. Even if neglected for months at a time the garden will flourish.
There are no rows of a single crop type so pests do little damage. Flowers are grown here and there. Sometimes the flowers are harvested and sold at the Saturday market, but the rest of the time they provide beauty for the gardeners, and pollen and nectar for the beneficial insects.
This garden is the perfect example of the goal of Natural Farming. Grow food in a natural environment, letting the naturally balanced ecosystem provide food without huge inputs of labor, chemicals, or money. Natural Farming is not new.
However, science has made the process of mimicking nature easier and more effective. It is a systems approach to agriculture. It can be scaled from small backyard gardens to large commercial operations. It is ideal for a family farm with some chickens, pigs, a few head of livestock, orchards and gardens, tended by a single couple with or without children. It was developed in temperate South Korea, where it is used by an entire county. It is now practised in all climates in over 40 countries worldwide. It combines the wisdom of the old ways with modern science.
It uses no dangerous chemicals. In fact, all inputs are made from local ingredients and are edible directly by humans. Why would you give your plants or animals, food you plan to eat, dangerous and toxic inputs? We are all part of the same food system so we want to give our plants and animals food that is safe and edible. What kind of things do we use in Natural Farming? Things like fast growing herbs, fruits, eggshells, fish, bone. Everything is fermented, making it bio-available and fast acting, just like chemical fertilisers, but ultimately safe. Organic fertilisers need to be composted and under-go biological transformation to be available to plants. This takes labor, time, and is not very precise. So you can see that Natural Farming is effective, like chemicals, yet safe, like organic. It is natural, safe, and effective. Stay tuned to learn more.